In addition to veterans benefits available to you through the federal Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), you are also eligible for benefits through the Texas Veteran's Commission. The benefits available to veterans who are residents of Texas include educational benefits, employment rights, mortgage assistance, and a property tax exemption.
Tuition at Texas state schools is free for veterans thanks to the Hazelwood Act.
Under the Hazelwood Act, veterans and their dependent family members can receive exemption from tuition at public colleges and universities in Texas for up to 150 credits. The exemption applies to most fees but will not apply to other costs, such as books and living expenses.
To be eligible, the veteran must:
In order to receive Hazelwood funds, a veteran must first:
After you have completed the above steps, complete the Hazelwood application form and submit it along with your education benefits letter from the VA and your DD-214 to the financial aid office of the school you have been accepted to. Your financial aid office will let you know whether your application for Hazelwood benefits has been accepted. The office may send you an email or a letter, or simply put funds into your school account.
Employment benefits provided by the State of Texas include a hiring preference for veterans and job counseling and assistance.
Texas veterans who served during wartime, as well as surviving spouses and children of service members killed while serving on active duty, receive hiring preference for jobs with state offices and agencies. State offices are required to give Texas veterans preference for jobs until 40% of the office workforce is comprised of veterans.
Veterans are eligible for this hiring preference if they:
Veterans who are employed by the state can get up to 60 months of credit toward retirement for their military service, provided that they pay for it.
The Soldier Employment Initiative offers support and programs to newly separated service members for up to three months. The Women's Veteran Program offers transitional assistance geared to the needs of women.
Texas also provides opportunities for veterans to use their GI Bill benefits towards on the job training with Texas employers.
The Veteran Entrepreneur Program provides services to veterans who would like to start their own businesses. The program holds a conference annually. The purpose of the program is to help veterans find funding and training resources as well as business opportunities.
The Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) offers three different loan programs for veterans:
For more information about these loans, visit the Veterans Land Board website.
Disabled veterans, and surviving spouses and dependent children of service members who died while on active duty, are eligible for state property tax exemptions. A disabled veteran must have a service-connected disability rated at least 10% to be eligible for this exemption. Disabled veterans receive exemptions based on their percentage of disability. 100% disabled veterans receive a waiver of all property taxes.
Surviving spouses and dependent children can get a $5,000 property tax exemption.
Apply for the property tax exemption using Form 50-135 and submit it to your County Appraisal Office.
Visit the Texas Veterans Portal to learn about other veterans benefits available to you as a resident of Texas.
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