State / Territory Benefits - Mississippi

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State taxes
Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Compensation
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Related Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
Miscellaneous Benefits
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Summary: The State of Mississippi offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including Tax Exemptions on Military Pay and Retired Military Pay, Property Tax Exemptions, State Employment Assistance and Preferences, Education and Tuition Assistance, Special Military Vehicle Tags, 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: Income paid to a member of the armed forces as additional compensation for hazardous duty pay in a combat zone (designated by the President) is exempt from Mississippi Income Tax.

The first $15,000 of salary received by those serving in the National Guard or reserve forces is excluded from income. Compensation which qualifies for exclusion includes payment received for inactive duty training (monthly or special drills or meetings,) active duty training (summer camps, special schools, cruises,) and for state active duty (emergency duty.)
Eligibility:
Mississippi National Guard and Reserve Service members.

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Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA): This Act allows Spouses of military personnel who move to Mississippi due to the Service member's duty assignment to keep their former residency for tax purposes. This does not apply if the Spouse is already a resident of Mississippi. Eligible Spouses should claim an exemption from Mississippi income tax withholding on a revised Form 89-350 to be filed with their employers. NOTE: This exemption only applies to the Spouse of the Service member. The Service member is still subject to Mississippi income tax on non-military income.
Eligibility:
The following requirements must be met by the Spouse:

  • Currently resides in Mississippi;
  • Resides in Mississippi solely to live with the Service member Spouse;
  • The Service member Spouse is in the state of Mississippi in compliance with military orders
  • The state of domicile claimed by the Service member and Spouse must be the same.

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Retired Military Pay: Retired pay is exempt.

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.

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Privilege Tax Exemption: Persons who are 65 or older, or blind, deaf, or dumb, or with loss of hand or foot, or loss of use of the hand or foot or who can provide documentation that they are 50% disabled to perform physical labor and whose annual gross income is $900.00 or less are exempt from payment of privilege tax for specified businesses i.e. broom factories, checking rooms, drays, fur dealers, ice cream carts, mattress renovators, sign painters, shoe repair shops, insurance agents. (Miss. Code Ann., §27-15-227)

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Homestead Ad Valorem Tax Exemption: Any Veteran having a service-connected total disability and who has been honorably discharged from military service shall be exempt from all ad valorem taxes on the assessed value of homestead property and to extend such exemption to un-remarried living Spouses of such Veterans. (Miss. Code Ann., §27-33-67)
Eligibility: To qualify for the exemption because of disability, the homeowner must present proper proof of any of the following:

  • Service-connected, total disability as an American Veteran who has been honorably discharged from military service.
  • Classification as totally disabled under the Federal Social Security Act, the Railroad Retirement Act, or any other Federal act approved by the State Tax Commission.

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

Military SBP/RCSBP/RSFPP: Retired military exemption is available to the Spouse or other beneficiary upon the death of the primary retiree (SBP). Widows' pensions received from the VA are not taxable.

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Education Benefits:

The Mississippi State Educational Assistance Program (SEAP): Pays tuition up to $250 per semester hour, maximum $4,500 per year to state supported colleges for National Guard Soldiers not authorized FTA as funds are available. GPA of 2.0 minimum is required. The program will assist with Associate's and/or Bachelor's degrees only.
Eligibility:

  • Member of the Mississippi National Guard in good standing and enlisted through the end of each semester.
  • Completed Basic Training.
  • Registered voter in the State of Mississippi.
  • Enrolled in a state or regionally accredited college or university within the state of Mississippi.
  • Maintain a 2.0 semester GPA.
  • Be used solely for an undergraduate degree.
  • Not currently receiving Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA).
  • 10 Year window from the first time payment is made until expiration of SEAP eligibility.

