Montana Military and Veterans Benefits

State Taxes
Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Insurance
Motor Vehicle Division Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
Miscellaneous Benefits
Montana Military Resource Locator

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities Located in Montana
Resources

Summary of Montana Military and Veterans Benefits: Montana offers special benefits for Service members, Veterans and their Families including property tax exemptions, Montana National Guard Tuition Waiver Program, education and tuition assistance, Veteran point preference or alternative preference in initial hiring, vehicle tags, as well as hunting and fishing license privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component, and Veteran disability status.

Montana Veterans Affairs Division, Veteran Service Offices: The Montana Veterans Affairs Division has nine Veteran Service Offices located throughout Montana that can assist Service members, Veterans, retired Service members and their Families find and apply for military/ Veterans benefits under federal, state and local laws. All their services are provided free of charge.
Montana Veterans Affairs Division, Veteran Service Offices Directory

Learn more about Montana Veterans Affairs Division, Veteran Service Offices

Welcome to Montana


Montana Military and Veterans State Benefits Highlights and Eligibility

120th ALW aircraft

What are my Montana Military and Veterans State Tax Benefits?

Montana Military Pay Exemption for Active Duty Service Members: The following military pay can be excluded from Montana Income tax:

  • Base pay, special pay and incentive pay received by Service members serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces

  • Pay received by National Guard and Reserve Service members serving on active duty in support of a Contingency Operation or for Homeland Defense

  • Combat zone pay:

    • Officers in the U.S. Armed Forces that did not receive a complete tax exemption from the federal government for combat pay can exclude additional combat zone pay

    • Pay received by hospitalized Service members as a result of service in a combat zone.

Service members claiming this exemption must provide verification of their military status, such as a copy of their military orders with their income tax return.

Learn more about Montana Military Pay Exemption for Active Duty Service Members

Montana Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Premium Reimbursement: Reserve component Service members serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces in support of Contingency Operations can receive a reimbursement for SGLI premiums paid when they file their Montana Taxes. The maximum reimbursement they can receive is $17.50 per month for each month they serve on active duty in a Contingency Operation.

Learn more about Montana Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Premium Reimbursement

Montana Military Retired Pay Income Taxes: Montana taxes all pension, annuities, and retirement income if it is taxable on the federal return. Montana does offer a partial exemption for those eligible.

Taxpayers must complete the Montana Department of Revenue, Partial Pension and Annuity Income Exemption Worksheet, Form 2, Page 6 to see if they qualify for an exemption.

This retirement exemption is subject to two limitations:

  • Cannot exclude more than $4,400 per taxpayer for the 2021 tax year

  • Exclusion is reduced by $2 for every dollar their 2021 federal Adjusted Gross Income exceeds $36,700, regardless of filing status.

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) does not withhold taxes for state or local income tax, but it is reported annually on IRS Form 1099-R. All TSP distributions are subject to state taxes and early distributions may incur higher taxes.

Learn more about Montana Military Retired Pay Income Taxes

Montana Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retirement Pay: Military Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces should not be included in taxable income. Some of the payments which are considered disability benefits include:

  • Disability compensation and pension payments for disabilities paid to Veterans or their Families

  • Grants for homes designed for wheelchair living

  • Grants for motor vehicles for Veterans who lost their sight or the use of limbs, or

  • Benefits under a dependent-care assistance program.

See IRS Publication 525 for more information.

Learn more about Montana Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retirement Pay

Montana State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): DIC is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

Learn more about Montana State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Montana State Tax Benefits: Montana taxes all pension, annuities, and retirement income if it is taxable on the federal return. Montana does offer a partial exemptioburial flagn for those eligible.

Taxpayers must complete the Montana Department of Revenue, Partial Pension and Annuity Income Exemption Worksheet, Form 2, Page 6 to see if they qualify for an exemption.

This retirement exemption is subject to two limitations:

  • Cannot exclude more than $4,400 per taxpayer for the 2021 tax year

  • Exclusion is reduced by $2 for every dollar their 2021 federal Adjusted Gross Income exceeds $36,700, regardless of filing status.

Learn more about Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Montana State Tax veteran with prostetic legBenefits

Montana Disabled Veteran Assistance Program (MDV), Property Tax Reduction: MDV reduces the property tax rate on the homes of disabled Veterans or their unremarried Surviving Spouse.

For homes on agricultural or forest land, the benefit applies to the home and the one-acre homes site.

Depending on the marital status and income of the homeowner, the tax rate is reduced by 100%, 80%, 70% or 50% of the normal tax rate. The income ranges are updated each year for inflation.

Property Tax Reduction

Income Guidelines

Single

Married or Head of Household

Surviving Spouse

Reduction

$0 - $41,590

$0 - $49,908

$0 - $34,648

100%

$41,591 - $45,749

$49,909 - $54,067

$34,659 - $38,818

80%

$45,750 - $49,908

$54,068 - $58,226

$38,819 - $42,967

70%

$45,909 – 54,067

$58,227 - $62,385

$42,977 - $47,136

50%


Who is eligible for the MDV, Property Tax Reduction? To qualify for the MDV property tax reduction Veterans must meet the following requirements:

  • Own a home or currently under a contract to purchase a home

  • Live in the home as their primary residence for at least seven months of the year

  • Have a 100% service-connected disability rating from the VA (must provide a letter from the VA verifying eligibility)

  • Have a 2020 Federal Adjusted Gross Income (FAGI)—excluding capital income or loss—below the following threshold:

    • Single - $54,067

    • Married or Head of Household - $62,385

    • Unremarried Surviving Spouse - $47,136

A Surviving Spouse must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

  • Owner occupant of the home

  • Unremarried

  • Surviving Spouse of a Veteran that died while serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, or

  • Surviving Spouse of a Veteran that was 100% disabled or was paid at the 100% disabled rate by the VA for a service-connected disability at the time of death, or

  • Surviving Spouse of a Veteran that died as a result of a service-connected disability.

