State Taxes
Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Compensation
Department of Transportation (DOT)
Health and Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
Miscellaneous Benefits
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Veterans Administration (VA Medical Facilities)

Summary: Iowa offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including Veterans Employment Assistance, War Orphans Education Aid, Special Vehicle License Plates, as well as Hunting, Fishing license and State Park privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status.

State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility

State Taxes:

Retired Military Pay: Military Retirement Benefits Exclusion from Iowa Income tax - enacted legislation (2014) exempts federal retirement pay received for military service and survivor benefits from state individual income tax. This exemption is in addition to the general $6,000/$12,000 pension exclusion available for Iowa individual income tax for taxpayers 55 years of age or older.

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Military Disability Retired Pay: Retirees who entered the military before Sept. 24, 1975, and members receiving disability retirements based on combat injuries or who could receive disability payments from the VA are covered by laws giving disability broad exemption from federal income tax. Most military retired pay based on service-related disabilities also is free from federal income tax, but there is no guarantee of total protection.

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

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Military SBP/ RCSBP/RSFPP: Enacted 2014 legislation exempts military survivor benefits from state individual income under 10 U.S.C. 1447. The exemption is available for both residents and nonresidents of Iowa.

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Property Tax Exemptions: Reduces a Veteran's assessed home value for property by $1,852.
Eligibility: Must have served on active duty during a period of war or for a minimum of 18 months during peacetime. The home must have been owned by 1 July of each claimed year.

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Disabled Veteran's Homestead Tax Credit: The State of Iowa offers a 100% property tax credit to eligible Veterans and certain dependents.

This exemption is limited to a 1/2 acre where the home and the buildings, if any, are located when within a city limits. For properties located outside city limits the maximum size is 40 acres which includes the house and any buildings. Disabled Veteran Homestead Property Tax Credit FAQ
Eligibility: Veterans with 100% service-related disability status qualify for this credit. Veterans also qualify who have a permanent and total disability rating based on individual unemployability paid at the 100% disability rate. The Veteran must own and occupy the property as a homestead on July 1 of each year, declare residency in Iowa for income tax purposes and occupy the property for at least six months each year. Persons in the military or nursing homes who do not occupy the home are also eligible. A surviving Spouse of a disabled Veteran receiving DIC payments also qualifies. The surviving Spouse as a beneficiary of the estate of a Veteran who received the credit may continue to receive the credit as long as the Spouse resides in the qualified homestead and does not remarry. Apply here

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Education Benefits :

Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Program (NGEAP): pays 100% of the Regents tuition rate. For the 2017-2018 school year, the maximum award is $3,733 per semester or $7,466 per year. NGEAP does not cover summer courses. Instructions on how to apply online are here .
Service members must meet the following requirements

  • Be an active member of the Iowa Army or Air National Guard

  • Be a resident of the state of Iowa

  • Satisfactorily completed required initial entry training

  • Be attending an Iowa college or university accredited by the North Central Association (NCA) of Colleges and Schools

  • Has not met the academic requirements for a Baccalaureate degree or received a NGEAP award equaling a total of 120 semester hours. Semesters will be converted to semester hours with a limit of 120 total semesters of eligibility. The conversion formula is a full time semester will equate to 12 semester hours and a part time semester will equate to 6 semester hours.

  • Maintain satisfactory performance of duty upon return from initial active duty training, including attending a minimum of 90 percent of scheduled drill dates, credit is given for attending split training and attending annual training, credit is given for excused or constructive attendance to annual training.

  • Service members may not have the following suspensions of favorable action; adverse action; APFT failure, non-compliance with Army weight control program, drug or alcohol abuse.

  • Service members must have passed their most recent APFT and Ht/Wt standards and they must be within the preceding 12 months of the deadline for APFT and 6 months for Ht/Wt.

  • Maintain satisfactory academic performance as determined by the institution for which benefits are utilized or applied.

  • Service members granted a physical profile after failing an APFT are not eligible for NGEAP.

