Texas Veterans BenefitsUpdated August 27, 2021 Veterans Benefits
While U.S. veterans enjoy many federal-level benefits and programs designed to honor their service, many U.S. states like Texas offer additional programs and benefits to their veterans. The state of Texas offers a wide variety of extra state benefits and services to honor its military veterans.
11 Important Benefits and Services for Texas Veterans
- Education Benefits
- Employment Services
- Women Veterans Program
- Grants and Funding
- Mental Health Services
- Health Care Advocacy
- Entrepreneur Programs
- VA Claims and Counseling
- Texas Veterans Mobile App
- Texas Veterans Portal
- State Programs for Texas Veterans
The care and advocacy for veterans is extremely important to the people and the leadership of the state of Texas. This commitment is brought to life through the state’s extensive programs and services offered to Texas veterans.
Texas proudly leads the country in the way they treat their veterans. The state makes sure every Texas veteran is cared for, has access to the benefits they’ve earned, and has a voice when it comes to advocacy and legislation that help improve quality of life for all veterans.
What Is the Texas Veterans Commission?
The Texas Veterans Commission is a state agency founded in 1927. Its mission is to advocate for and provide superior service to veterans – all in support of improving the overall quality of life for Texas veterans, their families, and their survivors.
Originally designed to provide services for veterans of the Indian wars, Spanish-American War, and World War I, the scope of the TVC has expanded over time to include all military service veterans. More than 80% of the commission’s employees are veterans themselves, and they remain committed to ensuring that every Texas veteran receives the full benefits and services they have earned through their time of service to their country.
The Texas Veterans Commission coordinates efforts of service providers, facilitates sharing of essential resources, and provides innovative and effective training. The agency also awards grants to organizations to help them meet veterans’ needs, establishing mutually beneficial partnerships with other government agencies to reach the highest level of service for veterans, their families, and their survivors.
The TVC has a stated mission to act as a state-appointed advocate for Texas veterans as they seek to secure the benefits they rightfully have earned through their sacrifice and service to our nation’s armed forces.
Veterans Living in Texas
As of the latest study in 2014, approximately 8% of the adult civilian population in Texas were veterans of U.S. military service. The median age of a veteran in Texas is 63, and approximately half of the estimated 22,000 Texas residents separating from the military each year are age 24 or younger. In addition, women veterans account for approximately 10% of the total Texas veteran population, and the women veteran population has grown considerably in Texas over time.
The veteran population of Texas is unevenly distributed across the state’s geography. Similar to trends at the national level, the counties in Texas with the largest populations typically also are home to the largest numbers of veterans. For example, Harris County, Texas’ most populous county, is home to 187,235 veterans. The counties with the largest numbers of veterans are Harris, Bexar, Tarrant, Dallas, Collin, Travis, Bell, El Paso, Denton, and Montgomery. In addition, more than 40% of Texas’ veteran population called these 10 counties home.
In Texas, roughly 54% of veterans, or 813,594 adults, actively participated in the labor force, accounting for approximately 6.5% of the state’s total workforce.
11 Important Benefits and Services for Texas Veterans
There are several key benefits and services that the state of Texas provides its veterans – we’ve listed a few below. Let’s now take a deeper dive into some of the most important benefits and services the state of Texas provides for its veterans.
1. Education Benefits
Veteran education benefits in Texas are administered by the Texas Veterans Commission, which manages state and federal programs to help ensure that veterans in Texas have access to every educational opportunity possible.
Federal education benefits include education and training programs such as G.I. Bill education benefits for veterans, dependents, and survivors.
A state-level program oversees the administration of Texas’ Hazlewood Act Exemption Program and reimburses some expenses at public higher education institutions. This program also manages the statewide Education Coordinator Program, which partners with local, state, and national veteran groups to promote educational opportunities. Education service officers at military installations encourage active duty members and veterans to use their federal and state educational benefits. Support health and wellness programs are also provided to help former combat veterans acclimate to a non-combat environment.
Other education-related benefits that Texas veterans enjoy include the following:
Texas’ Hazlewood Act provides eligible veterans, spouses, and dependent children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption at public higher education institutions across Texas. This includes most fees but excludes living expenses, books, or specific supply fees.
To be eligible for the benefits specified under the Hazlewood Act, a veteran must have entered active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and with Texas as the stated Home of Record, entered military service in Texas, or was a Texas resident before entering military service.
The veteran must also have received an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions when leaving military service and must have served for at least 181 consecutive days.
Texas veterans cannot use Hazlewood Act education benefits for the same tuition and fees that are paid for by federal education benefits. The veteran must also not be in default of any previous student loan. Any veteran who uses these benefits must enroll at a school that has agreed to accept Hazlewood Act benefits, and the veteran must maintain an appropriate grade point average and remain in good standing.
Eligible spouses and dependent children are eligible to receive a 150-credit hour exemption for educational purposes under the Hazlewood Act.
Montgomery GI Bill
The Montgomery GI Bill is a federal program. Veterans may receive education benefits if they have completed at least two years of active duty service. These benefits may be used to cover costs associated with college degree and certificate training programs, technical or vocational courses, apprenticeships or on-the-job training, flight training, licensing and certification tests, high-tech training, entrepreneurship training, and more.
