Maryland Veteran Benefits

Whether you're a veteran living in Maryland or a current servicemember stationed here, you could be eligible for many benefits offered by the state.

You might be able to get assistance with housing, education, employment, tax exemptions, and much more.

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Veteran Home Loans

If you're stationed in the Old Line State with the Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, or Army, you might have thought about buying your own home instead of renting. If you're looking for real estate, you could check listings near whichever military base you're stationed at.

VA loans in Maryland could allow you to buy a home pretty quickly, whether you're a veteran or a current military servicemember. That's because VA loans have features such as:

  • No VA-required down payment to buy a house
  • No minimum credit score required to qualify
  • Low interest rates compared to most other mortgage types
  • No private mortgage insurance (PMI) payments

Private lenders issue Maryland veteran loans using the VA's guidelines and are protected by a guarantee on the loan from the VA. Each lender has their own terms and rates, so if you want to get the best veteran loan rates in Maryland, you should get quotes from a few different lenders.

Loan specialists at Low VA Rates are ready to help you find the right VA loan for your needs. We have years of experience helping veterans and servicemembers from all backgrounds get VA loans.

Call us today at 866-569-8272 to get a loan quote or start an online application—there's no obligation!

Maryland Homefront

If you're a veteran, you can get a discounted interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage from Maryland Homefront, the state's home loan program for veterans, servicemembers, and their families.

You can also get $5,000 of assistance toward your closing costs and down payment, which is offered by the Maryland Mortgage Program's Down Payment Assistance Program and other funds. However, this assistance is not available if you're refinancing a home.

When you get a loan through Maryland Homefront as a veteran, you can also get a Maryland HomeCredit, which is a federal tax credit on 25% of the mortgage interest you are charged each year. You also won't be charged the usual fee from the Department of Housing and Community Development for this HomeCredit, although lenders can still charge their fee.

To get started, you can use the following link to contact an approved lender who can check on your eligibility for the Maryland Mortgage Program and recommend if you need a Homebuyer Education Class.

Veteran Housing Benefits

Charlotte Hall Veterans Home

Maryland's Department of Veterans Affairs serves Maryland's veterans through the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. It offers a variety of health care services, including:

  • Skilled nursing care
  • Memory care
  • Optometry
  • Podiatry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Dental care
  • Mental health
  • Laboratory and radiology
  • And more

Veterans also are engaged and kept active through an on-site library, game rooms, lounges, walking trails, and a program of activities.

To be eligible for admission to the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, a veteran must:

  • Have served a period of full-time active duty, not including training
  • Have an honorable discharge

Other persons who may be eligible for admission include:

  • Members of the Reserves who satisfy legal residency requirements
  • Spouses of eligible veterans
  • Residents of Maryland who are 62 or older
  • Residents of Maryland who are younger than 62 and are disabled, with disability determined by the VA or the Social Security Administration

Applicants can be turned away for reasons that include safety, welfare, or health. To learn more about the home and your eligibility, you can visit the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home website, where you can also find an application form.

Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans and Surviving Spouses

You could be eligible for an exemption of the property taxes on your primary dwelling and property. You can apply for this tax exemption at any time. To qualify, you must:

  • Be a veteran of the US Armed Forces
  • Have a service-related disability of 100%, as rated by the VA

Apply for this exemption by contacting your Maryland assessment office and turning in a completed Application for Exemption for Disabled Veterans.

If you are an unremarried spouse of a veteran who was killed in action, you can also apply for this exemption.

Homeless Services

If you are a homeless veteran in Maryland, or are at risk of losing your home, there are resources to help you. These include:

  • Supportive Services for Veterans and Their Families (SSVF) – The SSVF program provides eligible veteran families with a variety of services, which include helping veteran families pay their rent and other bills so they can keep their housing.
  • Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET) – The MCVET is a nonprofit in Baltimore City that offers veterans, including homeless veterans, with comprehensive services to help them transition back to civilian life.
  • The Baltimore StationThe Baltimore Station is a residential treatment program that helps veterans and others to escape addiction, poverty, and homelessness.
  • VA Community Resource and Referral Center (CRRC) – There are two locations of the CRRC that serve Maryland veterans: one in Washington, DC, and the other in Baltimore.

In addition, the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is free and has counselors available 24/7 who can connect you to local services. Simply call them at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838), no matter the time of day or night.

Veteran Education & Employment Benefits

Education Benefits

Maryland has a variety of programs that makes it easier and more affordable for servicemembers, veterans, and their family members to get an education. Check out Maryland's education benefits and programs for veterans below.