Surviving Spouses must provide a letter from the VA verifying the circumstances of their Veteran Spouse’s death. Applicants whose only income is from social security, Veterans’ benefits or other nontaxable sources, should include a copy of their social security statement and any other income documentation when they apply. Montana Code Annotated 15-6-311

To apply for MDV, applicants must complete the MDV Property Tax Relief Application for Tax Year 2022 (Form MDV) and return it and any other required documentation to the nearest Montana Department of Revenue field office. Applications must be post marked or hand-delivered by April 15. Late applications will be considered in the following year.
Montana Department of Revenue Field Office Locations

Learn more about the Montana Disabled Veteran Assistance Program, Property Tax Reduction

Montana Veterans' Clubhouse Tax Exemption - Incompetent Veterans' Trusts: Property owned by a Veteran’s organization that is used primarily for educational, fraternal, benevolent, or purely public charitable purposes rather than for gain or profit, and any personal property used in the building, is exempt from taxes.

All property, real or personal, under the control of a legal guardian for an incompetent U.S. Armed Forces Veteran or minor dependents of a Veteran, is exempt from all taxes. To be considered eligible for a tax exemption the property must have been paid for with funds received from the U.S. Government as a pension, compensation, insurance, adjusted compensation, or gratuity.

Learn more about the Montana Veterans' Clubhouse Tax Exemption - Incompetent Veterans' Trusts

Montana National Guard and Reserve Service Members Can Deduct Travel Expenses from their Income Tax: Montana National Guard and Reserve Service members can deduct travel expenses if they are required to travel more than 100 miles for military duty.

This deduction is taken on Schedule 1, Line 11 of the federal Form 1040 and on Schedule 1, Line 11 of the Montana Form 2. Service members must include a copy of your federal Form 2106 or 2106-EZ with their return to claim this deduction.

Learn more about Montana National Guard and Reserve Service Members Can Deduct Travel Expenses from their Income Tax

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What are my Montana Military and Veterans Education Benefits?

Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education Tuition Waivers for Service Members, Veterans and War Orphans : The Montana Board of Regents of Highergraduation caps tossed in the air Education offers tuition waivers for Veterans, National Guard Service members and war orphans at campuses of the Montana University System. Waivers only apply toward tuition and does not apply to any required fees.

Students are eligible for continuation of a waiver, from year to year, unless otherwise limited and provided they make satisfactory academic progress according to their campus. No combination of waivers/discounts can exceed the total tuition charged by the campus.

Graduate in cap and gown Montana National Guard Tuition Waiver: Montana National Guard Service members must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a tuition waiver:

  • Service member in the Montana National Guard at the start of the semester for which they are requesting a waiver

  • Certified as a Montana National Guard Service member in good standing and has completed Initial Entry Training

  • Does not have a bachelor’s degree or higher

  • Meets all admission requirements of the institution.

Waivers will be applied as a last dollar award, after all federal, state and private grants and scholarships have been applied toward a student’s tuition fees.
Montana National Guard Tuition Waiver Eligibility, Instructions, Award Guidelines
Award Montana Online Application Webpage

Montana War Orphans Tuition Waiver: Children aged 25 or younger, of a Service member that served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and was killed in action or died as a result of a combat related injury, disease, or other disability are eligible for a tuition waiver. The Service member must have been a Montana resident at the time of entry into the U.S. Armed Forces and served during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts. This waiver can be used up to a bachelor’s degree and cannot be used with other tuition waivers. To apply go to the Award Montana Online Application Webpage.

Montana Honorably Discharged Veteran Tuition Waiver: The Montana Honorably Discharged Veterans Waiver offer tuition waivers to eligible resident wartime Veterans. Veterans that served during the Vietnam era and before are eligible for a waiver for undergraduate and graduate degrees. Veterans that served after the Vietnam era are only eligible for a waiver up to their first certificate, associate’s or bachelor’s degrees.

Veteran must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

  • Montana resident

  • Received an Honorable Discharge (General Under Honorable Conditions does not qualify) for service on active duty, other than for training

  • VA educational benefits have been used or have expired

  • Served on active duty prior to May 7, 1975, during World War II, Korea, or Vietnam, or

  • Awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal after May 7, 1975, or

  • Served in a combat theater during the Persian Gulf War, August 2, 1990, through April 11, 1991, or

  • Awarded the Kosovo Campaign Medal, or

  • Served in a combat theater in Afghanistan and Iraq after September 11, 2001, and received (or is eligible for) one of the following:

    • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

    • Afghanistan Campaign Medal

    • Iraq Campaign Medal.

This waiver cannot be used with any other waivers. To apply, Veterans should complete the Montana Honorably Discharged Veteran Tuition Waiver Application and submit it to the campus financial aid office they plan to attend.

