North Dakota Veterans Benefits

Updated: March 17, 2021

Table of Contents

    Find North Dakota state and local veterans benefits including education, employment, healthcare, tax breaks/exemptions, recreation and much more below. The Peace Garden State is home to approximately 50,000 veterans who can utilize the many state benefits that are available.


    North Dakota State Veteran Education Benefits

    North Dakota Veterans Benefits Certification Exam and State Licensing Reimbursement

    Veterans may be eligible to receive reimbursement for the cost of a certification exam or state licensing. In order to be eligible for this benefit, applicants must qualify for VA benefits under one of the following programs:

    The VA will reimburse eligible applicants up to $2,000 for tests and exams.

    Free Tuition to Qualified Dependents of Deceased Resident Veterans

    Qualified dependents of deceased resident veterans may receive free tuition in any North Dakota state-supported college, technical school, or vocational tech.

    In order to be considered a resident, the deceased veteran must meet one of the following criteria:

    • Was born in and lived in North Dakota until time of enlistment or commission.
    • Was born in North Dakota, but temporarily lived in another state, and did not give up North Dakota residency before enlistment or commission.
    • Was a resident of this state for the ten years prior to the request for tuition waiver.

    In cases where the deceased veteran was born in another state then moved to North Dakota for at least six months before enlistment or commission, he or she should have completed at least one of the following activities in that six-month period:

    • Voted in North Dakota
    • Was a minor who lived with a parent or guardian who was a resident of North Dakota
    • Not registered to vote in another state

    In order for dependents to qualify for this benefit, the deceased resident veteran must meet one of the following criteria:

    • Killed in action
    • Died from wounds as a result of military service
    • Died as a result of military service
    • Totally disabled as a result of military service
    • Died from disabilities that occurred as a result of military service
    • Was a POW
    • Declared MIA

    Once a qualified dependent is accepted to either a state-supported college, technical school, or vocational tech, he or she may attend tuition-free for 45 months, 10 semesters, or the equivalent of these to complete a bachelor’s degree or certificate program. Qualified dependents will not be disqualified in the following circumstances:

    • Return of the POW
    • Return of the MIA individual
    • The resident veteran 100% disabled due to military service at time of death

    North Dakota State Veteran Employment Benefits

    State Hiring Preference For Veterans

    North Dakota gives preference to veterans for recruitment and hiring by state government agencies. In order to qualify for this benefit, applicants must meet the following criteria:

    • Be a US citizen at the time of application
    • Have either been active military duty for 180 days, or served for the full period of active military duty (training periods are excluded)
    • Discharged under other than dishonorable conditions, (service members discharged under “expiration of term of service,” “completion of required service,” etc., qualifies the individual as a veteran)

    In order to qualify for this benefit as a wartime veteran, applicants must meet the following criteria:

    • Military service during a period of armed conflict
    • Awarded either an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or a campaign service medal during “emergency conditions”
    • Discharged under other than dishonorable conditions
    • May also be individuals who died in the line of duty

    Periods of service for wartime veterans include:

    • WWII: Dec. 7, 1941, to Dec. 31, 1946
    • Korean War: June 27, 1950, to Jan. 31, 1955
    • Vietnam War: Aug. 5, 1964, to May 7, 1975
    • Gulf War: Aug. 2, 1990, to Jan. 2, 1992
    • Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom: Sept. 11, 2001, to ending date prescribed by presidential proclamation or by Congress as the last day of either conflict, whichever occurs later

    Veterans with disabilities who qualify for preference may not be disqualified from holding any position with an agency, unless he or she is unable to perform the duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

    Unremarried surviving spouses may receive preference for recruitment and hiring by state government agencies. In order to qualify for this benefit, the deceased veteran must meet one of the following criteria:

    • Died while on active duty due to military service
    • Died later due to military service

    Spouses of disabled veterans may receive preference for recruitment and hiring by state government agencies.

