New York State Veteran Benefits


We endeavor to keep this information current, but it is subject to change without notice.


Veterans Tuition Awards

Wartime resident veterans who received honorable discharges can get their full-time or part-time tuition at paid for at the state’s or vocational training programs or undergraduate or graduate schools.

New York State Regents Awards

This award gives up to $450 per child each year to help with their education when the child’s parent served in any branch of the U.S. military during certain periods of a national emergency.

Military Service Recognition Scholarship

This scholarship sets asides education funds for dependents of qualifying US service members. The dependent’s qualifying veteran must have been catastrophically injured, killed, or missing in a combat (or a combat zone of operation) after August 2, 1990.


Civil Service Credit Preference

Veterans applying for civil service jobs for the first time receive different amounts of preference credit, depending on the situations:

  • Disabled wartime veterans have 10 points credited to them
  • Wartime Veterans without disability receive 5 points for their wartime service
  • Other veterans receive a credit preference of 2.5 points
  • Job retention rights follow veterans as well as the spouses of veterans who are considered totally disabled

Military Service Credit for State & Local Retirement System Members

Some veterans may be able to credit their military service time towards retirement through the State or local retirement programs, according to different sections of state law. Veterans apply through the retirement system they’re in and that retirement system will research eligibility.

New York State Peddler’s License

Resident Veterans can apply to receive a lifetime Veterans Peddler’s License at no charge, provided they hold ‘other than dishonorable discharges. The only requirement other than having the right discharge type is that veterans must have served overseas at some point. 


New York offers many financial benefits for its resident veterans who served the state and nation honorably:

Income Tax

The Empire State does not tax military retirement pay, nor does it tax some active duty military personnel’ pay. If you were a legal resident of the state before you joined the military you might not be taxed on your active duty income, provided you:

  • Did have a permanent domicile outside the state for which you paid to maintain. (Simply living in the barracks or in shipboard quarters does not count)
  • Did not maintain a permanent home in the state
  • Do not stay in New York state more than 30 days in a year

Property Tax Exemptions

There are three types of exemptions for local and county property taxes, all tied to the Veterans’ military service. He or she may receive additional benefits with a service-connected disability.

  • The Cold War Veterans’ Exemption which is self-explanatory
  • The Alternative Veterans’ Exemption – for veterans who received an expeditionary medal or served during wartime
  • The Eligible Funds Exemption – applies to property purchased with military bonus, pension or insurance proceeds

Each city or county having jurisdiction will have more information, but in all cases, they must receive the application for exemption before taxes become due in order to grant the exemption. Some surviving spouses may qualify for this financial benefit, based on their spouses’ eligibility.

New York State Annuities

New York has at least two annuities for families of qualifying veterans:

  • The Blind Annuity Program benefits wartime veterans who are now legally blind, or their surviving spouses who remain unmarried.  The veterans’ blindness does not need to be a result of military service
  • The Gold Star Parent Annuity pays up to $500 to Gold Star parents. These are parents of a service member killed in action

E-Z Pass for Disabled Veterans

Disabled Veterans may be able to qualify for free, unrestricted travel via The New York State Thruway Authority. Eligible disabled veterans will be among those who qualify to exempt their vehicle registration from Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The New York State Thruway Authority should be able to provide complete details.

Burial Allowance

The families of military service men and women killed in combat or while serving in hostile locations on or after September 29, 2003 as residents of New York may receive a supplemental burial allowance of up to $6,000.

New York Paid Family Leave Act

This act covers other workers besides military in the usual way. Workers get 10 weeks paid time off to bond with a newborn, adopted or fostered child, or to manage serious health situations of their immediate family members. The key with the Paid Family Leave Act is that families can use it to address the sudden or serious affects that sometime occur with a family member’s military deployment.


Hunting Licenses & Permits

  • Veterans residing in the state of New York may be eligible for reduced cost fishing and hunting licenses if the veteran has been rated by the VA to have a least a 40 percent service-connected disability
  • Active military members not stationed in the state can receive free permits to hunt, fish or trap when they are home on leave for less than 30 days
  • Active duty military residents stationed within New York pay regular fees for licenses
  • Non-residents stationed in NY on behalf of the military for more than 30 days receive hunting and fishing licenses by paying resident rates

State Park Admission for Disabled Veterans

A Lifetime Liberty Pass grants eligible wartime veterans vehicle entry to historic sites, all state parks, day use areas including state boat launch sites, arboretums and park preserves at no charge. The pass even grants free golf at 28 golf courses within the state park system; free access to swimming pool at 36 State Park pools, and certain discounted cabin rentals or camping spots. The cabin rentals and camping is at 119 State Park and DEC campgrounds. Not only does this Lifetime Liberty Pass give free entrance to these parks and activities, the pass itself is free to those veterans who qualify. To qualify, the veteran must have wartime service and be rated with a service-connected disability of 40% or more. 


New York has five veterans’ homes around the state, serving veterans who require skilled nursing care. Homes are in Batavia, Long Island, Montrose, Oxford, and St. Albans. To be eligible to receive care from one of these nursing homes, veterans must have entered military service as a resident of New York or be a New York resident for a least a year before applying. 

Some spouses and some surviving spouses may be admitted as well. For a spouse to be admitted, he or she must prove marriage to the veteran for at least a year and also require skilled nursing care.

Other veteran eligibility criteria include serving at least 30 days on active duty and being honorably discharged. Admissions preference goes to an eligible and spouse when they both require skilled nursing care at the same time, then veterans who were on active duty during war time, then other veterans, spouses, non-remarried surviving spouses, and finally Gold Star parents. 

If the qualifying veteran has been rated by the VA for a service-connected disability of 70% or more, the VA covers the full cost of care. Fees apply for other nursing home residents.


New York has no state veterans’ cemeteries, but they do host seven national cemeteries… three of which remain open for burials.  Long Island National Cemetery and Woodlawn National Cemetery only provide cremations now, but veterans can be buried in Bath National Cemetery, Calverton National Cemetery or Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery.


You can find more information regarding these benefits and other programs at the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services website.