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Alabama Military Resource Locator
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Summary Alabama Military and Veterans Benefits: Alabama offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including State Tax benefits, Property Tax Exemptions, Alabama National Guard Tuition Scholarship Program, Education and Tuition Assistance, Vehicle Tags, Preference in State Classified Employment as well as Hunting and Fishing License privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component, and Veteran disability status.
Alabama Military and Veterans State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility
Alabama Retired Military Pay Income Tax Exemption: All compensation received as retirement benefits by any person retired from the military service of the United States of America and survivor benefits derived there from are hereby exempt from any state, county or municipal income tax or similar tax. ( Ala. Code § 40-18-20 )
Who is eligible for the Alabama Retired Military Pay Income Tax Exemption? Military retirees in receipt of retirement pay are eligible for the exemption.
Alabama Income Tax Exemption for Military Combat Pay: Money paid by the United States to a person as compensation for active service as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States in a combat zone shall not be subject to income taxes levied by the State of Alabama for the calendar year 1965 or any subsequent year.
Who is eligible for the Alabama Income Tax Exemption for Military Combat Pay? Service members receiving pay in a combat zone that has been designated by executive order of the President of the United States ( Code of Alabama 1974, Section 40-18-3 ) are eligible for the income tax exemption.
Alabama State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retired Pay: Disability retirement payments (and other benefits) paid by the Veterans Administration. are exempt from Alabama taxes.
Military Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the Armed Forces should not be included in taxable income if any of the following conditions apply:
You were entitled to receive a disability payment before September 25, 1975
You were a member of the military (active or reserves) or were under a binding written commitment to become a member on September 24, 1975
You receive disability payments for a combat-related injury. This is a personal injury or sickness that:
Resulted directly from armed conflict
Took place while you were engaged in extra-hazardous service
Took place under conditions simulating, including training exercises such as maneuvers, or
Was caused by an instrumentality of war
You would be entitled to receive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if you filed an application for it (the exclusion under this condition equals the amount you would be entitled to from the VA).
Alabama State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation is exempt from Alabama Income tax.
Alabama Department of Revenue Income Tax Exemptions
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.
Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Alabama State Tax Benefits: All compensation received as retirement benefits by any person retired from the military service of the United States of America and survivor benefits derived there from are hereby exempt from any state, county or municipal income tax or similar tax. ( Ala. Code § 40-18-20 )
Alabama Homestead tax Exemption for the Resident over age 65, Blind or Totally Disabled: ( 2019 Code of Alabama, Section 40-9-21(a) ) The homesteads of residents of Alabama who are over sixty-five (65) years of age; retired due to permanent and total disability, regardless of age; or blind, regardless of age or whether such person is retired; shall be exempt from all state ad valorem taxes.
A homestead is defined as a single-Family owner-occupied dwelling and the land thereto, not exceeding 160 acres. The property owner may be entitled to a homestead exemption if they own a single-Family residence and occupy it as their primary residence on the first day of the tax year for which they are applying.
Alabama Department of Revenue, Memorandum Clarifying Exemption for Permanently and Totally Disabled
Homes of Veterans or Unremarried Surviving Spouses acquired under a Special Adapted Housing Grant are Exempt from Ad Valorem Taxes: The home of any Veteran which is or was acquired by the provisions of Public Law 702, 80th Congress (specially adapted housing grant) as amended by (38 USC) regardless of its value shall be exempt from all ad valorem taxation.
Who is eligible for Homes of Veterans or Unremarried Surviving Spouses, acquired under a Special Adapted Housing Grant Ad Valorem Tax Exemption? The home is exempt so long as it is owned and occupied as a home by such Veteran or his Unremarried Surviving Spouse.
Motor Vehicles Paid for by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Grant is Exempt from all License Fees and Ad Valorem Taxes: Vehicles that have been all or partly paid for with funds furnished by the VA are entitled to exemptions from all license fees and ad valorem taxes on such motor vehicle provided the Veteran keeps the vehicle only for private use. ( Code of Alabama 2019, Section 40-12-254 )
Who is eligible for License Fees and Ad Valorem Taxes exemption for Motor Vehicles Paid for By U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Grants? Any disabled Veteran of WWII or of any hostilities in which the United States was, is, or shall be engaged against any foreign state who owns such a vehicle paid all or partly from VA funds.