Division of Veterans Affairs and State Approving Agency

If you have education assistance benefits, you can use them at educational programs in Maryland that were approved by Maryland's State Approving Agency (SAA). The SAA approves and monitors quality programs at more than 400 institutions of learning in Maryland, which include:

  • Private and public universities and colleges
  • Community colleges
  • High schools
  • Private career schools

To find approved institutions, you can search the VA's Web Enabled Approval Management System (WEAMS). It's simple to use:

  1. Visit the WEAMS website
  2. Click on "MD" on the right side of the US map or among the blue links below the map
  3. When the list of Maryland institutions appears, you can click on any of them to see program information and contact details

Using information from WEAMS, you can contact institutions and ask about their programs and how to enroll. Many of Maryland's public higher learning establishments employ a veterans' office or Veterans Affairs Coordinator who can help you navigate that institution's departments.

Veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts (VAIC) Scholarship Program

The Veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts (VAIC) Scholarship gives financial assistance for up to five years of full-time schooling to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and their spouses and children. Assistance can go to individuals who are either:

  • In their senior year in high school
  • In full- or part-time studies for a degree in an accredited Maryland postsecondary institution where this scholarship can be used

The VAIC can award up to half of the yearly fees, tuition, and room and board for a resident undergraduate student in the University System of Maryland (except for the University of Maryland University College and the University of Maryland, Baltimore). However, not every eligible student will receive assistance.

An eligible student applicant must:

  • Be a Maryland resident (which includes active US military servicemembers and their family members who are either stationed in Maryland or who list Maryland as their state of residency)
  • Be accepted or enrolled:
    • At a Maryland institution in a part-time or full-time undergraduate program, OR
    • In a two-year certificate program that awards credits that can be transferred to an eligible Maryland institution's baccalaureate program
  • Satisfy one of the following military requirements:
    • Be a veteran or servicemember who served 60 days or longer in either the Afghanistan or Iraq War
    • Be a Reserve or Guard member who was activated and served 60 days or more in Afghanistan or Iraq
    • Be the child or spouse of such a veteran, servicemember, or Guard or Reserve member

To apply for the VAIC, you'll need to submit an application by March 1 on the online MD CAPS system. The documentation that you'll need to turn in with your application can include:

  • A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which must also be filed by March 1 every year
  • The student's birth certificate that shows both parents' names, if the student is a child of a veteran
  • A marriage certificate, if the student is a veteran's spouse
  • Proof of GI Bill benefits
  • A copy of your military orders or release or discharge documents

If you turn in a copy of your release or discharge document, it must show the location and dates of your service.

High School Diplomas for WWII and Korean War Veterans

If you left high school to fight in World War II or Korea before you could graduate and receive a diploma, you may qualify to receive a high school diploma now, without going back to school. Alternately, you can get a diploma if you have passed a GED test.

To find out how to get your diploma, you can get in touch with your Board of Education.

Employment Benefits

If you've left the service or are planning to transition to civilian life, the state of Maryland recognizes that it can sometimes be difficult to find non-military employment. To help ease this transition, they offer a variety of employment benefits to separated servicemembers.

Maryland Employment Resources

If you're looking for work in Maryland, you can use the Maryland Jobs for Veterans Program. This program provides Local Veterans' Employment Representatives (LVERs) who can connect you with open positions where you can use the skills and experience from your military service.

The Jobs for Veterans program also offers Disabled Veterans' Outreach Placement Specialists (DVOPs) to help you find work and training if you're a disabled veteran.

Both LVERs and DVOPs are especially good at helping you with referrals and career counseling if you have any difficult barriers to finding a job.

In addition, they can also help you join the State of Maryland Workforce Exchange. The Exchange has a variety of employment services, including how to write a resume, search for local jobs, apply for work online, and file for unemployment benefits.

You can find out more by contacting your nearest American Job Center location, where you'll get a service preference if you're an eligible veteran or military spouse.

Maryland Professional and Occupational Licenses for Military Persons and Spouses

You can accelerate the process of getting your Maryland professional or occupational license from the Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013.

This Act can help you if you have a license in good standing from another state and ONE of the following is true:

  • You were recently honorably discharged or released from the US Armed Forces
  • You are a Reserve or Guard member on active duty
  • You're a current servicemember stationed in Maryland
  • You're a spouse of a current servicemember stationed in Maryland (which includes Reserve and Guard members on active duty)
  • You're the spouse of a recently discharged veteran
  • You're the surviving spouse of a servicemember

When you apply for your license, you should apply within one year of your discharge date, if you're a veteran. Otherwise, you can apply as soon as you or your spouse are assigned to be stationed in Maryland or, for surviving spouses, within one year of your servicemember spouse's death or their discharge or separation date.

