State of Texas- Veterans Benefits

Education Benefits

What is the Hazlewood Act?
The Hazlewood Act or Hazlewood Exemption, is an education benefit specific to the
State of Texas that provides for up to 150 hours of tuition exemption and most related
fees to qualified Texas veterans and to their spouses and dependent children. This
benefit can only be used at public institutions of higher education in the State of Texas.
This benefit does not cover books, living expenses or supply fees.

Does my dependent qualify to receive benefits?
Dependent children of Texas military service members who are currently deployed
outside of the United States and are serving in a combat zone are eligible to use the
benefit for an exemption of tuition only.
A child of a Texas service member who was a dependent at the time any of the following
occurred is eligible for tuition exemption and most fees:
• Service member was killed in the line of duty or dies as a result of an illness or injury
directly related to their military service
• Service member was missing in action
• Service member who receives 100% disability rating as a result of their service and
has a 100% individual unemployable rating by the VA

Does my spouse qualify to receive benefits?
Yes. A legal spouse of a Texas Veteran who was killed in the line of duty, or dies as a
result of an injury, is missing in action or receives a 100% disability rating as a result of
their service is eligible to participate in the Hazlewood Act.

What residency requirements must be met?
In order to be eligible for the Hazlewood Exemption, a Veteran must have been a
resident of Texas when they entered the service, declared Texas as their home of record
in accordance with military guidelines, or entered the service in the State of Texas.
Dependents using benefits under the Hazlewood Act must be classified as residents of
the State of Texas for the term they apply to use the Hazlewood Exemption.

Are members of the Texas National Guard and Texas Air National Guard and their dependents eligible for the Hazlewood Exemption?
Members of the Texas National Guard or Texas Air National Guard are not eligible for
benefits under the Hazlewood Act. However, the Hazlewood Exemption is extended to
dependents of Texas National and Texas Air National Guard members who were killed
in the line of duty or who are completely disabled for purposes of employability by the
Department of Veterans Affairs since January 1, 1946.

Can a Veteran transfer his eligibility to a dependent?
Yes. An eligible Veteran can transfer up to 150 semester credit hours to their dependent
child (biological, stepchild, or adopted child). In order to be eligible, the child must be
25 years or younger on the first day of the semester, must make satisfactory academic
progress in accordance with the institutionʼs policies and must be a resident of the State
of Texas.

Is there a minimum length of service to qualify for benefits under the Hazlewood Act?
Yes. Service members must have completed more than 180 days of active duty
service, excluding training, to qualify for this benefit unless they died in the line of duty
or completed their service prior to the end of the Korean War.

Does the Hazlewood Act cover graduate courses?
Yes. The Hazlewood Act may be used to cover graduate studies for any program of
study at a public institution in the State of Texas as long as the Veteran has not used
150 credit hours under the Hazlewood Act benefits since the Fall of 1995.

Can a Veteran lose their eligibility under the Hazlewood Act?
Yes. Veterans who are in default on any federal education loan or loan guaranteed by
the State of Texas are disqualified from receiving benefits under the Hazlewood Act.

Can a Veteran receive benefits under the Hazlewood Act and Federal education benefits at the same time?
Yes. As long as the Veteran is not receiving benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill they
are eligible to receive both benefits simultaneously if federal benefits do not equal or
exceed the benefit received under the Hazlewood Act.

Property Tax Exemption

Is there a property tax exemption available for Veterans in the State of Texas?
Property tax exemptions are available for disabled veterans who are rated at least 10%
by the Department of Veterans Affairs or a branch of the Armed Forces. The exemption
applies to all taxes levied by tax authorities in the State and is taken from the appraised
value of the Veteranʼs property.

Does a disabled Veteranʼs dependents qualify for a Property Tax Exemption?
If the Veteran dies while serving on Active Duty, their surviving spouse and minor
children qualify for property tax exemption.

How is the exemption rate determined?
The exemption rate a Veteran qualifies for is determined by their disability rating
determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs or a branch of the Armed Forces.
The higher the Veteranʼs disability rating, the higher their exemption.

Home Loans

What is the Veteranʼs Land Board (VLB)?
The Veteranʼs Land Board was established in 1946 to administer benefits exclusive to
Texas residents.

