State / Territory Benefits - Montana
Motor Vehicle Division Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks & Recreation Benefits
Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities
Summary: Montana offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including Property Tax Exemptions, Montana National Guard Tuition Scholarship Program, Education and Tuition Assistance, Point Preference or Alternative Preference in Initial Hiring, 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
Retired Military Pay: Montana taxes all pension and retirement income received while residing in Montana to the extent it is taxable on the federal return.
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.
Active Duty Exemption: The salary received from the armed forces by residents of Montana who are serving on active duty in the regular armed forces and who entered into active duty from Montana is exempt from state income tax.
National Guard Exemption: The salary received by residents of Montana for active duty in the National Guard is exempt from state income tax.
Veterans' Bonus or Death Benefit Exemption: All payments made under the World War I bonus law, the Korean bonus law, and the Veterans' bonus law are exempt from taxation. The amount received from the federal government by a Service member, as reimbursement for group life insurance premiums paid is considered to be a bonus and is exempt from taxation. The amount received by a beneficiary is exempt from taxation.
Certain Disabled or Deceased Veterans' Residences Exempt: Disabled Veteran program. The residential real property of a qualified Veteran or a qualified Veteran's Spouse is eligible to receive a tax rate reduction as provided in 15-6-305 [15-6-302] and this section. Property owned by a qualified Veteran is taxed at the rate provided in 15-6-134 multiplied by a percentage figure based on the applicant's qualifying income determined from the following table:
$0 - $37,404
$0 - $44,885
$37,405 - $41,145
$44,886 - $48,626
$41,146 - $44,885
$48,627 - $52,366
$44,886 - $48,626
$52,367 - $56,107
For a surviving Spouse who owns property the property is taxed at the rate established by 15-6-134 multiplied by a percentage figure based on the Spouse's qualifying income determined from the following table:
$0 - $31,170
$31,171 - $34,911
$34,912 - $38,651
$38,652 - $42,392
The property tax exemption under this section remains in effect as long as the qualifying income requirements are met and the property is the primary residence owned and occupied by the Veteran or, if the Veteran is deceased, by the Veteran's Spouse and the Spouse:
(a) is the owner and occupant of the house;
(b) is unmarried; and
(c) has obtained from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs a letter indicating that the Veteran was rated 100% disabled or was paid at the 100% disabled rate by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for a service-connected disability at the time of death or that the Veteran died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability.
Montana National Guard Education Benefits: The Montana State Scholarship offers Air Guard members working toward a Bachelor's degree $100 per credit hour, up to $1200 per semester.
Eligibility: National Guard Service members.
Surviving Dependents of Montana National Guard Member Waiver: The surviving Spouse or Child of any Montana National Guard member killed as a result of injury, disease, or other disability incurred in the line of duty while serving on state active duty is eligible for a waiver. This waiver shall not apply to the extent that any such person is eligible for educational benefits from any governmental or private benefit program that provides comparable benefits.
War Orphans Waiver: A tuition waiver is available, upon approval of the Commissioner of Higher Education, for Children aged 25 or less, whose parent(s) served on active duty during World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts. Such members of the armed forces must have been Montana residents at the time of entry into service, and must have been killed in action or died as a result of combat related injury, disease, or other disability while in the service.
Honorable Discharged Veteran Tuition Waiver: To be eligible, the student must have been honorably discharged from the service and have served with the United State Armed forces in any of its wars. The person must also be a resident of the state of Montana.
Grateful Nation Montana: was formed for the specific purpose of facilitating college educations for the Children of Soldiers killed while on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, Grateful Nation links eligible students with the financial resources and non-monetary support they will need to have a successful college experience. We target both the financial and educational needs of these Children. Even with sufficient financial resources in place, the road to a successful college education may not be assured for these students, who face many hurdles growing up without a parent. Participating colleges and universities provide student tutoring and mentoring to eligible students during their high school years so that these students are academically and emotionally prepared to succeed in college.
