10 States with AWESOME Benefits for Veterans

Brian Reese
8 min readMay 12, 2024

While all 50 states offer benefits to veterans, these 10 states rise far above the rest and are truly the crème de la crème.

If you’d rather see the best veteran benefits for all 50 states, I previously wrote a definitive guide, which can be viewed here.

Key Points in this Article

  • Texas ranks as the top state for veteran benefits, thanks to its incredible property tax exemptions for disabled veterans with a disability rating of 10% or higher, no state income tax, and free in-state college tuition for veterans and their dependents through the Hazlewood Act.
  • Florida follows closely at #2, offering significant benefits such as property tax exemptions for veterans with a VA disability rating of 10% or higher, no state income tax, and free in-state college tuition through the Congressman C.W. Bill Young Tuition Waiver Program.
  • 4 of the 10 top states for veterans benefits have no state income tax. Those states are Texas, Florida, Alaska, and Nevada.

#1. Texas

Texas is the top overall state for veterans benefits. Here are five of the best benefits for veterans in Texas:

  • Hazlewood Act: Provides up to 150 hours of tuition exemption at state schools for veterans, their spouses, and dependent children who meet certain residency and service requirements.
  • Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption: Offers a total property tax exemption for 100% disabled veterans and their surviving spouses, with scaled benefits for veterans with 10–90% VA disability.
  • No State Income Tax: Texas has no personal income tax, which applies to both veterans and non-veterans, which means more money in your pocket.
  • Veteran Home Loans and Home Improvement Program: The Texas Veterans Land Board provides below-market interest rates for home and land loans as well as home improvement loans for eligible veterans.
  • Veterans Homes: Operates nine veterans homes across the state offering long-term care for veterans, their spouses, and Gold Star parents, with costs based on income.

#2. Florida

Florida is a close second, coming in at #2 of 10. Here are five of the top veterans benefits in Florida:

  • Property Tax Exemptions: Florida offers various property tax exemptions, including for disabled veterans, a homestead exemption for 100% permanently and totally disabled veterans, and exemptions for surviving spouses of service members who died from service-connected causes.
  • Tuition Waivers and Scholarships: The state waives out-of-state tuition fees for veterans and offers scholarships for dependents of deceased or disabled veterans. Veterans using the GI Bill also receive priority registration at state colleges and universities.
  • Veterans’ Employment Preference: Veterans receive hiring preference for state jobs, with additional points added to civil service exams for veterans, disabled veterans, and certain family members.
  • State Park Admission: Discounts on annual passes to state parks for all honorably discharged veterans and free passes for those with service-connected disabilities. Certain veterans may also receive reduced fees or free hunting and fishing licenses.
  • No State Income Tax: Veterans benefit from Florida’s lack of a personal income tax, which applies to both veterans and non-veterans, enhancing their financial well-being.

#3. Alaska

Here are the five best benefits for Alaska veterans:

  • Veterans Mortgage Program: Administered by the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. (AHFC), this program offers financing to qualified veterans at low interest rates, often with little or no down payment required.
  • Property Tax Exemptions: Veterans with a 50% or greater VA or military disability rating are exempt from taxes on the first $150,000 of assessed value of their home.
  • No State Income Tax: Alaska has no personal income tax for both veterans and non-veterans. You’ve worked hard for your money, and no state income tax means you get to keep more of it.
  • Hunting and Fishing Licenses: Disabled veterans with at least a 50% disability and an honorable discharge can obtain free hunting and sport fishing licenses. Active-duty military members stationed in Alaska and their dependents are eligible for licenses at resident rates.
  • Veterans Land Discount/Purchase Preference: Offers veterans a chance to purchase unoccupied residential land through a restricted sale at fair appraised market value, including a 20% discount for qualified veterans.

#4. Nevada

Here are five of the best benefits for veterans in Nevada:

  • Disabled Veteran Tax Exemption: Provides a property tax exemption for honorably discharged residents with a service-connected disability of 60% or more.
  • Veterans Homes: Nevada operates veterans homes in Boulder City and Sparks, offering care for veterans, their spouses, and Gold Star parents.
  • Non-Resident Tuition Exemption: Honorably discharged veterans are exempt from non-resident tuition rates if they matriculate within two years of discharge.
  • Hunting & Fishing License: Discounted licenses are available for veterans with a service-connected disability of 50% or more, and active-duty members stationed in Nevada can get these licenses at resident rates​​.
  • No State Income Tax: Nevada is one of nine states with no state income tax. This means more money in your pocket for all your hard work.

#5. Illinois

Illinois completes my list of the top 5 states for veterans benefits. Here are five of the best benefits for veterans in Illinois:

  • Illinois Veterans’ Grant (IVG): Covers tuition and certain fees at Illinois state-supported colleges, universities, and community colleges for eligible veterans.
  • Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption: Benefits Based on Disability Rating: 30% to 40% VA Disability Rating: $2,500 exemption. 50% to 60% VA Disability Rating: $5,000 exemption. 70% or Higher VA Disability Rating: Complete exemption from property taxes on the primary residence.
  • Veterans Care Program: Provides comprehensive health care coverage for uninsured Illinois veterans, subject to an income threshold.
  • Veterans Employment Preference: Honorably discharged veterans receive preference in state job hiring, with additional benefits for those with specific service medals or transitioning from military to police or firefighter roles.
  • No State Income Tax: Illinois is one of nine states with no state income tax. If you choose to have a second career after military service, you’ll keep more of your hard earned income.

