Many people assume that only veterans who were disabled while on active duty can qualify for veterans’ benefits. But this isn’t always the case.
While it’s true that compensation benefits may be reserved for veterans disabled in active service, there are other available benefits for Louisiana veterans.
Let’s take a look at five types of benefits available to veterans in Louisiana.
1. Financial Benefits
Louisiana offers several different types of financial benefits for its veterans. Here are some common ones below:
- Veterans’ combat pay (such as hazardous duty pay) is not only exempt from federal taxation but also any Louisiana state taxation. Additionally, military retirement benefits are exempt from state taxation as well.
- Any federal retirement benefits received by federal retirees are excluded from Louisiana state tax income.
- Eligible survivors of military service members who died in the line of duty or whose death resulted from a service-related disease or injury (referred to as “Dependency and Indemnity Compensation” or “DIC”) is considered a tax-free benefit.
- Qualifying Louisiana veterans may also receive homestead tax benefits, helping to protect their homes’ value. For example, qualifying veterans may receive a homestead tax exemption applying to the first $7,500 in the home’s assessed value. Additionally, Louisiana disabled veterans or the families of those service members killed in action may receive special property tax exemptions. These eligible veterans or beneficiaries may receive an additional $7,500 exemption in addition to the homestead exemption.
To find out if you qualify for these exemptions, you can contact your local parish’s veterans service office, or a qualified Louisiana veterans benefits attorney.
2. Educational Opportunities
Louisiana also offers educational opportunities to its veterans through its Dependents Education Assistance statute. Louisiana offers education assistance to surviving spouses of veterans and children of 90% or greater disabled veterans as well as children of 100% disabled and unemployable veterans.
To qualify, the deceased veteran must have been a Louisiana resident for at least 12 months before entering military service, whereas a living veteran must have lived in Louisiana for at least 24 months before the applicable child (who is between the ages of 16 -25) is admitted to the educational program.
3. Employment Opportunities
For individuals with military training and experience, Louisiana allows the transfer of these military skills to civilian employment, through the offering of corresponding professional licenses or certifications.
To find out if you’re eligible for these employment opportunities, contact a qualified Louisiana veterans benefits attorney.
4. Memorial and Burial Benefits
Veterans, their surviving spouses, and their dependent children are eligible to be buried in a national cemetery while using a VA-provided headstone. There is no charge for this burial for veterans, while there is a small fee for surviving spouses and dependent children.
In Louisiana, national cemeteries include Baton Rouge National Cemetery, Louisiana National Cemetery, Alexandria National Cemetery, and Port Hudson National Cemetery.
5. Housing Benefits
Finally, Louisiana provides housing benefits to veterans who are Louisiana residents and have been honorably discharged from military service. Monthly housing costs are contingent on how much the veteran can pay. Additionally, surviving spouses and Gold Star parents may be eligible for housing benefits if they meet certain criteria.
Some veterans’ home sites include Louisiana State Veterans Home at Bossier City, Jackson, Jennings, Monroe, and Reserve.
Why Retain Losavio & DeJean, LLC?
At Losavio & DeJean, LLC, we provide clients with specialized, experienced, compassionate legal services, and we have deep knowledge and experience in veterans benefits law. Our Baton Rouge estate planning lawyers have provided dedicated, knowledgeable legal services since 1976, and we can put our experience to work for you, too.
To help veterans and the widow(er)s of veterans obtain veteran’s benefits, your attorney must be accredited with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). At Losavio & DeJean, LLC, all of our disability law attorneys in Baton Rouge are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
We are committed to providing empathetic and compassionate legal counsel. When you work with us, your needs come first.
Contact us today to learn more.