Updated: Nov 14, 2020
Mississippi, The Magnolia State, has benefits for 200,000 veterans.
Mississippi State Veteran Education Benefits
In-State Tuition for Veterans
Anyone who is a military veteran or entitled to education benefits under Title 38 (survivors and dependents included) may qualify for in-state tuition regardless of the state of residency.
Education Benefits for Children of POWs and MIAs
Children of anyone reported as missing in action or prisoners of war may be eligible for eight semesters of Mississippi education benefits. Tuition is free for qualifying applicants who attend state-supported schools. Expenses like books, equipment, board, and extra-curricular activity fees are not covered.
Mississippi National Guard Scholarships
Some active members of the Mississippi National Guard qualify for free tuition at community colleges, accredited 4-year colleges, and vocational schools. Students must be Mississippi residents. Applicants can contact their unit orderly room or command support staff to find out how to apply.
Mississippi High School Diploma Program for Qualifying Wartime Veterans
Veterans who left a Mississippi high school before graduation to join the service during World War II, the Korean Conflict, and Vietnam can apply for an honorary high school diploma. Mississippi residents must meet one of the following:
● Those who would have graduated between 1941 and 1955 OR
● who would have graduated between 1963 and 1973 and was awarded the Vietnam Service Ribbon.
A service member’s family member may apply to have a diploma awarded posthumously.
Mississippi State Veteran Employment Benefits
Retirement Credit for Qualifying Wartime Veterans
Veterans of wartime service during World War Two (including Maritime Service) who contributed to the Mississippi State Public Employees Retirement System may be entitled to four years of credit. The veteran must have entered state service after completing their military obligation.
The credit might extend beyond four years if the military's employee was retained for circumstances beyond the member's control.
Mississippi State Veteran Housing Benefits
Mississippi Veterans Homes
Mississippi operates four veterans’ homes:
Each 150-bed home has skilled care, nursing care, pharmacy services, rehabilitation, and social services.
Admission requirements for these homes include:
● Military service and a discharge other than Dishonorable
● Mississippi residency
● No transmittable diseases or medical conditions that may endanger other residents
● Out-of-state veterans with a medical need may be admitted when space is available.
● Spouses may qualify for care in these homes if the military member meets requirements.
Admissions paperwork may include:
● Form 21-22
● Application cover Sheet
● Letter from the administrator
● Family cover sheet
● Social history information
The application process takes about two weeks, but expedited processing is possible in emergency cases.
According to Mississippi state law, “There shall be no State Veterans Nursing Home resident daily charge for those residents in need of nursing home care for a VA adjudicated service-connected disability.” The fee exemption is also offered to veterans with either a singular or combined service-connected disability rating of at least seventy percent OR an employability disability rating of one hundred percent.
State of Mississippi Veterans Home Purchase Board
Qualifying veterans may apply for a low-interest rate mortgage loan for up to $250,000. The loan can be used to purchase an existing home or for having a house built.
To qualify, the loan applicant must have been a Mississippi resident before enlisting or been a Mississippi resident for two consecutive years before applying. The loan option is available to anyone who qualifies for the VA home loan program and provides a VA Certificate of Eligibility for a VA mortgage. An honorable discharge is required.
Mississippi State Veteran Financial Benefits
Military Retirement Pay Tax Exempt
Mississippi income tax does not apply to military retirement pay.
Ad Valorem Homestead Tax Breaks
Mississippi offers a homestead tax exemption to veterans with a service-connected, total disability, and an honorable discharge. The exemption applies to Ad Valorem taxes on the homestead property assessed value. Surviving spouses of veterans who have not remarried may qualify for this exemption.
State Business Privilege Tax Exemption for Qualifying Disabled Veterans
While not specifically designed for veterans, Mississippi offers a business tax exemption from the “privilege tax for specified businesses” to people who are at least 65, blind, deaf, dumb, or with loss or loss of use of a hand or foot.” Documentation of the disability and income records must be presented to apply for the exemption.
Free Documents and Document Services for Veterans
Birth and death certificates are available at free of charge from the Mississippi Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics when records are intended by state residents to make claims for:
● Survivor benefits
The Mississippi State Bureau of Vital Statistics must provide a similar service for certified copies of birth certificates for anyone who joins the military. Chancery and Circuit Clerks are required to offer fee-free records for veterans and their families for:
● Adoption decrees
● Marriage licenses
● Divorce decrees
● Other requested records
The free service is provided for documents needed for the following purposes:
● Claims for dependency
● Claims for disability
● Claims for survivor benefits
Mississippi State Additional Veteran Benefits
Concealed Carry Permits Training Exemption for Qualifying Veterans
Mississippi exempts honorably discharged military members and currently serving military from the training usually required before getting a concealed carry firearms permit. The applicant must have completed law enforcement or combat training with any handgun in the military.
Concealed Weapon Permit Fee Exemptions
Active duty members do not pay concealed carry permit or renewal fees in Mississippi. Veterans with a service-connected disability are exempt from concealed carry permit and renewal fees when they are a state resident for at least 12 months.
Residency is not needed if the applicant has a valid concealed carry permit from another state, is an active duty military member stationed in Mississippi, or is a law enforcement officer currently establishing Mississippi residency.
Hunting and Fishing Recreational Benefits for Qualifying Disabled Veterans
Veterans with VA rated 100 % service-connected disabilities do not need hunting or fishing licenses in the state. Proof of both state residency and disability status must be carried while hunting or fishing.
Burial Benefits for Veterans
There are two state-run veteran cemeteries in Mississippi:
● Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery is in Newton, Mississippi
● North Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Kilmichael, Mississippi
Interment is open to veterans with Honorable discharges, plus their spouses and dependent children. The cemeteries are also available to Reservists who die on active duty, or while on training duty, or who have at least 20 years of service in the reserves that are creditable toward retirement pay.
● Opening and closing of the gravesite
● Grave or columbarium space
● Grave Liner
● Shelters for services
● Headstones or markers
● Perpetual care
Burials are free for veterans, but fees may be charged for spouse and dependents.