Your Ultimate Guide to 2021 Veteran Benefits in New York
There are many New York veteran benefits and exemptions provided by the state to current and former members of the Armed Forces who served honorably in the U.S. military.
New York is ranked #5 in the country for veteran population by state, with over 700,000 veteran residents!
- Your Ultimate Guide to 2021 Veteran Benefits in New York
- What are the top veteran benefits in New York?
- Property Tax Exemptions for Veterans in New York
- Veteran Housing Benefits in New York
- Education Benefits for Veterans in New York
- Employment Benefits for Veterans in New York
- DMV Benefits for Veterans in New York
- Parks and Recreation Benefits for New York Veterans
- Miscellaneous Benefits for Veterans in New York
- What about income tax for veterans in New York?
- VA Locations and Medical Facilities in New York
- Useful Resources
- Does New York offer any property tax exemptions for veterans?
- Does New York offer veterans tuition assistance for college?
- Are there income tax benefits for New York veterans?
- Do New York veterans receive preferential treatment when seeking employment?
- Does New York offer employment counseling and assistance to veterans?
- Are there home-buying benefits for New York veterans?
- Are there New York veteran benefits offering reduced recreational fees?
- MAKE SURE YOU GET ALL THE BENEFITS YOU DESERVE
- About the Author
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What are the top veteran benefits in New York?
With such a large veteran population, it’s no wonder that New York state offers so many different benefits for veterans. The state offers property tax exemptions, an extensive employment assistance program, and tuition assistance to its veteran population.
An excellent resource for New York veterans is the state’s Division of Veterans’ Services, which assists veterans in securing all the benefits they rightfully earned. Make sure to compare the different types of exemptions you may qualify for as a veteran, especially when it comes to property tax exemptions and tuition-related educational options.
VA Claims Insider has built this complete guide of New York veteran benefits to help New York veterans like you find all the benefits you earned!
Property Tax Exemptions for Veterans in New York
New York veteran benefits include three different options for property tax exemptions. Keep in mind that each application must be submitted to your local assessor by March 1 of the current tax year.
New York Alternative Veterans’ Property Tax Exemption
For the alternative veterans’ exemption, the home’s assessed value is reduced by 15% for veterans who served during a period of war. This amount increases to 25% total for veterans who served in a combat zone.
The period of war requirement can be met with service in the Persian Gulf Conflict, Vietnam War, Korean War, or World War II, or by receiving an Armed Forces, Navy, Marine Corps, or Global War on Terror expeditionary medal.
If you’re also a disabled veteran, your home’s assessed value is additionally reduced by a percentage equal to one-half of your service-connected disability rating.
For instance, if you’re 40% disabled according to the VA, this would add a reduction of 20% to the 15% or 25% noted above, reducing your home’s total assessed value for tax purposes by 35% or 45%.
Maximum limits exist in each community, so check with your local assessor to take advantage of your full property exemption.
New York Cold War Veterans’ Property Tax Exemption
For the Cold War veterans’ exemption, you must have served between September 2, 1945, and December 26, 1991, to be eligible, and must have received an honorable discharge.
If eligible, your assessed value will be reduced by 10-15% depending on your local jurisdiction.
For veterans with service-connected disabilities, the assessed value of the property will be reduced an additional amount equal to one-half of your disability rating. For example, if your disability rating is 70%, a 35% reduction in assessed value could be claimed in addition to the 10-15% noted above.
New York Eligible Funds Property Tax Exemption
Partial property tax exemptions are granted to veterans who use eligible funds to purchase a property.
Eligible funds include a veterans pension, bonus or insurance monies, compensation paid to prisoners of war, or mustering-out pay.
This exemption is typically up to $7,500 and is best used by veterans who don’t qualify for the other two exemptions.
Of note, the property can be vacant or leased to others and does not have to be the veteran’s primary residence. The property can be in the name of an eligible family member of the veteran as well.
New York tax laws are complex, and we recommend reading through the state veterans guide.
Veteran Housing Benefits in New York
New York Veteran Housing Program: Homes for Veterans
New York veteran benefits include lower interest rates and monthly mortgage payments for veterans through the Homes for Veteran program.
Benefits of this program include fixed interest rates that are .375% below market, with down payment assistance up to $3,000 or 3% of the home purchase price.
To be eligible, veterans must be honorably discharged or first-time home buyers stationed in New York State.
To participate, veterans must apply with the State of New York Mortgage Agency.
Veterans Homes in New York
New York veteran benefits include five Veterans Nursing Homes within the state. These homes are located in St. Albans, Batavia, Oxford, Long Island, and Montrose, and offer long-term care for veterans in need. The homes are only for veterans and their spouses who require skilled nursing care.
