MINNESOTA STATE VETERAN BENEFITS
We endeavor to keep this information current, but it is subject to change without notice.
MINNESOTA VETERAN EDUCATION BENEFITS
Minnesota GI Bill
Minnesota veterans who served honorably in the armed forces at any time qualify. Others who may qualify include:
- Minnesota National Guard or other Reservists who served honorably for at least five aggregate years and who had active service after September 11, 2001
- Those who are eligible under the Federal GI Bill such as eligible spouses or surviving spouses, and children of 100% permanently and totally disabled veterans
Veterans and others using the Minnesota GI Bill must be enrolled at a Minnesota state-funded school. Full-time undergraduate and graduate students may get up to $1,000 per semester. Part-time enrollees get up to $500 per semester. Minnesota sets limits up to $3,000 per school year and $10,000 over one’s lifetime. There are on-the-job and apprenticeship training options as well, and approved employers receive financial incentives to hire and train employees. Only Minnesota residents under 62 who are attending a state-funded school qualify for these programs.
Surviving Spouse & Dependent Education Benefit
The Surviving Spouse and Dependent Education benefit assists certain veteran dependents in getting a bachelor’s degree from a state-funded or private college in the state when the qualifying active duty member or veteran dies under certain circumstances. Death must occur on active duty in the line of duty, or later as a result of a service-connected disability or condition. Stipulations apply, such as the veteran
- Must have been a resident and entered the service from Minnesota OR
- Was a resident for six or more months before dying from the result of the service-connected condition
Surviving spouses cannot remarry and still be eligible but there is no age stipulation or limit for eligible survivors. In addition to receiving free tuition, eligible dependents can get up to $750 a year to cover books, supplies and fees, and/or room and board.
MINNESOTA VETERAN EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
MN Veterans Preference Act
Minnesota protects and provides a hiring preference to veterans through their Veterans Preference Act (VPA). This legislature gives veterans some hiring preference and promotion preference over non-veterans in public employment. It guards the veteran against unfair dismissals and demotions as well, giving veterans a hearing, prior to dismissal, if they choose.
MINNESOTA VETERAN FINANCIAL BENEFITS
The North Star State does not tax active duty and military retirement pay.
Property Tax Exemption
Minnesota resident veterans who have a 70% or more rating for a VA service-connected disability may receive a property tax exemption or a reduced assessed value of their home for tax reasons. The State bases the value of the exemption on the amount of VA rated disability the veteran has. They may extend the tax reduction to some surviving spouses as well.
Short Term Financial Assistance
Minnesota operates a subsistence program for needy veterans to help them through short-term situations with utilities, housing, insurance, medical and other bills. This is income and asset-based financial assistance for up to six months only. Resident veterans who are temporarily unable to work due to disability, those who are 100% disabled with a service-connected condition, or who are eligible and waiting to receive federal subsidy or benefits may apply. Surviving spouses could qualify for financial assistance too if their application comes within 1 year of the qualifying veteran’s death.
MINNESOTA VETERAN RECREATION BENEFITS
Depending on the veteran’s resident status and disability rating, Minnesota offers numerous recreational perks and benefits that can be reviewed at the Department of Natural Resources’ website.
Hunting & Fishing Licenses
Minnesota offers non-resident active duty personnel stationed in Minnesota licenses for hunting and fishing at the resident rate. Resident military personnel who are home on leave and carrying their leave orders on them can hunt or fish free of charge with some exceptions. Certain fish, waterfowl and other game may require special licenses that may have additional fees associated with them.
Residents who are 100% disabled veterans with service-connected disabilities are eligible for a lifetime fishing license and a renewable, annual hunting license free of charge.
Minnesota opens all their state parks with no daily admissions charge for active duty military and disabled veterans without any residency requirements. Veterans who have been rated with 100% permanent and total disability can obtain an annual park pass for free, but it does not include camping.
Firearms Safety Training
Military and former military who completed military basic training successfully may apply for exemption from the hands-on shooting component of the Hunter Firearms Safety course. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources governs this program and has more information
MINNESOTA VETERANS HOMES
Minnesota runs several Veterans Homes to serve those who demonstrate a medical or clinical reason for admission and who otherwise qualify. Homes can be found in Fergus Falls, Hastings, Luverne, Silver Bay and Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Veterans Home also offers Adult Day Care with therapeutic services.
Some eligibility requirements for admissions include:
- Honorable Discharge from military service AND
- Completed 181 consecutive days or more of active duty engagement AND
- Enter military from Minnesota OR
- Current Minnesota resident
Spouses (aged 55 years or older) of qualifying veterans must meet residency requirements but they may also be eligible for admission. Minnesota sets their fees for care on a sliding scale, based on income and assets.
Minnesota controls three state veterans’ cemeteries in Little Falls, in Preston and in Duluth. All veterans with ‘other-than-dishonorable’ discharges may be buried without charge. Eligible spouses and unmarried dependent children may also be interred (before or after the qualifying veteran) for a fee. In addition to these veterans, Minnesota allows members of the Guard or Reserves, and the Reserve Officer Training Corps who die on active duty or who have 20 creditable years toward retirement pay to be buried as well.
You can find more information regarding these benefits and other programs at the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs website.