Updated: May 2
New York State, The Empire State, offers benefits to 900,000 benefits.
New York Veteran Education Benefits
Veterans Tuition Awards
Tuition awards are available for full and part-time undergraduate, graduate, or vocational studies to eligible veterans. Eligibility for the awards depends on the dates and location of service. The following are eligible:
● Vietnam Vets who served anywhere in Indochina February 28, 1961- May 7, 1975
● Persian Gulf Vets who served in the Persian Gulf on August 2, 1990, or after
● Afghanistan Vets who served in Afghanistan on or after September 11, 2001
● All Veterans who served in hostilities after February 28, 1961, and received an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Marine Corps Expeditionary medal, or a Navy Expeditionary Medal.
Military Service Recognition Scholarships
These scholarships give financial aid to dependents and spouses of veterans who died or became severely, permanently disabled while serving during hostilities or training for conflict on or after August 2, 1990. Eligibility also requires New York State residency.
Regents Awards for the Children of Deceased Service Members and Disabled Veterans
Awards of up to $450 a year are made to dependents of veterans who served in wartime or national emergency and died because of service or have at least a 40 percent VA disability rating. The veteran must currently be New York State resident or have been a resident at the time of death.
Veterans of hostilities from World War II through the Vietnam War can earn high school diplomas in New York State. Diplomas may be awarded posthumously.
The Experience Counts Program can waive Commercial Drivers’ License testing and award credits towards specific healthcare training and certification programs for vets with qualifying experience or training. The program encompasses (but is not limited) to the following certifications or career paths:
● Advanced Emergency Medical
● Certified First Responder
● Emergency Medical
● Home Health Aide
● Home Nurse Aide
● Personal Care
● Licensed Radiological Technologist
● Bus Driver
● Armed Security Guard
● Security Guard
● Tractor Trailer Operator
● Truck Driver
● Crane Operator
New York Veteran Employment Benefits
New York Civil Service Hiring Preference Points
New York Veterans who apply to civil service positions can be eligible for extra hiring points. Disabled veterans and disabled vets who served during wartime qualify for additional extra points.
Veterans with Disabilities Employment Program (55-c)
Purple Heart recipients with VA disability ratings of 20% or greater can be exempt from taking some employment exams when they meet the minimum qualifications for the position. The program does not guarantee state employment.
State Department of Labor Veterans Priority Service
Priority service is offered to veterans for any training or job programs administered by the New York State.
Military Service Claim for Unemployment Benefits
Recently discharged veterans who completed their first term of duty may qualify for state unemployment compensation. The veteran can be eligible without completing the term of duty if he or she was discharged early for:
● Government convenience/early release
● Medical disqualification, service-related injuries or disabilities, pregnancy, parenthood
● Personality disorder or inaptitude with a year of continuous service
Members of the Guard/Reserve may also qualify for unemployment payments if they served for a minimum of 180 successive days on active duty and received an honorable discharge.
New York State Peddler’s License
A program offers free lifetime Veterans Peddlers’ Licenses to those who served overseas and has received a discharge other than dishonorable. The license allows the holder to vend, peddle, and sell merchandise, goods, or wares or solicit trade on the highways within a specified jurisdiction. The state permit does not override local ordinances.
Veterans Temporary Hiring Program
Veterans who have been honorably discharged will be used for temporary appointments in state agencies before utilizing temporary employment companies.
New York Veteran Housing Benefits New York State Veterans Nursing Homes
The New York Department of Health and State University of New York jointly operate skilled nursing facilities across the state:
New York State Veterans’ Homes in:
● St. Albans, New York
● Batavia, New York
● Oxford, New York
● Montrose, New York
Long Island State Veterans’ Home
● The State University of New York at Stony Brook
These facilities are for veterans who require skilled nursing care and entered active duty from New York. Veterans are also if they live in New York State for one year before applying for admission. All applicants must have been honorably discharged. Vets with VA-rated service-connected disabilities at 70% or more can have their nursing home care in the facilities paid for by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Homes for Veterans Program
Through the New York Department of Veterans' Affairs and SONYMA, state veterans and active-duty military personnel can receive assistance with things like:
● down payments
● lower interest rates on a mortgage
● no points or origination fees
● minimum borrower cash contribution
Property Tax Exemptions for Veterans
There are three property tax breaks for New York veterans. Veterans who qualify may apply for any of the three:
1-Alternative Veterans’ Exemption
A property tax break for owners of residential property who served during a specific time of war or received an expeditionary medal. The exemption is not available in every part of the state. Some municipalities do not offer this exemption.
