Updated: May 2
North Dakota State Veteran Education Benefits
Certification Exam and State Licensing Reimbursement
Veterans may receive reimbursement for the cost of some certification exams or state licensing. To be eligible, applicants must qualify for Best VA home loan benefits under one of the following programs:
● Post-Vietnam Era Veterans Educational Assistance Program
● Reserve Educational Assistance Program
● Montgomery GI Bill for Active Duty Education Assistance
● Montgomery GI Bill for Selected Reserve Program
The VA will pay up to $2000 in reimbursement to eligible applicants for qualifying tests and exams.
Free Tuition to Qualified Dependents of Deceased North Dakota Veterans
Qualified dependents of deceased veterans may qualify for free tuition for North Dakota state-supported colleges, technical schools, or vocational-technical schools. The veteran must have been a North Dakota resident. To qualify for residency, the deceased veteran must meet one of the following criteria:
● Was born and lived in North Dakota before enlistment or commission.
● Was born in North Dakota, temporarily lived in a different state, but did not give up North Dakota residency before enlistment or commission.
● Was a resident of this state for ten years before the request for a tuition waiver.
Deceased veteran born in another state before a move to North Dakota for at least six months before enlistment or commission can qualify for state residency if he or she completed one of the following activities in the six months:
● Voted in North Dakota
● Was a minor living with a parent or guardian resident of North Dakota
● Never registered to vote in another state
For dependents to qualify for the benefit, the deceased veteran must meet one of the following criteria:
● Killed in action
● Died from wounds because of military service
● Died because of military service
● Totally disabled because of military service
● Died from disabilities that occurred because of military service
● Was a POW or declared MIA
After a dependent is accepted to a state-supported college, technical school, or vocational tech, the dependent attends tuition-free for 45 months, ten semesters, or the equivalent to complete a bachelor's degree or certificate program.
State Employment Preference For Veterans
North Dakota gives veterans preference when recruiting and hiring for state government agencies. To qualify for preference, applicants must meet the following criteria:
● Be a US citizen when applying
● Have either served on active duty for at least180 days or served for the full period of active duty (not including training periods)
● Discharged under any but dishonorable conditions
To qualify as a wartime veteran, applicants must meet the following criteria:
● Military service during armed conflict
● Awarded a campaign service medal or an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for serving during emergency conditions
● Discharged under any but dishonorable conditions
● Those who died in the line of duty also qualify for the surviving spouse
Qualifying periods of wartime service include:
● WWII between December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946
● Korean War between June 27, 1950, and January 31, 1955
● Vietnam War between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975
● Gulf War between August 2, 1990, and January 2, 1992
● Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom September 11, 2001, or after, (the end date will be prescribed by presidential proclamation or by Congress)
Veterans with disabilities qualifying for preference will not be disqualified from holding a position with an agency unless they cannot perform the job's duties with or without reasonable accommodation.
Surviving spouses who have not remarried may receive preference if the deceased veteran must meet one of the criteria below:
● Died while on active duty because of military service
● Died due to military service
Spouses of disabled veterans may also receive a preference for state government employment.
To qualify for this benefit, the disabled veteran must meet one of these criteria:
● VA determination of 100% disability due to military service
● VA determination of an extra-schedular rating that brings a disability rating to 100% (to include individual unemployability
● The disabled veteran cannot exercise the right to preference because of disability but is qualified for employment preference.
North Dakota State Veteran Housing Benefits
Veterans Assisted Care Homes and Nursing Homes
North Dakota has a Veterans Home in Lisbon, North Dakota. The facility offers 38 skilled nursing care beds and 111 basic care beds.
To be eligible for admission that applicants must meet one of the following criteria:
● Served in a North Dakota regiment
● Entered into service as a resident of North Dakota
● Presently a resident of North Dakota for at least 30 days
● Surviving spouse of a veteran who meets a criteria
North Dakota State Veteran Financial Benefits
Military Retirees Income Tax Exemption
Since 2019, North Dakota resident taxpayers do not pay income tax on their military retirement.
Renter Property Tax Refund for Disabled Veterans
Permanently and totally disabled veterans may qualify for the Renter’s Property Tax Refund of up to $400.00. To be eligible for a refund, applicants must meet one of the following:
● A person of any age, who is permanently and totally disabled OR
● Any person 65 or older
● Annual income may not exceed $42,000(including all income sources, including dependent income).
Applicants must provide either proof of disability with a physician’s certificate or written determination from the Social Security Administration. Renters must apply with the Office of State Tax Commissioner before June 1 of the year the refund is to be claimed.
Property Tax Exemption for Totally Disabled Veterans
Veterans may qualify for exemption from the property on their homes under specific circumstances. To be eligible for the exemption, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:
● A paraplegic disabled veteran
● A veteran who has been awarded handicap specially adapted housing by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
● A surviving spouse who has not remarried (only for the first $120,000 of value)
Veterans may qualify for a property tax credit applied toward the $6,750 initial taxable valuation, or $150,000. To qualify, applicants must meet one of these criteria:
● Be a veteran with a VA disability rating of 50% or more because of military service
● A veteran with an extra-schedular rating brings a rating to 100% disability. (includes individual unemployability
● A surviving spouse who has not remarried
Applicants must also have either retired from military service or been discharged under honorable conditions. Surviving spouses who receive Veterans’ Affairs Dependency and Indemnity Compensation are also 100% exempt.
For this property tax credit, veterans need the following information:
● A copy of the DD Form 214 that shows a veteran’s honorable discharge
● Certificate from the Department of Veterans Affairs that proves the percentage of a service-related disability
● Proof of a change in the percentage of rated service-related
Assistance and Relief Programs
A relief organization, The North Dakota National Guard Foundation, is a volunteer-run non-profit organization. The foundation has no paid employees and never hires professional fundraisers. There are two foundation programs for National Guard servicemembers:
● North Dakota National Guard, Emergency Relief Fund, provides financial assistance to North Dakota’s more than 4,300 National Guard members and their families during times of crisis, such as natural disasters, fires, illness, theft, or accident.
● TAPS, North Dakota Tragedy Assistance Program, provides support and services to deceased National Guard members' surviving families. Funds can cover transportation for families to Washington, DC, every year to the annual national TAPS event.
Honorably discharged veterans and their dependents could be entitled to adjusted compensation for military service. Neither the federal nor the state tax this income. To be eligible for the payment, an applicant must meet one of the following criteria:
● National Guard or Reserve veterans mobilized stateside may receive $50.00 per each month of domestic service.
● National Guard, Reserve members who receive expeditionary medals or campaign badges may receive $100.00 for each month of duty.
● Instead of the usual monthly adjusted compensation for mobilization, veterans who receive a Purple Heart for service on foreign soil may be entitled to a payment of $2,500.00.
● Beneficiaries of deceased members may receive payments due to the veteran.
● In the place of other compensation, beneficiaries of veterans who died due to military service may receive a $5000 payment.
Applications should be sent to the North Dakota adjutant general. Applications must include certified copies of honorable discharge or other evidence of faithful and honorable service.
Family Assistance Centers
Family Assistance Centers (FACs) operate in regions throughout the state. FACs provide information on military, state, and local resources for military service members and their families. Services include:
● Legal information and referrals
● Crisis information and referrals
● ID cards and DEERS enrollment
● Emergency financial aid and referrals
● Information and referrals for community resources
● TRICARE medical and dental assistance
● Financial information and referrals
FACs are in:
● Bismarck, ND
● Fargo, ND
● Minot, ND
● Devils Lake, ND
● Grand Forks, ND
Additional North Dakota State Veteran Benefits
Veteran License Plates and Parking Benefits
North Dakota offers veterans various special designation license plates. These plates also afford additional privileges to veterans who display them on their vehicles.
Disabled American Veteran Plates
Veterans can apply for license plates with a Disabled American Veteran designation if they:
● Complete the application for a certificate of title
● Present a signed certification letter from the US Department of Veteran Affairs office showing that an applicant is either 100% disabled because of military service or declared eligible under Public Law 663 of the 79th Congress
Upon approval, annual license fees are waived. The un-remarried surviving spouse who receives the Department of Veterans' Affairs Dependency and Indemnity Compensation may qualify to keep one DAV plate. Plates may be displayed on a maximum of two tax-exempt excise vehicles. Vehicles with a weight of 26,000 lbs may not exhibit these plates.
Veterans are eligible for license plates with a Disabled American Veteran Mobility Impaired designation if applicants qualify under Mobility Impaired and DAV requirements. Vehicles with DAV licensed may park in handicap designated spots anywhere in the state.
Prisoner of War
Former Prisoners of War can apply for POW license plates. These tags may be displayed on a maximum of two tax-exempt excise vehicles at one time. Vehicles with a weight of 20,000 pounds or more may not exhibit these plates.
