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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

Al - Alabama Veterans Benefits

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Legislative Act No. 173, Regular Session 1945, approved June 23, 1945, created the State Department of Veterans Affairs of Alabama, to function under a State Board of Veterans Affairs. Operation of the Department began officially on October 1, 1945, as provided in the Act.

The State Board of Veterans Affairs consists of the Governor, as Chairman, and representatives from veterans organizations in Alabama, namely: The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, American Veterans, Veterans of World I of the USA, Inc., American Ex-Prisoners of War, Inc. and Vietnam Veterans of America. Any other veterans organization having a national charter authorized by an Act of Congress and operating through local organizations in Alabama may be represented on the Board, the number of representatives being determined on a basis of membership of each veterans organization.

Personnel of the Department consists of a State Service Commissioner (Director), Assistant State Service Commissioners as the State Board deems necessary; County Veterans Service Officers and Veterans Affairs Assistants in all of the 67 counties of Alabama; Veterans Service Officers assigned to the four U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers; Claims Representatives; clerical and stenographic employees.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Headquarters Office is located in the RSA Plaza Building, Suite 530, 770 Washington Avenue in Montgomery. The mailing address is Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs, P.O. Box 1509, Montgomery, Alabama 36102-1509. The offices of our County Veterans Affairs Officers are located in the local courthouse or in the immediate vicinity. The County Veterans Service Officers and Veterans Affairs Assistants also perform itinerant service within the counties.

The State Department of Veterans Affairs, acting through the Director, is the designated agency of the State of Alabama to represent the State and its veterans before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (formerly the Veterans Administration), or any other agency dealing with the interests of the veteran. The Director, with the approval of the State Board, is empowered to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states under which veteran who are residents of such the states may be rendered service in the State of Alabama.

It is the duty and purpose of the Department to fully develop and maintain a comprehensive statewide veterans' assistance program; to assist the veteran and his dependents in all their problems and to inform them of all their rights and entitlements under "veterans" laws. It is the duty of the Director to cooperate with all other departments of the State of Alabama in coordinating plans and programs of state agencies which affect veterans and their dependents. Included in such other departments are Military, Education, Human Resources, Industrial Relations, Planning Board, Board of Health, Personnel Board and any other state agencies which might furnish services to veterans. The Department, through its Director, provides a central contact between federal agencies dealing with the problems of veterans, such as: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of the Army, Department of the Air Force, Department of the Navy, Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. State Department, Social Security Administration, Selective Service and other government agencies on one hand, and the said state agencies on the other.

It is the duty of the State Service Commissioner (Director), Assistant State Service Commissioners, County Veterans Service Officers and Veterans Affairs Assistants to inform members of the armed forces, veterans, and their dependents of all federal, state and local laws enacted for their benefit. To aid all residents of the State of Alabama who served in the armed forces of the United States, their relatives, beneficiaries and dependents to receive from the United States and the State of Alabama any and all compensation, pension, hospitalization, insurance, educational, employment pay and gratuity, loan guarantee or any other aid or benefit to which they may be entitled under existing laws and laws to be enacted. Veterans in Alabama have the advantage of being in position to personally contact and receive service from the Veterans Service Officer or Veterans Affairs Assistants of the Department in the veteran's home county.

There is no charge to any individual for any service performed by the Alabama State Department of Veterans Affairs.

Under Act No. 302, General Acts, 1947, the Department with the approval of the State Board of Veterans Affairs, may contract with any veterans organization which has maintained regularly for a period of five years next preceding the date of such contract an established committee or agency to render certain services to veterans and their dependents and be reimbursed therefor. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 31-5-5)



Exemption is provided from ad valorem taxation of the home of any person who is totally disabled or who is 65 years of age or older, and who had a net annual income of $7,500.00 or less for income tax purposes for the last preceding year. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 40-9-21)