Point Preference or Alternative Preference in Initial Hiring (State): (1) Subject to the restrictions in subsections (2) and (3), whenever a public employer uses a scored procedure, an applicant for an initial hiring, as defined in Montana Code 39-30-103, must have added to the applicant's score the following percentage points of the total possible points that may be granted in the scored procedure:
(a) 5 percentage points if the applicant is a Veteran; and
(b) 10 percentage points if the applicant is a disabled Veteran or an eligible relative.
(2) A Veteran, disabled Veteran, or eligible relative may not receive the percentage points provided for in subsection (1) unless the person:
(a) is a United States citizen; and
(b) meets the minimum qualifications required for the position. If no applicant meets the minimum qualifications and the public employer fills a training position, Veterans' preference must be applied.
(3) A disabled Veteran who receives 10 percentage points under subsection (1) (b) may not receive an additional 5 percentage points under subsection (1)(a).
(4) Whenever a public employer uses a selection procedure other than a scored procedure, the public employer shall give preference to a disabled Veteran, eligible relative, or Veteran, in that order, over any non-preferred applicant holding substantially equal qualifications, as defined in Montana Code 39-30-103.
Eligibility: A Veteran, disabled Veteran, or eligible relative.
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.
Employment Assistance: Public employees receive 15 work days of paid military leave per year.
Eligibility: Public employees performing military service and who have been an employee for a period of at least 6 months.
Unemployment Insurance: UI is a program to pay short-term benefits to help workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own. UI helps to lessen the negative impact that unemployment has on the economy. UI is not public assistance, Social Security or a disability payment program. For fastest service File online here- it's the safe, secure, easy and quick way to file for and request payment of benefits and find information on your claim. If you are an ex-military member A copy of your DD214, Member 4 will need to be mailed to our office. Note: You may file an unemployment claim after your discharge date shown on your DD214, Member 4.
Military Plates available for Military Personnel, Veterans, Spouses, and Gold Star Families: Special plates available include Army Active Duty, Army Reserve, Army Veteran, Disabled Veteran, Gold Star Family, Legion of Valor, National Guard, National Guard Retired, Pearl Harbor Survivor, Ex-Prisoner of War, Purple Heart Veteran, and the Purple Heart Disabled Veteran.
Special Plates for Military Personnel, Veterans, Spouses, and Gold Star Families:
Active military personnel, Veterans, or the surviving Spouse of an eligible Veteran, if the Spouse has not remarried, may be issued special military or Veteran license plates. Special military or Veteran license plates may not be issued for a motorcycle, quadricycle, travel trailer, trailer, semi-trailer, or pole trailer. Special military or Veteran license plates bearing a wheelchair as the symbol of a person with a disability may be issued to a person who meets the qualifications under 61-3-332(9) and this section. Upon application, after paying all applicable motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer, or pole trailer registration fees and special license plate fees and providing an official certificate from the applicant's Unit Commander verifying the individual's eligibility and authorizing the department to issue the plates to the individual, eligible military personnel may be issued one set of special military license plates as provided in this subsection. (Montana Code 61-3-458)
Special Military or Veteran License Plates: Under MCA 61-3-458, special military or Veteran license plates may be issued to:
- Active military personnel
- The surviving Spouse of an eligible Veteran if the Spouse has not remarried, as determined by the military
- Those eligible for a Gold Star Label Button because a Family member died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces
Eligibility: Montana residents who are active members of the regular armed forces, National Guard or Reserve armed forces may be issued special license plates according to their branch of service. However, they must surrender the plates to the department when they are no longer eligible.
Special Vehicle License Plates for Veterans and Spouses: Motor vehicle registration fee and Veterans' cemetery fee waivers - Some people are exempt from all motor vehicle fees, as well as the Veteran's cemetery fee (provided in 61-3-459), for two sets of special Veteran license plates. These license plates are to be used for two motor vehicles that are not used for commercial purposes.
