Indiana Veteran’s Benefits

Updated: December 21, 2023
In this Article

    Find Indiana state and local veteran benefits including education, employment, healthcare, tax breaks/exemptions, recreation and much more below. The State of Indiana’s 455,000 veterans make up nearly 10 percent of its adult population. The Hoosier state provides a wide array of benefits, particularly when it comes to income tax exemptions. Also it offers several benefits for veterans with service connected disabilities as nearly 35 percent of Indiana veterans served during the Vietnam-era. Find Indiana state and local veteran’s benefits including education, tax deductions, employment, and more below.

    Indiana Veteran Education Benefits

    High School Diploma Program for WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam Veterans

    Veterans who did not graduate high school because of service during World War I, World War II, Korean War, or Vietnam are eligible to receive a high school diploma by the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA). To be eligible, veterans must be a student in good standing, have attended public or nonpublic high school in Indiana prior to military service, and have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces.

    Free Tuition for Children of Disabled Veterans and Purple Heart Recipients

    The State of Indiana offers free tuition and fee exemption for the children of disabled veterans and Purple Heart recipients at state-supported colleges and universities. The veteran must have been on active duty during a period of wartime (WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, or Aug. 2, 1990 – present) or received a Purple Heart Medal with an honorable discharge.

    The Tuition and Fee Exemption for Children of Disabled Veterans provides up to 100% of tuition and regularly assessed fees for up to 124 semester credit-hours at Indiana public colleges and universities at the undergraduate resident tuition rate.

    Eligible state-supported schools:

    • Ball State
    • Indiana State University
    • Indiana University Bloomington
    • Indiana University East
    • Indiana University Kokomo
    • Indiana University South Bend
    • Indiana University Southeast
    • Purdue University West Lafayette
    • Purdue University North Central
    • Purdue University Calumet
    • Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
    • Indiana University Purdue University Columbus
    • Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne
    • Ivy Tech Community College (all Campuses)
    • University of Southern Indiana
    • Vincennes University
    • Western Governor’s University (WGU) Indiana

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    Indiana Veteran Employment Benefits

    Employment Assistance

    The Indiana Department of Workforce Development offers employment assistance for veterans to aid in the transition to civilian life. The Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program specializes in job placement and training for veterans with service-connected disabilities. Through the Local Veterans’ Employment Representative Program, veterans are offered services such as counseling, testing, and employment opportunities. Contact your local Workforce Development office to get connected with your nearest veterans’ representative.

    Peddlers, Vendors, or Hawkers License

    Any wartime veteran who was honorably discharged is entitled to these licenses by all cities and counties free of charge. Contact your county auditor for more information.

    Military CDL Skills Waiver Program

    The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) may waive the required skills test to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for select veterans or active duty military who were truck drivers during their military service if the applicant applies within one year of discharge and meets all requirements. V

    Indiana Veteran Owned Small Business Program

    The Indiana Department of Administration uses this program to increase contracting opportunities by setting a goal to procure three percent of state contracts with Hoosier veteran-owned businesses.

    Indiana Veteran Housing Benefits

    The Veterans Home

    The Indiana Veterans’ Home in West Lafayette is the only veterans home in the Hoosier state. It provides nursing care, short-term rehabilitation services, and domiciliary care for honorably discharged veterans and their spouses. There is no wartime service requirement, but eligible veterans must have resided in Indiana for at least one year prior to admission.

    Property Tax Deductions

    Indiana offers the following property tax deductions to disabled veterans:

    1) For a deduction of $24,960 from the assessed value of their property, the veteran must have served during wartime (WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, or Aug. 2, 1990 – present), received an honorable discharge and a service connected disability rating of at least 10 percent.

    2) For a deduction of $12,480 from the assessed value of their property, the veteran must have served in the military for at least 90 days, received an honorable discharge, and have either a total service connected disability, or be at least 62 years old AND have a service connected disability rating of at least 10 percent.

    Honor Our Vets Program

    Active duty, veterans and retired military personnel who are moving to Indiana can get up to $5,000 to help with a down payment, closing costs or relocation expenses. Participants must qualify for a VA-backed loan and work for an employer enrolled in the program.

    IHCDA First Place Program

    The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) First Place loan features down payment assistance of six percent based on the purchase price of the home (but may not exceed the appraised value) for first-time home buyers OR qualifying veterans.

    IHCDA Helping To Own (H2O) Program

    Helping To Own is a program offering Down Payment Assistance of 3.5% (based on purchase price and must not exceed the appraised value) for first-time home buyers or qualifying veterans. This assistance may be considered a grant as long as program guidelines are met.

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    Indiana Veteran Financial Benefits

    Military Service Income Tax Exemption

    Active duty and reserve military, military retirees, or surviving spouses are exempt from paying income taxes on any income related to their military service.

    Military Family Relief Fund

    The Military Family Relief Fund is available to all veterans that served on active duty during wartime for at least 12 months. The temporary emergency grant may be used for food, housing, utilities, transportation, and medical expenses. Eligible families may receive a one-time grant of up to $2,500.

    Additional Indiana Veteran Benefits

    Motor Vehicle License Plates

    The Hoosier state allows veteran designation on license plates for $15. It also offers privileged license plates for disabled veterans, ex- POWs, Purple Heart recipients, and Gold Star families. Proof of military service must accompany application.

    Resident Veteran Hunting and Fishing License

    Any Indiana veteran with a service connected disability is eligible to purchase a state hunting and fishing license at a discount. To receive this benefit, veterans must submit the Application for Reduced Fee Hunting and Fishing License for Disabled Veterans available from County Veteran Service Officers, the Department of Natural Resources, or the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Golden Hoosier Passport

    Veterans who are at least 65 years old and current Indiana residents may enjoy unlimited access at a discounted price to all Indiana state-owned parks, recreation areas, reservoirs, and forests. The pass is good for one calendar year, and is not valid for historical sites, museums, memorials, or other Department of Natural Resources facilities. Former POWs who apply for a POW-designated license plate will receive their Golden Hoosier Passport in the mail after their plates are issued.

    Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery

    Located in Madison, Ind., any Hoosier veteran eligible to be buried in a national cemetery is eligible for burial at the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery at no cost. Spouses are also eligible to be buried at the cemetery, but must pay opening and closing fees. Learn more here.

    Veteran and Family Support Services

    The family members of military are sometimes overlooked in the many resources provided to veterans. In an effort to help Hoosier veterans and military maintain strong family bonds, the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs offers services to military families in need of counseling (including parenting, family, pre-marital, marital, and personal), vocational training opportunities for veterans and their spouses, employment assistance, couple and family retreats, and tutoring.

    Indiana Links to Veterans Services

    Written by Team