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06 Mar2017

Free Programs for Veterans in New York


Military veterans volunteered to risk their lives to protect the freedom of those back home. In honor of their service to the United States, there are several programs in New York that offer free benefits to veterans. Here are just a few:

Employment Benefits

  • Civil Service preferences: Qualified disabled veterans are granted 10 additional credits on civil service examinations. In addition, veterans with wartime service are granted an additional five credits, and 2.5 credits are given for competitive promotional exams.
  • Veterans with Disabilities Employment Program: According to NY Law, 500 civil service positions may be filled by disabled wartime veterans. They must meet minimum position qualifications, but do not have to take any examination.
  • Retirement Programs: Veterans may be able to qualify for additional credit toward retirement. Certain situations may increase pension, as dictated by the New York State and Local Retirement System.
  • Temporary Hiring: When state agencies have a temporary vacancy, it is policy to fill the position with an honorary discharged veteran.
  • Peddler’s License: Veterans in good standing with the military may apply for a free lifetime Veterans Peddler’s License. The veteran must have served overseas, either in peace or war.

Financial Benefits

  • Income Tax: If you lived in New York before joining the military, your active-duty income is not subject to state taxes. You must also have not lived in New York permanently for any time during the tax year in question.
  • Property Tax: Some local and county property taxes may be partially exempt for qualifying veterans or their spouses. Property owned Cold War veterans, wartime veterans and/or bought with pension, bonus or insurance money may qualify.
  • Supplemental Burial Allowance: An additional $6,000 may be provided by New York State for certain military personnel killed on active duty.
  • Annuities: Blind wartime veterans may receive an annuity, regardless of how they were blinded. In addition, a Gold Star Parent Annuity of $500 may be paid to parents of deceased veterans.
  • DMV Exemption: Certain veterans may qualify to be exempt from vehicle plate and registration fees if: they are disabled; qualify/apply for Congressional Medal of Honor plates; or are 62 years or older and qualify/apply for Former Prisoner of War plates.
  • E-ZPass: Disabled veterans may qualify for a free E-ZPass if they they also qualify for the DMV exemption.
  • Sales Tax Tax Exemption for Motor Vehicles: Vehicles bought out of state by veterans may be exempt from New York sales tax on said vehicle.

Housing Benefits

  • Homes for Veterans Program: The State of New York Mortgage Agency offered fixed-rate mortgages of 0.375 percent lower than normal interest rates, in addition to assistance with down payments.
  • Veterans Homes: Health-related care and nursing services are available at veteran-only facilities in Montrose, Batavia, Oxford, Long Island and St. Albans.

Recreational Benefits

  • Disabled Veterans: Veterans with a 40 percent disability rating or higher may qualify for low cost fishing and hunting licenses. They also qualify for a Lifetime Liberty Pass, permitting free vehicle entry into state parks and other areas, including state golf courses.
  • New York Military Members: Permanent residents of New York who are stationed outside of the state may qualify for a free hunting and fishing license when they are home on leave for 30 days or fewer.
  • Out-of-State Military Members: Military personnel stationed in New York for at least 30 days are eligible for the resident prices on hunting, trapping and fishing licenses.

Education Benefits

  • Veterans Tuition Awards: Qualified veterans enrolled part-time or full-time in a New York college (undergraduate, graduate or vocational) are eligible for a Veterans Tuition Award. In order to qualify, veterans must have served in: the Vietnam War; the Persian Gulf War; the current war in Afghanistan; or hostilities after Feb. 28, 1961 who were awarded a Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal or a Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal.
  • Military Service Recognition Scholarship: Certain dependents of military personnel killed, missing in combat or severely disabled since August 2, 1990 may qualify for this scholarship.
  • New York State Regents Awards: Children of disabled or deceased veterans who served during specific times of national emergency may receive up to $450 a year.

Traffic Ticket Benefits

In addition to the above programs, Feifer & Greenberg LLP has launched Service No Summons. This program offers discounted legal representation to veterans who have received a traffic citation within New York State. The goal is to keep traffic citations from snowballing into a major expense, one that no veteran deserves to deal with.

To qualify, you must have received a traffic ticket answerable to the NYS Traffic Violations Bureau (Staten Island / Richmond County office not included). You must also be in good standing with the military. Certain restrictions apply. To learn more about this program, or to see if your ticket qualifies,  please contact us today.