Alabama National Guard Education Assistance Program: The Alabama National Guard Education Assistance Program (ANGEAP) provides tuition assistance to eligible National Guard Service members.
The current award amount per semester is $5406. Only 10% of the yearly appropriated funds are designated for Graduate reimbursements.
ANGEAP will cover only the remaining balance of tuition and fees that are not otherwise covered by any VA benefits received by the student.
Award amount per semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) not to exceed the average cost of tuition per semester of a state-supported Alabama four-year institution. This award amount will be determined annually by July 31st by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education based upon institutional tuition increases and the annual program appropriation each year.
Veteran’s educational benefits (Montgomery GI Bill, Chapter 1607, Post 9/11 and Tuition Assistance) that are received by the applicant are to be deducted (Section II, Item D of the ANGEAP application) in determining amount applicant is eligible to receive.
Federal Pell grant, work-study and student loans are not to be included as deductions for ANGEAP eligibility.
Students shall take the necessary steps to utilize the above benefits, but only VA and Tuition Assistance benefits will be deducted from the ANGEAP calculations
ANGEAP will reimburse for tuition and fees only. Qualifying tuition are classes or courses that counts towards the individual’s certificate plan or declared program of study. Books and supplies are no longer covered. All payments will be made at the end of each semester.
All applicants (Undergraduates and Postgraduates) must have a completed FAFSA on file to ensure students are aware of all educational benefits available.
Applicants must be enrolled in a degree or certificate program in any community, technical college under the authority of the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees, or enrolled pursuing 1st undergraduate or post-graduate degree in an accredited college or university within the state.
Who is eligible for the Alabama National Guard Education Assistance Program? To be eligible for an ANGEAP award the student must be:
17 years of age or over
Active member in good standing with the Alabama National Guard
Active member of a federally recognized unit of the Alabama National Guard
Have completed basic training
Pursuing the first undergraduate program Enrolled in a certificate or degree program at an accredited community college or technical college within the State of Alabama
Enrolled in a degree program at an accredited college or university within the State of Alabama
Maintain a cumulative 2.00 GPA Undergraduate: 3.00 GPA Graduate at end of each semester
Must have the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file
Must demonstrate a financial need of at least $100.00.
Alabama G. I. Dependents' Scholarship Program: The State of Alabama offers varying duration scholarships for eligible dependents of resident Alabama disabled Veterans. A dependent is defined as a Child, stepchild, Spouse or the un-remarried Surviving Spouse of the Veteran.
Children and stepchildren of qualified Veterans may receive five standard academic years (10 semesters)
Spouses or un-remarried Surviving Spouses of a Veteran rated as 100% permanently and totally disabled are entitled to five standard academic years (10 semesters).
Spouses or un-remarried Surviving Spouses of a Veteran rated 40-90% disabled are entitled to three standard academic years (6 semesters).
These scholarships are available for use at any Alabama State-supported institution of higher learning or a prescribed course of study at any state–supported technical college to be used for undergraduate courses of study at the in-state tuition rate.
Beginning with applications received at the Alabama Department Headquarters office with a postmark dated on or after July 31, 2017, tuition will be limited to the Department of Defense Tuition Assistance Cap (currently $250 per semester hour) and required textbooks and applicable fees will be limited to a combined $1,000 total per student for each semester. Schools may waive any overages of these charges at their discretion. All scholarships and grants must be applied to education expenses first (unless otherwise proscribed by state law) and the Alabama G.I. Dependent Scholarship Program will be applied for any applicable remaining charges pursuant to current state law.
Who is eligible for the Alabama G. I. Dependents' Scholarship Program? The Veteran must meet the qualifications listed below to establish eligibility of their dependents.
