Updated: Dec 28, 2020
New Jersey, The Garden State, offers benefits to nearly 400,000 veterans.
New Jersey Veteran Education Benefits
War Orphans Tuition Assistance
Children of veterans who have been listed as missing in action or died while in military service or because of service-connected disabilities are granted $500 annually for four years of college or equivalent educational training. A student must be a resident of New Jersey for one year and be between 16 and 21. The veteran must also have been a New Jersey resident.
POW/MIA Tuition Benefit Program
New Jersey offers free tuition for undergraduate study to any children born or adopted before or during the time their parent was declared Missing in Action or a Prisoner of War (after Jan. 1, 1960.) The parent must have been a New Jersey resident when he or she entered the military. The students must attend a public or private school in New Jersey and present a copy of the parent’s DD-1300 with an application.
Veterans Tuition Credit Program
This program dictates that veterans who attend an approved educational institution receive partial tuition reimbursement. The maximum yearly refund is $400 for a full-time student and $200 for a part-time. The veteran must have been on active duty between Dec. 31, 1960, and May 7, 1975, and either have been a resident of New Jersey when entering military service or for the two years immediately before application. Reimbursement is paid directly to the institution.
Veteran Employment Benefits in New Jersey
Civil Service Preference
An absolute Veterans Preference is awarded to New Jersey state job applicants. Veterans must receive a passing score on applications to be given top priority on open competitive employment lists. Disabled Veterans get the highest preference.
Veterans Status for Pensions
Veterans who are enrolled in some state-operated pension funds qualify for Veterans Retirement:
● New Jersey Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS)
● New Jersey Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF).
● Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS)
Veterans receive extra benefits when they retire. They can retire at age 55 if they have 25 years of service. Veterans receive a more generous calculation of their maximum annual allowance during retirement. To qualify, the retiree must have been on active duty during a war period that qualifies and been honorably discharged.
New Jersey Veteran Housing Benefits
Veterans Memorial Homes
New Jersey hosts three Veterans Homes
Paramus, New Jersey
Menlo Park, New Jersey
Vineland, New Jersey
All three homes are inspected and licensed by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs and the New Jersey Department of Health. Each offers:
● 24-hour medical and nursing care
● Rehabilitation services
● Supportive programs,
● Barber and beauty shops
● Recreational activities
All war veterans who served on active duty and were discharged honorably are eligible for the Veterans Memorial Homes. Veteran spouses and Gold Star parents also qualify. New Jersey residents get preferred entrance, and payments are based on income.
Transitional Housing for Homeless Veterans
Homeless New Jersey veterans can get shelter at the Veteran’s Haven, a transitional housing program with two locations, Glen Garner and Winslow. The transitional program is divided into three steps: treatment, self-reclamation, and community reintegration. Each phase takes between three and six months, depending on the individual veteran’s needs. For admittance, the veteran must:
● Be drug and alcohol-free
● Unemployed or underemployed, but employable,
● Have an income less than $1,800 per month
● Be able to complete the interview process.
New Jersey Veteran Financial Benefits
Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans
Combat veterans and those who served in specific peacekeeping missions are exempt from state real estate taxes on their principal New Jersey residences. The exemption also applies to surviving spouses, civil unions, or domestic partners of disabled combat veterans or military members killed in action. To qualify, the veteran must:
● Have served in wartime and been honorably discharged OR
● Have a service-connected total disability OR
● Be 100 % permanently disabled (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs certified) AND
● Be a full or partial owner of the home AND
● Be a resident of New Jersey
Property Tax Deduction for Veterans
Combat veterans and those who served in specific peacekeeping missions can be eligible for a $250 yearly tax deduction on real or personal property taxes. Surviving spouses, civil union partners, and domestic partners may also qualify if they have not remarried. They must also be a New Jersey resident and the owner-occupant of the home.
Income Tax Exemption for Veterans
Honorably discharged veterans qualify for a $3000 exemption on their New Jersey income taxes. Recently discharged veterans are eligible for the tax year in which they were released.
Retired Military Pay Income Tax Exemption
Military pensions and Survivor’s benefit payments and military pension payments are not taxable in New Jersey. The exemption applies regardless of the taxpayer's age or disability. Civil service pensions are taxable, even when they are partially based on military service.
New Jersey residents who are combat veterans with a permanent or total disability may be eligible for a payment of $62.50 per month from the state. The veteran must have one of the following to qualify:
● multiple sclerosis
● double amputee
To qualify, the veteran must have been a New Jersey resident when entering military service and applying for the benefit. Surviving spouses are also eligible.
Additional New Jersey Veteran Benefits
Placards for Purple Heart Recipients and Disabled Veterans
Disabled Veterans and Purple Heart recipients do not have to pay municipal parking meter fees for up to 24 hours when they display the designated placard. To qualify for the placard, the applicant must be the owner and either the driver or a passenger in the vehicle.
New Jersey Veterans get free transportation to pharmacies, private physicians, VA medical facilities, regional veterans service offices, job service offices, and other community services in most counties.
Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Honorably discharged veterans with service-connected disabilities, who residents of New Jersey, are entitled to receive free New Jersey hunting and fishing licenses, permits, and stamps. The veteran must get certified by the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
New Jersey National Guardsmen may also be entitled to free hunting and freshwater fishing licenses. The National Guardsman must have completed Initial Active Duty for Training and participated in unit training assemblies within the past 90 days. Applicants must also be up-to-date on court-mandated child support payments.
Active duty military members are entitled to purchase hunting and fishing licenses at the resident rate regardless of residency state.
New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery
New Jersey veterans who received discharges other than dishonorable or undesirable conditions and were either New Jersey residents before death, or for at least 50 percent of their lifetime, can be buried at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Arneytwon, free of charge.
Dependents including the veteran’s spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21 (or 23, if in college), and unmarried adult children who became incapable of self-support before reaching the age of 21 are also eligible for burial at the cemetery.
Families are responsible for costs associated with preparation and transportation of the remains to the cemetery, except if the death occurred while the veteran was on active duty.