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Pennsylvania Veterans Benefits & Disabled Veterans Benefits

pennsylvania veterans' benefits

Pennsylvania Veterans Benefits Programs

The following are the Pennsylvania veterans’ benefits programs for education, taxes, housing and employment.

Education Benefits for Veterans In Pennsylvania

In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, veterans benefits programs are provided by the state of Pennsylvania. The following are the Pennsylvania veterans’ benefits programs for education.

> Find VA-approved colleges and universities in Pennsylvania with our School Finder.

Education Gratuity Program

Pennsylvania offers up to $500 per term/semester up to “four scholastic years” to children of honorably discharged Veterans who have service-connected disabilities and served during a war or armed conflict. It’s also offered to qualifying children of Veterans who died in service during wartime.

Applicants must:

  • Be between 16 and 23 years old
  • Must live in the state five years prior to application
  • Must attend a Pennsylvania school
  • There must be a demonstrable financial need

Apply by contacting your County Veterans Affairs Director

State Education Assistance Program

The State Education Assistance Program (EAP) offers up to 10 semesters of financial assistance for state residents with a 6-year Guard contract and attending a PA school.

You can also use EAP with Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) or Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR), Chapter 1606.

Pennsylvania Educational Grant for Children of Service Members Declared a Prisoner of War (POW) or Missing in Action (MIA):

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Authority offers education grants to the children POWs and those listed as missing in action or MIA. The maximum award amount is $1,200, subject to availability. To qualify, applicants must be children of service members who are missing or are POWs and the service member:

  • Served on active duty after January 31, 1955
  • Resident of Pennsylvania for 12 months before serving on active duty
  • Received an honorable discharge

To apply, call 800-692-7392 (TTY: dial 711 for the hearing impaired).

Housing Benefits for Veterans In Pennsylvania

Disabled Veterans’ Real Estate Tax Exemption

Honorably discharged disabled wartime veterans in Pennsylvania may qualify for an exemption from “all real estate taxes” on qualifying primary residences.

To qualify, the applicant must have served during wartime, must be blind or a paraplegic or have sustained the loss of two or more limbs, or have a service-connected disability, VA rated as a total or 100% permanent disability. Contact your nearest tax assessor’s office to learn how to apply.

Pennsylvania Veterans’ Homes

Pennsylvania has six veteran home facilities open to veterans and their spouses:

  • The Hollidaysburg Veterans’ Home in Hollidaysburg
  • The Pennsylvania Soldiers And Sailors’ Home in Erie
  • Southeastern Veterans’ Center in Spring City
  • Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center in Scranton
  • The Southwestern Veterans’ Center in Pittsburgh
  • The Delaware Valley Veterans’ Home in Philadelphia

To qualify for care, applicants must be honorably discharged Pennsylvania residents or be the spouse of an eligible veteran. Those from other states may be allowed to apply if Pennsylvania was listed as their home of record when they entered the military.

The types of care offered may vary depending on location, but domiciliary care, skilled nursing care, and memory care are offered at most facilities in the state.

Pennsylvania Burial Benefits

The Pennsylvania Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Cemetery, often called Veterans Memorial Cemetery, is the only state-level veteran cemetery in Pennsylvania. It’s on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home. To qualify for burial here, the veteran must have an Honorable discharge and be a resident of the Pennsylvania Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home at the time of death.

Pennsylvania Veteran Hiring Preference

The State of Pennsylvania offers hiring preference for veterans competing for state jobs. Qualifying veterans may be awarded 1o points on competitive exams, with 15% added to exams for municipal jobs. There is also veteran preference offered for promotions and appointments.

RELATED: Guide to Veterans’ Preference Points

Military Retirement Pay

The State of Pennsylvania does not tax military retirement pay.

Other Veterans Benefits In Pennsylvania

Military Family Relief Assistance Program (MFRAP)

The Pennsylvania Military Family Relief Assistance Program offers military families immediate financial help in situations beyond their control. This need-based grant is offered up to 3,500 for needs, including child care, housing, food, or disaster relief.

Each application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. No application is automatically approved, but turnaround times may be as soon as 48 hours.

To qualify, applicants must be Pennsylvania residents with 30 or more consecutive days of service on active duty with the Guard or Reserve. Former members may also qualify if medically discharged.

Apply and submit the documentation to the address specified on the form.

Veterans’ Temporary Assistance (VTA)

VTA offers temporary financial aid to qualifying disabled Pennsylvania veterans to help with food, shelter, fuel, clothing, and medical expenses.

This assistance is offered for up to $1600 in a 12-month period. If a veteran who qualifies has recently passed away, their un-remarried surviving spouse may be eligible. To apply, contact your local County Director of Veterans Affairs.

Blind Veterans’ Pension and Amputee and Paralyzed Veterans’ Pension

These pensions offer up to $150 per month for those who have an honorable discharge from the military, were a resident of Pennsylvania when they joined, and have a service-related injury or disease which resulted in a loss of vision (in the case of the Blind Veterans’ Pension) or which resulted in the loss of use of two or more extremities (in the case of the Amputee and Paralyzed Veterans’ Pension.)

Apply for this benefit or learn more with your County Director of Veterans Affairs.

For more information regarding Pennsylvania veterans’ benefits, please visit the Pennsylvania Bureau of Veterans’ Affairs


About the author

Lori Waddell serves as Co-director of an emergency response COAD in Montana, a freelance writer, and an Air Force Key Spouse. She is passionate about empowering communities and individuals through knowledge and resources. She currently lives in Montana with her husband and two children.