Florida

Florida's Veteran Benefits

If you're a veteran or military servicemember in the Sunshine State, the benefits below can help you through some of life's most difficult moments, like finding a job, buying a home, or paying for a crisis.

If you're a surviving spouse of a veteran, many of these benefits also apply to you, including being able to qualify for great veteran loan rates.



Florida Residents
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$165/mth

Savings based on 2015 active loan data

20Lunches

*Based on an average lunch price of $8.08

Veteran Home Loans

VA Loans

The Sunshine State is a beautiful place, isn't it? Have you thought about buying a home in Florida so you would always have someplace here to stay?

If you're stationed in Florida with any branch of the US Armed Forces, you might consider investing in some property. Maybe you've considered buying a home near one of the military bases in the graphic below, which could make it simple to sell to other military personnel if you decide to move.



Using a VA loan makes it much easier to buy a house. Whether you're a veteran living in Florida, or a current military servicemember, you may be eligible for Florida veteran loans.

It's important to note that private lenders actually issue VA loans. The VA gives private lenders guarantees, which gives them the confidence to lend and offer amazingly low-interest rates and generous terms according to VA guidelines.

VA loans are popular because they have great features such as:

  • No need to save up thousands for a down payment
  • An easy qualification process that includes no minimum credit score requirement
  • Lower-than-average interest rates
  • No requirement to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI)

Florida VA Loan County Limits

Each county in the US is assigned a VA loan limit, which is the maximum amount a VA loan can be written for in that location. Check out the Florida veteran loans limits for each county in the following graphic.



While these represent the maximum amount you can get, the actual amount you receive for your VA loan depends on a few details such as your financial situation and the rates and terms that your lender offers.

Because rates and terms can vary from lender to lender, it's smart to get quotes from several private VA lenders to try to find the best veterans loan rates in Florida.

Low VA Rates strives to give you the competitive veteran loan rates in Florida so you can reap the benefits of veteran loans. If you want a quote from us, please fill out our easy online application or call us toll-free at 866-569-8272.

Veteran Housing Benefits

Florida State Veterans' Homes

Florida's veterans are well cared for at Florida's assisted living facility and skilled nursing facilities. These veterans' homes employ nurses 24-hours a day, and the facilities also use the latest technology and techniques, allowing them to accommodate residents with dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

To be eligible to stay in Florida State Veterans' Homes, the applicant must:

  • Be a Florida resident
  • Have an honorable discharge from the US Armed Forces
  • Be certified by the VA to need skilled nursing care or assisted living

The Robert H. Jenkins Jr. Veterans' Domiciliary Home also requires that residents have the ability to feed and dress themselves.

To apply to any of the Florida State Veterans' Homes, see the list of facilities and contact information in the current Florida Veterans' Benefits Guide from the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Property Tax Exemptions

You can get up to a $5,000 exemption on your property taxes in Florida if you:  

  • Are a Florida resident
  • Are a veteran of the US military
  • Have a service-related disability of at least 10% rated by the VA

You can apply for the exemption with your county tax office, as long as you provide VA documentation of your disability.

If you're the surviving spouse of a disabled veteran, you may also get this tax exemption if you haven't remarried. When the veteran died, you must have been married to him or her for five years or longer.

Homestead Exemption

If you have a homestead property in Florida, you might not have to pay property tax on it. To be eligible for this benefit, you must:

  • Own and use your property as a homestead
  • Be a veteran with an honorable discharge
  • Have a VA certification of a complete and permanent service-related disability
  • Be a permanent Florida resident
  • Own the title to the property since January 1st of the year you're claiming

If you're quadriplegic veteran and you own and use your property as a homestead, it's tax-exempt. Or, another way to qualify is if your income level meets certain guidelines, you're a Florida resident, and you meet just one of the following conditions:

  • You have to use a wheelchair because of a permanent disability
  • You're paraplegic
  • You're hemiplegic
  • You're legally blind

If you do not qualify for a full exemption, you may still be able to get a partial reduction of your property taxes if you:

  • Are 65 or older
  • Have an honorable discharge
  • Have a partial disability that was at least partly caused by combat

If you can't file for an exemption in person because of your disability, a family member or representative can file for you. You should apply at your county property appraiser's office.

If you're the surviving spouse of a veteran, you may also be eligible for this tax exemption if your veteran spouse:

  • Died for service-related reasons while on active duty
  • Was a permanent Florida resident on January 1st of the year he or she died

 

Veteran Employment & Education Benefits

Education Benefits

State Approving Agency

Florida's State Approving Agency (SAA) examines and certifies education programs that you can attend using your education benefits. These programs are available through Florida institutions such as colleges, universities, technical schools, organizations that offer on-the-the job training, and others.

You can see all of Florida's educational establishments that offer SAA-approved programs and can access and use the list by following these steps:

  1. Click on this link to the VA's Web Enabled Approval Management System (WEAMS)
  2. Click on "FL" on the map or in the list of links below it
  3. In the list of institutions that appears, click on any to read about their programs and get their contact information
  4. Contact any institution to find out how to apply for enrollment

Tuition Waiver

As a veteran, you may be able to attend university, college, or technical or career training without paying tuition. To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a Florida resident veteran
  • Have received a Purple Heart or a higher combat decoration

You can ask about this benefit at the Veterans Service Office at the school you want to attend. If you're unsure what school you want to go to, you can search for eligible ones using the WEAMS webpage.

Education for Children & Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Florida Veterans

Children and spouses of veterans can receive scholarships to attend a four-year college program. You may be eligible if your veteran spouse or parent meets one of the following conditions:

  • They died because of a service-related disability
  • They have a permanent 100% disability caused by their military service
  • They are MIA or they were a POW

For more information on how to receive this benefit, you can contact the Florida Department of Education.