Click here to apply

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Iowa War Orphans Education Aid: The Iowa War Orphans Education Aid program is for Children of Veterans who died before September 11, 2011. A war orphan is the Child of a Veteran who died during active federal military service while serving in the armed forces or during active federal military service in the Iowa National Guard or other military component of the United States, or who died as a result of such service. A Veteran is further defined as a resident of Iowa who served in the armed forces of the United States at any time during the following dates and was discharged under honorable conditions:

  • Occupation of Germany from November 12, 1918 through July 11, 1923

  • American expeditionary forces in Siberia from November 12, 1918 through April 30, 1920

  • Second Haitian suppression of insurrections from 1919 through 1920

  • Yangtze service with Navy and Marines in Shanghai or in the Yangtze Valley from 1926 through 1927 and 1930 through 1932

  • China service with Navy and Marines from 1937 through 1939

  • World War II service between September 16, 1940 through December 31, 1946

  • Korean Conflict service between June25, 1950 through January 31, 1955

  • Vietnam Conflict service between February 28, 1961 through May 7, 1975

  • Lebanon or Grenada service from August 24, 1982 through July 31, 1984

  • Panama service from December 20, 1989 through January 31, 1990

  • Persian Gulf conflict service from August 2, 1990, through the date the President or Congress of the United States declares a cessation of hostilities

  • Former members of the reserve forces of the United States who served at least twenty years in the reserve forces after January 28, 1973 and who were discharged under honorable conditions. However a member of the reserve forces of the United States who completed a minimum aggregate of ninety days of active federal service other than training and was discharged under honorable conditions, or was retired under Title X of the United States Code shall be included as a Veteran

  • Former members of the Iowa National Guard who served at least twenty years in the Iowa National Guard after January 28, 1973 and who were discharged under honorable conditions. However, a member of the Iowa National Guard who was activated for federal duty, other than training, for a minimum aggregate of ninety days and was discharged under honorable conditions or was retired under Title X of the United States Code shall be included as a Veteran

  • Former members of the active, oceangoing merchant marines who served during World War II at any time between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946 both dates inclusive, who were discharged under honorable conditions

  • Former members of the Women’s Air Force service pilots and other persons who have been conferred Veteran’s status based on their civilian duties during World War II in accordance with federal Pub. L. No. 95-202, 38 U.S.C.} 106

The amount of War Orphans Educational Aid allowed to eligible War Orphans is based upon an annual appropriation made by the Iowa Legislature. Payment is limited to $600.00 per calendar year for each War Orphan with a lifetime maximum benefit of $3,000.00.

  • A War Orphan MUST have graduated from a high school or educational institution offering a course of training equivalent to high school training.

  • A War Orphan MUST have lived in the State of Iowa for at least two (2) years immediately preceding the filing of an application.

  • A War Orphan MUST attend a University, College, Junior College, School of Nursing, Business School, or Trade School located within the State of Iowa and approved by the Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs.

Chapters 35.8 and 35.9 of the Iowa Code Application for Iowa War Orphans Educational Aid

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Operation Recognition High School: This program furnishes an honorary high school diploma to qualifying Veterans who did not complete high school (in Iowa) due to armed service enlistment. The application form is used by the IDVA and the Department of Education to establish eligibility for honorably discharged Veterans. Operation Recognition High School Application

Eligibility: Iowa Veterans who served during April 6, 1917-November 11, 1918 (World War I), September 16, 1940-December 31, 1946 (World War II), June 25, 1950-January 31, 1955 (Korean Conflict), February 28, 1961-May 5, 1975 (Vietnam Conflict)

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Branstad/Reynolds Scholarship Fund: The Branstad-Reynolds Scholarship fund provides post-secondary educational scholarships for Children of deceased military Service members who died while in an active military status after September 11, 2001. The Scholarship is administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. Branstad/Reynolds Scholarship Fund Application
The Branstad-Reynolds Scholarship will consider those that qualify within these guidelines:

  • Children of a deceased Service member that died while serving in an active military status since September 11, 2001;

    • Qualifying Service Member must have met the following requirements:

      • Was a resident of Iowa at the time of entering military service and at the time of death;

      • Death does not have to be combat-related;

      • Military status includes active Federal service in the Armed Forces, or Iowa based unit, National Guard, or Reserves;

  • Student is attending or will attend an Iowa post-secondary educational institution.

Scholarships may be used to subsidize the costs of tuition, books, fees, housing, special tools and equipment required for coursework, school-approved tutoring, and any other required educational expenses. Once all educational expenses are met, any remaining funds will be released to the student in order to cover other expenses as needed. This is a state funded program and may be used in conjunction with any federal benefits. Unique applications presented to the scholarship committee in writing will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: It is the purpose of this compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on Children of military Families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:

  • Facilitating the timely enrollment of Children of military Families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of educational records from the previous school district or variations in entrance or age requirements.

  • Facilitating the student placement process through which Children of military Families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content or assessment.

  • Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs, and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic and social activities.

  • Facilitating the on-time graduation of Children of military Families.

  • Providing for the promulgation and enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact.

  • Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools and military Families under this compact.

  • Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military Children.

  • Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student.

