Welcome back to our series about VA benefits for veterans in each of America’s 50 states! This week, we break down the benefits available to the veterans currently living in Idaho, the Gem State!

Veterans Homes

There are currently four different veterans’ homes throughout the state of Idaho:

Each of these four homes provides skilled nursing care, though some other services may vary between the locations. Privacy, independence, and comfort are of the utmost priority for veterans at all locations as well. To see the admission requirements for each location, please visit the links above.

Veterans’ Cemeteries

Idaho is home to two state veterans’ cemeteries:

The eligibility requirements for interment at these state locations follow the same requirements as national veterans’ cemeteries.

There is also one national cemetery located in Idaho:

This national cemetery location is available for the interment of casketed remains, as well as cremated remains. For more information on this location, as well as the state cemeteries, please visit the associated links above.

Financial Benefits

Veterans in Idaho have several financial benefits that they can take advantage of as well:

  • Grocery Tax Credit
    Idaho veterans who are 65 and older or aged 62 and older, but also disabled are eligible to receive the state’s grocery tax credit, even if they’re not required to file a tax return as a result of disability being their only source of income.
  • Property Tax Exemption
    Any veteran who has a disability rating of 100% or who has received a rating of unemployable by the VA may be eligible to receive a tax exemption of up to $1,500 on their home and one acre of land. Those who have a disability rating of at least 10% may also be eligible for an exemption if they claim an income of $32,000 or less.
  • Emergency Relief Grant
    Under this benefit, wartime veterans are eligible to receive a grant of up to $1,500 for relief assistance in the event of an extreme emergency. Requirements include being an Idaho resident for at least five years, and the emergency must have occurred within 90 days of filing for the relief.
  • Income Tax Exemption
    In Idaho, retired military service members have the opportunity to deduct up to $37,776 of their income when filing alone or up to $56,664 when filing jointly. It’s important to note that this amount will vary from year to year.

Employment Benefits

The state of Idaho offers two important employment benefits for its veterans:

  • State Employment Preference for Veterans
    Veterans who are applying for government jobs within Idaho are given a five-point preference if honorably discharged, and a 10-point preference if disabled. These point preferences are also available to surviving spouses who are not remarried.
  • Occupational Licenses
    Any veteran and family members who require an occupational license are eligible for expedited processing. Military training and education may also be accepted and applied toward the qualifications for certain occupational licenses.

Recreation Benefits

Veterans who enjoy the outdoors can take advantage of a few related benefits, including:

  • Hunting & Fishing Licenses
    Idaho offers disabled veterans hunting and fishing licenses and tags for a reduced fee. Fees may differ depending on whether the veteran is a resident of Idaho or not.
  • Idaho State Parks Pass
    Veterans with a disability rating of 100% who are also Idaho residents are eligible to receive free admission and free camping at any of the state parks throughout the state.

Understanding disability compensation rates can be confusing, but they don’t have to be. We’re taking a look at the revised rates for 2023!

Rates & Monthly Payments for 2023

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs determines a veteran’s monthly payment based on their disability rating, and certain details regarding dependent family members.

The new disability rating compensation rates for 2023 went into effect on December 1, 2022. As in years past, there are separate monthly payment amounts for ratings that are 10% to 20% and 30% to 100%.

A simple breakdown of each percentage rating and the associated monthly payment is below:

Veterans with a disability rating of 10% to 20% should note that they are not eligible to receive a higher payment amount even if they have a dependent spouse, parent, or children.

The compensation amounts for veterans with a disability rating of 30% to 60% can differ a bit depending on whether there is a dependent spouse or parent and no children or whether there is a dependent spouse or parent and children.

These ratings and corresponding monthly payment amounts are broken down below:

Additional amounts that may be added to these totals based on further dependents in the family. These amounts would be as follows:

As above, the compensation amounts for veterans with a disability rating of 70% to 100% can differ a bit depending on whether there is a dependent spouse or parent and no children or whether there is a dependent spouse or parent and children.