The home of any veteran which is or was acquired by him pursuant to the provisions of Public Law 702, 80th Congress (specially adapted housing grant) as amended by (38 USC) regardless of its value shall be exempt as long as the same is owned and occupied as a home by the veteran or his un-remarried widow. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 40-9-20)


The property of all incompetent veterans to the value of $3,000.00 is exempt from ad valorem taxation. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 40-9-1 (17)


Any disabled veteran of WW II or of any hostilities in which the United States was, is or shall be engaged against any foreign state who owns an automobile which has been, is or shall hereafter be all or partly paid for with funds furnished for such purposes by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), under the authority of any act of the Congress of the United States is entitled to exemptions from all license fees and ad valorem taxes on such motor vehicle provided the veteran keeps the vehicle only for private use. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 40-12-254)


All property owned by the American Legion or by Veterans of Foreign Wars or by the Disabled American Veterans, or any post thereof; provided, that such property is used and occupied exclusively by their organization. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 40-9-1(4)


Click here to view a sample of available tags


Any veteran resident requiring special mechanical control devices to operate a vehicle because of service-connected disabilities; or a veteran whose service-connection exceed 50%, may be entitled to a special license plate for all vehicles owned by the veteran (solely or jointly). A tag fee must be paid, plus ad valorem taxes. The tag shall not be transferable. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 32-6-130 as amended)


Service-connected disabled veterans, any active or retired member of the Alabama National Guard or any resident of Alabama at the time of entering the United States armed forces reserve organization who are still residents of Alabama at the time the exemption is claimed, shall be exempt from the operation of the privilege or license tax and registration fee now and hereinafter to be levied on automobiles and motor vehicles by the State of Alabama. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 40-12-244)


Any person who was a member of the United States armed forces on December 7, 1941, was on station or offshore at a distance not to exceed three miles, during the attack on the Island of Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, and received an honorable discharge from the United States armed forces may be issued a distinctive motor vehicle license tag identifying said persons as Pearl Harbor Survivors upon the payment of the regular fee and the additional payment of $3.00 for each plate issued. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 32-6-310)


A distinctive permanent license plate shall be issued to any resident of the state who is a recipient of the Medal of Honor or Purple Heart Medal or who is a duly recognized American prisoner of war, or who is an American who was a duly recognized prisoner of war while serving with a formal American ally force, for use on a private motor vehicle registered in the recipient's name. There shall be no fee or tax except Purple Heart Medal recipients shall pay ad valorem taxes and no recipient shall receive a plate for more than one vehicle. The recipient may keep the tag for life and does not need to re-register each year. Upon the death, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to retain the tag, at no fee or tax except the surviving spouse of Purple Heart Medal recipients shall pay ad valorem taxes due for one private motor vehicle owned by the surviving spouse for the remainder of the said spouse's lifetime or until remarriage. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 32-6-250 as amended)


Those persons who are non-disability retirees from active duty in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard of the United States may be issued distinctive motor vehicle tags identifying these persons with such retirement. Retirees are entitled to a distinctive tag for each vehicle registered in their name and must pay regular license fee and the additional payment of $3.00 for each tag issued. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 32-6-290 thru 295)


The commemorative tags for Atomic Veterans NUKED are for veterans of the U.S. armed forces exposed to dangerous levels of radiation due to atomic bomb and weapons testing from 1946 to 1962, the Veteran Tag Program for Vietnam veterans, Korean War veterans, WW II veterans, veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, and Veterans of Desert Shield/Storm. This commemorative tag fee shall have an annual fee of $3.00 plus the normal tag and issuance fee and ad valorem taxes.

An applicant for an Atomic Veterans NUKED or for any other veteran tag shall be a veteran of the appropriate conflict or otherwise qualified for a veteran tag and the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs shall certify that the veteran is eligible for the appropriate veteran commemorative tag. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 32-6-150 as amended)



Members of the armed forces of the United States and their dependents may register and receive an absentee ballot for voting in the county of their Alabama permanent address by completing the federal postcard application form, "Federal Post Card Registration and Absentee Ballot Request" (Standard Form 76). This form may be obtained from the military unit's voting officer. The completed form should be mailed to the Board of Registrars in the county of his/her Alabama permanent address. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 17-10-3)


A gratuity in the amount of $500.00 shall be paid to any person who entered the armed services while a bona fide resident of the state of Alabama and who was imprisoned as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia. If the person qualified for the payment of this bonus died while a prisoner, the gratuity shall be paid to the next of kin. All applications for bonus or gratuity payments must be made to the State Department of Veterans Affairs. No payment shall be made except on applications duly received and approved by the said agency. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 31-7-1 thru 5)


Any bona fide permanent resident of Alabama who is a veteran of the Spanish American War, WW I, WW II or at any time past, present or future, when the United States was, is or shall be engaged in hostilities with any foreign state and who has physical disabilities of 25% or more whether service-connected or not, who conducts their business as a means of livelihood through their personal efforts and has no more than one employee and whose property (both real and personal) is valued at less than $5,000.00 and net income is less than $2,500.00 is entitled to businesses and occupations license exemptions of $25.00 for each state, county and municipality. There is not a deadline on these exemptions. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 40-12-340 thru 352)


Alabama veterans who served in the armed forces of the United States between September 16, 1940 and the termination of WW II or at any subsequent time when the United States was, is or shall be engaged in hostilities with any foreign state are entitled to exceptions on business of occupation license of $35.00 for each the state, county and municipality for a period, as to WW II veterans, or six years from July 24, 1953, or six years after date of discharge from military service, whichever is later. Post Korean veterans (Vietnam) have for a period of six years from January 1, 1964 until May 7, 1975, or six years after date of discharge, whichever is later. Such veterans whose property is valued at $7,000.00 or more, or whose net annual income is $3,000.00 or more, is limited to $15.00 exemptions from the state, county and municipality. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 40-12-370 thru 377)


Whenever it appears that an incompetent veteran of any war, military occupation or expedition is eligible for treatment in a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center is necessary for the proper care and treatment of such veteran, the courts of this state are hereby authorized to communicate with the administration with reference to available facilities and eligibility and, upon receipt of a certificate from the administration stating that there are facilities available in a VA Medical Center is entitled to hospitalization therein, the court may then direct such veteran's commitment to such hospital. Notice of such pending proceedings shall be furnished the person so committed, and his right to appear and defend shall not be denied. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 26-9-13)


Acknowledgments, proof of conveyance and affidavits may be taken by certain government, state or municipal officials or by any commissioned officer of any of the armed forces of the United States, within or outside the limits of the United States, and when such acknowledgment is taken by the latter, no seal of office is required and the signature of such commissioned officer is prima facie proof of his authority, and is retroactive as of December 7, 1941. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 35-4-26)


All debts or extensions of credit incurred pursuant to any provision of the act of Congress known as the National Housing Act, as the same now exists or may hereafter be amended or supplemented, and all debts or extensions of credit incurred pursuant to any act of Congress relating to veterans' benefits, as the same now exists or may hereafter be amended or supplemented, are exempt from any law of this state relating to usury or prescribing or limiting interest rates. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 8-8-6)


Any fiduciary engaged in war service may be removed from this office as such upon petition filed in the proper court having jurisdiction and again serve as such fiduciary at any time after the termination of their war service upon petition of the court. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 19-2-2)


Any person who is totally disabled and who has been a bona fide resident of this state for not less than six months preceding the date of application may, upon the payment of a license fee of $1.00, procure a special annual fishing license. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 9-11-54)


No corporate franchise shall be forfeited for non-use, if any of the managing officers of such corporation become engaged in military service of the United States and as a result thereof the corporation suspends operations, if the corporation has paid all its franchise and other taxes to the State. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 10-2-211)


The Uniform Veterans' Guardianship Act provides for the appointment of a guardian for veterans and their minor dependents who are mentally or physically incapacitated. This Act outlines the appointment process, duties, responsibilities, limits, taxing of costs and fees of guardianship. The control and accountability of the beneficiary's estate and income include only moneys received by the guardian from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and all earnings, interest and profits derived. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 26-9-1)


No exemption is available for hunting license due to disability.