Primary Point of Contact:
Margaret Seals, Director of Family Programs
Iowa National Guard
Address: 7105 NW 70th Ave, Johnson, Iowa 50131-1824
Email: marg a
Phone: 515-252-4416

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Employment Benefits

Military Leave: State employees shall be granted 30 days paid military leave per calendar year.
Eligibility: Permanent or probationary State employees when ordered to inactive (drill status) or active duty by proper authority.

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Veterans Employment Centers: Each Regional Workforce Development Center has a Veteran's Employment Representative coordinating all specific services provided to Veterans. Services include identifying training opportunities; identifying employment opportunities; ensuring priority for certain jobs; working with Vocational Rehab; conducting outreach to employers, community and Veterans organizations, unions, local counseling, and social service agencies; developing job interview and resume writing skills; and helping conduct productive job searches.
Eligibility: Veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States.

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Veterans Employment Services: Iowa is committed to providing quality employment services to Veterans at our IowaWORKS Centers. Veteran Representatives, who are all honorably discharged Service members, coordinate all services provided to eligible Veterans within the IowaWORKS system. They work with eligible Veterans and clients of Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation to:

  • Comprehensive assessment of skill levels;

  • Development of an individual employment plan;

  • Individual Career planning services;

  • Develop job interviewing and resume writing skills;

  • Help place eligible Veterans in federally-funded employment and training programs;

  • Monitor job listings from federal agencies and federal contractors to ensure Veterans get priority service in referral to these jobs; and

  • Provide intensive services to meet the employment needs of eligible Veterans.

These services provide Veterans with the necessary information needed to find and secure suitable employment. These services can also help Veterans make the transition from the military to the civilian workforce easier.

To qualify for services you must be registered with your local Iowa WORKS Center and meet the following criteria:

  • Is a disabled or special disable Veteran who is entitled to compensation from the VA;

  • Is currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless;

  • An offender;

  • A recently separated Service member who has been unemployed for 27 or more weeks in the previous 12 month;

  • Is lacking a high school diploma or equivalent certificate; or

  • Is low-income as defined by WIOA.

If you are a post 9/11 era Veteran there is a program offering enhanced re-employment services, under a U.S. Department of Labor program called Veteran’s Gold Card .

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Veteran Employment Preference (State): In all examinations and appointments under this chapter, Veterans who are citizens and residents of the United States shall have five percentage points added to the Veteran's grade or score attained in qualifying examinations for appointment to positions. Five additional percentage points are added to the grade or score if the Veteran has a service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability benefits, or pension under laws administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Exclusions include promotions and appointments of chief of the police department and chief of the fire department.

An honorably discharged Veteran who has been awarded the Purple Heart incurred in action shall be considered to have a service-connected disability. However, the percentage points shall be given only upon passing the exam and shall not be the determining factor in passing. Veterans' Preference percentage points shall be applied once to the final scores used to rank applicants for interview selection. For purposes of this section, Veteran is defined in section 35.1 except the requirement for the person to be a resident of this state shall not apply.

There are basically two types of preference eligibility:

  • disabled (10-point preference eligible)

  • non-disabled (five-point preference eligible)

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Veterans Hiring Preferences (Federal): By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans both in hiring into the Federal civil service and in retention during reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews.

5-point Hiring Preference : Five points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served:

  • During a war; or

  • During the period April 28, 1952 through July 1, 1955; or

  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976; or

  • During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992; or

  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom; or

  • In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference.

10-point Compensable Disability (CP) Preference: Ten points are added to the examination score or rating of:

  • A Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10 percent but less than 30 percent.

10-Point 30 Percent Compensable Disability Preference (CPS): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:

  • A Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.

10-Point Disability Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:

  • A Veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the Department of Veterans Affairs but does not qualify as a CP or CPS; or

  • A Veteran who received a Purple Heart.

10-Point Derived Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of Spouses, 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 his or her usual occupation because of a service-connected disability. Such a disqualification may be presumed when the Veteran is unemployed and

  • Is rated by appropriate military or Department of Veterans Affairs authorities to be 100 percent disabled and/or unemployable; or

  • Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position on the basis of a disability that is service-connected in origin; or

  • Has attempted to obtain a civil service position or other position along the lines of his or her usual occupation and has failed to qualify because of a service-connected disability.

Preference may be allowed in other circumstances but anything less than the above warrants a more careful analysis.

A campaign medal holder or Gulf War Veteran who originally enlisted after September 7, 1980, (or began active duty on or after October 14, 1982, and has not previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty) must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty. The 24-month service requirement does not apply to 10-point preference eligible Veterans separated for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or to Veterans separated for hardship or other reasons under 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.

