Nebraska Military and Veteran Benefits

State Taxes
Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Benefits
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
Nebraska Military Resource Locator

Miscellaneous Benefits
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities
Resources

Summary of Nebraska Military and Veteran Benefits: Nebraska offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including Veterans Emergency Assistance, Nebraska Homestead Exemption, Nebraska State Tuition Waiver, Dependents of POW/MIA, or Deceased Veterans' Special Vehicle License Plates, as well as Hunting and Fishing licenses. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component, and Veteran disability status.

Nebraska Military and Veterans State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility

What are my Nebraska Military and Veterans State Tax Benefits?

Nebraska State Income Taxes on Retired Military Pay: ( NRS §77-2716 ) Nebraska law allows an individual who retires from the uniformed services of the U.S. on or after July 18, 2012 to make a one-time election to exclude from Nebraska taxable income a portion of a Service members income received as a military retirement benefit that is included in federal adjusted gross income (AGI) for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2015.

An individual must make the election on or after July 18, 2014 and within two years after their retirement from the uniformed services, even if they do not begin receiving military retirement benefits immediately upon retirement. The individual may elect:

Option 1: To exclude 40% of their military retirement benefit income for seven consecutive taxable years, beginning with the year in which the election is made; or
Option 2: To exclude 15% of their military retirement benefit income for all taxable years, beginning with the year in which they turn 67 years of age.

Once an election is made, it cannot be changed.

A "military retirement benefit" is defined as “retirement benefits that are periodic payments attributable to service in the uniformed services of the U.S. for personal services performed by an individual prior to their retirement.”
Military retirement benefits (for purposes of the election) do not include annuity payments to a Spouse, former Spouse, or Child that are based on an individual’s military service; nor do they include payments received by a former Spouse of a retired military member under a final decree of divorce, dissolution, annulment, or legal separation or a court ordered, ratified, or approved property settlement pursuant to a decree dividing military retirement pay.

National Guard and Reserve Service Members : Individuals who retire from the uniformed services of the U.S., but do not begin receiving military retirement benefits immediately upon retirement, still must make the election to exclude a portion of their military retirement benefits within two years after their retirement date.

Learn more about Nebraska State Income Taxes on Retired Military Pay

Nebraska State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 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 Nebraska State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retired Pay

Nebraska 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.

 Learn more about Nebraska State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Nebraska State Tax Benefits: Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with state department of revenue office.

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

Nebraska Wartime Veteran Homestead Property tax Exemption: ( NRS §77-3506 thru 77-3059 ) A homestead exemption provides relief from property taxes by exempting all or a portion of the valuation of the homestead from taxation. The maximum exemption is the taxable value of the homestead up to $40,000 or 100 percent of the county's average assessed value of single-Family residential property, whichever is greater.

The homestead maximum value is $95,000 or 200 percent of the county's average assessed value of single-Family residential property, whichever is greater. The exempt value will be reduced by ten percent for each $2,500 the assessed value exceeds the maximum value. If the assessed valuation exceeds the maximum value by $20,000 or more the homestead is not eligible for exemption.
Who is eligible for the Nebraska Wartime Veteran Homestead Property Tax Exemption?
Wartime Veteran and Service member shall mean a person who had been on active duty in the Armed Forces of the U.S., or a citizen of the U.S. at the time of service with military forces of a government allied with the U.S., during the following dates:

  • World War II, December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946;

  • Korean War, June 25, 1950 to January 31, 1955

  • Vietnam War, February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975(in the Republic of Vietnam);

  • Vietnam War, August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975;

  • Lebanon, August 25, 1982 to February 26, 1984;

  • Grenada, December 20, 1989 to January 31, 1990;

  • Persian Gulf War beginning August 2, 1990; and

  • Global War on Terror beginning September 14, 2001.

A Veteran must have received an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions.

There are four categories of Veterans' exemptions:

  • A wartime Veteran drawing compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs because of a 100% disability that was service-connected;

  • A wartime Veteran totally disabled by a non-service-connected illness of accident;

  • A paraplegic Veteran or multiple amputee whose home is substantially contributed to by the Department of Veterans Affairs (This homestead is 100% exempt regardless of homestead value and income level); and

  • An unremarried Surviving Spouse of a Service member who died on active duty.

