New Jersey Veteran’s Benefits

Updated: December 24, 2022
In this Article

    Find New Jersey state and local veteran’s benefits including education, tax deductions, veterans homes, and more below. The nearly 400,000 veterans residing in the Garden State have access to a wide array of veteran’s benefits.

    New Jersey Veteran Education Benefits

    War Orphans Tuition Assistance

    The children of veterans who died while in the military or due to service-connected disabilities, or who are officially listed as missing in action, may claim $500 annually for four years of college or equivalent training. To be eligible, the student must be a New Jersey resident for at least one year and be between the ages of 16 and 21. The veteran must have been a New Jersey resident.

    POW/MIA Tuition Benefit Program

    The state of New Jersey offers free undergraduate college tuition to any child born or adopted before or during the period of time his or her parent was declared a prisoner of war (POW) or Missing in Action (MIA) after Jan. 1, 1960. The POW/MIA must have been a New Jersey resident at the time he or she entered military service. Eligible students must attend either a public or private school in New Jersey and submit a copy of the DD-1300 with the application.

    Veterans Tuition Credit Program

    Under this program, veterans attending an approved educational institution may receive partial reimbursement to offset the cost of tuition. Maximum yearly allowances are $400 for full-time students and $200 for part-time students. To be eligible, the veteran must have been on active duty between Dec. 31, 1960, and May 7, 1975, and been a New Jersey resident at the time of entering military service or two years immediately prior to application. Reimbursement is paid directly to the institution.

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    New Jersey Veteran Employment Benefits

    Civil Service Preference

    Veterans receive an absolute Veterans Preference when applying for New Jersey state jobs. Veterans who receive a passing score on applications are given top priority on open competitive employment lists ahead of non-veterans, regardless of their scores. Disabled Veterans are given the highest preference.

    Veterans Status for Pensions

    Individuals with Veterans Status who are enrolled in the following state-operated pension funds qualify for Veterans Retirement: New Jersey Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS), and New Jersey Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF). Veterans Retirement has special benefits such as the ability to retire at age 55 (with 25 years of service) and a more generous calculation of Maximum Annual Allowance during retirement. To qualify, the veteran must have served on active duty during a qualifying war era and been honorably discharged.

    New Jersey Veteran Housing Benefits

    Veterans Memorial Homes

    New Jersey hosts three Veterans Homes in Paramus, Menlo Park, and Vineland. All three homes are inspected and licensed annually by the New Jersey Department of Health and the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. Each offers 24-hour medical and nursing care, rehabilitative services, supportive programs, beauty and barber shops, and recreational activities. Veterans of all wars who served on active duty and were honorably discharged are eligible for the Veterans Memorial Homes as well as spouses and Gold Star parents. Preference is given to New Jersey residents, and payment is based on income.

    Transitional Housing for Homeless Veterans

    Homeless veterans in New Jersey may find respite at the Veteran’s Haven, a transitional housing program located in Glen Garner or Winslow. The program is divided into three phases: treatment, self-reclamation, and community reintegration. Each phase lasts from three to six months and is tailored to the veteran’s needs. To be admitted, the veteran must be drug and alcohol-free, eligible for VA healthcare benefits, un- or underemployed, but employable, with an income less than $1,800 per month, and be able to complete the interview process.

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    New Jersey Veteran Financial Benefits

    Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans

    Combat veterans and those who served in certain peacekeeping missions are exempt from real estate taxes on their principal residence in the state of New Jersey. The exemption also applies to surviving spouses/civil unions or domestic partners of disabled combat veterans or service members who were killed in action. To qualify, the veteran must have served during wartime and been honorably discharged, have a service-connected total disability or be 100 percent permanently disabled as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, be the full or partial owner of the home, and be a New Jersey resident.

    Property Tax Deduction for Veterans

    Combat veterans and those who served in certain peacekeeping missions may be eligible for a $250 yearly deduction from taxes due on real or personal property. A surviving spouse/civil union or domestic partner may also be eligible as long as he or she is not remarried, is a New Jersey resident, and is the owner and occupant of the home.

    Income Tax Exemption for Veterans

    Honorably discharged military veterans qualify for an exemption of $3,000 on their New Jersey Income Tax. Recently discharged veterans are eligible in the tax year they were released.

    Retired Military Pay Income Tax Exemption

    Military pensions and survivor’s benefit payments – regardless of age or disability status – are not taxable in the state of New Jersey. However, civil service pensions are taxable, even if based on credit for military service.

    Catastrophic Entitlement

    Combat veterans who are New Jersey residents and permanently or totally disabled may qualify for a payment of $62.50 a month from the state. In addition to being permanently or totally disabled, the veteran must have one of the following disabilities: multiple sclerosis, hemiplegia, blindness, paraplegia, double amputee, quadriplegia, or osteochondritis. To qualify, the veteran must have served during a period of war and been a New Jersey resident at the time of entry into military service and when applying for the entitlement. Surviving spouses are also eligible.

    Additional New Jersey Veteran Benefits

    Disabled Veteran and Purple Heart Recipient Placards

    Disabled Veterans and Purple Heart recipients are exempt from paying municipal parking meter fees for up to 24 hours with a special designated placard. To qualify, the applicant for the placard must be the owner and driver or passenger of the vehicle.

    Transportation Program

    Veterans in New Jersey have access to free transportation to VA medical facilities, pharmacies, private physicians, regional veterans service offices, job service offices, and other community services in most counties.

    Hunting and Fishing Licenses

    Honorably discharged veterans with a service-connected disability, who are New Jersey residents, are eligible to receive free New Jersey hunting and fishing licenses, permits, and stamps. The eligible veteran must first be certified by the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

    New Jersey National Guardsmen are also eligible to receive free hunting and freshwater fishing licenses. To qualify, the National Guardsman must have completed Initial Active Duty for Training, participated in unit training assemblies within the last 90 days, and be up-to-date on any court-mandated child support payments.

    Active duty military are entitled to receive hunting and fishing licenses at the resident rate.

    New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery

    New Jersey veterans whose service ended under other than dishonorable or undesirable conditions and were legal New Jersey residents before death, or were legal residents of the state for at least 50 percent of their lifetime, are eligible to be buried at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery at no cost.

    The cemetery is located in Arneytown, N.J. Dependents are also eligible to be buried at the cemetery including the veteran’s spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21 (or 23, if in college), and unmarried adult children who became incapable of self-support before reaching the age of 21. The next of kin is responsible for all costs associated with preparation and transportation of the casketed or cremated remains to the cemetery except in cases when the death occurred while the veteran was on active duty.

    New Jersey State Link to Veterans Services

    Written by Team