Texas Veteran's Benefits (2023)

Find Texas state and local veteran’s benefits including education, employment, healthcare, home loans, tax exemptions, recreation and much more below. Texas is a veteran-friendly state, with a large number of military bases and access to plenty of VA facilities. But the State of Texas offers additional programs for veterans and their families above and beyond what is available from the Department of Defense and the VA.

Help From The Texas Veterans Commission

This state agency offers many services for veterans. Their employment help for vets includes “one-on-one job coaching, interview skills, and resume development” according to the official site. The site includes news and application information for the Hazelwood Act, (see below) which offers 150 hours of tuition waivers for public colleges and universities in Texas.

There are indirect benefits, too. The Texas Veterans Commission offers general assistance grants to agencies dedicated to helping veterans. Similar grants are available to approved agencies for mental health, “treatment court” grants, and the “Housing For Texas Heroes” program.

Texas Veteran Education Benefits

The Hazelwood Act

The Hazelwood Act and the Hazelwood Legacy Act are two important programs available to qualifying veterans and their dependents. According to the VA official site for the state of Texas, the Hazlewood Act is “a State of Texas benefit that is run by the Texas Veterans Commission. It provides qualified Veterans, spouses, and dependent children with up to 150 hours of tuition exemption, including most fee charges, at public institutions of higher education in Texas. This does NOT include living expenses, books, or supply fees.”

The Hazelwood Legacy Act is available to qualifying dependent children. The veteran assigns his or her unused or remaining tuition-exempt Hazelwood Act hours to a dependent. Since 2011, there is a requirement that the veteran reside in the state of Texas during the time the dependent uses the benefit. Only one dependent at a time can use these hours.

Certain Hazelwood provisions also apply for “spouses and dependent children of eligible Active Duty, Reserve, and Texas National Guard who died in the line of duty or as a result of injury or illness directly related to military service, are missing in action, or who became totally disabled for purposes of employability” according to the VA official site for Texas.

Tuition Assistance For National Guard Members

The State of Texas Tuition Assistance Program, also known as the State Tuition Reimbursement Program or STRP, is “an education benefit that provides money for college to eligible members of the Texas Military Department pursuing their educational and career goals” according to Texas.gov.

This program is intended for “active drilling members of the Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG), Texas Air National Guard (TXANG) and Texas State Guard (TXSG)”. Requirements include completion of Basic Training “or its’ equivalent” according to the State of Texas. This tuition assistance is good for “first degrees” at any nationally or regionally accredited Texas college or university. Applicants cannot pursue second degrees with STRP funds.

Texas Veteran Employment Benefits

Career Assistance From The Texas Veterans Commission

The Texas Veterans Commission is a state agency offering many services for veterans. Their employment help for vets includes “one-on-one job coaching, interview skills, and resume development” according to the official site. The site includes news and application information for the Hazelwood Act, (see the education section above) which offers 150 hours of tuition waivers for public colleges and universities in Texas.

There are indirect benefits, too. The Texas Veterans Commission offers general assistance grants to agencies dedicated to helping veterans. Similar grants are available to approved agencies for mental health, “treatment court” grants, and the “Housing For Texas Heroes” program.

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Veterans with relevant training experience may qualify for credit towards licensing and other required credentialing to work for or run businesses in the state including electricians, air conditioning and refrigeration, barbering, well drilling, and others. The list of requirements for time-in-service, OJT, and other relevant military experience varies greatly depending on the type of job or license required.

Those who meet the minimum requirements may be exempt from application fees, exams, and more. Supporting documentation is required in all cases.

Unemployment Benefits For Veterans And Military Spouses

Veterans and military spouses in Texas receive consideration for unemployment benefits. According to the Texas Workforce Commission official site, those with Texas-based military service may be eligible when the applicant is physically living in Texas when filing the unemployment claim, the applicant was discharged under honorable conditions and completed one full term of service.

Those who did not serve one full term, but “separated early for a reason specified by Congress” may be eligible for an exception to the full-term requirement.

Guard/Reserve members may be eligible if they served at least 180 days of continuous active duty service on or after Nov. 25, 2015, “and received a Form DD-214 when separated, OR served at least 90 days of continuous active service, beginning on or before Nov. 24, 2015, as a reservist or member of the National Guard, and received a Form DD-214 when separated”.

Military spouses who relocate due to PCS orders or other factors may also be eligible, but the following caveat applies; “You may be eligible for benefits but you will be disqualified for 6 to 25 weeks, depending on the situation. Your maximum benefit amount is also reduced by the number of disqualified weeks” according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

Texas Veteran Housing Benefits

Veterans Land Board

The Veterans Land Board (VLB) offers qualifying veterans to borrow money directly from the State of Texas. Up to $150,000 is available per transaction “to purchase land at competitive interest rates” according to the VLB official site.