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Mississippi National Guard Officer-Producing Education Assistance: The Adjutant General is hereby authorized to pay the tuition, room and board for any active member of the Mississippi National Guard who is enrolled or may enroll within the State of Mississippi in an accredited institution of higher learning, vocational education school or junior college.
Eligibility:
The individual, at the time of his initial enrollment, must be a Captain, Lieutenant, Warrant Officer, cadet, officer candidate, or enlisted member of the Mississippi National Guard, be at least seventeen (17) years of age; and be a resident and a qualified elector of the State of Mississippi. To be eligible for the room and board grant, an individual must also be in an officer producing program and be selected to receive the grant by the Adjutant General. The tuition may only be used for undergraduate studies and vocational education courses, whether such coursework is taken on a semester or clock-hour basis. The following eligibility requirements also apply:

  • The active member must have completed Basic Training, be a commissioned officer, cadet, or officer candidate.
  • He/she must be an active member in good standing with the Mississippi National Guard at the time of application and during the entire semester/quarter in which benefits are received.
  • He/she must not be eligible for other educational assistance or have qualified for an initial enlistment bonus within the past six years. (MS Code § 33-7-405 & 33-7-407)

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In-State Tuition for Service Members Stationed in Mississippi: Military personnel stationed in Mississippi and their dependents are classified as state residents for the purposes of payment of tuition at state colleges and universities, such classification shall terminate upon their reassignment for duty elsewhere in the continental U.S.

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In-State Tuition for Veterans: Non-resident student Veterans are eligible for in-state tuition while attending Mississippi institutes of higher education.
Eligibility: Veteran students must present proof of service (i.e., DD214) showing military service and a discharge under other than dishonorable conditions.

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Scholarships for Children of MIA and POWs: Dependent Children of MIA and POWs can receive an eight-semester scholarship, without cost, exclusive of books, food, school supplies, materials and dues or fees for extracurricular activities at any state supported college or university within the State.
Eligibility:
Candidate must be the Child of a Mississippi Veteran presently or formerly listed as MIA in Southeast Asia or who has been a prisoner of a foreign government as a result of the military action against the U.S. naval vessel Pueblo. Applicant is eligible until age 23 and must be enrolled in a Mississippi public college or university.

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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:
Dr. Mike Reed, Assistant Professor
William Carey University
1614 Lake Eddins #1638, Pachuta, MS 39347
(256) 612-0290, mreed@wmcarey.edu  

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Employment Benefits:

Authorized Leave for Military Duty: State employees receive 15 working days paid military leave per year without loss of pay, time, annual leave, or efficiency rating, on all days during which they shall be ordered to duty to participate in training at encampments, field exercises, maneuvers, outdoor target practice, or for other exercises, for periods not to exceed fifteen (15) days, and all such officers and employees shall for such periods in excess of fifteen (15) days, be entitled to leave of absence.
Eligibility: Mississippi Army National Guard and Reserve Service members.

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Mississippi State Personnel Board: Applications for state employment are processed by the State Personnel Board (SPB). The SPB also maintains an internet web site listing state jobs which are on recruitment. The SPB web site also provides job descriptions and minimum qualifications for the positions on recruitment.

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Veterans Hiring Preferences (State): The State Personnel Board shall grant each Veteran who is fully qualified preference over other applicants for an initial or promotional appointment. Disabled Veterans shall be given additional preference.

In establishing a layoff formula or procedure, the State Personnel Board shall grant preference to Veterans and additional preference to disabled Veterans.
Eligibility: "Veteran" means a person who served in the active Armed Forces of the United States for a period of ninety (90) days during a period of war or armed conflict and was granted an honorable discharge there from; or was discharged there from for a service-connected injury in less than ninety (90) days.

"Disabled Veteran" means a Veteran who the Veterans Administration has certified to have a service-connected disability within the last ninety (90) days.

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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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Credit for Military Service in Mississippi Public Employee Retirement Service (PERS): Qualifying active duty military service credit is available at no cost and for purchase. Military service performed after terminating from covered public service or while drawing a retirement allowance is not eligible for credit.

Military Service Credit at No Cost:
Military service credit at no cost requires that you must:

  • Have served on active duty in:

  • The U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard;

  • Maritime service during periods of hostility in World War II; or

  • The Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service prior to 1972. This credit is available only to members who retire on or after July 1, 2002.

  • Have entered or reentered state service after discharge from qualifying service and be vested in PERS;

  • Not have received a dishonorable discharge;

  • Not have credit for this service in any other retirement system administered by PERS and not have overlapping service for the same period of time; and

  • Provide necessary documentation prior to retirement

If eligible, you may receive, at no cost, up to four years of service credit, or more if you were retained in the armed forces or maritime service during World War II by causes beyond your control and without opportunity for discharge. You must submit a copy of your DD-214 discharge form or comparable documentation to qualify for this additional credit.

