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 Benefits

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

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.

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 Benefits

Active Duty Income Tax Exclusion
If your permanent home was New Jersey before entering the military, active-duty income is not subject to state taxes, IF you meet all three of the following conditions: 1) did not maintain any permanent home in New Jersey during tax year; 2) maintained a permanent home outside New Jersey during the entire year; 3) spent less than 30 days in New Jersey state during tax year. (Barracks, bachelor officers´ quarters, quarters assigned on vessel do not constitute permanent abode.) However, if you pay for and maintain, either by out-of-pocket payments or forfeiture of quarters allowance, an apartment or a home (either owned or rented) outside New Jersey, such facilities constitute a permanent home outside New Jersey.

Retired Military Pay Income Tax
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 for Hiring in New Jersey Civil Service
Veterans are provided an absolute Veterans Preference when applying for a New Jersey civil service position.

This means that qualified New Jersey Veterans who receive a passing score are placed at the top of open competitive employment lists, ahead of Non-Veterans, regardless of their scores.

Disabled Veterans are given the highest preference, being placed above both Veterans and Non-Veterans on open competitive employment lists.

To qualify for Disabled Veterans Preference the Veteran must be receiving at least a 10% disability compensation from the VA.

The spouse of a Disabled Veteran is entitled to the same preference as the Disabled Veteran, the Disabled Veteran must waive all preference for the duration of their spouse’s civil service employment.

The surviving spouse of a Disabled Veteran is entitled to the same preference as the Disabled Veteran, up until they remarry.

The surviving spouse of any Veteran who died in service is entitled to the Disabled Veteran Preference, up until they remarry.

Veterans Status for Pensions
Those with Veterans Status who are enrolled in the following state operated pension funds qualify for Veterans Retirement:

  • New Jersey Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS)
  • Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS)
  • New Jersey Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF)

Veterans Retirement is different than the standard Service Retirement available to most enrolled in the above pension funds, and has special benefits.

These benefits include the ability to retire at age 55 (with 25 years of service) and a more generous calculation of your Maximum Annual Allowance during retirement.

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New Jersey Education Benefits

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

Fishing and Hunting Licenses for Disabled Veterans
The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife will annually issue the following items free to each qualified Disabled Veteran: a firearm, bow and arrow, fishing or all around hunting license, a pheasant and quail stamp and a trout stamp. New Jersey residents must be honorably discharged and declared by the VA to have a service-connected disability.

Licenses for Active Duty Service Personnel 
Active duty members, whether a state resident or non-resident, is entitled to hunt with a resident license. Service personnel may obtain a resident hunting license upon presenting proof of active duty to a license agent. A previous resident license (from this or any other state) of the appropriate type or proof of successfully completing the appropriate hunter education course is still required to obtain a hunting license.

Licenses for NJ National Guard Members 
Eligible active NJ National Guard personnel are entitled to free licenses, permits and stamps.

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.

Free Beach Facility
New Jersey National Guard members can use the privately owned beach located at Sea Girt, New Jersey. Guard members can avoid the crowds at public beaches and enjoy summer activities with friends and family.

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Other New Jersey State Veteran Benefits

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 is also available for Medal of Honor Recipients..

New Jersey Transportation Program
Free transportation is offered to VA medical centers and clinics, other hospitals, private physicians, VA Regional Office and local Veteran Service Offices.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Readjustment Counseling
This program addresses the readjustment problems of Veterans and offers treatment to combat Veterans of all war periods. Treatment extends to Family members affected by the Veteran's affliction. State Veterans Service Officers assist the Veteran with scheduling counseling and the filing of any applicable VA claims. Contracted clinicians, experienced in PTSD counseling, determine the best course of treatment for the Veteran and the Veteran's Family. Assistance is not limited by VA regulations or restrictions.

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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Related Topics

Veteran Benefits