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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 for military duty and retain reemployment rights to five years (the previous law provided four years of active duty, plus an additional year if it was for the convenience of the Government). There are important exceptions to the five-year limit, including initial enlistments lasting more than five years, periodic National Guard and Reserve training duty, and involuntary active duty extensions and recalls, especially during a time of national emergency. USERRA clearly establishes that reemployment protection does not depend on the timing, frequency, duration, or nature of an individual's service as long as 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 convalescing 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 (the long-standing "escalator" principle), 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. The law clearly provides for alternative reemployment positions if the Service member cannot qualify for the "escalator" position. USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, he or she is deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and is 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 to 102 percent 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.
Veterans, Reservists, or National Guard members who leave a position for training or active military service.

The Department of Labor, through the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) provides assistance to all persons having claims under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees. VETS regional and state offices can be found here .

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Home Base Iowa: The Home Base Iowa initiative is a non-profit, private-public partnership that was launched with the purpose of recruiting Veterans and active duty Service members for private-sector job opportunities in Iowa. The website serves as a comprehensive source for job services available to Veterans in Iowa. The site features job postings, links to job fairs, and up-to-date information about educational opportunities, National Guard recruiting, job training, and much more. If you have questions please click here .

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Unemployment Compensation:

Unemployment Insurance: Unemployment Insurance (UI) is paid entirely by employers who are covered by the Iowa Employment Security Law. Unemployment insurance is not based on need; it provides temporary benefits for people who are:

  • Totally or partially unemployed

  • Have worked and earned a minimum amount of wages in work covered by UI in the last 15 to 18 months

  • Have lost his or her job through no fault of their own

  • Be able and available for work

  • Be actively seeking work (work search may be waived if certain criteria are met)

The following information is needed when filing for UI benefits:

  • Social security number

  • Name, payroll address and telephone number of your last employer

  • Start and end dates of your last job

  • Whether or not you will receive vacation pay, severance, etc.

  • Alien registration number (if not a U.S. citizen or permanent refugee)

  • DD-214 (Member 4) if you served in the U.S. military during the last 18 months

  • Standard Form 8 (SF-8) if you worked for the federal government in the last 18 months

  • Name(s), date(s) of birth, and social security number(s) of any dependents that are claimed as exemptions on your federal income tax return

    • Spouses may be claimed as a dependent if their gross wages were $120.00 or less in the week prior to filing your claim.

    • Self-employment does not count as gross wages for dependent purposes.

You may file for UI benefits online (the fastest and most efficient way) or at a local IowaWORKS Center .

For additional information or to better understand the eligibility requirements, please refer to the Unemployment Insurance Benefits Handbook or contact Customer Service at 866-239-0843.

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Department of Transportation (DOT) Benefits:

Temporary Extension of Driver's licenses for Military Personnel: An extension of operating privileges may be given to military personnel who cannot return to Iowa to renew their driver's license in person and do not meet eligibility requirements to renew online. The extension is valid until six months following separation from active duty.

Iowa law also provides for an extension to dependents of active military personnel. This extension is valid for five years from the expiration date of the license. A copy of the dependent's military identificationmust accompany the written request.

A request for an Extension for Military Service IA form 430081 , along with the active duty assignment orders, may be emailed, faxed, or mailed to:

Driver & Extension Services
Iowa Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9204
Phone: 515-244-8725
Fax: 515-239-1837
Eligibility: Active duty personnel and their dependents

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Veteran Designation on Iowa Driver Licenses and ID: Honorably discharged Veterans may request the "Veteran" designation be placed on their driver's license or non-operator identification card. To apply you must first present a copy of your DD 214 or applicable discharge document to your County Veterans Affairs office . That office and the Veteran will complete an Iowa DOT 432035 Application form . Take the completed form with you to the DL issuance location. Note: Veterans may request the "Veteran" designation anytime they seek a new card, not just at the time of renewal. The cost for a duplicate DL or non-operator ID is $10.00.
Eligibility: Any honorably discharged Veteran who has active duty experience.

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Specialty Military/ Veteran License Plates: The State of Iowa offers 24 distinctive military/ Veteran service license plates for Veterans, retirees, active Service members and Family members. A short description of some of these plates can be found below. Click here for a complete list of military, Veteran plates.

The Honorably discharged Veterans (as defined in the Code of Iowa 35.1 ) are eligible to purchase specialty Veteran license plates for their vehicle. These special plates are available for an additional charge through the Iowa Department of Transportation. 2014: The special plate issuance fees charged for plates associated with military service have been eliminated. Note: This is the issuance fee and not the registration fee.