These ratings and corresponding monthly payment amounts are broken down below:

Additional amounts that may be added to these totals based on further dependents in the family. These amounts would be as follows:

Source: U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Welcome back to our series about VA benefits for veterans in each of America’s 50 states! This week, we take a look at the benefits available to veterans living in Hawaii. Keeping reading to learn more about VA benefits in The Aloha State!

Veterans Homes

There is one veterans’ home located in Hawaii:

Any veteran who has been honorably discharged, is 55 years of age or older, and who requires skilled nursing care may be eligible for admission. Any costs left after VA or Medicare must be paid by the veteran. If space is available, spouses may also be eligible for care here.

There is also a special housing payment of up to $5,000 available to totally disabled veterans who are planning to purchase or remodel a home to improve its accessibility. You can learn more about this benefit here.

 State Veterans’ Cemeteries

Hawaii is home to seven state veterans’ cemeteries:

There is also one national veterans’ cemetery:

Veterans who hold an honorable discharge and who have satisfied the active-duty service requirement are eligible for burial. Burial space is limited, however, so it’s a good idea to check with each cemetery when the time comes. You can find more information at the links above.

Financial Benefits

Veterans in Hawaii can take advantage of several different financial benefits:

Any veteran who is totally and permanently disabled and owns a home is eligible for an exemption from all property taxes.

Retired pay and SBP payments are tax-free, as are Hawaii National Guard and Reserve drill pay.

Veterans who are permanently disabled are eligible to receive a $45 discount on Hawaii state registration fees. Proof of service-connected disability is required to obtain this benefit.

Employment Benefits

The state of Hawaii offers one employment benefit to its veterans:

Any veteran who applies for employment with the State of Hawaii is eligible to receive a five-point preference; if the veteran is disabled, a 10-point preference will be given. Under certain conditions, spouses may also be eligible to receive a 10-point preference. For more information, please visit the link above.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is unveiling a new life insurance option for veterans on January 1, 2023. What will the differences be between this new option – known as VALife Insurance – and the Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance that’s already being offered?

A Brief Look at VALife Insurance

The new VALife Insurance program will be offered starting January 1, 2023, and is said to be a cheaper option than many civilian options of the same caliber. Available to veterans who are 80 years of age and younger who have service-connected disabilities, this option will provide up to $40,000 of whole life insurance.

Guaranteed acceptance is a hallmark of the program and interested veterans will not have to submit to a medical examination. Veterans who are 80 and younger are eligible to apply for VALife Insurance at any time, while veterans who are 81 and older are eligible to apply within two years of receiving a new disability rating.

If a veteran policyholder passes away during the first two years of the policy, the beneficiary only receives a payout of all premiums that were paid, including interest. The full benefit isn’t paid until the policy has been in effect for at least two years.

A Note on Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI)

On December 31, 2022, open enrollment for the Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI) option will be closing. At that time, veterans can choose to keep their coverage under this plan or they may elect to switch to coverage under the new VALife Insurance plan.

Differences to Keep in Mind

There are some notable differences between VALife Insurance and Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI):

  • Premiums

VALife: Rates are based on your age and coverage amount you choose; once your policy is set, your premiums will not increase

S-DVI: Rates are based on your age, as well as the coverage amount and coverage plan that you choose

  • Coverage Amounts

VALife: Up to $40,000, available in increments of $10,000

S-DVI: Basic coverage up to $10,000; $30,000 in supplemental coverage if you’re totally disabled or if you qualify for a premium waiver

  • Application Timelines:

VALife: There’s no timeline for applications if you’re aged 80 or under; if 81 and older, you’ll need to apply within two years of receiving a new disability rating

S-DVI: Applications must be filed by December 31, 2022 or within two years of receiving notification of a new service-connected disability

  • Waivers

VALife: There are no premium waivers under this option

S-DVI: If you are totally disabled and unable to work, the premium is waived

  • Waiting Periods

VALife: There is a two-year waiting period for full coverage to begin, as is normal with all guaranteed-acceptance insurance plans

S-DVI: Full coverage begins immediately and there is no waiting period.

If you’d like to learn even more about these two life insurance plans, please have a look at the following links:

Welcome back to our series about VA benefits for veterans in each of America’s 50 states! This week, we break down some of the best benefits available to veterans living in Georgia. Keeping reading to learn more about VA benefits in The Peach State!