Learn more about the Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education Tuition Waivers for Service Members, Veterans and War Orphans

Surviving Dependents of Montana National Guard Service Member Tuition Waiver: The Surviving Spouse or Child of any Montana National Guard Service member who was killed due of injury, disease, or other disability they received in the line of duty while serving on state active duty are eligible for a tuition waiver at campuses of the Montana University System. Students are not eligible for this waiver if they have comparable educational financial assistance from any government or private benefit program. For more information contact the financial aid office at the campus they plan to attend.

Learn more about the Surviving Dependents of Montana National Guard Service Member Tuition Waiver

Grateful Nation Montana, Financial and Educational Assistance: Grateful Nation Montana helps the Children of Service members killed while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan to find and use the financial and non-monetary support they are eligible for to succeed in college.

Participating colleges and universities provide student tutoring and mentoring to eligible students during their high school years so that these students are academically and emotionally prepared to succeed in college. For more information, please call 406-278-7521.

Learn more about Grateful Nation Montana, Financial and Educational Assistance

child writing on paper at her desk in a classroomMontana Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (MIC3): The purpose of this compact is to remove barriers to educational success imposed on Children of military Families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:

  • Facilitating the prompt enrollment of Children of military Families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of educational records from the previous school district or variations in entrance or age requirements

  • Facilitating the student placement process through which Children of military Families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content or assessment. Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic and social activities

  • Facilitating the on-time graduation of Children of military Families

  • Providing for the enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact

  • Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools and military Families under this compact

  • Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military Children

  • Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student.

MIC3 Assistance Request

Points of Contact
Phone: 406-842-5039 / 596-5039 / 438-3400

Learn more about the Montana Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

Purple Star School Designation for Montana Military-Friendly Schools : The Montana Purple Star School Designation for military-friendly schools recognizes schools that show a major commitment to students and Families connected to the U.S. Armed Forces. Schools that earn the award will receive a special Purple Star recognition to display on site.

For a school to qualify for the Purple Star Designation they must appoint a school liaison that is specially trained to handle the unique challenges experienced by military Families. This liaison will ensure that other teachers at their school are aware of special considerations that students from military Families can benefit from. Each school will also have a dedicated page on their school website featuring resources for military Families.
Military Child Education Coalition Purple Star School Program

Learn more about the Purple Star School Designation for Montana Military-Friendly Schools

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What are my Montana Military and Veterans Employment Benefits?

Montana Veterans’ Employment Preference Policy: Montana offers Veterans’ Employment Preference when hiring for public employment. Preference can be granted by adding points to scored hiring processes or by guaranteeing an interview.Montana Air National Guard C-130 sitting on the ramp

When a public employer uses a scored procedure, an eligible applicant will have the following percentage points of the total possible points added to the scored procedure:

  • 5 percentage points if the applicant is a Veteran

  • 10 percentage points if the applicant is a disabled Veteran or an eligible relative.

When a public employer uses a selection procedure other than a scored procedure, they will give preference to a disabled Veteran, disabled applicant, a Veteran, an eligible Family member in that order, over an applicant that is not eligible for preference and has equal qualifications. This preference may include a guaranteed job interview for those eligible.
Who is eligible for Montana Veterans’ Employment Preference? To be eligible for preference applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • U.S. citizen

  • Meets the minimum qualifications required for the position.

Veterans must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Served on active duty for 180 days or more (other than for training) in the U.S. Armed Forces and received an honorable discharge, or

  • Reserve component Service member that served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during a time of war or when a Campaign or Expeditionary medal was awarded and received an honorable discharge, or

  • Montana National Guard Service member who has successfully completed six years of Service in the U.S. Armed Force (three of which must have been in the Montana National Guard).

Disabled Veterans must have received an honorable discharge and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Has a service-connected disability rating from the VA or their branch of service and is receiving disability retirement benefits or a pension

  • Purple Heart recipient.

Family of Veterans must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Unremarried Surviving Spouse of a Veteran or Disabled Veteran

  • Spouse of a disabled Veteran whose disability prevents them from working

  • Mother of a Service member who died under honorable conditions while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces or a Veteran who has a permanent and total service-connected disability, if:

    • Mother’s Spouse is totally and permanently disabled

    • Mother is the unremarried Surviving Spouse of the Veteran’s father.

In addition, employees that are eligible for Montana Veterans’ Employment Preference are eligible for preference in retention during a reduction in force. Employers must keep Veterans, disabled Veterans, or eligible Family members over other employees with similar job duties, qualifications and same length of service. Montana Code 39-29

Learn more about Montana Veterans’ Employment Preference

Montana Veteran Hiring Preference for Private Employers: Montana private sector employer may adopt an employment policy that gives preference in hiring to a Veteran. A private sector employer includes for-profit and not-for-profit employers.

Learn more about Montana Veteran Hiring Preference for Private Employers

Paid Military Leave for Montana Public Employees: Montana State employees that are members of a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for 120 hours of paid military leave per year and can rollover unused military for a total of 240 hours. Military leave can be used for state or federal active duty and for any federally funded training. Montana Code 10-1-10-1-1009
Who is eligible for Paid Military Leave for Montana Public Employees? Montana public employees that are working full or part time for at least six months and are Service members in a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for paid military leave.

Learn more about Paid Military Leave for Montana Public Employees

Federal Employment Veteran’s Hiring Preferences: By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans in hiring into the Federal civil service and in retention during reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews.