You also may be eligible for service credit as a National Guard or Reserve member if your unit was federally activated into the U.S. Armed Forces and you provide PERS with a copy of your DD-214. Neither the Guard NGB Form nor the U.S. Army Reserve Personnel Center Chronological Statement of Retirement Points will be accepted to establish eligibility for active duty military service.

Military Service Credit for Purchase: Under certain circumstances, you may be awarded credit for military service that interrupts public service, provided the appropriate member and employer contributions are paid.

NOTE: To purchase service under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), you must have worked for a covered employer, left employment for a military leave of absence, and returned to work with the same employer within 90 days of discharge or release, except as otherwise provided under USERRA.

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Re-employment Rights: Any person who is a member of any reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States, or former member of the service of the United States discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable, who, in order to perform duties or receive training with the Armed Forces of the United States or of the State of Mississippi (including active state duty, state training duty or any other military duty authorized under Title 10 or Title 32 of the United States Code), leaves a position, other than a temporary position, in the employ of any employer, and who shall give evidence of the satisfactory completion of such duty or training, and who is still qualified to perform the duties of such position, shall be entitled to be restored to his previous or a similar position, in the same status, pay and seniority, and such period of absence for military duty or training shall be construed as an absence with leave but may be without pay. 

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Military Personnel Professional License: A professional license issued pursuant to any provision of Title 73 to any member of the Mississippi National Guard or the United States Armed Forces Reserves shall not expire while the member is serving on federal active duty and shall be extended for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days after his return from federal active duty.
Eligibility: Any member of the Mississippi National Guard or the United States Armed Forces Reserves.

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Unemployment Compensation:  

Unemployment Insurance: Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a program designed to provide income to those unemployed due to no fault of their own. The amount of your unemployment insurance is determined by the amount of wages in your base period. The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the effective date of your claim.

The Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX) program provides benefits for eligible ex-military personnel. If you had military employment within the last 18 months, the wages you earned during that period may be used to establish a claim for unemployment benefits. You may file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits by calling 601-855-3133 or 1-888-844-3577. You will be asked to provide the Member 4 copy of your DD214.

You should also be prepared to prove the following information:

  • Your Social Security number,
  • Your complete mailing address and phone number,
  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers for all your employers in the last eighteen (18) months,
  • The dates you worked and the reason you left each employer,
  • Alien Registration number or Visa number, if you are not a U.S. Citizen

You will need to register for employment services at the nearest WIN Job Center if you have not done so already. Our staff can assist you with job search process, training and other career needs.

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Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Benefits:  

Veterans Designation: The Mississippi Department of Public Safety is authorized to provide the new, renewal or duplicate license, temporary driving permit, intermediate license or commercial driver's license to any honorably discharged Veteran, and such license or permit shall exhibit the letters "VET" or any other mark identifying the person as a Veteran. (Miss. Code Ann., §45-3-9, 63-1-35, 45-35-3)
Eligibility: Veterans must present a certified (stamped and sealed) copy of discharge document from the MS Veterans Affairs Board to obtain "VET" designation.

At least two (2) weeks before applying to the MS Department of Public Safety (MS DPS) for Veteran ("VET") designation on his/her MS driver's license or identification card, the Veteran shall provide to the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board:

  • A copy of their discharge document (DD-214 or equivalent documentation); and

  • A written request for verification of Veteran status.

The written request for verification/certification of Veteran status should include the following information:

  • Veteran's full name;

  • Veteran's current mailing address;

  • Veteran's phone number; and

  • Veteran's signature.

Veterans may submit their discharge document and request for verification/certification by:

MAIL: MS Veterans Affairs Board
(Vet Drivers License)
3466 Highway 80 East
P.O. Box 5947
Pearl, MS 39288-5947

or

FAX: MS Veterans Affairs Board
(Vet Drivers License)
Fax #: (601) 576-4868

Applicants must meet the definition of "Veteran" as outlined in Title 38 of the United States Code and be verified/certified by authorized Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board staff.