County and municipal officials who enter the military or naval service at a time when a state of national emergency has been declared to exist by the President of the United States, have preservation of job status and reemployment rights. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 36-8-1 thru 6)

Any teacher entering the military service of the United States, who is not on continuing service status but who has accumulated one or more years of teaching experience immediately prior to entering military service, shall be given credit for such experience if such teacher is reimposed within one year after release from military service. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 16-24-13)


Retirement benefits rights of state employees and teachers who enter the armed forces and return to state employment after discharge are preserved. A member who enter the armed services and does not withdraw contributions, and who returns to said employment within one year after being honorably discharged, may be granted credit for military service up to four years, provided the employee pays an amount equal to four percent of the average compensation paid to a state employee during each claimed year of full-time military service, plus and together there with eight percent interest compounded from the last date of such claimed military service. The contributions must be made within a period of time equal to the length of service in the armed forces or before attainment of age 60, or in the case of a state policeman, age 56, whichever occurs first. No credit for military service shall be granted if such member is receiving military service retirement benefits. (Code of Alabama, Section 36-27-4 & 16-25-3)


Money paid by the United States to a person as compensation for active service as a member of the armed forces of the United States in a combat zone designed by executive order of the President of the United States shall not be subject to income taxes levied by the State of Alabama for the calendar year 1965 or any subsequent year. (Code of Alabama 1974, Section 40-18-3)


All officers and employees of the State of Alabama, or of any county, municipality, or other agency or political subdivision thereof, who shall be active members of the Alabama National Guard or naval militia, or of the Officers' Reserve Corps of the United States Army, or of the reserve components of the United Stated armed forces, shall be entitled to military or naval leave of absence from their respective civil duties and occupations on all days that they shall be engaged in field or coast defense or other training or on other service ordered under the provision of the below cited statute, or of the National Defense Act, or of the federal laws governing the United States reserves, without loss of pay, time, efficiency rating, annual vacation, or sick leave, but no such person granted such leave of absence with pay shall be paid for more than 21 working days at any one time. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 31-2-13)


Effective January 1, 1989, and for all successive tax years, all retirement or compensation received as retirement benefits by any person retired from the military service of the United States of America and survivor benefits derived therefrom is hereby exempt from any state, county or municipal income tax or like tax whatever name called. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 40-18-19 as amended)


A written notice or communication from the Department of Defense, the Adjutant General of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy or other officer charged with the duty of sending such notice or communication to the effect that any person in the armed forces of our country, or serving as auxiliary thereto, is dead shall be accepted as evidence of the death of such person. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 12-91-90)


An official written report or record or duly certified copy thereof, that a person is missing, missing in action, interned in a neutral country, or beleaguered, besieged or captured by an enemy or is dead or is alive, made by any officer or employee of the United States authorized by any law of the United States to make same, shall be received in any court, office or other place in this State as evidence as to the status of the person. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 12-21-91)


Any peace officer who becomes a member of the fund and who left employment and entered directly into the armed forces of the United States and who returned to work as a peace office within six months after release or discharge shall receive prior employment service credit for service in the military not to exceed five years. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 36-21-69)


All persons who have been honorably discharged from the United States armed forces at any time shall have five points added to any earned ratings in examination for entrance to the state classified service. Those honorably discharged veterans with the present existence of a service-connected disability and entitled to pension, compensation or disability allowance under existing laws shall have 10 points added to any earned ratings. Wives and widows of certain disabled or deceased veterans may have the 10 point preference extended to them and added to any earned ratings. (Code of Alabama, Section 36-26-15)


