Florida Military and Veterans Benefits
Reemployment Assistance Benefits (Unemployment Insurance)
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
U.S. Department of Veterans (VA) Affairs Facilities in Florida
Florida Military Resource Locator
Summary of Florida Military and Veterans Benefits: Florida offers special benefits for Service members, Veterans and their Families including homestead tax exemptions, state employment preferences, education and tuition assistance, vehicle tags, as well as hunting and fishing license privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component, and Veteran disability status.
Florida County Veteran Service Officers: The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs has trained County Veterans Service Officers who can assist Veterans, and their Families find and apply for benefits under federal, state and local laws. All their services are provided free of charge.
Florida County Veteran Service Officer Directory
Florida Military and Veteran State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility
Florida Income Taxes:There are no individual income taxes in Florida.Distributions received from the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) are not taxed.
Florida Property Tax Exemptions and Discounts for Service Members, Disabled Veterans Spouses and Surviving Spouses: Florida offers several property tax exemptions or discounts for resident Service members, honorably discharged disabled Veterans and unremarried Surviving Spouses. All exemptions or discounts are applied for through the applicants local Property Appraiser.
Florida Department of Revenue, County Property Appraiser Directory
War Time Veteran Disabled 10% or More Property Tax Discount: Veterans who have a combat related disability rating from the VA of 10% or more are eligible for up to a $5,000 discount on their homestead property taxes. The discount is equal to the Veteran’s disability percentage. Surviving Spouses can receive the discount as long as they do not remarry. If the Surviving Spouse sells the property, they are only eligible for a discount up to the amount they received on their previous property. Use Florida Department of Revenue, Original Application for Homestead and Related Tax Exemptions to apply.
Florida Statutes 196.24
Veterans with Service-Connected, Total and Permanent Disability or Confined to a Wheelchair Property Tax Exemption: Veterans who have a service-connected, total and permanent disability rating from the VA, or who are confined to a wheelchair are eligible for a total property tax exemption on their homesteads. Surviving Spouses can receive the exemption if they do not remarry. If the Surviving Spouse sells the property, they are only eligible for an exemption up to the amount they received on their previous property. Use Florida Department of Revenue, Original Application for Homestead and Related Tax Exemptions to apply.
Florida Statutes 196.081 , 196.091
Disabled Veteran, age 65 and Older Property Tax Discount: Veterans 65 or older who have a service-connected, permanent, partial disability rating from the VA can receive a discount on the assessed value of their homesteads. The discount is equal to the percentage of the Veteran’s disability. Surviving Spouses can receive the discount if they do not remarry. If the Surviving Spouse sells the property, they are only eligible for a discount up to the amount they received on their previous property. Use Florida Department of Revenue, Original Application for Homestead and Related Tax Exemptions to apply.
Florida Statutes 196.082
Deployed Military Property Tax Exemption:A Service member serving in the U.S. Armed Forces can receive a property tax exemption if they were deployed during the previous calendar year. The deployment must have been outside the U.S. and in support of a main or subordinate military operation designated by the Florida Legislature. The percent of the taxable value exemption is equal to the percent of time during the previous year that the Service member was deployed. Use Florida Department of Revenue, Deployed Military Exemption Application to apply.
Florida Statutes 196.173
Surviving Spouse of Service Members Killed on Active Duty Property Tax Exemption: The Surviving Spouse of a resident Service member who died from service-connected causes while serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces is exempt from taxes on their homestead. Use Florida Department of Revenue, Original Application for Homestead and Related Tax Exemptions to apply.
Florida Statutes 196.081
Those eligible for these exemptions may apply before they receive the necessary documentation from the U.S. Government or the VA. After the property appraiser receives the documentation, the exemption is effective on the date of the original application. Service members who are eligible for an exemption or discount are authorized to have their next of kin file if they are unable to apply due to their military service.
Florida Statutes 196.071
Florida Local Business Tax Exemption for Veterans, Spouses of Veterans and Service Members: Florida offers an exemption from business tax and any fees imposed under Florida Business Tax Statutes, Chapter 205 for eligible Veterans, their Spouse or Surviving Spouse, and Spouses of Service members who are stationed in Florida.
Who is eligible for the Florida Local Business Tax Exemption for Veterans, Spouses of Veterans and Certain Service Members? The following individuals are eligible for an exemption of business taxes and fees:
- Honorably discharged Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Spouse or unremarried Surviving Spouse an eligible Veteran
- Spouse of an active duty Service member stationed in Florida
Florida College System (FCS) Education Benefits for Service Members, Veterans and Dependents: The FCS offers higher education benefits for Veterans, Service members and their dependents. Those eligible may participate in one military education benefit at a time and may choose the benefit that best suits their educational needs. There are no enrollment fees to participate in any Veterans' education benefits programs.
Florida Congressman C.W. Bill Young, Veteran Tuition Waiver Program: The Congressman C.W. Bill Young Veteran Tuition Waiver Program requires the FCS to waive out-of-state fees for an honorably discharged Veteran who served in an active or reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces. This waiver allows a Veteran to begin school without waiting the required one year prior to enrollment.
Veterans must physically reside in Florida while enrolled in the institution and required to provide the following:
- Proof current Florida residency - Documentation may include but not limited to, a Florida driver’s license or copy of current lease
- Proof of honorable discharge - DD214, discharge certificate, or other documentation as required by the FCS institution
Veterans using VA educational benefits are also required to provide a VA Certificate of Eligibility or a VAF 28-1905 form (Ch 31, Veterans Readiness and Employment).
Priority Course Registration: FCS institutions offer priority course registration to Veterans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and their dependents when they are using VA educational benefits.