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Veteran License Plate: A Veteran license plate can be applied for by any Veteran that provides a copy of the DD 214 (other than copy 1) or other documentation (WD AGO form 53-55) (WW2) approved by the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs. Documents must show the dates of service and character of service at least under honorable conditions. National Guard and Reserve members must have served at least 90 days of active duty service for other than training, or National Guard and/or Reserve minimum of 20 years of service, discharge under honorable conditions, eligible for retired pay at age 60. Special Plate Application DOT form 411260

Numbered plate fee:

  • One set at no charge

  • Second or subsequent sets at $25

  • $5 annual registration fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Personalized plate fee:

  • One set at $25

  • Second or subsequent sets at $50

  • $5 annual validation fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Eligibility: The owner of the vehicle who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and was discharged under honorable conditions.

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Purple Heart License Plate: A Purple Heart license plate can be applied for by any Service member or Veteran that provides a copy of the official government or military document verifying the receipt of the Purple Heart Medal. Special Plate Application DOT form 411260

Numbered plate fee:

  • One set at no charge

  • Second or subsequent sets at $25

  • $5 annual registration fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Personalized plate fee:

  • One set at $25

  • Second or subsequent sets at $50

  • $5 annual validation fee to the Veterans License Fee Fund at the time of renewal

  • Annual registration renewal fee

Eligibility: The owner of a vehicle who was awarded the Purple Heart Medal by the United States Government as a result of wounds received in combat against an armed enemy.

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Medal of Honor License Plate: A Medal of Honor license plate can be applied for by any Service member or Veteran that provides a copy of any official government or military document verifying Receipt of the Medal of Honor. Special Plate Application DOT form 411260

Numbered plate fee:

  • No initial fee

  • No annual renewal fee

Personalized plate fee:

  • Personalized plates are not available

Eligibility: Motor vehicle owners who have been awarded the Medal of Honor. A surviving Spouse may continue to use the Medal of Honor plate. If the surviving Spouse remarries, the plate shall be returned.

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Disabled Veteran License Plate: A Disabled Veteran Plate can be applied for by any Veteran that provides a certification from the Veterans Administration that the motor vehicle has been provided to you by the United States government under the provisions of Sections 1901 to 1903, Title 38 of the United States Code. The certification shall be submitted to the County Treasurer's Office in the Veteran's county of residence when the motor vehicle is first registered. Special Plate Application DOT form 411260

Numbered plate fee: Exempt from the payment of the registration fee for one vehicle provided by the United States government under the provisions of § 1901 - 1903, Title. 38 of the United States Code, 38 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq. (1970)

Eligibility: Seriously disabled Veterans who have been provided with an automobile or other vehicle by the United States government under the provisions of § 1901 – 1903, Title. 38 of the United States Code, 38 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq. (1970).

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Health and Insurance Benefits:

Health Insurance: TRICARE Reserve Select is a premium-based plan, available worldwide for Selected Reserve, (Reserve and National Guard) 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.

The plan provides comprehensive health care coverage when you're not activated and covered by active duty TRICARE benefits.

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Group Insurance: Iowa National Guard Officer and Enlisted Associations offer a State Sponsored Life Insurance (SSLI). Some of the benefits of the Iowa SSLI are:

  • Claims paid in 24 hours

  • Dependent coverage offered (continues after separation)

  • Premiums remain the same after separation

  • Payroll deduction

  • Free $1k coverage

  • Free $10k for every new member

  • No War Clause

Other optional plans available

Eligibility: National Guard Service member.

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Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (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:

  • Service Member's Group Life Insurance ( SGLI )

  • Veterans Group Life Insurance ( VGLI )

  • Family Members Group Life Insurance ( FSGLI )

  • Service Members Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Projection ( TSGLI )

  • Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance ( S-DVI )

  • Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance ( VMLI )

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Worker's Compensation: Same as State employees.
Eligibility: National Guard Service member on State active duty.

Injury/Death Benefits: Same as worker's compensation.
Eligibility: Disease, injury or death occurs while serving on State Active Duty.

Medical Benefits: Full coverage for injuries incurred in Line of Duty (LOD).
National Guard Service member on State active duty.

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Parks and Recreation Benefits:

Hunting/Fishing license exemption: Military personnel on active duty with the armed forces of the United States, on authorized leave from a duty station located outside of this state, and a legal resident of this state, may hunt or fish without a license. You must carry your leave papers and a copy of a current earnings statement showing a tax deduction for Iowa income taxes while hunting or fishing.
Eligibility: A resident of Iowa serving in the United States Armed Forces.

