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Minnesota State Veteran's Benefits

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

Minnesota Veteran Housing Benefits

Minnesota Veterans' Homes
Minnesota Veterans' Homes are located in Fergus Falls, Hastings, Luverne, Minneapolis and Silver Bay.

There is also an Adult Day Center located in the Minneapolis Veterans' Home. The Adult Day Center provides a broad array of therapeutic health care services – delivered by trained, highly dedicated professionals. It is a Veteran-based community that allows participants to connect with other Veterans in a safe, comfortable environment. The Adult Day Center allows participants to achieve the highest attainable level of physical, mental and social well-being – with the independence of living at home. It also provides much-needed respite – and a full array of support services – for Veterans’ caregivers.

Admission to Minnesota Veterans Homes is available to honorably discharged veterans who entered service from Minnesota, or are current residents, who served 181 consecutive days on active duty, unless discharged earlier because of disability incurred in the line of duty. The spouse of an eligible Veteran who is at least 55 years old and meets residency requirements. The applicant must also be able to demonstrate a medical or clinical need for admission. Residents contribute to the cost of their care according to their means.

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Minnesota Veteran Financial Benefits

State Income Taxes
Military pay and retirement pay are not taxed.

Short Term Financial Assistance (Subsistence)
The Subsistence program provides temporary assistance with shelter payments (rent/mortgage), current utility bills and health insurance premiums to eligible Veterans and their Dependents. This benefit is income and asset based, and is designed to assist Veterans for up to six months for those who are unable to work his/her normal occupation due to a temporary disability, or who are permanently disabled and are waiting to receive a permanent disability benefit from VA Compensation, VA Pension, Social Security or other long term benefit.

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Minnesota Veteran Employment Benefits

MN Veterans Preference Act
MN Veterans Preference Act (VPA) grants veterans a limited preference over non-veterans in hiring and promotion for MN public employment and also provides protection against unfair dismissals and demotions. VPA grants veterans the right to a hearing, prior to dismissal.

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Minnesota Veteran Education Benefits

Minnesota GI Bill
The Minnesota GI Bill is available to Minnesota Veterans who served honorably in any branch of the armed forces at any time; non-veterans who served honorably for a cumulative total of five years or more as a member of the MN National Guard or any other active or reserve component and had active service after September 11, 2001; or eligible spouses, surviving spouses, and children of permanently and totally disabled veterans who are eligible for the Federal GI Bill.

Full-time undergraduate or graduate students may be eligible to receive up to $1,000 per semester and part-time students can receive up to $500 per semester (up to $3,000 per academic year and $10,000 per lifetime).

OJT and Apprenticeship individuals are eligible for up to $2,000 per fiscal year for either program. Approved employers are eligible to receive $1,000 placement credit payable upon hiring a person under this program and another $1,000 after 12 consecutive months of employment.

Recipients must be a Minnesota resident under the age of 62, and enrolled at a Minnesota institution.

Surviving Spouse & Dependent Education Benefit
Surviving Spouse and Dependent Education assistance is provided to spouses and dependents, including adopted and step-children, whose Veteran spouse and/or Veteran parent died while on active duty, or as a result of a service-connected condition. The Veteran must have been a resident of Minnesota when entering the U.S. military, or have been a resident of Minnesota for at least six months prior to passing away due to a service connected disability as determined by the USDVA. Applicants must be Minnesota residents and the spouse cannot be remarried. There is no age limitation for eligible survivors.

If found eligible, survivors are allowed admission to Minnesota postsecondary education institutions either operated by this state or is operated publicly or privately and maintains academic standards substantially equivalent to those of comparable institutions operated in this state. Surviving spouses and dependents will be able to attend free of tuition until he/she obtains a bachelor's degree. In addition, MDVA will pay $750 per fiscal year for fees, books and supplies, and/or room and board. 

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Minnesota Veteran Recreation Benefits

Veterans Campground on Big Marine Lake
The Veterans Campground on Big Marine Lake is a family campground that provides facilities and opportunities for recreation, rest, and recovery for all who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States, whether still serving or have served in the past, their Families, and sponsored friends.

Minnesota State Park Vehicle Permits
Any active military service personnel stationed outside of Minnesota within the past 90 days can get a free one-day Minnesota state park vehicle permit. Bring your current military orders and military ID, and let the park attendant know your military status when you arrive.

Military personnel or their Dependents who have a Federal government access pass to Federal recreational sites can get a free one-day Minnesota state park vehicle permit. Bring your Federal access pass and military ID, and let the park attendant know your military status when you arrive.

Any resident Veteran with any level of service-connected disability can get a free one-day Minnesota state park vehicle permit. Bring a copy of your determination letter and a photo ID, and let the park attendant know your military status when you arrive.

Any Veteran who has a permanent and total service-connected disability can get a free annual Minnesota state park permit. Present a copy of your determination letter or VA ID card to the park attendant for the free annual sticker, which must be placed on a vehicle that is owned by the Veteran. If the Veteran with the permanent service-connected disability does not own the vehicle transporting the Veteran, you can still get a free one-day Minnesota state park permit.

Cross Country Ski Pass Exemptions
Minnesota residents who have served at any time during the preceding 24 months in federal active service outside the United States and has been discharged from active service is exempt from the pass requirement if the resident possesses official military discharge papers (DD214). Minnesota residents in the US Military who are stationed outside the state and home on leave are also eligible for a pass exemption, (must have leave form).

