Maine Military and Veteran Benefits

State Taxes
Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Compensation
Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) Related Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
Miscellaneous Benefits
Maine Military Resource Locator
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities
Resources

Summary of Maine Military and Veterans Benefits: Maine offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including a Homestead Exemption, Tax Exemptions, Employment Assistance, Employment Preference, Tuition Aid Grant, State Parks and Campground reduced fees, Special Vehicle License Plates, as well as Hunting and Fishing Privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and disability status.

Maine Military and Veterans State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility

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What are my Maine Military and Veterans State Tax Benefits?

Maine Retirement Income Taxes: You and your Spouse may each deduct up to $10,000 of pension income that is included in federal adjusted gross income. The $10,000 cap must be reduced by all taxable and nontaxable social security and railroad retirement benefits received.

Married taxpayers who elect to file a joint return and have a total deduction of up to $20,000.

Learn more about Maine Retired Military Pay Income Tax

Maine Retired Military Pay Income Tax: For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, the benefits received under a military retirement plan, including survivor benefits, are fully exempt from Maine income tax.

Learn more about Maine Retired Military Pay Income Tax

Maine Income Tax on Military Disability Retired Pay: Military Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the Armed Forces should not be included in taxable income if any of the following conditions apply:

  • You were entitled to receive a disability payment before September 25, 1975

  • You were a member of the military (active or reserves) or were under a binding written commitment to become a member on September 24, 1975

  • You receive disability payments for a combat-related injury. This is a personal injury or sickness that:

    • Resulted directly from armed conflict

    • Took place while you were engaged in extra-hazardous service

    • Took place under conditions simulating, including training exercises such as maneuvers, or

    • Was caused by an instrumentality of war

  • You would be entitled to receive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if you filed an application for it (the exclusion under this condition equals the amount you would be entitled to from the VA)

Learn more about Maine Income Tax on Military Disability Retired Pay

Maine State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

two people hugging  Learn more about Maine State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

Maine State Tax Exemption for Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Maine State Tax Benefits: For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, survivor benefits received under a military retirement plan are fully exempt from Maine income tax.

Learn more about Maine State Tax Exemption for Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Maine State Tax Benefits

Maine State Tax Combat Zone Exclusion: Any pay that is excluded from federal adjusted gross income because it was earned while serving in a combat zone is also excluded from Maine income. This includes: active duty pay earned in any month served in the combat zone; imminent danger/hostile fire pay; reenlistment bonus if the voluntary extension or reenlistment occurs in a month served in a combat zone; pay for accrued leave earned in an month served in a combat zone; pay received for duties as a member of the Armed Forces in clubs, messes, post and station theaters and other non-appropriated fund activities earned in a month served in a combat zone; awards for suggestions, inventions, or scientific achievements due to a submission made in a month served in a combat zone; and, student loan repayments attributable to the period of service in the combat zone.

Learn more about Maine State Tax Combat Zone Exclusion

Maine Combat Casualties State Tax Exclusion: For tax years beginning after 2002, taxpayers whose federal income tax liability is forgiven under IRC 692 due to a combat casualty are similarly granted a waiver from Maine income tax for the same period or periods.

Learn more about the Maine Combat Casualties State Tax Exclusion

Maine Combat Zone Income Tax Filing Extension: The deadline for filing Maine income tax returns and paying the taxes due is extended for 180 days after the later of:

  • The last day you are in a combat zone, have qualifying service outside of a combat zone, or serve in a contingency operation (or the last day the area qualifies as a combat zone or the operation qualifies as a contingency operation), or

  • The last day of any continuous qualified hospitalization for injury from service in the combat zone or contingency operation or while performing qualifying service outside of the combat zone.

In addition to the 180 days, your deadline is extended by the number of days that were left for you to file or pay when you entered a combat zone (or began performing qualifying service outside the combat zone) or began serving in a contingency operation. If you entered the combat zone or began serving in the contingency operation before the expiration of the period of time ordinarily allowed for filing or paying, your deadline is extended by the entire period of time remaining for filing or paying at the time you entered the combat zone or began serving in the contingency operation. For example, you had 3 months (January 1 April 15, 2013) to file your 2012 tax return. Any days of this 3 month period remaining when you entered the combat zone (up to or the entire 3 months if you entered the combat zone by January 1, 2013) are added to the 180 days when determining the last day allowed for filing your 2012 tax return.

Learn more about the Maine Combat Zone Income Tax Filing Extension

Maine Veterans Property Tax Exemption: A Veteran who served during a recognized war period and is 62 years or older; or, is receiving 100% disability as a Veteran; or, became 100% disabled while serving, is eligible for a $6,000 property tax exemption.