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Lifetime Hunting/Fishing License for Disabled Veterans or Prisoners of War: Veterans in receipt of at least a 0% service connected disability, or former Prisoners of War can receive a lifetime hunting or fishing license for a $7.00 fee. In order to qualify, the Iowa resident must have served on active federal service and was disabled as a result of that service.
Hunting and Fishing License Application

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Special Nonresident Disabled Military Permits: Iowa offers tags or licenses which allow qualified non-resident disabled military, to purchase a non-resident deer tag, turkey tag, or small game license at resident price and participate in a hunt that is conducted by an organization that conducts hunting experiences in this state for disabled persons.

Eligibility: The nonresident applicant must be a Veteran and must have an assigned service-related disability rating of 30% or more under United States Code, Title 38, Chapter 11; OR must be a member of the armed forces serving on active federal duty currently participating in the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES).

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Miscellaneous Benefits:

Veterans Trust Fund: The State of Iowa has established a multi-million dollar fund to provide certain services to Veterans. Beginning in December 2007, interest from this fund has been available to provide relief for Iowa Veterans and their Families. At this time, interest funds are received monthly and approved applicants are placed on a waiting list based on the date received and approved.

Benefits Available to Veterans and Spouses:

  • Travel – For wounded Veterans directly related to follow-up medical care.

  • Unemployment Assistance – Must have a service connection causing their unemployment. $3,000.00 in a twelve month period, with a lifetime maximum of $6,000.00.

  • Job Training or Education Assistance – Lifetime maximum of $3,000.00.

  • Individual or Family Counseling – Up to $5,000.00 in a twelve month period.

  • Dental – Up to $2,500.00 in a twelve month period.

  • Audiology – Up to $1,500.00 per year in a twelve month period.

  • Emergency Housing Repairs – Up to $3,000.00 in a twelve month period.

  • Emergency Vehicle Repairs – Up to $2,500.00 in a twelve month period.

  • Emergency Room – Lifetime maximum of $5,000.00.

  • Durable Medical Equipment – Lifetime maximum of $2,500.00.

Eligibility: Veterans, their Spouses or dependents are eligible for the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund. For the purpose of this benefit, “Veteran” means the same as defined in Iowa Code section 35.1 or resident of Iowa who served honorably in the armed forces of the United States, completing a minimum of 90 days of active duty, other than training.

Currently, funds are used for unemployment or underemployment assistance due to service-related causes, assistance with vision, hearing, dental care, durable medical equipment, and prescription drugs; counseling and substance abuse services; housing repair; and transitional housing in an emergency. Trust fund expenditures are approved through the Iowa Veterans Commission.

Applications are reviewed once a month by the Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs. A decision is made at the time of review. Applicants are notified via letter of the decision with instructions on how to proceed. To get started on your application , please contact your local VA county office .
Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs Information

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County Veterans Services Offices: County Services Offices may assist you with compensation/pensions, medical care, military records, grave markers and Veteran home loans. Some counties may also have dedicated funds to assist you with temporary shelter/utilities, food/health supplies, medical/dental, job placement, counseling, and transportation.

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Injured Veterans Grant Program: This grant provides up to $10,000 in financial assistance to Service members or discharged Veterans so that Family members of the Veteran may be with the Veteran during the Veteran's recovery from an injury. Treatment or services must be provided in a location that is not the Veteran's home of record. Iowa Injured Veteran Grant Application

Grants will be paid by the Iowa department of Veterans affairs in increments of $2,500 up to a maximum of $10,000 in the following manner:

  • $2,500 - When Veteran is medically evacuated from the combat zone following a combat-related injury.

  • $2,500 - 30 days after evacuation date if still hospitalized, receiving medical treatment or rehabilitation services by the military or Veterans Administration; does not include follow-up appointments.

  • $2,500 - 60 days after evacuation date if still hospitalized, receiving medical treatment or rehabilitation services by the military or Veterans Administration; does not include follow-up appointments.

  • $2,500 - 90 days after evacuation date if still hospitalized, receiving medical treatment or rehabilitation services by the military or Veterans Administration; does not include follow-up appointments.

Eligibility: For purposes of this program, the term “Veteran” means:

  • A resident of this state who is or was a member of the national guard, reserve, or regular component of the armed forces of the United States who has served on active duty at any time after September 11, 2001, and, if discharged or released from service, was discharged or released under honorable conditions; or

  • A nonresident of this state who is or was a member of a national guard unit located in this state prior to alert for mobilization who has served on active duty at any time after September 11, 2001, was injured while serving in the national guard unit located in this state, is not eligible to receive a similar grant from another state for that injury, and, if discharged or released from service, was discharged or released under honorable conditions.

