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New Jersey State Veteran's Benefits

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The state of New Jersey provides several veteran benefits. This section offers a brief description of each of the following benefits.

New Jersey Veteran Housing Programs

NJ Veterans Memorial Homes
The State of New Jersey runs Veterans' Homes in Paramus, Menlo Park, and Vineland.

If you're responsible for the long-term care and well being of a New Jersey veteran, a New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home may be the right nursing home choice for your loved one. The facilities are open to Veterans of all wars who served on active duty and were honorably discharged, qualified National Guard/Reserve Retirees, the Veteran's Spouse, and Spouses and parents of members of the military who were killed in action during a period of war (Gold Star Parent). A Spouse/Widow/Widower must be at least 50 years of age and must have been married to the Veteran for a period of not less than 10 years. Preference is given to applicants who were state residents for at least two years immediately prior to application for admission. Applicants must meet certain asset limitation criteria. Residents pay according to ability based on income.

Stand Down Operations
Stand Down helps the New Jersey's homeless veterans "combat" life on the streets by providing a broad range of necessities, including food, clothing, medical, legal and mental health assistance, job counseling, and referrals, but most importantly, companionship and camaraderie.

Membership is open to Veterans and volunteers over the age of 18 who are willing and able to give of their time, efforts and resources in assisting programs for homeless veterans.

Veterans Haven
The Transitional Housing Program for homeless veterans occupies one large building on state property in Winslow Township. The program is divided into three phases: treatment; self-reclamation; and community reintegration. Each phase lasts three to six months and is tailored to individual treatment needs and vocational interests.

Eligible veterans are referred from a VA Medical Center after receiving a medical evaluation. To be admitted into the program, the veteran must agree to a long-term program focusing on psychological, social and vocational rehabilitation. The program is drug and alcohol free, and has a staff comprised of professionals in the fields of mental health, addictions, social work, vocational rehabilitation and nursing.

NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA)
The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) offers low interest rate HMFA mortgages that provide veterans and their families with increased buying power and a savings of thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. HMFA offers residential mortgages to United States veterans through the Veterans Administration (VA) home buyer program. Most HMFA home ownership loans are originated by private lenders that are approved to participate in the programs.

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New Jersey Financial Assistance Benefits

New Jersey State Income Tax Exclusions

U.S. military pension and survivor's benefit payments are not taxable for New Jersey gross income tax purposes, regardless of the recipient's age or disability status.

New Jersey Property Tax Deduction
An annual $250 Veterans Property Tax Deduction requires citizenship, state residency, active wartime service in the U.S. Armed Forces, honorable discharge, property ownership, and the timely completion of an application. If living, the Veteran must own the property in whole or in part to qualify for the deduction. Surviving spouse qualifies if all criteria are met. Eligibility for the deduction is established as of October 1 of the pre-tax year. The application can be filed at the local tax assessors office with appropriate documentation.

Disabled Veteran Exemption requires a 100 % VA Certificate of Disability. The exemption should be permanent and total, partial or temporary is non-qualifying. The property must be owned and occupied by the claimant, and must be their legal residence in this state.

New Jersey Catastrophic Entitlement
Eligible Veterans/surviving spouses receive a monthly entitlement of $62.50. Criteria: A Veteran must be a New Jersey resident in receipt of a permanent service-connected disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that resulted from wartime service resulting in one of the following catastrophic disabilities resulting in a 100% rating: loss of sight; amputation of both hands, both feet or one hand and one foot; hemiplegia and permanent paralysis of one leg and one arm on either side of the body; paraplegia and permanent paralysis of both legs and lower parts of the body; osteochondritis and permanent loss of use of both legs; multiple sclerosis and the loss of use of both feet or both legs; quadriplegia.

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New Jersey Employment Benefits

Veterans Preference and Pension Status
NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is the agency to determine veterans preference for hiring in New Jersey civil service and veterans status for New Jersey civil service pension plans.

Veterans Preference for Hiring in New Jersey Civil Service
The NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is the agency that determines veterans preference for hiring in New Jersey civil service and veteran status for New Jersey civil service pension plans.

Veterans Preference for Hiring in New Jersey Civil Service: War period veterans who pass state civil service examinations are given absolute preference over non-veterans when applying for state, county and municipal employment. Absolute preference is not extended to promotions, but if a veteran ranks highest on a promotional certification, a non-veteran cannot be offered the appointment before the veteran. Veterans with service-connected disabilities (at least 10%) who pass civil service examinations are given preference over other veterans and non-veterans for state, county and municipal employment.

Veterans Status for Civil Service and Pension Plans
A pension is available to qualified veterans. To qualify, a veteran must apply for veterans status for civil service pension plans after employment and must be in active employment until the effective date of retirement. These benefits cannot be deferred. Veterans who continue in employment covered by Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) until they are at least age 60 with 20 or more years of service credit are entitled to an annual benefit equal to one-half of the salary on which pension contributions were made in any consecutive 12-month period which would provide the largest possible benefit to the member.

Veterans who are at least age 55 with 35 or more years of service credit are entitled to an annual allowance based on the following formula: Years of Service divided by 55, multiplied by the last 12 months salary, which yields the Maximum Annual Allowance. Veterans benefits cannot be deferred and members must meet all the requirements to qualify. Veteran members may retire on the same basis as non-veteran members if it would result in a higher benefit.