The following persons are eligible for the waiver provided in subsection:
(a) a Veteran who was a prisoner of war who presents official documentation from the U.S. Department of Defense verifying the Veteran's status, or the Veteran's surviving Spouse, if the Spouse has not remarried;
(b) a Veteran who is currently rated 100% disabled or is paid at the 100% disabled rate by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for a service-connected disability, as verified by official documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or the Veteran's surviving Spouse, if the Spouse has not remarried;
(c) a Veteran determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to be 50% or more disabled because of a service-connected injury and who has been awarded the Purple Heart, as verified by official documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veteran's military service record issued by the U.S. Department of Defense, or the Veteran's surviving Spouse, if the Spouse has not remarried. However, in this case, the Veteran or the surviving Spouse shall pay the Veterans' cemetery fee as provided for in 61-3-459;
(d) the surviving Spouse, if the Spouse has not remarried, of a military Service member killed while on active duty as verified in official documentation issued by the U.S. department of defense; and
(e) the surviving Spouse, if the Spouse has not remarried, of a military Service member or Veteran who died of a service-connected injury or disability as determined by and verified in official documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (Montana Code 61-3-460)
Disabled Veteran License Plate: Disabled Veterans may be issued special license plates displaying the letters "DV", which entitle them to disabled parking privilege. Disabled Veterans may be issued up to two sets of DV license plates for their vehicles. Unlike other military license plates, DV plates cannot be transferred to a surviving Spouse.
Eligibility: Disabled Veterans are entitled to this plate if they:
- Have been awarded the Purple Heart and have been rated as 50% or more disabled because of a service-connected injury.
- Necessary documentation - an official letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs stating the disability rating and U.S. Department of Defense form DD-214 verifying receipt of a Purple Heart.
- Are currently rated 100% disabled or are paid at the 100% disabled rate for a service-connected disability.
- Necessary documentation - an official letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs stating the disability rating or payment status.
Gold Star Family License Plate: U.S. military Family members who are eligible for a Gold Star Lapel Button may be issued special Gold Star Family license plates upon application and after paying all applicable motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer registration fees and special license plate fees. Necessary documentation - Complete the State of Montana Application for Gold Star Family License Plate (Form MV57) and provide supporting documentation, DD Form 1300 or Death Notice.
Application for Military Vehicle Registration: For Montana residents, who entered the service from Montana, are on active military duty and are stationed outside the state. They may purchase license plates and register a motor vehicle for the cost of the registration alone (exempting Montana taxes and fees).
Military Service members: Non-resident military personnel stationed in Montana may register their vehicles in their home jurisdictions or in Montana, unless they are gainfully employed in Montana outside of their military duties. If they are gainfully employed outside those duties, they must title and register their vehicles in Montana.
Veteran Designation: Montana Veterans are eligible to apply for a "Veteran Designation" on their driver license. This designation recognizes your service and may serve as proof that you are were a member of the U.S armed services, eligible for any benefits or discounts offered by businesses and organizations. Submit for 21-3000 and a $10 fee along with documentation from the State of Montana Veteran Affairs confirming your Veteran Status.
License Expiration Exemption: Active duty Service members may apply for a military driver license exemption. This exemption renders your license valid up to 30 days after honorable discharge, regardless of the expiration date printed on the license. Exemptions are indicated by having a 30 day exemption notice printed on the back of the license. Service members may also have "9999" printed on the front of their license in place of an expiration date. Family members who are stationed with Service members are not eligible for a license expiration exemption; however, they are eligible for up to 2 consecutive mail-in renewals or license replacement by mail.
Motorcycle Endorsement: Active duty Service members stationed outside of Montana may apply to have a motorcycle endorsement added to their driver license without completing a road skills test at a Montana exam station if they satisfy the requirements outlined below.
To apply for a motorcycle endorsement, you will need to:
Contact Program Specialist Tara Kloker
TKloker@mt.gov or (406)-444-1352
Submit a skills waiver form certifying completion of a "Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course"
Pass the Montana motorcycle written test under the supervision of an approved test proctor
Contact Program Specialist Tara Kloker
TKloker@mt.gov or (406)-444-1352
Submit a skills waiver form certifying completion of a "Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course"
Pass the Montana motorcycle written test under the supervision of an approved test proctor
Military Waiver for CDL: Service members currently licensed and who are or were employed in the past year in a military position requiring the operation of a military motor vehicle equivalent to a commercial motor vehicle may apply for a skills test waiver for their commercial driver license (CDL). Written tests cannot be waived.
