Disabled veterans in Florida are eligible for a number of benefits from the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Some of these benefits are available exclusively to disabled veterans, while others are available to all veterans of the United States Armed Forces. To receive benefits, veterans must present proof of military service. Disabled veterans are required to prove that a disability for which benefits are being claimed was incurred as a direct result of service in the armed forces.
Disabled Veterans Identification Card
The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs issues disabled veterans identification cards to state residents. These cards may be used in place of any other form of identification or proof of military service or military-related disability required to receive veteran benefits in Florida. To receive the card individuals must be certified as disabled by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or provide proof of a service-related disability. Only veterans who are permanently or totally disabled are eligible for the card.
Homestead Tax Excemption
Any property serving as the primary residence of a veteran who is certified by the state of Florida or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as 100 percent permanently or totally disabled as a direct result of military service is automatically exempt from all taxes. The same is true of homes in which deceased disabled veterans lived during a tax period prior to passing away. Veterans suffering from temporary 10 to 100 percent service-related disability are eligible for a homestead tax exemption of up to $5000.
Florida veterans are eligible for three forms of education assistance. All veterans in the state are eligible for one tuition deferment per academic year. National Guard members, disabled or not, are exempt from paying half of tuition fees. Veterans of World War II, Korea or Vietnam who were forced to withdraw from high school before receiving a high school degree are eligible for automatic high school diplomas in exchange for military service. The children of deceased or permanently or completely disabled Floridian veterans are eligible for college scholarships through the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Licenses, Permits and Fees
Disabled veterans who have been residents of Florida for five consecutive years are eligible for free license plates designating an individual as a disabled veteran. Disabled veterans in Florida are exempt from licensing or permit fees related to mobile home modification projects such as the building of ramps or widening of doors. Veterans whose disability makes it difficult or impossible to deposit coins or hand over cash at a tollbooth will receive a sticker exempting them from paying tolls.
Disabled veterans who are able and qualified to work in positions available with public utilities, state universities, school districts and special taxing districts will be granted preference over similarly qualified candidates. Homeless veterans are eligible for free health care from the Mobile Service Center, a traveling health clinic. Homeless Floridian veterans may also be eligible for benefits through U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs programs. A 15-chapter book is available from the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs detailing all the benefits for which veterans, disabled and not, are eligible from the federal government.
- disabled parking sign image by Jeff Dalton from Fotolia.com