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Maine Veterans Benefits & Disabled Veterans Benefits

maine veterans' benefits

Maine Veteran Benefits

The following are the Maine veterans’ benefits programs for education, employment, nursing home care, and taxes. You can also learn about veterans’ benefits in other states.

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 offers a 100% waiver of tuition and fees for spouses and dependents of qualifying veterans.

To qualify, veterans must meet one of the following requirements:

    • Have a VA-rated 100% total permanent disability rating resulting from a service-connected disability.
    • Killed in action;
    • Died from a service-connected disability;
    • Totally disabled due to a service-connected disability, but whose death was not related to the service-connected disability;
    • On active duty listed for more than 90 days as missing in action, captured or forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty.

For the purposes of qualifying for these Maine benefits, a veteran is defined as someone who entered military service from the state. 

Others may qualify if they are “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” according to the official site.

This benefit may be used at the University of Maine System, Maine Community Colleges, and Maine Maritime Academy.

State of Maine Guard Tuition Assistance

Members of the Maine National Guard may qualify for tuition assistance for schools in the University of Maine and Maine Community College Systems, as well as Maine Maritime Academy. This assistance is paid only after any other financial aid is applied. The following requirements also apply–the servicemember must:

    • Have completed basic training or received a commission
    • Must serve for at least one year after receiving financial assistance
    • Must apply for all other tuition benefits including federal benefits and grants.

You must maintain academic progress and not have disciplinary actions in your personnel file.

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

Tax Benefits for Maine Veterans

Income Tax Breaks For Maine Veterans

Qualifying Maine veterans may be exempt from paying income taxes on military pay, military retirement pay, and military disability retirement pay. Hostile fire pay is also exempt from Maine state income tax.

Property Tax Breaks For Veterans

Veterans and their surviving spouses may qualify for a property tax exemption of up to $6,000 (in 2022, your experience may vary) on a primary residence. To qualify, the applicant must be:

    • A Maine resident
    • 62 years or older
    • A veteran of a recognized war period, OR;
    • Received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal OR;
    • Received a 100% disability from the VA, OR;
    • Became 100% disabled while serving.

There is also a Surviving Spouse property tax exemption for those who were married to a veteran who would have qualified for the tax break if they were still alive. Surviving spouses must be:

    • Maine residents
    • Married to a veteran eligible for a property tax exemption at the time of death
    • Unremarried
    • Receiving a pension or compensation as a Surviving Spouse

Financial Benefits For Maine Veterans

Veterans’ Emergency Financial Assistance

The Veterans Emergency Financial Assistance Program is offered to veterans who are struggling with a financial emergency.

Grants of up to $2,000 are offered to qualifying veterans who are state residents and need funds to avoid becoming homeless, to repair a damaged home, or “any other condition that puts the veteran at risk of not having the basic necessities of food, shelter, or safety” according to the State of Maine.

Contact the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services for information on how to apply.

Salute ME Home Loans For Veterans

MaineHousing offers qualified military members a discount on a MainHousing First Home Loan 30-year fixed interest rate mortgage, and offers to waive the first-time homebuyer requirement for veterans who have previously owned a home.

Types of homes that may be eligible under this program include:

    • New construction and existing construction single-family homes
    • Owner-occupied properties up to four units
    • Condominiums
    • Permanently attached mobile homes on owned or leased land

Typically these homes must be primary residences and not investment properties. The Salute ME discount can be combined with MaineHousing programs offered by participating lenders::

    • Federal Housing Authority (FHA)
    • Rural Development (RD)
    • Veterans Administration (VA)
    • Mobile Home Self-Insured (MHSI)
    • Uninsured (20% down payment)
    • MaineHousing approved Private Mortgage Insurance (Arch Pilot)

Some restrictions may apply depending on the program. To qualify you must remain on active duty, have been honorably discharged from military service, or served on active duty for 180 days or within a war zone.

Nursing Home Benefits for Maine Veterans

There are six Maine Veterans’ Homes (MVH):

  • Augusta
  • Bangor
  • Caribou
  • Machias
  • Scarborough
  • South Paris

Services and options may vary depending on the facility, but typical services include rehabilitation and therapy, long-term, short-term and skilled nursing care.

To qualify, 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.

Placement is also an option for qualifying spouses and surviving spouses.

  • All applicants under the Medicaid Program must be considered “medically eligible.”
  • All applicants must submit to a pre-admission screening.
  • MVH accepts Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance.
  • MVH also features a “daily stipend available to eligible veterans” aside from any VA benefits used to cover the costs of care.

Maine Burial Benefits For Veterans

The State of Maine operates four Veterans’ Cemetery System cemeteries:

  • Northern Maine Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Caribou
  • Central Maine Veterans’ Cemetery – Civic Center Drive
  • Central Maine Veterans’ Cemetery – Mt. Vernon Road
  • Southern Maine Veterans’ Cemetery – Springvale

Services include providing a plot or niche, opening and closing of the grave, and perpetual care. The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a headstone or marker at no cost.

Eligibility is identical to those for burial in a VA National Cemetery. In general, the following are required:

  • Must have a discharge other than Dishonorable, OR;
  • Died while on active duty, OR;
  • Served at least 20 years in the National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves and qualified for military retired pay;
  • Reserve component Service members activated for federal service;
  • Spouses and dependents (some restrictions apply)

Pre-need services are available, but physical reservations of a plot or niche may not be permitted.

Veteran Employment Benefits in Maine

Veterans’ Hiring Preference For State Jobs

Qualifying veterans and spouses may be offered hiring preference when competing for state employment.

Some states offer points on competitive exams; in the State of Maine preference is offered by providing interview opportunities, as well as job counseling in the event that the veteran or spouse is not hired for that position. Who qualifies for this preference?

    • Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces
    • Veterans who served on active duty in the Guard or Reserve
    • Gold Star Surviving Spouses

For more information regarding Maine veteran’s benefits, please visit the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services.