Benefits in my Backyard: Iowa

Jonathan Kaupanger
April 20, 2018 - 12:38 pm



Over 200,000 veterans call the Hawkeye State home. In 1912, Iowa resident Otto Rohwedder was tired of trying to cram hand-sliced bread into a toaster, so he invented a machine that would cut the bread and the saying, "better than sliced bread" began! Iowa is a bit more advanced when it comes to civil rights. Married women in this state received property rights back in 1851. More than a quarter of the state’s electricity comes from wind power. While in this state, you should remember a few laws, like kisses can’t last for longer than five minutes and one-armed piano players must perform for free.


Iowa has a tax exemption for military retirement benefits. This exemption is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2014 as well. It may also be used in addition to the general $6,000/$12,000 pension exclusion available for Iowa taxpayers 55 years or older.

  • Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Tax Credit is equal to 100 percent of the actual tax levy. To qualify, you need to have a 100 percent service-related disability. Vets with a permanent and total disability rating based on individual un-employability qualify as well.  Claims must be filed on or before July 1. A current Benefits Paid letter and DD214 must be included with your application.
  • Homestead Tax Credit is equal to the first $4,850 of actual value of the property. Persons in the military or nursing homes and do not occupy the property are also eligible.
  • Iowa Military Exemption reduces the taxable value of property for military veterans. The amount of the exemption varies.



  • On request, when applying for an Iowa state job, veterans’ preference points may be applied to veterans with an honorable discharge. Former members of the Reserve Forces or Iowa National Guard who served at least 20 years after Jan. 28, 1973 are eligible. Veterans with a service-connected disability, a Purple Heart or who are receiving disability compensation or pension through VA may also request veterans’ points. Proof of disability from VA must be submitted and updated every two years. You may apply via email here.
  • Home Base Iowa connects veterans to their careers.
  • Veteran Employment Centers




  • Admission to the Iowa Veterans Home is limited to those with an honorable discharge. The spouse of a veteran or widowed spouse of a veteran is eligible based on the eligibility of the veteran. 

Cemetery and Burial

  • Veterans residing in the state are eligible to receive certain end of live benefits. To be buried in the Iowa Veterans Cemetery you’ll need to have an honorable discharge, died while on active duty or served at least 20 years in the National Guard or Reserves.
  • 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

Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs