State / Territory Benefits - Louisiana


State Taxes
Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Compensation
Office of Motor Vehicles Benefits
Health and Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
Miscellaneous Benefits
Resource Locator 
Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities  

Summary: The State of Louisiana offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including Property Tax Exemptions, State Employment Preferences, Education and Tuition Assistance, Vehicle Tags, State Park Passes, as well as Hunting and Fishing License Privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status.


State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility

State Taxes:

State Tax Advantage: None

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Retirement Income Taxes: Military pensions are exempt.

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Retired Military Pay: Not taxed.

Military Disability Retired Pay: Retirees who entered the military before September 24, 1975, and members receiving disability retirements based on combat injuries or who could receive disability payments from the VA are covered by laws giving disability broad exemption from federal income tax. Most military retired pay based on service-related disabilities also is free from federal income tax, but there is no guarantee of total protection.

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VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: VA benefits are not taxable because they generally are for disabilities and are not subject to federal or state taxes.

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Military SBP/SSBP/RCSBP/RSFPP: Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with state department of revenue office.

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Education Benefits:

The State Aid Program - Dependents Educational Assistance: Section 288 of Title 29 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950 has been amended and re-enacted to provide financial aid for Children and surviving Spouses of certain Veterans of this state who died in service in the Armed Forces of the United States or died of a service connected disability incurred during a wartime period. The law provides the same benefits for those Children of living Veterans who are rated 90% or above disabled, including 100% individual unemployability, by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs "Schedule for Rating Disabilities", as a result of a disability or disabilities incurred in service in the Armed Forces of the United States. The eligible person may attend any state supported college, university, trade or vocational technical school and are exempt from paying tuition and school imposed fees, such as laboratory, athletic, medical, non-resident or other special fees. Student imposed fees are not exempt. Students are eligible for four (4) years of schooling to be completed in not more than five (5) years.
Eligibility: The law requires that the deceased Veteran must have been a resident of the State of Louisiana for at least twelve (12) months immediately preceding entry into service. The living Veteran must have resided in the state not less than twenty-four (24) months immediately preceding the Child's admission into the Program. The surviving Spouse must use this Program within ten (10) years of the date eligibility is established. A Child must be between the ages of sixteen (16) and twenty-five (25). 

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Tuition Assistance: 100% tuition exemption at any Louisiana public institutions of higher learning. Benefits are available for up to 5 academic years or until the receipt of a degree at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, or professional level, whichever occurs first.
National Guard member.

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State Tuition Exemption Program (STEP): Enhanced STEP allows Soldiers in a period of a six year reenlistment to pursue a degree at the next higher level, up to the masters and professional level. Participants can use the benefit for an additional four academic years (12 semesters / 16 quarters) or until receipt of degree at the masters or professional level.
Louisiana National Guard member.

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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:
Rodney Painting, Commissioner Louisiana Department of Education
Address: 1201 North 3rd St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5243
Phone: 504-592-0146

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Employment Benefits:

Employment Assistance: Provides for employer's compensation, leave status, retirement credit, life, health and accident insurance coverage, re-employment rights upon release from military service, prohibits against academic penalties, deferral of state income taxes, validation of professional and occupational licenses, and protection of any vacancy in office held by an elected or appointed official.
Eligibility: Residents of Louisiana called to military service in the Reserve Components of the Armed Forces of the United States. The district court in which the state or its political subdivision exercises authority or conducts its business shall have jurisdiction to hear action to enforce the Act. [Revised Statutes 29:401-425]

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Civil Service Preference: Provides a five-point hiring preference to honorably discharged wartime Veterans who served in the United States Armed forces between the following dates:

April 6, 1917, through November 11, 1918
September 27, 1940, through July 25, 1947
June 25 1950, through January 31, 1955
July 1, 1958, through May 7, 1975
August 2, 1990, through date to be determined

A ten point preference is accorded each honorable discharged Veteran (either peacetime or wartime) who has one or more service connected disabilities, as established by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In certain circumstances, the ten point hiring preference can be utilized by the disabled Veteran's Spouse, widow, or parent. See a parish service officer for details.

The Veterans preference also extends to layoffs over other employees of equal lengths of service and efficiency ratings.

Federal law also grants a 5-point and 10-point preference to Veterans applying for federal jobs. The requirements are similar to the state requirements above. For specific information, refer to the federal Office of Personnel Management Web site at: , or call (202) 606-1800.