To apply, look for the application for your profession (or the temporary license) near the bottom of the Expedited Licensing web page. You'll need to turn in copies of documentation such as your DD-214, military orders, marriage certificate, death certificate, and/or proof of residence.

If you need a license or certificate for emergency medical work, other health care occupations, or teaching, you can also see the resources on the Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013 web page.

Small Business Contracts with the State of Maryland

If you have a small business that is veteran-owned or disabled veteran-owned, you can get an advantage when bidding for work contracts with the State of Maryland. By law, state agencies are required to try to give a certain percentage of their contracts to veteran-owned small businesses.

To be eligible for this benefit, you'll need to certify your veteran-owned business with the Center for Verification and Evaluation. Then, you should register on eMaryland Marketplace for free, where you can see the current work that's available.

More information is available at the Department of General Services.

Military Personnel and Veteran-Owned Small Business No-Interest Loan Program

You may be eligible for a no-interest loan through the Military Personnel and Veteran-Owned Small Business No-Interest Loan Program. This can allow you to buy equipment with a loan from $1,000 to $50,000, with a loan maturity that's often one to eight years.

To be eligible for a no-interest loan, you must have a small business and meet ONE of the following qualifications:

  • Be a member of the Guard or Reserves called to active duty
  • Employ a member of the Guard or Reserves called to active duty
  • Employ a veteran with a service-related disability
  • Be a military veteran

You might also qualify if you're a veteran who is trying to start a small business.

For more information or to get a loan application, you can contact the individual listed at the bottom of the No-Interest Loan Program web page.

Insurance Producer License Exam Reimbursement For Eligible Veterans

You can use your GI Bill benefits to get reimbursed for approved certification and licensing tests to become a Maryland insurance agent. You can use your benefits to pay for:

  • Tests you didn't pass
  • Tests you retake after you didn't pass
  • Tests required for recertification or renewal of a license

To apply for this benefit, you can visit the Maryland Insurance Administration web page.

Other Veteran Benefits

The state of Maryland can help you with tax benefits, survivors' benefits, military driver's licenses and plates, legal services, financial assistance, hunting and fishing licenses, and much more.

Military Retirement Pay Income Tax Deduction

If you get military retirement income, you can exempt the first $5,000 of it from your Maryland State income tax. This exemption increases to $15,000 when you turn 55. To be eligible for this benefit, your retirement income must be from:

  • Your training and service under the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 or a later, similar act
  • Being a member in an active component of the US Armed Forces
  • Being a member in a reserve component of the US Armed Forces
  • Being a member of the Maryland National Guard

This exemption may also apply if you receive military retirement income as the spouse of a military retiree.

You can find out more by visiting a nearby office of taxpayer assistance. Locations are available on the Maryland Comptroller website.

Vehicle Registration Tax Credit

When you move to Maryland, you're required to get a new title for your motor vehicle within 60 days. If you show your military identification card or the equivalent, you can get an excise tax credit.

To qualify for the credit, you must be a current military servicemember on active duty or an immediate family member of one. In addition, you must not have been a Maryland resident for more than a year.

Alternately, you can get this tax credit if you're a Maryland resident returning to Maryland and you're on active duty (or an immediate family member of such a servicemember). You must get your vehicle titled within a year of returning to Maryland and show proof of your military status.

You can learn more about titling your vehicle on Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration website.

Exemption of Vessel Excise Tax

If you have a boat and are on active duty in Maryland, you can get a one-year exemption from Maryland's vessel excise tax. You must have a vessel that's registered in another state that you've brought to Maryland because you were transferred here by the military.

This exemption does not, however, apply to buying a new boat.

You can learn more about boat registration on the website of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Veteran Designation on Maryland Driver's Licenses

You can get the word "veteran" on your Maryland driver's license. When you go to your Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration office to get your driver's license renewed, you'll need to show them ONE of the following documents:

  • Your DD-214 form
  • An Honorable Discharge Certificate
  • A letter from the Military Records Personnel Center in St. Louis that confirms you're a veteran

If you don't have one of these documents, you can get a letter proving your veteran status from a Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Service Office.

Military-Related License Plates

You have many options for specialty military license plates from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. You can view a full list of the different plate options online.

These plates can be used on:

  • Motorcycles
  • Passenger cars
  • Multi-purpose vehicles
  • Trucks of 10,000 pounds or less

To apply for a specialty military license plate, you must complete and turn in:

You can send your application and a copy (or copies) of your documentation to the address at the bottom of the application.

License Plates for Disabled Veterans

You may be able to get disabled veteran license plates. They are free if you have been rated as 100% disabled or if you're receiving benefits at the 100% level because of unemployability.

