If you’re a Veteran that has served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America, and you’re living with one or more disabilities in the state of Missouri, you might be eligible for a variety of benefits from the state government.
The benefits can be financial, educational, recreational, or housing related, among others. They may also include employment opportunities and job training.
In this article, we’ll go over all the different benefits that might be available to you as a disabled veteran living in MO.
Missouri disabled veterans benefits
Here are the benefits that might be available to you from the state of Missouri for having served in the military.
Missouri veteran financial benefits
There are several tax breaks available in MO for disabled veterans. If you were a POW, you might be completely exempt from paying property taxes, as we’ll discuss below.
But for all disabled veterans who are considered to be 100 percent disabled by the VA, there can be property tax breaks up to $1,100.
We will discuss these tax issues further below in the article.
Tax laws change frequently. So, be sure to check with your local Missouri VA office, or a tax attorney who works with veterans, the latest updates.
If you have a disability of 60 percent or greater according to the VA, then you get free hunting and fishing licences in the state of Missouri.
You essentially don’t have to apply for hunting and fishing licenses at all, and you can participate in these recreational activities without a permit.
You do need to carry a “certified statement of eligibility” from the VA to verify that you’re a disabled veteran.
There are certain veterans who are eligible for tuition breaks through The Missouri Returning Heroes Act.
One of the requirements is that you must have been honorably discharged from the military. You can check the link for full details on eligibility.
If you qualify, then your tuition would be limited to $50 per credit in any Missouri state-funded colleges. What’s even better is that this reduction is applied before your other federal and state student aid, if you receive any.
Again, there might be other educational benefits you qualify for, based on your specific record. Be sure to check with the local veteran’s affairs office to learn about all the benefits you may be eligible for.
You may be eligible for housing loan programs based on your veteran status.
First Place Home Loan Program – You can get lower interest rates, and even help with cash for a down payment. You may qualify even if you already own a home.
You can get more information on the program here.
Next Step Home Loan Program – This is for veterans who are not first-time home buyers. It is designed to help veterans who need assistance with the down payment for a place of primary residence.
More information here.
Missouri Veterans Homes and Housing Assistance
If you need skilled nursing care due to your disability, then a Missouri state veterans’ home might be right for you.
There are seven veterans’ homes in MO:
● Cape Girardeau
● Mt. Vernon
● St. James
● St. Louis
But many veterans are reluctant to leave their communities and move into a nursing home. You might have concerns over privacy and having less control over who provides care for you.
If you’d rather continue living and receiving care at home, then Consumer Directed Services (CDS) might be a better option for you.
See section below for more details.
Employment and Job Training
There are a few different employment and job training benefits available in MO for veterans.
MO state unemployment compensation – For veterans of the “war on terror” and their spouses, there are unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks. Your specific compensation will depend on your highest pay-grade during your service, but the maximum weekly benefit is capped at approximately $1,150.
MO state professional licensing – The state of MO makes it easier for veterans to obtain professional licensing, which would make it easier for you to obtain employment. The state directs the licensing boards to count your military training and service towards the necessary qualifications required for your professional license in MO.
Employer incentive – To encourage employers to hire veterans, the state of MO has something known as the Show-Me Heroes program.
It provides the following benefits to employers hiring and training veterans.
50 percent wage reimbursement for up to six months for any qualifying training. But the total training period has to last for more than a thousand hours.
For full details, check out the Show-Me Heroes program.
Burials and Memorials
Your family may qualify for burial services free of charge, including the following services:
● Opening and closing of grave
● Provision of a concrete grave liner
● Upright granite headstone
● Full military honors as a veteran
● Perpetual care
For the burial service, you’re eligible with any military services, as long as you were not dishonorably discharged.
If you have veteran family members who are not MO residents, they can also qualify for this benefit.
Here are the five cemeteries in MO where you can access the burial benefits as a veteran.
● Fort Leonard Wood
Missouri VA Benefit Resources
Here are some links to helpful resources for Missouri veterans:
As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your local veteran’s affairs office.
CDS for disabled veterans
CDS stands for Consumer Directed Services (CDS). It is a program through Missouri state Medicaid (also known as MO HealthNet).
It is designed for people living with long-term disabilities in Missouri. But unlike other programs, CDS helps you get long-term care at home, instead of a care facility like a nursing home, or adult day care.
It is also self-directed, meaning that you get to be in charge of your own care. You can hire friends, family, or acquaintances to provide care. You get to remain in your home and community and get care from someone you know and trust.
Your care provider also gets to look after someone they care for (you) and get compensated through MO HealthNet. It’s a win-win.
How CDS helps disabled veterans
When you hire a care provider through CDS, you can get help with activities of daily living (ADL).
ADL can include a variety of things like personal hygiene tasks, grooming, bathing, going to the toilet, meal prep, and more.
If you have a disability, it might affect your mobility, and your ability to do daily living tasks with ease.
The point of hiring a caregiver through CDS is that they would help you with these activities so you can continue living in your home with comfort and dignity.
How CDS works
To qualify for CDS, you need to be eligible for Medicaid, since CDS is funded through MO HealthNet.
You also need to have a long-term disability that makes it necessary for you to receive care at home. You also need to be able to hire and train your caregiver on your needs.
For full details on eligibility, benefits of CDS, how it works, and how to apply, be sure to check out our easy to understand guide on CDS.
MO tax questions for disabled veterans
When it comes to benefits, it’s not just about what you’re entitled to receive from the state of MO. You must also consider how your benefits and your veteran status can help you with taxes.
Here are a couple of the most frequently asked questions about MO taxes for disabled veterans.
Do disabled veterans pay property taxes in Missouri?
As a disabled veteran, you might be eligible to receive credit up to $1,100 in tax exemption if you own property. If you’re a renter, then the maximum credit can be $750.
But there are a few requirements.
First, you have to be considered 100 percent disabled due to your military service. Also, the exemption can only apply to your primary residence, meaning the home where you live.
There are income limits in place to qualify, depending on if you’re filing as a single individual or a couple. But if you’re a disabled veteran, then you don’t need to include your VA payments when calculating your income for eligibility.
For full details on how to qualify for tax credits as a disabled veteran, check out this Missouri Property Tax Credit eligibility chart.
Full property tax exemption for former POW
If you’re also a former prisoner of war (POW), along with being 100 percent disabled due to military service, and it’s for your primary residence, then you’re fully exempt from property taxes in Missouri.
This is according to Article XII, Section 2(b) of the Missouri Constitution.
You’ll need to provide evidence of your former POW status in one of the following ways:
● Form DD 214 (Discharge Certificate) for Ex-Prisoner of War Status.
● A letter verifying former POW status from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), or the United States Department of Veteran Affairs.
Does Missouri Tax VA disability benefits?
VA benefits are not taxable. So, you’ll not get taxed in Missouri, or any other state, for your Veteran’s Affairs benefits.
You’ll not receive a 1099 tax form from the VA. If you need a statement of your benefits as proof of income, or for any other purpose, you can contact your local VA office.
If you weren’t sure before about what type of benefits are available to you as a disabled veteran living in Missouri, hopefully this article has given you some helpful information.
Take some time to review the benefits listed above and make a note of which ones are beneficial/relevant to you.
Then you can get in touch with the relevant offices/departments to get the enrollment process started.
And if you want self-directed long-term care at home through Missouri Medicaid, remember to check out how CDS works.