In some cases, paying for remedial and refresher courses with Montgomery GI Bill benefits may also be approved.
The amount of benefits a veteran can receive is based on the type of training sought, and the length of the veteran’s service. Benefits are also determined by the veteran’s classification, any college fund eligibility, and whether the veteran contributed to the $600 buy-up program.
Veterans typically have up to 10 years to use their MGIB education benefits, though this can vary slightly depending on the specific situation.
Post 9/11 GI Bill
The Post- 9/11 GI Bill is an education benefits program provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for veterans who began active duty service after Sept. 10, 2001. Under this program, veterans may receive any of the following:
- Tuition and fee payment on the veteran’s behalf
- Monthly housing allowance
- Books and supplies stipend
Most veterans are eligible for up to 36 months of entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Veterans can receive benefits for up to 15 years from the last period of active duty service as long as it constituted at least 90 consecutive days.
Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits can be used at colleges, universities, or trade schools, along with on-the-job training, apprenticeships, and even flight schools. These benefits also can be used for tutoring, licensing, or certification tests like the LSAT and MCAT.
Additionally, the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship makes Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits available for children and surviving spouses of service members who have been killed in the line of duty after September 10, 2001.
Any beneficiary who is attending school may be eligible for up to 36 months of education benefits. This includes full tuition and fees paid directly to the school for all public schools for in-state students, a monthly housing allowance, and a stipend for books and supplies.
For beneficiaries who attend private schools, tuition and fees are capped at a maximum amount each academic year. Beneficiaries of the Fry Scholarship, however, are not also eligible for Yellow Ribbon Program benefits.
Yellow Ribbon Program
For veterans who choose to pursue their education through private colleges or universities, the Yellow Ribbon Program is an essential benefit that helps address costs not covered by the GI Bill. While the Post-9/11 GI Bill can be used to pay for all in-state tuition and fees at public colleges or universities, it may not cover costs for private schools or out-of-state tuition. In these cases, the Yellow Ribbon Program often provides additional monetary support for Texas veterans.
Yellow Ribbon recipients typically must meet the same eligibility requirements as those associated with the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The school must meet basic eligibility criteria, including participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program and not exceeding the maximum number of Yellow Ribbon Program participants in a given year.
For eligible veterans, the program works by having the school contribute a certain amount toward the veteran’s extra tuition and fees through a grant, scholarship, or similar program. The Yellow Ribbon Program then matches the amount of this contribution.
Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
The Veterans Educational Assistance Program is available to Texas veterans who contributed a portion of their military pay to participate in this benefits program. All contributions are matched by the government at a 2:1 ratio.
Benefits may be used to cover costs associated with the following:
- College degrees
- Correspondence courses
- Certificate programs
- Flight training
- Technical or vocational courses
- Licensing and certification tests
- Apprenticeships or on-the-job training
- High-tech training
- Entrepreneurship training
- Entrance examinations
Benefits typically must be used within 10 years of separating from military service.
To be eligible for program participation, a military member must have entered active service sometime between Jan. 1, 1977, and June 30, 1985, voluntarily contributed to the program, and completed service with a discharge other than dishonorable.
Military members who want to access their VEAP benefits while still on active duty may do so if they have contributed for at least three months. Enrollment must be approved by the service member’s base Education Services Officer, and service must be verified by the Commanding Officer.
Survivors and Dependents Assistance (DEA)
This essential program provides education and training opportunities for eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled because of a service-connected illness, injury, or disease. These benefits extend to survivors of veterans who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected medical condition.
2. Employment Services
Veterans Employment Services across the state of Texas helps Texas veterans find meaningful work by leading job searches and job matches, providing resumé assistance, coaching, and other tailored, intensive services, building relationships with valued employers, and providing other employment services as tailored to a Texas veteran’s specific needs. Examples of specific services include the following:
Veterans Career Resource Division (VCRD)
The VRCD provides a wide range of individually tailored training opportunities to make sure that Texas veterans are ready with the skills and expertise they need to meet the demands of the Texas job market.
The Division prioritizes the needs of disabled veterans and other veterans groups that may face substantial barriers to gainful employment, as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor. Services the VCRD makes available include job clubs, job search training, resume assistance, job coaching, post-employment follow-up, transition assistance, and more.
Family Employment Division (FED)
As a complement to the VCRD, the FED provides services to veteran spouses, family members, and caregivers if the veteran is a Wounded Warrior assigned to a Wounded Warrior facility. Family career advisors help families with job training, job clubs, resume/application assistance, transition assistance, and more.
Veterans Recruitment Division (VRD)
The Veterans Recruitment Division helps catalyze the employment, training, and employment placement services for veterans across the state of Texas. This essential division actively promotes to employers the tremendous benefits of hiring veterans, along with promoting veterans to various employer associations and business groups throughout the state.
Veterans employer liaisons build relationships within Texas communities, providing a wide range of services to local businesses that encourage and enhance the prioritized recruitment, hiring, and retention of Texas veterans. These liaisons may spend their time attending job fairs and other hiring events, assisting with training opportunities, and helping employers draft job postings that match well with the strengths of Texas veterans.
Veterans’ Employment Preference
As part of Federal-Title 5 of United States Code, Section 2108, eligible veterans are given preference in appointment over many other job applicants when it comes to employment within the federal government. This preference applies to virtually all new appointments. However, it does not guarantee a veteran a particular job, and it does not apply to internal actions – such as promotions, transfers, reassignments, or reinstatements.
Anyone who qualifies for a veteran’s employment preference should be prioritized for employment with a state agency over other applicants for the same position if other applicants do not have greater job qualifications.
Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act
The Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act states that a veteran has the right to be re-employed in his or her civilian job if the veteran leaves that position to participate in active duty service in the U.S. military.
In addition, the following must be true:
- The veteran provides the employer with advance written notice before leaving employment for military service
- The veteran completes five years or fewer of cumulative military service while with the particular employer
- The veteran returns to previous employment or applies for re-employment in a timely manner after military service is concluded
- The veteran separates from military service with a qualifying discharge or under honorable conditions
If all conditions are met, the veteran must be re-employed at the level of position and benefits they would have attained if the veteran had not left employment for military service – re-employed in a comparable position.
3. Women Veterans Program
Designed to ensure that women veterans across the state of Texas have equitable access to federal and state veterans’ benefits and services, the Women Veterans Program educates Texas women veterans about the options available to them.
Through advocacy, creating awareness, and making legislative recommendations, this program helps ensure that the women veterans of Texas – more than 180,000 strong – have full access to the wide array of veterans services they have earned.
I Am Not Invisible
The I Am Not Invisible campaign, which began in Oregon, was founded with the mission of raising awareness of and encouraging dialogue about the particular issues and barriers women veterans face. By spotlighting the faces of this diverse and important segment of the Texas veteran community, IANI brings forward the tremendous contributions that women have made within the armed forces and their communities in Texas.
Women Veterans Day
President Harry S. Truman signed into law the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act on June 12, 1948. This monumental piece of legislation made it possible for women to serve as regular members of the U.S. armed forces.
Women Veterans Day was established in Texas in 2017 to recognize this historical step and to recognize the tremendous and valuable contributions women have made in the U.S. military.
Women Veterans Professional Network
The Women Veterans Professional Network is a closed social media network that establishes a supportive environment in which women veterans can connect with one another to discuss the important topics of employment, women’s health, and women’s entrepreneurship. The community seeks to make sure that its members are fully aware of the services and benefits they earned through their military service, and that they have the support to access them.
4. Grants and Funding
The Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans’ Assistance grant program awards reimbursement grants to eligible charitable organizations, local government agencies, and Veterans Service Organizations that provide direct assistance and services to Texas veterans and their families. Since its inception in 2009, the FVA has awarded more than $168 million in grant funding to organizations that have assisted more than 300,000 veterans and their families.
It’s important to note that the FVA does not award funds directly to veterans. Instead, veterans who need assistance should visit the Texas Veterans Commission website to learn about the local organizations that can help.
Grants and other funding opportunities available through this program include the following:
General assistance grants supply funding to eligible organizations that provide direct services to Texas veterans and their families. These grants address a broad range of needs and are awarded to a wide variety of organizations.
Veterans Mental Health
Veterans Mental Health grants supply funding specifically to eligible organizations that provide mental health services to veterans, including counseling, peer-delivered, and support services.
Housing 4 Texas Heroes
Housing 4 Texas Heroes grants are designed to support eligible organizations who help connect veterans and their families with resources to obtain, maintain or improve their housing.
Veterans Treatment Court
Veterans Treatment Court grants offer necessary funding for local governments to create, expand or maintain a Veterans Treatment Court program.
Highly Rural Transportation Grants (HRTG)
The HRTG program provides grants and other funding to help address the needs of Texas veterans in rural areas who have trouble accessing adequate transportation for medical care.
5. Mental Health Services
The physical and mental health of Texas veterans is of utmost priority to the state. The Veterans Mental Health Program helps service members and their survivors access necessary mental health care and support. Through its work with community organizations, the Veterans Mental Health Program is raising awareness about military-related traumas and helping expand the opportunities available to Texas veterans.
Military trauma-affected veterans and their family members often face difficulties when accessing timely and appropriate mental health resources. This may be due to lack of resources, barriers that prevent access to mental health resources, or a person’s difficulty to recognize their mental health needs. A lack of awareness of military-related traumas may lead to a variety of untreated mental health conditions. The Veterans Mental Health Program aims to change that.
Specific elements of the Veterans Mental Health Program are outlined below.
Military Veteran Peer Network (MVPN)
The Military Veteran Peer Network provides peer to peer support in the form of technical education, training, and certification to local mental health peer service coordinators. These connections allow for the development of a statewide peer-based network of peer support for any veteran facing service-related trauma.
The Texas Veterans Mental Health Program encourages mental health care providers to register for its network. The network allows providers to connect, engage, and share tips and tools to help Texas veterans in need.
The network also provides the opportunity for health care providers to share evidence-based, research-informed best practices for helping service members, veterans, and their families deal with any mental health issues they may face.
The Veterans Mental Health Department (VMHD) provides training and technical assistance to agencies and organizations throughout the Texas criminal justice system. The primary goal of the program is to help improve mental health treatment options for justice-involved veterans who have suffered military-related trauma.