To apply for these plates, you can either visit your nearest Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration office or you can mail your application to the Specialized Tag Unit.

When you submit your application, you will need to include:

Some of the types of vehicles you can put your disabled veteran plates on include multi-purpose vehicles, passenger cars, or trucks trucks with a manufacturer's rate capacity of one ton or less. To learn more, visit the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration website.

Maryland State Park Day-Use Waiver for Veterans & Servicemembers

You can get free entrance to Maryland State Parks if you're a Maryland veteran, a veteran from another state, servicemembers on active duty, or Maryland National Guard member.

The waiver doesn't apply to any other people in your vehicle, unless the park charges per vehicle.

Wounded Warrior and Veteran Outreach Program

The Wounded Warrior and Veteran Outreach Program offers a variety of outdoor activities that can improve your mental and physical health and the health of your family members.

There are a variety of activities available, including fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, biking, horseback riding, ropes courses, hunting, camping, and more.

Some of the specific programs that are available include:

You can learn more on the website of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Complimentary POW-DAV Hunting Licenses

You can get a free lifetime hunting license if you're a:

  • Maryland resident
  • A veteran with a 100% service-related disability OR a former POW

You'll need to show documentation from the VA of your disability or POW status. You can apply for the license at a Department of Natural Resources Licensing and Registration Service Center.

If you are planning on hunting in Maryland, there are some rules you will need to know and follow. These are covered by the "Hunters in the Armed Forces" heading on the linked web page.

Legal Services

If you need legal services, the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs provides a current list of providers you can turn to. Those listed can help veterans, current servicemembers, and military families. Simply contact any provider to learn their requirements.

Maryland Veterans Service Animal Program and Fund

The Maryland Veterans Service Animal Program and Fund helps to first educate veterans about the benefits of service and support dog programs, especially how they can help disabled veterans. This fund also helps pay for the training and placing of service animals.

If you want to find a service dog or guide dog, you can learn more on the Guide and Service Dogs web page.

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans

The Commitment to Veterans program helps veterans and their families adjust to civilian life. It connects these individuals with health programs, especially substance use disorder and mental health services. Program coordinators can give you more information, connect you with community resources, and help you overcome obstacles.

You can learn more on the Commitment to Veterans website, including their current contact information if you have any questions.

Veterans Trust Fund

If you're experiencing a financial problem, you can apply for help from Maryland's Veterans Trust Fund, which receives donations from Maryland's businesses, organizations, and citizens.

If you want to apply for assistance, you can contact the Grant Administrator listed on the Veterans Trust Fund web page to request an application.

MDVA Cemetery Program

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) currently operates five state veterans cemeteries in Maryland. For qualified veterans, you can receive a variety of free benefits, including a burial location, grave liner, interment services, and headstone.

Dependents can also be buried with their veteran family members for a fee.

To be eligible for free interment at one of the cemeteries, the veteran must be a Maryland resident. The cemetery will need copies of the veteran's military discharge document and proof of residency.

You can pre-register for interment through the Pre-Application for Interment form, which you can send to one of the cemeteries listed on the application. This pre-application can make the process easier when the time for burial comes, but it doesn't guarantee your eligibility.

Veteran Benefits Assistance

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) is your resource when you need help applying for benefits from Maryland, the VA, and other private programs. This assistance extends to you, your family, and your survivors.

MDVA Service Officers are available across Maryland, and the first time you visit an MDVA office, the staff will determine how to best serve you by:

  • Examining your DD-214 form or another separation document
  • Reviewing your service background
  • Deciding what VA programs and/or Maryland programs will best serve you
  • Creating a claim for disability compensation or pension for you, if applicable

Once you start actually applying for benefits, they can track your claims and help you if any complications develop while they're being processed. They'll also make sure any benefits awarded are the best you can get and help you look for even more.

Military Personnel Record Requests

When you apply for benefits, you often need a copy of your discharge documents. You can request copies of your military personnel records through the MDVA Baltimore Regional Office, if they have them on file and if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You're a World War II veteran who was a Maryland resident when you entered the service
  • You were discharged after October 15, 1979 and had a Maryland address at the time

If you do not meet these you conditions, you may instead need request your records from the National Archives.

About Low VA Rates

Low VA Rates can help you in your search for a great veteran loan rate in Maryland. Contact us toll-free at 866-569-8272 or request an online quote for Maryland veteran loans.

When you're choosing a lender, you need one that has experience helping veterans, and Low VA Rates has focused on helping servicemembers and veterans for many years. You can trust us to help you find VA loans in Maryland that will meet your specific needs.

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