Once Veteran status is verified/certified, the MS Veterans Affairs Board staff will place an approved stamp (as coordinated with MS DPS) and seal on the copy of the Veteran's discharge document and return the copy to the Veteran.

For assistance, Veterans may contact the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board at (601) 576-4850 or toll free at (877) 203-5632, or contact their local County Veterans Service Officer. Veterans are encouraged to visit the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board web-site at www.vab.ms.gov.

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Special Vehicle License Plates: In order to obtain a special license plate in Mississippi you must go in person to your local tax collector's office. When you apply for any of the special license plates you must have official documentation to prove your eligibility for your desired license plate. You must pick up all forms at the tax collector's office. Contact your local tax collector for specific requirements.

Honoring Veterans: Any owner of a passenger vehicle, pickup truck or noncommercial motor vehicle can purchase the Honoring Veterans license plate. The plate costs an additional thirty dollars ($30.00) over regular license plate fees and $24.00 of that fee goes to support indigent Veterans residing the State Veterans Nursing Homes and the State Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Miss. Code Ann. § 27-19-56.140

 

Veteran Motor Vehicles: In recognition of the patriotic service rendered by Mississippians who are honorably discharged Veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces, any such person is privileged to obtain distinctive motor vehicle license plates or tags for each motor vehicle registered in his name identifying his status as a Veteran. In addition, decals indicating branch and period of military service are to be affixed to the license tags. An additional annual tag fee of thirty dollars ($30.00) shall be collected for such license plates for the benefit of indigent Veterans who are residents of the State Veterans Nursing Homes. Miss. Code Ann. § 27-19-56.12

 

Veteran Motorcycles: In recognition of the patriotic service rendered by Mississippians who are Veterans of the United States Armed Forces, any such person is privileged to obtain distinctive motorcycle license plates or tags for each motorcycle registered in his name identifying his status as a Veteran. In addition, decals indicating branch and period of military service are to be affixed to the license tags. An additional annual tag fee of thirty dollars ($30.00) shall be collected for such license plates for the benefit of indigent Veterans who are residents of the State Veterans Nursing Homes. Miss. Code Ann. § 27-19-56.125

 

Gold Star Family: Any legal resident of the State of Mississippi and a Family member of a Service member who has been killed in action or died in a combat zone while serving in the Armed Forces, and was a resident of Mississippi at the time of death, may purchase a Gold Star license tag, no additional charge for Spouses and Mothers to obtain plate,  an additional thirty-one dollars ($ 31.00), $24.00 of which shall benefit indigent Veterans residing in the State Veterans Nursing Homes.  Miss. Code Ann.§ 27-19-56.162 ~26~

 

Afghanistan Veteran: Any legal resident of the State of Mississippi who is a Veteran and served in the Afghanistan theater of operations and was awarded either the Southwest Asia Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, or the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, for service in, or in support of operations in Afghanistan may purchase the Afghanistan Veteran license plate for an additional fee of thirty one dollars ($31.00), $24.00of which will benefit the State Veterans Memorial Cemetery and the State Veterans Nursing Homes. Miss. Code Ann. § 27-19-56.187

 

Iraq Veteran: Any legal resident of the State of Mississippi who is a Veteran and served in the Iraq theater of operations and was awarded either the Southwest Asia Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, or the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, for service in, or in support of operations in Iraq may obtain the Iraq Veteran license plate for an additional fee of thirty one dollars ($31.00), $24.00 of which will benefit the State Veterans Memorial Cemetery and the State Veterans Nursing Homes. Miss. Code Ann. § 27-19-56.186

 

Vietnam Veteran: In recognition of the patriotic service rendered by a legal resident of Mississippi who is an honorably discharged Veteran who served in the United State Armed Forces during the Vietnam Conflict and was awarded a Vietnam Service Ribbon, may obtain the Vietnam Veteran license plate or tag for an additional fee of thirty-one dollars ($31.00), $30.00 which shall benefit indigent Veterans residing in the State Veterans Nursing Home and $1.00 to the Department of Revenue. Miss. Code Ann. § 27-19-56.85

 