Veterans must be state residents for one year prior to application or have entered military service from New York state. Veterans must also have an honorable discharge and at least 30 days of active service.
To learn more about each home and how to apply, visit the New York State Veterans’ Home website.
Education Benefits for Veterans in New York
New York State Veterans Tuition Awards
New York veteran benefits include college tuition awards for veterans.
Veterans receive a maximum tuition award worth the value of the State University of New York in-resident tuition ($7,070 per year) for up to four years for undergraduate study, three years for graduate study, or two years for vocational training.
To be eligible, a veteran must have been a New York resident for at least 12 months. The veteran must have an honorable discharge, be a high school graduate, enrolled in at least 12 credits per semester, and have already applied for tuition assistance and federal aid.
Veterans can apply for tuition awards online with the Higher Education Services Corporation.
Regents Award for Children of Deceased and Disabled Veterans
Children of eligible veterans can receive up to $450 per year for college.
Veterans must have served during wartime and died due to service, OR have a disability rating of 40% or higher.
Apply for the award by June 30 of the current academic year.
Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute (MERIT) Scholarship
The MERIT scholarship is an excellent opportunity for children, spouses, and financial dependents of military members who became severely and permanently disabled as a result of military service.
The scholarship will pay up to $24,250 annually for students living on campus. It covers tuition, room and board, and books and supplies for four years of undergraduate study.
Students must be enrolled in 12 semester credit hours, have a high school degree, and be in good academic standing.
You can apply for the MERIT scholarship online. You’ll need to submit proof of the veteran’s Permanent and Total disability.
High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans in New York
New York’s Operation Recognition issues high school diplomas to eligible veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam as part of New York veteran benefits.
Veterans who left high school to join the military during World War II, Korea, or Vietnam are eligible to receive a high school diploma if the veteran:
- Is an honorably discharged member of the armed forces
- Left high school in any U.S. state before graduation to serve in the war
Diplomas can also be requested by members of a deceased veteran’s family.
Learn more about Operation Recognition in New York.
Employment Benefits for Veterans in New York
New York veteran benefits include employment support and hiring preference with the state.
New York Veteran State Employment Preference
All state resident veterans with an honorable discharge from wartime service receive a 5-point employment preference over non-veterans in interviews and exams for state jobs, or 2.5-points for promotion exams. Veterans with a disability rating receive a total of 10 points, or 5 points for promotion exams.
New York Veteran Employment Assistance
New York veteran benefits include State Career Centers that help veterans seeking jobs.
Services include job search planning, career counseling, resume development, translating military experience to the civilian sector, interview skill development, and more.
You can find your local New York State Career Center online.
DMV Benefits for Veterans in New York
New York Veteran Designation on Driver License or Identification (ID) Cards
Any honorably discharged veteran can request a Veteran designation at no additional cost on the front of his or her New York driver’s license or ID card.
The word “Veteran” printed on the upper left hand of a license allows New York veterans to validate their honorable service with a government-issued ID card.
To apply for the designation, veterans must submit an application form along with their DD214 either in-person or by mail.
New York Vehicle Registration Exemptions
Disabled veterans who receive vehicles from the VA to accommodate a disability are exempt from registration and vehicle plate fees in New York.
Eligible veterans can register their vehicles with the New York DMV via a Statement to Register a Vehicle Under Title 38.
POWs and Medal of Honor recipients are also eligible for registration exemption on one vehicle.
Parks and Recreation Benefits for New York Veterans
Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Annual License Discounts
The following military members get free hunting, fishing, or trapping licenses:
- New York State Organized Militia
- U.S. Reserve Forces
- Resident active military members stationed outside of New York home on leave for 30 days or less
Active duty military members stationed in New York are eligible to purchase licenses at resident prices, saving up to $358.
Any New York resident veteran with an honorable discharge and a VA disability rating of 40% or more is eligible for a $5 fishing, hunting, and trapping license combination.
Disabled veterans also receive preference on Deer Management Permit selection. The deadline for DMP is October 1.
Free New York State Park Entrance for Disabled Veterans
New York disabled veteran benefits include free state park access. Under the New York State Park Lifetime Liberty Pass, disabled wartime veterans with a VA disability rating of 40% or more are eligible for free vehicle entry to all New York State Parks. Veterans must be New York residents to be eligible.
Either email or mail your Lifetime Liberty Pass application to New York State Parks.
Miscellaneous Benefits for Veterans in New York
New York VA Cemeteries
The VA maintains seven national cemeteries in New York, but there are no state cemeteries. Veterans who are eligible include:
- A veteran who received an honorable or general discharge, or
- A service member who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty for training, or
- The spouse or minor child of a veteran, even if the veteran died first, or
- In some cases, the unmarried adult dependent child of a veteran
New York State Supplemental Burial Allowance for Veterans Who Gave Their Lives in Combat
New York veteran benefits offer surviving family members a burial allowance of up to $6,000.
