Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Military and Veteran Benefits
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Health Insurance Benefits
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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities in Puerto Rico
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Summary of Territory of Puerto Rico Military and Veterans Benefits: Puerto Rico offers special benefits for Service members, Veterans and their Families including income tax advantages, property tax exemptions, education and tuition assistance, as well as reduced park fees. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status.
Territory of Puerto Rico Benefit Highlights and Eligibility
What are my Territory of Puerto Rico Military and Veterans Tax Benefits?
Territory of Puerto Rico Military Pay Taxes: Resident Service members stationed in Puerto Rico must pay taxes on all military pay earned in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican Resident Service members stationed outside Puerto Rico do not have to pay income tax to Puerto Rico but must pay federal income tax for money earned outside Puerto Rico.
Territory of Puerto Rico Military Retired Pay Taxes: Puerto Rico taxes military retired pay based on where the Service member served. For example, a Service members who retired after 20 years, served five years in Puerto Rico and 15 outside Puerto Rico, then ¾’s of their retirement income is taxed by the federal government and ¼ will be taxed by Puerto Rico.
Retired Service members are also eligible for a tax reduction based on age for those receiving a retirement pension or annuity from the U.S. Government. Those under age 60 have a standard deduction of $11,000, those over age 60 are authorized a $15,000 deduction.
Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) does not withhold taxes for state or local income tax, but it is reported annually on IRS Form 1099-R. All TSP distributions are subject to state taxes and early distributions may incur higher taxes .
Extension to File Puerto Rico Income Tax for Service Members Deployed to a Combat Zone: Service members deployed to a combat zone or in support of a contingency operation are eligible for a 10 month extension to file their Puerto Rico income taxes. Service members will be required to pay their Puerto Rico income taxes by the 15th day of the 10th month after their return. Service members who are hospitalized due to an injury they received in a combat zone or in support of a contingency operation have an extension until the 15th day of the 10th month after their release from a military treatment facility.
Puerto Rico Taxes on Military Disability Retirement Pay: Military Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces should not be included in taxable income. Some of the payments which are considered disability benefits include:
Disability compensation and pension payments for disabilities paid to Veterans or their Families
Grants for homes designed for wheelchair living
Grants for motor vehicles for Veterans who lost their sight or the use of limbs, or
Benefits under a dependent-care assistance program
See IRS Publication 525 for more information.
Puerto Rico Taxes on Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP): Puerto Rico offers a tax reduction based on age for those receiving a retirement pension or annuity from the U.S. Government. Those under age 60 have a standard deduction of $11,000, those over age 60 are authorized a $15,000 deduction.
Territory of Puerto Rico Veteran Tax Exemptions: Puerto Rico resident Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for an income tax exemption of $1,500. If married filing jointly and both Spouses are Veterans, the exemption is $3,000.
Territory of Puerto Rico Veteran Property Tax Exemptions: There are several types of property tax exemptions, each with its own eligibility criteria and level of exemption ranging from $5,000 to a complete property tax exemption. The Veteran must have used the home as their primary residence as of 1 January of the taxable year. All exemptions are for the appraised value of the home and the land up to 1,000 square meters in an urban zone or 1 cuerda in the rural zone.
Territory of Puerto Rico (Regular) Veteran Property Tax Exemption: Veterans are eligible for a property tax exemption for up to $5,000 of the appraised taxable value of their home. The unremarried Surviving Spouse is also eligible for this exemption.
Territory of Puerto Rico Totally Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption: 100% disabled Veterans are eligible for a complete property tax exemption for their home.
Territory of Puerto Rico Service-Connected Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption: Resident Veterans who have a service-connected disability of at least 50% from the VA are eligible for a property tax exemption on the first $50,000 of the appraised value of their home.
What are my Territory of Puerto Rico Military and Veterans Education Benefits?
Puerto Rico National Guard Institutional Trust (FIGNA), Military Education Incentive for National Guard Service Members, their Spouse and Dependents: The FIGNA Military Education Incentive will provide financial assistance to Puerto Rico National Guard Service members, their Spouse and Children.
Funding will be provided up to $50 per credit for a bachelor’s degree or lower and up to $75 per credit for a master’s or doctoral degree. Students can receive assistance for up to 18 credits per semester.