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Employment Benefits: Louisiana law provides 15 days per year of paid military leave for employees of the state and its political subdivisions.
Eligibility: Army National Guard and Reserve Service members.

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Reinstatement after military service: All officers and employees of the state, entering the military service of the United States since September 16, 1940, shall be restored, upon proper application, to the former position or employment or office held with the state at the time of entering military service, or reinstated to a position of like seniority, status and pay when the officer or employee is relieved from the military service, upon honorable discharge or discharge upon honorable conditions.

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Unemployment Compensation:

Unemployment Insurance: Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a program designed to provide temporary financial assistance to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who meet the requirements of the Louisiana Employment Security Law. Unemployment insurance benefits are paid as a matter of past employment and legal entitlement, and not on the basis of need.

To file a claim, you MUST have the following information:

  • Your Social Security number
  • The name, address, and telephone number of any place you've worked in the last 18 months (This information must be entered exactly as it appears on your check stub.)
  • The name and local number of your union hall, if applicable
  • Your Alien Registration number, if you are not a United States citizen
  • A valid e-mail address.

Filing Initial Unemployment Insurance Claim:

Register online with the Louisiana Workforce Commission or call the UI Call Center at 1-866-783-5567.

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Office of Motor Vehicles Benefits:

Free Driver's License: Free drivers licenses are available to all honorably discharged disabled Veterans who are 50% service connected or greater.

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Disabled Veterans Plate: Free DAV license plate for any Louisiana resident who is at least 50% service connected.

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Free Former POW License Plate: The plates are issued without charge and contain the designation of "X-POW" followed by an appropriate number. The plates are not subject to renewal requirements by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety, and they are issued upon application to any former Prisoner-of-War in lieu of the regular motor vehicle registration license plates. The surviving Spouse of a former prisoner of war may retain and use the military honor license plate issued to the former prisoner of war.

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Gold Star Family License Plate: The Gold Star motor vehicle prestige plate is available to immediate Family members of armed forces members killed in action. The plate is issued in the same manner as other motor vehicle license plates. The applicant must present a copy of the Service member's death certificate to the DMV. The charge for the plate is the same as for regular license plates and includes a handling fee of $3.50.
Eligibility: The plate is issued upon receipt of an application and written evidence that the applicant is the owner of a motor vehicle and is a member of the immediate family of a member of the armed forces of the United States who lost their life.

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Free Purple Heart Plate: Free license plate issued to recipients of the Purple Heart Medal to be used in lieu of the regular motor vehicle registration plates. The recipient may be issued a special plate for each vehicle registered in the recipient's name and such plate shall not be subject to renewal requirements applicable to regular numbered plates. A surviving Spouse of a person to whom a license plate was issued may retain a the license plate, provided the surviving Spouse has not remarried and provided the surviving Spouse applies to the secretary for a transfer of the plate to the.

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Free Congressional Medal of Honor Plate: Free License Plate issued to recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor in lieu of the regular motor vehicle registration license plates. The center portion shall have the state seal on the left, the owner's initials in the center, with such license numbers as the secretary finds expedient underneath, and the seal of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society on the right. The words "Congressional Medal of Honor" shall be printed across the bottom of the license plate. The plates are not subject to renewal requirements applicable to standard plates.

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Special Prestige License Plates for Certain Veterans and Retirees: The Louisiana Legislature has authorized the Division of Motor Vehicles to issue prestige license plates to certain Louisiana Veterans and retired (military) Veterans. These plates will be issued for use on any privately-owned passenger car, pickup truck, or van of the Veteran applicant. The cost of these plates is the same as the regular issue. Special Plates available: Afghanistan Campaign Veteran, Congressional Medal of Honor, Iraq Campaign Veteran, Laos War Veteran, National Guard, Pearl Harbor Survivor, Purple Heart, Reserve Forces, U.S. Army Airborne, World War II Veteran, Korean War Army, Desert Storm Army, Vietnam Army, and Retired Army

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Health and Insurance Benefits:

Medical Benefits: National Guard members can receive medical benefits only if injured while on State Active Duty.
Eligibility: Army National Guard

Group Insurance: National Guard members are eligible for group insurance rates while on State Active Duty and can receive: $15,000 coverage. $50,000 life/ $17/mo; $10,000 Spouse/$3.66 mo; $5,000 Child/$3.33 month.
Eligibility: Army National Guard member.

