State / Territory Benefits - Minnesota
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Benefits
Health and Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
VA Medical Facilities in Minnesota
Summary: Minnesota offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including State Soldiers' Assistance Fund, Compensation for State Active Duty, Special License Plates, and Education Benefits for Minnesota Veterans, Educational Assistance-POW/MIA Dependents and Renewal of Professional License. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status.
State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility
State Tax Advantage: Minnesota military members are allowed to subtract certain active-duty military pay from taxable income on their state return. This generally reduces income tax liability and/or increases any refund. This subtraction may be claimed by:
- Members serving in the U.S. or U.N. armed forces who receive active-duty military pay that are subject to federal tax under U.S. Code Title 10.
- Members of the Minnesota National Guard and Reserves, who receive taxable active-duty pay for services or compensation for training and meetings under U.S. Code Title 10 and Title 32, such as ADSW (ADOS), AGR, natural disaster emergency response and missing persons searches, and reenlistment bonuses.
- Members of the National Guard and Reserves who receive pay for duties related to annual training, drill weekends, and meetings (whether training inside or outside of Minnesota).
Tax Debt Relief for Deceased Active Duty Military: Provides tax relief to the Family of any military member who dies during active service in the United States or United Nations armed forces. Under state law:
- The Service member's income will not be taxed in the year of their death.
- Any unpaid tax debts or penalties from prior years they were in active service will be abated (forgiven).
- Their heirs may request a refund of income tax the member paid while in active service. Refund claims must be filed within seven years of when the member's return was filed, or when the tax was paid or collected.
Retired Military Pay: Pensions are taxable.
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.
VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Not subject to federal or state taxes.
Military SBP/ RCSBP/RSFPP: Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with state department of revenue office.
Tax Credit for Military Service in Combat Zone: Service members who served in a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area on or after January 1, 2011 may be eligible. This credit is based on the number of months served and is refundable, so you may qualify to receive this credit even if you had no income or owed no tax. The credit is based on the number of full and/or partial months served. You will receive $120 for each month served in 2010 and going forward. To claim the credit, complete Form M99, Credit for Military Service in a Combat Zone, for the year when you served in a combat zone or qualifying duty area.
Eligibility: You may receive this credit if you meet ALL of the following requirements:
- You served in a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area anytime on or after Jan 1, 2011.
- The pay you received is excluded as combat pay from federal gross income under IRS Code Section 112.
- Your home of record was Minnesota during your military service.
Tax Credit for Past Military Service: Beginning with tax year 2013, a nonrefundable credit of $750 is available to honorably discharged Veterans who receive a pension or other retirement pay for their service in the military even if they did not serve 20 years in the military, or have a 100 percent total and permanent service related disability. This includes National Guard or Reserve members who satisfy either the period of service or disability condition. Your adjusted gross income (from your federal return) must be less than $37,500. To determine the amount of your credit, complete the worksheet for Schedule M1C, Other Nonrefundable Credits. If you are a part-year resident of Minnesota or a nonresident, you may still qualify for the credit. When completing the worksheet for Schedule M1C, use your percentage of Minnesota income from Schedule M1NR, Nonresidents/Part-Year Residents. The credit and qualifications can be found in Minnesota Statutes 290.0677 Subdivision 2.
Eligibility: If you have separated from military service and you meet one or more of the following qualifications:
- You served in the military for at least 20 years;
- You have a service-related disability rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs as being 100 percent total and permanent; or
- You were honorably discharged and receive a military pension or other retirement pay for your service in the military.
Market Value Exclusion on Homestead Property of Disabled Veterans: Provides an annual market value exclusion of up to $300,000 on homestead property of qualifying permanently and totally disabled Veterans (including Veterans with permanent individual unemployability), surviving Spouses of permanently and totally disabled Veterans who previously received this exclusion, surviving Spouses of Service members who die while in active service, and primary Family caregivers of qualifying disabled Veterans. The program provides an annual market value exclusion of up to $150,000 for properties owned by Veterans with 70 percent or greater disability, or qualifying primary Family caregivers.
Higher Education Veterans Programs: MDVA's Higher Education Veterans Programs helps connect Veterans with educational benefits and resources to succeed in college. The programs support the success of Veterans, current military members and their Families at Minnesota's colleges and universities by providing on-site comprehensive information about benefits and resources as well as creating institutional readiness in support of the unique needs of these students. This nation-leading program provides staff at colleges and universities throughout Minnesota to help identify and remove barriers to Veterans' enrollment and access to benefits, as well as to create and manage campus Veterans resource centers.
