New York State Veteran’s Benefits

New York State Veteran’s Benefits

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The state of New York provides several veteran benefits. This section offers a brief description of each of the following benefits.

New York Veteran Housing Benefits

State Veterans Homes
The state of New York operates veterans homes in Batavia, Long Island (Stony Brook University), Montrose, Oxford, and St. Albans. Health related care and skilled nursing services are available at all facilities.  Admission preference is based on severity of illness or disability and need for care.

New York State Homes For Veterans Program
This program, through State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA), offers fixed-rate mortgages with interest rates 0.375% below the already low interest rates charged on SONYMA mortgages with down payment assistance.


New York Veteran Financial Benefits

Income Tax
Military Pay: If your permanent home was New York state before entering the military, active-duty income is not subject to state taxes, IF you meet all three of the following conditions:

  1. did not maintain any permanent place of abode in New York state during tax year;
  2. maintained a permanent place of abode outside New York during the entire year;
  3. spent less than 30 days in New York state during tax year. (Barracks, bachelor officers´ quarters, quarters assigned on vessel do not constitute permanent abode.)

It also is not subject to tax if taxpayer was in a foreign country for at least 450 days during any period of 548 consecutive days.

Retired Pay: Not taxable

Property Tax Exemptions
Partial exemption from real property taxes is based on condition of service, with additional benefits based upon degree of service-connected disability. Applications must be filed before Taxable Status Day. Qualifying surviving spouses may file for benefit based on their spouse’s service. Exemption applies to local and county property taxes.

  • The Alternative Veterans’ Exemption is available only on residential property of a Veteran who has served during a designated time of war or received an expeditionary medal.
  • The Cold War Veterans’ Exemption is available only on residential property of a Veteran who served during the Cold War period.
  • The Eligible Funds Exemption applies to property that a Veteran or certain other designated person purchases. Such owners must purchase the property with pension, bonus, or insurance monies

Supplemental Burial Allowance
A supplemental burial allowance of up to $6,000 is authorized for certain military personnel killed in combat or while on active duty in hostile or imminent danger locations on or after September 29, 2003.

New York State Blind Annuity
The Blind Annuity Program benefit is for legally blind  wartime Veterans, or surviving un-remarried spouses of legally blind wartime Veterans, who live and are domiciled in New York State.  Blindness need not be a service-connected disability.

New York State Gold Star Annuity
Gold Star Parent Annuity authorizes an annuity payment of up to $500 per Gold Star parent of a deceased veteran.

E-ZPass for Disabled Veterans
The New York State Thruway Authority offers free, unlimited travel anywhere on the Thruway to certain, qualifying disabled Veterans. The Thruway Authority’s only qualifying criteria for the Disabled Veterans E-ZPass Non-Revenue program is a fee-exempt vehicle registration from Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You must find out whether you are eligible for a fee-exempt registration before applying for the program. Eligibility is not determined by percent disabled designations, specialty license plates, or other similar criteria.

New York State Motor Vehicle Registration Fee Exemption
Through the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Veterans can qualify to be exempt from registration fees and vehicle plate fees if:

  • You are a qualified disabled Veteran under Federal Title 38, Part III, Chapter 39, or
  • You qualify for and apply for Congressional Medal of Honor custom plates, or
  • You are 62 years of age or older and you qualify for and apply for Former Prisoner of War custom plates.

Sales Tax Exemption for Motor Vehicles Purchased Out-Of-State by Military Service Members
New York State tax law offers a full exemption from New York State sales and use tax on a motor vehicle purchased in another state by a person in the military Service of the United States, so long as that other state’s sales, use, excise, usage or highway use tax was paid

Death Benefits
New York State offers surviving family of military members killed in a combat zone a Supplemental Burial Allowance of up to $6,000. 


New York Veteran Employment Benefits

Disabled Veterans Civil Service Preference
Ten additional credits are granted on civil service examinations to qualified disabled veterans.