There are also other home loan options, including:

  • Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHC) My First Texas Home Loan
  • TDHC My Choice Texas Home loan
  • Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) Homes for Texas Heroes Home Loan Program
  • TSAHC Sweet Texas Home Loan

Housing Assistance

Land purchases aren’t the only option available via VLB. There is also a Veterans Housing Assistance Program (VHAP) which allows veterans to apply for fixed-rate home loans with little or no down payment required. According to the official site, “Veterans, military members and their spouses may receive up to $424,100 on a fixed-rate loan for 15, 20, 25 or 30 year terms…Veterans with a VA service-connected disability rating of 30% or greater qualify for a discounted interest rate.”

Veteran Homes in Texas

Texas has 8 veterans homes located in the following cities:

  • Amarillo
  • Big Spring
  • Bonham
  • El Paso
  • Floresville
  • McAllen
  • Temple
  • Tyler

These homes open for those who need, “long-term nursing care for Texas Veterans, their spouses and Gold Star parents” according to the official site, which adds that the Department of Veterans Affairs, “subsidizes much of a veteran’s cost to stay at a VLB Texas State Veterans Home” resulting in lower daily rates.

Visit the National Association of State Veteran Homes for a Texas state home directory with contact information, eligibility requirements and much for more.

Veterans Can Buy a Home with $0 Down

{Sponsored} The VA Home Loan offers $0 Down with no PMI. Find out if you’re eligible for this powerful home buying benefit. Prequalify today!

Texas Veteran Financial Benefits

The “Texas Income Tax Break”

Since the State of Texas features no personal income tax, military members living there will enjoy more savings at tax time than they might in states where personal income tax is collected. There is also no Texas military retirement income tax.

Tax Breaks For Disabled Veterans and Surviving Dependents

Qualifying disabled veterans and surviving spouses may be eligible for property tax breaks from the State of Texas. One such tax break is a “graduated” form of property tax relief for those with VA disability ratings starting at 10%. Tax exemption laws and requirements may change from year to year, it’s best to consult a local tax professional to see what exemptions or regulations of those exemptions apply in a given tax year.

Additional Texas Veteran Benefits

Veteran Driver Benefits

The State of Texas allows veterans to apply for driver’s licenses and ID cards with a “veteran”designation, as well as specialty license plates for both disabled and non-disabled vets. The “veteran” designation on a driver’s license is free except in cases where the applicant requests a duplicate license that is updated to show veteran status. Qualifying disabled veterans with a 60% or higher disability rating may be eligible for free driver’s licenses. Disabled veterans may also apply for parking placards and other designations.

Parks and Recreation Benefits

There are a variety of military perks for veterans including the Texas Parklands Passport- free admission to Texas state parks for veterans with disability ratings of 60% or higher, or “loss of lower extremity”. A disabled veteran license plate, VA award letter, or tax exemption letter for Texas vets is required to claim this benefit.

Free Texas Hunting Licenses

There are several options for Texas veterans including the free “Texas Resident Active Duty Military Super Combo” which requires proof of residency or military documentation showing Texas as the service member’s home of record. “Super Combo” licenses include hunting and fishing, with the exception of duck hunting, which is licensed separately. There is also a version of this free combo license for qualifying disabled veterans.

Free Or Reduced-Price Texas Handgun Licenses

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety official site, “Individuals currently serving in the military OR who were honorably discharged within the last 365 days” are eligible for a free gun license. Honorably discharged veterans who apply beyond the “free zone” 365 days after leaving military service are eligible for a reduced rate handgun license.

Texas Links to Veterans Services


Who is eligible for the Hazlewood Act? ›

In order to be eligible to receive a Hazlewood Act Exemption, a veteran must prove that he or she was a Texas resident at the time of entry into military service, entered the service in the State of Texas, or declared Texas as his or her home of record in the manner provided by the military or other service.

Is the VA disability going up in 2023? ›

2023 VA Disability Rates. 2023 VA disability pay rates, which are effective December 1, 2022, have a year over year increase of 8.7% based on the latest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

How many hours does Hazlewood cover? ›

The Hazlewood Act is a State of Texas benefit that provides qualified veterans, spouses, and dependent children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption at public institutions of higher education in Texas. This does NOT include living expenses, books, or supply fees.