Who is eligible for the FIGNA Military Education Incentive for National Guard Service Members, their Spouse and Dependents? To be eligible Puerto Rico National Guard Service members must be an active member of FIGNA and pay a $5 monthly contribution. This incentive can be assigned to their Spouse or Child (under 23 years of age). Children can earn up to bachelor’s degree, Spouses can earn up to a master’s degree and Service members can earn up to a doctoral degree. Only one student in the Family may use this benefit at a time.
Puerto Rico Army National Guard Military Education Incentive Claim
Free Tuition at University of Puerto Rico and Regional Colleges for Puerto Rican Veterans: Puerto Rico offers free tuition at the University of Puerto Rico and its regional colleges for eligible Veterans.
Who is eligible for Free Tuition at University of Puerto Rico and Regional Colleges? Puerto Rican Veterans who do not have VA education benefits, or their benefits have run out are eligible for free tuition.
Reduced Tuition at University of Puerto Rico and Regional Colleges for Dependents of Puerto Rican Veterans: Dependents of Veterans are eligible for a 50% reduction in tuition at the University of Puerto Rico and its regional colleges.
65th Infantry Regiment Scholarship for the Children of Veterans: The 65th Infantry Regiment Scholarship offers the Children of Veterans a scholarship when pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Students are authorized 12 credits per semester for a bachelor’s degree and 6-9 credits for a master’s or doctoral degree.
Who is eligible for the 65th Infantry Regiment Scholarship? Children must meet the following requirements to be eligible:
An honorably discharged Veteran’s Child under the age 26 (no age limit for Children with physical or mental limitations)
2.5 GPA is required
High school graduate
Accepted for college admission
Not have outstanding debt with U.S. or the government of Puerto Rico (proof of payment plan can be accepted)
Only one Child per Family may participate, and they may not be receiving additional VA educational benefits.
65th Infantry Regiment Scholarship Program Application
65th Infantry Regiment Scholarship Program Requirements
Puerto Rico Veteran Government Employees, Time Off for Veterans Education: Veterans who are Puerto Rico government employees are eligible to receive time off without pay to complete their degree. Veterans must be using federal or territory benefits to complete their degree.
Once a Veteran has earned their degree, they must return to the government employer within 180 days. Veterans must be reinstated to their previous position or another position of equal category, salary and rank.
Puerto Rico Education Benefit for Surviving Spouses and Children of Service Members Killed on Active Duty: The Surviving Spouse and Children of Service members who died in the line of duty while serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for a total exemption of tuition and fees at any Puerto Rico public higher education institution.
High School Diplomas for Puerto Rican Wartime Veterans: Puerto Rican Veterans who left high school before graduation to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces During World War I, World War II, Korea or Vietnam can request a diploma from the Puerto Rico Department of Education. This diploma may be awarded posthumously.
Readmission to a Puerto Rico University Institution for Service Members who are called to Active Duty: Service members who leave a University of Puerto Rico educational institution due to active military service must be allowed to return to their course of study, Service members must apply for readmission within one year of their discharge from active duty.
Veterans who reapply will receive priority registration and will not have to pay readmission application fees.
What are my Territory of Puerto Rico Military and Veterans Employment Benefits?
Puerto Rico Government Employment Veteran Hiring Preference and Reinstatement to Position Rights: Puerto Rico offers a Veterans’ hiring preference to Veterans applying for employment, reinstatement, or promotion for a job in the government of Puerto Rico. Preference is given by adding 10 points or 10% (whichever is greater) to passing examination scores.
Veterans who are required to leave their government job due to being called to active duty service and are not able to take any competitive tests can request to take the test within 180 days after returning to work. If the Veteran passes the test the Veteran’s name must be included in the corresponding list or register.
Puerto Rico government employees who are called to active duty are entitled to be reinstated to the same or similar position if they apply within 180 days of receiving an honorable discharge from active duty service. If the position is no longer available, the Veteran will have placement priority in another position within the government agency. The employee will keep all their rights and privileges including right to seniority as if they had continued working for the government as well as any development or growth in the position, they would have been eligible for.
The right to reemployment is for the entire time the Veteran is serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, regardless of the number of years. This rule does not apply to government employees who voluntarily enlist to serve on active duty.
Service Credit in Puerto Rico Government Retirement System For Veterans: Any Veteran who is hired to a job in the government of Puerto Rico for the first time and becomes a participating member of the government retirement systems is eligible to purchase military service credit. Veterans can purchase up to five years’ service credit for the time they were on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, or they were using VA educational benefits.