Veterans Homes

Georgia provides two state veterans homes:

Both locations offer high-quality skilled nursing care and support in improving quality of life and overall health of veterans. Eligibility rules for admission do apply and include residency requirements, an honorable discharge, and serving on active duty during wartime periods. A small fee is charged; however, if a veteran holds a disability rating of 70% or higher, the fee is waived.

State Veterans Cemeteries

There are two state veterans memorial cemeteries in the state of Georgia:

Both cemetery locations offer a welcome center, chapel, landscaping, and a columbarium. To be eligible for interment, veterans must hold an honorable discharge and have the proper paperwork completed. Spouses and unmarried dependents who are under the age of 21 are also eligible for interment at both locations.

Financial Benefits

Veterans in Georgia can take advantage of several financial benefits, including:

The state of Georgia offers veterans who have been honorably discharged the opportunity to get a driver’s license free of charge. Any member of the National Guard or Reserves who has one year of service is also eligible for this benefit. Any spouse of a veteran whose disability keeps them from driving is also eligible, as is the spouse of a deceased veteran.

Any veteran who is totally and permanently disabled or who is receiving disability for loss of limbs or loss of vision is eligible to have vehicle tax waives.

Under this benefit, disabled veterans may be eligible to receive an exemption of up to $50,000 from paying property taxes for county, municipal, and school purposes. For more information on eligibility, please visit the link above.

Veterans in Georgia may be eligible to receive an exemption from occupation taxes, administrative fees, and regulatory fees by local governments for conducting a business or practicing a profession for 10 years. This benefit applies to any veteran who holds an honorable discharge, as well as a disability rating of at least 10%.

Employment Benefits

The state of Georgia offers several employment benefits to its veterans:

Any veteran who is applying for a job with the state of Georgia is automatically given a five-point credit. Veterans applying for state positions who hold a disability rating of 10% or higher will receive a 10-point credit.

Veterans who received military firefighter training may be eligible for positions as full-time, part-time, volunteer, and airport firefighters. Military training is accepted as basic training for the firefighter qualification in the civilian world.

Veterans who hold an honorable discharge and a disability rating of 25% or higher – or 10% or higher if a wartime veteran – may be eligible for an exemption from exemption from occupation taxes, administrative fees, and regulatory fees by local governments for conducting a business or practicing a profession for 10 years.

Recreation Benefits

Veterans in Georgia can take advantage of a few recreation benefits, including:

Veterans who can prove a service-connected disability are eligible to receive a 25% discount on entrance fees to Georgia state parks, recreational areas, and historical sites.

Honorably discharged veterans are eligible to receive a 20% discount on hunting and fishing licenses in the state of Georgia. Veterans who are totally and permanently disabled are also eligible to receive a discounted sportsman’s license.

While most government shutdowns have been avoided, a few have not. This leaves the question of whether a government shutdown can affect military benefits. We break it all down below!

A Brief Look at How Shutdowns are Handled

While government shutdowns are fairly infrequent, when they do occur, our veterans and service members are some of the first people to be affected. When a shutdown does happen, the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs quickly issue guidance for those affected by the shutdown itself. While the circumstances of shutdowns are not always the same, the guidance issued by these departments usually is.

What Has Been Affected & How

For those outside of the military, it may be surprising to see just how much is affected for service members when the government shuts down. We take a look a look at the details of what has happened in the past below.