Why would a veteran not get VA benefits? ›

You must have been called to active duty by a federal order and completed the full period for which you were called or ordered to active duty. If you had or have active-duty status for training purposes only, you don't qualify for VA health care.

What is the age limit for Hazlewood in Texas? ›

In order to maintain eligibility for the Legacy Program under the Hazlewood Exemption, a student must be 25 years or younger on the first day of the term for which the exemption is claimed (unless granted an extension due to a qualifying illness or debilitating condition).

How much college does the Hazlewood Act cover? ›

Through the state's Hazlewood Act, originally approved in 1943, Texas promises its veterans or their survivors 150 free credit hours at any of the state's public universities or community colleges, once their federal benefits have been exhausted. And vets may transfer hours they don't use to their children.

What will 100% VA disability rates be in 2023? ›

2023 VA Disability Pay Rates
Combined VA Rating2023 VA Compensation Rates (8.7% increase)2021 VA Compensation Rates
6 more rows
Aug 23, 2022

What happens to my VA disability when I turn 65? ›

No, VA disability does not stop at age 65; nor does it stop at age 67. VA disability benefits are for the life of the disabled veteran! And in some instances, the veteran's VA benefits can pass to the surviving spouse. At age 65, a disabled veteran may also become eligible for VA pension benefits.

Can a 100 disabled veteran get Social Security? ›

A Veterans Affairs compensation rating of 100% P&T doesn't guarantee that you'll receive Social Security disability benefits. To receive disability benefits from Social Security, a person must have a severe impairment expected to last at least one year or to result in death.

What are the 5 types of veterans? ›

Under VEVRAA, a veteran may be classified as a ''disabled veteran,'' ''recently separated veteran,'' ''active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran,'' or ''Armed Forces service medal veteran. '' active duty* in the U.S. Military?

What benefits does a 100% disabled veteran get in Texas? ›

Texas Veteran Financial Benefits
  • Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption. ...
  • Non-Primary Residence of a 100% Disabled Veteran. ...
  • Harris County Residents Veteran Homestead Exemption. ...
  • Free Driver's License for Disabled Veterans. ...
  • Land/Home Loans. ...
  • Veterans Home Improvement Program (VHIP) ...
  • Hazlewood Act. ...
  • Legacy Act (Child)

Does Hazlewood Act pay for housing? ›

Hazlewood Act

It only covers tuition and excludes room and board, student service fees, books, and the like. Qualified students can use up to 150 credit hours in tuition. The tuition waiver applies to children whose military parent died or was killed in active duty, is a prisoner of war, or is missing in action.

Do you get extra money from Social Security for being a veteran? ›

Generally, there is no reduction of Social Security benefits because of your military retirement benefits. You'll get your Social Security benefit based on your earnings and the age you choose to start receiving benefits. While you're in military service, you pay Social Security taxes, just as civilian employees do.

Can a veteran make too much money for VA benefits? ›

No, you can not make too much money to get VA benefits.

The VA has no restrictions on the earning or income status of veterans that want to receive VA benefits. VA benefits are available to any veteran who the VA has determined to have a service-related condition that negatively impacts their health.

Why do people lose VA benefits? ›

VA disability compensation payments are reduced if a Veteran is convicted of a felony and imprisoned for more than 60 days. Veterans rated 20 percent or more are limited to the 10 percent disability rate. For a Veteran whose disability rating is 10 percent, the payment is reduced by one-half.

Can I transfer my Texas Hazlewood Act to my child? ›

The Texas Hazlewood Exemption allows eligible Veterans or a designee to transfer all unused hours of the exemption, up to 150 semester credit hours, to a child who is 25 years old or younger on the first day of the term.

Does Texas still have the Hazlewood Act? ›

Yes. Hazlewood Act benefits may be used for graduate studies, including law school or any other program of study at public institutions (other than continuing education) if the Veteran has not accumulated 150 credit hours using Hazlewood Act benefits since fall of 1995.

Can I go to college for free if my dad was in the military? ›

The College Tuition Fee Waiver for the Dependents of Veterans -- sometimes called the CalVet Fee Waiver -- is a state benefit that provides a tuition-free education at the CSU and the other state public post-secondary colleges and universities.

What is the GPA requirement for Hazlewood Act? ›

SAP Requirements
Academic LevelMaximum Hours/TimeGPA Requirement
GraduateNot to exceed 150% of the required hours on Degree Plan3.0
Undergraduate (UG)Not to exceed 150% of the required hours on Degree Plan2.0

Can I use Hazlewood and Pell Grant? ›

Yes. The size of a veteran's Hazlewood Act exemption is limited by his/her Federal PELL or SEOG award. If federal education benefits such as these are received after an exemption is awarded, the exemption must be decreased proportionately. The veteran must reimburse the college or university in a timely manner.