Veteran Education Assistance: Veteran Education Assistance is provided to Veterans in the form of a one-time $750 grant for tuition to Veterans who have exhausted, through use, all of their GI Bill benefits to assist with completing a bachelor's degree. This grant is paid directly to the institution, or may be reimbursed to Veteran upon verification that tuition has been paid. You may apply for this benefit by accessing the application below and submitting directly to MDVA or applying with assistance through your County Veterans Service Officer.
Eligibility: To be eligible, the applicant must meet the following criteria:
- The Veteran shall have been a resident of the State of Minnesota at the time of entry into the Armed Forces, and for six months immediately preceding entry
- The Veteran must be a citizen of the United States and a current resident of Minnesota
- The Veteran must have completely exhausted his/her federal educational benefits prior to the delimiting date or within the eligibility period during which benefits were available. Veterans who have allowed their educational benefits to expire without completely using them do not qualify for this program
Minnesota National Guard Tuition and Textbook Reimbursement: The National Guard Tuition and Textbook Reimbursement Program reimburses Minnesota Guard members up to 100% of the tuition cost at any VA approved school. The maximum benefit is 100% of the undergraduate per credit rate at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus. If a member of the Minnesota National Guard is killed in the line of state active service or federally funded state active service, the member's surviving Spouse, and any surviving dependent who has not yet reached 24 years of age, is eligible for a tuition and textbook reimbursement grant.
Eligibility: Minnesota National Guard members.
War Orphan Education Program: This program serves eligible Children of Minnesota Veterans who died while on active duty military service or as a result of injuries or disease incurred while on active duty military service. "Eligible Child" means a person who is the natural or adopted Child or Stepchild of a deceased Veteran. Children are eligible for "tuition free status" at any state college level institution except the University of Minnesota. In addition, $750 per year is available for school related expenses.
Eligibility: The deceased Veteran parent must have been a resident at the time of entry into active duty military service and the dependent Child must have been a resident for two years immediately prior to application.
Minnesota G.I. Bill: The Minnesota GI Bill program was enhanced in 2013 to provide postsecondary educational assistance to eligible Minnesota Veterans, non-Veterans who served in the military and eligible Spouses and Children. Full-time undergraduate or graduate students may be eligible to receive up to $1,000 per semester and part-time students can receive up to $500 per semester (up to $3,000 per academic year and $10,000 per lifetime). OJT and Apprenticeship individuals are eligible for up to $2,000 per fiscal year for either program. Apply online or download application here.
Eligibility: You must be a Minnesota resident under the age of 62, enrolled at a Minnesota institution who meets the following requirements:
- Veteran who is serving or has served honorably in any branch of the United States armed forces at any time, or;
- Non-Veteran who has served honorably for a total of five years or more cumulatively as a member of the Minnesota National Guard or any other active or Reserve component of the United States armed forces, and any part of that service occurred on or after September 11, 2001, or;
- Surviving Spouse or Children of a person who has served in the military at any time on, and who has died or has a total and permanent disability as a direct result of that military service, only if the surviving Spouse or Child is eligible to receive Federal education benefits under Chapter 33 as amended, or Chapter 35 as amended.
State Tuition Reimbursement (STR): Minnesota State Tuition Reimbursement (STR) will pay for 100% of your tuition (not including student fees) up to the undergraduate and graduate rate at the University of Minnesota for 144 semester credits. This benefit is available to current members of the Minnesota Army and Air National Guard and may be used in conjunction with the GI Bill and Federal Tuition Assistance (again, FTA and STR can be combined but only to equal 100% of tuition). This benefit is paid to the military member after a final grade is received for the course. Submission of required materials, including tuition fee statement and semester grade report, goes through the designated unit official. Like FTA, STR requires a "C" or better or "pass". The undergraduate reimbursement rate is up to 100% of the undergraduate rate of the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus) with a maximum yearly benefit of $17,000 per fiscal year (01 JUL through 30 JUN). The Graduate reimbursement rate is up to 100% of the graduate rate of the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus) with a maximum yearly benefit of $36,000 per fiscal year (01 JUL through 30 JUN).
- You must be a member of the MN National Guard.
- You are eligible for STR for any classes that you attend after completion of basic training.
- You must remain in the Minnesota National Guard during the entire term of courses.
- E1 to O5, including Warrant Officers are eligible for State Tuition Reimbursement. The lifetime maximum State Tuition Reimbursement benefit is 208 quarter or 144 Semester credits.