Specifically, the program promotes trauma-informed responses to those within the justice system who have experienced military trauma. The program also helps develop statewide and national curricula around justice-involved veterans that are designed to decrease recidivism and increase jail diversion.
6. Health Care Advocacy
Texas’ Health Care Advocacy Program helps veterans and their families access VA health care facilities and resolve any patient concerns or issues. Collaborating with VA health care providers and support staff, advocates can identify existing or potential challenges and suggest forward-thinking solutions or alternatives.
Advocates also help with congressional inquiries and outreach efforts to increase community and veteran awareness of VHA health care resources and other services for veterans within local Texas communities.
7. Entrepreneur Programs
Texas has always valued an independent and entrepreneurial spirit. The Veteran Entrepreneur Program helps Texas veterans start businesses and teaches them to grow existing businesses through strategic planning, securing capital, and developing fundamental business skills.
The Veteran Entrepreneur Program constantly scans the Texas market landscape so that it’s well-positioned to create programs that enhance the scope of its services. Veteran Business Consultants travel across the state to conduct and facilitate both training and informational seminars.
Additional entrepreneurial support provided to Texas veterans includes the following:
Outreach and Advocacy
The Veteran Entrepreneur Program facilitates three major areas of outreach and advocacy for Texas veterans and their businesses: consultative services, financial services, and education services:
Consultative Services – These services encompass everything from assisting with business plans and securing financing to marketing, government contracting, and formulating an exit strategy.
Financial Services – The VEP connects Texas veteran entrepreneurs with business specialists across the state and assists with referrals to third-party lending institutions to help develop financing options.
Education Resources – The VEP offers educational and outreach resources to veteran entrepreneurs in collaboration with the VEP’s business partners, along with the Small Business Administration, the Small Business Development Center, the Service Corps of Retired Executives, and others.
Veteran-Owned Business Logo
Across the state of Texas, the Veteran-Owned Business logo is the formal veteran business branding program, fully overseen by the Texas Veterans Commission. Using this specific logo allows veterans to differentiate their businesses by informing customers that the business is owned by a U.S. military veteran.
All military veterans are eligible to apply for logo use, as long as the business in question retains 51% veteran ownership and control and is actively doing business in Texas.
Resources & Webinars
The Texas Veterans Commission offers a wide array of free resources and webinars that Texas veterans may find useful as they build their businesses. Resources include a comprehensive guide to starting a business, a guide to Texas licenses and permits, and webinars on women veterans grants, Texas franchise taxing, and more.
The TVC’s resource hub provides veterans with all the background and guidance needed to get an entrepreneurial effort off the ground.
TVC HUB Program
The Texas Veterans Commission’s Historically Underutilized Businesses program serves the dual role of increasing HUB participation through the TVC Purchasing Department and growing the TVC Veteran Entrepreneur Program. The TVC publicizes equitable business opportunities for vendors by helping HUBs acquire certification through the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The program also raises awareness of additional HUB opportunities across the state.
Texas Veterans Mean Business
Texas Veterans Mean Business is a weekly podcast hosted by the TVC’s Veteran Entrepreneur Program. Program highlights touch on business topics of interest to the Texas veteran and small business communities. Texas Veterans Mean Business is available for listening on Spotify, RadioPublic, Google Podcasts, and Breaker.
8. VA Claims and Counseling
The VA Claims and Counseling program in Texas serves veterans, their dependents, and survivors with issues related to disability benefits and compensation. As a subset of the Texas Veterans Commission, this is the specific state agency designated to represent Texas veterans before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The program helps Texas veterans in each of the following areas:
On behalf of the state of Texas, claims benefit advisors of the Texas Veterans Commission serve our veterans, families, and survivors to help ensure that they receive the benefits and services that they are eligible to receive.
A claim benefit advisor can help start and process a VA claim on behalf of a veteran. Many claims benefits advisors are veterans themselves, making them well-positioned to advocate on behalf of veterans and to effectively communicate each veteran’s unique position before the VA. These services are offered free of charge.
Claims benefit advisors also work across the state to advise and support veterans as they move through the appeals process if their initial claim for VA benefits is denied. These services are offered at no cost to the veteran and have the potential to help move an appeal through the process more expediently and with a better outcome for the veteran.
Typical issues that are decided on appeal are claims for disability compensation, education benefits, reimbursement for unauthorized medical services, pension, recovery of overpayments, and denial of burial and memorial benefits.
A claims benefit advisor can help Texas veterans apply for VA disability compensation. The VA pays monthly compensation to eligible veterans with service-related disabilities, injuries, or diseases. The program also provides monthly benefit payments to eligible surviving spouses and dependent children or parents of military service members.
Family & Survivors
The state of Texas recognizes that the spouses, dependents, parents, and other survivors of veterans have unique needs that the state is positioned to help meet. The Texas Veterans Commission can help family members with everything from applying for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits to paying for family caregivers, receiving dependency and indemnification compensation, and accessing widows’ pensions or burial benefits. Members of the Texas Veterans Commission can help guide families through the process, including identifying and assisting with any paperwork required to access the benefits available to families and survivors.
Veterans Service Officers, or as they are known in Texas, Veterans County Service Officers, are appointed by their county commissioner’s court to serve as an additional valuable resource for Texans and their families. VSOs are highly dedicated and professional representatives who can help provide services, assist with claims, and help provide support and education to Texas veterans, their families, and their survivors.
9. Texas Veterans Mobile App
The Texas Veterans Mobile App is Texas provides easy access to essential resources like the Military Veteran Peer Network, the Veterans Crisis Line, the Hotline for Women Veterans, and the Texas Veterans Portal.
10. Texas Veterans Portal
The Texas Veterans Portal aggregates and makes available vital information for veterans from federal and state agencies. For example, the portal features key information for assisting veterans and their families in buying a home or land, finding a job, accessing their education benefits, connecting with veterans’ health care resources, and more.
11. State Benefits for Texas Veterans
In addition to connecting Texas veterans to the federal benefits they have earned, the state of Texas also offers state-level benefits for veterans living in Texas. Here is an overview of some of the state’s key programs.
In the state of Texas, veterans are given preference when it comes to employment with state agencies or offices. As well, surviving spouses and children of military members killed during active service also receive preference. By law, Texas state agencies must practice veterans' preference until 40% of their workforce is composed of veterans.
As an additional benefit, veterans who work for the state of Texas may claim their active-duty military time toward retirement if they submit a formal request. They must also have paid adequately into the state’s Employee Retirement System for time served in the military. All Texas veterans may use military service time toward retirement if they are members of Texas’ Teachers Retirement System.
Property Tax Exemption
Texas law provides for a partial property tax exemption for any property owned by a disabled veteran, surviving spouse, or surviving dependents of a deceased disabled veteran. Texas also provides a partial exemption for residence homesteads that were donated to disabled veterans by charitable organizations.
This exemption extends to a surviving spouse who has not remarried. The total amount of the exemption ultimately is determined by the percentage of the service-connected disability.
Veterans Employment Services
The Texas Veterans Commission matches Texas veterans to available jobs, while counseling employers to hire veterans who are qualified and available to work. Through this program, employment representatives offer individualized assistance to veterans as they complete job applications and prepare resumes.
The program helps a veteran search for work that matches the veteran's qualifications. Individualized assistance is provided to disabled veterans and to veterans who face additional barriers when seeking employment – for example, the program is particularly beneficial for Texas’ homeless veterans.
No-Cost Medical Records
In Texas, as specified by Health and Safety Code, Chapter 161, Subchapter M, veterans may receive one full copy of their medical records at no charge. However, keep in mind that a physician, health care facility, or other health care provider may charge a veteran for any additional set of medical records. Some medical facilities may charge a nominal administrative fee for gathering and compiling medical records.
Specialty License Plates
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles offers a collection of specialty license plates designed for both U.S. military veterans and military medal honorees. These options are available to Texas veterans at either no cost or for a reduced cost.
There are three categories of Texas military license plates:
- Meritorious Service
- Recognition Award
- Military Service
A veteran’s first set of Meritorious Service license plates is issued at no cost to the veteran and registration costs are waived as well. Fees are charged for additional sets of Meritorious Service plates.
Recognition Award license plates require the veteran to pay a $3 fee for the first set of plates, and the state charges no payment for annual registration.
Military Service license plates require the veteran to pay an annual registration fee, but there is no cost for the plates themselves. This is true for both the first set of plates and any additional sets.
Free Recording of Discharges
Texas veterans may obtain a free, certified copy of their discharge documentation whenever they need it. Each county clerk's office is required to record, free of charge, the official discharge of any veteran who served in the U. S. military.
At the time of separation from service, the veteran must take the discharge documentation to the appropriate county clerk to have it filed. At this point, the discharge document becomes a confidential record of the state for 75 years following the filing date.
Veteran Designation Driver's License
The Texas Department of Public Safety offers veterans a special veteran designation on the state’s driver’s license. To prove eligibility for this designation, a veteran must visit a Department of Motor Vehicles office and present military discharge documents showing an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions.
Fishing and Hunting Licenses
The state of Texas offers free hunting and all-water fishing licenses to disabled Texas veterans. To determine eligibility, the veteran must show documentation of a service-connected disability with a disability rating of at least 50%. The veteran also must show that they are currently receiving VA disability compensation.
Hazlewood Act Educational Benefits
The Texas Hazlewood Act specifies that eligible veterans may receive up to 150 credit hours of tuition exemption at an approved state-supported college or university. To be eligible, a veteran must have been a Texas resident when entering military service, entered into active federal duty in the state of Texas, or declared Texas as the home of record when entering military service.
In addition, the veteran must have a military discharge of honorable or general, under honorable conditions and not be in default on any federal education loan or student loan made or guaranteed by the state of Texas.
Disabled Veterans License Plates and Parking Placards
Special license plates are available for disabled veterans, former prisoners of war, Pearl Harbor survivors, Purple Heart recipients, and Medal of Honor recipients. Disabled veterans must have a documented service-connected disability rating of at least 50%, or at least 40% if due to the amputation of a lower extremity.