  • Disability Pay & GI Bill Benefits
    When the government shut down in 2013, the VA issued a statement that should the closure last more than a couple of weeks, it could be possible that disability payments wouldn’t be sent to over five million veterans. During the 2019 shutdown, disability and GI Bill checks were never affected, thanks to the fact that both were being funded through separate legislations that were being debated at the time.
  • Active Duty Pay
    When the government does shut down, active-duty troops, as well as reservists and guard members are still required to do their jobs. However, they may not be paid for that work unless a separate piece of legislation gets passed by Congress that makes allowances for it. During past shutdowns, drills that had been scheduled for reservists and guard members were canceled or rescheduled.
  • Retirement & Survivor Benefit Plan Payments
    During the government shutdown in 2019, military retirees were still sent their regular pension checks. Anyone receiving Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) payments was also unaffected.
  • PCS Moves & Travel
    During past shutdowns, any servicemembers preparing for a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move had that move delayed until after the shutdown ended. Any other travel plans were also delayed. If servicemembers had already started the relocation process, they were allowed to complete their moves. For those who had travel plans delayed, they were required to report back to their bases.
  • Bereaved Family Members of Troops Recently Killed in Action
    When the government shut down in 2019, any newly bereaved families of troops who were killed in action were set to not receive death gratuity payments from the Pentagon, nor were they to receive military-sponsored travel. All Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance payments were unaffected, however.
  • On-Base Medical Care Services
    During past shutdowns, on-base military hospitals and clinics were allowed to remain open for emergencies, but inpatient care, elective procedures and appointments were all canceled until the shutdowns ended.
  • Exchanges & Commissaries
    During the 2019 government shutdown, all military exchanges were allowed to stay open and operate as they normally would. However, military commissaries within the United States had to close until the shutdown ended.

Welcome back to our series about VA benefits for veterans in each of America’s 50 states! This week, we take a look at the benefits available to veterans living in Florida. Keeping reading to learn more about VA benefits in The Sunshine State!

Veterans Homes

The state of Florida is home to one veterans’ assisted living facility:

In this facility, veterans can take advantage of housing, as well as personalized support services and primary medical care. Veterans interested in admission must be able to feed and dress themselves and prove need of care in an assisted living home. To see other eligibility criteria, please visit the link above.

There are also eight veterans’ nursing homes located throughout the state:

Each of these homes has a different number of beds, but all generally offer skilled nursing care and are equipped to care for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. For details on each location, please visit the links above.

State Veterans Cemeteries

Florida offers nine different veterans’ cemeteries in various locations:

Veterans are eligible for interment at any of these locations if they’ve met the minimum active-duty service requirements and hold an honorable discharge. Spouses and dependents may also be eligible even if they pass before the veteran. For more information on each location, please visit the links above.

Financial Benefits

Veterans in Florida can take advantage of several financial benefits, including:

  • Homestead Exemption
    Veterans with a disability rating of 100% who have been honorably discharged are eligible for exemption from having to pay taxes on their property of residence. Surviving spouses who are not remarried may also be eligible for this benefit. Veterans who are hemiplegic or paraplegic may also be exempt, depending on their income.
  • Basic Property Tax Exemptions
    Any veteran who has a disability rating of at least 10% may be eligible to receive a $5,000 deduction on the assessed value of their home. Surviving spouses who have not remarried may also be eligible for this benefit.
  • Driver’s License Fee Exemption
    Veterans who have a disability rating of 100% are eligible to receive their state driver’s license at no charge.

Employment Benefits

Florida offers several different employment benefits to its veterans as well:

  • Teacher Certification Fee Waiver
    Any veteran and/or spouse may be eligible to receive a teaching certificate and have the fee waived. More information can be found at the link above.
  • Teaching Certification Pathway
    Any veteran who holds an honorable discharge and has 60 college credits with a GPA of at least 2.5 may be eligible to receive a five-year temporary teaching certification. A subject area examination must be passed to take advantage of this benefit.
  • Veterans Hiring Preference
    When applying for state, county, and municipal government positions within the state of Florida, disabled veterans, wartime veterans, and surviving spouses of veterans who are totally disabled will receive preference in hiring. Proof of an honorable discharge must be given.

Education Benefits

There are a few different education benefits available to Florida veterans, including:

  • Veterans Florida Agriculture Program
    Veterans can take advantage of this six-month training fellowship that offers comprehensive, hands-on experience working in the agriculture industry. Experiences are found at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Research and Education facilities throughout the state.
  • College Tuition Waiver
    Veterans in Florida are eligible to have tuition at state universities, community colleges, and technical colleges waived if they are recipients of the Purple Heart or other combat decorations. This benefit only applies to undergraduate-level tuition.
  • Education for Children of Deceased or Disabled Florida Veterans
    Under this benefit, the dependent children and spouses of veterans who passed due to a service-connected disability or who are 100% disabled are eligible for four-year college education opportunities. To learn more, please visit the link above.

