Pennsylvania's Veteran Benefits

As the home to numerous heroic veterans and active duty military servicemembers, Pennsylvania offers them numerous benefits: retirement income, preference for government job interviews, VA home loans, temporary financial assistance, free and reduced-rate licenses, veterans homes, and more.

Keep reading to discover benefits you might be eligible for and to find out how to pursue them. There are many resources and people who can help.

Pennsylvania Residents Save


Savings based on 2015 active loan data


*Based on an average lunch price of $8.08

Veteran Home Loans

If you're serving in the Army or Navy and are stationed in Pennsylvania, you might want to consider the convenience of buying a home near one of the Army or Navy bases shown in the following graphic.

If you want to buy your own home and are a veteran living in Pennsylvania, or an active servicemember stationed here, a VA loan can help you buy that home.

The VA guarantees a part of each VA loan. If a veteran doesn't pay, the guaranty helps protect the private lenders who issue VA loans. Because the loans are guaranteed, lenders can offer special benefits to borrowers, such as:

  • No down payment requirement to purchase a home
  • Lower interest rates than what most other mortgage types offer
  • An easier qualification process than other loan types require
  • No need to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI)

Since private lenders offer VA loans, you can shop around to see who offers you the best terms. However, keep in mind that you'll probably want to choose a lender, like Low VA Rates, who is both very experienced in VA loans and can help veterans in Pennsylvania.

To pre-qualify for a loan, go ahead and give a Low VA Rates loan specialist a call at 866-569-8272. You can also visit us online at our VA loans web page to learn more.

Veteran Housing Benefits

Property Tax Exemption

If you own a home, you may qualify to have pay $0 towards your annual property tax in Pennsylvania. There is a number of eligibility criteria you will have to meet, but some examples include:
  • Honorable military service
  • Active service during wartime
  • Pennsylvania residency
  • A disability caused by your service that was rated by the VA as complete or permanent

There may also be income and other requirements, as well as separate criteria for surviving spouses.

Veterans Homes

Pennsylvania veterans and their spouses may be eligible to live at one of Pennsylvania's veterans homes. In order to qualify, the veteran must have received a discharge under honorable conditions, and they must meet all other requirements.

There are six veterans homes,with locations in the following cities:

  1. Spring City
  2. Pittsburgh
  3. Scranton
  4. Philadelphia
  5. Hollidaysburg
  6. Erie.

These homes offer a superior level of extended care, including skilled and personal nursing care. The cost to stay is based on each person's means.

Veteran Employment & Education Benefits

Employment Benefits

Pennsylvania Veterans Registry

Interested veterans can sign up for the weekly newsletter from Pennsylvania's Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA). This newsletters includes a section advertising employment opportunities for veterans, as well as breaking news and information about other benefits you could be eligible for.


CareerLink is available to help all people in Pennsylvania find jobs. However, they also offer special services for veterans looking to get started with a career in the civilian world. These services include a military skills and experience translator.

In addition, they have specially trained veterans' employment representatives that can help you with:

  • Job placement services
  • Referrals to training programs
  • No-cost career counseling

They can also answer any questions you might have about job fairs, apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs, and unemployment payments.

Finally, all veterans get priority when it comes to being referred for trainings and job placements, with disabled veterans receiving the top spot on their lists

Preference for State Jobs

Veterans applying for state jobs will be given 10 extra points on any tests they pass, which helps give them preference during the hiring process. This benefit applies as long as the veteran had an honorable discharge and was active duty after August 2, 1990. In can also apply to spouses of disabled veterans who can't work, as well as the surviving spouses of disabled veterans.

Retirement Benefits

If you retire from the military due to either age or years of service, your retirement income from the military is not taxable to the state of Pennsylvania.

In addition, veterans who've worked for the state for three years or longer may qualify to apply their active duty service time to purchase credit toward retirement pay. They needan honorable discharge to be eligible.

Income Tax

If you are a Pennsylvania resident and earn active duty pay outside the state, Pennsylvania will not tax you on that pay.

Education Benefits

Veterans Educational Gratuity

Children of veterans may be eligible for tuition assistance with a maximum of $500 per term or semester of school, up to eight semesters. In order for a child to be eligible, their veteran parent must meet the following qualifications:

  • Have been honorably discharge
  • Have a complete and permanent disability received from his or her service
  • Active duty during wartime or armed conflict
  • Deceased in service during wartime or armed conflict

The student must be between 16 and 23 years old, a resident of Pennsylvania for at least five years before applying for this benefit, and going to an approved Pennsylvania school. The student also must show a certain level of financial need.

Priority Course Scheduling

Veterans can receive priority course scheduling at Pennsylvania public community colleges, state universities, and state-related universities. You can find out the specific policy at your college or university from their Office of Veterans Affairs or Services.

To qualify for this benefit, you must fit all these criteria:

  • Be a veteran
  • Be admitted to a public higher education institution
  • Be a resident of Pennsylvania while enrolled

Other Veteran Benefits

Veterans' Temporary Assistance

This is a Pennsylvania program providing temporary monetary help to veterans and their dependents. Up to $1,600 per year can be given for necessary living expenses such as food, fuel, medical care, clothing, and shelter. In order to be eligibility, the veteran must have:

  • Residency in Pennsylvania
  • Prior active duty military service
  • An honorably discharge
  • A disability certified by the VA as connected to military service
  • Demonstrated financial trouble
  • A loss of ability to earn enough money to provide for the necessities of life

An unmarried surviving spouse can also claim the same benefits if the veteran would have been able to qualify prior to death.

Military Family Relief Assistance Program (MFRAP)

This benefit provides grants up to $3,500 to relieve the financial burden of military families who are struggling because of emergency situations that they have no control over.

Example of qualifying situations include:

  • Unexpected losses of property, assets, or income which are related to military service or other circumstances
  • A disaster that leads to a lack of ability to pay for the necessities of life
  • The illness or death of a family member, which causes expenses that the servicemember can't pay for, such as hotels, travel, or necessities of life
  • Child care expenses that the servicemember can't pay for

There are various eligibility requirements for the program, including current military service. In addition, family members of a veterans can also apply for assistance through the program, under certain conditions.

Blind Veterans Pension

An additional income of $150 per month is available for veterans who have lost most or all of their sight because of their military service. They must have been discharged under honorable conditions. Veterans' eligibility is dependent on their Pennsylvania resident status when they joined the military.

Paralyzed Veterans Pension

This benefit of $150 per month is available for veterans who have lost—or lost the use of—two or more extremities as a result of their military service. These extremities can include arms, hands, legs, or feet. To qualify, the veteran must have been a resident of Pennsylvania upon entering military service, and they must have served honorably.

Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Licenses

Pennsylvania's county treasurer provides free hunting, fishing, and fur trapping licenses for veterans who served in the military during wartime and have 100% disability. With a disability of 60–99%, you can still receive a license for less than the normal cost.

Additionally, active duty Pennsylvania residents who are home on leave are able to pick up a free fishing license and a hunting license at a reduced cost. Non-residents who have been stationed in the state by the military can get a fishing license for the same price that residents enjoy.

DD214/215 Program & Records Request Program

The state recommends that you can and should use this this program to record your discharge and service record documents (DD214 or DD215) at your county courthouse. Doing so allows you or your next of kin to later pick up certified copies of your documents for free, anytime in your life or after your death.

These documents are very important for establishing your eligibility for a variety of benefits, so having backups could help you and your family. They can help you when applying for certain jobs, during reenlistment, and in other situations. If you haven't yet received your documents, it could help to know that if you seek them now, you can then safely store them at the courthouse for the rest of your life.

Veteran Designation on Driver's License or State ID

Pennsylvania law provides a way for you to have very clear designation of your veteran status on your driver's license or ID card. In many situations, having the veteran designation means you don't need ot carry documents proving your status.

To be eligible, you must have a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty document—or its equivalent—from a branch of the military. The Department of Military and Veterans affairs will check your background to make sure you didn't have a discharge that was other than honorable.

National Veterans Cemeteries

There are three open national veterans cemeteries in Pennsylvania: one in Bridgeville, one in Annville, and one in Newtown. Eligible veterans can receive a gravesite, a Presidential Memorial Certificate, a government headstone, and a flag. Call your county director of veterans affairs or a funeral director if you need to use this benefit.

Burial Honors Program

The family of an eligible veteran can arrange for the veteran to receive military burial honors. Veterans service officers in each county can help to arrange them these honors. You'll also want to make sure you discuss using this program with the funeral director.

Veteran Benefits Assistance

Pennsylvania's Office of Veterans Affairs helps veterans and veterans' families by giving information and providing services. They focus on a high quality of service in helping veterans to seek and receive county, state, and federal benefits. They can also help veterans prepare and send in claims regarding their benefits.

To get their assistance, you can contact any of their field offices. You can also sign up for the DMVA Digest, a weekly newsletter that provides information about benefits, breaking news for veterans, and new job opportunities.

The County Directors of Veterans Affairs are also available throughout the state to help veterans in each local area. They can make you aware of benefits that apply specifically to you, make sure you're eligible, and help you apply for them. They also manage burial allowances, grave markers, and headstones for veterans in their respective county. If you need, you can find your county director in this list.

About Low VA Rates

Low VA Rates helps veterans and active duty military personnel obtain the VA loan they deserve. Because of our years of experience specializing in this service, you can trust us to help you find the low veteran loans rates in Pennsylvania.

If you're shopping for a VA loan of any kind—whether to buy, build, refinance, upgrade, or repair a home—or you just want to know more about them, give us a call at (866) 569-8272. We can give you a free quote tailored to your situation. Or you can start an start an application online.

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