Residency for Tuition Purposes for Service Members and Their Dependents: FCS will grant in-state residency for tuition purposes to active duty Service members and their dependents, who are residing in Florida or attending a public postsecondary institution within 50 miles of a military installation. Active, drilling Florida National Guard Service members are also authorized residency for tuition purposes
An FCS institution, career center operated by a school district, or charter technical career center will waive out-of-state tuition and fees for a Service member serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces residing or stationed outside of this state.
Academic Credit for Service Members and Veterans for Military Education and Training: FCS institutions authorize current Service members and honorably discharged Veterans to earn academic college credit for college-level training and education they received while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Florida Department of Education, Participating Institutions Directory
Florida Educational Dollars for Duty Program (EDD): EDD is a state tuition assistance program for Florida National Guard Service members for postsecondary education. Tuition is paid at 100% of the charged resident rate for Florida colleges and
public universities, and at the highest current resident rate for accredited private
institutions. EDD can be used for:
- Vocational / technical, industry schools
- Certificates and academic degree programs (associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees)
- Professional licenses and industry certification exams
EDD may also reimburse approved book and instructional material costs.
Who is eligible for EDD?To be eligible Service members must live in Florida, 17 years of age or older, actively drilling and in “Good Standing” in the Florida National Guard.
For more information call 904-823-0339, 904-823-0223 or 904-823-0352, or email email@example.com.
Florida National Guard Pamphlet 621-5-2 EDD Program
Florida National Guard, EDD Online Application (Requires DS or Common Access Card Logon)
Florida Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans and Service Members (CSDDV): CSDDV provides scholarships for Children and Spouses of Florida Veterans or Service members who died from service-connected causes, are 100% permanent and total disabled or declared a prisoner of war or missing in action (POW/MIA).
CSDDV will pay tuition and registration fees at a Florida Department of Education, eligible participating institution. The scholarship may be used for up to 110% of the number of the required credit hours for an initial bachelor’s degree or certificate program.
Who is eligible for CSDDV Scholarships?Initial eligibility requirements to receive the CSDDV Scholarship:
Veteran or Service Member Requirements:
- U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Florida resident for one year immediately before time of death, received a rating of 100% disability, or declared a POW or MIA
- Meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Died as a result of a service-connected disability or injury they received while serving on active duty, or
- Have a service-connected 100% permanent and total disability rating, or
- Classified as a POW or MIA by the U.S. Armed Forces, (dependents can receive funding until the Service member is returned, alive, to U.S. control or their duty status is changed making them no longer eligible)
Child or Spouse Requirements:
- Florida resident and a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Not owe or be in default under any state or federal grant, loan, or scholarship program unless arrangements to repay have been made
- Does not have a bachelor’s degree
- Enroll for a minimum of 6 credit hours, 180 clock hours, or the equivalent, per term
- Meet Florida general eligibility requirements for receipt of state aid
Additional Specific Eligibility Requirements for Children:
- Between the ages of 16 and 22 (must be initially eligible prior to their 23 rd birthday)
Additional Specific Requirements for Spouses of Deceased Service Members:
- Was married to the Service member for at least one year immediately before the Service member’s death
- Must not be remarried
- Must apply for the scholarship within five years after the Service member’s death
Additional Specific Requirements for Spouses of Disabled Service Members:
- Was married for at least one year immediately prior to the award of the Veteran's disability rating
- Spouse remains married to the Service member for the entire time they are using the CSDDV scholarship
Students must submit a Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) by April 1 st of the school year in which they wish to begin receiving benefits. Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA) will verify all eligibility requirements.
Florida Department of Education
Office of Student Financial Assistance
State Scholarship and Grant Programs
325 West Gaines Street, Suite 1314
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400
Florida Tuition Waiver for Recipients of the Purple Heart or Superior Combat Decoration: The Purple Heart Waiver provides tuition waivers at Florida College System (FCS) schools for Service members and Veterans who have received a Purple Heart or a combat decoration that is “superior in precedence”.
The waiver covers the tuition for a degree or certificate program up to 110% of the required hours of study. The waiver does not cover other costs, such as textbooks, housing, and food.
Who is eligible for the Florida Tuition Waiver for Recipients of the Purple Heart or Superior Combat Decoration? Veteran or Service member must meet these requirements:
- Florida resident for tuition purposes
- Full or part-time student
- Enrolled in a certificate or degree program (non-degree seeking courses do not qualify for the waiver)
- Submit documents showing receipt of the Purple Heart or superior combat decoration
Decorations superior in precedence to the Purple Heart:
- Medal of Honor
- Navy Cross / Air Force Cross / Distinguished Service Cross
- Silver Star
- Legion of Merit with Combat “V Device”
- Distinguished Flying Cross
- Bronze Star with Combat “V Device”
Florida High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans: The Florida Department of Education will award a standard high school diploma to honorably discharged Veterans who did not complete high school graduation requirements due to entering the U.S. Armed Forces.
Who is eligible for Florida High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans? The Veteran must meet the following criteria:
- Left a public or non-public school prior to graduation to enter the U.S. Armed Forces
- Current resident of Florida, or was previously enrolled in a high school in Florida, or was a resident of Florida at the time of their death
- Received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces
Family members may apply posthumously for the Veteran’s diploma. Applicants must provide a completed application and the Veteran’s DD214 or other honorable discharge documentation. Please mail completed applications and required documentation to:
Division of Career and Adult Education
Florida Department of Education
325 West Gaines Street, Suite 734
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400
Florida Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: The purpose of this compact is to remove barriers to educational success imposed on Children of military Families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:
- Facilitating the prompt 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 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 to achieve educational success for the student
Point of Contact
Phone: 904-327-9986 / 850-245-7844
Florida Purple Star Schools of Distinction Program for Military-Friendly Schools: Recent legislation authorized the Florida Purple Star Schools of Distinction Program for military-friendly schools. This program recognizes schools that show a major commitment to students and Families connected to the U.S. Armed Forces.