What is the Veterans Housing Assistance Program?
The VLB established the Veterans Housing Assistance Program (VHAP) in 1983 to
assists Veterans in purchasing a single family residence for an amount up to $325,000,
with little or no money down at below-market interest rates. The residence must meets
the following requirements:
• Veteranʼs primary residence
• Located in the State of Texas
• Single family attached or detached home, town home or condominium
• Multi-family units such as a duplex must have been constructed at lest 5 years prior to
loan closing
• New construction homes must meet certain Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
and Energy guidelines

Are there any restrictions when using the VLB Veterans Housing Assistance
All loans are subject to credit approval. Homes secured using the Veterans Housing
Assistance Program must remain the veterans primary residence for at least three years
and must be occupied within 60 days of the closing the loan.

Are there additional benefits for disabled Veterans?
Yes. Qualified Veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of at least
30% are eligible to receive a reduction of one-half of one percent on the available VLB
interest rate.

Are there an benefits for surviving spouses?
Yes. Unmarried surviving spouses of service members who were Texas residents killed
in the line of duty, are missing in action, or died as a result of a service-connected cause
and had a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 30%, are eligible
to receive a reduction of one-half percent on the available VLB interest rate.

Can I purchase vacant land or does it have to be a single family residence?
Yes. The VLB has made it possible for Texas Veterans to own their own piece of Texas
through the Veterans Land Loan Program. Through this program, Veterans are able to
purchase land for a minimum of 5% down at below-market interest rates.

What is the Texas Veterans Home Improvement Program (VHIP)?
In 1986 the VHIP was introduced to provide Texas Veterans with below-market interest
rates for improvements and repairs to their existing homes. The VHIP loan can be used
to correct hazardous conditions, repair damage caused by a natural disaster, and
substantially improve the livability or energy efficiency of the residence. Contact the VLB
for a list of eligible and ineligible improvements under the VHIP loan.

Employment Assistance

What Employment Assistance Programs does the State of Texas offer?
The State of Texas offers the following programs to assist Veterans in finding and
securing employment:

Veteranʼs Preference– A wartime Veteran, as well as surviving spouses and orphans of those killed in active duty, have a preference of employment with State agencies and offices. State agencies must practice veteranʼs preference until they have a minimum of 40% veteran employment. Non-retired veterans employed by the State of Texas are able to claim up to 60 months of their military service towards retirement by contributing to the Retirement System for the amount of time they are claiming.

Priority of Service- Veterans and their qualified spouses are given priority over non-veterans in obtaining services for full employment, training and placement. Visit your nearest Workforce Center to take advantages of these benefits you earned.

Skills for Veterans- This initiative by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) provides funding to eligible businesses who hire post-9/11 veterans. Through this program, Veterans hired by participating employers will receive up to $1,450 to be used for job specific training over a 12-month period.

Re-Employment Rights- Veterans who were employed prior to military services are entitled to reemployment rights provided their absence from employment was not greater than four years.

Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Program- The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program is available to service members, veterans and eligible dependents. This program is free and offers educational and vocational counseling to help an individual select, plan for and achieve their career goal.
VA Claims Assistance

Where can I get help submitting my claim for Veteran benefits?
The Texas Veterans Commission was established for the sole purpose of assisting
veterans, their surviving spouses and dependents in filing VA disability claims, including
VA appeals. The State of Texas provides expert counselors to veterans and their
families and leads all other large states in the monetary recovery of the compensation
and pension benefits due veterans.

Other Benefits

Are there are any other benefits offered in the State of Texas to Veterans?
The State of Texas offers many benefits to Veterans. Some of these additional benefits

State Veterans Nursing Home- Skilled nursing home care is provided for Texas
veterans, their spouses, and some parents. Daily out-of-pocket rates are well below
average at a VLB Texas State Veterans Home since the VA subsidizes a a large portion
of the Veteranʼs cost.

Fishing and Hunting Licenses for Disabled Veterans- Disabled Veterans with a
qualify service rating are eligible to purchase fishing and hunting licenses at a discount.

Free Drivers License for Disabled Veterans- Veterans with a qualifying service connected disability are provided a Texas drivers license at no cost.

Free State Park Admission for Disabled Veterans- Veterans with qualifying service connected disabilities receive free admission to Texas State Parks through the State Parklands Passport.

Specialty License Plates- Speciality license plates, including Medal of Honor, Purple
Heart, Pearl Harbor Survivor, Former Prisoner of War and Disabled Veteran are
available to Veterans through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

Burial Benefits- The Texas Veterans Land Board operates cemeteries in the cities of
Abilene, Killeen and Mission. Corpus Christi has also been selected as a future site.
Texas State cemeteries are available for veterans and their eligible dependents

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