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Iowa Veterans and Disabled Veterans Benefits

Iowa Veterans Benefits

There are many federal programs for veterans, but there are also programs for veterans in Iowa. You can also learn about veterans’ benefits in other states. Explore Iowa veterans’ benefits programs for jobs, healthcare, housing, and education below.

Education Benefits for Iowa Veterans

Iowa National Guard Tuition Benefits

Iowa National Guard members may qualify for education benefits worth up to $2,700 per semester in 2022 for full-time enrollment. Part-time students may qualify for benefits paid by the semester hour ($196 in 2022). Guard members who have their education interrupted by a mobilization may qualify for a tuition refund under this program.

Iowa State War Orphans Tuition Assistance

Children of Iowa veterans killed in action on or after September 11, 2001, may qualify for tuition assistance at Iowa state-supported colleges and universities. In 2022 this benefit was worth up to $11,844 per year. Your experience may vary as these funding amounts are subject to change.

Dependents of those killed in action before September 11, 2001, may qualify for up to $600 per year with a maximum of $3,000 (as of 2022, your experience may vary). To qualify, you must be the dependent child of a qualifying veteran and be 26 or younger. Applicants must be Iowa residents.

Brandstad-Reynolds Scholarship Fund

Children of service members who died on active duty after September 11, 2001 may qualify for college scholarships administered by Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs and the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.

These funds can pay for tuition, books, fees, housing, equipment, and other “required educational expenses.” Any remaining funds left over once those expenses are paid go directly to the student. You can learn more and download the application from the official site.

Find colleges in Iowa with our School Finder.  Use the filters to sort schools by state.

Financial Benefits For Iowa Veterans

Iowa Military Pay Tax Exemption

Military members on active duty do not pay Iowa State Income Tax on their active duty pay.

Iowa Military Retirement Tax Exemption

Military retirement pay is exempt from Iowa state income tax. Those who receive survivor benefits may claim a similar tax exemption for Iowa state taxes. The same is true of military disability retirement pay.

State of Iowa Military Homeownership Assistance

The State of Iowa provides a $5,000 grant for qualifying service members buying a home in the state. This program is subject to funding availability and may be used with Iowa FirstHome and Homes For Iowans affordable housing programs.

To qualify, veterans must have served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001. Some veterans who served at least 90 days of active duty between August 2, 1990 and April 6, 1991, may also qualify for this program.

  • You must have prior approval to use this program before closing day.
  • Borrowers must use a participating lender in most cases.
  • In limited cases, the State of Iowa allows a grant with a non-participating lender if the loan is a fixed rate, permanent, “fully amortizing mortgage” with a lower cost compared to similar loans offered at the time.
  • To apply, contact a participating lender.

Iowa Property Tax Exemption For Wartime Veterans

This property tax exemption reduces a veteran’s assessed home value. In 2022 the savings were worth a potential $1,852, but tax laws are subject to frequent change–check the current year’s rules to determine what’s allowed.

To qualify for this benefit,  the applicant must be an Iowa service member who served during wartime or a minimum of 18 months of peacetime service.

Homeowners are not required to reapply for this benefit each year but you may need to list the benefit on a tax form, contact a tax professional to learn what your requirements may be in the current tax filing season.

Disabled Veterans Homestead Tax Credit

Qualifying disabled veterans may apply for a full exemption of property taxes. This benefit is offered to both VA-rated 100% service-connected disabled veterans and those who receive VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation benefits. You do not have to reapply for this benefit. This tax credit is for primary residences within the state.

State of Iowa Injured Veterans Grant

The Injured Veterans Grant offers qualifying veterans up to $10,000 for immediate financial assistance, “so that family members of the veteran may be with the veteran during the veteran’s recovery from an injury received in the line of duty”. Grants are offered incrementally up to the maximum of $10 thousand:

  • $2,500: When a service member is medically evacuated.
  • $2,500: 30 days after evacuation date if still hospitalized, receiving medical treatment or rehabilitation.
  • $2,500: 60 days after evacuation date if still hospitalized, receiving medical treatment or rehabilitation..
  • $2,500: 90 days after evacuation date if still hospitalized, receiving medical treatment or rehabilitation.

To qualify, according to the State of Iowa:

  • The service member must have been injured, “in an area where the veteran was receiving hazardous duty pay”.
  • The injury must be “serious enough to require medical evacuation” or the injury required 30 consecutive days of care at a military hospital.
  • The injury was received in the line of duty.

Iowa Veterans Trust Fund

The State of Iowa operates a trust fund to offer relief to qualifying veterans and their families. This is a need-based benefit and the applicant must meet State of Iowa income restrictions to qualify. Vets must have served 90 consecutive days of active duty other than training.

Veterans and their families may apply for grants to help offset costs for a variety of services and needs including:

  • Unemployment assistance: Up to $3,000 in a twelve-month period, with a lifetime maximum of $6,000.
  • Job training: Lifetime Maximum of $5,000.
  • Education assistance: Maximum of $5,000.
  • Counseling: Maximum $5,000 for 12 months
  • Dental: $10,000 lifetime maximum.
  • Emergency housing repair: $10,000 lifetime maximum.
  • Emergency vehicle repair: $10,000 lifetime maximum not exceeding the value of the vehicle.

Apply for this benefit at your local state-level VA office.

Iowa Veterans Home

The State of Iowa operates a veterans’ home in Marshalltown, Iowa for resident veterans, qualifying spouses, and Gold Star parents. An Honorable discharge is required, and applicants must be eligible to receive care at VA facilities. There are a number of on-site medical care services including, but not limited to:

  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Laboratory
  • X-Ray
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Prosthesis (including dentures)
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing Aids
  • Immunizations
  • Oxygen

Both residential/domiciliary care and nursing home care are provided.

In order to be admitted, you may need a certification of residency by the County Commission of Veterans Affairs. A complete medical history and a new physical are required for admission. You can receive help with your application through a local County Commission of Veterans Affairs Office.

Burial Benefits For Iowa Veterans

The State of Iowa has operated the Iowa Veterans Cemetery since  2008. The construction of this facility is said to be the very first state cemetery to be built using federal funds. The Iowa Veterans Cemetery is 10 miles west of Des Moines and is open to qualifying veterans, spouses, and dependent children. Cost-free pre-need planning is available but you may not be permitted to reserve a physical interment or burial space ahead of time.

Iowa residency is not required, but the following criteria will apply:

  • Applicants must have any discharge besides Dishonorable.
  • Must have been on active duty or died while on active duty OR;
  • Applicant served 20 years in the National Guard or Reserves and qualified for military retirement pay OR;
  • The applicant would have qualified except death occurred before age 60 OR;
  • Guard/Reserve members may qualify if they were activated for federal duty.

Proof of military service, proof of discharge, and proof of marriage are all required where applicable.

Employment Benefits for Iowa’s Veterans

State of Iowa Veteran Hiring Preference

The State of Iowa offers veteran hiring preference to both competitive and “excepted service” positions. Veteran’s preference does not guarantee a job, nor does it apply to promotions or reassignments.

Qualifying veterans are those discharged under Honorable conditions. Vets and qualifying spouses may be offered 5 preference points. Veterans with qualifying disabilities may be offered 10 preference points.

RELATED: Guide to Veterans’ Preference Points: What are Veterans’ Preference Points?

For more information regarding Iowa veterans benefits, please visit the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs website