Missouri

Missouri's Veteran Benefits

Missouri has a respectable number of federal and state programs that benefit veterans and current military personnel. You can enjoy low-cost home loans, educational and employment advantages, tax breaks, military income, low-cost licenses, and more. These benefits are meant to serve and show appreciation for those who have sacrificed for our country.


Please use this guide from Low VA Rates to learn more about benefits in the Show Me State. If you see one that might apply to you that you're not using, contact the Missouri Veterans Commission to get help in pursuing it.

Missouri Residents Save

$143/mth

Savings based on 2015 active loan data

17Lunches

*Based on an average lunch price of $8.08

Veteran Home Loans

VA Loans


If you're serving in the Air Force, Army, or Marines and are stationed in Missouri, buying a home near the military base you're stationed at could help you enjoy the freedom of homeownership while maintaining the convenience of living near base.





Both active duty servicemembers and retired veterans living in Missouri can qualify for a VA loan. If you're looking to afford a new home, a VA loan is a great option to help you save money on such a large purchase.

 

VA Loans & Missouri's County Limits


VA loans are issued by private lenders using the VA's guidelines. The VA guarantees the repayment of part of each loan to lenders, in case the borrower doesn’t repay it. That guaranty helps lenders like Low VA Rates offer amazing terms, such as:

  • Lower-than-average interest rates
  • No down payment requirement
  • An easy qualification process
  • No private mortgage insurance (PMI) payments

To find the best interest rates and terms, you should get quotes from several lenders that are knowledgeable about VA loans. You'll also want to make sure that they are licensed in Missouri. Low VA Rates can help you on both counts.


If you decide to pursue a VA loan, you’ll need to know the maximum dollar amount of a loan you might qualify for. That amount will determine which houses you can afford, and it can change depending on which county in Missouri you're in.





Find out if you qualify for a VA loan by calling Low VA Rates at 866-569-8272. Or learn more about the benefits of getting a VA loan.

First Place Loan Program


The State of Missouri offers the First Place loan program to veterans who qualify for it. Veterans using the program can get assistance purchasing their first home in one of two ways:

  1. Cash assistance that helps the veteran pay for closing costs and/or a down payment (if their loan type requires one)
  2. Non-cash assistance where veterans are given a lower interest rate for multiple loans types, including  FHA, VA, USDA, or Fannie Mae MyCommunityMortgage® mortgages

To qualify for the First Place program, a veteran must:

  • Have served on active duty
  • Have applied for this mortgage within 25 years of leaving active duty
  • Be able to show his or her status with DD Form 214
  • Qualify for a loan base on credit score and income eligibility
  • Get a signed Statement of Service that shows his or her Active Duty Service Date

Veteran Housing Benefits

Property Tax Credits


Some veterans in Missouri who are rated 100% disabled by the VA can claim a tax credit for part of their annual real estate taxes or rent payments. The credit can be up to $1,100 on real estate taxes and $750 on rent payments. It varies based on the household income and the amount of their real estate taxes or rent.

Missouri State Veterans Homes


Veterans in Missouri are blessed with seven different veterans homes that provide skilled nursing care. These facilities are located in Warrensburg, St. Louis, St. James, Mt. Vernon, Mexico, Cape Girardeau, and Cameron. A veteran's eligibility is based on these criteria:

  • Discharge under conditions that were not dishonorable
  • Having been a resident of Missouri for 180 days or more at any point
  • A doctor's recommendation for skilled nursing home care
  • A decision from the home's healthcare team that the veteran could be successfully cared for by their facility

Veteran Employment & Education Benefits


Missouri's State Approving Agency (SAA) approves programs that veterans and others can take advantage of with their GI Bill. These programs help over 20,000 veterans with both education and employment opportunities at over 1,000 institutions and businesses.


Education Benefits

Missouri Returning Heroes Act


This benefit reduces the tuition of some combat veterans so that they only have to pay a maximum of $50 per credit hour. To qualify, you must attend one of Missouri's public colleges or universities. You must also use the benefit before it expires at the end of the 10th year after your final discharge from the military.


Some of the other qualification requirements for this benefit include:

  • Serving after September 11, 2001, as a veteran of armed combat
  • Being a Missouri resident when you entered the military
  • Having been discharged from the military under honorable circumstances
  • Earning and maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher

 

You may also qualify if you were in the National Guard or Reserves, as long as you saw full-time armed combat for 30 consecutive days or longer.

Wartime Veteran's Survivors Grant Program


Each year, this program makes grants available that can pay a certain amount toward tuition, room and board, and the cost of books. These grants go to the spouses and children of veterans who meet one of two conditions:

  • Suffered injuries or died because of combat or because of illness that resulted from combat OR
  • Became at least 80% disabled because of accidents or injuries suffered during combat after September 11, 2001

The veteran must also have been a resident of Missouri when he or she entered the service or at the time of the injury or death.


Only 25 students can win this grant each year. To qualify for this benefit initially, the student must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a citizen, permanent resident, or lawful resident of the United States
  • Be accepted for or enrolled in at least half-time undergraduate studies at a participating public university or college
  • Be either the veteran's child and younger than 25 years old or be the veteran's spouse, either at the time of injury or death or within 5 years of the injury

Students can renew their application for this grant if they maintain the above requirements. In addition, they must continue to earn at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average (CGPA).

To apply, fill out the Wartime Veteran's Survivors Grant Program Application and then mail it to:

 

Missouri Department of Higher Education

Attn: Wartime Veteran's Survivors Grant

P.O. Box 1469

Jefferson City, MO 65102-1469


Alternatively, the application can also be faxed to (573) 751-6635. Just remember to write "Attention: Wartime Veteran's Survivors Grant" on it.

In-State Tuition Eligibility for Military Servicemembers and Dependents


This benefit allows military personnel who are stationed in Missouri, as well as their spouses and dependents, to be considered to have Missouri resident status. Gaining residency allows military personnel and their families to enjoy the same tuition rate and state aid as a Missouri resident when attending public colleges and universities.


This benefit may also apply to military personnel who are in the process of separating from the military with an honorable or general discharge, as well as those who are serving in the Guard or Reserves. Under these conditions you can:

  • Qualify for in-state tuition at a public university or college by demonstrating your presence in Missouri and declaring residency there
  • Qualify for in-state tuition at a public community college by demonstrating your presence in the taxing district and declaring residency there

Operation Recognition: High School Diplomas for Veterans


Veterans whose high school experience was interrupted by military service can receive an honorary high school diploma through this program. Civilian prisoners of war (POWs) can also receive diplomas. To qualify, civilian POWs just need to be current or former residents of Missouri.


Veterans need to have served in the US military, been honorably discharged, and be a resident or former resident of Missouri. If they also weren't able to finish high school after their service, they or their family can apply for the diploma. Family members can even apply on behalf of a deceased veteran.


To apply, call the Missouri Veterans Commission at (573) 751-3779 or download the application form.

State Approving Agency


Do you qualify to use veterans education benefits? Missouri's State Approving Agency (SAA) oversees the education programs at which you can use your benefits in Missouri. The SAA reviews, approves, and monitors these programs at schools and training locations.


You can see all the programs that Missouri's SAA has approved. Just visit the VA's Web Enabled Approval Management System (WEAMS). Here’s how:

  1. Visit the WEAMS website
  2. Click on Missouri on the map of the US
  3. View the list of institutions that run approved programs and then click on an institution's name to see their:
    • Contact information
    • Monthly housing allowance rate codes
    • Name(s) of certifying official(s) for the institution's programs

You can use contact information to call the staff at any institution and talk to them about their programs. Or, if you have more general questions, you can contact Missouri's SAA using the contact information on the Veterans Education page of their website.


Employment Benefits


Missouri's Show-Me Heroes Program


As part of the Show-Me Heroes program, employers can receive a 50% reimbursement of an employee's wages is that employee is a veteran. This program encourages businesses to hire veterans, allowing them to enter the civilian workforce more easily.


In addition, veterans benefit from the program by receiving up to 6 months (1040 hours) of on-the-job training while earning an income. In order to qualify, a veteran must simply be honorably discharged and within one year of their discharge date. Spouses may also qualify. To get started, contact the program by calling (800) 592-6020.

On-the-Job Training Program


Missouri also offers other on-the-job training programs for veterans in addition to the Show-Me Heroes program. Some veterans may even qualify to participate in both programs simultaneously.


Each veteran participating in Missouri's on-the-job training programs will participate in the training for at least 6 months and as long as 2 years. During this time, in addition to earning wages, the participating veteran will also receive monthly payments ranging from $276 to $1,341, depending on their entitlement.


To get started, you should call the Veterans Affairs office at (888) 442-4551 to find out if you're eligible and to get help applying. Next, you'll ask a Veteran Representative at your nearest Missouri Career Center to help you find a training position. Finally, once you have an employer, ask that employer to get the position approved through Missouri's SAA. Not all positions can be approved.


Apprenticeship Programs


Another related on-the-job training program are apprenticeships. These opportunities combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction of at least 144 hours per year, and they usually last from two to five years. While working in the apprenticeship, you'll also get payments from the GI Bill to help with educational costs.


It's not required for veterans, but if you register with the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, you can earn documents proving your journeyman status in your trade once you complete the program. Common apprenticeship trades include roofer, sheet metal worker, plumber, electrician, and ironworker, but there are many more.


Startup for Soldiers Program


Do you want to start a business in Missouri? If you're on active duty and stationed in Missouri, or a member of the Missouri National Guard, you can register a new business without paying the filing fee. The fee is waived when you file for an LLC, corporation, or nonprofit, as well as other business types.


To be eligible, you'll need to:

  • Be on active duty in the military and show proof of active service
  • Currently live in Missouri

To apply, file your eligibility documentation in person at any of these locations, or you can mail your documentation to:


Corporations Unit

James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center

P.O. Box 778

Jefferson City, MO 65102


You can also file electronically, but the filing fee can't be waived when you use that method. To receive a refund of the fee, call the Startup for Soldiers program at (866) 223-6535 on the same day you file.


Veterans Preference for State Employment


If you're a resident veteran and you apply for a state government job from a Merit System agency, you'll get 5 points added to any test that's part of the application process. If you were disabled as a result of your service, you'll get 10 points added. This benefit can also apply to your spouse. For non-Merit System agencies contact the agency to see if they offer veterans preference.


Veterans Employment Preference for the City of St. Louis


If you apply to work for the City of St. Louis and you're a veteran, by law you'll receive preference points added to your application, which can make it easier for you to get a job. Please note, however, that these points don't guarantee that you'll get a position.


You can receive up to 100 preference points in a number of ways, including:

  • One extra point for passing a Civil Service examination
  • Five points added to your score if you didn't get any other preference points
  • Ten points added to your score if you're a disabled veteran and didn't receive any other preference points

Missouri State Parks Veteran Recruitment Program


Missouri State Parks, by law, give employment preference to veterans who apply to work for the parks, as well as to their family members and survivors. Veteran applicants, their family members, and survivors must have similar qualifications to other applicants for the same job.


When you apply for a position with Missouri State Parks, include your military experience with your application. To check out the currently available jobs, visit the Missouri Department of Natural Resources online.

State Contract & Business Preference for Disabled Veterans


In Missouri, the Division of Purchasing attempts to award at least 3% of their service contracts to business that qualify as a service-disabled veteran business enterprise (SDVE). When bidding for purchasing contracts, preference for SDVE businesses is generally given by awarding their bid 3 bonus points.


However, it is important to note that SDVE businesses are required to:

  • Perform the same or better quality of work
  • Charge the same or less than other comparable businesses
  • Renew their certification as an SDVE business every 3 years

To apply as an SDVE business, you can download the application. For more information about this preference, including instructions to fill out the form and other related resources, visit Missouri's Office of Administration website.


Waiver of Reinstatement Fee for Corporations Owned by Servicemembers


If a business owned by a servicemember is dissolved because their annual registration report was not filed due to military service, they can have the reinstatement fees, penalties, and charges waived by Missouri's secretary of state. However, they will still be required to pay any regular annual registration report fees that are still owed.

Missouri Job Center Priority of Services


If you or your spouse use a Missouri job center and you're an eligible veteran, understand that you should get access to services there before, or instead of, non-eligible persons. These free services include:

  • Career counseling
  • Job placement assistance
  • Job application assistance
  • Education on searching for jobs
  • Computer usage with internet access
  • Special needs technology and software access
  • Instruction on how to use computer programs
  • Cover letter & resume assistance
  • Interview preparation
  • Referrals to trainings and job positions

To qualify, you'll simply need to have served in active duty for at least a day and to have been discharged in any condition other than dishonorable—or be the spouse of an eligible veteran.

Troops to Teachers


Using benefits from the GI Bill, this program helps veterans with any amount of military service to start new careers as public school teachers. In addition to more traditional teaching roles, veterans in this program can also teach trades, including welding, auto mechanics, carpentry, and computer repair, if they have qualifying experience.


Another option for veterans in this program is to become a non-instructional employee. These roles could include becoming a school media specialist, speech therapist, principal, counselor, and many more.


Through this program, veterans can receive up to $5,000 in reimbursements to pay for any certifications that they may need, and some veteran teachers can even receive a bonus of $10,000 if they work in certain schools serving a large amount of low-income families. The only stipulation is that the veteran must agree to work in the same school for three years.


Licensure & Certification Test Benefits


If you need to take a certification or licensing test in order to practice an occupation or show that you are qualified for an occupation, the VA can pay for it through the GI Bill—up to $2,000 per test. Check with the VA first to see if you're eligible by calling (888) 442-4551.

Professional Licensure Benefits


Many professions that require licensure in Missouri offer benefits for servicemembers. What these benefits are, however, varies depending on on each profession's governing board. Some of these benefits, though, may include:

  • Granting temporary licensure for those with PCS orders
  • Allowing military training and experience to count towards licensure requirements
  • Waiving or extending deadlines for continuing education requirements
  • Allowing licenses to remain valid throughout the course of active duty and up to 6 months after
  • Reducing license renewal fees

Some of the professions that offer one or more of the above licensing benefits include:


For more information about waived requirements for professional licensing and certification in Missouri, you can also check out Missouri Revised Statute Chapter 41.950. This law includes links to other covered professions.


Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Exam Exemption


If you're a veteran or on active duty, you can get out of the commercial driver's license skills test, though you will still need to take the knowledge test to earn your license.


To qualify for this benefit, you need at least 60 days of military experience driving a commercial vehicle within the two years before you apply.


Military Unemployment Benefits for Trailing Spouses


There's a special benefit for you if you're the spouse of a reserve or active duty military person in Missouri: you can apply for Missouri unemployment benefits if you choose to resign from your job in order to move with your spouse who is being relocated by the military.


If you work for the federal government and your spouse is going to leave the country for military work, make sure to file your unemployment claim before you leave the country. Then, you can file weekly claims from anywhere in the world. File an unemployment claim online, or call one of the Regional Claims Centers.

Other Veteran Benefits

Income Tax Exemption


In Missouri, all income earned as an active duty member of the military can be deducted from a resident's taxable income. Basically, this means Missouri does not tax military income. In addition, they also do not tax military retirement income.


Missouri Mental Health Assistance


Missouri's Department of Mental Health maintains an online map that shows the locations of mental healthcare providers that can help veterans. The providers are not endorsed by the Department, but the map is updated every month. In addition, this website also provides resources for post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide prevention, and other mental health issues veterans and servicemembers may be struggling with.


Veteran Disabled License Plates


If you have a service-connected disability, you can get a free set of disabled veteran license plates. You won't be charged any fees, even if you choose to personalize your plate configuration. After your one free set of plates, you'll be charged for any additional sets of disabled veteran license plates.


To be eligible for this benefit, you must:

  • Be a Missouri resident
  • Have a service history with the US military
  • Have an honorable discharge

If you want to apply for disabled veteran license plates:


If you also want the wheelchair logo on your disabled veteran license plates, you'll also need to include a Physician's Statement for Disabled License Plates or Placards (Form 1776). This form must be filled out by a healthcare professional of one of the types listed on the second page of the form. The form is valid for 90 days after it's completed.