For a Veteran to be eligible they must:

  • Be a resident of the State of Maine; and

  • Have notified in writing the assessors of the municipality in which they reside of their claim for exemption and furnished proof of their entitlement on or before April 1 (such notification once made need not be repeated in subsequent years)

For a Surviving Spouse to be eligible they must:

  • Be a legal resident of the State of Maine, and

  • Have notified in writing the assessors of the municipality in which the Surviving Spouse resides for the claim for exemption and furnished proof of entitlement on or before April 1 (such notification once made need not be repeated in subsequent years); and

  • NOT be remarried (the divorced wife or the divorced husband of a qualified Veteran or the remarried Surviving Spouse of a qualified Veteran is not eligible for exemption); and

  • Be receiving, regardless of their age, a pension or compensation as a Surviving Spouse of a Veteran from the United States Government; or be a Surviving Spouse of a Veteran who could be entitled to such exemption if living.

Note: The exemption increases to $7,000 for the qualifying Spouse of a deceased Veteran who served during a war period during or before World War I.

For a Minor Child to be eligible they must:

  • Be a legal resident of the State of Maine, and;

  • Have notified in writing the assessors of the municipality in which they reside of their claim for exemption and furnished proof of entitlement on or before April 1st. Such notification may be made by another in the minor Child's behalf, such as parent or guardian, and such notification need not be repeated in subsequent years; and

  • Be under the age of 18.

Note: Estates of a minor Child of a deceased Veteran, real and personal, including property held in a revocable living trust for the benefit of that minor Child, are exempt up to $6,000 of just valuation in the place of legal residence.

For Parents to be eligible they must:

  • Be a legal resident of the State of Maine, and;

  • Have notified in writing the assessors of the municipality in which they reside of their claim for exemption and furnished proof of their entitlement on or before April 1st. Such notification need not be repeated in subsequent years; and

  • Not be remarried (the divorced parent of a Veteran or the remarried Surviving Spouse parent of a Veteran is not eligible for exemption), and

  • Have reached the age of 62, and

  • Be in receipt of pension or compensation based upon the service-connected death of the parent's Child.

Maine Veteran Property Tax Exemption Application
Maine Veteran's Property Tax Exemption, Qualifications Flow Chart

Learn more about the Maine Veterans Property Tax Exemption

Maine Paraplegic Veteran Property Tax Exemption: Estates of paraplegic Veterans, including property held in joint tenancy with the Veteran's Spouse or held in a revocable living trust for the benefit of that Veteran, are exempt up to $50,000 of just valuation, for a specially adapted housing unit, and only in the place where the Veteran is a legal resident provided the Veteran:

  • Is a resident of the State of Maine; and

  • Has notified in writing the assessors of the municipality in which they reside of their claim for exemption and furnished proof of their entitlement on or before April 1 (such notification once made need not be repeated in subsequent years); and

  • Is a paraplegic Veteran, so-called, within the meaning of 38 United States Code, Chapter 21, Section 2101; and

  • Has received a grant from the United States Government for such specially adapted housing.

Who is eligible for Maine Paraplegic Veteran Property Tax Exemption? Veteran or un-remarried Surviving Spouse is eligible for the exemption.
Maine Veteran Property Tax Exemption Application

Learn more about the Maine Paraplegic Veteran Property Tax Exemption

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What are my Maine Military and Veterans Education Benefits?

Maine Veterans Upward Bound Program: The Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program of Maine is designed to provide assistance to eligible military Veterans in pursuit of higher education. It offers access and support to help Veterans successfully transition into and be successful in college. All services are tailored to an individual’s needs to ensure success in the attainment of a degree and career of the student’s choice.

Veterans Upward Bound is a federally funded pre-college program that provides assistance, at no-cost, to eligible Veterans who wish to pursue a college degree. VUB is designed to develop the academic and personal skills necessary for admission into the post-secondary program of the Veteran’s choice.

They provide, advising, mentoring, tutoring, and instruction in the core competencies required for college entrance. Our intensive and individualized instruction is outcome-based and occurs in a variety of times and locations, both in-person and online, to work with each person’s individual needs. Their goal is to make sure that the Veteran is prepared for admission to the program of choice.

The program is available year-round with no hard beginning or end dates. They offer workshops and tutoring throughout the year. However, they suggest that the Veteran meets with them at least six months prior to the semester in which they wish to start so that all needs are met.

Program services include:

  • Admissions and Financial Aid Application Assistance

  • Career Exploration

  • Financial Literacy

  • Academic Skills Assessment and Preparation in English, Math, Science, Foreign Language

  • Prior Learning Assessment/Joint Services Transcript (JST) Review

  • Study Skills/College Transition Assistance

  • Computer Literacy

Who is eligible for the Maine Veterans Upward Bound Program? To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

Be a U.S. Armed Forces Veteran who either:

  • Served at least 181 consecutive days on active-duty; or

  • Were activated from a reserve component of the Armed Forces for more than 30 days.

