Benefits in my Backyard: Maryland

Jonathan Kaupanger
April 20, 2018 - 12:33 pm

Photo by Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/MCT/Sipa USA

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Making up about six percent of the total population, there are 380,000 veterans living in the Old Line State.  Their veteran status does not exempt them from laws like kissing longer than one second is illegal and as much as you want, you can’t keep chickens with you in your hotel room.   Don’t even get me started on the fact that in Baltimore City it’s illegal to take a lion to the movies with you!  Because this happens how often?

Maryland gets a pass for silly laws since it was the site of one of the bloodiest battles in US history if not one of the worst in world history.  The Battle of Antietam was fought by Sharpsburg, and is often considered a major turning point in the Civil War.

On the lighter side of things, the first dental school in the States opened at the University of Maryland.   It’s the 19th most populous state and the combined length of tidal shoreline, including islands, is 4,431!

 

 Taxes

Maryland does tax retirement pay, but there is a tax deduction for veterans.  Veterans or the spouse of a military retiree may subtract up to $5,000 from their federal adjusted gross income before determining Maryland tax.  Individuals who are at least 65 years old may deduct $10,000.  There are other tax exemptions and credits available for veterans with VA rated service-connected disability.

  • Property Tax Exemption – Disabled Veterans and Surviving Spouses is a complete exemption from real property taxes on the primary house and surround yard.  Veterans may apply at any time and do not have to meet the normal September 1 filing deadline.  Some unremarried surviving spouses are eligible.  Surviving spouse of military killed in the line of duty can apply for the exemption.
  • Vehicle Registration Tax Credit.  You must register your vehicle within 60 days of moving to Maryland.  Proof of status is required.

 

Education

  • The Edward T. Conroy Memorial Scholarship provides aid for tuition and other education expenses.   Eligibility requirements:
    • Child of servicemember who died or is VA rated, 100 percent, service-connected disabled
    • A veterans with at least a 25 percent, service-connected disability and who has exhausted federal veterans educational benefits
    •  Child or surviving spouse of a victim of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack
    •  A Vietnam War POW/MIA or their child

 

Career

 

Family

  • Supportive Services for Veterans and their Families (SSVF) helps eligible veteran families with health care benefits, daily living services, personal financial planning services, transportation, fiduciary and payee services, legal services, child care services and housing counseling. Listed below are the organizations that received VA grants through SSVF, the counties they serve, contact information.

o    Alliance, Inc. (serving Baltimore, Howard, Harford, Cecil, Carroll, Anne Arundel, Frederick, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Washington, Talbot, and Baltimore City) 410-282-5900, ext.3333

o    Three Oaks Homeless Shelter (serving St. Marys, Charles, and Calvert) 301-863-9535

o    Project PLASE, Inc. (serving Baltimore City and Baltimore County) 410-837-1400, Ext. 111 or Ext. 123

o    New Vision House of Hope (serving Baltimore City) 443-838-2670

o    Diakonia (serving Somerset, Wicomico, and Worchester) 410-213-0923

o    St. James AME Church-Zion House (serving Caroline, Talbot, Queen Annes, Kent, Dorchester, Wicomico, Worchester, and Somerset) 410-742-1427

o    Housing Counseling Services (serving Montgomery, Prince George’s) 202-667-7006, Ext. 129 or Ext. 218

o    Friendship Place (serving Montgomery, Prince George’s, Frederick) 202-658-9599

o    United States Veterans Initiative (serving Prince George’s, Montgomery) 202-573-2790

o    Operation Renewed Hope (serving Prince George’s, Montgomery) 703-887-8117

 

Entertainment

·         Day-use Waiver for Veterans and Active Duty.  Show your Veteran ID Card or Military ID to any state park attendant and your entrance service charge is waived.  This does not apply to anyone without proper ID.

·         Universal Disability Pass is a lifetime pass to state recreational facilities.

·         The Greenwell Foundation offers veterans opportunities to participate in its inclusive and accessible programs including Horseback Riding, River Riders Kayaking, Vets Helping Vets, and Operation Warrior Refuge. All of these activities have therapeutic value for our nation’s recovering servicemen and women.

·         Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating offers specially arranged sailing and racing events for Wounded Warriors and their families.  In cooperation with the Paralyzed Veterans of America, CRAB has offered two-day sailing clinics specifically for learning to sail and race.  They provide weekday and weekend sails for recovering warriors and their family and friends and schedule sails for individual family members/friends and group sails for multiple people. Please call  (410) 266-5722 or email: info@crabsailing.org  to get more information or to schedule a sail. 

·          Discounted fishing and hunting licenses are available for Purple Heart Recipients.  It’s a 50 percent discount.

·         POW/DAV Hunting Licenses are complimentary and last a lifetime.  VA documentation is required.

 

Housing

  • Honorably discharged Maryland veterans and their spouse may be eligible for admission to the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.  You’ll need to be at least 62 years old.
  • MD Housing Search is a free resource to find rental housing in Maryland.   

 

Cemetery and Burial

  • Criteria for burial in a Maryland State Cemetery is the same as the National Cemetery Administration.  The veterans discharge documents must state that Maryland is home of record.
  • 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.

 

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