2-Cold War Veterans’ Exemption
This state property tax break applies to the residences of veterans who served during the Cold War. Some municipalities within the state may not offer the tax break.
3-Eligible Funds Exemption
Taxpayers must have purchased the property with a pension, bonus, or insurance. This is a partial exemption.
Veterans with qualifying service-connected disabilities may be eligible for additional consideration and tax breaks under any of the three programs. Veterans must apply for these exemptions.
Real Property Tax Deadline Extension
Localities are permitted to extend payment deadlines for taxes owed on real property when a person is ordered to active military duty (not including training), for any period that begins with the declaration of war by Congress or during any times of combat designated by presidential executive order or during hazardous duty.
New York State Veteran Financial Benefits
Income Tax Exemption for Military Pay
New York Tax exemption rules depend on whether the income is earned in a combat zone or not.
Military pay for active service in an area designated as a combat zone is exempt from New York City and State, and Yonkers income taxes.
For non-combat zone pay, New York State residents pay state income taxes as they usually would. If a service member lived in New York when entering military service began, residency is assumed, but exceptions apply for those who qualify for "nonresident status."
New York State Income Tax Exemptions for Military Retirement Pay
Military pensions, including pension payments to surviving spouses or other beneficiaries, are exempt from state income taxes.
New York State Income Tax Exemptions for Military Spouses
Military spouses who meet the qualification listed in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) may be entitled to a New York state income tax exemption. The benefit can be claimed by filing the Certificate of Exemption from Withholding Form IT-2104-E, the spouse’s employer.
Retirement Credits for Military Service
The New York State and Local Retirement System offers some veterans additional credit toward retirement. Credits are awarded on a case-by-case basis, depending on which credit benefits the veteran most. Some types of credit may increase the applicant’s pension.
Gold Star Parent Annuity Program
This New York State program pays qualified Gold Star Parents an annuity of up to $500. Recipients must be verified every year to continue receiving the payment.
Qualifying veterans may be eligible for an annuity payment from the state. The payment is available to New York residents who are legally blind. The recipient must have either been on active duty during specified wartime periods or received a conflict expeditionary medal.
Veterans must have served for a minimum of 90 days, not including training time. An exception is made on the 90 days requirement when the member was discharged for a service-related medical issue.
Supplemental Burial Allowance
A burial allowance of up to $6,000 is available to surviving family members of veterans who were residents of New York at the time of death or served in the New York Army or Air National Guards before entering active duty status and died during that time. The veteran must have:
● Died in a combat zone
● Died while receiving hazardous duty pay (Title 37, Section 310 (a)(4) of the United States Code
● Died from wounds sustained while serving in a combat zone or receiving hazardous duty pay
Additional New York Veteran Benefits
New York State Motor Vehicle Registration Fee Exemption
Veterans with qualifying disabilities and Congressional Medal of Honor recipients can apply for exemptions on DMV registration and license and plate fees. Veterans who qualify for Former Prisoner of War custom plates are also eligible.
New York State Recreation Benefits for Veterans
There are recreational perks and discounts from New York State that include free or discounted hunting and fishing licenses.
The Lifetime Liberty Pass
This pass, available to New York resident veterans with a 40% service-connected disability, provides a long list of recreational perks. With the pass, veterans get free use of state parks and preserves, boat launch sites, and free golf at 28 State Park courses.
E-Z Pass for Disabled Veterans
Special E-Z passes provide unlimited free travel free anywhere on the New York State Thruway. These passes to qualifying disabled Veterans who have fee-exempt vehicle registration from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).