Pearl Harbor Survivor: Any resident of the State of Mississippi who is an honorably discharged former member of one of the Armed Forces of the United States and while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States was present during the attack on the island of Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, between the hours of 7:55 AM and 9:45 AM, Hawaii time, is privileged to obtain two distinctive motor vehicle license plate for an onetime fee of fifteen dollars ($15.00) for use on a private passenger vehicle (to include station wagons, recreational motor vehicles and pickup trucks) registered in the county of his or her legal residence. Miss. Code Ann. § 27-19-56.5

 

Disabled American Veteran: Any legal Veteran resident of the State of Mississippi with a service-connected disability (100%) from the Veterans Administration and evaluated as permanent and total by the VA; or a rating of total (100%) based on individual un-employability and evaluated as permanent and total by the VA; and the unmarried surviving Spouse of such person, is privileged to purchase annually one (1) motor vehicle license plate or tag for a private passenger motor vehicle or pickup truck in his or her county of residence for the sum of one dollar ($1.00) in total cost. Miss. Code Ann, §27-19-53~27~

 

Purple Heart: Any resident of the State of Mississippi who can provide written proof that while serving in the Armed Forces of the United State he or she was awarded the Purple Heart Medal is privileged to obtain one distinctive license plate or tag for use on a private passenger vehicle (to include station wagons, recreational motor vehicles and pickup trucks) registered in the county of his or her legal residence for a onetime fee of fifteen dollars ($15.00). The unmarried surviving Spouse of a deceased person who was issued a Purple Heart Medal license plate or tag may apply for or retain one (1) such license plate or tag which shall be exempt from taxes and fees. Miss. Code Ann. § 27-19-56.5

 

Bronze Star: Any legal resident of the State of Mississippi who is a Veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star medal while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States may obtain special license plates recognizing that award. Applicants must present official written proof of the award of the medal. The applicant must pay an additional thirty dollars ($30.00) tag fee, $24.00 of which benefits indigent Veterans residing in the State Veterans Nursing Homes. Miss. Code Ann. § 27-19-56.62

  

Distinguished Flying Cross & Air Medal: Any legal resident of the State of Mississippi who was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross or Air Medal while in military service may purchase a special license plate recognizing that award. The applicant must present Satisfactory proof of award of the medal and pay an additional thirty dollars ($30.00) tag fee. Miss. Code Ann. § 27-19-56.13

 

Silver Star: Any legal resident of the State of Mississippi who is a Veteran and was awarded the Silver Star medal while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States may obtain special license plates recognizing that award. Applicants must present official written proof of the award of the medal. The applicant must pay an additional thirty dollars ($30.00) tag fee, $24.00 of which benefits indigent Veterans residing in the State Veterans Nursing Homes, and may be retained by the un-remarried surviving Spouse of the deceased Veteran recipient. Proof of marital status must be provided for the un-remarried Spouse to obtain the Silver Star plate. Miss. Code Ann. § 27-19-56.284

 

Medal of Honor: Any legal resident of the State of Mississippi who is a recipient of the Medal of Honor and the unmarried surviving Spouse of such person is privileged to obtain annually, one (1) motor vehicle license plate or tag for a private passenger motor vehicle or pickup truck in the county of his residence. The MOH license plate or tag is exempt from all motor vehicle registration fees and privilege taxes. Miss. Code Ann. § 27-19-54 ~28~

 

Ex-Prisoner of War: Any legal resident of the State of Mississippi who was a prisoner of war, and the unmarried surviving Spouse of such person, is privileged to obtain annually one (1) motor vehicle license plate or tag for a private passenger vehicle or pickup truck in the county of his or her residence. The Ex-POW license plate or tag is exempt from all motor vehicle registration fees and privilege taxes. Miss. Code Ann. § 27-19-54

 

Reserve, National Guard, Merchant Marine, Retired: Any resident of the State of Mississippi who has completed an active duty career with the Armed Forces of the United States and active duty and retired members of the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, United States Reserves and those United States Merchant Marines in maritime service during the period from December 7, 1941, to August 15, 1945, and their surviving Spouses may be issued distinctive motor vehicle license plate or tag at no additional cost in the county of his or her legal residence. Miss. Code Ann. § 27-19-51

Special Tag Fee Distribution  

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Health and Insurance Benefits:

Medical Benefits: National Guard members on State Active Duty have full coverage on their medical expenses if determined to be line of duty.
Eligibility: Mississippi Army National Guard Service members.