To apply for a military skills test waiver, you will need to:
Submit the CDL Skills Test Waiver, signed by your Commanding Officer
All forms and manuals related to licenses can be found here
Group Insurance: MT NGA offers active Guard members $1,000 free term life and up to $250,000 additional through ReliaStar/AFBA. Spouse/Family coverage available.
Eligibility: Member of National Guard Association of the United States.
Workers Compensation: Workers Compensation equivalent to State employees.
Eligibility: Injury occurs while serving on State Active Duty.
Injury/Death Benefits: Workers Compensation equivalent to State employees less any VA payments received.
Eligibility: Injury/Death occurs while serving on State Active Duty.
Resident with a Disability Conservation License: This license allows disabled Montana residents to obtain a Conservation License for $8 and a Deer A and an Elk license at a reduced cost. The Conservation License includes Fishing, Warm Water Fishing, State Migratory Bird, Upland Game Bird, and State Lands licenses. Application
Permit to Modify Archery Equipment: This permit allows a person with a disability to use modified archery tackle that supports the bow, and draws, holds, and releases the string to accommodate the individual's disability. The permit holder must have a companion to assist in aspects of the hunt. The companion may also assist the permit holder by hunting (by the legal use of archery equipment only) a game animal that has been wounded by the permit holder when the hunter with a disability is unable to pursue and kill the wounded animal. Crossbows may not be used during archery season. Application
Permit to Hunt from a Vehicle: This permit authorizes the permit-holder to hunt from a vehicle wherever vehicular traffic is allowed and permission to hunt is authorized. The permit holder must be accompanied by a companion who is able to assist in immediately dispatching, field dressing and retrieving any game animal wounded or killed. This permit DOES NOT provide any automatic waiver or exemption from travel restrictions imposed by a private landowner or land management agency. Application
Resident Lifetime Fishing License for the Blind: A Montana resident who is blind can purchase a lifetime fishing license for $10. The application for this license is available from FWP and requires medical certification. A Conservation License is not a prerequisite for this license. Application
State Parks Biennial Fee Rule: The State Parks Biennial Fee Rule, Section VIII, provides for disabled residents to receive a 50% discount on camping fees.
Veterans' Clubhouse Exemption -- Incompetent Veterans' Trusts: A clubhouse or building erected by or belonging to any society or organization of honorably discharged United States military personnel that is used primarily for educational, fraternal, benevolent, or purely public charitable purposes rather than for gain or profit, together with the personal property necessarily used in the building, is exempt from taxation. The exemption provided for in this section applies even if a business, intended primarily for the use of the members, is required to be open to the public and is operated in a portion of the building. All property, real or personal, in the possession of legal guardians of incompetent Veterans of U.S. military service or minor dependents of the Veterans, when the property is funded or derived from funds received from the United States as pension, compensation, insurance, adjusted compensation, or gratuity, is exempt from all taxation as property of the United States while held by the guardian, but not after title passes to the Veteran or minor in the minor's own right on account of removal of legal disability. (Montana Code15-6-203)
State Veteran's Homes:
The Montana Veterans' Home: Located in Columbia Falls is a Medicare/Medicaid and Veterans' Administration certified facility with 105 intermediate/skilled-care beds and 12 domiciliary beds. The nursing facility includes a 15-bed Alzheimer's unit. MVH has been providing services to Veterans since 1896.
Eligibility: Admission to MVH nursing program is for honorably discharged Veterans who have served in the armed forces of the United States and who qualify for skilled/intermediate nursing care or domiciliary self-care living. Spouses of Veterans will be admitted on a space-available basis. A Veteran and Spouse may be admitted together if they both qualify for nursing-home care or domiciliary living.
Eastern Montana Veterans' Home (EMVH): Located in Glendive is an 80-bed intermediate/skilled-care facility including a 16-bed Special Care Unit. The facility has certification from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services and the Veterans' Administration. The facility opened its doors for admission in July 1995. EMVH was built by the state of Montana with the assistance of the Federal Veterans' Administration and is managed by Glendive Medical Center.
