State / Territory Benefits - Iowa

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Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Compensation
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Summary: Iowa offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including Veterans Employment Assistance, War Orphans Education Aid, Special Vehicle License Plates, as well as Hunting, Fishing license and State Park privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status.

State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility

State Taxes:

Property Tax Exemptions: Reduces a Veteran's assessed home value for property by $1,850.
Eligibility: Must have served on active duty during a period of war or for a minimum of 18 months during peacetime.

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Retired Military Pay: Military Retirement Benefits Exclusion from Iowa Income tax - recently-enacted legislation (2014) exempts federal retirement pay received for military service and survivor benefits from state individual income tax. Because the change is retroactive to January 1, 2014, individuals receiving military retirement benefits may immediately change or eliminate the amount of Iowa tax being withheld on their military pension.

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VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Not subject to federal or state taxes.

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Military SBP/ RCSBP/RSFPP: Recently-enacted legislation (2014) exempts federal retirement pay received for military service and survivor benefits from state individual income under 10 U.S.C. 1447. The exemption is available for both residents and nonresidents of Iowa.

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Property Tax Exemptions: Reduces a Veteran's assessed home value for property by $1,850.
Eligibility: Must have served on active duty during a period of war or for a minimum of 18 months during peacetime. The home must have been owned by 1 July of each claimed year.

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Disabled Veteran's Homestead Tax Credit: This legislation provides 100% exemption of property taxes for Veterans with a permanent service-connected disability rating of 100%, or a permanent and total disability rating of 100% based on individual unemployability. Surviving Spouses or Children who are Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) recipients are also eligible. Apply here

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Education Benefits:

Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Program (NGEAP): pays 100% of the Regents tuition rate. For the 2015-2016 school year, the maximum award is $3,329 per semester. NGEAP does not cover summer courses. Instructions on how to apply online are here.
Eligibility: Soldiers must meet the following requirements

  • Be an active member of the Iowa Army or Air National Guard

  • Be a resident of the state of Iowa

  • Satisfactorily completed required initial entry training

  • Be attending an Iowa college or university accredited by the North Central Association (NCA) of Colleges and Schools

  • Has not met the academic requirements for a Baccalaureate degree or received a NGEAP award equaling a total of 120 semester hours. Semesters will be converted to semester hours with a limit of 120 total semesters of eligibility. The conversion formula is a full time semester will equate to 12 semester hours and a part time semester will equate to 6 semester hours.

  • Maintain satisfactory performance of duty upon return from initial active duty training, including attending a minimum of 90 percent of scheduled drill dates, credit is given for attending split training and attending annual training, credit is given for excused or constructive attendance to annual training.

  • Soldiers must have passed their most recent APFT and Ht/Wt standards and they must be within the preceding 12 months of the deadline for APFT and 6 months for Ht/Wt. Profiles restricting taking the APFT and/or weighing in remain eligible.

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Iowa War Orphans Education Aid: The Iowa War Orphans Education Aid program is for Children of Veterans who died before September 11, 2011 and for Children of Veterans who died on or after September 11, 2011 as set forth in Chapters 35.8 and 35.9 of the Iowa Code.

Program for Children of Veterans who died before September 11, 2001

A war orphan is the Child of a Soldier who died in service or as a result of such service before September 11, 2001, during one of the following periods:

  • World War I between April 6, 1917, and June 2, 1921, inclusive.

  • World War II between September 16, 1940, and December 31, 1946, inclusive.

  • The Korean Conflict between June 25, 1950, and January 31, 1955, inclusive.

  • The Vietnam Conflict between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975, inclusive.

  • The Persian Gulf Conflict between August 2, 1990, and the date the President or the Congress of the United States declares a permanent cessation of hostilities, inclusive.

  • While serving in the military or naval forces of the United States, to include members of the reserve components performing service or duties required or authorized under Chapter 39, United States Code, and Title 32, United States Code, Sections 502 through 505.

  • Active state service required or authorized under Iowa Code chapter 29A, or as a result of such service.

  • The Child of a national guardsman or other member of a reserve component who died or was killed in the performance of training or other duties ordered by competent federal or state authorities.

War orphans educational assistance will not exceed $600 per person per year. There is a lifetime maximum of $3,000 per person.
Eligibility: To qualify, the orphan must have lived in the state for at least two years immediately preceding the filing of the Application for Iowa War Orphans Educational Aid. The student may attend and educational or training institution of college grade or any business or vocational training school with standards approved by the department within the state of Iowa.