State Active Duty Life Insurance and Death Benefit: Life insurance is available to full time employees of the Military Department. Coverage is twice your basic annual earnings rounded to the next higher $1,000. Maximum coverage is $100,000; minimum is $30,000. Cost of life insurance for an employee is $.12 per thousand of coverage. B. If the employee's death is caused by an accident, the amount will be doubled.  Evidence of insurability will be required if coverage is desired by the employee after 31 days of employment. This life insurance is not available for the employee's Spouse or dependents. COBRA does not apply to the life insurance program.  However, the employee may elect portability of his/her State Life Insurance at the time of termination.
Eligibility: Mississippi Army National Guard Service members on State Active Duty.

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Group Insurance: As a member of the Mississippi National Guard you are eligible for low-cost Group Life Insurance providing payment of benefits to your Family in the event of your death. You may also apply for life insurance for your Spouse and Children
Eligibility:
Mississippi Army National Guard Service members and their eligible dependents.

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Workers Compensation: State military employees are covered under workers compensation when on duty, or traveling to and from their home on an official trip and not to their regular place of employment.
Eligibility: Mississippi Army National Guard Service members.

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Parks and Recreation Benefits:

Hunting and Fishing Privileges: Veterans who have a total service-connected disability from the Veterans Administration are not required to purchase hunting or fishing licenses. (MS. Code 49-7-5 and 49-7-9).
Eligibility: Veterans must have on their person proof of age, residency and 100% service-connected disability rating while engaged in hunting or fishing.

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Hunting and Fishing License: If Service member is domiciled in another state, you may purchase a resident hunting or fishing license if you provide a current military ID card showing that you are an active member of the Armed Forces (excluding Reserves and the National Guard) and proof that you are stationed on a military base in Mississippi.

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Non Resident Armed Forces 14-Day Hunting/Fishing License: Applicants must provide a current military identification card showing that the applicant is an active member of the United States Armed Forces (excluding Reserves and the National Guard). Each applicant may only purchase two (2), Non-Resident Armed Forces 14-Day Hunting/Fishing License during a license year for $34.29 each. Click here for application.

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Free Hunting/Fishing Licenses for Resident Service Members on Leave: Any resident who is a member of the Armed Forces, including the Reserves and National Guard, and on active duty outside the State of Mississippi is not required to purchase or have in his possession hunting or fishing licenses while engaged in such activities on leave from active duty.  Such resident shall have in his possession and on his person an official military leave form as proof.

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Miscellaneous Benefits:  

Document Archival and Retrieval: The Mississippi Department of Health, State Bureau of Vital Statistics, Chancery, and Circuit Clerks are to furnish, at no expense, and immediately upon application, copies of the following (Miss. Code Ann. §35-3-9, 41-57-25, 35-3-11):

  • Birth and death certificates; when they are needed to establish claims for dependency, disability, or survivors benefits for any Veterans or claimants who are legal state residents. Birth certificates are to be issued for any person volunteering for service in one of the Armed Forces of the United States.
  • Marriage licenses, divorce decrees, adoption decrees and any and all other records when the same are needed to establish dependency, disability, or survivors benefits for any Veterans or claimants who are legal state residents.

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Exemption from Jury Duty: Any member of the Mississippi National Guard on active duty shall be exempt from jury duty upon presenting a current written statement from his superior officer that such jury service will be likely to interfere with his military duties.
Eligibility: Mississippi National Guard Service member on active duty. 

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Exemption from Arrest: No person belonging to the military forces of this state shall be arrested by any civil authority under any civil or criminal process while going to, remaining at or returning from any place at which he may be required to attend military duty except for treason or felony. Service of any such prohibited process shall be void. 

