In addition to federal programs there are veterans’ benefits programs provided by the individual states. The following are the Alabama veterans benefits programs. These programs are for various areas including education, housing, health care and employment.
Alabama Veterans’ Benefits
In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, Alabama provides different education benefits programs for residents of the state.
Tuition Waiver for Purple Heart Medal Recipients
Purple Heart recipients may be eligible for free education at Alabama public institutions of higher learning including two-year and four-year technical colleges, community colleges, and junior colleges.
Check with your Alabama school of choice to see if they participate in the program.
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Alabama GI Dependents Scholarship Program
The state of Alabama will waive up to $250 per semester hour and $1,000 for books each semester at any Alabama institution of higher learning including two-year and four-year technical colleges, community colleges, and junior colleges.
Any dependent child under 26 whose parent is, or was, an Alabama resident veteran with a VA disability of at least 20 percent may qualify for up to five years of benefits.
Spouses or unremarried surviving spouses of veterans rated 100% permanently and totally disabled can also get five years of benefits.
Spouses and unremarried surviving spouses of veterans rated 40-90% disabled can get three years of benefits.
RELATED: Scholarships for Military Spouses
Alabama National Guard Education Assistance Program (ANGEAP)
Covers the cost of full tuition for members of the National Guard.
Exemption Of Debts Incurred Pursuant To National Housing Act Or Veterans’ Benefits
If you have any debts or extensions of credit that were incurred because of the National Housing Act, or any debts or extensions of credit you might have incurred relating to veterans’ benefits, you will be exempt from any law of the state of Alabama that relates to usury, prescribing or limiting interest rates.
Military Family Relief Fund
This will prohibit a mortgagee from initiating a foreclosure against a surviving spouse or the estate of a mortgagor who dies while deployed overseas on active duty military service for 180 days after the death. Any civil penalties from this will be deposited into the Military Family Relief Fund which the ADVA might use to assist military families.
Commitment Of Incompetent Veterans
If an incompetent veteran of any war, military occupation, or expedition is eligible for treatment in a US Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) and they need to be committed to the facility for the proper care and treatment, the courts of Alabama are hereby authorized to communicate with the administration with reference to available facilities and eligibility.
After receiving a certificate from the administration that states that there are facilities available in a VAMC, they will be entitled to being hospitalized there. The court can then direct such a veteran’s commitment to that hospital. The veterans right to appear and defend shall not be denied in any pending proceedings.
Business Occupational License Exemptions For Disabled Veterans
Any permanent resident of Alabama who is a veteran of WWII or served when the United States is or was engaged in hostilities with any foreign state and who also has physical disabilities of 25% or more, whether service connected or not, may be exempt from business or occupational license taxes.
If the veteran has a business that is their means of livelihood through their own efforts and only has no more than one employee, they shall be entitled to licenses from the state, country, or municipality to carry on such business upon paying the license taxes that shall not exceed $25.
If the veteran’s property, both real and personal, is valued at $5,000 or more or if net income is $2,500 or more, they will not be entitled to these business and occupational license exemptions.
Job Status And Reemployment Rights
State employees that are not in classified service, who are called into or enter military service, will have the same rights and privileges to reemployment by the state or any department, as those who are in classified service.
Those who are state, county, or municipal officials who enter military or naval service during a time when the President of the United States has declared a state of emergency will have preservation of their job status as well as reemployment rights.
If you are a teacher that enters military service during an existing state of war between the United States and any other country, you shall be granted a leave of absence for the rest of the war, and until the beginning of the next school year after you are released from military service.
If you are a teacher who has entered the military, who is not on continuing service status but who has accumulated one or more years of teaching experience immediately before entering military service, you will be given credit for that experience if you return to your position within one year after your release from military service.
Membership In State Employees/Teachers’ Retirement System
Those who are state employees and teachers, who enter the Armed Forces, and then return to state employment after they are discharged will have their retirement benefits preserved.
You can also be granted credit for your military service for up to four years if you do not withdraw contributions, and return to your employment within one year of being honorably discharged. You will need to make sure that you pay an amount that is equal to 4% of the average compensation paid to a state employee during each claimed year of full-time military service, as well as 8% interest compounded from the last date of claimed military service.
These contributions will need to be made by whichever comes first between a period of time that is equal to the length of your service in the military or when you turn 60. If you are a state policeman, you would need to do so before age 56. You will not be given any credit for your military service if you are receiving military service retirement benefits.
Military Leave Of Absence
Members of the Alabama National Guard, naval militia, the Alabama State Guard organized in lieu of the National Guard, the Civil Air Patrol, the National Disaster Medical System or the reserve components of the US Armed Forces, will be entitled to a military leave of absence from their civil duties and occupations on military orders. They should be able to do so without loss of pay, time, efficiency rating, annual vacation and sick leave. Those who are granted a leave of absence with pay should not be paid more than 21 working days per calendar year.
Military Retiree Income Tax Exemption
Any compensation that is received as retirement benefits by anyone that is retired from the US military as well as any survivor benefits derived there from are exempt from any state, county, or municipal income or similar tax.
For more information regarding Alabama veterans benefits, please visit – Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs Website