What benefits can I get if my father was in the military? ›

Survivors of deceased military members and veterans are entitled to several forms of compensation. These include Dependent Indemnity Compensation, a Death Gratuity payment and Tricare benefits. In addition, many states offer special benefits for survivors of those who served.

How many veterans have a 100% disability rating? ›

More than a million veterans receive benefits at the 100% rate. In addition to receiving the highest possible disability payment, these veterans qualify for additional benefits if their 100% rating is permanent.

What do spouses of 100 disabled veterans get? ›

If your partner dies with a 100% disability, you may qualify for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). This refers to tax-free monthly benefits sent to the surviving spouses of disabled veterans. Per VA, the base compensation you can receive in 2022 is $1,437.66 per month.

How hard is it to get a 100 VA disability rating? ›

As you might expect, it is difficult to obtain a 100% VA disability rating with just one service-connected disability. Most veterans who receive a 100% rating have two or more disabling conditions. Often, these conditions have a secondary service connection.

How do I get the $16728 Social Security bonus? ›

To acquire the full amount, you need to maximize your working life and begin collecting your check until age 70. Another way to maximize your check is by asking for a raise every two or three years. Moving companies throughout your career is another way to prove your worth, and generate more money.

Do I keep my VA disability for life? ›

If the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has deemed your condition permanent and total, you are entitled to lifetime benefits as P&T ratings are protected from being re-evaluated or reduced.

What is the 5 year rule for Social Security? ›

You must have worked and paid Social Security taxes in five of the last 10 years. If you also get a pension from a job where you didn't pay Social Security taxes (e.g., a civil service or teacher's pension), your Social Security benefit might be reduced.

What is the most approved disability? ›

What Is the Most Approved Disability? Arthritis and other musculoskeletal system disabilities make up the most commonly approved conditions for social security disability benefits. This is because arthritis is so common. In the United States, over 58 million people suffer from arthritis.

At what age does VA disability become permanent? ›

There is no set age of when your VA disability becomes permanent. The VA rater will determine “permanence” of a VA disability if it is reasonably certain, based upon medical evidence, that the level of impairment will continue for the rest of your life. Translation: Whether you're 35 or 75 years old it does not matter.

Do 100 percent disabled veterans pay federal taxes? ›

Veterans education benefit payments received through VA for education and training are tax-free. Disability benefits received from VA, such as disability compensation, pension payments and grants for home modifications, are not taxable.

Do veterans pay for vehicle registration in Texas? ›

License plates and registration for vehicles owned and driven by disabled veterans. A person entitled to veteran specialty license plates may register, for the person's own use, one vehicle without payment of any fee paid for or at the time of registration except the fee for the license plates.

What is the most common disability in veterans? ›

The most frequently claimed disability by Veterans, tinnitus typically involves hearing sounds that don't exist, such as ringing in the ears. Hearing loss: affecting 1,228,936 Veterans. Loss of hearing is the second most prevalent disability suffered by Veterans.

Does a dd214 make you a veteran? ›

Since the DD Form 214 is issued to those leaving the active military as well as to members of the National Guard and Reserves completing their initial active duty for training, possession of this document does not necessarily mean the student is a veteran.

Do disabled veterans get free tolls in Texas? ›

State law allows a Texas toll road entity to offer discounted or free tolls to Congressional Medal of Honor, Legion of Valor and Purple Heart recipients, as well as disabled veterans who qualify and meet the requirements for specialty license plates.

Do 100% disabled veterans pay sales tax on vehicles in Texas? ›

Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax

Motor vehicles are exempt from tax if they are modified to be used by someone with orthopedic disabilities to help them drive or ride in the vehicle. The modified vehicle must be used at least 80 percent of the time to transport, or be driven by, a person with an orthopedic disability.

Do 100 percent disabled vets pay property taxes in Texas? ›

In Texas, veterans with a disability rating of: 100% are exempt from all property taxes. 70 to 100% receive a $12,000 property tax exemption.

What does Hazlewood not cover? ›

The Hazlewood Act is a State of Texas benefit that provides qualified veterans, spouses, and dependent children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption at public institutions of higher education in Texas. This does NOT include living expenses, books, or supply fees.

What is Chapter 35 benefits in Texas? ›

The Dependents' Educational Assistance (Chapter 35) provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition or eligible dependents of veterans who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition.

What does Chapter 33 VA benefits pay for? ›

The Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) helps you pay for school or job training. If you've served on active duty after September 10, 2001, you may qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33). Find out if you can get this education benefit.

