Military Veterans Benefits in Pennsylvania
Veterans Emergency Assistance
- Veterans in true financial need for life's necessities may qualify for Veterans Emergency Assistance. This state program provides aid in emergencies and for temporary needs, not exceeding three out of 12 months. Money may be used by Pennsylvania resident veterans and their dependents to purchase food and clothing or pay rent, mortgage or utility bills. Only veterans who served in active duty during wartime may qualify. Eligible veterans or the families of deceased veterans cannot be on public assistance.
Persian Gulf Veterans Bonus
- Veterans who served on active duty during the Persian Gulf War may receive a $75 per month benefit for every month of active service, not to exceed $525. Veterans officially designated as prisoners of war during the time period of Aug. 2, 1990, to Aug. 31, 1991, may receive an one-time $5,000 benefit.
Beneficiaries of deceased veterans killed on active duty during the Persian Gulf War may also receive the one-time benefit. Veterans must have been Pennsylvania residents at the time of entering military service. Applications for this bonus must be filed by Aug. 31, 2015.
- Veterans in need of nursing-home care may find it at one of the six veterans' homes located in Pennsylvania. The facilities are in Spring City, Hollidaysburg, Scranton, Pittsburgh, Erie and Philadelphia. Admissions for eligible veterans and spouses are on a first-come, first-served basis. Veterans must have resided in Pennsylvania at the time of entering military service, and those veterans still residing in the state receive priority consideration.
- Through the Pennsylvania State Grant Program, veterans may receive money to attend participating institutions of higher learning in Pennsylvania and participating state schools in other states that have reciprocal agreements with Pennsylvania. Grant amounts vary from year to year. Veterans must reside in Pennsylvania at least one year before applying for the grant. They must be enrolled as undergraduates in a participating school on at least a part-time basis for eligibility.
- Pennsylvania offers several pensions and tax exemptions for veterans certified by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with service-related disabilities. These include the blind veterans pension, which in 2011 is $150 a month, and the paralyzed veterans pension, also $150 per month. Veterans certified as 100 percent totally and permanently disabled by the VA receive a real estate tax exemption on their primary dwelling. The surviving spouse of such veterans, providing there is no remarriage, continue to receive this exemption if they demonstrate financial need.