In addition to benefits offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs, the state of Florida also offers additional benefits to veterans, such as educational benefits, preference in state hiring, and a property tax exemption. These benefits are offered through the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs.
The following educational benefits are eligible for veterans or their family members, in addition to federal educational benefits for veterans.
Tuition Waiver for Veterans
Veterans who received a Purple Heart or other combat-related medals are eligible for a tuition waiver at community colleges and state colleges. To qualify, you must have been resident of Florida at the time you were in combat and earned the medal and you must be a current resident of Florida. You also must be enrolling in a degree or certificate program. For more information, call (850) 245-0407 or visit the tuition waiver website.
Educational Benefits for Families of Veterans
Florida offers Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans and Servicemembers. These scholarships are applied to tuition and registration fees. Eligibility requires that the veteran be totally and permanently disabled as a result of a service-connected illness or injury or must have died as a result of service-connected disabilities. Call (888) 827-2004 for more information.
Children with a parent who has been deemed a prisoner of war or missing in action by the military, or has been captured while working in a civilian role for the United States government during wartime, are also eligible for this scholarship program.
Students must be residents of Florida for a full-year before the start of the educational program in order to qualify.
High School Diplomas for Veterans
Veterans of the Vietnam war, the Korean war, and World War II can receive a high school diploma from the state of Florida if they missed the opportunity to complete their high school education because they entered the service. To be eligible, a veteran must have an honorable discharge and be a current resident of Florida. Contact the Florida Division of Career and Adult Education at 850-245-0446 for more information, or visit the Florida Department of Education website.
The following help in getting hired is eligible for veterans who live in Florida, and in some cases, the spouses of disabled or deceased veterans. (Also see Nolo's articles on federal employment support for veterans.)
Job Search Portal
Florida has a veterans job search portal called Employ Florida Vets. You can use this portal to locate Florida jobs that match your military occupational experience and to find training programs. For more information call, (866) 352-2345.
Veterans’ Preference for State Hiring
Veterans and their spouses are sometimes eligible for preference in hiring for government jobs in Florida. This preference is given to:
- veterans with a service-connected disability
- spouses of veterans who are totally and permanently disabled due to a service-connected disability or injury
- veterans who served during wartime and received an honorable discharge
- surviving spouses of veterans who died from a service-connected illness or injury, so long as they have not remarried, or
- veterans who served in a "qualifying campaign" or had service for which a campaign badge was issued.
Preference is not a guarantee that you will get the job. You must have the qualifications and skills required for the position. To learn more, call (727) 319-7462.
Property Tax Exemption
Veterans who received an honorable discharge and are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected disability are completely exempt from property taxes for the primary residence they own and live in. Surviving spouses are sometimes eligible for this exemption as well.
Veterans with a service-connected disability rated at least 10% (but less than 100%) are eligible for a $5,000 tax exemption on the primary residence they own and live in. Documentation proving the disability must be brought to the county tax office.
A veteran who is at least age 65 and who was a resident of Florida when entering the service, had an honorable discharge, and is disabled at least in part due to an injury or illness in combat, may receive a property tax discount equal to the percentage assigned to the permanent service-connected disability.
For more information on the property tax exemption, visit the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs website.
To learn more about other benefits available to veterans in Florida, read the Florida Veterans' Benefits Guide.