More State Benefits Coming to Many Veterans in New Year

More State Benefits Coming to Many Veterans in New Year

Veterans have many well-known federal benefits available to them, but did you know many states also offer valuable benefits to their veterans? Free college and employment resources are available and accessible for hunting and fishing licenses. Tax breaks and specialized license plates are also available. Several states even reward military veterans with cash bonuses.

Below is an analysis of the state of Florida in detail, which is similar to most other states.

Homes for veterans in Florida

Veterans Home of Florida
For eligible veterans, assisted living/domiciliary homes to provide housing, supportive services, and incidental medical care are provided. Florida residents must have lived in the state for at least one year before admission and be honorably discharged. Care costs are based on an individual's income. 

Florida Veterans Nursing Homes
A total of six veterans' nursing homes and one assisted living facility are operated by Florida. Veteran nursing homes in Florida require veterans to have an honorable discharge, reside in Florida a year before admission, and be certified as needing nursing home care by a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) physician.

Benefits for Florida veterans

Tax Exemptions for Basic Properties
The assessed value of a home can be reduced by $5,000 for residents with a VA disability of at least 10%. Any surviving spouse who has not yet remarried for at least five years may also qualify for the exemption.

Exemption for homestead
Those veterans residing in Florida who were honorably discharged, have a permanent and total disability, or are quadriplegic are exempt from paying property tax on their homes. The same applies to surviving spouses who have not remarried.

Veterans in Florida are given preference for government jobs
State, county, and municipal governments in Florida hire disabled veterans with honorable discharges, wartime veterans, spouses, and surviving spouses of totally disabled veterans.

Veterans in Florida can receive education benefits

Scholarships and Tuition Waivers
Undergraduate tuition at Florida's state universities, community colleges, and career and technical schools is waived for those awarded a Purple Heart or higher combat decoration. 

Florida Education Program for Children of Deceased or Disabled Veterans
The state of Florida offers a four-year college education to the dependent children and spouses of veterans who died after serving in the U.S. military. Call (888) 827-2004 for more information. Those whose parents were Missing In Action or Prisoners Of War may also be eligible for tuition benefits.

Program for Veterans in Florida Agriculture
Veteran Florida Agriculture Program is a six-month training fellowship for veterans and service members in the agriculture industry. The UF/IFAS Research and Education Center facilities throughout the state are used for the training. The hourly wage for trainees is $15.

Benefits for Florida veterans participating in recreational activities

Entrance to State Parks
Every honorably discharged veteran is eligible for a 25% discount on the annual park pass for all state parks.
A lifetime pass is free for veterans with service-connected disabilities, their spouses and their surviving spouses.

Municipal and county parks
Military members, honorably discharged, and disabled veterans and their spouses are eligible for free or reduced park entrance fees in county parks and municipal parks. Find out more from your county or municipality.

Fishing and Hunting License
The Military Gold Sportsman's License costs $20 for active-duty and retired military members residing in Florida. In addition to hunting and freshwater and saltwater fishing, the license offers a variety of associated permits at a significantly reduced price.

The license is free for veterans who are 100% permanently disabled.

For more information about any of these programs, visit the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs website.