    In order to qualify for this benefit, the veteran must meet one of the following criteria:

    • A determination by the VA of 100% disability due to military service
    • A determination by the VA of an “extra-schedular” rating (to include individual unemployability), bringing the total disability rating to 100%
    • The disabled veteran is unable to exercise the right to employment preference due to disability, but is otherwise qualified to the employment preference

    North Dakota State Veteran Housing Benefits

    Veterans Assisted Care Homes And Nursing Homes

    The North Dakota Veterans Home is located in Lisbon, North Dakota. The facility houses 111 basic care beds and 38 skilled nursing beds.

    Eligibility for admission requires that veterans meet one of the following criteria:

    • Service in a North Dakota regiment
    • Entry into service as a North Dakota resident
    • Resident of North Dakota for 30 days
    • Spouse or surviving spouse of a veteran who meets one of these criteria

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    North Dakota State Veteran Financial Benefits

    Military Retirees Income Tax Exemption

    North Dakota resident taxpayers are exempt from paying income tax on their military retirement beginning with the 2019 tax year.

    Renter Property Tax Refund for Disabled Veterans

    Permanently and totally disabled veterans may be eligible for a Renter’s Property Tax Refund of up to $400.00 under certain circumstances. To qualify for this refund, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

    • Any person, regardless of age, who is permanently and totally disabled OR
    • Any person 65 years of age or older
    • Annual income from all sources, to include any dependent income, may not exceed $42,000 per year

    Applicants must provide a physician’s certificate or written determination of disability from the Social Security Administration with the completed application. Applications must be filed with the Office of State Tax Commissioner before June 1 following the year the refund is to be claimed.

    Property Tax Exemption For Totally Disabled Veterans

    Veterans may qualify for property tax exemptions for their homes under certain circumstances. To qualify for this exemption, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

    • A paraplegic disabled veteran
    • Any veteran who has been awarded specially adapted housing by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
    • An unremarried surviving spouse, for the first $120,000

    Veterans may be eligible for a property tax credit applied toward the initial $6,750 of taxable valuation, or $150,000. To qualify for this credit, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

    • A veteran with a VA disability rating of 50% or greater as a result of military service
    • A veteran who has an extra-schedular rating, to include individual unemployability, that brings the veteran’s total disability rating to 100%
    • An unremarried surviving spouse

    Applicants must also have either been discharged under honorable conditions, or retired from military service. Also, unremarried surviving spouses who receive Department of Veterans’ Affairs Dependency and Indemnity Compensation are 100% exempt.

    To apply for this property tax credit, veterans should provide the following information:

    • A copy of the DD Form 214 showing veteran’s honorable discharge
    • Certification from the Department of Veterans Affairs to the percentage of disability as a result of military service
    • There is a change in the percentage of certified rated disability as a result of military service

    Relief and Assistance Programs

    The North Dakota National Guard Foundation is a non-profit organization.  It is entirely volunteer-staffed, has no paid employees and hires no professional fundraisers. It runs two programs aimed at National Guard service members:

    • North Dakota National Guard Emergency Relief Fund (ERF) provides financial support to more than 4,300 North Dakota National Guard members and their dependents during emergencies, such as fire, illness, natural disasters, accident, or theft.
    • North Dakota Tragedy Assistance Program (TAPS) provides support and services to surviving families. Funds are used to cover transportation costs so these families may travel to Washington, D.C. each year to participate in the annual national TAPS event.

     Adjusted Compensation

    Honorably-discharged veterans and their dependents may be entitled to adjusted compensation for foreign or domestic military service. Adjusted compensation is exempt from taxation by either North Dakota or the federal government.

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

    • National Guard or Reserve veterans who are mobilized stateside may receive $50.00 per each month, (or for more than one half a month), of domestic service.
    • National Guard, Reserve, or “active component resident veteran of foreign service recipients” of expeditionary medals or campaign badges may receive $100.00 per each month, (or for more than one half a month).
    • Rather than receive monthly adjusted compensation for mobilization, veterans who are Purple Heart For Foreign Service recipients may be entitled to a payment of $2,500.00.
    • Beneficiaries of deceased veterans may receive any payments the veteran was entitled to.
    • Rather than receive other compensation, beneficiaries of veterans who died as a result of military service may receive a payment of $5,000.00.