For a school to qualify for the Purple Star Award they must appoint a school liaison who is specially trained to handle the unique challenges experienced by military Families. This liaison will ensure that other teachers at their school are aware of special considerations that students from military Families can benefit from. Each school will also have a dedicated page on their school website featuring resources for military Families.
Military Child Education Coalition Purple Star School Program
Florida Tuition Waiver for Surviving Spouse and Children of Deceased Active Duty Service Members: Florida will provide a waiver of tuition, matriculation and registration fees for a total of 120 credit hours to the Surviving Spouse and Children of a Service member who is killed in the line of duty. These waivers may be used while pursuing a career certificate, or an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. Students may attend a state career center, a Florida College System institution, or a state university on either a full-time or part-time basis.
Who is eligible for the Florida Active Duty Service Member Death Benefit? For a Surviving Spouse or Child to be eligible the Service member must meet the following requirements:
- Death must have occurred after July 1, 2019
- Was serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces
- Was a resident of Florida, or a nonresident assigned to a duty station in Florida at the time of their death
- Cause of death must not have been from suicide or intentionally self-inflicted.
The Surviving Spouse or Child must be listed on the Service member’s DD1300 Report of Casualty and meet the following requirements to be eligible:
- Child is eligible until their 25th birthday
- Surviving Spouse must begin using this benefit within five years of the Service member’s death and can continue until the 10th anniversary of their death
- Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress, as determined by the educational institution to remain eligible
For more information and to apply, students should contact the educational institution they plan to attend.
Florida State Employee Leave for Military Service: Florida public service employees who are Service members in the National Guard, or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves are authorized a leave of absence for required training and active military service. The first 30 days of their leave of absence is with full pay. Service members keep all seniority rights, efficiency ratings, promotional status, and retirement privileges during their leave of absence.
Florida Statutes 115.09
Florida Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Opportunity Act: Florida state agencies, when considering two or more equal bids for proposals, replies for the procurement of commodities or contractual services, will give preference to Certified Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, over a non-Veteran owned business.
Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs, Veteran Certified Businesses Information
Florida State Employment Veterans’ Preference (VP):Florida offers VP when hiring, promotions after deployment and reemployment for state employment to Service members, Veterans, Spouses and Gold Star Parents.
Who is eligible for Florida State Employment VP?When scores on examinations are used for selection, VP eligible applicants will have points added to their passing scores.
- Honorably discharged Veteran who has a service-connected disability who is eligible for or receiving compensation, disability retirement, or pension from the VA – 20 points added
- The Spouse of a Veteran or Service member who:
- Cannot work due to a total and permanent service-connected disability – 20 points added
- Is declared a prisoner of war or missing in action – 20 points added
- Unremarried Surviving Spouse of a Veteran who died from a service-connected disability – 15 points added
- Unremarried Surviving Spouse, mother, father, or legal guardian of a Service member who died in the line of duty under combat related conditions – 15 points added
- Honorably discharged Veteran who served at least one day on active duty during a Florida Statute Established Wartime Period, (active duty for training does not qualify) – 15 points added
- Current member of a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces – 10 points added
When an examination is not given, preference MUST be given at every step. Any VP eligible applicant who meets the minimum requirements for the job is guaranteed an interview. If there are two VP candidates, who equally qualify, the selection is based upon how each candidate qualified for VP. A qualifying disabled Veteran will always be selected over any other applicants.
Florida Statutes 295.085
Reemployment Preference:When a state employee is required to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces they are entitled to reemployment to the same or an equal position. The Veteran must return to their state job within one year of discharge.
Promotion Preference: To qualify for VP for promotion a Service member must have a break in state employment and be deployed under Title 10. After discharge, the applicant must return to the same state employer. Service members are authorized one promotion opportunity for every deployment. Active duty for training does not qualify for this preference.
Florida Statutes 295.09
Education Waiver for Service Members and Veterans:Recent legislation has authorized state employers to waive postsecondary education requirements for a position of employment if the applicant is otherwise qualified. This education waiver is offered to Service members serving in the Florida National Guard and the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves, and honorable discharged Veterans.
Florida Senate Bill 922
When a VP eligible applicant is not selected, an upper management employee, who has the authority to reverse the decision, must review the selected applicant and the VP eligible applicant(s) and determine if the most qualified person was chosen. All applicants must provide the documentation to support their claim for VP. For more information, call 727-518-3202, ext. 5511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, VP, Frequently Asked Questions
Federal Employment Veteran’s Hiring Preferences:By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans 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% but less than 30% .
10-Point 30% 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% 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 VA 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. Both a mother and a Spouse (including Surviving Spouse) may be entitled to preference based on 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 VA authorities to be 100% disabled and/or unemployable, or
- Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position because 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 Title 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA): USERRA protects civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of reserve components. USERRA also protects 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 for military duty and retain reemployment rights to five years. Exceptions to the five-year limit, include initial enlistments lasting more than five years, periodic National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Reserve training duty, and involuntary active duty extensions and recalls, especially during a time of national emergency. USERRA establishes that reemployment protection does not depend on the timing, frequency, duration, or nature of an individual's service if the basic eligibility criteria are met.
Disability Accommodation:USERRA provides protection for disabled Veterans, requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability. Service members recovering from injuries received during service or training may have up to two years from the date of completion of service to return to their jobs or apply for reemployment.
Return to Work without Loss of Seniority:USERRA provides that returning Service members are reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) be made to enable returning Service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, they are deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and are entitled to the non-seniority rights accorded other individuals on non-military leaves of absence.
