NEW JERSEY STATE VETERAN BENEFITS
We endeavor to keep this information current, but it is subject to change without notice.
NEW JERSEY EDUCATION BENEFITS
War Orphans Tuition Assistance
New Jersey has elected to help certain military dependent children with their college tuition by giving them $500 per year during a four-year college education or equivalent. To qualify:
- Veteran parent must be/have been a New Jersey resident
- Child must have a military parent who died in service or from a service-connected disability, OR
- Be a child of a military member officially listed as Missing In Action
- Child must be between 16 and 21 years of age when he or she applies AND
- Must be New Jersey resident for a least a year before applying
NEW JERSEY EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
New Jersey gives qualified veterans with a passing score preference when they apply for state jobs. These Veterans go to the top of the list for open, competitive jobs. The highest preference goes to disabled Veterans who have at least a 10 percent disability rating. The spouse of a disabled veteran can receive the same preference as the qualifying spouse, but there’s only one preference. If the spouse uses it, the veteran can’t. And like in most states, the surviving spouse of a disabled veteran, or of any serviceman or woman killed on duty, receives this benefit until he or she remarries.
Veterans Status for Pensions
Assuming the Veterans preference helped the veteran be hired by the State of New Jersey, he or she may even receive special retirement benefits. That is, if they work for an organization covered by covered by:
- New Jersey Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS)
- Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS)
- New Jersey Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF)
A veteran in one of the retirement plans above doesn’t have the same perks as the regular person enrolled in these plans. A veteran take retirement at age 55 after 25 years of service, with a higher maximum annual allowance.
Veterans who meet certain criteria and provide documentation can skip the skills portion of the state Commercial Drivers’ License exam, which means they don’t have to borrow a commercial vehicle to take the test. However, they do need to supply (among other things)
- A certified Military CDL Skills Test Waiver form
- Valid proof of military experience within the past 12 months where they operated military vehicles that are equivalent to commercial vehicles
- A medical examiners’ certificate
- A valid New Jersey driver’s license
NEW JERSEY FINANCIAL BENEFITS
The Garden State does not tax military retirement pay, and may not tax active duty pay if:
- The veteran’s home of record was New Jersey before entering the service
- The veteran keeps a permanent home in the state during the year
- He or she spent less than 30 days during the tax year physically in New Jersey
- And paid for/maintained a domicile outside the state during the tax year
Note – living in barracks does not count unless the veteran incurs out-of-pocket expenses to pay rent or forgoes housing allowance
Income Tax Deduction
The state gives veterans who are discharged from military service a one-time $3,000 tax deduction in the year they separate from active duty. This is only for those with honorable discharges.
Property Tax Deduction
Honorably discharged resident veterans can receive a yearly property tax deduction of $250 if they served in a combat zone for 14 days or more. New Jersey exempts all property taxes for war veterans who are rated as permanently and totally disabled. This benefit may extend to their surviving spouses as well.
If a New Jersey wartime veteran has been declared to be permanently and totally disabled, he or she may be eligible to receive $62.50 a month from the state. Not every wartime disabled vet qualifies. One must have a catastrophic disability such as paralysis, amputations, loss of sight. If a veteran does qualify, then his or her surviving spouse can continue to receive this benefit until remarriage.
NEW JERSEY VETERAN RECREATION BENEFITS
New Jersey does not offer saltwater fishing licenses but does require individuals wanting to participate in saltwater angling to register with the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.
Fishing and Hunting Licenses
Provided they can prove residency for at least six months and meet some other criteria, disabled veterans are entitled to hunting & freshwater fishing licenses at no charge. Pheasant, quail and trout stamps included. The Veteran’s service-connected disability can be at any rating level and the veteran must show proof of honorable discharge, disability, residency and either a previous hunting license or evidence of successful hunter education using the desired arms (archery/rifle/etc.) New Jersey is also one of the few states that requires all applicants to submit proof of being current on any child support along with their application.
Active duty military members, regardless of station, can receive hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses by paying the resident rate and showing the other required proof documents, such as firearms training and current child support. That said, New Jersey National Guard can supply their documentation and receive their licenses, stamps and permits for free.
NEW JERSEY VETERANS HOME BENEFITS
NJ Veterans Memorial Homes
New Jersey has capacity for more than 900 veteran residents in their Vineland, Paramus, and Menlo Park Veteran Homes. These facilities are open to honorably discharged wartime veterans, spouses, and Gold Star parents but preference is given to Veterans who have been residents of New Jersey for at least two years prior to application. Fees are based on the applicant’s ability to pay and there are asset limitations.
Veterans Havens North and South (in Glen Garner and Winslow) provide transitional housing for homeless veterans. We agree with New Jersey that the words ‘homeless’ and ‘Veteran’ should never appear in the same sentence and we are happy to see New Jersey doing something about it. Their transitional housing program has three phases: treatment; self-reclamation; and community reintegration, with each phase lasting up to six months. They tailor their housing program to individual needs, vocational interests and aptitudes.
Veterans can receive a referral to the program by a VA Medical Center, after getting a medical evaluation. Veterans must agree to be alcohol and drug free while in the program and be willing to commit to a long-term program that emphasizes social, psychological and vocational rehabilitation.
NEW JERSEY STATE VETERAN CEMETERY
The state’s only veteran cemetery, the BG William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, follows the federal rules and eligible guidelines set forth by the VA. Interment and perpetual care is free of charge for NJ resident veterans, their spouses and dependent children. Some restrictions apply.
You can find more information regarding these benefits and other programs at the New Jersey Department of Military and Veteran Affairs website.