Program for Children of Veterans who died on or after September 11, 2001

A war orphan is a Child who has not reached the age of 31 and who is the Child of a Soldier who died in service or as a result of such service on or after September 11, 2001, as follows:

  • While serving in the military or naval forces of the United States, to include members of the reserve components performing service or duties required or authorized under Chapter 39, United States Code, and Title 32, United States Code, Sections 502 through 505.

  • Active state service required or authorized under Iowa Code chapter 29A, or as a result of such service.

  • A Child who has not reached the age of 31 and who is the Child of a national guardsman or other member of a reserve component who died or was killed in the performance of training or other duties ordered by federal or state authorities. In order to receive state educational assistance, a war orphan shall begin postsecondary education prior to reaching the age of 26.

Eligibility: To qualify, the war orphan shall be the Child of a Veteran who died as a result of active military service and at the time of entering into active duty military service had maintained primary residence in Iowa for a period of at least six months immediately before entering into military service. Application for Iowa War Orphans Educational Aid

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Operation Recognition High School: This program furnishes an honorary high school diploma to qualifying Veterans who did not complete high school (in Iowa) due to armed service enlistment. The application form is used by the IDVA and the Department of Education to establish eligibility for honorably discharged Veterans. Operation Recognition High School Application

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Branstad/Reynolds Scholarship Fund: 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. The Scholarship is administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. Branstad/Reynolds Scholarship Fund Application
Eligibility: The Branstad-Reynolds Scholarship will consider those that qualify within these guidelines:

  • Child of a deceased Service member that died while serving in an active military status since September 11, 2001.

    • Qualifying Service Member is any of the following:

      • was a resident of Iowa at the time of entering military service

      • was assigned to unit based in Iowa at the time of death

      • was a resident of Iowa at the time of death

    • Death does not have to be combat-related

    • Active military status includes active Federal service in the Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserves

  • Student is attending or will attend an Iowa post-secondary educational institution

  • Siblings of Iowa Fallen Service members

  • Unique applications presented to the scholarship committee in writing will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: It is the purpose of this compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on Children of military Families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:

  • Facilitating the timely enrollment of Children of military Families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of educational records from the previous school district or variations in entrance or age requirements.

  • Facilitating the student placement process through which Children of military Families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content or assessment. Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs, and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic and social activities.

  • Facilitating the on-time graduation of Children of military Families.

  • Providing for the promulgation and enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact.

  • Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools and military Families under this compact.

  • Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military Children.

  • Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student.

Primary Point of Contact:
Tom Beasley
Address: 400 East 14th St, Des Moines, IA 50319-00146
Email: thomas.beasley@iowa.gov
Phone: 515-339-4523

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Employment Benefits

Military Leave: State employees shall be granted 30 days paid military leave per year.
Eligibility: Permanent or probationary State employees when ordered to inactive (drill status) or active duty by proper authority.

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Veterans Employment Centers: Each Regional Workforce Development Center has a Veteran's Employment Representative coordinating all specific services provided to Veterans. Services include identifying training opportunities; identifying employment opportunities; ensuring priority for certain jobs; working with Voc Rehab; conducting outreach to employers, community and Veterans organizations, unions, local counseling, and social service agencies; developing job interview and resume writing skills; and helping conduct productive job searches.
Eligibility: Veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States.

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Veterans Employment Services: Iowa is committed to providing quality employment services to Veterans at our IowaWORKS Centers. Veteran Representatives, who are all honorably discharged Service members, coordinate all services provided to eligible Veterans within the IowaWORKS system. They work with eligible Veterans and clients of Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation to:

  • Conduct productive job searches

  • Access job listings

  • Develop job interviewing and resume writing skills

  • Help place eligible Veterans in federally-funded employment and training programs

  • Monitor job listings from federal agencies and federal contractors to ensure Veterans get priority service in referral to these jobs

  • Provide intensive services to meet the employment needs of eligible Veterans

These services provide Veterans with the necessary information needed to find and secure suitable employment. These services can also help Veterans make the transition from the military to the civilian workforce easier.


Eligibility: To qualify for services you must registered with your local IowaWORKS Center and meet the following criteria:

  • Served more than 180 days on active duty (not for Reserve or National Guard training)

  • Served on active duty and was released because of a service connected illness or injury. Individual does not have to meet the 180-day rule.

  • Was called to active duty during a war while serving in the National Guard or Reserves during a war, a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge is authorized (examples include, Panama, Grenada, Haiti, Beirut, Persian Gulf, Desert Shield or Desert Storm)

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Veteran Employment Preference (State): In all examinations and appointments under this chapter, Veterans who are citizens and residents of the United States shall have five percentage points added to the Veteran's grade or score attained in qualifying examinations for appointment to positions. Five additional percentage points are added to the grade or score if the Veteran has a service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability benefits, or pension under laws administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Exclusions include promotions and appointments of chief of the police department and chief of the fire department.

An honorably discharged Veteran who has been awarded the Purple Heart incurred in action shall be considered to have a service-connected disability. However, the percentage points shall be given only upon passing the exam and shall not be the determining factor in passing. Veterans' Preference percentage points shall be applied once to the final scores used to rank applicants for interview selection. For purposes of this section, Veteran is defined in section 35.1 except the requirement for the person to be a resident of this state shall not apply.

There are basically two types of preference eligibility:

  • disabled (10-point preference eligible)

  • non-disabled (five-point preference eligible)

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Veterans Hiring Preferences (Federal): By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans both in hiring into the Federal civil service and in retention during reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews.

5-point Hiring Preference: Five points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served:

  • During a war; or

  • During the period April 28, 1952 through July 1, 1955; or

  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976; or

  • During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992; or

  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom; or

  • In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference.

10-point Compensable Disability (CP) Preference: Ten points are added to the examination score or rating of:

  • A Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10 percent but less than 30 percent.

10-Point 30 Percent Compensable Disability Preference (CPS): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.

10-Point Disability Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:

  • A Veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the Department of Veterans Affairs but does not qualify as a CP or CPS; or

  • A Veteran who received a Purple Heart.

10-Point Derived Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of Spouses, Widows, Widowers, or Mothers of Veterans as described below. This type of preference is usually referred to as "derived preference" because it is based on service of a Veteran who is not able to use the preference. Both a Mother and a Spouse (including Widow or Widower) may be entitled to preference on the basis of the same Veteran's service if they both meet the requirements. However, neither may receive preference if the Veteran is living and is qualified for Federal employment.

Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of the Spouse of a disabled Veteran who is disqualified for a Federal position along the general lines of his or her usual occupation because of a service-connected disability. Such a disqualification may be presumed when the Veteran is unemployed and

  • Is rated by appropriate military or Department of Veterans Affairs authorities to be 100 percent disabled and/or unemployable; or

  • Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position on the basis of a disability that is service-connected in origin; or

  • Has attempted to obtain a civil service position or other position along the lines of his or her usual occupation and has failed to qualify because of a service-connected disability.

Preference may be allowed in other circumstances but anything less than the above warrants a more careful analysis.

A campaign medal holder or Gulf War Veteran who originally enlisted after September 7, 1980, (or began active duty on or after October 14, 1982, and has not previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty) must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty. The 24-month service requirement does not apply to 10-point preference eligible Veterans separated for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or to Veterans separated for hardship or other reasons under 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.

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Home Base Iowa: The Home Base Iowa initiative is a non-profit, private-public partnership that was launched with the purpose of recruiting Veterans and active duty Service members for private-sector job opportunities in Iowa. The website serves as a comprehensive source for job services available to Veterans in Iowa. The site features job postings, links to job fairs, and up-to-date information about educational opportunities, National Guard recruiting, job training, and much more. If you have questions, please call 855-9HB-IOWA (855-942-4692) or email at homebase@iowa.gov.

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Unemployment Compensation:

Unemployment Insurance: Unemployment Insurance (UI) is paid entirely by employers who are covered by the Iowa Employment Security Law. Unemployment insurance is not based on need; it provides temporary benefits for people who are:

  • Be totally or partially unemployed

  • Have worked and earned a minimum amount of wages in work covered by UI in the last 15 to 18 months

  • Have lost his or her job through no fault of their own

  • Be able and available for work

  • Be actively seeking work (work search may be waived if certain criteria are met)

Be registered for work at your local IowaWORKS center or online (unless the work search requirement is waived) The intent is to pay benefits to eligible claimants during periods of unemployment when suitable work is not available. Unemployment Insurance Handbook

UI Benefits - E-Mail: UIClaimshelp@iwd.iowa.gov
Access Points: http://www.iowaworkforce.org/accesspoints/
Telephone: 866-239-0843 (general questions)

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Department of Transportation (DOT) Benefits:

Temporary Extension of Driver's licenses for Military Personnel: An extension of operating privileges may be given to military personnel who cannot return to Iowa to renew their driver's license in person and do not meet eligibility requirements to renew online. The extension is valid until six months following separation from active duty.