Extension of Health and Pension Plans: Health and pension plan coverage for Service members is provided for by USERRA. Individuals performing military duty of more than 30 days may elect to continue employer sponsored health care for up to 24 months; however, they may be required to pay up to102% of the full premium. For military service of less than 31 days, health care coverage is provided as if the Service member had remained employed. USERRA clarifies pension plan coverage by making explicit that all pension plans are protected.
Who is eligible for USERRA Benefits?Veterans, Reservists, or National Guard Service members who leave a position for training or active military service are eligible.
The Department of Labor, through the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) helps all who have claims under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees.
VETS Regional Office Locations
Florida Veterans' Employment Program:The Florida Veterans; Employment Program promotes the employment of Florida's Veterans, especially Veterans with barriers to employment.
Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialists and Local Veterans Employment Representatives at CareerSource Florida Centers provide priority workforce services to Veterans and their Spouse. Disabled Veterans Outreach Program specialists focus on intensive case management services for Veterans with barriers to employment, particularly disabled Veterans.
Local Veterans Employment Representatives build relationships with employers and engage in advocacy efforts with hiring executives and managers to increase employment opportunities for Veterans. They are also responsible for ensuring that Veterans receive the full range of priority workforce services in the CareerSource Florida centers.
For more information on the Veterans’ Employment Program services available, please contact a local CareerSource Center.
CareerSource Florida Office Directory
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Veterans Employment Services and Programs Fact Sheet
Employ Florida Vets Website:The Employ Veterans website is a gateway to information and resource links that will assist Veterans and their Families meet their employment goals. The website has information about the Employ Florida website that will match job seekers with employers and other employment-related services. Veterans can also search for jobs in Florida based on their Military Occupational Specialty.
Some of the benefits offered include:
- Applicants who hold a valid professional license from another state can receive an equivalent license in Florida
- Renewal exemptions
- Fee waivers
- Credit for military training and experience toward licensing requirements
- Expedited license processing
To determine which benefits are available, please contact the licensing agency that governs the profession.
- Florida Department of Health
- Florida Board of Professional Engineers
- Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
- Florida Department of Education
- Florida Bar
- Florida Surveyor and Mapping Licensing
- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- Florida Department of Law Enforcement
- Florida Department of Financial Services, Military Trained Firefighters
Florida Military Family Employment Advocacy Program (MFEA): MFEA is a state program designed to deliver priority workforce services for an active duty Service Member’s Family and activated reserve component Service members through Military Family Employment Advocates located at local CareerSource Centers.
Services provided under the MFEA include:
- Job search and placement assistance
- Career planning and counseling
- Case management
- Resume assistance
- Assessment and testing services
- Interviewing skills training
- Referral to educational and training programs
- Job fairs
- Job clubs
- Information on reemployment assistance
Family members are also eligible to receive training and other supportive services under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
Who is eligible for MFEA? Those eligible are:
- Spouses and dependents of active duty Service members
- Activated Florida National Guard Service members
- Activated U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service members
Florida Hilton Honors Military Program:The Florida Hilton Honors Military Program helps make the career transition from service in the U.S. Armed Forces to civilian employment easier for current and former Service members. The Hilton Honors Military Program will provide hotel accommodations for required travel while they are looking for a new job, training for a new job, or finding housing. Those eligible can receive up to a total of 100,000 hotel points for verifiable employment-related activities. Each state sets its own eligibility and residency requirements. Recipients must have a Hilton Honors account to receive the points. For more information, please email HiltonHonors@naswa.org or contact the nearest American Job Center.
Florida Reemployment Assistance Benefits:The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity administers the Florida Reemployment Assistance Benefits (formerly known as Unemployment Compensation) and employment programs. Reemployment Assistance is part of an employer-paid program that provides temporary, partial income replacement to qualified individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own.
Initial claims can be filed online using Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Reemployment Assistance Portal. Applicants are required to create an account to apply.
Applicants will need the following information:
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s license or state ID number
- Employment history for the last 18 months for each employer:
- Name, address, and phone number
- First and last day of work
- Gross earnings (before taxes are taken out)
- Reason for separation
- Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) (found on W2 or 1099 tax forms) or Employer details from a recent paystub
Additionally, one of the following if applicable:
- Alien Registration number or other work authorization form for non-U.S. citizens
- DD214, member copy 2 through 8 for former Service members
- SF8 or SF50 for former federal employees
- Union name, hall number, and phone number
For more assistance, please call 833-352-7759.
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Reemployment Assistance Handbook
Veteran Designation on Florida Driver Licenses and ID Cards: Florida offers a free Veteran Designation on Florida driver licenses and ID cards for honorably discharged Veterans.
Who is eligible for the Veteran Designation on Florida Driver Licenses and ID Cards? Veterans must provide a copy of their DD214, VA Health ID, Veteran ID issued by the VA or other acceptable form of documentation that indicates they received an honorable discharge from active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Veterans can apply at any Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Service Center location.
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Designation Fees and Required Documentation Requirements
No Fee for Florida Driver License or ID Card for 100% Disabled Veterans: There is no fee charged for driver licenses or ID cards for 100% disabled Veterans.
Who is eligible for No Fee Florida Driver License or ID Card for 100% Disabled Veterans? Honorably discharged Veterans who have an ID card issued by the VA indicating they have a 100% total and permanent service-connected disability rating from the VA are eligible.
Veterans can apply at any Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Service Center location.
Florida Statutes 295.17
Florida ID Card Free for Homeless Veterans and Their Families: Homeless Veterans, their Spouse and Children are eligible for a free Florida ID card. Applicants must visit a Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Service Center location to apply.