#6. Virginia

Here are five great benefits for disabled veterans in Virginia:

  • Real Property Tax Exemption: Virginia provides a complete property tax exemption for eligible disabled veterans or their surviving spouses, applicable to the primary residence and up to one acre of land.
  • Sales and Use Tax Exemption: Disabled veterans with a service-connected, 100%, permanent and total disability rating are eligible for a sales and use tax exemption on the purchase of one vehicle.
  • Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP): Provides educational financial assistance for eligible spouses/surviving spouses and children of certain service members and disabled veterans, covering all tuition and mandatory fees for eight semesters at a Virginia public college or university.
  • Hunting, Fishing & Trapping Licenses: Disabled veterans are eligible for free permanent licenses, and active duty and reserve component service members on active duty for 120 or more consecutive days qualify for free one-year fishing, hunting, or combination licenses.
  • Virginia Veteran & Family Support (VVFS): Offers resources, care coordination, and supportive services to Virginia’s veterans, National Guard, Armed Forces Reserves, family members, and caregivers, focusing on challenges resulting from stress-related conditions or traumatic brain injuries connected to military service.

#7. North Carolina

Here are five of the best benefits for veterans in North Carolina:

  • Scholarships for Children of Wartime Veterans: Offers financial assistance for up to eight academic semesters to children of certain categories of deceased, disabled, or combat veterans, provided the veteran was a North Carolina resident when active service began.
  • Home Advantage Mortgage Program: Provides down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers, including veterans, which can be combined with a Mortgage Credit Certificate to reduce federal income taxes.
  • Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exclusion: Offers a property tax break on the primary residence for honorably discharged veterans with VA-rated disabilities.
  • Government Hiring Preference for Veterans: Veterans receive preference in employment within state government roles, acknowledging their service and the sacrifices made.
  • Veterans’ Assisted Care Homes and Nursing Homes: Available for honorably discharged veterans who meet certain eligibility criteria, with facilities located in Fayetteville, Salisbury, Black Mountain, and Kinston.

#8. New York

Here are five solid veteran benefits in the state of New York:

  • Homes for Veterans Program: Offers fixed-rate mortgages with interest rates lower than standard SONYMA mortgages, plus down payment assistance for veterans.
  • Veterans Tuition Awards: Provides tuition assistance for full or part-time study at eligible schools for honorably discharged New York resident wartime veterans.
  • Veterans with Disabilities Employment Program (55-c): Allows veterans with a VA disability rating of at least 20% to apply for state jobs without an exam.
  • State Park Admission for Disabled Veterans: Wartime veterans with a 40% or greater disability are eligible for the Lifetime Liberty Pass, which provides free vehicle entry to state parks and other benefits.
  • Income Tax Benefits: Active-duty military pay is tax-free under specific conditions, and retired pay and SBP payments are also tax-free in New York. Property tax exemptions are available for veterans based on their military service, with additional benefits for service-connected disabilities.

#9. Georgia

Here are five of the top benefits for veterans in Georgia:

  • Georgia Dream Loan: Provides down-payment assistance for active-duty service members, veterans, and other eligible groups, facilitating homeownership.
  • Georgia Hero Scholarship: Offers tuition assistance to members of the Georgia National Guard or Reserves, as well as their dependents, helping cover educational costs.
  • Veterans Hiring Preference: Gives a hiring preference to qualifying war veterans and those with service-connected disabilities for state employment, aiding in job placement.
  • Free Full Privilege Sportsman Licenses: Returning veterans may be eligible for a one-year free sportsman’s license, allowing access to hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
  • State Park Discounts: Veterans with service-connected disabilities and honorable discharges can receive a 25% discount on state park entrance fees, promoting recreational opportunities.

#10. Pennsylvania

Rounding out the top 10 is Pennsylvania. Here are five of the best benefits for veterans in Pennsylvania:

  • Disabled Veteran Real Estate Tax Exemption: Offers a complete property tax exemption for veterans with 100% service-connected disabilities and wartime service, alleviating financial burdens on housing.
  • Pennsylvania National Guard Education Assistance Program: Provides tuition assistance to members who commit to an additional service period, covering up to the cost of tuition at state-owned universities or their equivalent, enhancing educational opportunities.
  • Veterans Temporary Assistance: Offers financial aid for veterans in immediate need, providing support up to $1,600 within a 12-month period to help manage unforeseen financial crises.
  • Blind Veterans Pension and Amputee and Paralyzed Veterans Pension: Provides a monthly pension of $150 for veterans with qualifying conditions, offering sustained financial support.
  • Military Family Relief Assistance Program: Offers emergency financial assistance up to $3,500 to eligible service members and their families, aiding in times of financial hardship.

About the Author

Air Force Veteran Brian Reese

Brian Reese is one of the top VA disability benefits experts in the world and the #1 Amazon bestselling author of You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned.

His new book VA Claims Secrets: Expert Tips and Proven Strategies to Win Your VA Disability Claim Faster is scheduled to be released summer 2024.

He and his team of experts at VA Claims Insider have helped 25,000+ veterans get the VA benefits they’ve earned for their honorable service to our nation.

A former active-duty Air Force officer, Brian deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he earned the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious wartime service.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where he was a National Honor Scholar (top 1 percent of his graduate school class).



Brian Reese

I help Veterans get the VA disability rating % and compensation $ they deserve.