In addition an eligible Veteran must meet all of the following conditions:

  • The Veteran must have sustained a combat-related injury in a combat zone or hostile fire zone; and

  • The combat-related injury was serious enough to require medical evacuation from the combat zone to a military hospital or the injury required at least 30 consecutive days of hospitalization at a military hospital; and

  • The combat-related injury was or is considered by the military to have been received in the line of duty, based upon the circumstances known at the time of evacuation or injury.

The Veteran will remain eligible for the grant after discharge from the military so long as the Veteran continues to receive medical treatment or rehabilitation services for the specific injury or illness.

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Iowa Veterans Home: The Iowa Veterans' home, located in Marshalltown, shall be maintained as a long-term health care facility providing multiple levels of care, with attendant health care services, for honorably discharged Veterans and their dependent Spouses and for surviving Spouses of honorably discharged Veterans and Gold Star parents.

For admission information please visit the Iowa Veterans Home Admission Webpage . For questions regarding eligibility; admission processing; cost of care or bed availability contact the Admissions Office through our Contact Form or call our Admissions Coordinator, Jason Matteson, at 800-645-4591 or 641-753-4325.
Admissions to the Iowa Veterans Home are limited to honorably discharged Veterans eligible for care and treatment at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities. The Spouse of a Veteran or Surviving Spouse of a Veteran shall be eligible for admission, based on the eligibility of the living or deceased Veteran Spouse, in accordance with the Iowa Administrative Code (IAC). The individual shall have met the residency requirements of the state of Iowa on the date of admission to the Iowa Veterans Home. Spouses must be married to a Veteran for at least one (1) year before the date of application. Certification of residency is required by the County Commission of Veteran Affairs.

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The Iowa Veterans Cemetery: The Iowa Veterans Cemetery began operation on July 3, 2008. Located 10 miles west of Des Moines, near Van Meter, the cemetery is available to all Veterans, their Spouses, and dependent Children for burial. Honorably discharged Veterans will be interred at no charge and eligible Spouses/dependents will be buried for a $300.00 fee. The application for burial determination is available for download here .
State residency is not a prerequisite to be interred at the cemetery. Eligibility determinations shall be made in accordance with federal regulations (38 CFR 38.620) and state administrative rules. In general, the military service requirements for burial in the Iowa Veterans Cemetery are:

  • Discharged from "active duty" under conditions other than dishonorably, or

  • Died while on "active duty", or

  • Served at least 20 years in the National Guard or Reserves and qualified for military retirement pay (or would have qualified except death occurred before age 60), or

  • Reserve component personnel qualify if they otherwise served in a Presidential call-up during their Reserve Component military service. Active duty for training of Reserve Component personnel does not qualify as active service.

Service member's Spouse and eligible dependents may be interred at the cemetery with the Veteran (and alongside in case of third burial).

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Military Homeownership Assistance Program: This program provides eligible Service Members and Veterans with a $5,000 grant for down payment and closing costs on a qualifying home purchase. Eligible Service members may access the Military Homeownership Program assistance to be used with a qualifying mortgage or cash purchase transaction. Eligibility Quick Check
Eligibility: To be eligible for the program, the Service Member must meet the following criteria

  • Have served 90 days active duty between August 2, 1990 and April 6, 1991 or September 11, 2001 to present. Active duty need not be consecutive; it may be cumulative. Inactive Duty Training, Annual Training and Active Duty for Training may not count toward active duty; or

  • Is a federal status injured Service member having served in active duty August 2, 1990 and April 6, 1991 or September 11, 2001 to present; or

  • Is a surviving Spouse of said eligible Service member, all who have had a discharge other than dishonorable


  • Receives prior approval before closing on a qualified home

  • Utilizes an IFA Participating or Facilitating Lender and IFA first mortgage (if financing the purchase)

  • Utilizes an IFA Participating Lender to receive a non-IFA first mortgage if IFA deems it economically feasible and financially advantageous. At this time, IFA will approve a grant with non-IFA financing if the lender demonstrates that such financing is a fixed rate, permanent, fully amortizing mortgage loan that is at least 25 basis points lower APR* than the most comparable IFA mortgage product available at the time the applicable Good Faith Estimate is issued

*NOTE: IFA does not use the APR listed on the TIL since it excludes certain financing costs. Instead, in making its analysis of whether a non-IFA loan qualifies, IFA will use the APR calculator found at .