Veterans will be required to pay any required contributions plus simple annual interest at 6% based on their salary.
Puerto Rico National Guard Differential Pay: Puerto Rico National Guard Service members who are civil service employees are eligible for the difference between their public employee salary and their military pay when ordered to territorial active duty.
Federal Employment Veteran's Hiring Preferences: By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans in hiring into the Federal civil service and in retention during reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews.
5-point Hiring Preference: Five points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served:
During a war, or
During the period April 28, 1952, through July 1, 1955, or
For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976, or
During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992, or
For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, or
In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference
10-point Compensable Disability (CP) Preference: 10 points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10% but less than 30%.
10-Point 30% Compensable Disability Preference (CPS): 10 points are added to the passing examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30% or more.
10-Point Disability Preference (XP): 10 points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:
A Veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the VA but does not qualify as a CP or CPS, or
A Veteran who received a Purple Heart
10-Point Derived Preference (XP): 10 points are added to the passing examination score or rating of Spouses, Surviving Spouses, or mothers of Veterans. Both a mother and a Spouse (including Surviving Spouse) may be entitled to preference based on the same Veteran's service if they both meet the requirements. However, neither may receive preference if the Veteran is living and is qualified for Federal employment.
Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of the Spouse of a disabled Veteran who is disqualified for a federal position along the general lines of their usual occupation because of a service-connected disability. Such a disqualification may be presumed when the Veteran is unemployed and:
Is rated by appropriate military or VA authorities to be 100% disabled and/or unemployable, or
Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position because of a disability that is service-connected in origin, or
Has attempted to obtain a civil service position or other position along the lines of their usual occupation and has failed to qualify because of a service-connected disability
Preference may be allowed in other circumstances but anything less than the above warrants a more careful analysis.
A campaign medal holder or Gulf War Veteran who originally enlisted after September 7, 1980, (or began active duty on or after October 14, 1982, and has not previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty) must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty. The 24-month service requirement does not apply to 10-point preference eligible Veterans separated for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or to Veterans separated for hardship or other reasons under Title 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA): USERRA protects civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of reserve components. USERRA also protects Service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.
Absence from Work for Military Duty: USERRA establishes the cumulative length of time that an individual may be absent from work for military duty and retain reemployment rights to five years. Exceptions to the five-year limit, include initial enlistments lasting more than five years, periodic National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Reserve training duty, and involuntary active duty extensions and recalls, especially during a time of national emergency. USERRA establishes that reemployment protection does not depend on the timing, frequency, duration, or nature of an individual's service if the basic eligibility criteria are met.
Disability Accommodation: USERRA provides protection for disabled Veterans, requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability. Service members recovering from injuries received during service or training may have up to two years from the date of completion of service to return to their jobs or apply for reemployment.
Return to Work without Loss of Seniority: USERRA provides that returning Service members are reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) be made to enable returning Service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, they are deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and are entitled to the non-seniority rights accorded other individuals on non-military leaves of absence.
Extension of Health and Pension Plans: Health and pension plan coverage for Service members is provided for by USERRA. Individuals performing military duty of more than 30 days may elect to continue employer sponsored health care for up to 24 months; however, they may be required to pay up to 102% of the full premium. For military service of less than 31 days, health care coverage is provided as if the Service member had remained employed. USERRA clarifies pension plan coverage by making explicit that all pension plans are protected.
Who is eligible for USERRA Benefits? Veterans, U.S. Armed Forces Reserve or National Guard Service members who leave a position for training or active military service are eligible.
The Department of Labor, through the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) helps all who have claims under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees.
VETS Regional Office Locations
What are my Territory of Puerto Rico Military and Veterans Division of Driver Services Benefits?
Discounted Auto registration for Puerto Rico National Guard Service Members: Puerto Rico National Guard Service members are eligible for a discounted auto registration fee of $35. The Puerto Rico National Guard Service member must be an active contributing member of the Puerto Rico National Guard Institutional Trust (FIGNA) to be eligible.
FIGNA Membership Information
FIGNA Vehicle Registration Incentive Information
Free Puerto Rico Veterans License Plates: Puerto Rico offers one free license plate to eligible Veterans; additional license plates can be requested for $12.