Veteran Designation on a Driver's License or ID


If you're a veteran, you can request to have the word "VETERAN" appear on the back of your Missouri driver's license or Missouri identification card. There's no additional charge to receive this optional designation, you'll simply pay the regular amount for a driver's license or ID card.


When you apply for a driver's license or ID card, you’ll submit one of these documents:

  • A DD Form 214 showing an "honorable" or "general under honorable conditions" discharge status
  • A United States Uniformed Services Identification Card that shows a "retired" or "reserve retired" discharge status
  • A VA photo identification card
  • Any one of the following discharge documents showing a discharge status of "honorable" or "general under honorable conditions":
    • WD AGO 53
    • WD AGO 55
    • WD AGO 53-55
    • NAVPERS 553
    • NAVMC 78 PD
    • NAVCG 553
    • DD 215

If you don't have any of those documents, you may be able to receive a letter from the Missouri Veterans Commission that will serve instead. You can mail whatever documentation you do have, plus your contact information, to the Missouri Veterans Commission. They’ll decide if your documentation is equivalent to one of the documents above and send you the letter.


Renewing Driver's License by Mail (Military and Dependents Only)


Sometimes, when it's time to renew your driver’s license or get a duplicate driver's license, you're out of state or even overseas on active duty. In this situation, Missouri allows members of the military to renew their license by mail using Form 4317.


To take advantage of this benefit, read and follow the instructions for the form carefully before filling it out. When you submit the form, you'll also need to submit photocopies of the required documents listed on page 2 of the form.


You will also need to submit the required fee at this time. You can pay using a check or money order, but remember to write your driver's license number on either of those. If you pay by credit or debit card, a convenience fee will be charged.

Hunting and Fishing Licenses


If you're a veteran who was were honorably discharged, you may be able to hunt and fish without a permit in Missouri, as long as you either:

  • Have a 60% or greater disability rating because of your service
  • Were a prisoner of war (POW)
  • Are assigned to a Warrior Transition Brigade or Unit, or
  • Are a patient in a military medical center

If you qualify, you simply need to have documentation proving your status. This is usually either a certified statement of eligibility from the VA, assignment orders, or admission verification papers.


If you're a reserve or National Guard member and you've been mobilized under federal orders sometime in the last 12 months—or are still mobilized—you can get a hunting and fishing license for just $5. However, you will still need to be hunter education certified.


If you're on active duty and stationed in Missouri, both you and members of your family can enjoy the resident rate on a fishing and hunting licenses. In addition, if you were unable to use a permit in full because of a deployment, the state will give you a new permit for free upon your return.

State Veterans Cemeteries


Eligible veterans and their spouses and dependent children can receive free services at Missouri's state veterans cemeteries, which are located in Jacksonville, Ft. Leonard Wood, Bloomfield, Springfield, and Higginsville. Benefits include:

  • Military honors for veterans
  • Upright granite headstones
  • Perpetual care
  • Opening and closing of graves
  • Concrete grave liners, if necessary
  • Interment services
  • Pre-registration

Please note that being a Missouri resident is not a requirement.

Veteran Benefits Assistance


Missouri's Veterans Service Program employs Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) who counsel and assist Missouri's veterans and their dependents.


VSOs educate veterans on both federal and state benefits and help them apply for these benefits. In addition, they can also help veterans follow up on claims in order to seek the maximum available benefits. Veterans can even talk to VSOs about VA loans, healthcare eligibility, and many other benefits.


If you'd like to find the VSO closest to you, the state provides a Service Officer Locator to make it easy to get started.


Specialized Assistance


Missouri has special initiatives to serve underrepresented populations within the veteran community, including women veterans, minority veterans, and incarcerated veterans.

About Low VA Rates


Low VA Rates is a lender focused on serving veterans and current military personnel by helping them get the VA loans they need. Ever since we opened our doors, we've been serving people like you, and we've gained a deep understanding of the unique procedures involved in creating VA loans.


If you're shopping for VA loans in Missouri, call Low VA Rates at (866) 569-8272, or start an application online. Either way, we'll get you a fast, friendly quote so we can get to work finding Missouri veteran loans that fit your unique needs.