The home must meet the following criteria:

  • The home must be located in the state of Iowa and must be purchased by the eligible Service member

  • The home must be immediately occupied by the Service member/Spouse as the borrower's primary residence

  • Single-family residences (including "stick-built" homes, modular homes or manufactured homes, provided the home is attached to a permanent foundation and is taxed as real estate)

  • Condominiums

  • Townhomes

  • A property containing up to four units, if one of the units will be the primary residence of the Service member

Contact a Participating Lender today to determine eligibility and begin the application process.

Typical forms usually needed to establish military service include:

  • A copy of a valid DD Form 214 (Member 2 Form or higher)

  • Four months of leave and earnings statements or other documentation that may be required and government issued photo ID. Cash financing is also available, please contact the military homeownership team for details.

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Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities in Iowa

Veterans Health Administration
VA Health Care System
Des Moines: VA Central Iowa Health Care System , 3600 30th St, 515-699-5999 / 800-294-8387
Iowa City: Iowa City VA Health Care System , 601 Highway 6 West, 319-338-0581 / 800-637-0128

Outpatient Clinic
Coralville: Coralville OPC , 520 10th Ave, Suite 200, Primary Care-319-358-2406 / Mental Health-319-688-3365

Community Service Programs
Cedar Rapids: Community Resource and Referral - Cedar Rapids , 1535 First Ave SE, 319-365-0898
Davenport: Community Resource and Referral – Quad Cities , 415 North Perry St, 563-328-5800
Des Moines: Community Resource and Referral - Des Moines , 1223 Center St, 515-699-5637

Community Based Outpatient Clinic
Bettendorf: Bettendorf VA CBOC , 2979 Victoria St, 563-332-8528 / Fax: 563-332-9331
Carroll: Carroll CBOC , 311 S. Clark St, Suite 275, 712-794-6780, 855-794-6780 / Fax: 712-792-7853
Cedar Rapids: Cedar Rapids CBOC , 2230 Wiley Blvd SW, 319-369-4340 / Fax: 319-369-4341
Decorah: Decorah VA CBOC , 915 Short St, 563-387-5840
Dubuque: Dubuque VA CBOC , 200 Mercy Dr, Suite 106, 563-588-5520
Fort Dodge: Fort Dodge CBOC , 2419 2nd Ave N, 515-576-2235, 877-578-8846 / Fax: 515-576-6863
Knoxville: Knoxville CBOC , 1607 N Lincoln St, 641-828-5019, 800-816-8878 Fax: 641-828-5066
Marshalltown: Marshalltown CBOC , 101 Iowa Ave W, 641-754-6700, 877-424-4404 / Fax: 641-753-1375
Mason City: Mason City CBOC , 520 S. Pierce, Suite 150, 641-494-5000, 800-351-4671 / Fax: 641-494-5005
Ottumwa: Ottumwa VA CBOC , 1009 E Pennsylvania Ave, 641-683-4300 / Fax: 641-683-4301
Shenandoah: Shenandoah CBOC , 512 S. Fremont St, 712-246-0092 / Fax: 712-246-2592
Sioux City: Sioux City CBOC , 1551 Indian Hills Dr, Suite 206, 712-258-4700 / 712-258-4777
Spirit Lake: Spirit Lake VA CBOC , 1310 Lake St, 712-336-6400 / 712-336-6439
Waterloo: Waterloo CBOC , 945 Tower Park Dr, 319-235-1230 / Fax: 319-235-1229

Veteran Center - 877-927-8387
Cedar Rapids: Cedar Rapids Vet Center , 4250 River Center Court NE, Suite D, 319-378-0016 / Fax: 319-378-8145
Des Moines: Des Moines Vet Center , 1821 22nd St #115, 515-284-4929 / Fax: 515-277-4949
Sioux City: Sioux City Vet Center , 1551 Indian Hills Dr, Suite 214, 712-255-3808 / Fax: 712-255-3725

Veterans Benefits Administration
Regional Office
Des Moines: Des Moines Regional Benefit Office , 210 Walnut St, 800-827-1000 / Fax: 515-323-7580

National Cemetery Administration
National Cemetery
Davenport: Oakdale Cemetery Soldiers' Lot , 2501 Eastern Ave, 309-782-2094 / Fax: 309-782-2097
Keokuk: Keokuk National Cemetery , 1701 J St, 309-524-1304 / Fax: 319-524-8118

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Military Installations in Iowa

Please see the Iowa Resource Locator for additional information.

Active Duty

Iowa Army Ammunition Plant

Iowa National Guard
Iowa Army National Guard
Iowa Air National Guard

132 nd Wing
185 th Air Refueling Wing

United States Army Reserve (USAR)
88th Readiness Division


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Document Review Date: 02 May 2018