Who is eligible for free Puerto Rico License plates? Veterans who received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible. Veterans must provide certification from the VA or their DD214 to verify they received an honorable discharge.
Application for a Special License Plate Application for Veterans
Puerto Rico Department of Driver Services Benefits for Disabled Veterans: The Territory of Puerto Rico offers several benefits for Puerto Rican Veterans.
Automobiles Provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to Disabled Veterans Free from Taxes: Vehicles provided to disabled Veterans with funds from the VA are exempt from vehicle taxes and license fees. Replacement vehicles can also receive this exemption as long as the vehicle being replaced has been owned by the Veteran for their personal use for four years.
100% Disabled Veterans Exempt from Fees for License Plates or Driver’s Licenses: Disabled Veterans who have a service-connected disability rating of 100% from the VA are exempt from taxes on their vehicle and are not required to pay any fees for their license plate or driver’s license.
Exemption of Fees for Veterans over Age 60: Veterans over 60 years old, even if even if they do not have a service-connected disability, are exempt from taxes on their vehicle and are not required to pay any fees for their license plate or driver’s license.
What are my Territory of Puerto Rico Military and Veterans Health and Insurance Benefits?
Puerto Rico National Guard Service Members and Retired Service Members Group Insurance: The Puerto Rico National Guard Institutional Trust (FIGNA) provides $5,000 in life insurance for Puerto Rico National Guard Service members and retired Service members.
Who is eligible for Puerto Rico National Guard Service Members and Retired Service Members Group Insurance? Puerto Rico National Guard Service members or retired Service members, under age 60 who served 20 or more years in the Puerto Rico National Guard are eligible. The Puerto Rico National Guard Service member must have been an active contributing member of FIGNA to be eligible.
FIGNA Membership Information
Puerto Rico National Guard, Life and Funeral Insurance Program Application
Puerto Rico National Guard Service Members Compensation for Illness, Injury or Death While on Territorial Active Duty: Puerto Rico National Guard Service members who are injured, become ill, disabled or die while serving on territorial active duty are eligible for medical coverage and compensation under Puerto Rico’s Compensation System for Work-Related Accidents.
Who is eligible for Puerto Rico National Guard Service Members Covered by Workers’ Compensation Laws while on Territorial Active Duty? Puerto Rico National Guard Service member serving on territorial active duty are eligible for medical coverage and compensation.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The VA provides valuable life insurance benefits to Veterans, active and reserve component Service members and their Families to provide financial security given the extraordinary risks involved in military Service. The VA provides the following life insurance benefit programs:
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI)
Service-Disabled Veterans’ Life Insurance (S-DVI)
Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)
TRICARE Reserve Select Health Insurance: TRICARE Reserve Select is a premium-based plan, available worldwide for Selected Reserve, (U.S. Armed Forces Reserve and National Guard Service members) and their Families who meet the following qualifications:
Not on active duty orders
Not covered under the Transitional Assistance Management Program
Not eligible for or enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program or currently covered under FEHB, either under their own eligibility or through a Family member
This plan provides comprehensive health care coverage when a Service member is not on active duty and covered by active duty TRICARE benefits.
Free Medical Care for Eligible Veterans and their Dependents: The Government of Puerto Rico will provide free medical care, hospitalization and necessary medications, for Veterans and their Families who are considered low income, as defined in the Federal Medical Assistance Program (Title 19 of the Federal Social Security Act).
Puerto Rico will also provide free medical care, hospitalization and necessary medications to the Children of Service members who are killed in action.
Who is eligible for Free Medical Care for Eligible Veterans and their Dependents? Low income Veterans, their Spouse and their Children under age 21 (25 if a student and of any age if the Child is physically or mentally disabled) are eligible.
What are my Territory of Puerto Rico Military and Veterans Parks and Recreation Benefits?
Discounts for Veterans and their Dependents at Puerto Rico National Parks and Recreation Areas: Veterans, their Spouse and minor and/or disabled Children are eligible for a 10% discount on fees charged in Puerto Rico parks, such as beaches, zoos, aquariums, vacation centers, camping areas, as well as recreational areas. This benefit is transferable to the Surviving Spouse and to the minor and/or disabled Children upon the death of the Veteran.
What are my Territory of Puerto Rico Military and Veterans Miscellaneous Benefits?