The Form 458, Nebraska Homestead Exemption Application or Certification of Status must be filed between February 1 and June 30 of each year in order to be exempt for the assessment year.

Note: The 2018 filing deadline has passed. The new 2019 forms will be available for download February 2, 2019 from the Nebraska Department of Revenue, Nebraska Homestead Exemption Webpage . A homestead exemption is also available to the un-remarried Surviving Spouse.
Nebraska Department of Revenue, Homestead Exemption Maximum Value
Nebraska Department of Revenue, Homestead Exemption Information Fact Sheet
Nebraska Department of Revenue, Homestead Exemption Application 2019

Learn more about the Nebraska Wartime Veteran Homestead Property Tax Exemption

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What are my Nebraska Military and Veterans Education Benefits?

 Nebraska Residency for Tuition Purposes for Service Members, Veterans and their Dependents: ( NRS §85-502.01 ) Active duty Service members, active duty National Guard, Veterans, eligible Spouses, and dependents may qualify as a resident student for tuition purposes.
Who is eligible for Nebraska Residency for Tuition Purposes for Service Members, Veterans and their Dependent?
The following criteria must be met:

  • A person on active duty with the armed services of the United States of America who has been assigned a permanent duty station in Nebraska, or the Spouse or dependent of an individual who has been assigned permanent duty station in Nebraska. A person who is a dependent of a Nebraska resident on active military duty will be granted resident tuition status if they verify that they are a Spouse or a dependent for federal income tax purposes of an individual meeting the qualifications.

  • A person who has served with the military who has been honorably discharged, is a graduate of a Nebraska high school, and has established a home in Nebraska with the intent to make Nebraska a permanent residence. There is no minimum period of residence for the individual under this category.

  • A person who has served the military and who has been off active duty for two (2) years or less, or a dependent or Spouse of such Veteran, if the person is registered to vote in Nebraska and demonstrates objective evidence of intent to be a resident of Nebraska. There is no minimum period of residence for the individual under this category.

Learn more about Nebraska Residency for Tuition Purposes for Service Members, Veterans and their Dependents

Nebraska Waiver of Tuition Program: ( NRS §80-411 ) The University of Nebraska, the Nebraska State College System, and the Nebraska Community College System participate in a waiver of tuition program that will provide a credit of 100% of tuition charges and tuition-related fees (books are NOT covered) for Spouses & Children of eligible Veterans.
Who is eligible for Nebraska Waiver of Tuition Program?
The waiver of Tuition is available to eligible dependents of Veterans who:

  • Are rated permanently and totally disabled as a result of military service; or

  • Have died of a service-connected disability; or

  • Have died subsequent to discharge as a result of injury or illness sustained while a member of the Armed Forces; or

  • Have been classified as missing in action or a prisoner of war during armed hostilities while a member of the Armed Forces.

A dependent is a Spouse or Surviving Spouse, Child, step-Child, or adopted Child of an eligible Veteran. The dependent must be a Nebraska resident & enrolled in one of the approved institutions, meeting Nebraska residency requirements as described in Nebraska Revised Statutes 85-502 for in-state tuition.

The waiver is valid for ONE degree, diploma, or certificate from a community college; and ONE baccalaureate degree from the university or a state college. Receipt of the degree, diploma, or certificate shall precede receipt of such baccalaureate degree. Waiver of Tuition is not available for masters’, doctoral, or professional degrees.

A Child dependent's eligibility will cease at the age of 26. The only exception is if the Child dependent served on active duty with the Armed Forces after their 18th birthday, but before their 26th birthday. If this is the case, the student's eligibility for waiver will end 5 years after their 1st discharge from active duty but shall not exceed beyond their 31st birthday.

