Texas Veteran’s Benefits

Updated: March 30, 2021

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    Find Texas state and local veteran’s benefits including education, employment, healthcare, home loans, tax exemptions, recreation and much more below. Texas is a veteran-friendly state, with a large number of military bases and access to plenty of VA facilities. But the State of Texas offers additional programs for veterans and their families above and beyond what is available from the Department of Defense and the VA.

    Help From The Texas Veterans Commission Texas Veterans Benefits

    This state agency offers many services for veterans. Their employment help for vets includes “one-on-one job coaching, interview skills, and resume development” according to the official site. The site includes news and application information for the Hazelwood Act, (see below) which offers 150 hours of tuition waivers for public colleges and universities in Texas.

    There are indirect benefits, too. The Texas Veterans Commission offers general assistance grants to agencies dedicated to helping veterans. Similar grants are available to approved agencies for mental health, “treatment court” grants, and the “Housing For Texas Heroes” program.


    Texas Veteran Education Benefits

    The Hazelwood Act

    The Hazelwood Act and the Hazelwood Legacy Act are two important programs available to qualifying veterans and their dependents. According to the VA official site for the state of Texas, the Hazlewood Act is “a State of Texas benefit that is run by the Texas Veterans Commission. It provides qualified Veterans, spouses, and dependent children with up to 150 hours of tuition exemption, including most fee charges, at public institutions of higher education in Texas. This does NOT include living expenses, books, or supply fees.”

    The Hazelwood Legacy Act is available to qualifying dependent children. The veteran assigns his or her unused or remaining tuition-exempt Hazelwood Act hours to a dependent. Since 2011, there is a requirement that the veteran reside in the state of Texas during the time the dependent uses the benefit. Only one dependent at a time can use these hours.

    Certain Hazelwood provisions also apply for “spouses and dependent children of eligible Active Duty, Reserve, and Texas National Guard who died in the line of duty or as a result of injury or illness directly related to military service, are missing in action, or who became totally disabled for purposes of employability” according to the VA official site for Texas.

    Tuition Assistance For National Guard Members

    The State of Texas Tuition Assistance Program, also known as the State Tuition Reimbursement Program or STRP,  is “an education benefit that provides money for college to eligible members of the Texas Military Department pursuing their educational and career goals” according to Texas.gov.

    This program is intended for “active drilling members of the Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG), Texas Air National Guard (TXANG) and Texas State Guard (TXSG)”. Requirements include completion of Basic Training “or its’ equivalent” according to the State of Texas. This tuition assistance is good for “first degrees” at any nationally or regionally accredited Texas college or university. Applicants cannot pursue second degrees with STRP funds.


    Texas Veteran Employment Benefits

    Career Assistance From The Texas Veterans Commission

    The Texas Veterans Commission is a state agency offering many services for veterans. Their employment help for vets includes “one-on-one job coaching, interview skills, and resume development” according to the official site. The site includes news and application information for the Hazelwood Act, (see the education section above) which offers 150 hours of tuition waivers for public colleges and universities in Texas.

    There are indirect benefits, too. The Texas Veterans Commission offers general assistance grants to agencies dedicated to helping veterans. Similar grants are available to approved agencies for mental health, “treatment court” grants, and the “Housing For Texas Heroes” program.

    Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

    Veterans with relevant training experience may qualify for credit towards licensing and other required credentialing to work for or run businesses in the state including electricians, air conditioning and refrigeration, barbering, well drilling, and others. The list of requirements for time-in-service, OJT, and other relevant military experience varies greatly depending on the type of job or license required.

    Those who meet the minimum requirements may be exempt from application fees, exams, and more. Supporting documentation is required in all cases.

    Unemployment Benefits For Veterans And Military Spouses

    Veterans and military spouses in Texas receive consideration for unemployment benefits. According to the Texas Workforce Commission official site, those with Texas-based military service may be eligible when the applicant is physically living in Texas when filing the unemployment claim, the applicant was discharged under honorable conditions and completed one full term of service.

    Those who did not serve one full term, but “separated early for a reason specified by Congress” may be eligible for an exception to the full-term requirement.

    Guard/Reserve members may be eligible if they served at least 180 days of continuous active duty service on or after Nov. 25, 2015, “and received a Form DD-214 when separated, OR served at least 90 days of continuous active service, beginning on or before Nov. 24, 2015, as a reservist or member of the National Guard, and received a Form DD-214 when separated”.

    Military spouses who relocate due to PCS orders or other factors may also be eligible, but the following caveat applies; “You may be eligible for benefits but you will be disqualified for 6 to 25 weeks, depending on the situation. Your maximum benefit amount is also reduced by the number of disqualified weeks” according to the Texas Workforce Commission.


    Texas Veteran Housing Benefits

    Veterans Land Board

    The Veterans Land Board (VLB) offers qualifying veterans to borrow money directly from the State of Texas. Up to $150,000 is available per transaction “to purchase land at competitive interest rates” according to the VLB official site.

    There are also other home loan options, including:

    • Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHC) My First Texas Home Loan
    • TDHC My Choice Texas Home loan
    • Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) Homes for Texas Heroes Home Loan Program
    • TSAHC Sweet Texas Home Loan

    Housing Assistance

    Land purchases aren’t the only option available via VLB. There is also a Veterans Housing Assistance Program (VHAP) which allows veterans to apply for fixed-rate home loans with little or no down payment required. According to the official site, “Veterans, military members and their spouses may receive up to $424,100 on a fixed-rate loan for 15, 20, 25 or 30 year terms…Veterans with a VA service-connected disability rating of 30% or greater qualify for a discounted interest rate.”

    Veteran Homes in Texas

    Texas has 8 veterans homes located in the following cities:

    • Amarillo
    • Big Spring
    • Bonham
    • El Paso
    • Floresville
    • McAllen
    • Temple
    • Tyler

    These homes open for those who need, “long-term nursing care for Texas Veterans, their spouses and Gold Star parents” according to the official site, which adds that the Department of Veterans Affairs, “subsidizes much of a veteran’s cost to stay at a VLB Texas State Veterans Home” resulting in lower daily rates.

    Visit the National Association of State Veteran Homes for a Texas state home directory with contact information, eligibility requirements and much for more.

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    Texas Veteran Financial  Benefits

    The “Texas Income Tax Break”

    Since the State of Texas features no personal income tax, military members living there will enjoy more savings at tax time than they might in states where personal income tax is collected. There is also no Texas military retirement income tax.

    Tax Breaks For Disabled Veterans and Surviving Dependents

    Qualifying disabled veterans and surviving spouses may be eligible for property tax breaks from the State of Texas. One such tax break is a “graduated” form of property tax relief for those with VA disability ratings starting at 10%. Tax exemption laws and requirements may change from year to year, it’s best to consult a local tax professional to see what exemptions or regulations of those exemptions apply in a given tax year.


    Additional Texas Veteran Benefits

    Veteran Driver Benefits

     The State of Texas allows veterans to apply for driver’s licenses and ID cards with a “veteran”designation, as well as specialty license plates for both disabled and non-disabled vets. The “veteran” designation on a driver’s license is free except in cases where the applicant requests a duplicate license that is updated to show veteran status. Qualifying disabled veterans with a 60% or higher disability rating may be eligible for free driver’s licenses. Disabled veterans may also apply for parking placards and other designations.

    Parks and Recreation Benefits

    There are a variety of military perks for veterans including the Texas Parklands Passport- free admission to Texas state parks for veterans with disability ratings of 60% or higher, or “loss of lower extremity”. A disabled veteran license plate, VA award letter, or tax exemption letter for Texas vets is required to claim this benefit.

    Free Texas Hunting Licenses

    There are several options for Texas veterans including the free “Texas Resident Active Duty Military Super Combo” which requires proof of residency or military documentation showing Texas as the service member’s home of record. “Super Combo” licenses include hunting and fishing, with the exception of duck hunting, which is licensed separately. There is also a version of this free combo license for qualifying disabled veterans.

    Free Or Reduced-Price Texas Handgun Licenses

    According to the Texas Department of Public Safety official site, “Individuals currently serving in the military OR who were honorably discharged within the last 365 days” are eligible for a free gun license. Honorably discharged veterans who apply beyond the “free zone” 365 days after leaving military service are eligible for a reduced rate handgun license.


    Texas Links to Veterans Services


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    Written by MilitaryBenefits