Civil Service Credit Preference
Ten-point additional credit preference toward original appointment for disabled wartime veterans; five-points for wartime service; and two and a half points for competitive promotional exams.  Job retention rights applicable to veterans and spouses of totally disabled veterans.

Veterans with Disabilities Employment Program
Section 55-c of the New York State Civil Service Law authorizes 500 positions to be filled with qualified wartime Veterans with disabilities. Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications for the position but are not required to take an examination. Eligible Veterans are not guaranteed state employment and are not placed on a hiring list. 

Military Service Credit for State & Local Retirement System Members
Veterans may be entitled to receive additional credit toward retirement for your military service through New York State and Local Retirement System.

There are different sections of the law that allow the crediting of qualifying military service. Once the Retirement System receives your request, they will determine under what section the Veteran may qualify and what would be most advantageous to the Veteran.

In most cases, purchasing additional service credit will increase the pension. However, there are certain situations where additional service credit may not increase the pension at retirement.

New York State Peddler’s License
New York State Veterans with other than dishonorable discharges from the United States Armed Forces are eligible to apply for a free lifetime Veterans Peddler’s License provided the Veteran served overseas in peace or war. 

Veterans Temporary Hiring Program
It is the policy of New York state to use honorably discharged veterans for temporary appointments in state agencies rather than utilizing temporary employment service companies. A state agency must select a veteran from the veteran temporary hiring list when making a temporary appointment provided the veteran possesses the applicable skills needed for the temporary assignment.

New York Veteran Education Benefits

Veterans Tuition Awards

Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA) are awards for full-time and part-time study for eligible veterans matriculated at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.

Eligible Veterans

Eligible students are those who are New York State residents discharged under honorable conditions from the U.S. Armed forces and who are:

  • Vietnam Veterans who served in Indochina between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
  • Persian Gulf Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf on or after August 2, 1990.
  • Afghanistan Veterans who served in Afghanistan during hostilities on or after September 11, 2001.
  • Veterans of the armed forces of the United States who served in hostilities that occurred after February 28, 1961 as evidenced by receipt of an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal or a Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal.

These students must also:

  • Establish eligibility by applying to HESC.
  • Be New York State residents.
  • Be US Citizens or eligible noncitizens.
  • Be matriculated full or part- time at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution in New York State or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.
  • Have applied for the Tuition Assistance Program for full-time undergraduate or graduate study.

New York State Regents Awards (for Children)
Regents Awards for Children of Deceased & Disabled Veterans provide up to $450 per year to students whose parent(s) served in the US Armed Forces during specified times of national emergency.

Military Service Recognition Scholarship
Available to certain dependents of military personnel killed, severely and permanently disabled or missing in combat or a combat zone of operation since August 2, 1990.


New York Veteran Recreation Benefits

Hunting Licenses & Permits for Disabled Veterans
Veterans with a 40-percent or greater disability rating are eligible for low-cost hunting and fishing licenses.

Hunting & Fishing Licenses for Nonresident Military Members
Non- residents stationed in NY for more than 30 days are entitled to resident prices for fishing, hunting or trapping licenses.

Hunting & fishing Licenses for NY Resident Military Members
Active military members stationed outside New York who are home on leave for 30 days or less are entitled to free hunting, fishing or trapping licenses (Note: if you are a New York resident stationed in New York, regular license fees apply).

Lifetime Liberty Pass for NYS Veterans With Disabilities
The Lifetime Liberty Pass benefits includes free vehicle entry to state parks and DEC-operated day-use areas, as well as numerous state boat launch sites, historic sites, arboretums and park preserves; free golf at 28 State Park golf courses; free swimming pool entrance at 36 State Park pools, and discounted camping and cabin rentals at all 119 State Park and DEC campgrounds. Wartime veterans with 40% or greater service-connected disability are eligible..

Visit the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs website for more information on any of these programs.

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