What is the 55 rule for VA disability? ›

Based on the results of the exam, your disability rating may increase, decrease, or stay the same. Once you turn 55, you are typically "protected" and will no longer have to attend an exam to prove that your condition has not changed unless there is reason to suspect fraud. This is sometimes called the 55-year rule.

What is the new bill passed for veterans? ›

The PACT Act is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances.

Why don t veterans use the VA? ›

Of the veteran and active service members who reported to the annual Wounded Warrior Project Survey that they have never used VA health care services, the most common reasons given included preferring to use other health care coverage and too much trouble or red tape.

Can my wife take my VA money? ›

No. Under federal law, VA disability benefits are not marital property which courts can divide in a divorce.

What do I say to get 70% PTSD compensation? ›

The 70% rating criteria for PTSD include occupational and social impairment and deficiencies. Veterans with a 70% PTSD rating show the following symptoms: problems in most areas of their life, such as work, school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood.

Will veterans get a raise in 2024? ›

Estimates are expected to range from 2 – 3 percent in 2024, much lower than the nearly 9 percent hike in 2023, and the 5.9 percent increase in 2022. Disability compensation, clothing allowances, and dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) would rise when the COLA takes effect on Dec.

How much will VA benefits go up in 2023? ›

Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, Veterans and beneficiaries who receive VA compensation benefits will see an 8.7% increase in their monthly payments—the largest increase in over 30 years. The annual COLA increase is tied to the Social Security rate change and is based on the consumer price index (CPI).

What are the VA changes for 2023? ›

In January 2023, VA will launch a new life insurance program called Veterans Affairs Life Insurance (VALife), which provides guaranteed acceptance whole life insurance coverage to Veterans age 80 and under, with any level of service-connected disability. Some Veterans age 81 and older may also be eligible.

How does a child qualify for Hazlewood Act? ›

Children and spouses of service members who are killed in the line of duty, are missing in action, or who die as a result of injury or illness directly related to military service are eligible for Hazlewood Act benefits providing the child was a dependent of the Texas service member at the time he/she died and the ...

Can you use Hazelwood and GI Bill at the same time? ›

Hazlewood Act Answers

Yes, with the exception of Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill ®) at the 100% eligibility level or with Chapter 31 (Veteran Readiness and Employment). If you are eligible for both the Hazlewood exemption and VA education benefits under Chapters 30, 35,1606 you may use both benefits at the same time.

Can I give my Hazlewood Act to my wife? ›

An eligible child must be a TX resident who is 25 years of age or younger, and make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, certificate or continuing education program. Unused Hazlewood hours cannot be transferred to a spouse.

Are veterans dependents eligible for Hazlewood Act in Texas? ›

The Hazlewood Act exemption is a State of Texas benefit that provides qualified veterans, spouses, and children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours [semester credit hours (SCH)] of tuition exemption, including most fee charges, at public institutions of higher education in Texas.

What is a legacy child in Hazlewood? ›

What is Hazlewood Legacy? The Hazlewood Legacy program is a tuition and fee waiver for children, under the age of 26, of Texas veterans.

What program provided generous funds for veterans? ›

Veterans assistance (VA) coverage includes paying utility bills, car, rent, and mortgage payments, and other living expenses such as food and transportation costs.

Do veterans get both GI Bills? ›

Many veterans today have both the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). And while each GI Bill provides up to 36 months of benefits singularly, students can get up to 48 months combined if they know how to use the benefits.

Can I turn my GI Bill into money? ›

You have 10 years to use your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) benefits after you separate from the military. If you don't use your benefits in this time frame, you may be able to get a refund of part or all of your payments into this program.

Can you transfer the Hazlewood Act to grandchildren? ›

The grandchild may be eligible to receive benefits if the qualified veteran grandparent or surviving spouse is raising (or raised) the grandchild as a child or in loco parentis (in place of a parent).

Will the VA pay for my spouse to go to school? ›

As the spouse or dependent child of a Veteran or service member, you may qualify for certain benefits, like health care, life insurance, or money to help pay for school or training.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Patricia Veum II

Last Updated: 10/29/2023

Views: 6692

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Patricia Veum II

Birthday: 1994-12-16

Address: 2064 Little Summit, Goldieton, MS 97651-0862

Phone: +6873952696715

Job: Principal Officer

Hobby: Rafting, Cabaret, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Inline skating, Magic, Graffiti

Introduction: My name is Patricia Veum II, I am a vast, combative, smiling, famous, inexpensive, zealous, sparkling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.