5-point Hiring Preference: Five points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served:

  • During a war, or

  • Air National Guard members During the period April 28, 1952, through July 1, 1955, or

  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976, or

  • During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992, or

  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, or

  • In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference.

10-point Compensable Disability (CP) Preference: Ten points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10% but less than 30%.

10-Point 30% Compensable Disability Preference (CPS): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30% or more.

10-Point Disability Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:

  • A Veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the VA but does not qualify as a CP or CPS, or

  • A Veteran who received a Purple Heart.

10-Point Derived Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of Spouses, Surviving Spouses, or mothers of Veterans. Both a mother and a Spouse (including Surviving Spouse) may be entitled to preference based on the same Veteran's service if they both meet the requirements. However, neither may receive preference if the Veteran is living and is qualified for Federal employment.

Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of the Spouse of a disabled Veteran who is disqualified for a federal position along the general lines of their usual occupation because of a service-connected disability. Such a disqualification may be presumed when the Veteran is unemployed and

  • Is rated by appropriate military or VA authorities to be 100% disabled and/or unemployable, or

  • Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position because of a disability that is service-connected in origin, or

  • Has attempted to obtain a civil service position or other position along the lines of their usual occupation and has failed to qualify because of a service-connected disability.

Preference may be allowed in other circumstances but anything less than the above warrants a more careful analysis.

A campaign medal holder or Gulf War Veteran who originally enlisted after September 7, 1980, (or began active duty on or after October 14, 1982, and has not previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty) must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty. The 24-month service requirement does not apply to 10-point preference eligible Veterans separated for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or to Veterans separated for hardship or other reasons under Title 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.

Learn more about Federal Employment Veterans’ Hiring Preferences

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA): USERRA protects civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of reserve components. USERRA also protects Service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.

Absence from Work for Military Duty: USERRA establishes the cumulative length of time that an individual may be absent from work for military duty and retain reemployment rights to five years. Exceptions to the five-year limit, include initial enlistments lasting more than five years, periodic National Guard and Reserve trainMontana National Guard member in the grass holding a rifleing duty, and involuntary active duty extensions and recalls, especially during a time of national emergency. USERRA establishes that reemployment protection does not depend on the timing, frequency, duration, or nature of an individual's service if the basic eligibility criteria are met.

Disability Accommodation: USERRA provides protection for disabled Veterans, requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability. Service members recovering from injuries received during service or training may have up to two years from the date of completion of service to return to their jobs or apply for reemployment.

Return to Work without Loss of Seniority: USERRA provides that returning Service members are reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) be made to enable returning Service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, they are deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and are entitled to the non-seniority rights accorded other individuals on non-military leaves of absence.

Extension of Health and Pension Plans: Health and pension plan coverage for Service members is provided for by USERRA. Individuals performing military duty of more than 30 days may elect to continue employer sponsored health care for up to 24 months; however, they may be required to pay up to 102% of the full premium. For military service of less than 31 days, health care coverage is provided as if the Service member had remained employed. USERRA clarifies pension plan coverage by making explicit that all pension plans are protected.
Who is eligible for USERRA Benefits?
Veterans, Reservists, or National Guard Service members who leave a position for training or active military service are eligible.

The Department of Labor, through the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) helps all that have claims under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees.
employees.
VETS Regional Office Locations

Learn more about Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act

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What are my Montana Military and Veterans Unemployment Insurance Benefits?

120th ALW aircraft Montana Unemployment Insurance (UI): UI provides temporary financial assistance for workers that are unemployed through no fault of their own. UI is a partial, short-term replacement of lost wages while workers are seeking other work and is not intended to be a permanent source of income. Employers pay all costs of the UI program.

To be eligible for UI applicants must be:

  • Physically and mentally able to work

  • Available for work

  • Actively seeking work

To file UI applicants must create a MontanaWorks account at MontanaWorks Unemployment Insurance Online Claim Portal.

Applicants will need the following information to file a claim:

  • Business name, address, and phone number and dates of employment for all employers for the last 18 months
  • Account number and bank routing number for direct deposit (if requested)
  • DD214, Member Copy 4, for former Service members that left the U.S. Armed Forces within the last 18 months
  • SF-8 or SF-50 for former federal employee that left federal employment within the last 18 months
  • Name and number of union hall, if employed through a union
  • Alien registration card number and expiration date if not a U.S. Citizen.

Information Required to File a UI Claim
Montana UI Claimant Handbook

Learn more about Montana Unemployment Insurance

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What are my Montana Military and Veterans Motor Vehicle Division Benefits?

MT Drivers License Vet ID Veteran Designation on Montana Driver Licenses and ID Cards: Veterans that received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible to have a Veteran designation on their Montana driver License or ID card.

Veterans are required to provide a copy of one of the following documents to prove eligibility:

  • DD214 or discharge paperwork indicating they received an honorable discharge

  • Veteran ID card

  • VA health Card

  • Letter of certification from the Montana Veterans Affairs Division.