Iowa law also provides for an extension to dependents of active military personnel. This extension is valid for five years from the expiration date of the license. A copy of the dependent's military identification must accompany the written request.

A request for an Extension for Military Service may be faxed or mailed to:

Office of Driver Services
Iowa Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9204
Telephone: 515-244-8725
Fax: 515-239-1837
Eligibility: Active duty personnel and their dependents

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Veteran Designation on Iowa Driver Licenses and ID: Honorably discharged Veterans may request the "Veteran" designation be placed on their driver's license or non-operator identification card. To be authorized to get the Veteran designation placed on your DL or ID card, you must first present a copy of your DD 214 or applicable discharge document to your County Veterans Affairs office. That office and the Veteran will complete an Iowa DOT Application form. Take the completed form with you to the DL issuance location. 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 non-operator ID is $10.00.
Eligibility: Any honorably discharged Veteran.

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Veteran License Plate: A Veteran license plate can be applied for by any Veteran that provides a copy of the DD 214 (other than copy 1) or other documentation (WD AGO form 53-55) (WW2) approved by the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs. Documents must show the dates of service and character of service at least under honorable conditions. National Guard and Reserve members must have served at least 90 days of active duty service for other than training, or National Guard and/or Reserve minimum of 20 years of service, discharge under honorable conditions, eligible for retired pay at age 60. Special Plate Application

Numbered plate fee:

  • One set at no charge

  • Second or subsequent sets at $25

  • $5 annual registration fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Personalized plate fee:

  • One set at $25

  • Second or subsequent sets at $50

  • $5 annual validation fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Eligibility: The owner of the vehicle who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and was discharged under honorable conditions.

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National Guard Member License Plate: A National Guard member license plate can be applied for by any National Guard member that provides a copy of the DD 214 (other than copy 1) or other documentation (WD AGO form 53-55) (WW2) approved by the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs. Documents must show the dates of service and character of service at least under honorable conditions. National Guard and Reserve members must have served at least 90 days of active duty service for other than training, or National Guard and/or Reserve minimum of 20 years of service, discharge under honorable conditions, eligible for retired pay at age 60. Special Plate Application

Numbered plate fee:

  • One set at no charge

  • Second or subsequent sets at $25

  • $5 annual registration fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Personalized plate fee:

  • One set at $25

  • Second or subsequent sets at $50

  • $5 annual validation fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Eligibility: The owner of the vehicle is a current member of the Iowa National Guard.

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Purple Heart License Plate: A Purple Heart license plate can be applied for by any Service member or Veteran that provides a copy of the official government or military document verifying the receipt of the Purple Heart Medal. Special Plate Application

Numbered plate fee:

  • One set at no charge

  • Second or subsequent sets at $25

  • $5 annual registration fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Personalized plate fee:

  • One set at $25

  • Second or subsequent sets at $50

  • $5 annual validation fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Eligibility: The owner of a vehicle who was awarded the Purple Heart Medal by the United States Government as a result of wounds received in combat against an armed enemy.

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Ex-Prisoner of War License Plate: An Ex-Prisoner of War license plate can be applied for by any Service member or Veteran that provides a copy of any official government or military document that verifies prisoner of war status or a signature of a witness. Special Plate Application

Numbered plate fee:

  • No initial fee

  • $15 annual renewal fee

Personalized plate fee:

  • Personalized plates are not available

Eligibility: Motor vehicle owner or part owner who is a former prisoner of war. A surviving Spouse may continue to use the plates. If the surviving Spouse remarries, the plates shall be returned for regular plates.

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Silver Star License Plate: A Silver Star license plate can be applied for by any Service member or Veteran that provides a copy of the official government or military document verifying the receipt of the Silver Star. Special Plate Application

Numbered plate fee:

  • One set at no charge

  • Second or subsequent sets at $25

  • $5 annual registration fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Personalized plate fee:

  • One set at $25

  • Second or subsequent sets at $50

  • $5 annual validation fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Eligibility: Motor vehicle owner who has been awarded the Silver Star by the United States government.

