Updated: May 9, 2021
Benefits for Indiana’s 455,000 veterans
Indiana Veteran Education Benefits
High School Diploma Program
Veterans who joined the service before receiving a high school diploma and served in World War I or II, Korean War, or Vietnam can apply to receive their high school diploma. Applicants have to have been students in good standing in an Indiana High School before entering military service. To receive a diploma, the veteran must have been honorably discharged.
Free Tuition for Children of Purple Heart Recipients and Disabled Veterans
Children of some honorably discharged veterans can attend state-supported colleges and universities tuition and fee-free. The veteran must be disabled or have received a Purple Heart. The veteran must have served during WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, or between August 2, 1990, and the present.
The benefit provides up to 100% of tuition and fees for up to 124 undergraduate credits at Indiana public colleges and universities.
● Ball State
● Indiana State University
● Indiana Universities Bloomington, East, Kokomo, South Bend, Southeast, West Lafayette, North Central, Calumet
● Indiana Universities Purdue University Indianapolis, Columbus, Fort Wayne
● All Ivy Tech Community Colleges
● Western Governor's University (WGU) Indiana
● University of Southern Indiana
● Vincennes University
Hosier Veteran Employment Benefits
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development provides employment transition assistance for veterans moving from military to civilian life. The Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program focuses on job training and placement (especially for veterans with service-connected disabilities). The Local Veterans’ Employment Representative Program provides veterans with counseling, testing, and employment openings. Connect with your nearest veterans’ representative for assistance.
Licenses for Peddlers, Vendors, or Hawkers
Free licenses are available to honorably discharged wartime veterans for city and county peddlers, vendors, and hawkers. Contact the county auditor for information.
Military CDL Skills Waiver Program
Veterans or active-duty military who drove trucks during their military service may qualify for a skill test waiver from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). The applicant may obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) without taking a skills test. Veterans must apply for the license within a year of separation.
Indiana Veteran Owned Small Business Program
The Indiana Department of Administration sets a goal of procuring a minimum of 3% of state contracts from veteran-owned businesses. The program seeks to increase contracting opportunities for Indiana businesses owned by military veterans.
Indiana Veteran Housing Benefits
The Veterans Home
The Indiana Veterans’ Home in West Lafayette provides short-term rehabilitation, nursing care, and domiciliary care. Honorably discharged veterans and their spouses are eligible if they have lived in Indiana for a minimum of one year. Wartime service is NOT required.
Property Tax Deductions
Indiana offers some property tax deductions for its disabled veterans:
1) Any honorably discharged disabled veteran who served in the military during WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, or between August 2, 1990, and the present day, qualify for a $24,960 deduction in the assessed value of a property for tax purposes. The veteran must have a service-connected disability of at least ten % to be eligible.
2) A reduction of $12,480 from the assessed value of a property for tax purposes is available to all veterans (no wartime service required) who:
● Served in the military for a minimum of 90 days, received an honorable discharge, and are at least 62 years old AND have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10%
● OR are any age but have a 100% service-connected disability.
Honor Our Vets Program
Active duty, veterans, or retired military personnel, who want to move to Indiana to work for a participating employer, can receive up to a $5,000 grant towards a down payment, closing costs, or moving expenses. Applicants must qualify for a VA-backed home loan to receive the funding.
IHCDA First Place Program
The First Place loan under the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) offers down payment aid of six percent of the home purchase price. The program is available to all for first-time home buyers and qualifying veterans.
IHCDA Helping to Own (H2O) Program
The Helping to Own Program offers down payment assistance of 3.5% of the home’s purchase price for any first-time homebuyer or qualifying veteran. This assistance amount is a grant if program guidelines are met.
Indiana Veteran Financial Benefits
Military Service Deduction
A gross taxable income exemption of $5000 applies to all service members on active duty, reserve military members, military retirees who are at least 60 years old, and surviving spouses. The deduction is equal to the amount of military pay, retirement pay, or survivor benefits received, or income received or $5,000, whichever is less.
Military Family Relief Fund
An emergency grant available through the Military Family Relief Fund is available to veterans who were on active duty for a minimum of a year during wartime. Up to $2500, the relief money can be used for food, utilities, housing, transportation, or medical expenses.
Additional Indiana Veteran Benefits
Motor Vehicle License Plates
In Indiana, the Hoosier state, veteran designation on license plates are available for $15. The state also has designated license plates for:
● Disabled veterans
● Ex- POWs
● Purple Heart recipients
● Gold Star families
Submit your proof of military status with your application.
Resident Veteran Hunting and Fishing License
Indiana veterans with service-connected disabilities get their state hunting and fishing licenses at a discount. Veterans use the Application for Reduced Fee Hunting, and Fishing License for Disabled Veterans form to apply. Find the form at County Veteran Service offices, Department of Natural Resources offices, or Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs offices.
Golden Hoosier Passport
● Veterans living in Indiana who are at least 65 years old have unlimited access to all Indiana state-owned parks and recreation areas, forests, and reservoirs, at a discounted price. The one-year discount pass is not valid for museums, memorials, or historical sites. A Golden Hoosier Passport is mailed to all former POWs who apply for POW-designated license plates.
Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery
The Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery is located in Madison, Indiana. Indiana veterans eligible to be buried in a national cemetery are automatically qualified for burial at the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery free of charge. Spouses can be buried at the cemetery if they pay opening and closing fees.
Veteran and Family Support Services
Parenting, family, marital and pre-marital, and personal counseling are available through the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs. Other resources for veterans and their family members include vocational training, employment assistance, tutoring, and couple and family retreats.