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Worker's Compensation: National Guard members are eligible for worker's compensation while on State Active Duty.
Eligibility: Army National Guard

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Injury and Death Benefits: Same as worker's compensation.
Eligibility: Army National Guard while on State Active Duty.

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Parks and Recreation Benefits:

Hunting and Fishing Disability Licenses: Resident Veterans that have a permanent service-connected disability classification of 50% or more and residents who are blind, paraplegic or multiple amputee shall upon identification and proof of disability satisfactory to the department, be issued recreational fishing and hunting licenses at no cost. This license is in lieu of basic and saltwater fishing, basic hunting, big game, bow, muzzleloader, LA duck, turkey stamp and WMA Hunting permit. Forms are available at or by contacting Sports License at (225) 765-2887 for required forms.

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Hunting and Fishing License: Any person who possesses a military identification card that signifies that he is currently on active military duty with any one of the armed forces of the United States, including the National Guard, or the Spouse or dependent of such person, may purchase a license for hunting or recreational fishing in Louisiana for the same fee as that required of Louisiana residents for that same license. These licenses are available at license vendor locations. ACT 306 of 2007 Regular Legislative Session provides for a credit against individual income tax liability paid by military for obtaining a Louisiana noncommercial hunting or fishing license for themselves or their Spouses and dependents.

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Free Entrance to State Parks: Eligible Veterans are exempt from paying the day use entrance fee to any Louisiana state park. Applications for this exemption may be obtained by contacting the local Parish Veterans Service Office.
Eligibility: Any Veteran, who is a Louisiana resident and has suffered the amputation of a limb or has been classified as 50% or more permanently disabled as a result of service connected disabilities or permanent and total as a result of non-service connected disabilities.

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Miscellaneous Benefits:

Recording of Discharges: No charge for Discharge Certification and other evidence of honorable separation from the U.S. Armed Forces
Eligibility: All Veterans or if the Veteran is deceased, to the executor of his estate or to the surviving Spouse or any family member of the Veteran, upon furnishing a death certificate, affidavit of death, or other satisfactory evidence of the death of the Veteran.

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Documents Required By Veterans Administration: Veteran may request any document from the Veterans Administration free of charge to determine eligibility of any benefits. The Veterans Administration will furnish a certified copy of such document to the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs at request without any charge whatsoever. [Act 768 of the 1987 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature amended and re-enacted Section 263, Title 29 of the Revised Statutes of 1950.]

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Free Toll Bridge Passes: National Guard members are eligible for fee toll bridge passes for Inactive Duty Training (IDT).
Eligibility: Army National Guard member.

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The Louisiana Veterans Homes: The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs operates three War Veterans Homes. The Northwest LA Veterans Home in Bossier City, Northeast LA Veterans Home in Monroe, LA Veterans Home in Jackson, Southeast LA Veterans Home in Reserve, and the Southwest LA Veterans Home in Jennings provide nursing care.
Eligibility: In order to be eligible for admission, a Veteran must have served on active military duty a minimum of 90 consecutive days. If active military service was less than 90 days, the Veteran must have been discharged as a result of a disability incurred in the line of duty and must have received a discharge under other than dishonorable conditions for his most recent period of active military service. There is no cost for Veterans that are 70% service-connected or higher. All Veterans homes operated by the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs now accept non-wartime Veterans, Spouses of Veterans and Gold Star Parents.

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Veterans Cemeteries: The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) operates two Veterans cemeteries in the state of Louisiana. The Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery (NLVC) and Central Louisiana Veterans Cemetery (CLVC) provide interment for Veterans and their dependents in a dignified and compassionate manner, commemorating their service to our nation. Construction is currently underway on LDVA's third cemetery. The Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery, located just outside the main gates of the Louisiana National Guard's Camp Villere in Slidell, is scheduled to open in early 2014. Burial of an eligible Veteran is at no cost to the Veteran. A fee is charged at the time of interment for Spouses and dependent Children of eligible Veterans.
Eligibility: The military service requirement for burial in Louisiana State Veterans Cemeteries must be in accordance with the eligibility standards as set by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration; at a minimum, one must meet one of the following:

  • Veteran was discharged from active duty under other than dishonorable conditions,
  • Veteran died while on active duty
  • Veteran 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)

Spouses and dependent Children of Veterans who were eligible for burial may also be interred in State Veterans cemeteries. Burial benefits may include the following: gravesites for casket or cremation remains, headstones or markers, opening and closing of the graves, and continued perpetual care.