Eligible applicants must have been honorably discharged to qualify. A surviving spouse of a service member who would be eligible for military or veteran license plates is entitled to one specialty license plate for a vehicle as long as the spouse remains unmarried.
State Park Admission
Through the State Parklands Passport, eligible disabled veterans can obtain free admission to all Texas state parks. To qualify, the veteran must have a service-connected disability rating of at least 60% or have a service-related disability that resulted in the loss of use of a lower extremity.
The State Parklands Passport is available to any U.S. veteran who meets eligibility requirements, regardless of whether they live in Texas. Keep in mind that the program covers the cost of park admission only – veterans may still have to pay other charges, including camping and parking fees.
Home and Land Loans for Texas Veterans
Texas provides several programs to help veterans purchase a home or land.
Texas Veterans Land Board
Through the Texas Veterans Land Board, Texas veterans can receive financing on any tract of land that a veteran would like to purchase. The VLB is a self-supporting organization, funded solely by bonds and fees. Any veteran who has applied for a land loan on or after Dec. 1, 2007, may be eligible for financing through the VLB.
Veterans Housing Assistance and Home Improvement Program
Through the Veterans Housing Assistance and Home Improvement Program, eligible veterans with disabilities can receive an interest rate reduction when buying a home. To qualify, the veteran must show a documented compensable service-connected disability of at least 30% and meet any other eligibility requirements. An award letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will be required as documentation. All Texas Veterans Land Board loans are subject to credit approval.
Veterans Housing Assistance Program
The Veterans Housing Assistance Program provides Texas veterans with financing toward the purchase of a home. These home loans may originate through the Texas Veterans Land Board. They stipulate no maximum home price, and loan terms can be 15, 20, 25, or 30 years. Keep in mind that the VHAP is only available for a first lien on a primary residence – not for refinancing or for use as a down payment.
Texas Veterans Land Board
The Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) will also lend money to eligible Texas veterans on a fixed-rate basis to fund substantial repairs to an existing primary residence. These loans require no down payment and are FHA-insured.
Texas Veterans Cemeteries
The Texas State Cemetery Program provides perpetual, state-managed burial shrines for Texas veterans. The Texas Veterans Land Board currently operates four cemeteries, including the Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Abilene, the Coastal Bend State Cemetery in Corpus Christi, the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen, and the Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission.
Concealed Handgun License Fees
The state of Texas will waive concealed handgun license fees for any original, duplicate, modified, or renewed license for any veteran who was honorably discharged from military service within 365 days before date of application.
When purchasing goods, including agricultural goods, all Texas state agencies are required to give preference to those that are produced or offered by a Texas bidder. Any Texas bidder owned by a service-disabled veteran who also is a Texas resident must be given first preference.
Any goods produced in the state of Texas or offered by other Texas bidders will be considered as second preference, assuming the quality of the products and the cost to the state are equal.
Parking Privileges for Certain Veterans
Disabled veterans may park free of charge at any parking meter operated by a state or local governmental authority. Eligibility includes any Texas vehicle that displays a disabled veteran designation, the Army Distinguished Service Cross, the Air Force Cross, the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Cross, and Prisoner of War or Congressional Medal of Honor winner.
Please note that this stipulation does not apply to parking meters administered or operated by the federal government.
Free Driver’s License for Disabled Veterans
The state of Texas may grant a driver’s license or state ID card for any veteran who is honorably discharged and who can show a documented service-connected disability of at least 60%.
Texas State Veterans Homes
Texas State Veterans Homes offer veterans affordable long-term nursing care. These homes are located in the Texas cities of Amarillo, Big Spring, Bonham, El Paso, Floresville, McAllen, Temple, and Tyler.
State and Federal Benefits for Texas Veterans
If you are separating or retiring from military service and plan to reside in Texas, this guide can assist you in identifying the resources, offices, and services that can help you successfully transition from military to civilian life.
Veterans of the U.S. armed forces deserve all manner of recognition and benefits for the tremendous service and sacrifice they offer our country. The programs and services available throughout the state of Texas are a fitting example of how state leadership can augment the efforts of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in supporting and honoring our military veterans.
Veterans living in Texas can enjoy a large variety of benefits, including financial support, education and training, mental health support, advocacy, and much more. Texas veterans have access to a wide array of programs and services that help them reach personal success and live their best lives. Texas leads the way as one of the most veteran-friendly states in the nation, and it’s an ideal location in which to build a fulfilling post-military life.
