100% State Benefits – Iowa
Note: Information for this document was gathered from various sources including: https://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-state-benefits/iowa-state-veterans-benefits.html
Visit the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs Website for more detailed information: https://va.iowa.gov/
For more information, visit: https://www.nasvh.org/state-homes/statedir.cfm
Your eligibility for State Veterans Homes is based on clinical need and setting availability.
Each State establishes eligibility and admission criteria for its homes.
Talk with a VA social worker about the eligibility requirements of State Veterans Homes near you and to figure out a plan for paying for State Veterans Home care services.
Veterans Homes Locations:
- Honorably discharged veterans.
- The dependent spouses or surviving spouses of honorably discharged veterans.
- Gold Star parents.
Spouses must be married to a veteran for at least a year before they apply.
Applicants shall have met the residency requirements of the state on the date of admission.
All applicants must need either residential or nursing care. A committee will decide the starting level and type of care for each applicant. If a bed in that area is not open, the applicant’s name will go on a waiting list.
State Veterans Cemetery
For more detailed information visit: https://www.cem.va.gov/cems/state.asp?STATE=IA
National Veterans’ Cemeteries:
|Keokuk National Cemetery
1701 J Street
Keokuk, IA 52632
Burial Space: Open
|Oakdale Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot
Oakdale Memorial Gardens
2501 Eastern Avenue
Davenport, IA 52807
Burial Space: Closed
State Veterans Cemeteries:
|Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs
7105 NW 70th Avenue
Johnston, IA 50131
VA Grant Funded: N/A
Robert C. King, Director
|Iowa Veterans Cemetery
34024 Veterans Memorial Drive
Adel, IA 50003
VA Grant Funded: Yes
Robert Stavnes, Benefits and Cemetery Bureau Chief
|Iowa Veterans Home Cemetery
1301 Summit Street
Marshalltown, IA 50158
VA Grant Funded: No
The Iowa Veterans Cemetery began operation on July 3, 2008. Located 10 miles west of Des
Moines, near Van Meter, the cemetery is available to all veterans, their spouses, and dependent
children for burial. Honorably discharged veterans will be interred at no charge and
spouses/dependents will be buried for a $300 fee.
Many states have established state veterans cemeteries. Eligibility is like Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries but may include residency requirements. Even though
they may have been established or improved with Government funds through VA’s Veterans
Cemetery Grants Program, state veterans cemeteries are run solely by the states.
Iowa Veteran Financial Benefits
For more information, visit the following website: https://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/Benefit-Library/State/Territory-Benefits/Iowa
Military pay received by Service members on active duty is not taxed in Iowa.
- Military retired pay, that is included in federal gross income, is exempt from Iowa income tax.
- Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) does not withhold taxes for state or local income tax, but it is reported annually on IRS Form 1099-R. All TSP distributions are subject to state taxes and early distributions may incur higher taxes.
- Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces should not be included in taxable income.
- Some of the payments which are considered disability benefits include:
- Disability compensation and pension payments for disabilities paid to Veterans or their Families.
- Grants for homes designed for wheelchair living.
- Grants for motor vehicles for Veterans who lost their sight or the use of limbs, or
- Benefits under a dependent-care assistance program.
- DIC is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-connected injury or disease.
- SBP, RCSBP and RSFPP annuities are not taxed in Iowa.
- Military student loan repayments included in federal adjusted gross income are exempt from Iowa income tax for active and reserve component Service members who are serving in an active-duty status.
- National Guard Service members called to federal or state active duty, or U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service members called to federal active duty can make a withdrawal from a qualified retirement account that is not subject to Iowa income tax or state tax penalty. Federal Taxes will still apply.
- Iowa income tax is not owed if a Service member’s federal income taxes were forgiven because of one of the following circumstances:
- Service member was killed in a combat zone.
- Service member is missing in action and presumed dead.
- Service member was killed outside the U.S. due to a terrorist act or military action.
- Military pay received by a resident Service member for active-duty service in a combat zone, or hazardous duty area that is excluded from their federal adjusted gross income is also exempt from Iowa income tax.
- Service members have 180 days from their return from a combat zone or when they are released from hospitalization due to injuries they received in a combat zone to file their state income taxes.
For more information, visit the following website: Military Service Member Homeownership Assistance
This $5,000 grant is available to veterans buying a home in the state of Iowa. The grant can be used for down payments and closing costs on qualifying homes. The funds may be used in conjunction with the First Home and Homes for Iowans programs. This program is limited to funding availability.
Members must have served on or after Sep. 11, 2001, or at least 90 days between Aug. 2, 1990, and Apr. 6, 1991, and purchased a home after Mar. 10, 2005.
A surviving spouse of an eligible service member may also receive this grant.
NOTE: Active-duty need not be consecutive; it may be cumulative. Inactive duty training, annual training and active duty for training may not count toward active duty.
Military Service Property Tax Exemption
This benefit reduces a veteran’s assessed home value for property tax purposes. To qualify, a service member must have served on active duty during a period of war or for a minimum of 18 months during peacetime.
Consult the local assessor’s office for detailed requirements regarding these exemptions.
The amount of exemption can vary. You must own the property on July 1 of each claim year.
File your claim with the local assessor by July 1. Once you have filed, the claim for exemption is applicable to subsequent years and no further filing is required provided the claimant or the claimant’s spouse owns the property on July 1 st of each year.
Contact information for all assessors can be found at the Iowa State Association of Assessors website: https://www.iowa-assessors.org/
Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Tax Credit
Visit the following website for more information and for the application:
Description: Originally adopted to encourage home ownership for disabled veterans. The current credit is equal to 100% of the actual tax levy.
Veterans with a permanent service-connected disability rating of 100% qualify for this credit. Veterans also qualify who have a permanent and total disability rating based on individual unemployability paid at the 100% disability rate.
The veteran must own and occupy the property as a homestead on July 1 of each year, declare residency in Iowa for income tax purposes, and occupy the property for at least six months each year.
Persons in the military or nursing homes who do not occupy the home are also eligible.
A surviving spouse of a disabled veteran receiving DIC payments also qualifies.
The surviving spouse as a beneficiary of the estate of a veteran who received the credit may continue to receive the credit if the spouse resides in the qualified homestead and does not remarry.
Filing Requirements: Claim must be filed on or before July 1. A current Summary of Benefits Letter and a DD214 must be included with your application.
NOTE: Annual reapplication is no longer required. Instead, a notification to the assessor is required if a veteran or surviving spouse no longer qualifies for the credit.
Link to Application: https://tax.iowa.gov/forms/application-disabled-veteran-homestead-tax-credit-54-049
Injured Veterans Grant Program
Visit the following website for more information and the application: https://dva.iowa.gov/benefits-assistance/injured-veterans-grant
This grant provides up to $10,000 to service members or discharged veterans who sustained serious or very serious combat-related injuries in a combat theater of operations after Sep. 11, 2001.
The intent of this program is to provide immediate financial assistance to a veteran so that family members may be with the veteran during the recovery from an injury received in the line of duty in an area where the veteran was receiving hazardous duty pay after September 11, 2001.
Grant amounts: Grants will be paid by the Iowa department of veterans affairs in increments of $2,500 up to a maximum of $10,000.
The veteran shall remain eligible for the grant after discharge from the military so long as the veteran continues to receive medical treatment or rehabilitation services for the specific injury or illness.
For 24-hour counsel, call the National Veteran Crisis Hotline at: 1-800-273-8255
Iowa Veterans Trust Fund
Visit the following website for more information and the application: http://va.iowa.gov/iowa-veterans-trust-fund
The State of Iowa has established a multi-million dollar fund to provide certain services to veterans. Beginning in December 2007, interest from this fund has been available to provide relief for Iowa veterans and their families.
The funds are used for unemployment or underemployment assistance due to service-related causes, assistance with vision, hearing, dental care, durable medical equipment, and prescription drugs; counseling and substance abuse services; vehicle repairs; housing repair; and transitional housing in an emergency. Trust fund expenditures are approved through the Iowa Veterans Commission.
Income. Shall not exceed 300% of poverty guidelines.