Cost to add a Veteran designation:

  • Driver License (not REAL ID compliant) - $10.30

  • REAL ID compliant Driver License - $36.05

  • ID Card (not REAL ID compliant) - $16.48 ($8.24 if under 21)

  • REAL ID compliant ID card = $42.23 ($33.99 if under 21)

Veterans can add the designation by scheduling an appointment at a Montana Driver License Station or they can mail a completed Montana Motor Vehicle Division, Application to Add Veteran Designation (Driver License/ID Cards), required documentation and fee to:

Montana Motor Vehicle Division
P.O. Box 201430,
Helena, MT 59620-1430

Learn more about Veteran Designation on Montana Driver Licenses and ID Cards

Montana Vehicle Registration Fee and Cemetery Fee Waivers for Veterans, Service Members and Surviving Spouses : Montana Motor vehicle registration fees and, in some cases, the Veterans cemetery fee, may be waived for eligible Veterans, Service members and Surviving Spouses who purchase military or Veteran license plates.
Who is eligible for Montana Vehicle Registration Fee and Cemetery Fee Waivers? Veterans or Service members that meet one of the following requirements are eligible for fee waivers:

  • Purple Heart recipients that have a 50% or more service-connected disability rating from the VA (Veterans cemetery fee is not Waived for this license plate )

  • 100% disability rating from the VA or is paid at the 100% disabled rate for a service-connected disability

  • Former prisoner of war

Service member and Veteran must provide a letter from the VA verifying eligibility.

The unremarried Surviving Spouse of a deceased Service member or Veteran who meets any one of the following criteria:

  • Was a prisoner of war

  • Was a Veteran who had a 100% disability rating from the VA or is paid at the 100% disabled rate for a service-connected disability

  • Was a Veteran who had at least a 50% disability rating and was awarded the Purple Heart (Veterans cemetery fee is not waived for this license plate)

  • Was killed while serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces

  • Died from a service-connected injury or disability.

Surviving Spouses must provide a letter from the VA verifying eligibility, except for a Service member killed on active duty, in which case the Surviving Spouse must provide a letter from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Learn more about Montana Vehicle Registration Fee and Cemetery Fee Waivers for Veterans, Service Members and Surviving Spouses

Montana Military and Veteran License Plates: Montana offers 24 distinctive license plate designs to honor the service and sacrifice of eligible Service members, Veterans, retired Service members, and certain Family members. Specific eligibility and documentation requirements will apply. All Military and Veteran license plates may be purchased at a Montana County Treasurer Motor Vehicle Office. Eligibility requirements for all license plates can be found in Montana Code 61-3-458.
Montana Motor Vehicle Division, Military and Veterans License Plate Descriptions and Fees
Montana Department of Justice, License Plate Fact Sheet

MT Disabled Veteran plate Montana Disabled Veteran License Plate: The Montana Disabled Veteran license plate is offered to eligible disabled Veterans. Disabled Veterans may be issued up to two sets of this license plate for their vehicles. These license plates authorize disabled parking privileges. This license plate cannot be transferred to a Surviving Spouse.
Who is eligible for the Montana Disabled Veteran License Plate? Disabled Veterans must have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Awarded the Purple Heart and has a service-connected disability rating from the VA of 50% or greater (must provide VA Benefit Summary Letter and copy of DD214 to verify eligibility)

  • 100% disability rating from the VA or is paid at the 100% disabled rate for a service-connected disability (must provide VA Benefit Summary Letter).

MT Gold Star License plate Montana Gold Star Family License Plate: The Montana Gold Star Family license plate is offered to eligible Family members of a Service member in the U.S. Armed Forces who is killed in armed conflict
W ho is eligible for the Montana Gold Star Family License Plate? The Family members who are eligible for a Gold Star Lapel Button are eligible for the Montana Gold Star Family license plates. Those Family members are:

  • Surviving Spouse

  • Parents, including foster parents, adoptive parents, foster parents in loco parentis

  • Children, including stepchildren and adopted Children

  • Siblings, including half siblings.

Applicants must complete the State of Montana Application for Gold Star Family License Plate, Form MV57 and provide the Service members DD1300 Report of Casualty or Death Notice as well as documentation to prove Family relationship.

MT Air Force Veteran plate Montana Veteran License Plate: Veterans that served on active duty (other than for training) in the U.S. Armed Forces and received an honorable discharge are eligible for the Montana Veteran license plate. This license plate will have an image seal of the Veteran’s branch of service. Veterans will be required to provide a copy of their DD214 or other official documentation to verify their character of discharge and their branch of service.

Montana Purple Heart License Plate: Service members or honorably discharged Veterans that receive the Purple Heart are eligibleMT purple heart plate for the Montana Purple Heart license plate. Applicants will be required to provide a copy of the DD214, medal certificate, or official orders as proof of eligibility.

Learn more about Montana Military and Veteran License Plates

Military Vehicle Registration for Montana Resident Service Members Stationed Outside Montana Reduced Fees: A Montana resident who entered active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces from Montana, including a National Guard or Reserve Service members, and who is stationed outside Montana, may register a motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer or pole trailer without paying certain light vehicle registration fees, fees in lieu of property tax, and county option taxes as otherwise required. Service members must file a Montana Motor Vehicles Division, Application for Military Registration MV53 with the county treasurer’s office in their county of residence. Montana Code 61-3-456
Montana County Treasurer Office Directory

Learn more about Military Vehicle Registration for Montana Resident Service Members Stationed Outside Montana Reduced Fees

Montana License Expiration Exemption for Active Duty Service Members: Active duty Service members may apply for a military driver license expiration exemption. This exemption authorizes a Service members driver license to remain valid up to 90 days after receiving an honorable discharge.

Exemptions are indicated by having a 90 - day exemption notice printed on the back of the license or Service members may have "9999" printed on the front of their license in place of an expiration date.

