New Jersey Veterans Benefits
New Jersey State Veteran Benefits
The following are the New Jersey veterans’ benefits programs for education, employment, housing, and healthcare.
New Jersey Veterans’ Education Benefits
In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, veterans’ benefits programs are provided by the state of New Jersey.
War Orphan Tuition Assistance
Children of those who died while in the military, of veterans who died due to service-connected disabilities, or of those missing in action may qualify for $500 per year for four years of college or training. To qualify:
- Applicant must be a New Jersey Resident for one year
- Must be between the ages of 16 and 21 at the time of application.
- The veteran must have been a state resident.
To apply, contact the State of New Jersey Veteran Benefits Bureau.
POW-MIA Tuition Benefit Program
The State of New Jersey official site says the state offers “Free undergraduate college tuition” to “any child born or adopted before or during” the period the parent was officially declared a prisoner of war or person missing in action after Jan. 1, 1960.
The service member must have been a resident of the state when entering military service or must have their official home of record listed as New Jersey. This benefit must be applied for via the State of New Jersey Veteran Benefits Bureau.
New Jersey National Guard 100% Free Tuition
Qualifying members of the New Jersey National Guard are authorized to” attend any New Jersey state college or university tuition free for undergraduate and graduate studies,” according to the state government’s official site.
Applicants are allowed “to attend regularly scheduled courses” at any public college and take up to 16 credits per semester without cost. Talk to your chosen college’s admissions office to learn how to apply, or contact your National Guard unit.
Veterans Tuition Credit Program
Qualifying New Jersey veterans may apply for the Veterans Tuition Credit Program, which offers partial tuition reimbursement. This benefit is capped at $400 per year for full-time students, $200 for part-time students. To qualify:
- The veteran’s active duty must have occurred between Dec. 31, 1960, and May 7, 1975.
- The veteran must have been a legal resident of N.J. when entering or leaving military service;
- The veteran must have been a state resident two years prior to application.
> Find VA-approved colleges and universities in New Jersey with our School Finder.
New Jersey Veterans’ Health Care Benefits
NJ Vet to Vet Helpline
The NJ Vet to Vet Helpline is a service operated by a partnership between Rutgers University and the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. This is a 24/7 counseling line that also provides case management, family support, and live chat options. Call (866) 838-7654 or visit the official site.
New Jersey State Veterans Homes
The State of New Jersey operates three veterans homes:
- Menlo Park
These facilities include nursing and rehabilitative services. Occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy are also provided.
These homes are open to those who served on active duty and who were honorably discharged. Qualifying spouses and parents may also reside in one of these homes but preference is offered to New Jersey residents.
New Jersey Burial Benefits
The State of New Jersey operates the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Qualifying veterans (see below) are offered:
- Free burial
- Placement of a VA-provided grave marker and state-provided granite base
- Grave plot
- Grave liner
- Burial services
- Perpetual care
Eligibility requirements for burial are identical to the Department of Veterans Affairs criteria. In general, the following is required;
- Discharged from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable, or
- Died while serving on active duty, or
- Served at least 20 years in the National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves and is eligible for military retirement pay
- Reserve members activated for federal service
- Spouses and dependents may also qualify
The veteran must have been a state resident, though certain exceptions may apply.
New Jersey Veterans Tax Benefits
New Jersey Veteran Income Tax Exemption
Those who have recently been Honorably Discharged or were discharged Under Honorable Conditions may qualify for up to $6,000 in exemptions from state income taxes. Contact a tax professional if you aren’t sure how to claim your exemption in the current tax season.
Property Tax Deduction for New Jersey Veterans
Those with a VA rating of 100 percent permanently disabled may qualify for an annual deduction on property taxes. At the time of this writing, that deduction was $250 but these amounts are always subject to change.
This tax break is for owner-occupied primary residences only. The veteran must own the
property in whole or in part, and under “certain conditions,” a surviving spouse may also qualify for the exemption or deduction. Contact your local tax assessor’s office to learn more on how to claim this deduction.
New Jersey Combat Pay State Tax Exemption
Since 2020, residents of New Jersey who serve in the military are not required to pay state income tax on income earned while in a combat zone. However, the regions designated as such are subject to change.
Be advised that the DoD has announced Afghanistan is no longer listed as an active combat zone. And you may need to check with your local tax expert to determine if other changes to the list of approved combat pay zones apply before you file your income taxes in the new tax season.
New Jersey Veteran State Hiring Preference
The State of New Jersey offers “absolute preference” for veterans in hiring for competitive state jobs. This means qualified veterans “are placed at the top of an open competitive employment list ahead of non-veterans regardless of their scores,” according to New Jersey state government literature.
Furthermore, disabled veterans may be offered preference over non-veterans “when a disabled veteran or veteran is at the top of a certification of the list to an appointing authority.”
Qualifying criteria include having an Honorable discharge, and disabled veterans must have a VA rating of 10% or greater.
Military Commercial Driver License (CDL) Skills Waiver Program
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission offers to waive the CDL Skills Test (the behind-the-wheel exam.) Qualified military applications may also be exempt from providing a commercial vehicle in order to obtain a New Jersey CDL.
For more information regarding New Jersey veterans’ benefits, please see the official site of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
- State Veterans’ Benefits – By State
- New Jersey BAH Rates
- Yellow Ribbon Schools
- Choice Act: In-State Tuition Benefits For Veterans
- States Offering Free College To Veterans And Dependents
PAY AND BENEFITS INFO:
- BAH Rates
- Military Pay Dates
- USAA Pay Dates
- Navy Federal Pay Dates
- National Guard Pay and Reserve Pay
About the author
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.