New York State Veteran Benefits

New York Map

The state of New York provides several veteran benefits. This page explains those benefits.

New York State Housing Benefits

New York State Veterans Homes

There are veterans homes in Batavia, Long Island (Stony Brook University), Montrose, Oxford, and St. Albans. New York resident veterans with an honorable discharge are eligible for admission. Some spouses and unremarried surviving spouses are also eligible for admission.

There may be a charge for care.

Access to Home for Heroes

This program provides financial assistance to make dwelling units accessible for low and moderate income veterans living with a disability.

Permanently disabled veterans whose income is at or below 120% of the area median income may be eligible for the program.

Homes for Veterans Program

A home loan program that offers fixed-rate mortgages with interest rates 0.375% below the already low interest rates charged on SONYMA mortgages with down payment assistance. Available for active duty, reservists, guard members and honorably discharged veterans.

New York Veteran Financial Benefits

Income Tax

Military Pay: If your permanent home was New York state before entering the military, active-duty income is tax-free, IF you meet all three of the following conditions:

  1. didn't have a permanent home in New York
  2. maintained a permanent place of abode outside New York during the entire year (Barracks, BOQ or shipboard quarters don't count.)
  3. spent less than 30 days in New York during the year.

Retired pay and SBP payments are tax-free.

Property Tax Exemptions

New York state has three different property tax exemptions are based on your military service, with additional benefits based upon degree of service-connected disability.

  1. The Alternative Veterans' Exemption - for veterans who served during wartime or received an expeditionary medal.
  2. The Cold War Veterans' Exemption - for veterans who served during the Cold War period.
  3. The Eligible Funds Exemption - for property that a veteran buys with pension, bonus, or insurance funds

Applications must be filed before taxes are due, check with your city or county for more information.  Qualifying surviving spouses may file for benefit based on their spouse's service. Exemption applies to local and county property taxes.

Spouse Unemployment

A military spouse who leaves their job to move to accompany the military member on a transfer is eligible for unemployment benefits.

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 Sept. 29, 2003.

New York State Blind Annuity

The Blind Annuity Program benefit is for legally blind wartime veterans, or their surviving unremarried spouses.  Blindness need not be service-connected.

New York State Gold Star Annuity

The Gold Star Parent Annuity authorizes an annuity payment of more than $510 to Gold Star parents.

E-Z Pass for Disabled Veterans

The New York State Thruway Authority offers free, unlimited travel anywhere on the Thruway to certain, qualifying disabled Veterans. You must be eligible for the fee-exempt vehicle registration from Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to qualify. 

Death Benefits

New York State offers surviving family of military members killed in a combat zone a Supplemental Burial Allowance of up to $6,000. 

New York State Family Benefits

Under the New York Paid Family Leave act, workers get 10 weeks of paid time off to bond with a newborn, adopted or fostered child; to care for family members with serious health conditions; or to address issues related to a family member's military deployment.

New York Veteran Employment Benefits

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 other veterans.  Job retention rights applicable to veterans and spouses of totally disabled veterans.

Military Service Credit for State & Local Retirement System Members

You may be entitled to receive additional credit towards retirement for your military service through New York State and local retirement systems.

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 you qualify for.

New York State Peddler's License

New York State Veterans with other than dishonorable discharges are eligible to apply for a free lifetime Veterans Peddler's License provided the veteran served overseas. 

New York Veteran Education Benefits

Veterans Tuition Awards

Veterans Tuition Awards pay for full-time and part-time study for honorably discharged NY resident wartime veterans at undergraduate or graduate schools or vocational training programs.

New York State Regents Awards (for Children)

Provides 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.

Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute (MERIT) Scholarship

The MERIT Scholarship provides financial aid to dependents of military members who died or were severely and permanently disabled as a result of their military service on or after Aug. 2, 1990. National Guard service counts, and the injury or death need not be combat-related.

The scholarship covers up to four years of undergraduate study, in some cases that may be extended to five years. It pays the full tuition amount at any approved college, not to exceed the SUNY tuition. It also pays an allowance for books, supplies and transportation and a housing stipend. Normally, a student living on campus will receive a larger housing allowance than one

Students must attend classes full time and maintain good academic standing.

New York Veteran Recreation Benefits

Hunting Licenses & Permits for Disabled Veterans

NY resident veterans with a 40% or greater disability rating can get low cost hunting and fishing licenses.

Hunting & Fishing Licenses for Active Duty

Active military members stationed outside New York who are home on leave for 30 days or less are entitled to free hunting, fishing or trapping licenses (Note: if you are a New York resident stationed in New York, regular license fees apply).

Non-residents stationed in NY for more than 30 days can buy hunting & fishing licenses at the resident rate.

State Park Admission for Disabled Veterans

Wartime veterans with a 40% or greater disability are eligible for the Lifetime Liberty Pass, 

The pass gives free vehicle entry to state parks, day use areas, historic sites, 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.

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

Stay on Top of Your Veteran Benefits

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Veteran Benefits