Family members who are stationed with Service members are not eligible for a license expiration exemption. Family members are authorized two consecutive mail-in renewals or license replacement by mail.
Montana Department of Justice, Mail in Military Exempt Status Instructions and Application

Learn more about Montana License Expiration Exemption for Active Duty Service Members

Montana Motorcycle Endorsement for Active Duty Service Members Stationed Outside Montana: Active duty Service members stationed outside of Montana who complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course may apply to have a motorcycle endorsement added to their Montana driver license without completing a road skills test at a Montana exam station.

To have a motorcycle endorsement added Service members must meet the following requirements:

Completed applications can be mailed to:

DOJ MVD
ATTN: Mail-in DL
PO Box 201430
Helena, MT 59620-1430

Learn more about Montana Motorcycle Endorsement for Active Duty Service Members Stationed Outside Montana

Montana Military Waiver for a Commercial Driver License (CDL): Montana offers CDL testing waivers for Service members and former Service members based on their military training and experience . This waiver allows a qualified Service member to apply for a CDL without taking skills or knowledge tests. Service members cannot transfer school bus or passenger endorsements.

Applicants must also meet the following requirements:

  • Not had more than one license (except for a military license) in the past two years

  • Not had any license suspended, revoked, or cancelled in the past two years

  • Not had any convictions for any type of motor vehicle for the disqualifying offenses (listed on the application)

  • Not had more than one conviction for any type of motor vehicle for serious traffic violations (listed on the application)

  • Have not had had any conviction for a violation of military, state or local laws relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation) as a result of a traffic accident and has no record of an accident in which they were at fault.

To apply for a military waiver for a CDL applicants must submit a completed Montana Motor Vehicles Division, Application for Military Even Exchange (including certification by their commanding officer) to any Montana Driver License Station.

Learn more about the Montana Military Waiver for a Commercial Driver License

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What are my Montana Military and Veterans Health and Insurance Benefits?

Montana National Guard Death Benefit when Incurred on State Active Duty: The beneficiaries of a Montana National Guard Service member that dies in the line of duty while serving on state active duty are eligible for a $50,000 death benefit from the state.young boy sitting on top of his dads shoulders

This payment is currently not taxed in Montana until January 1, 2024, when it is scheduled to be repealed. Montana Code 15-30-2117

Learn more about Montana National Guard Death Benefit when Incurred on State Active Duty

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The VA provides valuable life insurance benefits to Veterans, active and reserve component Service members and their Families to provide financial security given the extraordinary risks involved in military Service. The VA provides the following life insurance benefit programs:

  • Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)

  • Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI)

  • Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)

  • Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI)

  • Service-Disabled Veterans’ Life Insurance (S-DVI)

  • Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI).

Learn more about U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance

TRICARE Reserve Select Health Insurance: TRICARE Reserve Select is a premium-based plan, available worldwide for Selected Reserve, (Reserve and National Guard) members and their Families who meet the following qualifications:

  • Not on active duty orders

  • Not covered under the Transitional Assistance Management Program

  • Not eligible for or enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program or currently covered under FEHB, either under their own eligibility or through a Family member.

The plan provides comprehensive health care coverage when a Service member is not activated and covered by active duty TRICARE benefits.

Learn more about TRICARE Reserve Select Health Insurance

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What are my Montana Military and Veterans Parks and Recreation Benefits?

Discounted Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Licenses for Combat Disabled Veterans: A disabled Veteran or a disabled Service member in the U.S. Armed Forces that has a permanent, substantial combat-connected disability that causes a significant impairment of their functional ability may purchase certain tags or elk in a fieldlicenses for half price.

Eligible applicants can purchase the following for half price:

  • Class A-3 deer A tag

  • Class A-4 deer B tag

  • Class B-7 deer A tag

  • Class B-8 deer B tag

  • Special antelope license.

Applicants must submit a completed Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Montana Combat Disabled Application and a copy of their DD214 and official documentation they received a Purple Heart to:

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Licensing Bureau – Combat
1420 E 6th Avenue
PO BOX 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701

For more information, please contact the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Contact Information

Learn more about Discounted Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Licenses for Disabled Veterans

Free Montana Conservation License for Reserve Component Service Members: Montana resident Service members in the Montana National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves who are ordered to active duty in support of a contingency operation that required them to serve at least two months outside Montana are eligible for a free resident wildlife conservation license, a Class A resident fishing license or a Class AAA resident combination sports license, (does not include a Class A-6 black bear tag) for five years.

Service members are eligible in the license year that they return from active duty or in the year following their return, and for the next four years. Applicants must still pay the resident base hunting license fee and purchase the resident aquatic invasive species prevention pass.

To be eligible for the free licenses, Service members must provide proof of residency, and their DD214 verifying their release or discharge from active duty. The applicant is responsible for providing this documentation to any regional department office or to the department headquarters in Helena, by mail or in person. For more information, please contact the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Contact Information

Learn more about Free Montana Conservation License for Reserve Component Service Members

Montana Hunting and Fishing Benefits for Purple Heart Awardees: A Montana resident Purple Heart recipient or a nonresident who is a member of the Legion of Valor are eligible to fish and hunt game birds, (not including wild turkeys) with the purchase of a wildlife conservation license and a resident aquatic invasive species prevention pass. Other licenses are not required.