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Bronze Star License Plate: A Bronze Star license plate can be applied for by any Service member or Veteran that provides a copy of the official government or military document verifying the receipt of the Bronze Star. Special Plate Application

Numbered plate fee:

  • One set at no charge

  • Second or subsequent sets at $25

  • $5 annual registration fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Personalized plate fee:

  • One set at $25

  • Second or subsequent sets at $50

  • $5 annual validation fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Eligibility: Motor vehicle owner who has been awarded the Bronze Star by the United States government.

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Medal of Honor License Plate: A Medal of Honor license plate can be applied for by any Service member or Veteran that provides a copy of any official government or military document verifying Receipt of the Medal of Honor. Special Plate Application

Numbered plate fee:

  • No initial fee

  • No annual renewal fee

Personalized plate fee:

  • Personalized plates are not available

Eligibility: Motor vehicle owners who have been awarded the Medal of Honor. A surviving Spouse may continue to use the Medal of Honor plate. If the surviving Spouse remarries, the plate shall be returned.

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Legion of Merit License Plate: A Legion of Merit license plate can be applied for by any Service member or Veteran that provides a copy of the official military order, DD214 or other documentation approved by the Iowa Office of The Adjutant General verifying the receipt of the Legion of Merit. Special Plate Application

Numbered plate fee:

  • No initial fee

  • $15 annual renewal fee

Personalized plate fee:

  • Personalized plates are not available

Eligibility: A vehicle owner who has been awarded the Legion of Merit as established by the Congress of the United States. A surviving Spouse may continue to use the Legion of Merit plate. If the surviving Spouse remarries, the plates shall be returned for regular plates.

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Pearl Harbor License Plate: A Pearl Harbor license plate can be applied for by any Veteran that provides a copy of any official document verifying the applicant was a member of the Armed Services of the United States and stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 1941. Special Plate Application

Numbered plate fee:

  • One set at no charge

  • Second or subsequent sets at $25

  • $5 annual registration fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Personalized plate fee:

  • One set at $25

  • Second or subsequent sets at $50

  • $5 annual validation fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Eligibility: The owner of a vehicle who was a member of the Armed Services of the United States and stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941.

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Disabled Veteran License Plate: A Disabled Veteran Plate can be applied for by any Veteran that provides 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. Special Plate Application

Numbered plate fee: Exempt from the payment of the registration fee for one vehicle provided by the United States government under the provisions of § 1901 - 1903, Title. 38 of the United States Code, 38 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq. (1970)

Gold Star Family License Plate: A Gold Star Family license plate can be applied for by anyone that is a surviving Spouse, parent, Child or sibling of a deceased member of the United States Armed Forces who died while serving on "active duty" during a time of military conflict or who died as a result of such service. The application must be accompanied with satisfactory supporting documentation approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs. All applications must be sent to the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs for approval before a plate can be ordered. Special Plate Application

The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs needs sufficient official documentation showing lineage of applicant to the deceased Veteran and documentation that the Veteran is deceased due to military service.

Documentation that the Veteran died as a result of military service:

  • Report of Casualty;

  • Military Certificate of Death (Overseas);

  • Beneficiary's Application for (War) Service Compensation State of Iowa; or

  • Federal Veterans Affairs rating indicating a service connected death.

--AND--

Pertinent documentation indicating relationship to the deceased Veteran:

  • Birth certificate(s)

  • Marriage certificate

  • Adoption records

  • One of the above deceased Veteran documents proving the service connected death that has the applicants name on it.

Numbered plate fee:

  • One set at no charge

  • Second or subsequent sets at $25

  • $5 annual registration fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Personalized plate fee:

  • One set at $25

  • Second or subsequent sets at $50

  • $5 annual validation fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Eligibility: An owner who is the surviving Spouse, parent, Child, or sibling of a deceased member of the U.S. Armed Forces who died while serving on "active" duty during a time of military conflict.

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Retired Armed Services License Plate: A Retired Armed Services license plate can be applied for by any Veteran that provides a copy of the official government or military document confirming retirement. Special Plate Application

Numbered plate fee:

  • One set at no charge

  • Second or subsequent sets at $25

  • $5 annual registration fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Personalized plate fee:

  • One set at $25

  • Second or subsequent sets at $50

  • $5 annual validation fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Eligibility: Owners of vehicles who are recognized by the United States Armed Forces as retired from the United States Armed Services.