One copy of any public record (birth or marriage certificate, divorce decree, etc.) is furnished free of charge when required by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be used in determining the eligibility of any person to participate in benefits made available by their federal agency. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 26-9-12)


Honorable discharges and certificates of honorable service are recorded free of charge by probate judges. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 31-1-1)


A person who served in the armed forces of the United States and who is unemployed may be entitled to unemployment compensation based on their honorable military or naval service. Contact the nearest State Employment Compensation Claims Office. Pension or disability payments provided by the United States to the individuals who have completed the period of military service may disqualify such individual from receiving unemployment compensation. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 25-4-78)


Marriages of all persons subsequent to a divorce decree granted in the State and not prohibiting the person from remarrying, are declared to be valid, notwithstanding that the decree of divorce did not specifically confer on such person the right to remarry. Many claims for pension and compensation against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have been made effective by this law. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 30-2-9)


The will of a person, executed while in the armed forces, is admitted to probate when subscribing witness or witnesses are out of the state at the time the will is offered for probate; or when places of address of witnesses are unknown, upon oath of at least three persons that the signature to said will is in the handwriting of the person whose will it intends to be. Such will is acceptable when so proved. (Code of Alabama 1975, Section 43-8-167)


Alabama G.I. and Dependents' Scholarship Program

This program is administered by the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs and is governed by the Code of Alabama 1975, Section 31-6-1. The veteran must meet the following qualifications to establish eligibility of his/her dependents:

Military Service: The veteran must have honorably served at least 90 or more days of continuous active federal military service or honorably discharged by reason of service-connected disability after serving less than 90 days.

Disability Requirements:

The veteran must be rated 20% or more due to service-connected disabilities or have held the qualifying rating at the time of death or

be a former prisoner of war (POW) or

declared missing in action (MIA) or

died as the result of a service-connected disability or

died while on active military service in the line of duty.

Residency Requirements: The veteran must have been a permanent civilian resident of the State of Alabama for at least one year immediately prior to (a) the initial entry into active military service or (b) any subsequent period of military service in which a break in service occurred and the Alabama civilian residency was established.

Permanently service-connected veterans rated at 100% may qualify after establishing at least five years of permanent residency in Alabama prior to filing of an application or immediately prior to death, if deceased.

Dependent: Child, stepchild, spouse or un-remarried widow(er).

Entitlement: Four standard academic years or part-time equivalent at any Alabama state-supported institution of higher learning or a prescribed course of study at any Alabama state-supported technical school without payment of any tuition, required textbooks or laboratory fees.

Exception: A spouse or un-remarried widow(er) of a veteran who is rated 20 - 90% due to service-connected disabilities are only entitled to two standard academic years without payment of tuition, required textbooks and laboratory fees or a prescribed technical course not to exceed 18 months of training.

Widow(er) forfeits benefits upon remarriage. Spouse forfeits benefits upon divorce from veteran in which the spouse derived their eligibility.

These entitlements may be applied at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Age Deadline: The child or stepchild must initiate training prior to their 26th birthday. Age 30 deadline may apply in certain situations.

There is no age deadline for submission of the application by the spouse or un-remarried widow(er).

Application Assistance: Our Veterans Service Officers maintain an office in each county of the State. They can furnish information and assist in filing your application. Their office is located in the county courthouse or in the immediate vicinity. You may received additional information by writing: Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs, P.O. Box 1509, Montgomery, Alabama 36102-1509.


The American Legion and Auxiliary, Department of Alabama, offers one hundred fifty $850.00 scholarship at Alabama state-supported colleges.

Eligibility: Sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters of veterans of W.W.I, W.W.II, Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon/Grenada, Panama and Persian Gulf.

Residency Requirements: Resident of Alabama.

Application Deadline: May 1.

Application/Information: Contact your Veterans Service Office in your local county or send a stamped, self addressed envelope to: The American Legion and Auxiliary, P.O. Box 1069, Montgomery, AL 36101-1069.

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