Fishing Licenses
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, (DNR) has a number of benefits for military Service members and Veterans:

  • A person in the U.S. Armed Forces who is stationed or training in the state may purchase a resident fishing license. (Includes those in training at Camp Ripley.)
  • A resident who has served at any time during the preceding 24 months in federal active service outside the United States and has been discharged from active service may take fish without a license. Discharged residents must carry proof of Minnesota residency and official military discharge papers. Trout stamps are not required. (Note: Free sturgeon tags are available only from the DNR License Center in St. Paul.)
  • Any Minnesota Veteran with a 100% service-connected disability may obtain a permanent angling license. These permanent licenses are available only from the DNR License Center. A trout stamp is not required with this license.

The following are Exempt from Fishing License Requirements:

  • Minnesota residents in the U.S. Military who are stationed outside the state and home on leave. Military staff must carry leave or furlough papers.
  • Patients of a U.S. Veterans Administration hospital (with written permission of the superintendent or chief executive of the institution).

Residents on Leave Hunting License
Who have maintained legal residency in Minnesota (must have a valid MN DL or Public Safety ID) and who are serving in the U.S. Military and stationed outside the state may:

  • Hunt small game without a license while on leave. No Minnesota Waterfowl Stamp or Pheasant Stamp is needed but must have a Federal Migratory Bird Stamp to hunt waterfowl.
  • May hunt deer (Firearms: Code 232; Archery: Code 233, Muzzleloader: Code 234), bear (Code 663), and wild turkeys (Spring: Code 615; Fall: Code 654) and Wolf (Early Season Firearm: Code 691; Late Firearm Code 692; Trapping Code 693) without charge after obtaining the appropriate licenses and tags from an ELS license agent by presenting official leave papers.
  • Does not include Moose, Elk or Deer bonus permits. Such service personnel must carry proof of Minnesota residency and official leave papers on their person while hunting. Licenses are valid immediately upon issuance.

Residents Discharged Hunting License
Minnesota residents discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces within 10 days of the start or during the Firearms Deer Season may purchase a Firearms Deer License during the season upon showing official discharge papers. The license is valid immediately after purchase.

  • Veterans who have served at any time during the preceding 24 months in federal active service outside the United States and have been discharged from active service may:
    • Take small game without a license. Discharged residents must carry proof of Minnesota residency and official military discharge papers. No state stamps required. (Federal stamp required for migratory waterfowl hunting.)
    • Obtain a free deer license. Eligibility is limited to one deer license per person per year. Discharged residents must provide proof of residency and a copy of their official military discharge papers. (Firearms: Code 232, Archery: Code 233, Muzzleloader: Code 234).
    • Obtain a free wolf license. Eligibility is limited to one wolf license per person per year. Discharged residents must provide proof of residency and a copy of their official military discharge papers. (Early Firearms Season: Code 694, Late Firearm Season Code 695; Trapping Code 696)
  • Veterans who have served at any time during the past 24 months, in active service as a member of the United States armed forces, including the National Guard or other military reserves will receive first preference in drawings for special deer hunts, bear and turkey permits.

Resident 100% Disabled Veterans Hunting License
With proof of a 100% service-related disability may obtain a free Small Game License (241) and a free Firearms (242), or Muzzleloader (240), or Archery (243) Deer License from an ELS license agent. In addition, a disabled Veteran is exempt from purchasing state pheasant or waterfowl stamps, but must purchase a turkey stamp and license to hunt turkeys and a federal duck stamp to hunt waterfowl. Disabled Veterans with 100% service connected disability will receive first preference in drawings for special deer hunts, bear and turkey permits.

Note: Military personnel and Veterans who are issued firearms deer licenses under these provisions may take antlerless deer, but are restricted to bucks-only hunting in those lottery deer permit areas that have an either-sex permit quota of zero. To participate in special deer hunts, they must apply and be drawn. They may also purchase bonus permits.

Resident Veteran 100% Permanent Card
Resident Veterans who have 100% permanent service-connected disability as defined by the United State Department of Veterans Affairs may apply for a permanent card that may be presented to an agent annually to receive a free Small Game and/ or a Deer License. This card will assist with the process of receiving these types of license's, however all eligibility requirements must be meet prior to receiving the license(s). 

Resident Purple Heart Recipients
Purple Heart recipients must purchase licenses, but will receive first preference in drawings for antlerless deer permits, bear and turkey permits.

Nonresident Hunting and Fishing Licenses

  • Nonresident Spouses of residents on active military duty may purchase resident hunting and fishing licenses. Nonresidents must provide proof of Spouse's residency and active military duty.
  • A person in the U.S. Armed Forces who is stationed in the state may purchase resident hunting and fishing licenses, but not moose or elk licenses.

Firearms Safety Training
Military personnel who are on active duty and has successfully completed basic training in the US armed forces, reserve component, or National Guard may obtain a hunting license or approval authorizing hunting regardless of whether the person is issued a firearms safety certificate. Note: They must be on active duty, home on leave with leave papers (they then qualify only for that time frame). Once discharged or no longer on active duty, they must complete the firearms safety training course or online adult course the same as all others born after Dec 31, 1979.

Other Minnesota State Veteran Benefits

Guardianship Division
The Guardianship Division provides financial case management services to incompetent veterans, their dependents, and survivors, who may be vulnerable to exploitation by others or by their own inabilities to manage their funds.

Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery
The Minnesota State Veterans Cemeteries provide dignified burial services to Minnesota veterans and their eligible dependents and survivors. They are located 7 miles north of Little Falls, on the banks of the Mississippi River, and in Preston in southeastern Minnesota. Both cemeteries are managed and maintained by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.

Bronze Star Grave Markers
The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs offers bronze stars to mark the grave site of any veteran buried in the state, where permitted. Bronze Star Markers are available through your local county veterans service officer.

Visit the Minnesota Department of Veterans Services website for more information about any of these programs.

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Veteran Benefits