See What Your State Has To Offer - Jeremy Lile

Aside from the common VA benefits, each U.S state offers additional veteran benefits. Most state benefits range from free college and employment resources to free hunting and fishing licenses. Some states also offer tax breaks for their veterans and specialized license plates, and then others even provide their veterans with cash bonuses just for serving in the military. Veteran benefits are always changing, therefore it is important to try and stay update to date.

The state of Missouri provides several veteran benefits. First of all, Missouri has seven veterans homes located in Cameron, Cape Girardeau, Mexico, Mt. Vernon, St. James, St. Louis, and Warrensburg. To be eligible for admission, a veteran must have lived in Missouri for 180 days and require skilled nursing care. In regards to financial benefits, Missouri offers property tax credits for eligible veterans. The Missouri Property Tax Credit Claim gives credit to some 100 percent VA disabled veterans for a portion of the real estate taxes or rent paid for the year. The maximum credit is $750 for renters and $1,100 for homeowners. The actual credit is based on the amount of real estate taxes or rent paid and total household income (taxable and nontaxable). If you’re looking to go hunting or fishing in Missouri, there are available benefits to help you get started. Any honorably discharged veteran with a service-connected disability of 60% or more can fish or hunt without permit. You must have proof of eligibility on your person, some trout or turkey tags may be required. Lastly, there are five State Veterans Cemeteries, one in Springfield, Higginsville, Bloomfield, Fort Leonard Wood, and Jacksonville. There is no charge for any of the services provided. Eligibility is the same as a federal cemetery and there is no residency requirement. Spouses and dependent children may also be eligible for burial.

The State of Illinois runs four Veterans homes in Anna, LaSalle, Manteno, and Quincy. The homes are open to Illinois veterans with military service of one day or more, Veterans who served during a period of war are given precedence in admission, though peacetime veterans, spouses, surviving spouses and Gold Star parents are also eligible. Then Illinois offers bonus payments for veterans who served in World War II, Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, and the Global War on Terrorism efforts. For an example, there is the Vietnam Veteran Survivors Compensation. Survivors are entitled to a payment of $1,000 if veteran's death is service-connected or is the direct result of service-connected disabilities incurred in the period specified. There is also a Specially Adapted Housing Tax Exemption. No property tax is due on a home that was purchased with the Specially Adapted Housing Grant for as long as the veteran, spouse, or unmarried surviving spouse live there. Mobile homes purchased with the Specially Adapted Housing Grant are also exempt from county mobile home tax. Then there is the Disabled Veterans' Standard Homestead Exemption. A reduction in the assessed value of the home of a veteran with a service-connected disability. For veterans with a disability between 30 - 50 percent, the exemption is $2,500; for veterans with a 50 - 70 percent disability, the exemption is $5,000; veterans with a service-connected disability of at least 70% are exempt from property taxes on their primary residence. The State of Illinois also offers recreational benefits such as assistance with Camping and Admission Fees as well as Hunting and Fishing Licenses.

There are many other Missouri and Illinois benefits not mentioned in this article. For a complete list of available benefits by state, be sure to visit the following website: