MARYLAND STATE VETERANS BENEFITS
We endeavor to keep this information current, but it is subject to change without notice.
MARYLAND VETERAN EDUCATION BENEFITS
Veterans of the Afghanistan & Iraq Conflicts Scholarship Program
As the name implies, this scholarship program is for Maryland’s military members and Veterans who served in Afghanistan or Iraq. Qualifying dependents and military spouses attending an approved institution of higher learning may also be eligible. If so, this scholarship pays to half of the applicant’s tuition and fees, and maybe room and board.
These qualifications are not exhaustive. Basically, a veteran needs to have served a minimum of 60 days in Iraq or Afghanistan. In addition, these are some of the requirements that must be met:
- Maintain Maryland residency
- Submit a FAFSA by March 1st each year
- Enroll in, or at least be admitted into, a regular undergraduate program or a 2-year terminal certificate program eligible for transfer credit to an accredited in-state baccalaureate program
- Enrolled as either a full-time or part-time
In-State College Tuition
Veterans, active duty and National Guard members living in Maryland qualify for in-state college tuition rates at Maryland’s public institutions regardless of length of residency time.
MARYLAND VETERAN EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
State Employment Veterans Preference
Various preference points can be added to any selection test score for veterans seeking state employment. Certain veterans, the spouses of eligible veterans with service-connected conditions or disabilities, or the surviving spouse of a deceased eligible service member qualify.
Former prisoners of war receive two points and five points go to anyone with a disability under the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act. This means a veteran’s disability does not need to be service-connected to be recognized.
Maryland actively promotes the hiring of veterans through their Hire Our Veterans Act of 2017. This legislation gives incentives to small businesses to utilize the experience and training veterans offer the workplace. In addition, they provide direct veteran support for those seeking civilian CDL licenses. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration waives the normal requirements of a CDL class A & B skills test for veterans if they received this training and experience in the military and if they apply for their CDL within 12 months separating from the military.
MARYLAND VETERAN FINANCIAL BENEFITS
Property Tax Exemption
Maryland helps veterans with 100% service-connected disabilities by exempting them from paying property tax on their primary residence. Should the spouse of a 100% disabled veteran survive his or her veteran, they still get the exemption. Others who qualify are the surviving spouse of a military member killed in the line of duty or a spouse who receives Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).
The Old Line State does not tax the first $15,000 of pay when the military member serves overseas. They also exclude the requirement to pay taxes on the first $5,000 of military pay. Once the retired military member reaches age 55, the ‘no tax’ level on retirement pay becomes $15,000.
Vessel Excise Tax
Did you know that active duty military service members don’t always have to pay the 5 percent vehicle excise tax? Active duty servicemen and women do not pay the 5% vessel/vehicle tax when they PCS into the state and bring their vehicles with them.
MARYLAND VETERAN RECREATION BENEFITS
Hunting & Fishing Licenses
Maryland veterans who are 100% service-connected and those who are certified as former POWs can receive a lifetime fishing or hunting license for certain fish and game. The free lifetime hunting license does not include the Migratory Game Bird stamp but it does include the bow stamp, muzzleloader stamp, and furbearer permit. The free fishing license for disabled veterans covers Chesapeake Bay sport fishing and the non-tidal angler’s license. This lifetime license does not cover trout fishing.
Active duty Maryland residents can fish or hunting or fishing license while on leave in the state. If you are active duty in Maryland but not a resident, you can buy your sport licenses at the same price as residents.
MD state parks do not charge veterans (resident and non-resident) or active duty personnel entrance fees to access state parks. However, this fee waiver applies only to the veteran, not others in the same vehicle. The only exception to this is when a per-vehicle charge exists to enter a park. Then, the per-vehicle charge is nullified.
MARYLAND VETERANS HOME
The Charlotte Hall veteran facility provides 168 beds for assisted living and 286 beds for skilled nursing. It is open to honorably discharged Maryland resident veterans who are at least 62 and who were discharged under conditions ‘other than dishonorable,’ and their spouses.
If a veteran is younger than 62, he or she may still be eligible to reside at Charlotte Hall if he or she has been deemed to be disabled by the VA or Social Security. Some Reservists who meet residency requirements may also be eligible. Maryland charges the veteran for care; however, they are Medicare/Medicare certified and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs provides a per diem subsidy.
MARYLAND STATE VETERANS CEMETERY
Veterans do not incur a charge for the space, for opening/closing the plot, or for the headstone and state liner when they choose to be buried in one of the veterans’ cemeteries in Maryland. However, some charges may apply for eligible dependents to be interred. Veteran cemeteries are throughout the state, in Owings Mills, Hurlock, Flintstone, Cheltenham and Crownsville.
You can find more information regarding these benefits and other programs at the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs website.