Priority Course Registration

You can receive priority course registration at any state-sponsored college or university in Florida that offers it. To qualify, you must:

  • Be a veteran of the US military
  • Be receiving federal education benefits

If you're receiving federal education benefits as a spouse or dependent of a veteran, you also can qualify to receive priority course registration.

High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans

Did you join the military before you were able to graduate from high school? Did that prevent you from getting a diploma? Even if you never completed graduation requirements, you can get a diploma from Florida now if:

  • You were honorably discharged (shown on your DD-214 form or similar documentation)
  • You left a high school in any state to enter the US Armed Forces before graduating
  • You're a Florida resident OR were once attending a Florida high school

A veteran's family can apply for a diploma on his or her behalf if he or she is deceased and was a Florida resident at the time of death. Applications are completed online.

Credit for Military Training and Education

Did you complete any college-level education or training during your military service? You may be eligible to use some of that to get academic credit at Florida universities and colleges. You can find out more from the Veterans Services Office at your college or university.

Employment Benefits

Florida Veteran Hiring Preference for Government Jobs

You can get a hiring preference for Florida government jobs. This preference can help you during every stage of the job application process, and it can also help you get a promotion or keep your job.

This preference applies to:

  • Wartime veterans
  • Disabled veterans with an honorable discharge
  • Spouses of completely disabled veterans
  • Unremarried surviving spouses of veterans who died because of a service-related disability
  • Parents and legal guardians of veterans who died in combat
  • Members of the Guard or Reserves

Florida employers subject to this rule are required to tell you about this preference and give you information about what to do if you think you were denied this preference.

Job Placement and Training at CareerSource Florida

If you're looking for work in Florida, you can use a CareerSource location. Staff members help veterans, current servicemembers, and military family members with:

  • Resume preparation
  • Interview preparation
  • Referrals to jobs and trainings
  • Events aimed at helping the homeless

To find a CareerSource Office near you, you can click on this link to see a map of Florida. Then, you can click on your region to see the address and contact information of offices in your area.

Employ Florida Vets

Employ Florida Vets lets you see job openings in Florida. It also matches your military experience and skills to compatible jobs and training opportunities. Visit their website to start your job search.

Health License Fee Waivers for Veterans and Their Spouses

If you're interested in working in the healthcare field, this benefit can help you or your spouse expedite the licensing process and waive your or your spouse's licensure fees.

In addition, the organization offering this benefit, the Florida Department of Health can also help you find a healthcare job. However, to receive this help, you must either be an active member with plans to separate from the military sometime in the next 5 years or have already been honorably discharged.

The Florida Department of Health offers other benefits to encourage veterans to start work in healthcare. To contact them or to learn more, you can visit http://www.flhealthsource.gov/valor.

Veteran Certified Businesses

If you have a business, you may be able to get priority referrals and recommendations for state work contracts in Florida. You simply need to register your business as a State Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) with veteran ownership. CBEs are at the top of the list when state agencies need to order from new vendors.

To get CBE status, you must:

  1. Review the eligibility requirements at http://dms.myflorida.com/osd/cert
  2. Register on the MyFloridaMarketPlace Vendor Information Portal
  3. Send your documentation to the Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD)

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the OSD.

Other Veteran Benefits

State Park Admission Discounts

National Guard and Reserve members, as well as veterans with active duty experience and an honorable discharge, can get a 25% discount on an annual pass to all of Florida's state parks.

Or, if you have a family, you can get a free lifetime family entrance pass instead if you're either:

  • A veteran with a service-connected disability, OR
  • The surviving spouse or parent of a deceased member of the US Armed Forces who died in combat

You can buy or pick up either type of pass at any one of Florida's staffed state park ranger stations. For more information , please review the current Florida Veterans' Benefits Guide.

Discounted Entrance Fees to County and Municipal Parks

You can get discounted entrance fees to Florida's county and municipal parks if you're one of the following:

  • A current military servicemember
  • An honorably discharged veteran
  • A veteran with a service-related disability
  • A surviving spouse or parent of a servicemember who died during combat

Discounts can be as high as 100%. You can check the latest Florida Veterans' Benefits Guide for more information about this benefit.

Hunting and Fishing Licenses

You can get a Military Gold Sportsman's License for a low fee if you're both:

  • A Florida resident
  • A retired or active servicemember of the US Armed Forces, including the Guard or Reserves

You can apply for the license online or by visiting a Florida tax collector's office where you'll need to show your military ID card.

In addition, you can get free 5-year hunting and fishing licenses if you:

  • Are a resident of Florida, AND
  • Are rated by the VA to be 100% permanently and completely disabled OR the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs has issued you a disabled veteran ID card

Veteran Benefits Assistance

Would you like help getting your state and federal benefits in Florida? It's not always easy to apply for benefits or even to know what benefits are available.

The Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs (FDVA) represents Florida's 1.5 million veterans, helping them get benefits from the VA and other agencies. County Veterans Service Officers will help you (for free) with the process of submitting benefits claims. They also help provide you with the latest information on benefits and referral services.

Resources for Women Veterans

The number of women veterans in Florida is one of the highest for any US state, yet many women veterans aren't aware of all available benefits. To help overcome this hurdle, Florida has put together a special resource website for female veterans.

About Low VA Rates

If you need a quote for Florida veteran loans, you can contact Low VA Rates. We focus on helping veterans and servicemembers get VA loans tailored to their unique situations. We'd love to help you with VA loans in Florida too.


When you call us at 866-569-8272 or apply for a quote online, a knowledgeable loan officer will work hard to find low veteran loan rates for you in Florida.