- Army National Guard Enlisted Soldiers must apply for Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) in order to be eligible to apply for State Tuition Reimbursement. Apply for FTA at https://www.goarmyed.com
- State Tuition Reimbursement has been extended to Service members who have satisfactorily completed their service contract in the Minnesota National Guard who served honorably in federal active service or federally funded state active service since September 11, 2001.
- Eligibility is extended for a period of two years, plus the amount of time equal to the duration of that person's active service.
- State Tuition Reimbursement has been extended to Service members who have been separated or discharged from that organization due to a service-connected injury, disease, or disability.
- Eligibility period is extended for eight years beyond the date of separation.
Surviving Spouse & Dependent Education Benefit: Allows admission to Minnesota postsecondary education institutions either operated by Minnesota or is operated publicly or privately and maintains academic standards substantially equivalent to those of comparable institutions operated in Minnesota. Surviving Spouses and Dependents will be able to attend free of tuition until he/she obtains a bachelor's degree. In addition, MDVA will pay $750 per fiscal year for fees, books and supplies, and/or room and board. Surviving Spouse/Dependent Application Form
Eligibility: Surviving Spouse and Dependent Education assistance is provided to Spouses and Dependents, including adopted and stepchildren, whose Veteran Spouse and/or Veteran Parent died while on active duty, or as a result of a service-connected condition. The Veteran must have been a resident of Minnesota when entering the U.S. military, or have been a resident of Minnesota for at least six months prior to passing away due to a service connected disability as determined by the USDVA. Applicants must be Minnesota residents and the Spouse cannot be remarried. There is no age limitation for eligible survivors.
Employment Assistance: State employee receives 15 days military leave per year for training, Federal or State active duty.
Eligibility: National Guard or Reserve Service member who is a state employee
Veteran's Preference: The Minnesota Veterans Preference Act (VPA) grants most Veterans a limited preference over non-Veterans in hiring and promotion for most Minnesota public employment positions. The Minnesota VPA Statutes apply to Minnesota public employment, "civil service laws, charter provisions, ordinances, rules or regulations of a county, city, town school district or other municipality or political subdivision of this state."
Eligibility: 10 Point Veteran's credit will be added to the competitive open examination rating of a Non-disabled Veteran, 15 points Veteran's credit will be added to Veterans with 50 percent or more permanent service-connected disability provided that the Veteran obtained a passing rating on the examination without the addition of the credit points.
A preference may be used by the surviving Spouse of a deceased Veteran and by the Spouse of a disabled Veteran who because of the disability is unable to qualify.
Compensation for State Active Duty: Pay and Allowance are $130 per day minimum.
Eligibility: Army National Guard Service member on state active duty.
Unemployment Insurance: The Minnesota Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program provides a temporary partial wage replacement to those Minnesota workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own. It is an economic stabilizer/stimulator in times of economic downturn and helps maintain an available skilled workforce for employers. The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) supervises and administers the UI program.
- Social Security number
- Alien Registration number, if you are not a U.S. citizen
- Driver's license number or other state government identification number
- Mailing address
- Telephone number
- Birth date
- Employment history for the past 18 months, including:
- Each employer's name, address and telephone number
- Dates of employment (month and year)
- Pay rate
- Reason you no longer work for the employer
- Information for special circumstances:
- If you are a union member, you will need the union name and local/lodge number
- If you were in the military in the last 18 months, you will need information from your DD-214 Member 4 (not mandatory to apply)
- If you were a federal employee in the last 18 months, you will need information from your SF 8
- Your bank account number and bank routing number, if you want to use direct deposit for benefit payment. You can also request direct deposit at a later time.
Customer Service hours are Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, except on holidays.
Twin Cities area: 651-296-3644
Greater Minnesota: 1-877-898-9090
TTY for the hearing impaired: 1-866-814-1252
Special Vehicle License Plates - You are eligible to receive Veteran plates if you are currently serving or have served in the active military service in a branch of the armed forces of the United States or Laos, was discharged under honorable conditions, and are the owner or joint owner of a passenger class automobile or a self-propelled recreational vehicle. Vietnam Veterans Ex-POW, Medal of Honor, Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan and Global War on Terrorism plates may also be issued to motorcycles. You may receive a maximum of two sets of plates for any single type of Veteran class unless otherwise indicated. Initial application fees: $10 - plate fee, $10 - filing fee. There is no fee for Ex-POW or Medal of Honor plates. The applicant must supply a copy of their separation papers (DD214) showing discharge under honorable condition, or if still in the military, a current military ID. Exemption from registration taxes on motor vehicle for certain disabled Veterans. You must apply for Veteran plates at a deputy registrar office or by mailing an application and appropriate fees to Driver and Vehicle Services, 445 Minnesota Street Suite 164, St. Paul, MN 55101.