Puerto Rico National Guard Institutional Trust (FIGNA) : Puerto Rico National Guard Service members can voluntarily contribute $5 per month to FIGNA that will authorize certain benefits and services for the Service member and their Family. Service members who contribute will be eligible for:
In addition, FIGNA operates 10 National Guard Exchange stores located throughout Puerto Rico for Service members, Veterans and their Families. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 787-253-4040 extensions 4011, 4008, or 4005.
FIGNA Membership Information
Puerto Rico National Guard Retired Service Member Annuity Until Age 60: Retired Puerto Rico National Guard Service members between the ages of 55 and 59 can receive a $175 per month annuity payment.
Who is eligible for the Puerto Rico National Guard Retired Service Member Annuity until age 60? Puerto Rico National Guard Service members between the ages of 55 and 60 who serve for 20 years and receive an honorable discharge are eligible for the annuity payment. The Puerto Rico National Guard Service member must have been an active contributing member of the Puerto Rico National Guard Institutional Trust (FIGNA) to be eligible.
FIGNA Membership Information
Puerto Rico Retirement Annuity Information
Puerto Rico National Guard Service Members and Retired Service Members Funeral Insurance: National Guard Service members and retired Service members can receive $3000 to pay for funeral expenses.
Who is eligible for the Puerto Rico National Guard Service Members and Retired Service Members Funeral Insurance? Puerto Rico National Guard Service members and retired Service members are eligible for funeral insurance until age 60. The Puerto Rico National Guard Service member must have been an active contributing member of the Puerto Rico National Guard Institutional Trust (FIGNA) to be eligible.
FIGNA Membership Information
Puerto Rico National Guard, Life and Funeral Insurance Program Application
National Cemeteries in Puerto Rico: There are two National Cemeteries located in Puerto Rico that provide a dignified final resting place for Veterans and their eligible Family members.
Each of the cemeteries can accommodate cremated and casketed remains.
Puerto Rico National Cemetery Locations:
Puerto Rico National Cemetery
Address: Avenue Cementerio Nacional #50
Bayamon, PR 00961
Morovis National Cemetery
Address: 900 Carretera 137
Morovis, PR 00687
Who is eligible for Burial at a National Cemetery in Puerto Rico? The following are the general eligibility requirements for burial at a National Cemetery in Puerto Rico:
Discharged from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces under conditions other than dishonorable, or
Died while serving on active duty, or
Served at least 20 years in the National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves and is eligible for military retired pay (or would have been eligible except their death occurred before age 60), or
Reserve component Service members if they were activated for federal service, (active duty for training does not qualify)
Spouses and dependents (burial of dependent Children is limited to unmarried Children under 21 years old or 23 years old if a full-time student at an approved educational institution or a Child who develops a lifelong disability prior to age 21)
Complete eligibility requirements can viewed at the VA, National Cemetery Administration Eligibility webpage.
War Surplus Property Exempt from Taxes for Puerto Rican Veterans: War surplus property acquired by Veterans is exempt from all types of taxes or duties. War surplus must be for the personal use of the Veteran and must not have a total value of more than $5,000.
Documents From Puerto Rico Government Offices Provided Free of Charge to Veterans and their Dependents: All Puerto Rico government agencies will provide copies of official documents used for benefits claims free of charge to Veterans, their Spouse, minor Children or the Surviving Spouse of a deceased Veteran.
Who is eligible for Documents from Puerto Rico Government Offices Provided Free of Charge to Veterans and their Dependents? Veterans, their Spouse, minor Children and a deceased Veteran’s Surviving Spouse are eligible for free copies of official documents.
Puerto Rico Income Exemption for Veterans and Surviving Spouses when Applying for Public Assistance: Low income Veterans and their Surviving Spouse do not have to include VA Enhanced or Special Monthly Pension income when determining eligibility for public assistance.
VA Enhanced or Special Monthly Compensation Fact Sheet
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in Puerto Rico
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in Puerto Rico: The VA has numerous resources available for Veterans and Family members. Please see the local location listing for your nearest facility.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Cemeteries in Puerto Rico: The VA National Cemetery Administration maintains two national cemeteries in Puerto Rico. Please see the local location listing for the nearest cemetery.
Military Installation in Puerto Rico
Please see the Puerto Rico Resource Locator for additional information.
Puerto Rico Army National Guard
U.S. Army Reserve (USAR)
81st Readiness Division