Florida Disabled Toll Permit for People with Disabilities: Disabled drivers who are driving a specially adapted vehicle and are certified by a licensed physician or by the VA as having a severe permanent disability that does not allow them to place coins in a toll basket are allowed to pass free through tollgates. The Florida Department of Transportation will issue a window sticker to authorize free use.
Applicants must mail a completed Florida Disabled Toll Permit Application and required documentation (listed on the application) to:
Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged
605 Suwannee Street, MS-49
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0450
Florida Toll Exclusion for Florida National Guard Service Members: Florida National Guard Service members are exempt from paying tolls on Florida highways while on official military business.
Florida Special Veteran and Military License Plates: The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) offers 53 distinctive license plate designs to honor the service and sacrifice of Service members, Veterans, retired Service members and eligible Family members. Eligibility and application instructions are located on the application form. All Veteran and Military license plate applications must have official documentation proving eligibility.
Most military plates are available at a local FLHSMV, Motor Vehicle Service Center. Applications for Medal of Honor, Silver Star, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, or World War II Veteran plates must be mailed to the FLHSMV for processing:
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS #72
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Florida Medal of Honor License Plate: Florida resident recipients of the Medal of Honor are eligible for the Florida Medal of Honor license plate. Service members or Veterans must provide official documentation that they received the Medal of Honor.
Florida Statutes 320.0893
FLHSMV Application for Military Service-Related License Plates
Florida Veteran License Plate: Florida resident Veterans are eligible for the Florida Veteran license plate. Veterans must provide proof of discharge or release from the U.S. Armed Forces.
Florida Statutes 320.089
FLHSMV, Application for Military Service-Related License Plates
Florida Purple Heart License Plate: Florida resident recipients of the Purple Heart are eligible for the Florida Purple Heart license plate. Service members or Veterans must provide official documentation that they received the Purple Heart medal. Unremarried Surviving Spouses of deceased Purple Heart recipients are also eligible for this license plate
Florida Statutes 320.089
FLHSMV, Application for Military Service-Related License Plates
Florida Gold Star License Plate: Family Members of U.S. Armed Forces Service members who was killed in the line of duty while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for the Florida Gold Star license plate. Applicants must provide proof from the U.S. government that the Service member was killed while serving and proof of Family relationship to the deceased Service member. Eligible Family members include:
- Surviving Spouse
- Parents, stepparents, parents through adoption, foster parents
- Grand parent
- Child, stepchild, adopted Child
- Sibling, half sibling
Florida Disabled Veteran License Plates: Florida offers Disabled Veteran license plates with and without a wheelchair symbol to eligible disabled Veterans.
Who is eligible for the Florida Disabled Veteran License Plates? Honorably discharged resident Veterans who have a 100%, permanent and total service-connected disability rating from the VA or their branch of service, and Veterans who received financial assistance from the VA to purchase a specially adapted vehicle are eligible for one free set of Disabled Veteran License Plates. Additional license plates are charged regular fees.
Veterans are required to provide a Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, 100% Service-Connected Permanently and Totally Disabled Veteran ID Card, or a VA Summary Benefits letter from the VA as proof of eligibility. Veterans requesting the wheel chair symbol are required to provide certification from a physician or medical practitioner.
FLHSMV, Application for a Disabled, Disabled Veteran or Motorcycle, International Wheelchair Symbol License Plate
FLHSMV, Disabled Veteran License Plates and Wheelchair License Plates Fact Sheet
Florida Driver License Extension for Service Members and their Dependents Assigned Outside Florida: Service members stationed outside Florida and members of their immediate Family living with them, (Spouse and Children), can receive an extension of their Florida Class E driver license. Service members and their Families are required to apply for a free military extension card that must be carried with a Florida driver license and military ID. This extension remains valid until 90 days after discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces, the individual returns to Florida to live, or they obtain a new driver license or ID card from Florida or another state.
To apply for the military extension card, applicants must provide a copy of the Service members current military orders and complete the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Military Personnel and Dependents Affidavit certifying their active duty status and that they were stationed outside of Florida.
Affidavits and a copy of the Service members orders can be submitted by email to MilitaryID@flhsmv.gov, by fax to 850-617-5034, or by mail to:
Bureau of Credentialing Services
2900 Apalachee Pkwy, MS 92
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Tax Free License Plate Registration or Renewal For Florida National Guard Service Members: Currently serving Florida National Guard Service members are eligible for one tax-free license plate registration or renewal each year. Any plate fees for license plates other than the Florida National Guard or standard Florida plates will apply.
Service members are required to have their First Sergeant or Commanding Officer sign their Applications. Service members can submit a completed Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Application for U.S. Reserve or Florida National Guard License Plate at their local County Tax Collector’s Office or License Plate Agent office.
Florida Driver License and Motor Vehicle Service Center Directory
Florida Commercial Driver License (CDL) Skills Test Waiver: Florida offers a CDL skills test waiver to Service members and former Service members based on their military training and experience.
Applicants must have been licensed for at least two years on a military vehicle similar to the commercial vehicle class they are applying for. This option only allows a waiver of the skills testing and does not include the knowledge testing requirement. Former Service members must have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces within one year of their application.
Applicants must also meet the following requirements:
- Not had more than one license (except for a military license)
- Not had any license suspended, revoked, or cancelled
- Not had any convictions for any type of motor vehicle for the disqualifying major offenses (listed in Code of Federal Regulation, 385.51(b))
- Not had more than one conviction for any type of motor vehicle for disqualifying serious traffic violations (listed in Code of Federal Regulation, 385.51(c))
- Have not had any conviction for a violation of military, state or local laws relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation) as a result of a traffic accident and has no record of an accident in which they were at fault
Applicants must submit their completed certification form (including certification by their commanding officer) at a Florida Driver License Office.