Women's Veteran Plate: Effective Jan 1, 2015, Women's Veteran license plates may be issued to any female Veteran of the Armed Forces. The plate cannot be personalized at this time. Special Plate Application
Proud to be a Veteran Plate: The license plates may be displayed on cars, vans, pickup trucks and recreational vehicles. Purchase of the new Veteran plates requires a one-time, $30 contribution to the World War II Veterans Memorial Fund and programs for Veterans and their Families. Special Plate Application
Medal of Honor Plates: Medal of Honor license plates are issued to the recipients of the Medal of Honor. Original, duplicate or replacement plates are issued free of charge and no registration tax is due. Only one set of plates may be issued. An application may only be made at the time of first registration or renewal of registration. Special Plate Application
Silver Star Plates: Silver Star license plates are issued to the recipients of the Silver Star Medal. Provide a copy of DD214 showing applicant was awarded the Silver Star. Special Plate Application
Bronze Star Plates: Bronze Star license plates are issued to the recipients of the Bronze Star Medal. Provide a copy of DD214 showing applicant was awarded the Bronze Star. Special Plate Application
Combat Wounded (Purple Heart) Plates: Veteran must submit their separation papers that indicate that they were awarded the Purple Heart, or must have a document from the Veteran's Administration. Special Plate Application
Pearl Harbor Survivor Plates: Veteran must have been stationed on the island of Oahu, Hawaii or offshore during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Applicant must submit, with the plate application, a certified copy of the separation papers (DD214 or equivalent), indicating honorable discharge or certification by the Commissioner of Veteran's Affairs. Proof of membership in the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association is also acceptable. Upon the death of a qualifying Veteran, regular plates must be obtained. The surviving Spouse may keep one plate as a souvenir. Special Plate Application
World War II Plates: Veterans must have served within required dates of service of December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946. Applicants must submit, with the plate application, a certified copy of the separation papers (DD214 or equivalent), indicating honorable discharge or certification by the Commissioner of Veteran's Affairs. Special Plate Application
Korea Plates: Veterans must have served within required dates of service of June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955. Applicants must submit, with the plate application, a certified copy of the separation papers (DD214 or equivalent), indicating honorable discharge or certification by the Commissioner of Veteran's Affairs. Special Plate Application
Vietnam Plates: Veterans must have served within required dates of July 1, 1961 through June 30, 1978. Applicants must submit, with the plate application, a certified copy of the separation papers (DD214 or equivalent), indicating honorable discharge or certification by the Commissioner of Veteran's Affairs. Special Plate Application
Laos War Plates: Veterans must have served within required dates of July 1, 1961 through June 30, 1978. Applicants must submit, with the plate application, a copy of the Laos War Veteran Certificate or similar information as well as their separation papers (DD214) showing discharge under honorable condition. Special Plate Application
Gulf War Plates: Veteran must have been issued the Southwest Asia Service Medal after August 1, 1990, for service during operation Desert Shield, Desert Storm, or any other military action in the Persian Gulf. Veteran must submit, with their plate application, a certified copy of their separation papers (DD214 or equivalent), indicating honorable discharged or certification by the Commissioner of Veteran's Affairs. Upon the death of a qualifying Veteran, regular plates must be obtained. The surviving Spouse may keep one plate as a souvenir. Special Plate Application
Global War on Terrorism: Veteran must have been issued the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary or Service Medal. Applicants still on active duty must provide a letter from their commanding officer indicating where applicant served and that the applicant received either the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary or Service Medal. Applicants must submit, with the plate application, a certified copy of the separation papers (DD214 or equivalent), indicating honorable discharge or certification by the Commissioner of Veteran's Affairs. Special Plate Application
Iraq Plates: Veteran must have been issued the Iraq Campaign Medal. Applicants still on active duty must provide a letter from their commanding officer indicating where applicant served and that the applicant received the Iraq Campaign Medal. Applicants must submit, with the plate application, a certified copy of the separation papers (DD214 or equivalent), indicating honorable discharge or certification by the Commissioner of Veteran's Affairs. Special Plate Application
Afghan Plates: Veteran must have been issued the Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Applicants still on active duty must provide a letter from their commanding officer indicating where applicant served and that the applicant received the Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Applicants must submit, with the plate application, a certified copy of the separation papers (DD214 or equivalent), indicating honorable discharge or certification by the Commissioner of Veteran's Affairs. Special Plate Application
Ex-POW Plates: Veteran is eligible for plate if they were a member of the military forces of the U.S. and were captured, separated and incarcerated by an enemy of the U.S. during a period of armed conflict. Application must be verified by the commissioner of Veteran's Affairs whose signature must appear in Section D of the application form. Special Plate Application
National Guard Plates: Distinctive numbered plates may be issued to members of the National Guard.