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Concealed Weapon Permit Fee Exemption: Any Veteran having a service-connected disability shall be exempted from concealed weapon permit and renewal fees. The Veteran must be a resident of the state for 12 months or longer immediately preceding the filing of the application. However, this residency requirement may be waived, provided the applicant possesses a valid permit from another state, is active military personnel stationed in Mississippi, or is a retired law enforcement officer establishing residency in the state. (Miss. Code Ann. §45-9-101)

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Concealed Weapon Permit Fee Exemption for Active Duty Military: Active duty members of the Armed Forces of the United States shall be exempt from the payment of concealed weapon permit fees and renewal fees. Miss. Code Ann. § 45-9-101

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Concealed Weapon Training and State Residency Exemption: Concealed-carry permit qualification requirements have been revised to authorize any member, honorably retired member or Veteran of any active or reserve component branch of the United States of America Armed Forces having completed law enforcement or combat training with pistols or other handguns as recognized by such branch after submitting an affidavit attesting to have read, understand and agree to comply with all provisions of the enhanced carry law. Miss. Code Ann., § 97-37-7Miss. Code Ann., § 45-9-101

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Professional License Reciprocity: As passed by the Mississippi Legislature (2013 session) and signed into law by the Governor: Military Service members and Spouses who are moving or have moved to Mississippi due to an active duty transfer may more quickly obtain licenses for many professions such as teaching, accounting, cosmetology, engineering and real estate brokerage. Licenses for physicians, nurses, dentists, dieticians, and other medical jobs are also included. The bill also provides that individuals with military training (subject to licensing authority guidelines) count their experience toward licensing requirements. State licensing boards can grant either permanent or temporary licenses, and people with temporary licenses can start working while in the application process for a permanent one.
Eligibility: Individuals must contact their respective licensing boards for information and eligibility.

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The Veterans Home Purchase Board: Provides low interest mortgage loans in amounts up to $250,000 for eligible Veterans, active duty military personnel, or current members of the Mississippi National Guard or reserves with over six years of service and unmarried surviving Spouses to purchase an existing single Family home or to construct a new home.
Eligibility:

  • A Veteran must have been a Mississippi resident immediately prior to entering Military Service or have resided in Mississippi for two (2) consecutive years immediately preceding the loan application.
  • The Veteran must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • The Veteran must have been discharged from active duty service under conditions other than dishonorable.
  • Reserve and National Guard personnel who have 6 years of service or more are eligible to apply for a loan.
  • Active duty military personnel are eligible to apply for a loan, two-year residence required.
  • Reserve & National Guard Personnel who have been activated for extended active duty service under Title 10 US Code are eligible to apply.
  • An unmarried surviving Spouse of the above described eligible Veterans who died as a result of service or service-connected injuries may qualify for this program.

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State Veterans Nursing Homes: Mississippi houses four State Veterans Nursing Homes containing150 beds per home. Each SVNH employs skilled and dedicated professionals to provide care for eligible Veterans and Spouses. Mississippi State Veterans Homes are in Kosciusko, Oxford, Jackson and finally the Mississippi State Veterans Home in Collins.
Eligibility: Veterans or Spouses of Veterans in the home must meet the following requirements:

  1. Active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions (applicant must supply Form DD 214 or equivalent report of Separation from Service); or a Spouse of a Veteran who is currently a resident of a Mississippi State Veterans Home or deceased.

  2. Be or have been a Mississippi resident; however, if no Mississippi resident is waiting for admission, a non-resident may be admitted to the home.

  3. Have had a medical examination be a personal or VA-physician within 30 days of admission and, as a result, demonstrate that he/she:

    • Does not have a communicable disease;

    • Does not require medical or hospital care for which the Home is not equipped or staffed to provide;

    • Does not have traits which may prove dangerous to the physical well-being of other residents, employees or the Veteran.

Applications for admission to the Veterans Homes can be obtained from any of our offices, from many hospital social work departments, or by visiting our website at www.vab.ms.gov

Indigent Veterans can request assistance with the expense of care in these facilities.

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State Veterans Nursing Home Daily Charge Exemption: There shall be no State Veterans Nursing Home resident daily charge for those residents in need of nursing home care for a VA adjudicated service-connected disability; or who have a singular or combined service-connected rating of seventy percent (70%) or more based on one or more service connected disabilities or rating a total one hundred percent (100%) based on individual un-employability and are in need of nursing home care. (Miss. Code Ann., §35-1-27)

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Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery: Burial in the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery is open to all members of the Armed Forces and Veterans who have met the minimum service duty requirements and have been discharged under honorable conditions. Their Spouse, Widow or Widower, minor Children and under certain conditions, unmarried adult Children are also eligible for burial. Burial for Veterans is at no cost unless the burial involves re-internment from another cemetery and the VA burial allowance has previously been paid. The eligible Spouse and dependent Children may be buried even if they predecease the Veteran. Members of reserve components of the Armed Forces who die while on active duty, while performing training duty, or who have 20 years of service in reserve components of the Armed Forces credible to retire pay, may also be eligible for burial.