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Armed Forces License Plate: The Armed Forces License Plate is available for the follow medals: Air Force Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Airman's Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Medal, or the Soldier's Medal by the United States government. An Armed Forces license plate can be applied for by any Service member or Veteran that provides a satisfactory copy of the official government or military document verifying the receipt of the Air Force Cross, Airman's Medal, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Navy/Marine Corps Medal or the Soldier's Medal. Special Plate Application

Numbered plate fee:

  • One set at no charge

  • Second or subsequent sets at $25

  • $5 annual registration fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Personalized plate fee:

  • One set at $25

  • Second or subsequent sets at $50

  • $5 annual validation fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Eligibility The owner of a vehicle who was awarded the Air Force Cross, Airman's Medal, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Navy/Marine Corps Medal or the Soldier's Medal by the United States government.

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License Plates Approved by the 2011 Legislative Session Pending Start up Fees: The Combat Infantryman Badge, Combat Action Badge and Combat Medical Badge are proposed future license plate options. Before any of the new plates can be applied for or manufactured, the following must be met.

  • Each plate must have 250 start-up orders requesting a plate type accompanied by a $20 processing fee.

Applications for the start-up orders can be obtained online at Application for the 2011 Legislative License Plate Start-up Fee Orders, by calling the Office of Vehicle Services at 515-237-3110, faxing a request to 515-237-3056 or by e-mailing at vehser@dot.iowa.gov.

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Health and Insurance Benefits:

Medical Benefits: Full coverage for injuries incurred in Line of Duty (LOD).
Eligibility: National Guard Service member on State active duty.

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Health Insurance: TRICARE Reserve Select is a premium-based plan, available worldwide for Selected Reserve, (Reserve and National Guard) and their Families who meet the following qualifications:

  • Not on active duty orders

  • Not covered under the Transitional Assistance Management Program

  • Not eligible for or enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program or currently covered under FEHB, either under their own eligibility or through a Family member.

The plan provides comprehensive health care coverage when you're not activated and covered by active duty TRICARE benefits.

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Group Insurance: Iowa National Guard Officer and Enlisted Associations offer a State Sponsored Life Insurance (SSLI). Some of the benefits of the Iowa SSLI are:

  • Claims paid in 24 hours

  • Dependent coverage offered (continues after separation)

  • Premiums remain the same after separation

  • Payroll deduction

  • Free $1k coverage

  • Free $10k for every new member

  • No War Clause

Other optional plans available

Eligibility: National Guard Service member.

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Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides valuable life insurance benefits to Veterans, Active and Reserve Component Service members and their Families to provide financial security given the extraordinary risks involved in military Service. The VA provides the following life insurance benefit programs:

  • Service Member's Group Life Insurance (SGLI)

  • Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)

  • Family Members Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)

  • Service Members Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Projection (TSGLI)

  • Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI)

  • Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)

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Worker's Compensation: Same as State employees.
Eligibility: National Guard Service member on State active duty.

Injury/Death Benefits: Same as worker's compensation.
Eligibility: Disease, injury or death occurs while serving on State Active Duty.

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Parks and Recreation Benefits:

Hunting/Fishing license exemption: Military personnel on active duty with the armed forces of the United States, on authorized leave from a duty station located outside of this state, and a legal resident of this state, may hunt or fish without a license. You must carry your leave papers and a copy of a current earnings statement showing a tax deduction for Iowa income taxes while hunting or fishing.
Eligibility: A resident of Iowa serving in the United States Armed Forces.

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Lifetime Hunting/Fishing License: Upon payment of $7.00, the Department of Natural Resources will issue a lifetime combination hunting and fishing license. Application
Eligibility: A resident of Iowa who is a Veteran and is in receipt of a service-connected disability, or Former Prisoner of War. Veteran must an Iowa resident, must have served on active federal service, and was disabled as a result of that service.

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Miscellaneous Benefits:

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. At this time, interest funds are received monthly and approved applicants are placed on a waiting list based on the date received and approved. Currently, 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; housing repair; and transitional housing in an emergency. Trust fund expenditures are approved through the Iowa Veterans Commission. Apply: Iowa Veterans Trust Fund

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County Veterans Services Offices: County Services Offices may assist you with compensation/pensions, medical care, military records, grave markers and Veteran home loans. Some counties may also have dedicated funds to assist you with temporary shelter/utilities, food/health supplies, medical/dental, job placement, counseling, and transportation.