Eligibility: The Adjutant General shall certify those current and retired members of the National Guard eligible to receive the plates. Additional $10.00 fee is required. Special Plate Application
Ready Reserve Plates: Plates may be issued to a passenger class vehicle owned by a member of the U.S. Armed Forces Ready Reserve as described in U.S. Code, title 10, section 268. Special Plate Application
Gold Star Family License Plates: Plates may be issued to the Surviving Spouse, Parents, Children, or siblings (Brother or Sister) of a Soldier who died in service. There is no charge for the plates themselves but a $10 filing fee is still collected and yearly vehicle registration costs are not affected. Special Plate Application
Medical Benefits: Expenses covered at the same rate as state employees.
Eligibility: National Guard Service member whose injury or illness incurred in line-of-duty while on state active duty.
Group Insurance: Minnesota National Guard Association offers all National Guard members term insurance from $5,000 to $50,000. Dependent coverage is offered at either $5,000 or $10,000 in term life insurance. Additional options are available for coverage on Spouse $5,000 to $20,000 over & above dependent coverage.
Eligibility: National Guard Service member.
Workers Compensation: Workers Compensation equivalent to State employees.
Eligibility: National Guard Service member Injury occurs while serving on State Active Duty.
Injury/Death Benefits: Surviving dependents receive 100% tuition at Minnesota state post-secondary schools.
Eligibility: National Guard Service member Death occurs while serving on State Active Duty.
Optical Assistance: Upon application, optical benefits are provided on an annual basis to Veterans and their dependents. This benefit is income and asset-based, and upon approval of eligibility you and your dependents may receive up to $400 paid to your choice of providers for annual eye exams and prescription eyewear, to include contact lenses. Please contact your County Veteran Service Officer for assistance or more information on this or other benefits.
Dental Assistance: Dental Benefits are provided to Veterans and their dependents for routine dental, extraction, and denture procedures. This benefit is income and asset based, and upon MDVA approval of eligibility you and your dependents may receive up to $1,000 for annual routine dental care paid to your choice of providers. If your dental provider determines that dentures are necessary, MDVA will issue an additional denture authorization for up to $3,000 of once-per-lifetime benefits, and if needed, an additional once-per-lifetime extraction authorization for up to $2,000 specifically for tooth extractions in preparation for the dentures. Please contact your County Veteran Service Officer for assistance or more information on this and other benefits
Veterans Campground on Big Marine Lake: The Veterans Campground on Big Marine Lake is a Family campground that provides facilities and opportunities for recreation, rest, and well-being for all who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States, whether still serving or have served in the past (Honorably discharged), their Families, and sponsored friends.
Eligibility: Each registrant MUST BE or HAVE BEEN a member of the United States Armed Forces. Verification of this status will be requested upon registration. Proof must be provided in the form of a DD-214, or other separation papers. The un-remarried Spouse of a deceased Veteran (whether disabled or not) is also authorized to register for camping, with approved proof of status.
Minnesota State Park Vehicle Permits: Any active military service personnel stationed outside of Minnesota within the past 90 days can get a free one-day Minnesota state park vehicle permit. Bring your current military orders and military ID, and let the park attendant know your military status when you arrive.
Military personnel or their Dependents who have a Federal government access pass to Federal recreational sites can get a free one-day Minnesota state park vehicle permit. Bring your Federal access pass and military ID, and let the park attendant know your military status when you arrive.
Any resident Veteran with any level of service-connected disability can get a free one-day Minnesota state park vehicle permit. Bring a copy of your determination letter and a photo ID, and let the park attendant know your military status when you arrive.
Any Veteran who has a permanent and total service-connected disability can get a free annual Minnesota state park permit. Present a copy of your determination letter or VA ID card to the park attendant for the free annual sticker, which must be placed on a vehicle that is owned by the Veteran. If the Veteran with the permanent service-connected disability does not own the vehicle transporting the Veteran, you can still get a free one-day Minnesota state park permit.
Free Fishing and Small Game License: A fishing license shall be issued to a Minnesota resident Veteran. A fishing license is not required for patients of the USDVA Medical Centers, with written consent of the hospital administrator. Free small game and deer license.
Eligibility: A Veteran who is rated as 100% service-connected disabled by the USDVA.
Exempt from Fishing License Requirements: Minnesota residents in the U.S. Military who are stationed outside the state and home on leave. Military staff must carry leave or furlough papers.
Permanent Angling License: Any Minnesota Veteran with a 100% service-connected disability may obtain a permanent angling license. These permanent licenses are available only from the DNR License Center. A trout stamp is not required with this license. Application
Residents on Leave Hunting License: Who have maintained legal residency in Minnesota (must have a valid MN DL or Public Safety ID) and who are serving in the U.S. Military and stationed outside the state may:
- Hunt small game without a license while on leave. No Minnesota Waterfowl Stamp or Pheasant Stamp is needed but must have a Federal Migratory Bird Stamp to hunt waterfowl.
- May hunt deer (Firearms: Code 232; Archery: Code 233, Muzzleloader: Code 234), bear (Code 663), and wild turkeys (Spring: Code 615; Fall: Code 654) and Wolf (Early Season Firearm: Code 691; Late Firearm Code 692; Trapping Code 693) without charge after obtaining the appropriate licenses and tags from an ELS license agent by presenting official leave papers.
- Does not include Moose, Elk or Deer bonus permits. Such service personnel must carry proof of Minnesota residency and official leave papers on their person while hunting. Licenses are valid immediately upon issuance.
Residents Discharged Hunting License: Application
- From the U.S. Armed Forces within 10 days of the start or during the Firearms Deer Season may purchase a Firearms Deer License during the season upon showing official discharge papers. The license is valid immediately after purchase.
- Who have served at any time during the preceding 24 months in federal active service outside the United States and have been discharged from active service may:
- Take small game without a license. Discharged residents must carry proof of Minnesota residency and official military discharge papers. No state stamps required. (Federal stamp required for migratory waterfowl hunting.)
- Obtain a free deer license. Eligibility is limited to one deer license per person per year. Discharged residents must provide proof of residency and a copy of their official military discharge papers. (Firearms: Code 232, Archery: Code 233, Muzzleloader: Code 234).
- Obtain a free wolf license. Eligibility is limited to one wolf license per person per year. Discharged residents must provide proof of residency and a copy of their official military discharge papers. (Early Firearms Season: Code 694, Late Firearm Season Code 695; Trapping Code 696)
- Who have served at any time during the past 24 months, in active service as a member of the United States armed forces, including the National Guard or other military reserves will receive first preference in drawings for special deer hunts, bear and turkey permits.
Resident Veterans Hunting License: With proof of a 100% service-related disability may obtain a free Small Game License (241) and a free Firearms (242), or Muzzleloader (240), or Archery (243) Deer License from an ELS license agent. In addition, a disabled Veteran is exempt from purchasing state pheasant or waterfowl stamps, but must purchase a turkey stamp and license to hunt turkeys and a federal duck stamp to hunt waterfowl. Disabled Veterans with 100% service connected disability will receive first preference in drawings for special deer hunts, bear and turkey permits.
Note: Military personnel and Veterans who are issued firearms deer licenses under these provisions may take antlerless deer, but are restricted to bucks-only hunting in those lottery deer permit areas that have an either-sex permit quota of zero. To participate in special deer hunts, they must apply and be drawn. They may also purchase bonus permits. Application
Resident Veteran 100% Permanent Card: Resident Veterans who have 100% permanent service-connected disability as defined by the United State Department of Veterans Affairs may apply for a permanent card that may be presented to an agent annually to receive a free Small Game and/ or a Deer License. This card will assist with the process of receiving these types of license's, however all eligibility requirements must be meet prior to receiving the license(s). Application
Resident Purple Heart Recipients: Must purchase licenses, but will receive first preference in drawings for antlerless deer permits, bear and turkey permits. Application
Nonresident Hunting License:
- Nonresident Spouses of residents on active military duty may purchase resident hunting and fishing licenses. Nonresidents must provide proof of Spouse's residency and active military duty.
- A person in the U.S. Armed Forces who is stationed in the state may purchase resident hunting and fishing licenses, but not moose or elk licenses.
Firearms Safety Training: Military personnel who are on active duty and has successfully completed basic training in the US armed forces, reserve component, or National Guard may obtain a hunting license or approval authorizing hunting regardless of whether the person is issued a firearms safety certificate. Note: They must be on active duty, home on leave with leave papers (they then qualify only for that time frame). Once discharged or no longer on active duty, they must complete the firearms safety training course or online adult course the same as all others born after Dec 31, 1979.