Military Service: The Veteran must have honorably served at least 90 days of continuous active federal military service or been honorably discharged by reason of service-connected disability after serving less than 90 days of continuous active federal military service.
Disability Requirements: Beginning July 31, 2017 Veterans must be rated 40% or more due to service-connected disabilities or have held the qualifying rating at the time of death, be a former prisoner of war (POW), declared missing in action (MIA), died as the result of a service-connected disability rating or died while on active military service in the line of duty.
Veterans with a disability rating of 20-30% may qualify if the effective date of their disability rating is on or before July 31, 2017. This provision will expire on July 31, 2023.
Veterans whose disability rating is less than 20% prior to May 23, 2017 but who had a claim for compensation pending prior to that date which resulted in a final award by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs of at least 20% may be eligible if the dependent applies for benefits within six months of that final adjudication.
Veteran Residency Requirements: (Veterans must qualify under at least one of the following two requirements).
Permanent civilian resident for at least one year immediately prior to initial entry into federal active military service or any subsequent entry into federal active military service where a 12-month break in service occurred. And one of the following:
Current resident for at least two years immediately prior to the date of this application or date of Veteran’s death; or
Current resident who was discharged within the last 12 months; or
Filed a resident Alabama income tax return for the past 10 consecutive years.
Bona fide permanent resident for at least five years immediately prior to the date of this application or the date of the Veteran’s death. Applies to 100% permanent and total ratings only.
Student Requirements: As of July 31, 2017, Students applying for benefits for the first time must meet all of the following:
Must be a current resident of the state of Alabama at the time of application; and
Must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for each year that they are covered under the Alabama G.I. Dependent Scholarship Program; and
Must comply with Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined by their education institution; and
Must complete a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) release form for each educational institution that they attend to authorize the release of personally identifiable information required to determine continued eligibility and as required for necessary reporting.
Age Deadline: The Child or stepchild must initiate training under this program prior to their 26th birthday. In certain situations, a Child or stepchild may be eligible for the program up to the age of 30. If the applicant is a stepchild, the Veteran and the stepchild’s parent must be legally married prior to the Child’s 19th birthday.
Application Assistance: The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs maintains offices throughout the state which can furnish information and assist you in filing your application. To find your nearest Veterans Service Office, visit the Veterans Service Office Locator Page for contact options.
Alabama G.I. Dependents Scholarship Program Pamphlet
Alabama Tuition Waiver for Purple Heart Medal Recipients: Public institutions of higher learning in the State of Alabama, including two-year and four-year postsecondary technical colleges, community colleges, and junior colleges, may waive tuition and fees for recipients of the Purple Heart Medal for undergraduate studies. Contact the public institution that the recipient plans to attend for more information. ( Ala. Code § 16-1-43 )
The waiver provided to the recipient of a Purple Heart may be applicable for up to 125 percent of the number of required credit hours of the degree or certificate program for which the Veteran is enrolled.
Who is eligible for the Alabama Tuition Waiver for Purple Heart Medal Recipients? The Veteran must be enrolled as a full time, part time, or summer school student in an undergraduate program that culminates in a degree or certificate, and the Veteran is currently, and was at the time of the military action that resulted in the awarding of the Purple Heart, a resident of this state.
The benefits provided shall be in addition to all other benefits provided by law and shall only be available to an eligible Veteran after they have utilized all other educational benefits, excluding any benefit that is partially funded by the Veteran, such as those benefits provided in the federal Montgomery GI Bill, also known as Chapter 30.
Alabama Operation Recognition, High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans: The State Superintendent of Education may award a standard high school diploma to any honorably discharged Veteran who served in the United States Armed Forces at any time between the following dates:
December 7, 1941 - January 1, 1946
June 27, 1950 - January 31, 1955
November 15, 1961 - March 28, 1973
Veteran must have been a resident of Alabama prior to entry into the United States Armed Forces and entry into the United States Armed Forces interrupted their high school attendance and prevented them from graduation.