Veterans Offices and Facilities in Texas
Veterans Benefits Administration
|Houston Regional Office||6900 Almeda Road|
Houston, TX 77030
|Brooks Air Force Base||San Antonio Outbased VSC Office|
Frank Tejeda Outpatient Clinic
San Antonio, TX 78240
|Corpus Christi Naval Air Station||Corpus Christi VSC Office|
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
|Fort Sam Houston||Brook Army Medical Center|
Center for the Intrepid, Rm 303
Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234
|Lackland Air Force Base||San Antonio Outbased VSC Office|
Frank Tejeda Outpatient Clinic
San Antonio, TX 78240
|Laughlin Air Force Base (No MOU)||San Antonio Outbased VSC Office|
Frank Tejeda Outpatient Clinic
San Antonio, TX 78240
|Randolph Air Force Base||San Antonio Outbased VSC Office|
Frank Tejeda Outpatient Clinic
San Antonio, TX 78240
|Waco Regional Office||1 Veterans Plaza, 701 Clay Av.|
Waco, TX 76799
|Dyess Air Force Base||Airman & Family Readiness Flight|
Dyess AFB, TX 79607
|Fort Bliss||El Paso Outbased Benefits Office|
El Paso, TX 79901
|Fort Hood||Copeland Soldiers Service Center|
Fort Hood, TX 76544
|Goodfellow Air Force Base||Airman & Family Readiness|
Goodfellow AFB, TX 76908
|Houston Regional Loan Center||6900 Almeda Road|
Houston, TX 77030
National Cemetery Administration
|Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery||2000 Mountain Creek Parkway|
Dallas, TX 75211
|Fort Bliss National Cemetery||P.O. Box 6342|
5200 Fred Wilson Rd.
El Paso, TX 79906
|Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery||1520 Harry Wurzbach Rd.|
San Antonio, TX 78209
|Houston National Cemetery||10410 Veterans Memorial Dr.|
Houston, TX 77038
|Kerrville National Cemetery||VA Medical Center|
3600 Memorial Blvd.
Kerrville, TX 78028
|San Antonio National Cemetery||517 Paso Hondo Street|
San Antonio, TX 78202
Veterans Health Administration
|VISN 17: VA Heart of Texas Health Care Network||2301 East Lamar Blvd.|
Arlington, TX 76006
|Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center||2002 Holcombe Blvd.|
Houston, TX 77030-4298
|Katy VA Outpatient Clinic||750 Westgreen Blvd|
Katy, TX 77450
|Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic||3420 Veterans Circle|
Beaumont, TX 77707
|Beaumont Vet Center||990 IH10 North, Suite 180|
Beaumont, TX 77702
|Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic||2206 North John Redditt Drive|
Lufkin, TX 75904-1776
|Conroe VA Outpatient Clinic||690 South Loop 336 West|
3rd & 4th Floors
Conroe, TX 77304
|Galveston VA Outpatient Clinic||3828 Avenue N|
Galveston, TX 77550
|Humble VA Outpatient Clinic||1485 FM 1960 Bypass Rd|
Humble, TX 77338
|Lake Jackson VA Outpatient Clinic||208 Oak Drive South|
Lake Jackson, TX 77566
|Longview CBOC||1005 N. Eastman Rd.|
Longview, TX 75601
|Richmond VA Outpatient Clinic||22001 Southwest Freeway|
Richmond, TX 77469
|Texas City VA Outpatient Clinic||9300 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway|
Texas City, TX 77591
|Tomball VA Outpatient Clinic||1200 W. Main Street|
Tomball, TX 77375
|Beaumont Vet Center||990 IH 10 North|
Suite 180 Beaumont, TX 77702
|Houston Southwest Vet Center||10103 Fondren Road|
Suite 470 Houston, TX 77096
|Houston West Vet Center||701 N. Post Oak Road|
Houston, TX 77024
|Spring Vet Center||14300 Cornerstone Village Dr.|
Houston, TX 77014
|Amarillo VA Health Care System||6010 Amarillo Boulevard|
West Amarillo, TX 79106
|Central Texas Veterans Health Care System||1901 Veterans Memorial Drive|
Temple, TX 76504-7451
|El Paso VA Health Care System||5001 North Piedras Street|
El Paso, TX 79930-4211
|South Texas Veterans Health Care System||7400 Merton Minter Blvd.|
San Antonio, TX 78229
|VA North Texas Health Care System||4500 South Lancaster Road|
Dallas, TX 75216
|VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System||2601 Veterans Drive|
Harlingen, TX 78550
|West Texas VA Health Care System||300 Veterans Blvd.|
Big Spring, TX 79720
|Dallas VA Medical Center||4500 S. Lancaster Rd.|
Dallas, TX 75216
|Doris Miller Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center||4800 Memorial Drive|
Waco, TX 76711
|Kerrville VA Hospital||3600 Memorial Blvd|
Kerrville, TX 78028
|Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center||1201 E. 9th St.|
Bonham, TX 75418
|Austin Outpatient Clinic||7901 Metropolis Drive|
Austin, TX 78744
|Balcones Heights Outpatient Clinic||4522 Fredericksburg Road|