Recreation Benefits

Veterans in Florida are eligible for a few different recreation benefits:

  • Admission to Florida State Parks
    Florida offers its veterans a 25% discount on annual passes to all Florida state parks. A free lifetime pass is available to any veteran who can prove service-connected disabilities.
  • County & Municipal Parks
    Any county or municipal park offers veterans reduced entrance fees. For more information on parks near you, please call your local municipality office.
  • Hunting & Fishing Licenses
    Veterans are eligible to receive a Military Gold Sportsman’s License for only $20. It covers fishing and hunting, and is also a replacement for a number of other permits. Any permanently disabled veteran is eligible for a free five-year hunting and fishing license.


After any length of time in the service, the military institution has become a big part of your personal identity. As such, it can be strange to make the transition back to a civilian way of life, but there are things you can do to make it smoother and simpler.

Find a Reliable Support System

Your military service no doubt had a wonderful support system built in. While most people maintain lifelong friendships from their time in the service, it may still be strange to be without the constant support system you once had.

As soon as you discharge, it’s a great idea to build a group of people you can always rely on, whether it’s friends and family, a support group through a church, a veterans’ group or something else. These people can support you in good times, and down times, and help push your forward through the rest of your life.

Get Ready for a Different Job Market

You’ll probably find that there are times when your military experience may not transfer to civilian life in the way that you thought it might. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t find meaningful work in the civilian job market.

It’s a good idea to do a bit of repackaging – that is, tailoring your new resume to be sure it creates a clear picture of your time in the service while also ensuring it is relevant to any job you’re considering applying for. For many veterans, meeting with a career expert is an ideal way to adjust and rework your resume to include meaningful terms that will help you land a job you’ll love.

Seek Out Volunteering Opportunities to Stay Connected with Others

For many veterans, volunteering opportunities are a great way to give back while also staying connected to many values learned from time in the service. You may notice that civilian life is less mission-driven than military life, and volunteering can offer a sense of purpose and provide a feeling of doing good and supporting those who need it most.

Learn About VA Loans

You probably already know that post-military life includes VA loans, but it’s good to read up on them as soon as you’re able. These loans can’t be used for just anything and finding a good lender is something you’ll definitely want to take the time to do. If you’re looking to buy a house, be sure to do your homework on loans and what they entail.

Remember to Save for Retirement

Not all service members choose to serve for 20+ years, and that’s okay. Whenever you discharge, it’s a good idea to set up some time to meet with a financial advisor. They can help you devise a retirement plan and get your savings on track to meet your retirement goals while also helping to determine steps to consolidate income streams if you have more than one.

Consider Using Your GI Bill

While the military teaches invaluable skills, many veterans choose to go back to school after their service is completed. The GI Bill pays for your schooling, so if you’ve been thinking about getting your bachelor’s degree or thinking about beefing up your education with a master’s degree, there’s no better time!


Welcome back to our series about VA benefits for veterans in each of America’s 50 states! This week, we discuss the benefits available to veterans living in Delaware. Keeping reading to learn more about VA disability benefits in The First State!

Veterans Homes

Delaware offers one 24-acre, 15-bed veterans’ home in Milford:

This home provides skilled nursing care throughout four units. To be eligible, veterans must hold an honorable discharge from active service or be a veteran of the reserves or national guard who is eligible for retirement pay. Veterans must meet state and federal requirements for needing the level of care provided by a skilled nursing home and must also be a resident of Delaware for at least three years prior to applying.

State Veterans Cemeteries

There are two veterans’ cemeteries in Delaware:

Veterans, their spouses, and their dependents (under the age of 21, unmarried, and not life-long dependent on the veteran) are eligible for interment. Requirements include an honorable discharge and state residency. To learn more, please visit the links above.

Financial Benefits

Veterans in Delaware can take advantage of a few different financial benefits, including:

  • Income Tax Exemption
    For those under the age of 60, up to $2,000 of military retirement pay is exempt from Delaware state income tax. For those over the age of 60, up to $12,500 is exempt.
  • Pension Benefits for Paraplegic Veterans
    Any paraplegic veteran in Delaware is eligible to receive a pension from the state, which amounts to $3,000 each year, paid in monthly installments. The veteran must send proof of full disability to the pension office. Proof must contain evidence that the disability is directly related to time in the service.
  • Disabled Veterans School Tax Credit
    Any veteran who is disabled and who has been a Delaware resident for at least three years is eligible for exemption from school taxes on their property tax bill. To learn more, please visit the link above.

Employment Benefits

The state of Delaware offers two main employment benefits to veterans and their spouses:

  • State Employment Preference for Veterans
    Any disabled veteran who applied for a state job in Delaware will receive a 10-point preference, while non-disabled veterans will receive a five-point preference. These point preferences may also be claimed by unmarried widows and widowers and spouses of a veteran who is totally disabled.
  • Military Spouse Permits & Licenses
    Any military spouse who is relocating to the state of Delaware is eligible to receive a six-month temporary occupational license that will allow him/her to be employed in their discipline (pending application for endorsement).

Education Benefits

Veterans in Delaware can take advantage of the following education benefits:

  • Delaware National Guard Tuition Assistance
    Members of the Delaware National Guard are eligible to receive up to 100% coverage for tuition at any state college or university or the average in-state tuition at any private college or university
  • Children of Deceased Veterans Education Benefit
    Any child of a service member who was killed while on active duty or who passed due to disease, wounds, disabilities, or injuries related to his/her service is eligible to receive up to four years of tuition-free college education. The college of choice does not need to be in Delaware, but the child must be 16-24 years of age and will need to have been a Delaware resident for at least three years prior to applying.

Recreation Benefits

For veterans who love recreational activities, Delaware provides several benefits, including:

  • Hunting, Fishing & Trapping Licenses
    Disabled veterans who have a disability rating of at least 60% are eligible to receive free licenses for hunting, fishing, and trapping. These licenses are also available to active-duty service members for the regular resident rate in Delaware.
  • State Park Admission
    Any veteran who holds an honorable discharge and who owns a vehicle registered in Delaware is eligible to receive a 50% discount on the annual fee for vehicle entrance in Delaware state parks and recreational areas.

Whether you’re a military service member or a military spouse, new Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders mean moving. While moving can be stressful, it certainly doesn’t need to be! We’re offering tips to make your next PCS move go smoothly.

PCS Moves: The Basics

Did you know that every year over 400,000 military service members receive Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders as a part of military life?

These orders involve a long-term station assignment that usually lasts from two to four years and can be inside the continental United States (CONUS) or outside the continental United States (OCONUS). Either way, it’s bound to be a new adventure!

A PCS can be exciting, and the one thing you need to get started is a copy of your orders to start getting everything coordinated.

Getting Ready to Move

We all know that moving can be stressful, but it certainly doesn’t have to be! A little planning and coordination can make things much easier on you and your family when you have to move quickly. The best first step is to start the process as soon as you have your orders.

Organization is key, of course, and there are several resources to help you get – and stay – organized for your big move:

There may be times when relocation assistance is needed, and there are resources available for that as well. You can learn more at the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS website. The military typically will move you, and that move is coordinated through the Move.mil website. Ensuring you have your relocation briefing will be helpful as well.

You’ll always have the option of moving yourself, which is known as a Personally Procured Move (PPM). Choosing this option means that you’ll pay all moving costs, but then be reimbursed by the government. More information on PPM options can be found at your station’s transportation office.

Choosing whether you want to live on-base or off-base at your new station is an important part of your moving plan. Living on base can be as simple as contacting the housing office at your new station and getting places on the waiting list (if there is one). It’s always a good idea to find alternative arrangements in the event that there is a waiting list and it’s quite long. If buying a home or rent is more your style, there are some great resources for that as well:

Lastly, it’s never a bad idea to do some research on your new station. Take a road trip or search online for all the details you can find. A good online resource for this is the Base Guides section found on Military.com. It’s regularly updated and very informational.

You may or may not have a sponsor at your new station. If you do, you’ll have someone with knowledge of the area and can get questions answered. You can even request a sponsor from your new station if you aren’t assigned one! Simply call your new station to do so.

Good luck with your next move!