Nonresident Purple Heart recipients are eligible for the same benefits above but must do so during expeditions arranged by a nonprofit organization that uses fishing and hunting as part of a rehabilitation program for disabled Veterans. For more information, please contact the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Contact Information

Learn more about Montana Hunting and Fishing Benefits for Purple Heart Recipients and Legion of Valor Members

Montana Fishing Benefits for Veterans in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Hospitals: Veterans that are patients in any VA Hospital may fish without a license in Montana. The Veteran must carry documentation signed by the VA hospital staff indicating they are currently a patient instead of a license. For more information, please contact the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Contact Information

Learn more about Montana Fishing Benefits for Veterans in VA Hospitals

Donated Montana Hunting Licenses for Disabled Service Members and Veterans: Montana residents may donate their hunting license to be reissued to a disabled Veteran or disabled Service member for use on a hunting expedition arranged by a nonprofit organization that uses hunting as part of their rehabilitation services.

Those eligible for donated licenses are:

  • Purple Heart recipients

  • Veterans that were medically retired as the result of wounds or injuries received in a combat and have a 70% or greater disability rating by the VA or a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces

  • Service member on active duty while receiving medical treatment at a medical facility

  • Is not required to be a Montana resident

  • Does require a wildlife conservation license.

For more information, please contact the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Contact Information

Learn more about Donated Montana Hunting Licenses for Disabled Service Members and Veterans

Nonresident Service Members and Dependents Stationed in Montana May Purchase Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Licenses at Resident Rates: Active duty, nonresidenttrout in a stream Service members and their dependents that are stationed in Montana are eligible to purchase hunting, fishing and trapping licenses at resident prices. Applicants must be assigned in Montana for at least 30 days before they are eligible.

Reassignment out of Montana terminates Montana residency, except when the Service member's Spouse and dependents continue to live in Montana and the Service member continues to meet the residency requirements. MC 87-2-102

For more information, please contact the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Contact Information Lake with snow covered mountains in background
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Resident Licenses for Military Members and Their Dependents Factsheet

Learn more about how Nonresident Service Members and Dependents Stationed in Montana May Purchase Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Licenses at Resident Rates

 Montana State Parks Camping Discount for Veterans: Montana resident Veterans receive a discount of 50% off camping fees (does not apply to electrical fees) at Montana State Parks. Proof of eligibility to receive the discount includes a DD214, VA ID card or a Montana driver license with a Veteran designation.

Learn more about Montana State Parks Camping Discount for Veterans

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What are my Montana Military and Veterans Miscellaneous Benefits?

Montana Military Family Relief Fund (MMFRF): MMFRF provides monetary grants to Families of Montana National Guard and Reserve Service members who are on Federal active duty in support of a contingency operation on or after April 28, 2007.

MMFRF grants are intended to help Montana Families pay for the costs of food, housing, utilities, medical services, and other expenses that become difficult to afford when a wage-earner has temporarily left civilian employment to be placed on active duty.

Status-Based Grant: The status-based grant offers a flat fee of $250 for each eligible dependent to help offset and pay costs related to a deployment.

To be eligible for a status-based grant the recipient must meet the following requirements:

  • Family member of a resident Montana National Guard or a Reserve Service member serving on federal active duty in support of a contingency operation for at least 30 consecutive days

    • Service members pay grade is no higher than O-3 or W-3 at the time of application

  • Family member is enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) as a dependent

  • Submit a completed and signed application, MMFRF Application, Status-Based Grant, Form 1.

Need-Based Grant: The need-based grant helps Families who experience a decrease in household income or a financial hardship during a deployment. If the Service member’s military income is at least 30% less than their civilian income or a Family has an unexpected or emergency expense MMFRF can provide a grant of up to $2,000.

To be eligible for a need-based grant the recipient must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet all requirements for a status based grant

  • Provide proof that the Service member’s monthly military pay and allowances, combined, are at least 30% less than their monthly civilian wages or income, or

  • Provide proof that the Service member or a Family member is experiencing a significant emergency that warrants financial assistance

  • Submit a completed and signed application, MMFRF Application Need-Based Grant, Form 2.

Casualty-Based Grant: The casualty-based grant offers $2,000 to help offset expenses of a Service member who is injured during a contingency operation. The injury must have been sustained during or related to combat.

To be eligible for a casualty-based grant the recipient must meet the following requirements:

  • Resident Montana National Guard or a Reserve Service member serving on federal active duty in support of a contingency operation for at least 30 consecutive days

  • Service member suffers a nonfatal injury during or related to combat as a direct result of hostile action

  • Submit a completed and signed application, MMFRF Application Casualty-Based Grant, Form 3

  • Provide documentation of receipt of the Purple Heart Medal.

To Apply for a Grant

  • Attach copies of all required documentation

  • All grants are awarded on first-come, first-served basis (casualty based grants given top priority)

  • Timeliness of payment will be determined by amount of funds available at time of application

  • Complete appropriate application, sign and date, make a copy for your records, then send the original, signed application to:

Department of Military Affairs
Attn: Director's Office
1956 Mt Majo Street
PO Box 4789
Fort Harrison, MT 59636

For questions, please call the Montana Department of Military Affairs, Fiscal Officer at 406-324-3333.

Learn more about the Montana Military Family Relief Fund

Western Veterans Cemetery Montana State Veterans’ Homes: Montana has three Veterans’ homes that offer affordable long-term care to aged and disabled Veterans as well as their eligible Spouses.