Florida Certification for Waiver of CDL Skills Test for Military Personnel
Florida National Guard Medical Coverage for Injury, Disability and Death Benefits incurred while on Serving State Active Duty :Florida National Guard Service members who are injured or disabled while on state active duty will be provided coverage for medical care and any required hospitalization by the state. Service members will continue in a “pay status” on state active duty until a board of inquiry determines that their disability no longer requires hospitalization, or medical attention.
In addition, the beneficiaries of a Florida National Guard Service members who are killed or died as a result of injuries received while serving on state active duty are eligible for a $75,000 death benefit.
Florida Statutes 295.061
Who is eligible for Florida National Guard Medical Coverage for Injury, Disability and Death Benefits incurred while on Serving State Active Duty ? FloridaNational Guard member serving on state active duty are eligible.
Florida Active Duty Service Member Death Benefit: Florida will pay a $75,000 death benefit to the beneficiaries of an active duty Service member who is killed in the line of duty. Beneficiaries of a Service members who died from a non-line of duty cause are eligible for a $25,000 death benefit. The Service members death must have occurred after July 1, 2019. This benefit is in addition to benefits provided under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance program or any other federal program.
In addition, a deceased Service member’s dependents may be eligible for a tuition waiver at Florida educational institutions, Please see the “Florida Tuition Waiver for Surviving Spouse and Children of Deceased Active Duty Service Members” benefit in the Education Section above.
Who is eligible for the Florida Active Duty Service Member Death Benefit? The deceased Service member must have been serving on active duty and was a resident of Florida, or a nonresident assigned to a duty station in Florida at the time of their death. The cause of death must not have been from suicide or intentionally self-inflicted.
The death benefit will be paid to the beneficiaries designated on the Service member’s DD1300 report of casualty. If no designation is made payments will be made in the following order of precedence:
- Surviving Spouse and Children in equal portions
- If there is no Surviving Spouse or Child, it will be paid to the surviving parents
- If there is no Surviving Spouse, Child or parent, it will be paid to the Service member’s estate
For more information, please contact the Florida Department of Military Affairs at 904-823-0364.
Florida Department of Military Affairs Contact Directory
State Sponsored Life Insurance (SSLI) for Florida National Guard Service Members: SSLI offered through the National Guard Association of Florida to Florida National Guard Service members is made up of several voluntary group life policies that are designed to help meet the needs of National Guard Service members and their Families.
- $1,000 no cost life insurance coverage for Florida National Guard Service members
- $10,000 to $260,000 additional coverage available for Service members
- $5,000 to $155,000 available for Spouses
- $5,000 to $35,000 available for Children
- Protection continues until age 70
- Emergency death benefit up to $25,000 within 24 hours
- Benefits remain the same, monthly costs do not change when Service members retire or separate from the National Guard
- No war, aviation, or terrorism clauses
- 24 hours a day, 365 days a year protection, on or off duty
- Monthly premiums can be payroll deducted
- $40,000 scholarship fund available to dependents of a Service member if they die in a combat zone or due to an act of terrorism (Service member must be insured for $100,000 or more)
Who is eligible for SSLI?Service members serving in the Florida National Guard and their dependents are eligible for SSLI.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The VA provides valuable life insurance benefits to Veterans, active and reserve component Service members, and their Families to provide financial security given the extraordinary risks involved in military service. The VA provides the following life insurance benefit programs:
- Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
- Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
- Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
- Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI)
- Service-Disabled Veterans’ Life Insurance (S-DVI)
- Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)
TRICARE Reserve Select Health Insurance: TRICARE Reserve Select is a premium-based plan, available worldwide for Selected Reserve, (U.S. Armed Forces Reserve and National Guard Service members) and their Families who meet the following qualifications:
- Not on active duty orders
- Not covered under the Transitional Assistance Management Program
- Not eligible for or enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program or currently covered under FEHB, either under their own eligibility or through a Family member
This plan provides comprehensive health care coverage when a Service member is not on active duty and covered by active duty TRICARE benefits.
Florida Disabled Resident Hunting and Fishing License:The Florida Disabled Hunting and Fishing License is a free license offered to eligible resident disabled Veterans that authorizes:
- Saltwater fishing
- Freshwater fishing
- Hunting licenses
- Wildlife Management Area
- Archery season
- Muzzle loading gun season
- Crossbow season
- Florida waterfowl
- Lobster permits
Who is eligible for the Florida Disabled Resident Hunting and Fishing License? Resident Veterans who have a 100% service-connected, permanent and total disability rating from the VA, or a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for a five year license.
Veterans must provide a valid Florida Driver License, Florida ID card (or other proof of state residency), Florida Disabled Veteran ID card, or official documentation certifying they have a total and permanent disability rating.
Veterans may apply using the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Go Outdoors Florida Online License and Permitting website (must have state driver license or ID card), or at a local tax collector’s office.
Florida County Tax Collector Directory
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Military Gold Sportsman's License: Florida offers the Florida Military Gold Sportsman’s License to eligible Service members and retired Service members for a reduced price of $20.
The Florida Military Gold Sportsman’s License authorizes:
- Saltwater Fishing
- Freshwater Fishing
- Hunting licenses
- Wildlife Management Area
- Archery season
- Muzzle loading gun season
- Crossbow season
- Florida waterfowl
- Lobster permits
The license does not include tarpon tags, alligator trapping licenses, limited entry hunt permits, migratory bird permit or the federal duck stamp.
Who is eligible for Florida Military Gold Sportsman's License?Applicants must meet one of the following requirements to be eligible:
- Nonresident active duty Service members stationed in Florida
- Florida resident Service members
- Florida resident retired Service members who served in an active or reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces
The Military Gold Sportsman's License is available at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Go Outdoors Florida, Online License and Permitting website, through an online verification process. Licenses are also available at Florida tax collectors' offices with proof of residency and a current military ID card.