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Injured Veterans Grant Program: This grant provides up to $10,000 in financial assistance to Service members or discharged Veterans so that Family members of the Veteran may be with the Veteran during the Veteran's recovery from an injury. Treatment or services must be provided in a location that is not the Veteran's home of record. Iowa Injured Veteran Grant Application
Eligibility: The Veteran must be a resident of the State of Iowa who is or was a member of the national guard, reserve, or regular component of the armed forces of the United States who has served on active duty at any time after September 11, 2001, and, if discharged or released from service, was discharged or released under honorable conditions at the time of injury; and the Veteran must have sustained an injury or illness in a combat zone or hostile fire zone; and the injury or illness was serious enough to require medical evacuation from the combat zone or the injury required at least 30 consecutive days of hospitalization at a military hospital; and the injury or illness was or is considered by the military to be "in line of duty, based upon the circumstances known at the time of evacuation; and the Veteran, if discharged from the military, was discharged under honorable conditions. The Veteran will 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.

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Iowa Veterans Home: The Iowa Veterans' home, located in Marshalltown, shall be maintained as a long-term health care facility providing multiple levels of care, with attendant health care services, for honorably discharged Veterans and their dependent Spouses and for surviving Spouses of honorably discharged Veterans. Admission Forms
Eligibility: Admissions to the Iowa Veterans Home are limited to honorably discharged Veterans eligible for care and treatment at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities. The Spouse of a Veteran or Widowed Spouse of a Veteran shall be eligible for admission, based on the eligibility of the living or deceased Veteran Spouse, in accordance with the Iowa Administrative Code (IAC). The individual shall have met the residency requirements of the state of Iowa on the date of admission to the Iowa Veterans Home. Spouses must be married to a Veteran for at least one (1) year before the date of application. Certification of residency is required by the County Commission of Veteran Affairs.

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The Iowa Veterans Cemetery: 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 eligible Spouses/dependents will be buried for a $300.00 fee. The application for burial determination is available for download here.
Eligibility: State residency is not a prerequisite to be interred at the cemetery. Eligibility determinations shall be made in accordance with federal regulations (38 CFR 38.620) and state administrative rules. In general, the military service requirements for burial in the Iowa Veterans Cemetery are:

  • Discharged from "active duty" under conditions other than dishonorably, or

  • Died while on "active duty", or

  • Served at least 20 years in the National Guard or Reserves and qualified for military retirement pay (or would have qualified except death occurred before age 60), or

  • Reserve component personnel qualify if they otherwise served in a Presidential call-up during their Reserve Component military service. Active duty for training of Reserve Component personnel does not qualify as active service.

Service member's Spouse and eligible dependents may be interred at the cemetery with the Veteran (and alongside in case of third burial).

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Military Service Member Homeownership Assistance: This program provides eligible Service Members and Veterans with a $5,000 grant for down payment and closing costs on a qualifying home purchase. Eligible Service members may access the Military Homeownership Program assistance to be used with a qualifying mortgage or cash purchase transaction.
Eligibility: To be eligible for the program, the Service Member must meet the following criteria

  • Have served 90 days active duty between August 2, 1990 and April 6, 1991 or September 11, 2001 to present. 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; or

  • Is a federal status injured Service member having served in active duty August 2, 1990 and April 6, 1991 or September 11, 2001 to present; or

  • Is a surviving Spouse of said eligible Service member, all who have had a discharge other than dishonorable

AND

  • Receives prior approval before closing on a qualified home

  • Utilizes an IFA Participating or Facilitating Lender and IFA first mortgage (if financing the purchase)

  • Utilizes an IFA Participating Lender to receive a non-IFA first mortgage if IFA deems it economically feasible and financially advantageous. At this time, IFA will approve a grant with non-IFA financing if the lender demonstrates that such financing is a fixed rate, permanent, fully amortizing mortgage loan that is at least 25 basis points lower APR* than the most comparable IFA mortgage product available at the time the applicable Good Faith Estimate is issued
    *NOTE: IFA does not use the APR listed on the TIL since it excludes certain financing costs. Instead, in making its analysis of whether a non-IFA loan qualifies, IFA will use the APR calculator found at www.bankrate.com.