Other Civil Service Benefits for Veterans Preference
The following are other civil service benefits for veterans preference:

  • Appointment of veterans
  • Application of statutes to promotions
  • Preference in appointment in noncompetitive division
  • Preference to veterans in layoffs
  • Hearing on dismissal of veterans
  • Veterans not to be discriminated against because of physical defects

Employment or Promotion
Any individual who has served in the Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States and who has been awarded the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force Cross or Navy Cross, while a resident of this State, and any individual who has served in the United States Coast Guard and who has been awarded the Medal of Honor or the Navy Cross while a resident of this State, shall be appointed or promoted without complying with the rules of the Merit System Board. The appointing authority to whom the individual applies for appointment or promotion shall, at its discretion, appoint or promote that person. Upon promotion or appointment, that person shall become subject to the rules of the Merit System Board. A person who qualifies under this section shall not be limited to only one appointment or promotion.

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New Jersey Education Benefits

Operation Recognition: High School Diplomas for Veterans
The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA) and the Department of Education jointly launched a program October 5, 2000 to honor World War II era veterans who left school to join the military and never received a high school diploma. Known as Operation Recognition, the program will award a state-endorsed high school diploma to any New Jersey veteran who left a New Jersey high school to enter military service during World War II. Because of the overwhelming success of this program, The Adjutant General and the Commissioner of Education are expanding the program to include veterans from the Korean and Vietnam wars.

POW and MIA Tuition Benefits
Free undergraduate college tuition is available to any child born or adopted before, during or after the period of time his or her parent was officially declared a prisoner of war (POW) or person missing in action (MIA) after Jan. 1, 1960. The POW-MIA must have been a New Jersey resident at the time he or she entered the service or whose official residence is in New Jersey. The child must attend either a public or private institution in New Jersey. A copy of DD- 1300 must be furnished with the application.

War Orphans Tuition Assistance
Children of those service personnel who died while in the military or due to service-connected disabilities, or who are officially listed as missing in action by the U.S. Dept. of Defense may claim $500 per year for four years of college or equivalent training. To qualify, the child must be a resident of New Jersey for at least one year immediately preceding the filing of the application and be between the ages of 16 and 21 at the time of application. The veteran must have been a state resident.

Veterans Tuition Credit Program
The Veterans Tuition Credit Program provides additional education benefits to veterans eligible for federally funded education programs and who served on active duty from December 31, 1960 to May 7, 1975 and who were legal residents of New Jersey at the time of induction into the Armed Forces or at the time of discharge from active service or for a period not less than one year prior to making application. The amount of the award is $400 annually or $200 per semester for full-time attendance and $100 per semester for part-time. Deadlines for applying are October 1 and March 1.

New Jersey National Guard Educational Benefits
New Jersey National Guardsman (Army or Air) who are eligible must:

  • Have completed Initial Active Duty Training.
  • Be in good standing with your unit.

Tuition Assistance: Pays up to 75% of tuition costs at Accredited schools only with a maximum of $100 per undergraduate credit and a maximum of $170 per graduate credit. Tuition Assistance may NOT be used together with any other federal program (i.e. the GI Bill)

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Other New Jersey State Veteran Benefits

Replacement of Medals
Veterans may request issuance or replacement of their medals and awards. Family members may only request medals and awards of living veterans by obtaining their signed authorizations. For deceased veterans, requests will be accepted from next-of-kin (unremarried widow or widower, son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister of the deceased veteran.)

Fishing and Hunting Licenses
The NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife will annually issue the following items FREE to each qualified disabled veteran: a fire arm, bow & arrow, fishing or all around hunting license, a pheasant and quail stamp, a state duck stamp and a trout stamp. In addition, disabled veterans may apply for free permits: one bow and arrow deer permit; one firearm (muzzleloader or shotgun) deer permit; one spring and one fall turkey permit for use during applicable hunting season.

No Fee Automobile Registration
The veteran must be 100 percent disabled and:

  • also be eligible for the automobile financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

In addition, the veteran must have sustained the following injuries incurred or aggravated during active military service:

  • loss or permanent loss of use of one or both feet
  • loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands
  • permanent impairment of vision of both eyes to a prescribed degree. Veterans with best-corrected vision no better than 20/200 or less or field defect of 20 degrees or less are considered eligible.

No Fee Automobile Registration for Medal of Honor Recipients:  Medal of Honor recipients are eligible for a no-fee registration and will receive special license plates noting their award. Contact - For information call 1-888-486-3339.

State Parks Admission
The New Jersey Division of State Parks and Forestry does not charge an admission fee for entrance into a State park or forest by any resident of the State who is an active member of the New Jersey National Guard who has completed Initial Active Duty Training.

Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Free interment and perpetual care, in the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, is available to veteran residents of New Jersey, their spouses and dependant children. The Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery is located at 350 Provinceline Road, Wrightstown, NJ 08562.

The BG William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, a state- operated cemetery dedicated to veterans, is located on 225 acres in a picturesque setting of partially wooded land in Arneytown, North Hanover Township, Burlington County. The cemetery features a modern, nondenominational chapel/administration building. The cemetery will accommodate 215,000 veterans and eligible family members. Areas are provided for the interment of those cremated and for those veterans whose remains have never been recovered.

Visit the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs website for more information on any of these programs.

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