Interested Veterans or Family members should contact the high school principal's office of the Veteran's former high school, or the County Superintendent of Education to make application for the diploma. ( Ala. Code § 16-1-37 )
Alabama 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. Douglas Ragland, (Ret)
Address: 1061 Sunhill Road NW
Birmingham, Alabama, 35215
Alabama State Employee Leave of Absence for Military Service: State employees receive 21 working days leave of absence per calendar year for military service, without loss of pay, time, annual vacation or sick leave.
Who is eligible for Alabama State Employee Leave of Absence for Military Service ? State employees that are active members of the Alabama National Guard or Reserves, on orders for training or active duty.
Alabama State Employee Job Status and Reemployment Rights: Those state employees who are not in the classified service, upon being called into or entering the military service, shall have the same rights and privileges as to reemployment by the state or any department thereof as are granted to those employees in the classified service. (Ala. Code § 36-26-33)
State, county and municipal officials, who enter the military or naval service at a time when a state of national emergency has been declared to exist by the President of the United States, have preservation of job status and reemployment rights. (Ala. Code 36-8-1-6)
Alabama State Employee Veterans Hiring Preference: All persons who have been honorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces at any time shall have 5 points added to any earned ratings in examination for entrance to the state classified service. Honorably discharged Veterans with the present existence of a service-connected disability and entitled to pension, compensation or disability allowance under existing laws shall have 10 points added to any earned ratings. Spouses and Surviving Spouses of certain disabled or deceased Veterans may have the 10-point preference extended to them and added to any earned ratings. Veterans also receive preference on the classified service employment registers over non-Veterans with the same ratings. (Ala. Code § 36-26-15(b))
Alabama Private Employment Veterans Preference: Private employers are authorized to have a written Veterans preference policy. ( Ala.CODE §§ 25-1-50 through 52 ).
Federal Employment Veteran's Hiring Preferences: 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, Surviving Spouses, 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 Surviving Spouse) 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 their 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 their 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.
Membership in Alabama State Employees'/Teachers' Retirement System Benefits for Service Members: Retirement benefits rights of state employees and teachers who enter the Armed Forces and return to state employment within one year after discharge are preserved and may be granted credit for military service up to four years.
Who is eligible for Membership in Alabama State Employees'/Teachers' Retirement System Benefits for Service Members? A member who entered the Armed Forces and does not withdraw contributions, and who returns to employment within one year after being honorably discharged. Additionally, provided the Veteran pays an amount equal to 4% of the average compensation paid to a state employee during each claimed year of full-time military service, plus and together there with 8% interest compounded from the last date of such claimed military service. The contributions must be made within a period of time equal to the length of service in the Armed Forces or before attainment of age 60, or in the case of a state policeman, age 56, whichever occurs first. No credit for military service shall be granted if such member is receiving military service retirement benefits. ( Ala. Code §§ 36-27-4 (d) - (f); 16-25-3(d) & (e))
Alabama Peace Officers Credit for Military Service: Any peace officer who becomes a member of the Alabama Peace Officers’ Annuity and Benefit Fund and who left employment and entered directly into the Armed Forces of the United States and who returned to work as a peace officer within six months after release or discharge shall receive prior employment service credit for service in the military not to exceed five years. ( Ala. Code § 36-21-69 )
Alabama Business and Occupational License Exemptions for Disabled Veterans: Any bona fide permanent resident of Alabama who is a Veteran of WWII or at any time past, present or future, when the United States was, is or shall be engaged in hostilities with any foreign state and who has physical disabilities of 25% or more whether service-connected or not, may be exempt from business or occupational license taxes.
A Veteran who conducts their business as a means of livelihood through their personal efforts and has no more than one employee shall be entitled to licenses from the state/county/municipality to carry on such business upon the payment of license taxes that shall not exceed $25.00.
However, a Veteran whose property (both real and personal) is valued at $5,000.00 or more or whose net income is $2,500.00 or more is not entitled to these business and occupational license exemptions. (Ala. Code § 40-12-340-352)
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act: Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protect civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of Reserve components. USERRA also makes major improvements in protecting Service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.
Absence from Work for Military Duty: USERRA establishes the cumulative length of time that an individual may be absent from work