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, there are veterans’ benefits programs provided by the states.
War Orphan Tuition Assistance
Children of those service personnel who died while in the military or due to service-connected disabilities, or who are officially listed as missing in action by the U.S. Dept. of Defense may claim $500 per year for four years of college or equivalent training. To qualify, the child must be a resident of New Jersey for at least one year immediately preceding the filing of the application and be between the ages of 16 and 21 at the time of application. The veteran must have been a state resident.
POW-MIA Tuition Benefit Program
Free undergraduate college tuition is available to any child born or adopted before or during the period of time his or her parent was officially declared a prisoner of war (POW) or person missing in action (MIA) after Jan. 1, 1960. The POW-MIA must have been a New Jersey resident at the time he or she entered the service or whose official residence is in N.J. The child must attend either a public or private institution in N.J. A copy of DD 1300 must be furnished with the application.
Veterans Tuition Credit Program
Veterans attending any approved educational institution may apply for the Veterans Tuition Credit Program. Under the program, partial reimbursement is provided to the institution to offset the cost of the veteran’s tuition. Maximum reimbursement is $400 per year for full-time students, $200 for part-time students. To qualify, the veteran must have been on active duty between Dec. 31, 1960, and May 7, 1975, and have been a legal resident of N.J. at the time of entrance into or discharge from the service, or two years immediately prior to application.
New Jersey National Guard 100% Free Tuition
New Jersey state law mandates that every member of the New Jersey Army National Guard is authorized to attend any New Jersey state college or university tuition free for undergraduate and graduate studies. The Soldier will be permitted to attend regularly scheduled courses at any one of 30 public institutions of higher education in this state and receive up to 16 credits per semester tuition free. Requirements are that the Soldier must have completed Initial Entry Training and be in good standing with their unit.
> Find VA-approved colleges and universities in New Jersey with our School Finder.
New Jersey Veterans’ Housing Benefits
Property Tax Exemption/Deduction for Surviving Spouses
The $250 New Jersey property tax exemption/deduction is for veterans who have served during a specific war time period. If they have served after 1975, they will have needed to have served at least 14 days in a combat zone. Disabled veteran exemption requires a 100% VA Certificate of Disability with a permanent and total exemption. The property must be owned and occupied by the veteran as well as it being their legal residence in the state. Surviving spouses qualifies if all the criteria is met.
New Jersey Veterans’ Health Care Benefits
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
The state of New Jersey has a program that addresses the readjustment problems of veterans and offers treatment to them, no matter what war they served in. Extended members of their family who are affected by their veteran’s application can also seek treatment. State Veterans Service Officers assist with scheduling counseling and filing out any VA claims. They have contracted clinicians that are experienced in PTSD counseling.
NJ Vet to Vet Helpline
The NJ Vet to Vet Helpline is a peer-counseling program for assessing veterans mental health needs. The line is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week for veterans and their families. They can get help with veteran peer support, family support, clinical assessment, case management, referrals to a network of mental health providers, web-based peer support, and live chat. This helpline is operated by Rutgers University and funded by the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
New Jersey Veterans Homes
New Jersey has three veterans homes, in Paramus, Menlo Park, and Vineland. There is around-the-clock medical and nursing care, and rehabilitative services at the homes. They are open to veterans of all wars who served on active duty, and were honorably discharged. They are also open to the veteran’s spouse and to the spouse and parents of those who were killed in action during a period of war. Preference will be given to those who were residents of New Jersey for at least two years immediately prior to application of admission.
The home in Vineland opened in 1899, and was newly rebuilt in 2005 with 300 beds. The Menlo Park home was rebuilt in 1999, and has a “town-square” core with 312 beds. The home in Paramus opened in 1986 with a memorial for those who served in World War I and has 336 beds.
New Jersey Catastrophic Entitlement
Those who are eligible veterans and surviving spouses can receive a monthly entitlement of $62.50. The veteran will need to be a New Jersey resident in receipt of a permanent service-connected disability rating from the US Department of Veterans Affairs that resulted from wartime service. The rating will need to be 100% and for one of the following catastrophic disabilities: loss of sight, amputation of both hands, both feet, or one hand and one foot, hemiplegia and permanent paralysis of one leg and one arm on either side of the body, paraplegia and permanent paralysis of both legs and lower parts of the body, osteochondritis and permanent loss of use of both legs, multiple sclerosis and the loss of use of both feet or both legs, and quadriplegia.
New Jersey Veterans’ Employment Benefits
There is a $3,000 tax exemption on your Income Tax return is you are a military veteran with an honorable discharged, or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the US Armed Forces on or any time before the last day of the tax year. Their spouse is also eligible if they are a veteran who qualifies.
New Jersey Exempts Combat Pay from Income Tax
As of September 28th, 2020, residents of New Jersey who serve in the military are exempt from paying state income tax on income earned while in a combat zone. This means those who serve in one of the world’s four active warzones will no longer have to pay taxes on their combat pay to the federal government or the state government.
New Jersey was the last state to exempt this pay from their tax code.
The income tax rate charts of New Jersey can help you calculate how much you will be able to pocket after serving in a warzone.
While all states now exempt pay earned in combat zones from their income tax, some states exempt other types of military income and retirement pay.
Warzones include the Afghanistan area, the Sinai Peninsula, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Kosovo area.
Veterans Preference/Disabled Veterans Preference
A veteran will have needed to have served in the US military during one of the qualifying periods as well as having an honorable discharge. To qualify as a “disabled veteran” they would need to have served during a qualifying period and have a 10% or higher disability compensation from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Qualified veterans will be placed at the top of the open competitive employment list ahead of any non-veterans regardless of their scores. Disabled veterans and veterans will be placed on promotional lists according to their scores but will have preference over non-veterans when they are at the top of a certification of the list to an appointing authority.
Civil Service Veterans Preferences for Surviving Spouses or Parents
Spouses of veterans, surviving spouses of disabled veterans or parents of veterans who died in service are eligible for preference as long as the veteran would have been eligible for veterans preference.
Military Commercial Driver License (CDL) Skills Waiver Program
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) is helping military personnel transition their military driving experience into civilian employment. They will wave the CDL Skills Test which is the behind-the-wheel exam. Qualified military applicatinants will also no longer have to provide a commercial vehicle in order to obtain a New Jersey CDL licence.
Military retirement pay will not be taxed in New Jersey.
For more information regarding New Jersey veterans’ benefits, please go here.
PAY AND BENEFITS INFO:
About the author
Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.