Application Instructions: As required by state law, a Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Application for Waiver of Tuition must be submitted through a County Veterans' Service Office. Applications must be submitted in time for proper processing and certification prior to the beginning of any school term. The Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs cannot be held responsible for any delay not attributable to their processing of the application. Applications may be submitted by:

Postal Mail:
Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs
Attn: Waiver of Tuition
PO Box 95083
Lincoln, NE 68509
Fax: 402-742-1142
Attn: Waiver of Tuition
Email: ndva@nebraska.gov
Subject: Waiver of Tuition Application

A new Waiver of Tuition application will need to be submitted if the applicant:

  • Has never applied for a waiver of tuition before

  • Changes schools

  • Does not attend a term other than the summer term, or

  • Takes additional classes at another school.

The following documents will need to be submitted with a new application:

  • Veteran's discharge certificate (DD214)

  • Copy of a certified birth certificate on file with Vital Statistics or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (for a Child applicant). Memorabilia birth certificates will not be accepted.

  • Copy of a Marriage Certificate on file with Vital Statistics (NOTE: If the applicant is a step-Child, or if the Veteran's Child-dependent is married, this document is also required along with the birth certificate for proof of name change).

Nebraska County Veterans' Service Office Directory
Nebraska Waiver of Tuition Schools Directory

Learn more about the Nebraska Waiver of Tuition Program

Nebraska Reservist Tuition Credit Program: ( NRS §§80-901 / 80-902 / 80-903 ) Nebraska residents who are enlisted members of a Nebraska-based unit of the Active Selected Reserve may be eligible for a 50% tuition credit to the University of Nebraska campuses, Nebraska state colleges and Nebraska community colleges. This program is allowed 200 new applicants each calendar year.

The University of Nebraska, the Nebraska State College System, and the Nebraska Community College System participate in a tuition credit program that will provide a credit for 50% of the tuition charges for enlisted members of Nebraska-based units of the Active Reserve of the Armed Forces of the United States.
Who is eligible for the Nebraska Reservist Tuition Credit Program? To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

  • A current Nebraska resident

  • An Enlisted member of a Nebraska-based Active Selected Reserve Unit

  • Have a minimum of 2 years remaining on your enlistment (ETS) at the beginning of each school term

  • Have agreed to serve a minimum of 3 years in the reserves

  • Should not have completed your 10th year of total service in the Armed Forces

  • Pursuing a course of study leading to a degree or certificate (the credit will end upon completion of the degree or program of study)

Application Instructions: For first-time applicants, recipients who are changing schools or recipients who have missed a term other than the summer term, a new application packet will be required. The Reserve Unit will assist in filling out the application with the Reservist. The Commanding Officer certifies that the reservist's performance is satisfactory and signs the application. The Unit will forward the application and a Nebraska U.S. Citizenship Attestation Form directly to the following address:

Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs
ATTN: Reservist Tuition Credit
PO Box 95083
Lincoln NE 68509-5083

If a recipient has been approved for Reservist Tuition Credit and is starting a new term at school, a Re-certification Form will have to be completed.
Nebraska Application for Tuition Credit
Nebraska Re-certification for Tuition Credit Form
Instructions for Completing an Application for Reserve Tuition Credit

*Note: This program is limited to 200 NEW applications per calendar year.

Learn more about the Nebraska Reservist Tuition Credit Program

Nebraska “Operation Recognition” High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans: Operation Recognition awards Honorary High School Diplomas to eligible WWII and Korean War Veterans who were attending a Nebraska High School but left to serve their country and did not graduate after their  release from service.
Who is eligible for the Nebraska “Operation Recognition” High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans?

  • Honorably Discharged

  • World War II Qualifying Dates of Active Service: 9/16/1940 - 12/31/1946

  • Korean War Qualifying Dates of Active Service: 6/25/1950 - 1/31/1955

  • Veterans currently living out of state are eligible if they are a former Nebraska resident.

Application Instructions: Applicants must submit a completed Operation Recognition Honorary High School Diploma Application for Nebraska Veterans , along with a copy of the Veteran's discharge papers, to:

Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs
ATTN: Operation Recognition
PO Box 95083
Lincoln, NE 68509

Learn more about the Nebraska “Operation Recognition” High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans

Nebraska Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: ( NRS §79-2201 ) 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.