The following services are provided for eligible Veterans, Spouse and dependents (if eligible):

  • Opening and closing of the gravesite
  • Furnished grave or columbarium space
  • Grave Liner
  • User of Committal Shelter for services
  • Supply and installation of suitable headstones or markers
  • Perpetual care for the entire facility

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Veterans Affairs Facilities in Mississippi  

Veterans Health Administration
VA Medical Centers
Biloxi: Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System, 400 Veterans Ave, 228-523-5000 / 800-296-8872
Jackson: G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center, 1500 E Woodrow Wilson Dr, 601-362-4471

Community Based Outpatient Clinics
Columbus: Columbus Clinic, 824 Alabama St, 662-244-0391 / Fax: 662-244-0395
Greenville: Greenville CBOC, 1502 S Colorado St, 662-332-9872 / Fax: 662-379-8083
Hattiesburg: Hattiesburg CBOC, 231 Methodist Blvd, 601-296-3530 / Fax: 601-296-3535
Holly Springs: Holly Springs CBOC, 1700 Crescent Meadow Dr, 662-252-2552
McComb: McComb CBOC , 1308 Harrison Ave, 601-250-0965 / Fax: 601-250-5761
Meridian: Meridian CBOC, 2103 13th St, 601-482-3275 / Fax: 601-482-2852
Natchez: Natchez CBOC, 105 Northgate Dr, Suite 2, 601-442-7141 / Fax: 601-442-7343
Tupelo: Tupelo CBOC, 1114 Commenwealth Bldv, 662-840-6366

Vet Centers - 877-927-8387
Biloxi: Biloxi Vet Center, 288 Veterans Ave, 228-388-9938 / Fax: 228-388-9253
Jackson: Jackson Vet Center, 1755 Lelia Dr, Suite 104, 601-985-2560 / Fax: 601-366-2479

VISN
Ridgeland: VISN 16: South Central VA Health Care Network, 715 S Pear Orchard Rd, Plaza 1, 601-206-6900

Veterans Benefits Administration
Regional Office
Jackson: Jackson Regional Office, 1600 E. Woodrow Wilson Ave, 1-800-827-1000

Intake Site (Pre-Discharge Claims Assistance)
Biloxi: Keesler Air Force Base, VA Medical Center, 400 Veterans Ave, Bldg 2, Rm 1040

National Cemetery Administration
National Cemetery
Biloxi: Biloxi National Cemetery, 400 Veterans Ave, Bldg 1001, 228-388-6668 / Fax: 228-594-1021
Corinth: Corinth National Cemetery, 1551 Horton St, 901-386-8311 / Fax: 901-382-0750
Natchez:  Natchez National Cemetery, 41 Cemetery Rd, 601-445-4981 / Fax: 601-445-8815

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Military Installations in Mississippi

Please see the Mississippi Resource Locator for additional information.

Active Duty 

Army
Camp Shelby

Navy
Gulfport Naval Construction Battalion Center
Meridian NAS

Air Force
Columbus AFB
Keesler AFB

National Guard
Mississippi Army National Guard 

Mississippi Air National Guard
172nd Airlift Wing, Jackson
186th Air Refueling Wing, Meridian

United States Army Reserve (USAR)
81st Regional Support Command 

Resources

http://www.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp?isFlash=1 

http://www.dor.ms.gov/Pages/default.aspx 

http://www.vab.ms.gov/ 

http://www.nasdva.us/ 

http://www.retirementliving.com/taxes-kansas-new-mexico#MISSISSIPPI 

http://www.nationalguard.com/ 

http://www.dor.ms.gov/Pages/default.aspx 

http://www.vab.ms.gov/benefits.pdf 

http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx 

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

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

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Document Review Date: 31 March 2016