Benefits in my backyard

Oregon, Oklahoma and Kentucky

Jonathan Kaupanger
February 23, 2018 - 2:33 pm

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael T. Eckelbecker/U.S. Navy

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Veteran emergency assistance programs, tips on state job selection lists and how your kids can go school tuition free, are just a few of the state offered veteran benefits we’re checking out today.

Oregon

There are two state-run veterans’ homes in Oregon, they're open to vets with other-than-honorable discharges and Gold Star parents.

Active duty service members don't pay tax on their military earnings as long as the money is made outside of the state. Up to $6k of in-state active duty pay is untaxed as well.  As far as retirement pay goes, if you had military service before 10/1/1991, you might be able to deduct a part of your retirement pay. Anything after that date is taxed normally.

Veterans with a disability rating of 40 percent or more can qualify for a property tax exemption.

A very cool program in Oregon is Veterans’ Emergency Assistance. This is financial assistance for vets and their immediate families. If you have an emergency with housing or housing-related expenses, utilities, insurance, medical or transportation, Oregon wants to help. The payments are made directly to the creditor but keep in mind, it's a one-time only grant.

Looking for a job in the Beaver state?  Vets get five points added to their final scores when taking tests for state jobs. Disabled veterans get 10 points. 

The Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs website has more on all these benefits and who you should contact for help.

Oklahoma

Honorably discharged Oklahoma vets have seven state run veterans’ homes to choose from. There is a fee for care, but spouses may be eligible for admission, too.

The Sooner state is the place to be for some vets – 100 percent disabled veterans don’t pay property tax or sales tax. For everyone else, the first $10k of retirement pay is tax exempt as is the first $1,500 of active duty pay. 

The state veterans’ preference adds five points to employment tests. This is available for veterans and un-remarried surviving spouses too. Disabled war veterans have 10 points added to their tests. If you have a service connected disability of at least 30 percent, you're put at the top of the selection list.

The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs has more info on these and other programs.

Kentucky

There are four long term veterans’ homes in Kentucky.  They are open to those with other-than-dishonorable discharges but the costs are based on the veteran’s ability to pay. 

Military retirement pay is tax free if you are retired before Jan. 1, 1998.  Military income is not taxed in Kentucky. Vets with a 100 percent service connected disability are exempt from paying property tax on their personal home.

An other-than-dishonorable discharge gets five points added to state employment tests and disabled vets are given 10 points. You’ll need to ask, depending on what job you’re applying for, but some spouses and surviving spouses are eligible for extra points as well.

Children, stepchildren, spouses and unremarried surviving spouses of veterans who died on active duty can take part in the state's tuition waiver program. If you have a  100 percent service connected disability, you're entitled to the same education benefit. This works for all schools that are operated or funded by the Kentucky Department of Education. The veteran and recipient must both be state residents and the deceased veteran must have been a resident at the time of death.

The Kentucky Department of Veterans’ Affairs website has more info.