Many people know about federal veterans benefits, but did you know that each state also offers veterans benefits as well? We cover many programs that are unique to each state. Read along to find out more about Arkansas veterans benefits!
Who qualifies as a veteran?
First, let’s cover what qualifies as a veteran – most programs will use this to ensure that eligible candidates receive the benefits they are entitled to.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs,
“The term ‘veteran’ means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable”.
Who qualifies as a resident?
Various programs have specific length of residency requirements to access Arkansas veterans benefits, but to receive some services through the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs, proof of 60 days of residency is required. For some veteran education programs, six months of residency is required.
If a person spends more than half of a year in Arkansas, they are considered a resident for state tax purposes.
Proof of residency can include your Arkansas state drivers license or photo ID, mortgage statements, utility bills, tax documents, and more.
What is the most popular Arkansas veteran benefit?
If you are a veteran living in Arkansas, you are now no longer subject to state tax on retirement pay! This applies only to military retirement income and went into effect in January 2018!
What is the most underused state veteran benefit?
Do you like to hunt or fish? Another benefit available to those who have retired from the military is the Resident Military Retiree Lifetime Combination License! This amazing benefit gives all the privileges of the Resident Sportsman’s License and Resident Fisheries Conservation License. Applicants must be military retirees aged 60 plus. There are also a variety of discounted and free licenses available for military disabled applicants. Active duty service members who are stationed in Arkansas can obtain permits at the resident rate.
Other outdoor Arkansas veteran benefits
If you enjoy the outdoors, you can see if you qualify for special permits to access and camp at Arkansas State Parks! You may be able to camp for half price if you have a 100% service-related disability.
Heading back to school?
There are a number of college, university, and trade school programs that provide Arkansas veterans benefits! For starters, veterans qualify for resident tuition rates and fees as long as they have 90 or more days of service in the military and they are starting the program of study within three years of discharge. This also applies to spouses of veterans!
The Arkansas Department of Higher Education also is able to provide free tuition at state-supported schools for the spouse or child of any Arkansas resident who has been declared a Prisoner of War or Missing in Action.
Arkansas veterans benefits include hiring preference for veterans and their spouses for state jobs! The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services provides career counseling and job referrals.
Does a veteran in your family need assisted living resources? The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs has two nursing homes for veterans located in Fayetteville and North Little Rock. These facilities include medical and hospice care, as well as providing therapies and transportation for appointments.
Qualifications to apply for residence at these facilities include:
- Honorable discharge
- Need for medical assistance and nursing home care
- Spouses and Gold Star Family parents are eligible to apply
- Arkansas residence receive preference admission
Homestead Tax Exemption
If you have a service-related disability, you may not have to pay any state taxes on your home or personal property! To qualify, you must be receiving monthly compensation from Veterans Affairs for one or more of the following conditions:
- 100% total and permanent service-related disability
- Loss or loss of use of one or more body limbs
- Total blindness in one or both eyes
The state tax exemption also applies to surviving spouses and minor children of veterans who are declared Missing in Action or deceased due to military service.
Another financial benefit!
If you have a service-related disability, Arkansas veterans benefits also includes a tax break you may qualify for! In purchasing a vehicle, you may not have to pay state sales tax if it qualifies as “the sale of motor vehicles and adaptive equipment to disabled veterans who have purchased the motor vehicles or adaptive equipment with the financial assistance of the Department of Veterans Affairs”!
Special license plates
Special privileges may be available to those who obtain special license plates related to their military service! Plates may be used as part of identification for some Arkansas veteran benefits such as State Parks access. The Office of Motor Vehicles has nearly two dozen specialty plates for veterans and their families. Here are some that you may qualify for!
- Armed Forces Retired License
- Armed Forces Reserves Retired License
- Cold War Veteran License
- Congressional Medal of Honor License
- Disabled Veteran License (at least 30%)
- Disabled Veteran License (100%)
- Distinguished Flying Cross License
- Ex-Prisoner of War License
- Gold Star Family License
- Korean Veteran License
- Merchant Marine Retired License
- National Guard License
- Operation Enduring Freedom License
- Operation Iraqi Freedom License
- Pearl Harbor Survivor License
- Persian Gulf War Veteran License
- Purple Heart License
- Purple Heart Motorcycle License
- Vietnam War Veteran License
- World War II Veteran License
Are you looking for more resources for Arkansas veterans benefits?
The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs has advocates to help you identify services you qualify for!
Looking for more local help? We’ve got links to all kinds of Arkansas programs!
We have amazing resources for more veterans resources nationwide!