The home must meet the following criteria:

  • The home must be located in the state of Iowa and must be purchased by the eligible Service member

  • The home must be immediately occupied by the Service member/Spouse as the borrower's primary residence

  • Single-family residences (including "stick-built" homes, modular homes or manufactured homes, provided the home is attached to a permanent foundation and is taxed as real estate)

  • Condominiums

  • Townhomes

  • A property containing up to four units, if one of the units will be the primary residence of the Service member

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Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities in Iowa

Veterans Health Administration
VA Health Care System

Des Moines: VA Central Iowa Health Care System, 3600 30th St, 515-699-5999 / 800-294-8387
Iowa City: Iowa City VA Health Care System, 601 Highway 6 West, 319-338-0581 / 800-637-0128

Outpatient Clinic
Carroll: Carroll VA OPC, 311 S. Clark St, 712-794-6780 / 855-794-6780 / Fax: 712-792-7853
Coralville: Coralville OPC, 520 10th Ave, Suite 200, 319-358-2406 / 688-3365

Community Based Outpatient Clinic
Bettendorf: Bettendorf VA Clinic, 2979 Victoria St, 563-332-8528 / Fax: 563-332-9331
Cedar Rapids: Cedar Rapids CBOC, 2230 Wiley Blvd SW, 319-369-4340 / Fax: 319-369-4341
Decorah: Decorah VA Clinic, 915 Short St, 563-387-5840
Dubuque: Dubuque VA Clinic, 200 Mercy Dr, Suite 106, 563-588-5520
Fort Dodge: Fort Dodge VA Clinic, 2419 2nd Ave N, 515-576-2235 / 877-578-8846 / Fax: 515-576-6863
Knoxville: Knoxville VA Clinic, 1515 W. Pleasant St, 641-828-5019 / 800-816-8878 / Fax: 641-828-5066
Marshalltown: Marshalltown VA Clinic, 101 Iowa Ave, 641-754-6700 / 877-424-4404 / Fax: 641-753-1375
Mason City: Mason City VA Clinic, 520 S. Pierce, Suite 150, 641-494-5000 / 800-351-4671 / Fax: 641-494-5005
Ottumwa: Ottumwa VA Clinic, 1009 E Pennsylvania Ave, 641-683-4300 / Fax: 641-683-4301
Shenandoah: Shenandoah CBOC, 512 S. Fremont St, 712-246-0092 / Fax: 712-246-2592
Sioux City: Sioux City VA Clinic, 1551 Indian Hills Dr, Suite 206, 712-258-4700 / 712-258-4777
Spirit Lake: Spirit Lake VA Clinic, 1310 Lake St, 712-336-6400 / 712-336-6439
Waterloo: Waterloo VA Clinic, 945 Tower Park Dr, 319-235-1230 / Fax: 319-235-1229

Veteran Center - 877-927-8387
Cedar Rapids: Cedar Rapids Vet Center, 4250 River Center Court NE, Suite D, 319-378-0016 / Fax: 319-378-8145
Des Moines: Des Moines Vet Center, 1821 22nd St #115, 515-284-4929 / Fax: 515-277-4949
Sioux City: Sioux City Vet Center, 1551 Indian Hills Dr, Suite 214, 712-255-3808 / Fax: 712-255-3725

Veterans Benefits Administration
Regional Office

Des Moines: Des Moines VA Regional Office, 210 Walnut St, 800-827-1000 / Fax: 515-323-7580

National Cemetery Administration
National Cemetery

Davenport: Oakdale Cemetery Soldiers' Lot, 2501 Eastern Ave, 309-782-2094 / Fax: 309-782-2097
Keokuk: Keokuk National Cemetery, 1701 J St, 309-524-1304 / Fax: 319-524-8118

Learn more

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Military Installations in Iowa

Please see the Iowa Resource Locator for additional information.

Active Duty

Army
Iowa Army Ammunition Plant

Iowa National Guard
Iowa Army National Guard
Iowa Air National Guard

United States Army Reserve (USAR)
88th Regional Support Command

Resources

http://www.va.gov/directory/guide/state.asp?State=IA&dnum=ALL

http://www.retirementliving.com/taxes-alabama-iowa#IOWA

http://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/vehicleregistration/plates.htm

https://va.iowa.gov/benefits

http://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/vets/realifelines/menu.htm

http://www.iowacity.va.gov/services/women/index.asp

http://mic3.net/pages/contact/Map/iowa.aspx

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Document Review Date: 12 January 2016