Benefits Available to veterans and spouses:
- Travel – For wounded veterans directly related to follow-up medical care.
- Unemployment Assistance – Due to prolonged physical, mental condition or disability
causing their unemployment. $3,000 in a twelve month period, with a lifetime maximum
- Job Training or Education Assistance – Lifetime maximum of $5,000.
- Individual or Family Counseling – Up to $5,000 in a twelve month period.
- Dental – Up to $10,000 lifetime maximum.
- Audiology – Up to $1,500.00 per ear in a twelve month period.
- Emergency Housing Repairs – Up to $10,000 lifetime maximum.
- Emergency Vehicle Repairs – Up to $10,000 lifetime maximum not exceeding the value
of the vehicle.
- Emergency Vehicle Purchase – Up to $5,000 ONE TIME use.
- Emergency Room – Lifetime maximum of $7,500.
- Durable Medical Equipment – $5,000 in a twelve-month period. Lifetime maximum
The application process starts at your local VA office.
Iowa Veteran Employment Preference
For more information, visit the following website: https://das.iowa.gov/human-resources/state-employment/veterans-points-information
Honorably discharged veterans get five percentage points added to their grade or score attained in qualifying examinations for jobs with the state, public works, counties, cities, and schools.
An additional five points are added to the grade or score for veterans getting VA disability or pension, or who have received a Purple Heart.
Documents should be submitted via email to DASHRE.firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 515-281-7970.
You may also send your documents to:
Department of Administrative Services, Division of Human Resources
Hoover State Office Building
1305 E. Walnut St.
Des Moines, IA 50319-0150
Attn: Employment Team
Your documents will not be returned to you.
To be considered for points for a current job vacancy, all documents must be received not later than the day of the post close date.
Documents received after the post close date will be applied to future vacancies only.
Please Note: Iowa veterans hiring preference for state, county, and municipal positions DIFFERS from the federal veterans hiring preference.
Veterans Designation on Iowa Drivers Licenses and IDs
Honorably discharged veterans may request the “Veteran” designation be placed on their driver’s license or non-operator identification card.
Veteran must present a copy of their DD214 or applicable discharge document to the Iowa DOT. The veteran must then complete an Iowa DOT Application form.
Note: Veterans may request the “veteran” designation anytime they seek a new card, not just at the time of renewal. The cost for a duplicate DL or nonoperator ID is $10.00.
Contact your local DMV to determine if any additional documentation is required.
Honorably discharged veterans are eligible to purchase specialty veteran license plates for their vehicle. These special plates are available for an additional charge through the Iowa Department of Transportation.
Disabled Veteran Plates
Visit the following website for more information: https://iowadot.gov/mvd/vehicleregistration/vehicleregistration/plates/dveteran
Eligible disabled veterans can receive a specialty license plate from the Iowa DOT.
To be eligible, you must be a seriously disabled veteran who has been provided with an automobile by the US government under specified provisions.
Additional considerations include the following:
Numbered plate fee: Seriously disabled veterans who have been provided with an automobile or other vehicle by the United States government are exempt from the payment of the registration fee for one vehicle.
Personalized or special plate fee: A disabled veteran may obtain a set of nonmilitary special registration plates or personalized plates by paying the additional fees associated with those plates.
United States Armed Forces Plates: A disabled veteran who applies for any type of special registration plates associated with service in the United States armed forces shall be issued one set of the special registration plates at no charge and subject to no annual registration fee if the owner is eligible.
How to apply:
You must submit a certification from the Veterans Administration that the motor vehicle has been provided to you by the United States government under the provisions of Sections 1901 to 1903, Title 38 of the United States Code. The certification shall be submitted to the county treasurer’s office in the veteran’s county of residence when the motor vehicle is first registered.
Your plates will be sent to your county treasurer’s office and staff will notify you when your plates are ready. Plates must be assigned to a vehicle within 90 days or the plates will be voided and no refund issued. Your current plates must be exchanged for your new plates.
Parking Waiver: Effective July 1, 2022, any vehicle that displays this Iowa-issued veterans license plate may park for free in any city-owned or operated parking lot or city-metered space in Iowa. A city shall not enforce any ordinance related to fees at these locations.
