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Michigan Veterans Benefits

Michigan Veterans Benefits

Michigan Veteran Benefits

The following are the Michigan veterans’ benefits programs for education, employment, nursing home care and taxes.

Education Benefits for Michigan Veterans

In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, there are veterans’ benefits programs provided by the state of Michigan.

Michigan Children of Veterans Tuition Grant

The grant provides undergraduate tuition assistance for the college-age children of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled, or who died as a result of military service. The grants are offered with caps per academic year:

  • Full-time students: up to a maximum of $2,800 per academic year.
  • Three-quarter time students: up to $2,100 per academic year.
  • Half-time students: up to $1,400 or an amount equal to all of the student’s eligible tuition in that academic year, whichever is less.

To qualify, the veteran must meet program requirements:

  • The veteran must have died while serving in wartime OR;
  • The veteran must have died or was totally and permanently disabled as a result of a service-connected illness or injury as determined by the VA, OR;
  • Have been totally and permanently disabled as a result of a service-connected illness or injury prior to death and has now died; or,
  • Be listed as Missing in Action (MIA) in a foreign country as determined by the U.S. government.

Students must be enrolled at least half-time and must be state residents for one year before applying. Other requirements include that the student bebe a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or approved refugee. They must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.25 and cannot be in default on a Federal student loan. You must submit a FAFSA form in order to apply for this education benefit. Apply via MichiganStudentAid.gov.

RELATED: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) for Military Spouses

Michigan National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program (STAP)

The Michigan National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program offers tuition assistance to qualifying members of the Michigan National Guard attending “any public or private college, university, vocational school, technical school or trade school located in Michigan” according to the official site.

The amount of tuition assistance may vary depending on the nature of study:

  • Training Programs – up to $6000
  • Certificate Programs – up to $6000
  • Master’s Degree – up to $6000
  • Associate Degree – up to $14,400
  • Baccalaureate Degree – up to $14,400

To qualify:

  • Must be “active” in the National Guard
  • Must not be absent without leave
  • Must not be “under UCMJ charges”
  • Must meet any additional National Guard requirements

There are lifetime limits for this military benefit. The limit for undergraduate work is $86,000, and the limit for graduate studies is $25,000. These numbers were applicable in 2023, check with the state for the latest numbers and requirements.

RELATED: National Guard Tuition Assistance

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Tax Benefits for Michigan Veterans

Income Tax Benefits for Michigan Veterans

The State of Michigan does not charge income taxes on military retirement pay, military disability retirement pay, or active duty pay.

Michigan Veteran, Service Member, and Surviving Spouse Homestead Property Tax Credit:

 Service members, veterans, and qualifying surviving spouses may apply for a property tax credit on Michigan-based primary residences up to $1,500.

To qualify:

  • The applicant must have been a Michigan resident for six months during the tax year, and;
  • The veteran must have a service-connected disability rating OR;
  • The applicant is a surviving spouse, OR;
  • The service member is on active duty, OR;
  • The veteran or surviving spouse is eligible for military retirement pay.

Other categories may apply. Apply at your local tax assessor’s office or contact a tax professional to help you claim the current year’s tax break where applicable.

Michigan Disabled Veteran Homestead Property Tax Exemption

Some veterans and surviving spouses may qualify for a 100% property tax exemption on primary residences only. To qualify, the applicant must be a Michigan resident with an Honorable discharge, and:

  • Must have a permanent and total VA service-connected disability rating;
  • Must receive financial assistance from the VA for specially adapted housing;
  • Must be VA-rated as individually unemployable.

Apply for this tax exemption at your local assessor’s office.

Nursing Home Benefits for Michigan Veterans

The State of Michigan operates the Grand Rapids Homes for Veterans, Veterans Homes in Chesterfield Township, and the D.J. Jacobetti Homes for Veterans. Services include short-term and long-term care, memory care, rehab, and therapy.

Entry is on a space-available basis, and certain other requirements may apply.

To qualify:

  • Applicant must be an honorably discharged veteran
  • Must be eligible for VA healthcare or financial assistance for long-term nursing care
  • Michigan residency is not a requirement

Dependents may qualify for care if the veteran spouse is eligible or was eligible at the time of death. Dependents are defined as surviving spouses, former spouses, and Gold Star parents.

To apply you will need the following documentation:

  • Military discharge document (DD-214 or equivalent)
  • Copies of Medicare cards
  • Copies of health insurance ID cards
  • A copy of a recent physical
  • Copies of the last three years of federal income tax forms
  • Verification of income and assets
  • Any applicable powers of attorney

Burial Benefits For Michigan Veterans

The State of Michigan, unlike many other states in the Union, does not at press time operate a state veteran’s cemetery. Proposals to build one surfaced in 2022, but at the time of this writing, no active state-level veteran cemetery exists.

There are two national veteran cemeteries in the state that still offer burial services; Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, and Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly. Contact the Department of Veterans Affairs or the individual cemetery to learn more about application procedures, pre-need planning, and interment options.

Employment Benefits for Michigan Veterans

Michigan State Employment Veterans’ Hiring Preference:

Michigan offers veteran preference points for Michigan civil service positions. Veterans and spouses may be awarded these points if they are otherwise qualified; this preference is for initial hires only and does not apply to promotions or subsequent hiring. Five preference points are are awarded to veterans and surviving spouses, with 10 points possible for:

  • Disabled veterans
  • Spouses of disabled veterans with a VA disability rating 50% or greater
  • Surviving spouses with a child under 18
  • Surviving spouses with a disabled child

To qualify for hiring preference, the veteran must have served on active duty for 90 or more days and received an honorable discharge. Veterans must not be eligible for military retirement pay.

To qualify as a disabled Veteran, applicants must have a service-connected disability rating from the VA.

Other Michigan Veterans’ Benefits

The Michigan Veterans Trust Fund (MVTF)

The MVTF provides emergency grants to Michigan veterans and family members to help them manage a financial crisis. These grants may be applied for through the MVTF county committee serving the veteran’s county of residence.

To be eligible, the veteran must be a Michigan resident, honorably discharged with 180 days of service during a period of war, 180 days of active duty with an Armed Forces or the Navy/Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, or less than 180 days of wartime service due to disability.

In 2021 the program was modified to include peacetime-era veterans 65 years and older.The MVTF’s 65+ Peacetime Program helps veterans who served in a peacetime era, have at least 180 days of service, and were discharged under honorable conditions.

Michigan Military Family Relief Fund

The Michigan Military Family Relief Fund Act created a program offering grants to qualifying family members of those in the Michigan Guard or Reserve called to active duty as part of the response to 9/11.

These grants are meant for housing, utilities, medical services, food, clothes, and other needs; this is a need-based grant and financial documentation may be required to apply. Applications should be submitted to a Michigan Family Assistance Center.

For more information regarding Michigan veterans’ benefits, please see the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency official site.

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