Florida County Tax Collector Directory
Florida Hunting and Fishing Licenses at Resident Prices for Nonresident Service Members and their Families: Nonresident active duty U.S. Armed Forces Service members stationed in Florida, may purchase Florida hunting and fishing licenses at resident prices. The Service member’s Spouse and dependent Children who live in their household are also eligible. Applicants must show military orders assigning them to Florida when purchasing their license.
Florida License Exemption for Service Members on Leave: Florida resident Service members who are stationed outside of Florida and home on leave for 30 days or less are exempt from general license requirements. Service members must carry their leave papers and military ID when hunting or fishing.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission General License Requirements
Florida Military and Disabled Veteran Event License Exemption: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission offers a Military/Disabled Veteran Event License Exemption Permit for organizations that hold recreational hunting or fishing events for Disabled Veterans, Service members, their immediate Family members. Participants in these events are exempt from Florida recreational hunting and fishing licenses or permit requirements.
Organizations can apply for a permit online at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission PermitMe! website.
Discounts on Annual Entrance Passes to Florida State Parks for Service Members, Veterans, Surviving Spouses, and their Families: Florida's State Parks offer special deals on Annual Entrance Passes to those currently serving or served in the U.S. Armed Forces, Veterans with service-connected disabilities and Surviving Spouses of Service members killed in combat. Annual Entrance Passes offer unlimited park entrance (additional local fees may apply). The passholder must be present to use an annual entrance pass. Be prepared to show photo ID.
Entrance passes do not waive other special-use fees for special events, camping or activities such as boat tours, tubing, gardens admission, etc.
Annual Entrance Pass Discounts:
- 25% discount for honorably discharged Veterans and active and reserve component Service members
- Free Lifetime Military Entrance Passes for honorably discharged Veterans who have service-connected disabilities
- Free Lifetime Military Entrance Passes for Surviving Spouses and the parents of Service members who were killed in combat
Applicants can apply at all park ranger stations and museums during regular business hours. Applicants are requested to create an account online at the Reserve.FloridaStateParks webpage before they apply.
Florida State Parks, Annual Entrance Pass Program Discounts Fact Sheet
Florida Operation Outdoor Freedom: Florida Operation Outdoor Freedom provides recreational and rehabilitative opportunities to eligible Veterans on state forest, agricultural and private land throughout Florida at no cost.
Who is eligible for Florida Operation Outdoor Freedom?To be eligible to participate Veterans must be Florida residents and meet the following requirements:
- Received an honorable discharge, and
- Have a service-connected disability rating of 30% or greater from the VA, or
- Purple Heart recipient
Veterans can see scheduled events and register at the Operation Outdoor Freedom, Event Registration webpage. For more information, please call 863-224-7013 or 863-221-6146.
Florida Exemption of Notary Commission Fees for Disabled Veterans: Certain disabled Veterans are exempt from paying Florida notary public commission fee.
Who is eligible for Florida Exemption of Notary Commission Fees for Disabled Veterans? Wartime Veterans who have been rated by the VA as having a 50% or more service-connected disability are eligible for an exemption of the commission fee.
Florida State Veterans' Nursing Homes and Assisted Living facility: The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs operates eight skilled nursing facilities and one assisted living facility for eligible Veterans. All facilities are licensed and inspected by both the VA the Agency for Health Care Administration. The homes are supervised round the clock by registered and licensed nurses.
Robert H. Jenkins Jr. Veterans' Domiciliary Home– 150 bed assisted living facility providing a combination of housing, supportive services and primary medical care; Veterans must be able to feed and dress themselves and require assisted living care
751 SE Sycamore Terrace
Lake City, FL 32025
Robert H. Jenkins Jr. Veterans' Domiciliary Home of Florida Application Packet
Robert H. Jenkins Jr. Veterans' Domiciliary Brochure
Emory L. Bennett State Veterans' Nursing Home - 120 bed skilled nursing facility
1920 Mason Avenue
Daytona Beach, FL 32117
Emory L. Bennett State Veterans' Nursing Home Brochure
Baldomero Lopez State Veterans' Nursing Home -120 bed skilled nursing facility that includes a 60 bed dementia/Alzheimer’s unit
6919 Parkway Boulevard
Land O’ Lakes, FL 34639
Baldomero Lopez State Veterans' Nursing Home Brochure
Alexander "Sandy" Nininger Veterans' Nursing Home -120 bed skilled nursing facility that includes a 60 bed dementia/Alzheimer’s unit
8401 West Cypress Drive
Pembroke Pines, FL 33025
Alexander "Sandy" Nininger Veterans' Nursing Home Brochure
Clifford C. Sims State Veterans’ Nursing Home –120 bed skilled nursing facility that includes a 60 bed dementia/Alzheimer’s unit 4419 Tram Road
Panama City, FL 32404
Clifford C. Sims State Veterans' Nursing Home Brochure
Douglas T. Jacobson State Veterans' Nursing Home -120 bed skilled nursing facility that includes a 60 bed dementia/Alzheimer’s unit
21281 Grayton Terrace
Port Charlotte, FL 33954
Douglas T. Jacobson State Veterans' Nursing Home Brochure
Clyde E. Lassen State Veterans' Nursing Home -120 bed skilled nursing facility that includes a 60 bed dementia/Alzheimer’s unit
4650 State Road 16
St. Augustine, FL 32092
Clyde E. Lassen State Veterans' Nursing Home Brochure
Ardie R. Copas State Veterans' Nursing Home –120 bed skilled nursing facility that includes a 60 bed dementia/Alzheimer’s unit
13000 SW Tradition Parkway
Port St. Lucie, FL 34987
Ardie R. Copas State Veterans' Nursing Home Brochure
Alwyn C. Cashe State Veterans’ Nursing Home - 112 bed skilled nursing facility that includes a 32 bed memory care neighborhood
5255 Raymond Street
Orlando, FL 32814
Alwyn C. Cashe State Veterans’ Nursing Home Brochure
Who is eligible for care at the Florida State Veterans' Nursing Homes and Assisted Living facility? To be eligible for admission at a Florida Veterans’ home, Veterans must have received an honorable discharge, be a legal Florida resident prior to admission, and be certified by a VA physician that they require assisted living or skilled nursing care.