Eligibility: To be eligible for residence at EMVH, a person must be an honorably discharged Veteran, the Spouse or surviving Spouse of a Veteran who served in the armed forces of the United States.
State Veterans' Cemeteries: There are three Veteran's cemeteries located in Montana. Montana State Veterans Cemetery located at Fort William Henry Harrison, Helena, Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery located in Missoula, and the Eastern Montana State Veterans Cemetery located in Miles City.
Military Installations in Montana
Please see the Montana Resource Locator for additional information
No active duty Army installations are located in Montana.
Malstrom Air Force Base
Montana Army National Guard
United States Army Reserve (USAR):
88th Regional Support Command
Veterans Health Administration
VA Health Care System
Fort Harrison: VA Montana Health Care System, 3687 Veterans Dr, 877-468-8387 / 406-442-6410
Hamilton: Hamilton Primary Care Telehealth Outreach Clinic, 299 Fairgrounds Rd Suite A, 406-363-3352 / Fax: 406-363-7522
Havre: VA Montana Health Care System, Havre CBOC, 130 13th St, Suite 1, 406-265-4304 / Fax: 406-265-4305
Helena: Helena VA Sleep Clinic, 2271 Deer Field Ln, 406-447-7443 / Fax: 406-449-1364
Libby: Libby Rural Health Clinic, 211 E. Second St, 406-293-8711 / Fax: 406-293-8735
Plentywood: Plentywood Primary Care Telehealth Outreach Clinic, 440 West Laurel Ave, 406-765-3718
Community Based Outpatient Clinics
Anaconda: Anaconda VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 118 E. 7th St, Suite 2A, 406-496-3000 / Fax: 406-496-3030
Billings: Billings VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 1775 Spring Creek Lane, 406-373-3500 / Fax: 406-373-3520
Bozeman: Bozeman VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 300 N. Wilson, Suite 703G, 406-582-5300 / 406-582-5399
Cut Bank: Cut Bank VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, #8 2nd Ave SE, 406-873-9047 / Fax: 406-873-2439
Glasgow: Glasgow VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 630 Second Ave South, Suite A, 406-228-4101 / Fax: 406-228-4104
Glendive: Glendive VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 2000 Montana Ave, 406-377-4755 / Fax: 406-377-4757
Great Falls: Great Falls VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 1417 9th St South, Suite 200 and 300, 406-791-3200 / Fax: 406-791-3230
Kalispell: Kalispell VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 31 Three Mile Dr, Suite 102, 406-758-2700 / Fax: 406-758-2750
Lewistown: Lewistown VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 629 NE Main St, Suite 1, 406-535-4790 / Fax: 406-535-4793
Miles City: Miles City VA Community Based Outreach Clinic / Nursing Home, 210 S. Winchester, 406-874-5600 / Fax: 406-874-5696
Missoula: Missoula VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 2687 Palmer St, Suite C, 406-493-3700 / Fax: 406-493-3772
Vet Center - 877-927-8387
Billings: Billings Vet Center, 2795 Enterprise Ave, Suite 1, 406-657-6071 / Fax: 406-657-6603
Great Falls: Great Falls Vet Center, 615 2nd Ave North, 406-452-9048 / Fax: 406-452-9053
Kalispell: Kalispell Vet Center, 690 North Meridian Rd, Suite 101, 406-257-7308 / Fax: 406-257-7312
Missoula: Missoula Vet Center, 500 N. Higgins Ave, Suite 202, 406-721-4918 / Fax: 406-329-3006
Veterans Benefits Administration
Fort Harrison: Fort Harrison Regional Office, 3633 Veterans Dr, 800-827-1000
Intake Site (Pre-Discharge Claims Assistance)
Fort Harrison: Malmstrom Air Force Base, VA Regional Office, 3633 Veterans Dr
National Cemetery Administration
Laurel: Yellowstone National Cemetery, 55 Buffalo Trail Rd, 406-647-2746
Document Review Date: 30 October 2015