    Applications should be sent to the adjutant general of the state of North Dakota using appropriate forms. Applications must include either certified copies of honorable discharge, or evidence of faithful and honorable service. Applications must be subscribed and sworn to by applicants in a manner approved of by the adjutant general.

     Family Assistance Centers

    Family Assistance Centers (FACs) operate regionally throughout the state. FACs provide information about military, local state, and federal resources to service members and their families. Services include the following:

    • Legal information and referrals
    • ID cards and DEERS enrollment
    • TRICARE medical and dental assistance
    • Emergency financial assistance and referrals
    • Financial information and referrals
    • Crisis information and referrals
    • Community resources information and referrals

    FACs are located in Bismarck, Fargo, Minot, Devils Lake, and Grand Forks.


    Additional North Dakota State Veteran Benefits

    Veteran License Plates and Parking Benefits

    North Dakota offers veterans a variety of license plates with service designations.  These plates also afford specific additional benefits to veterans who display them on vehicles.

    Disabled American Veteran

    Veterans may be eligible for license plates with a Disabled American Veteran designation. Plates may be displayed on up to two excise tax-exempt vehicles licensed at a time. Vehicles with a gross weight of 26,000 lbs or more are excluded from displaying these plates.

    In order to qualify for these plates, applicants must:

    • Complete an Application for Certificate of Title
    • Receive a signed certification letter from the US Department of Veteran Affairs office stating the applicant is either 100% disabled due to military service, or is declared eligibility under Public Law 663 of the 79th Congress

    Upon approval, annual license fees are waived. The unremarried surviving spouse of a disabled veteran who receives Department of Veterans’ Affairs Dependency and Indemnity Compensation may also qualify to keep one DAV plate.

    Veterans may also be eligible for license plates with a Disabled American Veteran Mobility Impaired designation. In order to qualify for these plates, applicants must be eligible under both Mobility Impaired and DAV qualifications.

    Vehicles with DAV licensed may park in marked handicap spots throughout the state.

    Prisoner of War

    Veterans who are former Prisoners of War may be eligible for license plates with a POW designation. Plates may be displayed on two excise tax-exempt vehicles at a time. Vehicles with a gross weight of 20,000 pounds or more are excluded from displaying these plates.

    In order to be eligible for these plates, applicants must complete an Application for Certificate of Title, and receive certification from the Veterans Affairs Office of Prisoner of War status.

    Upon the death of the eligible POW, the unremarried surviving spouse may have plates transferred for use on one vehicle. Upon the death of the surviving spouse, or if there was no surviving spouse, the number plate is retired. Surviving family members may request a commemorative plaque of the number plate.

    Purple Heart

    Purple Heart recipients may be issued a license plate with a Purple Heart designation.  In order to qualify for Purple Heart plates, applicants must submit a completed Application for ND Veterans Plate Number and a signed letter from the State or County Veterans’ Service Officer that verifies the applicant’s receipt of a Purple Heart.

    The plates may be displayed on one vehicle. Vehicles that exceed 26,000 pounds are excluded from displaying these plates.

    These plates are issued at no cost  and carry no annual fees. Vehicles displaying these plates are exempted from vehicle registration fees.

    National Guard

    Veterans of the National Guard with 20 years or more service, and current National Guard members may be eligible for license plates with a National Guard designation. Plates are issued through the Adjutant General’s office and cost a one-time fee of $5.00. In order to be eligible for these plates, applicants must submit an Application for Certificate of Title, a National Guard license plate number form, and the one-time $5.00 fee.

    Veteran

    Veterans may be eligible for license plates with a North Dakota Veterans designation. In order to be eligible for these plates, applicants must submit an Application for ND Veterans Number Plate. A fee of $15.00 will be charged initially, $5.00 of which goes to the Veterans Cemetery maintenance fund. The annual fee for these plates is $10.00, $5.00 of which goes to the Veterans Cemetery trust fund and $5.00 goes to the Veterans Cemetery maintenance fund.

