The following are the Montana veterans’ benefits programs for education, healthcare, housing and employment for 2018-2019.
Montana Veterans Benefits Programs
Education Benefits for Montana’s Veterans
In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, there are veterans’ education benefits programs provided by the state of Montana.
Montana Honorably Discharged Veteran Tuition Waiver
For Montana resident veterans with an honorable discharge who served during wartime and receive a campaign or expeditionary medal. The veteran must have used up all their federal GI Bill benefits. The waiver covers 100 percent of the cost of in-state tuition
Montana Army National Guard Education Benefits
$100 a credit/up to $1200 a semester; E1-E7, WO1-CW3, O1-O2, 6 year contract with National Guard (Army or Air), must have completed AIT, working on an undergraduate degree, and be attending a State School – paid only for passing credits.
Montana War Orphan Tuition Waiver
For children under 25, whose parent was killed in action, or died as a result of combat related injury or disease. It covers 100 percent of the cost of resident tuition.
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Housing Benefits for Montana’s Veterans
Montana Veterans Home Loan Program
The goal of the Montana Veterans Home Loan Program is to provide first mortgage funds to Montana residents serving or for those who have served in the military through the federal armed services or the Montana National Guard. Funds are limited, and there is currently no wait list.
The program offers:
- A 30-year, fully amortized 1st mortgage loan, insured by FHA, VA or HUD-184 with a maximum loan amount of $257,607.
- A fixed rate is a full 1% lower than market rates (Fannie Mae 60-day lock rate)
- No purchase price limits, asset limits, or income limits.
- Mortgage loan serviced in-state by Montana Housing with monthly payments including taxes and insurance for an escrow account, and the option to set up automatic monthly payments.
In order to be eligible, a borrower must have served in the federal armed services or the Montana National Guard, or be an unremarried surviving spouse of a deceased, eligible veteran that was killed in the line of duty. They must also be pursuant to Title 10 of the US Code, discharged under honorable conditions, including a general discharge, be a first-time homebuyer (3 year rule applies,) and be a Montana resident maintaining permanent place of abode in the state.
In addition, a borrower must maintain the property as their primary residence while any part of the mortgage loan is outstanding, and have a minimum $2,500 borrower investment towards the down payment or closing costs, and sweat equity does not count. They will also need to take a first time homebuyer education class.
The property will need to be one of the below:
- A single family, fee simple residential property
- A manufactured home as long as it is de-titled, on a permanent foundation, and built post-1976 as well as being a double-wide or larger
- New construction, where property and improvements will be completed before closing
Condominiums are not allowed in the program.
Disabled veterans and certain spouses may receive a property tax exemption on their first primary residence if the veteran is 100% disabled as a result of military service. The exemption amount depends on income and marital status.
Healthcare Benefits for Montana’s Veterans
Montana Veterans’ Homes
Montana has two veterans’ homes, the Columbia Falls Montana Veterans’ Home and the Eastern Montana Veterans’ Home. Columbia Falls offers 105 intermediate/skilled-care beds as well as 12 domiciliary beds, and includes a 15 bed Alzheimer’s unit. Eastern has an 80 bed intermediate/skilled-care facility which includes a 16 bed special care unit.
In order to qualify for these homes, a person would need to be an honorably discharged veteran who qualifies for skilled/intermediate nursing care or domiciliary self-care living. Spouses of veterans can be admitted on a space available basis. A veteran and spouse may be admitted together if they both qualify for care.
Employment Benefits for Montana’s Veterans
Veterans’ Employment Preference Policy
There is Veterans’ Employment Preference in Montana for those who have served in the military for more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, and have an honorable discharge if the veteran works for a public employer that uses a scored procedure for an applicants initial hire. Five percentage points will be added to those who are veterans, and 10 percentage points for those who are disabled veterans or eligible relatives. If a public employer uses a selection procedure other than a scored procedure, the public employer shall give preference to a disabled veteran, an eligible relative, or a veteran, in that order, over any non preferred applicant that holds substantially equal qualifications.
The Montana Military Service Employment Rights Act deals with employee’s reemployment rights when they return from military duty. Employees of the state of Montana, or a Montana city, town, or country, who are also members of the US Armed Services, either active or military reservists or members of the Montana National Guard, become eligible for paid military leave after six months of continued employment.
Military Waiver for a CDL
Service members who have a valid standard Montana driver’s license and who are currently or were in the past employed in a military position that requires operating a military motor vehicle equivalent to a commercial motor vehicle may be eligible to have their CDL road skills test waived. Written tests can not be waived. Service members and veterans will need to submit a CDL Skills Test Waiver that is signed by their Commanding Officer.
For more information regarding Montana veterans’ benefits, please visit – Montana Veterans Affairs
Related state military and veteran information:
PAY AND BENEFITS UPDATES FOR 2019: