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DSO Corner

Q: What benefits does my state offer?

A: When most veterans think of VA benefits, their attention likely gravitates toward compensation for service-connected conditions, pension benefits, VA home loans and education benefits. These and many other federal VA benefits are the most widely publicized and utilized benefits for veterans and their dependents. 

In many cases, the respective state of residence offers veterans assistance and rehabilitation programs and benefits. Many eligible veterans never realize that these programs exist and many do not have an idea of how to apply for the state-level benefits.

In the state of North Carolina where I live, the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs (NCDVA) offers programs to assist eligible veterans and dependents with housing, property tax relief, employment preference, and educational benefits. North Carolina also offers guardian appointment, hunting and fishing licenses, veteran automobile license plates, and a veteran’s driver license. North Carolina is not alone in providing special benefits and programs to veterans and dependents. The state of Massachusetts and others states may partially or completely waive the cost of college at state supported institutions for eligible veterans and dependents. Massachusetts also awards certain discharged military veterans with $500 to $1,000 based on honorable service.

Veterans can find their State Veteran’s Benefits information online here.

When applying for state benefits, it is important that the eligible veteran utilizes an accredited veterans service officer. Find a Legion service officer: www.legion.org/serviceofficers

An Internet search for state veterans service administration will yield a list of representatives or a point of contact. These state benefits programs were created and are funded to assist those who have served and those that have supported that service.