Suites A-10 and A-88
San Antonio, TX 78201
|Corpus Christi OPC||5283 Old Brownsville Road|
Corpus Christi, TX 78405
|Corpus Christi PACT Annex||5227 Old Brownsville Road|
Corpus Christi, TX 78405
|Corpus Christi VA Specialty Outpatient Clinic||205 S. Enterprize Parkway|
Corpus Christi, TX 78405
|Fort Worth Outpatient Clinic||2201 SE Loop 820|
Fort Worth, TX 76119
|Frank M. Tejeda VA Outpatient Clinic||5788 Eckhert Road|
San Antonio, TX 78240
|Laredo Outpatient Clinic||4602 N. Bartlett|
Laredo, TX 78041
|Lubbock Clinic||6104 Avenue Q South Drive|
Lubbock, TX 79412
|McAllen Outpatient Clinic||901 E. Hackberry Ave.|
McAllen, TX 78503
|North Central Federal OPC||17440 Henderson Pass|
San Antonio, TX 78232
|Polk Street VA Clinic||4243 S. Polk Street|
Dallas, TX 75224
|San Antonio Dental Clinic||8410 Data Point|
San Antonio, TX 78229
|Shavano Park Outpatient Clinic||4350 Lockhill-Selma Road|
San Antonio, TX 78249
|Temple VA Clinic Annex||4501 South General Bruce Dr|
Temple, TX 76502
|Tyler VA Primary Care Clinic||7916 S. Broadway Ave.|
Tyler, TX 75703
|Victoria OPC||1908 North Laurent Street|
Victoria, TX 77901
|Abilene CBOC||3850 Ridgemont|
Abilene, TX 79606
|Beeville CBOC||302 South Hillside Dr|
Beeville, TX 78102
|Brownwood CBOC||2600 Memorial Park Drive|
Brownwood, TX 76801
|Bryan/College Station CBOC||1651 Rock Prairie Road Ste. 100|
College Station, TX 77845
|Cedar Park CBOC||1401-C Medical Parkway|
Suites 200 and 400
Cedar Park, TX 78613
|Childress Clinic||1001 Highway 83 North|
Childress, TX 79201
|Dalhart VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic||325 Denver Ave|
Dalhart, TX 79022
|Decatur, TX CBOC||408 Park West Court|
Decatur, Texas 76234-3203
|Denton CBOC||2223 Colorado Blvd.|
Denton, TX 76205
|Eastside El Paso CBOC||2400 Trawood Drive|
El Paso, TX 79936
|Fort Stockton Clinic||2071 North Main|
Fort Stockton, TX 79735
|Granbury CBOC||1210 Paluxy Medical Circle|
Granbury, TX 76048
|Grand Prairie VA Clinic||2737 Sherman Street|
Grand Prairie, TX 75051
|Greenville CBOC||4006 Wellington Rd.|
Suite 100A Greenville, TX 75401
|Harlingen OPC||2106 Treasure Hills Blvd|
Harlingen, TX 78550
|La Grange Coummunity Based Outpatient Clinic||2 St. Marks Place|
La Grange, TX 78945
|New Braunfels CBOC||705 Landa Street, Suite C|
New Braunfels, TX 78130
|NorthEast 410 /San Antonio Clinic||2391 NE Loop 410 Ste 101|
San Antonio, TX 78217
|Northwest 410/San Antonio Clinic||4318 Woodcock Ste 120|
San Antonio, TX 78228
|Palestine CBOC||2000 So. Loop 256, Suite 124|
Palestine, TX 75801
|Pecan Valley CBOC||4243 E. Southcross, Ste 204|
San Antonio, TX 78222
|Plano CBOC||3804 W 15th Street|
Plano, TX 75075
|San Angelo Clinic||4240 Southwest Blvd|
San Angelo, TX 76904
|Seguin CBOC||526 E. Court Street|
Seguin, TX 78155
|Sherman CBOC||1715 Texoma Parkway|
Sherman, TX 75090
|South Bexar/San Antonio Clinic||4610 E Southcross Blvd Ste 100|
San Antonio, TX 78222
|SW Military CBOC||1714 SW Military Dr.|
San Antonio, TX 78221
|Wilson and Young Medal of Honor VA Clinic||8050 E. Hwy 191|
Odessa, TX 79762
|Abilene Vet Center||3564 N. 6th St.|
Abilene, TX 79603
|Amarillo Vet Center||3414 Olsen Blvd. Suite E|
Amarillo, TX 79109
|Arlington Vet Center||3337 West Pioneer Parkway|
Pantego, TX 76013
|Austin Vet Center||1524 South IH 35 Suite 100|
Austin, TX 78704
|Corpus Christi Vet Center||4646 Corona Suite 250|
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
|Dallas Vet Center||8610 Greenville Ave., Suite 125|
Dallas, TX 75243
|El Paso Vet Center||1155 Westmoreland Suite 121|
El Paso, TX 79925
|Fort Worth Vet Center||6620 Hawk Creek Avenue|
Westworth Village, TX 76114
|Killeen Heights Vet Center||302 Millers Crossing #4|
Harker Heights, TX 76548
|Laredo Vet Center||6999 McPherson Road|
Laredo, TX 78041
|Lubbock Vet Center||3106 50th St Ste 400|
Lubbock, TX 79413
|McAllen Vet Center||2108 S M Street|
MedPoint Plaza, Unit 2
McAllen, TX 78503
|Mesquite Vet Center||502 West Kearney, Suite 300|
Mesquite, TX 75149
|Midland Vet Center||4400 N. Midland Drive Ste 540|
Midland, TX 79707
|RCS Continental District 4, Zone 2 District Office||4500 S. Lancaster Rd.|
Dallas, TX 75216
|San Antonio Northeast Vet Center||9504 IH 35 N, Suite 214|
San Antonio, TX 78233
|San Antonio Northwest Vet Center||9910 W Loop 1604 N|
San Antonio, TX 78254
|Wichita Falls VA Clinic||2600 Central Freeway Ste 180|
Wichita Falls, TX 76306-2850