Senior Health
April 30, 2024
10 minutes

Exploring Veteran Benefits in NY

Discover the extensive veteran benefits in NY! From financial support to housing assistance, explore the programs available to you.

Veteran Benefits in New York

New York State recognizes the importance of supporting its veterans and their families. Through a range of initiatives and financial support programs, the state aims to provide assistance and resources to those who have served. Let's explore some of the key benefits available to veterans in New York.

Governor's Initiatives

Governor Kathy Hochul has been actively involved in championing initiatives and partnerships that benefit veterans and their families. Recently, she announced the award of $2.6 million in grants to 39 veterans organizations across the state through the Veterans' Nonprofit Capital Program. These grants aim to support and enhance the services provided by these organizations, ensuring that veterans receive the assistance they need.

Financial Support Programs

New York State offers a variety of financial support programs to veterans. These programs aim to provide additional assistance for various needs, such as burial expenses, transportation, and property tax exemptions.

  • Supplemental Burial Allowance: New York State provides a Supplemental Burial Allowance of up to $6,000 to surviving family members of military personnel killed in a combat zone. This allowance helps alleviate the financial burden associated with funeral and burial costs.
  • E-Z Pass for Disabled Veterans: The state offers access to the E-Z Pass for Disabled Veterans program, which provides qualifying disabled veterans with free, unlimited travel on the Thruway. This program aims to make transportation more accessible for disabled veterans, easing their financial burden.
  • Blind Annuity Program: New York State offers the Blind Annuity Program benefit for legally blind wartime veterans or their surviving unremarried spouses, regardless of service-connected blindness. This program provides financial support to individuals experiencing blindness related to their military service.
  • Property Tax Exemption Programs: New York State provides property tax exemption programs based on military service, with additional benefits depending on the degree of service-connected disability. These programs aim to reduce the financial burden on veterans and their families by offering exemptions and credits on property taxes.

These financial support programs are designed to assist veterans in various aspects of their lives, from burial expenses to transportation and property tax relief. By providing these benefits, New York State aims to honor and support its veterans for their service and sacrifice.

Special Programs for Veterans

New York State provides a range of special programs and benefits for veterans to support them in various aspects of their lives. These programs include property tax exemptions, an E-Z Pass program for disabled veterans, and a supplemental burial allowance.

Property Tax Exemptions

New York offers three different property tax exemptions for qualifying veterans and their eligible family members. These exemptions provide financial relief by reducing property tax obligations. The specific exemptions available are:

  1. Alternative Veterans Property Tax Exemption: This exemption is based on military service and provides a reduction in property taxes. The amount of exemption varies depending on the degree of service-connected disability. Veterans with higher levels of disability may receive greater tax relief.
  2. Cold War Veterans Property Tax Exemption: This exemption is available to Cold War veterans who served on active duty during the specified period. It provides a reduction in property taxes based on the percentage of disability.
  3. Eligible Funds Veterans Property Tax Exemption: This exemption is for veterans who served in a combat zone and used eligible funds to purchase their property. It provides a reduction in property taxes based on the percentage of disability.

E-Z Pass for Disabled Veterans

New York offers an E-Z Pass program for disabled veterans. The E-Z Pass system allows for convenient and discounted toll payments on participating roads and bridges. Disabled veterans can apply for an E-Z Pass tag, which provides them with discounted toll rates when using the E-Z Pass lanes.

Supplemental Burial Allowance

The supplemental burial allowance is a benefit provided by New York State to assist eligible veterans with burial expenses. This allowance helps alleviate the financial burden on veterans' families during a difficult time. To qualify for the supplemental burial allowance, certain eligibility criteria must be met, including residency and military service requirements.

These special programs for veterans in New York aim to acknowledge and support their service by providing financial assistance and benefits in various areas. Veterans can take advantage of these programs to ease the burden of property taxes, receive toll discounts, and obtain assistance with burial expenses.

Education and Employment Assistance

When it comes to education and employment assistance, veterans in New York have access to a range of programs and benefits that can help them transition into civilian life. These programs aim to support veterans in pursuing their educational goals and finding meaningful employment opportunities. Here are some key aspects of education and employment assistance available to veterans in New York.

Applying for VA Benefits

Before leaving service, members of the armed forces on active duty or full-time National Guard duty should apply for VA benefits through the VA Pre-discharge claim program. This program allows veterans to start the application process for various benefits, including education and employment assistance, before they separate from the military.

For education benefits, veterans can apply by visiting the official VA website at Alternatively, they can choose to apply by mail, in person at a VA regional office, or with the assistance of an accredited representative.

Veteran Readiness and Employment Services

Veteran Readiness and Employment Services, formerly known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E), provides a range of services to help veterans with service-connected disabilities prepare for, find, and maintain suitable employment. Veterans can apply for these services online at or by submitting a paper application using VA Form 28-1900. The paper application can be mailed to the local regional office.

Through Veteran Readiness and Employment Services, veterans can receive assistance with career exploration, vocational training, resume development, job placement, and on-the-job support. These services are designed to equip veterans with the necessary skills and resources to succeed in the civilian workforce.

Disability Compensation

Veterans who have incurred disabilities as a result of their military service may be eligible for disability compensation. Disability compensation provides monthly financial support to veterans who have service-connected disabilities. To apply for disability compensation, veterans are encouraged to apply online at Alternatively, they can download and complete VA Form 21-526EZ and mail the application to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Claims Intake Center or submit it via fax.

Disability compensation takes into account the extent and severity of a veteran's disability and provides financial support to help them meet their basic needs. It is an important benefit that can provide stability and assistance to veterans as they navigate their post-military lives.

By taking advantage of these education and employment assistance programs, veterans in New York can access the support they need to thrive in civilian life. Whether it's pursuing higher education, gaining valuable job skills, or receiving financial compensation for service-connected disabilities, these benefits are designed to honor and assist veterans in their transition to the next chapter of their lives.

Housing Assistance Programs

For veterans in New York, there are various housing assistance programs available to help make homeownership more attainable. These programs offer financial support and resources to assist veterans in purchasing their own homes. Let's explore three notable housing assistance programs in New York: the HomeFirst Down Payment Program, the Homebuyer Dream Program, and the Graduate to Homeownership Program.

HomeFirst Down Payment Program

The HomeFirst Down Payment Program offered in New York City aims to provide qualified homebuyers with up to $100,000 towards down payments or closing costs on a 1-4 family home, a condominium, or a cooperative in any of the five boroughs of New York City. This program is designed to make homeownership more accessible for veterans and offers significant financial assistance.

Homebuyer Dream Program

The Homebuyer Dream Program (HDP) in New York offers grants up to $10,000 to eligible first-time homebuyers. This program provides up to $9,500 towards down payment and closing cost assistance, as well as up to $500 for homeownership counseling costs. The HDP is designed to help veterans overcome financial barriers and achieve their dream of homeownership in New York [6].

Graduate to Homeownership Program

For recent college graduates in select New York communities, the Graduate to Homeownership Program offers support in purchasing their first home. This program provides low-interest mortgages, down payment assistance, and valuable homebuyer education resources. By easing the financial burden of buying a home, the Graduate to Homeownership Program aims to empower young veterans to enter the housing market with confidence.

These housing assistance programs in New York are just a few examples of the initiatives aimed at supporting veterans in their journey towards homeownership. By providing financial aid, down payment assistance, and educational resources, these programs strive to make the dream of owning a home a reality for veterans in New York.

Tax Exemptions and Benefits

Veterans in New York are eligible for various tax exemptions and benefits to help alleviate financial burdens. These benefits include exemptions for military retired pay, combat zone pay, and property tax exemptions.

Military Retired Pay Exemptions

Retired service members in New York can benefit from exemptions on their military retired pay. This includes exemptions from New York State, New York City, and Yonkers income taxes. By exempting military retired pay from these taxes, veterans can enjoy additional financial relief.

Combat Zone Pay Exemptions

Active duty service members serving in designated combat zones can also take advantage of tax exemptions in New York. Military pay received by service members serving in combat zones is exempt from New York taxes. This exemption helps provide financial support to those serving in high-risk areas.

Property Tax Exemption Programs

New York offers several property tax exemption programs for qualifying veterans and their eligible family members. These exemptions provide relief from property taxes, reducing the financial burden on veterans. The three property tax exemption programs available in New York are:

  1. Alternative Veterans Property Tax Exemption: This program provides property tax exemptions for veterans based on their wartime service and disability ratings.
  2. Cold War Veterans Property Tax Exemption: Veterans who served during the Cold War period may be eligible for property tax exemptions under this program.
  3. Eligible Funds Veterans Property Tax Exemption: Veterans who have received certain eligible funds from service in the armed forces can benefit from property tax exemptions under this program.

These property tax exemption programs aim to support veterans and their families by reducing their property tax obligations and providing financial relief.

By offering tax exemptions and benefits, New York acknowledges the valuable contributions and sacrifices made by veterans. These programs provide financial support and help improve the overall well-being of veterans and their families.

Recreational Benefits for Veterans

In addition to the various financial, educational, and housing assistance programs available to veterans in New York, there are also recreational benefits designed to enhance their quality of life. These benefits include hunting and fishing licenses, the Lifetime Liberty Pass, and the Gold Star Parent Annuity.

Hunting, Fishing Licenses

New York recognizes the importance of outdoor activities for veterans and offers special privileges when it comes to hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses. Resident service members serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces stationed outside of New York, who are home on leave for 30 days or less, are eligible for free hunting, fishing, or trapping licenses. This allows veterans to enjoy these recreational activities without any additional financial burden.

Disabled veterans with a 40% or greater service-connected disability rating from the VA can also benefit from reduced fee hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses in New York [7]. This initiative ensures that disabled veterans can continue to engage in these recreational pursuits while receiving necessary support.

Lifetime Liberty Pass

The Lifetime Liberty Pass is an excellent recreational benefit offered by New York to eligible resident veterans with disabilities. This pass provides free vehicle entry to state parks and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) operated day-use areas. In addition to free entry, the Lifetime Liberty Pass grants veterans access to various other benefits, allowing them to fully enjoy the natural beauty and recreational opportunities available in New York.

Gold Star Parent Annuity

New York extends a special benefit known as the Gold Star Parent Annuity to parents who have lost a child in armed conflict. This annuity provides a semi-annual payment to each Gold Star parent who is a resident of New York. It is a way for the state to honor the sacrifices made by these families and provide them with some financial support.

By offering hunting and fishing licenses, the Lifetime Liberty Pass, and the Gold Star Parent Annuity, New York ensures that veterans and their families have opportunities for recreation and enjoyment. These benefits not only acknowledge their service and sacrifice but also contribute to their overall well-being.


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