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New York State Veteran's Benefits

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

New York Veteran Housing Programs

State Veterans Homes
The state of New York operates veterans homes in Batavia, Long Island (Stony Brook University), Montrose, Oxford, and St. Albans. Health related care and skilled nursing services are available at all facilities.  Admission preference is based on severity of illness or disability and need for care.

New York State Homes For Veterans Program
his program, through State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA), offers fixed-rate mortgages with interest rates 0.375% below the already low interest rates charged on SONYMA mortgages with down payment assistance.

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New York Financial Assistance Benefits

Property Tax Exemptions
Partial exemption from real property taxes is based on condition of service, with additional benefits based upon degree of service-connected disability. Applications must be filed before Taxable Status Day. Qualifying widow(er)s may file for benefit based on their spouse's service. Exemption applies to local and county property taxes.

  • The Alternative Veterans’ Exemption is available only on residential property of a Veteran who has served during a designated time of war or received an expeditionary medal.
  • The Cold War Veterans’ Exemption is available only on residential property of a Veteran who served during the Cold War period.
  • The Eligible Funds Exemption applies to property that a Veteran or certain other designated person purchases. Such owners must purchase the property with pension, bonus, or insurance monies

Supplemental Burial Allowance
A supplemental burial allowance of up to $6,000 is authorized for certain military personnel killed in combat or while on active duty in hostile or imminent danger locations on or after September 29, 2003.

New York State Blind Annuity
The Blind Annuity Program benefit is for legally blind  wartime Veterans, or surviving un-remarried spouses of legally blind wartime Veterans, who live and are domiciled in New York State.  Blindness need not be a service-connected disability.

New York State Gold Star Annuity
Gold Star Parent Annuity authorizes an annuity payment of up to $500 per Gold Star parent of a deceased veteran.

E-ZPass for Disabled Veterans
The New York State Thruway Authority offers free, unlimited travel anywhere on the Thruway to certain, qualifying disabled Veterans. The Thruway Authority’s only qualifying criteria for the Disabled Veterans E-ZPass Non-Revenue program is a fee-exempt vehicle registration from Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You must find out whether you are eligible for a fee-exempt registration before applying for the program. Eligibility is not determined by percent disabled designations, specialty license plates, or other similar criteria.

New York State Motor Vehicle Registration Fee Exemption
Through the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Veterans can qualify to be exempt from registration fees and vehicle plate fees if:

  • You are a qualified disabled Veteran under Federal Title 38, Part III, Chapter 39, or
  • You qualify for and apply for Congressional Medal of Honor custom plates, or
  • You are 62 years of age or older and you qualify for and apply for Former Prisoner of War custom plates.

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New York Employment Benefits

Disabled Veterans Civil Service Preference
Ten additional credits are granted on civil service examinations to qualified disabled veterans.

Civil Service Credit Preference
Ten-point additional credit preference toward original appointment for disabled wartime veterans; five-points for wartime service; and two and a half points for competitive promotional exams.  Job retention rights applicable to veterans and spouses of totally disabled veterans.

Military Service Credit for State & Local Retirement System Members
Veterans may be entitled to receive additional credit toward retirement for your military service through New York State and Local Retirement System.

There are different sections of the law that allow the crediting of qualifying military service. Once the Retirement System receives your request, they will determine under what section the Veteran may qualify and what would be most advantageous to the Veteran.

In most cases, purchasing additional service credit will increase the pension. However, there are certain situations where additional service credit may not increase the pension at retirement.

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New York Education Benefits

Veterans Tuition Awards

Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA) are awards for full-time and part-time study for eligible veterans matriculated at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.

Eligible Veterans

Eligible students are those who are New York State residents discharged under honorable conditions from the U.S. Armed forces and who are:

  • Vietnam Veterans who served in Indochina between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
  • Persian Gulf Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf on or after August 2, 1990.
  • Afghanistan Veterans who served in Afghanistan during hostilities on or after September 11, 2001.
  • Veterans of the armed forces of the United States who served in hostilities that occurred after February 28, 1961 as evidenced by receipt of an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal or a Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal.

These students must also:

  • Establish eligibility by applying to HESC.
  • Be New York State residents.
  • Be US Citizens or eligible noncitizens.
  • Be matriculated full or part- time at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution in New York State or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.
  • Have applied for the Tuition Assistance Program for full-time undergraduate or graduate study.

New York State Regents Awards (for Children)
Regents Awards for Children of Deceased & Disabled Veterans provide up to $450 per year to students whose parent(s) served in the US Armed Forces during specified times of national emergency.

Military Service Recognition Scholarship
Available to certain dependents of military personnel killed, severely and permanently disabled or missing in combat or a combat zone of operation since August 2, 1990.

Operation Recognition - High School Diplomas
Operation Recognition allows certain veterans to earn high school diplomas if they left school without graduating.

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Other New York State Veteran Benefits

Hunting Licenses & Permits
Veterans with a 40-percent or greater disability rating are eligible for low-cost hunting and fishing licenses, and free use of state parks, historic sites and recreation sites.

Customized Military and Veteran License Plates
Specialty plates for veterans and military members. All vehicles that are registered in NYS as a passenger class vehicle or as a commercial class vehicle are eligible. Certain custom plates are available for Motorcycles also.

Lifetime Liberty Pass for NYS Veterans with disabilities
The Lifetime Liberty Pass benefits includes free vehicle entry to state parks and DEC-operated day-use areas, as well as numerous state boat launch sites, historic sites, arboretums and park preserves; free golf at 28 State Park golf courses; free swimming pool entrance at 36 State Park pools, and discounted camping and cabin rentals at all 119 State Park and DEC campgrounds.

To qualify for the pass, the Veteran must be a resident of New York State and provide State Parks with written certification from the United States Veterans Administration or the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs that the applicant is a wartime Veteran with a 40% or greater service-connected disability as certified by the United States Veterans Administration

Visit the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs website for more information on any of these programs.

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Veteran Benefits

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