To be eligible, applicants must apply for a certificate of title and present certification of Prisoner of War status from Veterans Affairs.
Upon the POW's death, the surviving spouse may have plates transferred for use on one vehicle. The spouse must not have remarried, and upon the death of that spouse, the number plate is retired.
Purple Heart recipients may be issued a Purple Heart designated license plate. To qualify, applicants must apply ND Veterans Plate Number and a signed verification letter from the State or County Veterans’ Service Officer.
These plates are issued for no cost and have no annual fees. Vehicles displaying these plates are also exempted from registration fees.
All veterans of the National Guard with 20 years of service and current National Guard service members may be eligible for special license plates with a National Guard designation. The plates are issued through the Adjutant General's office and cost a one-time fee of $5.00. To be eligible for these plates, applicants must submit an Application for Certificate of Title, a National Guard license plate number form, and the one-time $5.00 fee.
Veterans may be eligible for North Dakota Veteran license plates. To be eligible, applicants must apply for a ND Veterans Number Plate and pay $15. $5.00 of the $15 goes to the Veterans Cemetery maintenance fund.
Veterans’ Recreational Benefits
Veterans who are North Dakota residents and 100% disabled due to military service may be eligible for a reduced gaming license. The permit that combines general game, small game, habitat stamp, and furbearer licenses, costs $3.00, plus a $1.00 fee for the resident certificate.
Veterans who are North Dakota residents and 50% disabled due to military service may be eligible for a $5 (plus $1)fishing license.
Veterans are eligible to receive free annual permits to North Dakota state parks if they meet the following criteria:
● North Dakota Residency AND
● Disability of 50% or greater because of military service OR
● Former POW
Veterans with a disability rating under 50% may receive an annual permit for $20.00. Applicants must meet the following criteria:
● North Dakota residency
● Present a Report of Benefits letter from the VA OR
● Have a North Dakota DAV/POW vehicle tag
Travel for VA Appointments
Free round trip transportation for veterans and caregivers where needed are available through the County Veteran Service Offices in North Dakota. A fleet of DAV/VA vans and volunteer drivers provide for round-trip transport to VA medical facilities in Fargo and Ft. Meade, SD. The vans follow established routes making specifically scheduled stops. Vans are unfortunately not wheelchair-accessible.
Service Dogs for America has partnered with the 63rd North Dakota Legislative Assembly and some private donors to provide service dogs to veterans who have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Funds come through a grant for this program. To qualify for a PTSD service dog grant, applicants must meet the following criteria:
● North Dakota residency
● A medical diagnosis of PTSD
● Doctor’s recommendation for a service dog
Participating in therapy or counseling
Nutrition and Food Assistance
North Dakota offers food and nutrition aid to veterans. The benefits are delivered through public and private organizations:
● Veterans can apply for SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program at a county social services office. Eligibility can be based on income, household size, housing costs, medical costs, and disability.
● The Great Plains Food Bank that distributes food throughout North Dakota makes serving the veteran population a top priority.
● North Dakota food pantries are sponsored by government agencies and other organizations like community groups, churches, faith-based organizations, non-profit agencies, service organizations, and senior citizen centers. Food pantries distribute both food and other essentials to people in need, including veterans.
Military Outreach Specialists
Military Outreach Specialists provide information about resources, benefits, and services for veterans, current service members, and their families throughout North Dakota. The program's goal is to connect current and former military service members and resources they need and are entitled to. Resources include federal and state veteran benefits, military records, mental health and PTSD resources, employment financial services, retirement information, and housing and shelter services.
The North Dakota Cares (ND Cares) Coalition, a network of military and civilian professionals, connect veterans, service members and families, and surviving spouses and dependents with available behavioral health services.
Burial Benefits for Veterans
The North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Fort Lincoln State Park, North Dakota
To be eligible for interment, applicants must have been one of the following :
● Retired from any military service
● Service member currently on active duty
● An eligible veteran of any war
● A veteran who has served at least one term of enlistment and receive a discharge other than dishonorably
● Reservist or former reservist
The North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs presents family members of deceased North Dakota veterans with commemorative memorial coins. They are given to family members following the presentation of the flag. There is no cost for the coin, and the family can purchase additional coins for $10.00 per coin.
Indigent veterans who die are buried at county expense. Wherever the vet dies, that county social service board will provide an urn or casket and pay funeral expenses.