To qualify, the service member must meet the following criteria:
- The veteran was a New York resident at the time of death, or the service member was in the NY Army National Guard or NY Air National Guard when they entered active duty.
- The service member passed away:
- In a combat zone OR
- While receiving hazardous duty pay OR
- From wounds sustained in a combat zone or while receiving hazard duty pay
Fill out the application and submit proof of the service member’s combat-related death as well as New York residency.
What about income tax for veterans in New York?
Although the New York income tax rate is on the higher end from 4% to 10.9%, veterans receiving pension and retirement payments are exempt from paying state, New York City, and Yonkers income tax on their retirement.
A New York resident military member who spent less than 30 days in the state is not required to pay state income tax on military pay. You must still file a Nonresident Tax Return.
Spouses of service members who are nonresidents and only residing in New York state due to military orders are also exempt from New York state income tax.
Combat pay for active-duty military members also reduces adjusted gross income (AGI). You can subtract the amount of combat pay you received from your AGI each year.
VA Locations and Medical Facilities in New York
List of VA Locations in New York
New York State Income Tax Information for military members and veterans
New York State Division of Veterans’ Services
Meet virtually with a New York State Veterans’ Benefits Advisor
New York State Veterans Scholarships
Does New York offer any property tax exemptions for veterans?
Yes, New York offers three types of standard property tax exemptions. Eligible veterans can reduce taxable home values by 10% to 25% for standard exemptions. These exemptions increase for veterans with service-connected disabilities and are limited by individual counties.
Of note, one of the property exemptions for New York veterans reduces the assessed value for properties purchased with eligible funds such as veterans pension, bonus or insurance monies, compensation paid to prisoners of war, or mustering-out pay. This exemption is up to $7,500. The unique aspect of this exemption is that, unlike many other states, New York does not require the veteran to occupy the residence and it can be owned by extended family members—including spouse or unremarried surviving spouse, dependent parents, or children under 21. This exemption even applies to vacant land.
Does New York offer veterans tuition assistance for college?
New York veteran benefits include tuition awards annually of the in-state resident tuition at State University of New York. Currently, this is $7,070. Veterans are eligible for this award for up to four years if they’re pursuing an undergraduate degree and taking 12 credit hours per semester, or eight years if attending college part-time. Veterans must be New York residents for at least 12 months and have an honorable discharge with wartime service to apply for the tuition award. New York also offers a variety of scholarships for children of disabled veterans.
Are there income tax benefits for New York veterans?
Active service members who are residents of New York don’t have to pay state income tax if they’re stationed outside of New York and spend less than 30 days in the state. Combat pay for active-duty military members is also not taxed in New York. Non-resident spouses who reside in New York with active-duty military members are not required to pay income tax. Veterans do not have to pay income tax on military retirement pay.
Do New York veterans receive preferential treatment when seeking employment?
New York veterans with an honorable discharge receive a 5-point employment preference in interviews and exams for state jobs, or a 2.5-point preference in promotion exams. Veterans with a disability rating of 10% or higher receive a 10-point employment preference for interviews and exams and 5 points for promotion exams.
Does New York offer employment counseling and assistance to veterans?
New York operates State Counseling Centers designed to help veterans with career counseling, resume development, job search planning, interview skills, and more.
Are there home-buying benefits for New York veterans?
Yes.The New York Homes for Veterans loan offers mortgage rates about .375% lower than market rates.
Are there New York veteran benefits offering reduced recreational fees?
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation offers a discounted fishing, hunting, and trapping license combination for only $5 for veterans with a disability rating of 40% or more. Resident disabled veterans with a rating of 40% or more are also eligible for free entry into New York State Parks.
MAKE SURE YOU GET ALL THE BENEFITS YOU DESERVE
Regardless of what state you live in, it’s important that you pursue the monthly compensation payments due to you for disabilities connected to your military service.
Most veterans are underrated for their disabilities and therefore not getting the compensation they deserve. At VA Claims Insider, we help veterans understand and take control of the claims process so they can get the rating and compensation they’re owed by law.
Our process takes the guesswork out of filing a VA disability claim and supports you every step of the way in building a fully-developed claim (FDC)—so you can increase your rating in less time!
If you’ve filed your VA disability claim and have been denied or have received a low rating – or you’re not sure how to get started – reach out to us for a FREE VA Claim Discovery Call, so you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation you deserve. We’ve supported more than 15,000 veterans to win their claims and increase their ratings. NOW IT’S YOUR TURN.
About the Author
About VA Claims Insider
VA Claims insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. We’re here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Independent Medical Opinions & Nexus Statements (Medical Nexus Letters) for a wide range of disability conditions.