Veterans’ Homes Amenities:

  • Reduced costs for eligible Veterans

  • Rehabilitation Services – Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy

  • Nursing and domiciliary (assisted living) units available

  • Services, programs and activities specifically for Veterans.

Eastern Veterans Home Montana State Veterans’ Homes Locations:

Who is eligible for Care in a Montana State Veterans’ Homes? To be eligible for admission to a Montana Veterans' home Applicants must be an honorably discharged Veteran or the Spouse or Surviving Spouse of an eligible Veteran that requires nursing home care. Spouses of Veterans will be admitted on a space-available basis. A Veteran and Spouse may be admitted together if they both qualify for nursing home care. Montana Code 10-2-403 requires that consideration must also be given to an applicant’s:

  • Age

  • Physical and mental status

  • Ability or inability to find suitable alternative accommodations

  • Length of time as a Montana resident

  • Gender as it relates to availability of appropriate living space

  • Ability of the Montana Veterans' home to meet the applicant’s needs

  • Other admission requirements established by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

Learn more about the Montana State Veterans' Homes

State Veterans Cemetery Montana State Veterans Cemeteries: Montana has three State Veterans Cemeteries that offer a dignified final resting place for Veterans and their eligible Family members.

Montana State Veterans Cemetery Locations:

The cemeteries can accommodate full-size (casket) burials, placement of cremated remains in a columbaria niche or cremated remain burials.Columbia Montana Veterans home Each cemetery will provide a gravesite service, opening and closing of the grave and perpetual care. Headstones or niche covers are provided by the federal government.
Who is Eligible for Burial in a Montana State Veterans Cemetery? Eligibility requirements for the burial at a Montana State Veterans Cemetery are the same as for VA National Cemeteries. Exact eligibility requirements can viewed at the VA, National Cemetery Administration Eligibility webpage . The following are the general eligibility requirements:

  • Discharged from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces under conditions other than dishonorable, or

  • Died while on active duty, or

  • Served at least 20 years in the National Guard or Reserves and qualified for military retired pay (or would have qualified except death occurred before age 60), or

  • Reserve component Service members if they were activated for federal service, (active duty for training does not qualify)

  • Spouses and dependents (burial of dependent Children is limited to unmarried Children under 21 years old or 23 years old if a full-time student at an approved educational institution or a Child that develops a lifelong disability prior to age 21)

  • There is no requirement to be a Montana resident.

Montana Veterans Cemeteries Brochure

Learn more about the Montana State Veterans Cemeteries

Compensation for Enlisted Montana National Guard Service Members ordered to State Active Duty: Montana National Guard enlisted Service members ordered to state active duty will receive twice their base pay for the first 15 days of state active duty.

Learn more about Compensation for Montana National Guard Service Members ordered to State Active Duty

Montana Honor and Remember Medallion : The Montana Honor and Remember Medallion may be awarded to the Family members of a Service member that was killed or listed as missing in action during a period of armed conflict.
Who is eligible for the Montana Honor and Remember Medallion? For a Service member to be eligible for an Honor and Remember Medallion they must meet the following requirements:

  • Montana resident

  • Serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces

  • Killed in action or declared missing in action on or after September 8, 1939, in an operation recognized by the Department of Defense (listed on the application) under one of the following circumstances:

    • Engaged in action against an enemy of the U.S.

    • Serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict in which the U.S. is not involved against an opposing armed force

    • Engaged in armed conflict against an opposing foreign force.

Family members eligible to request an Honor and Remember Medallion are:

  • Surviving Spouse

  • Parents, including foster parents, adoptive parents, foster parents in loco parentis

  • Children, including stepchildren and adopted Children

  • Siblings, including half siblings.

Applicants will have to provide official documentation verifying the Service members death and proof of Family relationship. Montana will award the first Honor and Remember Medallion free of charge, any subsequent medallions will cost $20.

Applicants should mail completed applications and supporting documentation to:

Montana Veterans Affairs Division
Attn: Honor and Remember Medallion
P.O. Box 5715
Helena, MT 59604-5715

For more information, please call 406-324-3742.

Montana Honor and Remember Act
Montana Application for Honor and Remember Medallion

Learn more about The Montana Honor and Remember Medallion

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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in Montana

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in Montana: The VA has numerous resources available for Veterans and Family members. Please see the local location listing for your nearest facility.

Yellowstone Veterans CemeteryLearn more about U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in Montana

 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Cemeteries in Montana: The VA National Cemetery Administration maintains two national cemeteries in Montana. Please see the local location listing for the nearest cemetery.

Learn more about U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Cemeteries in Montana

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Military Installations in Montana

Please see the Montana Military Resource Locator for additional information

Army:
No active duty Army installations are located in Montana.

Active Duty Air Force:
Malmstrom Air Force Base

National Guard:
Montana Department of Military Affairs

Montana Army National Guard

Montana Air National Guard
120th Airlift Wing

U.S. Army Reserve (USAR):
88th Readiness Division


Resources

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Army National Guard Benefits

Air National Guard Benefits

Montana Department of Military Affairs

Montana Code Annotated

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Montana Facility Directory

Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission, Montana

Montana Board of Regents, Policy and Procedures Manual

FEDSHIREVETS, Veterans Preference

Montana Department of Justice, License Plates

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Document Review Date: 28 February 2022