Benefits in my Backyard: Indiana

Jonathan Kaupanger
April 20, 2018 - 12:39 pm



About half a million veterans call Indiana home, with the majority living around Indianapolis.  It must be a nice place to live because nearby Muncie is known for having several UFO sightings, landings and abductions. In 1973, there were even reports of an UFO invasion.

There are three military bases in the state, one Air Force, one Army and  a Navy base. Fun fact: every veteran has received something from this state during their military career – a paycheck.  The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) is located in Indianapolis and it’s the largest finance and accounting operation in the world.

Veterans moving to the state, you’ll need to consider a few odd Indiana laws before your move. You can't have sex in the state’s Walmart’s, just as long as no one outside the store can see you.  Under the state’s Act to Prevent Certain Immoral Practices, you can get fined for doing puppet shows, wire dancing or tumbling acts. Well, for free it's ok, but if you get paid anything, you’ll be fined $3. 

And as odd as that sounds, Gary, Indiana has probably one of the most logically strange laws on the books.  After eating garlic, you MUST wait a full four hours before you even think about stepping foot in a theater, see a movie or ride a public streetcar. I fully agree and think this should be a national law.


Indiana will tax retirement pay, but once you hit 60 years old you can deduct up to $5k from your taxes. Active duty military are allowed the same deduction.

  • Disabled veteran property tax deduction: you may deduct $24,960 if you have an honorable discharge, served during a period of war and have a VA rated, service-connected disability of at least 10 percent. There’s also a deduction of $12,480 if you have an honorable discharge, served for at least 90 days, be at least 62 years old and have a VA rated, service-connected disability of at least 10 percent.   


  • Tuition and free exemption for children of disabled veterans: the veteran must have served on active duty during a war, be a state resident when they joined the military or received a purple heart. You’ll start the application process here. Make sure you upload proof of relationship between the student and the veteran. (Students should file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid before applying for this benefit. It will make the process easier.)


  • Veterans with an honorable discharge will receive preference for state jobs
  • Veterans and their dependents who would like help looking for a job can call Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs for help at (844) 480-0009 or email


  • Military family relief fund: it provides grants up to $2,500 to help with food, housing, utilities, medical services and transportation. You’ll need an honorable discharge and have served at least 12 months. Make sure you sign all the signature areas in the packet, then send it to: Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs, Attn: Military Family Relief Fund, 302 W. Washington St. Room E-120, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204. Call (317) 232-3910 if you have any questions.


  • Hunting/Fishing Licenses: veterans with a documented service-connected disability may get applications for permits here and all information about the permitting website here.


Cemetery and Burial

  • Here’s the eligibility requirements for the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery and you can view a cemetery presentation here.  
  • Eligibility Determination Form: pre-needs determination is intended to simplify and assist the veteran’s next-of-kin at the time of death. This does not reserve a plot or niche at the cemetery. There is no cost for this.

Links or Resources