You must also satisfy all of the following:

  • Have any discharge except dishonorable;

  • Not have a bachelor’s degree; and

  • Wish to receive help in preparing for entrance into the degree of your choice.

You must also satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

  • Have been out of school for at least 5 years;

  • Have a disability- service connected or otherwise;

  • Have had biological or adoptive parents who lived with you more than 50% of the time that did not have a bachelor’s degree

  • Have a taxable income that falls within the federal guidelines

All interested Veterans are encouraged to contact the Maine Veterans Upward Bound Program to discuss eligibility. If you are interested in learning more or would like to refer a Veteran to the program, please fill out the Veterans Upward Bound Interest/ Referral Form .

Phone: 207-780-4627
Email: vub@maine.edu

Learn more about the Maine Veterans Upward Bound Program

Maine Veterans’ Dependents Educational Benefits Program: Maine provides a 100% waiver of tuition and all related fees for Spouses and dependents of Veterans as defined in Title 37B, Chapter 7, Section 505(2) .

Spouses of Veterans who are attending state-supported postsecondary vocational schools or institutions of collegiate grade must be admitted free of tuition including mandatory fees and lab fees for a certificate program or an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree program. Room and board may not be waived. Spouses are entitled to receive up to 120 credit hours of educational benefits and have 10 years from the date of first entrance to complete the program.

3 people in cap and gowns at a graduation ceremony A Child of a Veteran who is attending state-supported postsecondary vocational schools or institutions of collegiate grade must be admitted free of tuition including mandatory fees and lab fees for associate and bachelor's programs. The tuition waiver provided under this paragraph may be reduced by an amount necessary to ensure that the value of this waiver, combined with all other grants and benefits received by the student, does not exceed the total cost of education. Room and board may not be waived. A Child of a Veteran has 6 academic years from the date of first entrance to complete 120 credit hours. For degree programs that require more than 120 credit hours, the state-supported postsecondary vocational school or institution of collegiate grade may grant a tuition waiver beyond 120 credit hours. If such a waiver is granted, the state-supported postsecondary vocational school or institution of collegiate grade shall notify the director. The director may waive the limit of 6 consecutive academic years when the recipient's education has been interrupted by severe medical disability, learning disability, illness or other hardship, making continued attendance impossible, however, the extension may not exceed 2 academic years.

Students must maintain at least a 2.0 or "C" grade point average to continue receiving educational benefits. If a student's grade point average falls below 2.0 or a "C," then the student has one semester to bring the grade point average up to at least 2.0 or a "C." If after that semester the student's grade point average is below 2.0 or a "C," the student loses educational benefits under this paragraph until the student achieves a grade point average of at least 2.0 or a "C."
Who is eligible for Maine Veterans’ Dependents Educational Benefits Program? The Veteran must meet the following criteria for their dependents to be eligible:

  • Has a 100% total permanent disability rating resulting from service-connected disability; or

  • Was killed in action; or

  • Died from a service-connected disability as a result of service; or

  • At the time of death was totally and permanently disabled due to a service-connected disability, but whose death was not related to the service-connected disability; or

  • Is a member of the Armed Forces on active duty who has been listed for more than 90 days as missing in action, captured or forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power.

Veterans also must have served in the military or naval forces of the United States and entered the service from this State or has been a resident of this State for 5 years immediately preceding application for aid and, if living, continues to reside in this State throughout the duration of benefits administered under the educational benefits program.
Maine Veterans’ Dependent Educational Benefits Brochure
Maine Veterans' Dependents Educational Benefits Program Application

Learn more about the Maine Veterans' Dependents Educational Benefits Program

Maine National Guard Education Assistance: Maine provides National Guard Service members with free in-state tuition rates to the University of Maine system, the Maine Maritime Academy, the Maine Community College System and any other college or university system established as a public instrumentality in Maine.
Who is eligible for Maine National Guard Education Assistance? For Maine National Guard Service members to be eligible for this benefit, they must be enrolled, or accepted, into a post-secondary education institution, not have previously earned a bachelor's degree or equivalent and be a fully qualified drilling member of the Maine National Guard.

  • Be between the ages of 17 and 35

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

  • Be a at least a junior in high school, or have a high school diploma or a GED certificate

  • Meet medical, physical and moral requirements

National Guard Service members can get an application from their unit or possibly the academic institution. It is recommended to check with your unit first.
MRS 2017, Title 37-B, Chap 3, Sub-chapter 7A, Sections 351 - 360

Learn more about Maine National Guard Education Assistance

Maine 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:

  • Children sitting on the steps of a school 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:
Tyler Backus
School Finance and Compliance Coordinator
Department of Education
Address: 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04330
Email: tyler.backus@maine.gov
Phone: 207-624-6635

Learn more about the Maine Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

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What are my Maine Military and Veterans Employment Benefits?