Any questions related to whether you can park in a particular location or how to have a fee waived should be directed to the relevant city for interpretation.
Iowa Veteran Education Benefits
Iowa offers a wide variety of Educational Benefits to resident veterans and their dependents.
State Educational Benefits can be used in conjunction with the National Educational Benefits (DEA)
Visit the following link for a full list: https://educateiowa.gov/adult-career-comm-college/veterans-and-military-education or https://va.iowa.gov/benefits
War Orphans Tuition Assistance
Children of Iowa veterans killed in action following Sep. 11, 2001 are eligible for up to $11,844.00 per year in tuition assistance at an Iowa post-secondary institution.
Children qualify up to the age of 26.
Dependents of those killed in action prior to Sep. 11, 2001 are eligible for $600 per year with a maximum of $3,000.
Residency is required to receive this benefit.
Information: War Orphan Tuition Assistance
Note: Applicants cannot receive both DIC and The War Orphans Fund.
We recommend that you contact the Iowa Department of Veterans affairs for assistance with filing the necessary applications.
National Guard Service Scholarship
Information: National Guard Tuition Benefits
The Iowa National Guard Service Scholarship provides annual awards to Iowa National Guard members who attend eligible Iowa colleges and universities. Maximum individual awards cannot exceed the current maximum resident tuition rate at Iowa Regent Universities. The Iowa Adjutant General determines eligibility and award amounts annually.
- Iowa resident
- Member of an Iowa Army or Air National Guard unit for each term the member receives benefits
- Satisfactorily complete required Guard training
- Maintain satisfactory performance of Guard duty
- Pursue a certificate or undergraduate degree at an eligible Iowa college or university (students with BA degrees are not eligible to participate even if pursuing a second BA degree) and maintain satisfactory academic progress.
Note: A qualified individual cannot receive an Iowa National Guard Service Scholarship award for more than 120 semester credit hours or the equivalent (effective July 1, 2015) of undergraduate study.
The statutory maximum is established annually by the Iowa Adjutant General. The maximum award for the 2023-24 academic year has been set to $8,798 or the tuition rate charged to the recipient, whichever is lower.
October 1: Iowa Financial Aid Application and FAFSA will be available
July 1: Iowa Financial Aid Application and FAFSA fall priority deadline
December 1: Iowa Financial Aid Application and FAFSA spring priority deadline
Operation Recognition High School
Veterans who did not complete high school (in Iowa) due to enlisting in armed service can apply for an honorary high school diploma. IDVA and the Department of Education review applications and establish eligibility for honorably discharged veterans. A copy of the veteran’s DD 214 papers must be included with the application.
Qualifying Dates of Active Service
- World War I: April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918
- World War II: September 16, 1940 – December 31, 1946
- Korean Conflict: June 25, 1950 – January 31, 1955
- Vietnam Conflict: February 28, 1961 – May 5, 1975
Children of Fallen Iowa Service Members Scholarship
The Branstad-Reynolds Scholarship fund provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children of deceased military service members who died while in an active military status after September 11, 2001.
Scholarships may be used to subsidize the costs of tuition, books, fees, housing, special tools, and equipment required for coursework, school-approved tutoring, and any other required educational expenses. Once all educational expenses are met, any remaining funds will be released to the student to cover other expenses as needed.
NOTE: Annual deadline is December 31st of the current year.
Applicants will be notified via mail or email regarding award decisions. Applicants should notify the scholarship administrator at the educational institution if their contact information changes.
Information and Application: Branstad/Reynolds Scholarship Fund
Send completed application to:
Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs
Attn: Children of Fallen Iowa Service Members Scholarship
7105 NW 70th Avenue, Camp Dodge, Building 3465
Johnston, IA 50131
For questions, please call the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs at 800-838-4692.
Iowa Recreational Benefits
Iowa Veteran Lifetime Hunting/Fishing License
Veterans in receipt of at least a 0% service-connected disability can receive a lifetime hunting or fishing license for a $7.00 fee. In order to qualify, the Iowa resident must have served on active federal service and was disabled as a result of that service.