Updated: May 23
Louisiana, The Bayou State, offers benefits to over 275,000 veterans.
Louisiana State Veteran Education Benefits
In-State Tuition Program
All veterans and active-duty military attending state-supported colleges or universities qualify for in-state tuition rates. For more information, go to the nearest Veterans Parish Service Office.
Louisiana National Guard State Tuition Exemption
The exemption grants free tuition for Guard members who meet all the qualifications below:
● Drilling member in good standing of the Louisiana National Guard
● Louisiana Residency
● In a degree program (Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Masters)
● Must be a student in good academic standing
● Must pay all other school fees not covered by the tuition exemption.
Title 29 Louisiana State-Dependent Tuition Exemption
Depending on veterans with VA-rated service-related disabilities at least 90% may qualify for a tuition exemption. Dependents of veterans who have died on duty or as a result of service-related issues during a wartime period also qualify.
Students who qualify under Title 29 are exempt from paying tuition and school fees. Contact your local Veterans Parish Service Office for more details.
Louisiana Professional Certifications and Licenses for Veterans
Under the Louisiana Act 276, military training and experience can be used to qualify for various civilian professional licensing or certifications. A service member who has a military occupational specialty and works in that specialty may apply training and experience equal to or exceeding licensing requirements to a civilian certification.
The Act also permits colleges to award educational credits to a veteran for the student’s military training or service whenever it meets the American Council on Education standards.
Louisiana Veteran Employment Benefits
State and Federal Civil Service Veteran Hiring Preference
All state and city civil service departments in Louisiana have a veteran hiring preference program. The program awards ten preference points to qualifying honorably discharged veterans. The preference program awards points according to specific eligibility requirements depending on the employment position.
Louisiana Tax Break for Employers Hiring Disabled Veterans
Employers who hire qualifying disabled employees can claim a payroll tax allowance of 50% of the gross wages paid to the worker for the first four months of work plus 30% of salary for subsequent months.
The Louisiana law states, “A taxpayer shall be eligible to claim the deduction provided for in this Section after employing a qualified individual with a disability for four continuous months for no less than an average of twenty hours a week” at pay rates equivalent to other employees doing similar work.
Louisiana State Veteran Housing Benefits
Louisiana State Veteran Homes
The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs operates five veterans’ homes:
● Jackson, Louisiana
● Bossier City, Louisiana
● Monroe, Louisiana
● Reserve, Louisiana
● Jennings, Louisiana
Long and short-term care is offered, and the homes are open to anyone who has served a minimum of 90 days on active duty and has been honorably discharged.
Louisiana residency is required unless a veteran is referred by a VA medical center in Louisiana or by an Assistance Counselor from the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.
All prospective residents receive a medical examination that screens for infectious diseases and specific mental health problems.
Services at the homes include:
● Pharmacy services
● Rehabilitative therapies
● Alzheimer’s and dementia care
● Skilled nursing services
● Mental health services
Louisiana Housing Corporation Home Loan Programs
● Market Rate GNMA Program offers veterans who qualify 30-year, VA, fixed-rate FHA, or USDA Rural Development mortgages at preferred interest rates.
● Mortgage Bond Revenue Home Program: borrowers who meet specific income caps and home price limits can apply for loans under this program. While veterans are not explicitly targeted under the program, they can apply if they meet income and purchase requirements.
● Mortgage Revenue Bond Assisted Program: This program offers assistance to all prospective homebuyers who need financial help with a down payment and closing expenses.
Louisiana State Veteran Financial Benefits
Military Family Assistance Fund (MFA)
The MFA fund for veterans, Louisiana National Guard members, and Military Reserves provides needed funds to offset the financial hardships of being called to active duty status.
Money from this fund may be used to pay for housing, utilities, medical services, and "other essential expenses that may have created an undue financial hardship" up to $10,000 in 12 months.
To qualify for this program, an applicant must be:
● A Louisiana resident
● Either a current member of the Louisiana National Guard or Reserves OR
● A veteran of the US Armed Forces (includes Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Louisiana National Guard or Reserves) with a discharge of either Honorable or Under Honorable Conditions
● Veterans must have been on active duty for a minimum of 24 continuous months, other than for training, or must have served for at least 90 days of active duty and have been discharged under the specific authority of 10 USC 1171 or 1173, determined to have a service-connected disability.
The applicant must have exhausted all other avenues of aid or assistance before applying.
Louisiana Homestead Tax Exemption
The Louisiana Homestead Tax exempts $7,500 of a homestead’s assessed value and can be claimed for any owner-occupied property up to 160 acres in size.
In some parishes, voters have elected to adopt the policy of doubling the homestead exemption to $15,000 of a home's property value for homeowners who are a military veteran with a service-related VA disability rating of 100%.
The exemption is also applicable for a property owned and occupied by a surviving spouse of a qualifying service member.
Louisiana State Tax Exemptions for Veterans
Louisiana does not charge state tax on military retirement income. If military pay is exempt from federal taxation, including combat or hazardous duty pay, it is also exempt from state income taxes.
Louisiana State Additional Veteran Benefits
Louisiana Veteran Cemeteries
The State of Louisiana operates four veterans’ cemeteries in:
● Keithville, Louisiana
● Leesville, Louisiana
● Rayville, Louisiana
● Slidell, Louisiana
These cemeteries are open to all qualifying veterans, their military spouses, and dependent children. Veterans are interred without cost, but a nominal fee is charged for dependents and spouses.