Texas Veterans Benefits
Texas State Veteran Benefits
In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, there are veterans benefits programs provided by the states. The following are the Texas veterans’ benefits programs.
Texas Veteran Housing Benefits
Veterans who have a disability rating of between 70-100% may receive a $12,000 property tax exemption. Veterans who have a full 100% disability rating are fully exempt from property taxes. Those who have a disability rating between 50-59% may receive a $10,000 property tax exemption, those between 30-49% may receive a $7,500 property tax exemption, and those with 10-29% may receive a $5,000 property tax exemption.
Texas Veteran Health Care Benefits
Texas Veterans Homes
There are 8 veterans homes in Texas. They are:
- William R. Courtney Texas State Veterans Home in Temple
- Frank M. Tejeda Texas State Veterans Home in Floresville
- Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home in El Paso
- Ussery-Roan Texas State Veterans Home in Amarillo
- Alfredo Gonzalez Texas State Veterans Home in McAllen
- Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas State Veterans Home in Big Spring
- Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home in Bonham
- Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home in Tyler.
These homes provide affordable and long-term nursing care for Texas veterans, their spouses, as well as Gold Star parents.
Texas Veterans Employment Benefits
Veterans Employment Preference
Those employers who have established a policy for providing an employment preference to veterans when making hiring decisions will be put on a list of private employers in Texas that have such a policy for veterans. That way, veterans can be connected with these veteran-friendly employers.
Texas State Employment Veterans’ Hiring Preference
According to Texas state law, state agencies must practice veterans’ preference until they have reached 20% veteran employment. Those who qualify for veterans’ employment preference are entitled to a preference in employment with an appointment to a public entity or for a public work of the state over other applicants that do not have a greater qualification.
If the position requires a competitive examination under a merit system or civil service plan for selecting or promoting employees, then those who are entitled to a veterans’ employment preference, who are also qualified for the position and who has received at least the minimum required score for the test, will be able to have 10 points added to their score. Those with an established service-connected disability are entitled to have a service credit of five additional points added to their score.
The veteran will have needed to have received an honorable discharge. A veteran’s surviving spouse who has not remarried or who is an orphan of a veteran, may also qualify for veterans’ employment preference. Priority will go in this order; a veteran with a disability, a veteran without a disability, a veteran’s surviving spouse who has not remarried, and then an orphan of a veteran if the veteran was killed while on active duty.
Texas State Retirement Military Service Credit
Non-retired veterans who are employed by the state of Texas, are eligible for military service credit. In order to qualify for this, the veteran must not be eligible for a full military retirement benefit, must not have a dishonorable discharge, they will need to show a copy of their military service record, and military service credit that has been purchased cannot be used for retirement until they have accrued five years of ERS service credit.
If they purchase this service during their first year of working with the state, they will avoid having to pay interest. After their first year of employment, 10% interest will apply for each fiscal year from the date of their employment to the purchase date. Any purchased military service will be included in the calculation of an active employee’s death benefit and in the calculation of an annuity for an occupational disability retirement.
Texas Veteran Education Benefits
The Hazlewood Act
The Hazlewood Act is a State of Texas benefit that provides qualified veterans, spouses, and dependent children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours tuition free college at state schools. This does NOT include living expenses, books, or supply fees. The veteran must have:
- been a Texas resident when they entered the service
- live in Texas
- have an honorable discharge
- served at least 181 days active duty
- used up all federal VA education benefits
- not be in default on a state student loans
- meet GPA, academic progress and credit hour requirements
Legacy Act (Child)
Veterans eligible for the Hazlewood Act can assign unused hours to a child under certain conditions. The child must be:
- a Texas resident
- the biological child, stepchild, adopted child, or have been claimed as a dependent in the current or previous tax year
- 25 years old or younger on the first day of the semester or term
- they must meet GPA, academic progress and credit hour requirements
- only one child can use Hazlewood Legacy benefits at a time
Hazlewood Act for Spouse/Child
Spouses and dependent children of eligible Active Duty, Reserve, and Texas National Guard who died in the line of duty, as a result of service-connected injury or illness, are missing in action, or who became totally disabled for purposes of employability as a result of a service-related injury or illness are entitled to each receive 50 credit hours tuition-free college. Like the normal Hazlewood act, the veteran must have been a Texas resident when they entered the service.
A spouse must:
- have no federal VA education benefits
- be a Texas resident; and
- meet GPA, academic progress and credit hour requirements
A child must:
- have no federal VA education benefits,
- be a Texas resident
- meet GPA, academic progress and credit hour requirements. This requirement does not apply to the child of a MIA, KIA, or service connected deceased Veteran.
State Tuition Reimbursement Program, STRP
Funded by the State of Texas, the State Tuition Assistance Program (a.k.a. State Tuition Reimbursement Program, STRP) is an education benefit that provides money for college to eligible members of the Texas Military Department pursuing their educational and career goals. This benefit is available to active drilling members (not AGR) of any of the 3 following Texas components:
- Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG)
- Texas Air National Guard (TXANG)
- Texas State Guard (TXSG)
State TA funds from 3 to 12 credit hours of tuition and mandatory fees per academic semester during Fall and Spring semesters only. The current budget level of this program paired with recent levels of participant demand does not allow awarding full 12 credit awards to all eligible applicants. State TA can be used or “stacked” with other federal tuition assistance or state programs to cover up to 100% of tuition and eligible fees. If other programs are covering 100% of the tuition and eligible fees, then State TA is not needed and will not be awarded.
>> Find VA-approved colleges and universities in Texas with our School Finder.
For more information regarding Texas veterans’ benefits, please visit – Texas Veterans Commission
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.