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Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities in Louisiana:

Veterans Health Administration
VA Medical Center
Alexandria: Alexandria VA Health Care System, 2495 Shreveport Hwy, 318-466-4000 / 800-375-8387
New Orleans: Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System, 1601 Perdido St, 800-935-8387
Shreveport: Overton Brooks VA Medical Center, 510 E. Stoner Ave, 318-221-8411

Community Based Outpatient Clinic
Baton Rouge: Baton Rouge Outpatient Clinic, 7968 Essen Park Ave, 225-761-3400
Bogalusa: Bogalusa VA Outpatient Clinic, 319 Memphis St, 985-735-9029
Franklin: Franklin VA Outpatient Clinic, 603 Haifleigh St, 337-828-9092
Hammond: Hammond VA Outpatient Clinic, 1131 South Morrison Ave, 985-902-5100 / Fax: 985-902-5030
Houma: Houma CBOC, 6433 West Park Ave, 985-851-0188
Jennings: Jennings Clinic, 1907 Johnson St, 337-824-1000 / Fax: 337-785-4700
Lafayette: Lafayette Clinic, 2100 Jefferson St, 337-261-0734 / Fax: 337-261-5471
Leesville: Fort Polk CBOC, 3353 University Pkwy, 337-392-3801 / Fax: 337-392-3890
Monroe: Monroe CBOC, 1691 Bienville Dr, 318-343-6100 / Fax: 318-343-8600
Natchitoches: Natchitoches CBOC, 740 Keyser Ave, 318-357-3300 / Fax: 318-357-3333
New Orleans: New Orleans VA Outpatient Clinic, 1601 Perdido St
Reserve: St. John VA Outpatient Clinic, 247 Veterans Blvd, 504-565-4705
Shreveport: Buckner Square Clinic, 1800 Buckner St, 318-221-8411
Shreveport: Knight Street Clinic, 3000 Knight St, Bldg 5, 318-221-8411 x7411
Slidell: Slidell VA Outpatient Clinic, 60491 Doss Dr, Ste B, 985-690-2626


Vet Center
Alexandria: Rapides Parish Vet Center, 5803 Coliseum Blvd, Ste D, 318-466-4327 / 877-927-8387 / Fax: 318-427-8044
Baton Rouge: Baton Rouge Vet Center, 7850 Anselmo Ln, 225-761-3140 / 877-927-8387 / Fax: 225-757-3141
Kenner: New Orleans Vet Center, 2200 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Ste 114, 504-565-4977 / 877-927-8387 / Fax: 504-464-6710
Shreveport: Shreveport Vet Center, 2800 Youree Dr, Bldg 1, Ste 105, 318-861-1776 / 877-927-8387 / Fax: 318-686-1788

Veterans Benefits Administration
Regional Office
New Orleans: New Orleans Regional Office, 1250 Poydras St, 800-827-1000

Intake Site
Fort Polk: Fort Polk, Bayne Jones Army Community Hospital, 1585 3rd St, Rm 1221
New Orleans: Barksdale Air Force Base
New Orleans: NSA (No MOU)

National Cemetery Administration
National Cemetery
Baton Rouge: Baton Rouge National Cemetery, 220 North 19th St, 225-654-3767 / Fax: 225-654-3728
Pineville: Alexandria National Cemetery, 209 East Shamrock St, 318-449-1793 / Fax: 318-449-9327
Zachary: Louisiana National Cemetery, 303 W. Mount Pleasant Rd, 225-654-3767 / 225-654-3766 / Fax: 225-654-3728
Zachary: Port Hudson National Cemetery, 20978 Port Hickey Rd, 225-654-3767 / 225-654-3766 / Fax: 225-654-3728

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Military Installations in Louisiana

Active Duty
Fort Polk

Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans

Air Force
Barksdale AFB

National Guard
Louisiana Army National Guard
Louisiana Air National Guard

United States Army Reserve (USAR)

81st Regional Support Command



Document Review Date: 9 December 2013