Claims Assistance: The Claims Division located in St. Paul and Northwest/Fargo represents Veterans and their dependents who seek benefits from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs (USDVA) with regards to compensation, non service connected pension, insurance or educational benefits.
Field Operations - Veterans Outreach Assistance: MDVA Field Operations seeks to identify and serve Veterans of all social and economic backgrounds including those who are unable to seek assistance due to disability or geographical location. They act as a liaison and personal advocate to those seeking benefits such as subsistence, dental, optical, counseling, Federal claims and Federal Department of Veterans Affairs health care. Field Operations is the mobile unit of the MDVA Claims Division with flexibility to travel to those in need while offering professional service and advocacy.
Women Veterans Program: The mission of the Minnesota Women Veterans Program is to ensure women Veterans have equitable access to federal and state benefits and services. They respond to the gender specific needs of women Veterans and ensure that women Veterans are treated with dignity and respect. Outreach events are geared to improve the awareness of available benefits, services, and eligibility criteria for the women who served in the United States Armed Forces.
Tribal Veteran Service Officer (TVSO): The MDVA TVSO initiative operates in partnership with the Governmental and Tribal agencies, the Governor's Office, Minnesota State Legislators and the Minnesota Native American Nations. Working with Veterans in areas such as Red Lake and Grand Portage, MDVA staff recognized a need for culturally connected service representatives, leading to the development of this program.
Short Term Financial Assistance (Subsistence): The Subsistence program provides temporary assistance with shelter payments (rent/mortgage), current utility bills and health insurance premiums to eligible Veterans and their Dependents. This benefit is income and asset based, and is designed to assist Veterans for up to six months for those who are unable to work his/her normal occupation due to a temporary disability, or who are permanently disabled and are waiting to receive a permanent disability benefit from VA Compensation, VA Pension, Social Security or other long term benefit.
Eligibility: Veterans must provide proof of the temporary disability by his/her doctor on a medical report, and must have worked within one year of the date on the medical report. Surviving Spouses may also be eligible for this benefit without a temporary disability if he/she applies within the first 12 months of his/her Veteran Spouse's death. After that time limit the surviving Spouse must provide proof of his/her own temporary disability via a medical report.
LinkVet: LinkVet is a one-stop service center for Minnesota Veterans and their Families. A team of support specialists trained through the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) staffs LinkVet. The program is dedicated to serving Veterans and their Families by assisting them in securing state and Federal benefits, and by providing programs and services relating to higher education, benefits, burial, claims, outreach and Veterans preference.
Minnesota Veterans Homes: Currently there are five Veterans Homes located throughout the state in Fergus Falls, Hastings, Luverne, Minneapolis and Silver Bay. The mission of the Veterans Homes is to oversee and guarantee high-quality health care for Veterans and dependents in its care.
Eligibility: Honorably discharged Veterans who entered service from Minnesota, or are current Residents, who served 181 consecutive days on active duty, unless discharged earlier because of disability incurred in the line of duty, OR, the Spouse of an eligible Veteran who is at least 55 years old and meets residency requirements and able to demonstrate a medical or clinical need for admission.
Military Funeral Honors: The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) and the Minnesota Army National Guard (ARNG) Military Funeral Honors Coordinator are committed to ensuring Veterans receive proper military funeral honors to commemorate their service to the Nation and to assist Veterans Service Organizations in their efforts to provide these honors. A stipend is available to VSO who meet certain requirements.
State Veterans Cemetery: The Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery is located in Little Falls, MN. Burial is open to all Veterans discharged from active military service under conditions other than dishonorable. Their Spouses, minor Children, and under certain conditions, unmarried adult Children are also eligible for burial. Eligible Spouses may be buried, even if they predecease the Veteran. Also eligible for burial are members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces, the Army and National Guard, and the Reserve Officer Training Corps who die while on active duty for training or performing service, or who have 20 years of service in reserve components of the Armed Forces creditable for retired pay. Currently, operated - State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls, Minnesota. A second State Veterans Cemetery is under construction in Preston, Minnesota and is expected to open in spring, 2015.
Bronze Star Markers: The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs offers Bronze Stars to mark the grave site of any Veteran buried in the state, where permitted. Bronze Star Markers are available through you local county Veterans service officer. Bronze Star Markers are available through your local county Veterans Service Officer (CVSO).