Florida State Veteran Nursing Home, Application Packet
Free Veterans Benefits Counseling for Florida Veterans:The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA) has claims examiners located at the VA Regional Office in Bay Pines, at each VA Medical Center and many VA Outpatient Clinics. Claims examiners provide free assistance with claims for all state and federal Veterans' programs.
The FDVA also evaluates and approves secondary and post-secondary education programs for use with VA and federal educational assistance. For more information, please call 727-319-7440.
Florida 100% Disabled Veteran ID Card: The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs will issue a disabled Veteran ID card to resident Veterans who have a 100% service-connected, permanent and total disability rating from the VA. The card can be used as proof of eligibility for any state benefit except for homestead property tax exemptions. For application information, please call 727-319-7440.
Florida National Guard State Retirement Pay:Florida National Guard Service member who is at least 62 years old and served 30 good years in the Florida National Guard is eligible to receive pay from the state that will be in addition to their federal military retired pay. This pay is equal to one half of the base pay for their grade and time in service.
Any person who is at least 60 years old, but less than 62 years old and is otherwise qualified to receive the retirement pay, may elect to retire and receive a reduced benefit.
When calculating time in service in the Florida National Guard for purposes of retirement, service on federal active duty in the U.S. Armed forces during the following time periods will count double:
- August 27, 1940, through December 31, 1946
- June 29, 1950, through January 31, 1955
- August 5, 1964, through May 7, 1975
- August 1, 1990, through September 1, 1991
Florida Concealed Weapons or Firearms Licenses Benefits for Service Members and Veterans: Florida offers several concealed weapon or firearm license benefits to Service members and Veterans. These benefits include:
- Expedited processing of applications
- Can be issued licenses under age 21
- Military service meets firearms training/competency requirement
In addition, Service members who have a concealed weapon or firearm license who are on orders for duty over 35 miles away from their Florida residence are authorized an extension of the license expiration date until 180 days after they return from their assigned duty.
Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm, Preliminary Eligibility Determination
Florida Concealed Weapon License Information
Florida Military and Veterans Assistance Program (MVAP):MVAP was created to help educate Service members and Veterans regarding the types of scams that target their communities, what they can do to protect themselves, and how to protect others by reporting scams and deceptive business practices. In addition, members of the MVAP team work directly with Service members and Veterans who have been targeted, to help resolve their consumer protection related issues or find other outside assistance if necessary.
Those affected by a scam or deceptive business practice can file a complaint using the MVAP, online complaint form. For more information, please call 866-9NO-SCAM (866-966-7226).
Florida Governor’s Initiative on Lawyers Assisting Warriors (GI LAW): The Florida GI LAW program provides referrals to free legal services for U.S. Armed Forces Service members. This legal counsel can assist Service members in a variety of civil matters, to include actions in local courts. Participating attorneys will dedicate time and expertise to ensure a prompt and fair resolution of legal matters.
The GI LAW program does not provide assistance for:
- Criminal charges
- Family law
- Uniform Code of Military Justice cases
The GI LAW Legal Appointment Request form must be submitted through the Service member’s Judge Advocate General (JAG Office) or civilian military attorney’s office. GI LAW services are focused on enlisted ranks up to E-7.
Florida Hometown Heroes Program: The Florida Hometown Heroes Program offers down payment assistance, closing cost assistance and lower first mortgage rates to eligible Service members, Veterans and Surviving Spouses when purchasing a home in Florida.
- Lower than market rates on a first mortgage, reduced upfront fees, no origination points or discount points
- Borrowers can receive up to 5% of the first mortgage loan amount (maximum of $25,000) in down payment and closing cost assistance
This program is available throughout Florida to borrowers who are purchasing a primary residence, meet income and purchase price limits, can qualify for a first mortgage loan, and successfully complete a homebuyer education course.
Who is eligible for the Florida Hometown Heroes Program:Service members serving in an active or reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces and Veterans who receive a discharge other than dishonorable are eligible to participate. Surviving Spouses are eligible only for a VA first mortgage.
Those interested can use the Homebuyer Loan Programs Wizard to locate loan officers in the area they are looking to purchase a home. For more information please call 850-488-4197.
Eligibility for the Florida Hometown Heroes Loan Program Fact Sheet
Florida Veterans Courts:Florida Veterans Courts handle criminal cases involving defendants who are Service members and Veterans, to help them successfully integrate back into the community and avoid further legal issues. The courts try to address the underlying issues of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and untreated substance abuse.
Veterans Courts operate through a coordinated effort among Veterans service agencies (local, state and federal), community-based providers, and the court. Veterans courts also use volunteer Veteran mentors to provide a supportive relationship to participants throughout the program.
Florida Problem-Solving Courts Directory
Florida Problem-Solving Court, Core Components
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in Florida: The VA has numerous resources available for Veterans and Family members. Please see the local location listing for your nearest facility.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Cemeteries in Florida: The VA National Cemetery Administration maintains nine national cemeteries in Florida. Please see the local location listing for the nearest cemetery.
Military Installations in Florida
Please see the Florida Military Resource Locator for additional information.
Florida Department of Military Affairs
U.S. Army Reserve (USAR):
81 st Readiness Division