The following are the Maine veterans’ benefits programs for 2018 and 2019 in the areas of education, employment, healthcare and housing.
Maine Veterans Benefits
Education Benefits for Maine Veterans
In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, there are veterans’ benefits programs provided by the state of Maine.
Maine Dependents Education Benefits Program
Maine provides a 100% waiver of tuition and all related fees for spouses and dependents of veterans as defined in Title 37B, Chapter 7, Section 505(2). Specifically, veterans must meet the following criteria:
- Has a 100% total permanent disability rating resulting from service-connected disability. Or who
- Was killed in action;
- Died from a service-connected disability as a result of service;
- At the time of death was totally and permanently disabled due to a service-connected disability, but whose death was not related to the service-connected disability; or
- Is a member of the Armed Forces on active duty listed for more than 90 days as missing in action, captured or forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power.
*”Veteran” means any person who served in the military or naval forces of the United States and entered the service from this State or has been a resident of this State for 5 years immediately preceding application for aid and, if living, continues to reside in this State throughout the duration of benefits administered under the educational benefits program.
Schools covered under this program include the University of Maine System, Maine Community Colleges, and Maine Maritime Academy.
State of Maine Guard Tuition Assistance
100% tuition waiver for Maine’s National Guard members to attend all of the schools in the University of Maine and Maine Community College Systems, as well as Maine Maritime Academy.
Find colleges in Maine with our School Finder. Use the filters to sort schools by state.
Housing Benefits for Maine Veterans
Veterans with or without service-connected disabilities and their surviving spouses may receive a property tax exemption of up to $6,000 on their primary residence, if the veteran is 62 years old or older or if they are 100% disabled.
For paraplegic veterans, if they have received a federal grant for a specially adapted housing unit, they may receive a $50,000 tax exemption.
MaineHousing offers qualified active duty, veterans, and retired military personnel a .25% discount to their First Home Loan 30-year fixed interest rate which is called Salute ME. They are also waiving the first-time homebuyer requirement for veterans who have previously owned a home, which is called the Salute Home Again program. Salute ME or Salute Home Again mortgages cannot be used to refinance a home people already own.
Salute ME can be combined with all MaineHousing insurers, while Salute Home Again can be combined with all insurers except for United Guaranty Pilot. In order to be eligible you must remain on active duty or have been honorably discharged from military service or served on active duty for 180 days or within a war zone, to include National Guard members.
Health Care Benefits for Maine Veterans
Maine Veterans’ Homes
There are six Maine Veterans’ Homes located in Augusta, Bangor, Caribou, Machias, Scarborough, and South Paris.
They have modern facilities with an array of services that include rehabilitation and therapy services, as well as long-term, short-term and skilled nursing care.
In order to apply, veterans must be honorably discharged from the military, must have been a resident of Maine at the time of their entry into the US Armed Forces, or be residents of Maine at the time of their application to MVH.
They also provide a place for spouses, widows or widowers, and gold star parents of eligible veterans.
All eligible veterans will need to have served one or more days on active duty, but they do not need to have served in combat or have a service-connected disability.
Veteran Employment Benefits in Maine
The Maine Hire-A-Vet-Campaign is run by the Maine Career Center. Each year the state sponsors a Hire-A-Vet Campaign that lasts for 100 days. It provides support for employers to expand the hiring of veterans and military family members. In 2017, there were 154 participating employers and 296 total hires, 275 veterans, and 21 family members. They also had a “Military Culture 202” training and employer panel to learn the best practices on recruiting, onboarding, and retaining veterans in the workplace.
Veterans, family members, and civilians seeing assistance with their job search and training can connect to their closest Maine CareerCenter. Veteran representatives and career counselors are available at each location.
Maine’s Occupational Licensing Initiative
Maine’s Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (DPFR) has led an initiative to accelerate the licencing process for veterans in the state. This program will allow for quicker, easier licencing for veterans who have demonstrable military experience in the areas of boiler, electrical, fuel, and plumbing. This allows DPFR greater flexibility in evaluating and crediting military experience towards licence and continuing education requirements. This eliminates the need for veterans to undergo duplicative and expensive training. DPFR will also be planning a series of licensing workshops that will allow qualified veterans to receive on the spot licensing and endorsements. DPFR also waves examination and licence fees for military veterans and their spouses
Pensions and Taxations Maine Law prohibits taxing military pensions.
With Veterans’ Preference, for any position in the classified service, the employing agency shall offer an interview to any veteran or gold star spouse who meets the minimum qualifications that are established for the position.
An eligible veteran would be anyone who has served on active duty in the US Armed Forces to include the reserves and the national guard and received a discharge other than dishonorable.
A gold star spouse is defined as a widow or a widower of a veteran who is eligible to receive a gold star lapel pin under 10 United States Code, Section 1126 (2010.)
If a veteran applies for a state job and is not hired for that job, it is the policy of the Bureau of Human Resources to provide guidance to that veteran on other State of Maine openings which they may be qualified to apply.
Preference points will be added to the earned qualifying rating in examinations as long as a passing grade was received.
A veteran who served on active duty for at least 90 days consecutively and honorably separated, and a widow or widower of a veteran, who has never been remarried, will be granted a 5-point preference.
Veterans who have a service-connected disability of 10% or more and who receive compensation, a pension or disability retirement, are a spouse of a disabled veteran whose service-connected disability disqualifies him or her for appointment in the classified service in their usual occupation, or the widow or widower who has never remarried of a veteran who lost their life under honorable conditions while serving on active duty or who died as a result of a service-connected disability will receive a 10 point preference.
There is also a 10 point preference given to parents of those who have been killed during military service.
For more information regarding Maine veterans benefits, please visit – Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services
Related state military and veteran information:
PAY AND BENEFITS UPDATES FOR 2019: