What Being A Veteran In Texas Means
Posted on January 28 2016
So are you a veteran in Texas or are you thinking about moving to Texas? Texas has some of the best benefits for veterans out of any other state. Below I intended to offer a detailed evaluation of those benefits with relative links for anyone who is searching for the answer.
Claims Representation and Counseling
The Texas Veterans Commission serves Veterans, their dependents and survivors, in all matters pertaining to Veterans' state and federal disability benefits and entitlements. It is the designated agency of the State of Texas to represent the State and its Veterans before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The agency represents Veterans in filing VA disability claims and during VA appeals processes, and assists dependents with survivor benefits and entitlements. They have distributed $1.5 billion through there representation. (I have never used this service. I was lucky enough to have all my claims go through with no problems. Except for my purple heart but I fought for it all the way up and finally got it.) Visit the website here: Claims
A Veteran must:
- At the time of entry into active duty the U.S. Armed Forces, designated Texas as Home of Record; or entered the service in Texas; or was a Texas resident;
- Have received an honorable discharge or separation or a general discharge under honorable conditions as indicated on the Veteran's Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214);
- Served at least 181 days of active duty service (excluding training);
- Have no federal Veteran’s education benefits, or have no federal Veterans education benefits dedicated to the payment of tuition and fees only (such as Chapter 33 or 31; for term or semester enrolled that do not exceed the value of Hazlewood benefits;
- Not be in default on a student loan made or guaranteed by the State of Texas;
- Enroll in classes for which the college receives tax support (i.e., a course that does not depend solely on student tuition and fees to cover its cost), unless the college’s governing board has ruled to let Veterans receive the benefit while taking non-funded courses; and
- Meet the GPA requirement of the institution's satisfactory academic progress policy in a degree or certificate program as determined by the institution's financial aid policy and, as an undergraduate student, not be considered to have attempted an excessive amount of credit hours.
- Visit the website here to learn more: Texas Veterans Commission
Texas State Park Admission
The Veterans passport allows free entry to Texas state parks for U.S. veterans with a 60 percent or more service-connected disability or loss of lower extremity.
Present one of the following to get your passport:
- Disabled Veterans of Texas license plate receipt
- Veteran's award letter (which establishes the degree of disability)
- Tax exemption letter for Texas veterans.
Learn more about that here: Texas Parks
Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Disabled veterans of 50% or more get free Hunting and Fishing licenses. Learn more here: TexVet
Concealed Handgun License Reduced Fees
You can get a concealed handgun license for a reduced fee. (I think I paid $25 for mine and had to take the class, whom also offered a discount.) Apply here: Texas Concealed Handgun License
Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans
This agency provides pro bono civil legal assistance to brave veterans and their families who otherwise cannot afford legal services. I have personally called and requested assistance through this program, though it turned out I didn't need a lawyer. But awesome resource for those that may need legal help. Texas Lawyers for veterans
Property Tax Exemption
You may either qualify for total property tax exemption or partial based upon your disability rating. This is done on a sliding scale, the more you have the more you are exempt. The Texas Government website had a broken link about this but I found a website that explains it pretty well with how you can apply: TexVet
There are a few other benefits but most veterans really don't use it. Hopefully I had provided some adequate resources for one to find all that Texas offers Veterans. Please ask questions or leave comments.
Drive on my Friends.