U.S. VA Medallion: The federal U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs now offers a permanent medallion to signify the deceased's status of a Veteran. This medallion honors Veterans with a nationally recognized symbol of their service. All Veterans and their Families seeking burial markers should order the medallion directly through the VA. The medallion is available in three sizes: 5 inches, 3 inches and 1 1/2 inches. Each medallion bares the inscription "VETERAN" across its top and the branch of service at the bottom. More information is available through the U.S. VA Regional Office at 1-800-827-1000
Vital Statistics Records, Certified Copies: A certified copy of a birth, death, marriage, divorce, dissolution of marriage record, or certified copy of Veteran's discharge recorded will be issued promptly by the officer charged with the keeping of the records upon the request of, and without any charge.
Eligibility: Any Veteran, the surviving Spouse or next of kin of the Veteran, service officers of any Veterans organization chartered by the Congress of the United States, or the Department of Veterans Affairs, for use in the presentation of claims to the United States Veterans Administration or in connection with any Veterans organization or the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Minnesota Service C.O.R.E.: The Minnesota Service C.O.R.E. is a new, nation-leading program designed to bring essential, community-based services directly to Veterans, military members and their Families across Minnesota at no cost to them. Due to its unique structure, this program will also provide resources to previously underserved rural areas around the state.
By partnering with Lutheran Social Service (LSS), Minnesota Service C.O.R.E. will be able to provide comprehensive assistance through the existing statewide network of resources LSS already has in place. Services will include individual and Family counseling, financial counseling, debt management, addiction counseling, disability services and in-home counseling. The goal is to help all Veterans and their Families develop skills and draw on their own strengths to bring about successful and lasting Family stability.
LSS case workers will be based in field offices located throughout the state, including the Twin Cities metro area, Alexandria, Bemidji, Brainerd, Detroit Lakes, Duluth, Fergus Falls, Mankato, Moorhead, St. Cloud and Willmar.
Veterans Health Administration
VA Health Care System
Minneapolis: Minneapolis VA Health Care System, One Veterans Dr, 612-725-2000 / 866-414-5058
St. Cloud: St. Cloud VA Health Care System, 4801 Veterans Dr, 320-252-1670 / 800-247-1739
Community Based Outpatient Clinic
Albert Lea: Alberta Lea VA Clinic, 1665 West Main St, 507-377-6051
Alexandria: Max J. Beilke Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 515 22nd Ave, 320-759-2640
Bemidji: Bemidji VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 705 5th St NW, Suite B, 218-755-6360 / Fax: 218-755-6399
Brainerd: Brainerd VA Clinic, 722 NW 7th St, 218-855-1115 / Fax: 218-855-1183
Ely: Ely VA Clinic, 720 Miners Dr East, 218-365-0001 / Fax: 218-365-0005
Fergus Falls: Fergus Falls Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 1839 North Park St, 218-739-1400 / Fax: 218-739-1401
Hibbing: Hibbing VA Clinic, 990 West 41st St, Suite 5, 218-263-1400 / Fax: 218-262-1915
Mankato: Mankato CBOC, 1961 Premier Dr, Suite 330, 507-387-2939 / Fax: 501-387-6377
Maplewood: Maplewood VA Clinic, 1725 Legacy Pkwy, Suite 100, 651-225-5420 / Fax: 651-777-6494
Montevideo: Montevideo VA Clinic, 1025 North 13th St, 320-269-2222 / Fax: 320-269-8929
Ramsey: Northwest Metro VA Clinic, 7545 Veterans Dr, 612-467-1100
Rochester: Rochester VA Clinic, 3900 55th St NW, 507-252-0885 / Fax: 507-529-8452
St. James: South Central VA Clinic (St James), 1212 Heckman Court, 507-375-9670 / Fax: 507-375-9668
Vet Center - 877-927-8387
Brooklyn Park: Brooklyn Park Vet Center, 7001 78th Ave N, Suite 300, 763-503-2200 / Fax: 763-503-6179
Duluth: Duluth Vet Center, 4402 Haines Rd, Suite 3, 218-722-8654 / Fax: 218-723-8212
New Brighton: St. Paul Vet Center, 550 County Rd D, Suite 10, 651-644-4022 / Fax: 651-917-2555
Eagan: VISN 23: VA Midwest Health Care Network, 2805 Dodd Rd, Suite 250, 651-405-5600 / Fax: 651-452-0399
Veterans Benefits Administration
St. Paul: St. Paul Regional Office, 1 Federal Dr, 800-827-1000 / Fax: 612-970-5415
National Cemetery Administration
Minneapolis: Fort Snelling National Cemetery, 7601 34th Ave, S, 612-726-1127 / Fax: 612-725-2059
Military Installations in Minnesota
Minnesota Air National Guard
United States Army Reserve (USAR)
Document Review Date: 20 January 2015