    Recreational Benefits For Veterans

    Veterans may be eligible for combined general game, habitat stamp, small game, and furbearer licenses for $3.00, (plus a $1.00 fee for resident certificate). In order to be eligible for reduced cost game licenses, applicants must be North Dakota residents and veterans who are 100% disabled due to military service.

    Veterans may be eligible to obtain a fishing license for $5.00 (plus a $1.00 fee for certificate). In order to be eligible for reduced cost fishing licenses, applicants must be North Dakota residents and veterans who are 50% disabled due to military service.

    Veterans may be eligible to receive free annual permits to North Dakota state parks.  In order to be eligible for free permits, applicants must meet the following criteria:

    • Be a resident of North Dakota
    • Disability of 50% or greater that is due to military service OR
    • Former POW

    Veterans who are disabled due to military service at a rating of less than 50% may receive an annual permit for $20.00. In order to be eligible for this reduced cost, applicants must meet the following criteria:

    • Be a North Dakota residents
    • Possess a Report of Benefit letter from the VA OR
    • Have a North Dakota DAV/POW license plate

    Travel for VA Appointments

    County Veteran Service Offices in North Dakota have a small fleet of DAV/VA vans available for round-trip transport of veterans, (and required caregivers, as necessary), to VA medical facilities in Fargo and Ft. Meade, SD.

    The offices coordinate van trips and provide volunteer drivers. Veterans ride free of charge. The vans follow established routes and only make scheduled stops. Vans are also not wheelchair-accessible.

    Service Dogs

    Service Dogs for America, in partnership with the 63rd North Dakota Legislative Assembly and private donors, provides service dogs to veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through grant funding. In order to be eligible for a PTSD service dog grant, applicants must meet the following criteria:

    • North Dakota resident
    • Medical diagnosis of PTSD
    • Participation in therapy or counseling
    • Doctor’s recommendation for a PTSD service dog

    Food and Nutrition Assistance

    North Dakota offers food and nutrition assistance to veterans who qualify. These benefits are delivered through a variety of public and private organizations:

    • Veterans can apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, (SNAP), at any county social services office. Eligibility can be based on household size, income, shelter costs, medical costs, and disability.
    • The Great Plains Food Bank distributes food to programs across North Dakota. It has made serving the veteran population of North Dakota a top priority.
    • North Dakota food pantries are comprised of a network of public and private organizations.The food pantries are sponsored by government agencies, churches, faith-based organizations, non-profit agencies, community groups, service organizations, and senior citizen centers. These food pantries distribute both food and non-food items to eligible applicants, including veterans.

    Military Outreach Specialists

    Military Outreach Specialists work through the Outreach Program to provide information regarding resources, benefits, and services to veterans, service members, and their families throughout North Dakota. This program works with all branches of service, eras, and conflicts. Its goal is to connect both current and former military service members and their families with resources they are entitled to.

    These resources include state and federal veteran benefits, military records, mental health and PTSD resources, financial services, employment services, retirement information, and shelter services. North Dakota has two Military Outreach Specialists instate. These Specialists may be contacted directly, or through a Veterans Service Officer.

    ND CARES

    The North Dakota Cares, (ND Cares) Coalition consist of a network of military and civilian professionals throughout the state.  The mission of this coalition is to connect veterans, service members and their families, and surviving spouses and dependents with behavioral health services they need.

    Burial Benefits For Veterans

    The North Dakota Veterans Cemetery is located at Fort Lincoln State Park. In order to be eligible for interment, applicants must meet one of the following descriptions:

    • Retired from military service
    • Service member on active duty
    • Eligible veteran of any war
    • Veteran who has served at least one term of enlistment and not dishonorably discharged
    • Reservist or former reservist

    The North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs offers family members of deceased North Dakota veterans commemorative memorial coins. These coins are presented to family members  immediately following presentation of the flag, and there is no cost for the coin. If family members wish to purchase additional coins, the cost is $10.00 each.

    Indigent veterans who have died will be buried at the expense of the county in which they died. The county social service board will pay for funeral expenses, and will also provided either a military urn or casket for burial.


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