Benefits in my Backyard: Maine

It’s illegal to step out of an airplane flying over Maine’s airspace.

Jonathan Kaupanger
April 20, 2018 - 12:34 pm

Dreamstime

More than 125,000 veterans call the Pine State home. Until 2003, Maine produced 95 percent of wooden toothpicks used in our country. 90 percent of our countries supply of lobster comes from this state, that’s about 60 million lbs. of crustacean each year. Lobster is such a big business the University of Maine has its own Lobster Institute. You also need to know that each year, if you have Christmas decorations up after Jan. 14th, you’ll be charged a fine. In Waterboro, dog leashes can’t be over eight feet long. And in South Berwick, be very careful – it’s illegal to park in front of Dunkin Donuts.

Taxes

Maine waives $6,000 in pension income that is included in your federal adjusted gross income.

  • Homestead Exemption. Property owners who have owned property in Maine for at least 12 months may receive an exemption of $20,000.
  • Veteran Exemption. For a veteran who served during a recognized war period, is 62 years old or is receiving 100 percent disability or became 100 percent disabled while serving is eligible for a $6,000 exemption.
  • Paraplegic Veteran. Veterans who receive a federal grant for specially adapted housing, may take a $50,000 exemption.
  • Blind Exemption. An individual who is determined to be legally blind receives $4,000.

Education

  • Veterans Dependents Educational Benefits provides a 100 percent waiver of tuition and all related fees for spouses and dependents of qualified veterans. Qualifications are:
    • A 100 percent, permanent, service-connected disability
    • Killed in action
    • Died from a service-connected disability
    • Listed as missing in action for more than 90 days
  • Guard Tuition Assistance provides a 100 percent tuition waiver for Maine’s National Guard members to attend the University of Maine and Maine Community College Systems.

Career

  • On request, when applying for Maine state jobs, veterans’ preference points may be applied to veterans with an honorable discharge. 
    • 10 points given to the natural mother or father of a deceased veterans who lost their life under honorable conditions while on active duty
    • 10 points given to veterans who served on active duty for at least 90 days, with a service-connected disability of 10 percent or more
    • 10 points given to the spouse of a disabled veteran listed above
    • 5 points given to veterans who served on active duty for at least 90 days
    • 5 points given to the un-remarried spouse of veteran above
  • Occupational Licensing Initiative. This program allows for quicker, easier licensing for veterans who have demonstrable military experience in the areas of boiler, electrical, fuel and plumbing.
  • Maine Career Center Website. Veteran employment representatives who help vets with all aspects of job searching.  Find the nearest veteran employment representative.
  • Maine Hire a Vet works to bring employers together with veterans.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services helps people who have disabilities find and keep a job.
  • Maine Job Link. Post your resume, find job fairs.

Family

  • Veterans’ Support Services. Several different services available.
  • Preble Street. Veterans housing services.
  • Veterans Count. Providing critical and timely financial assistance and services when no other resource is available to veterans and their families.
  • Washington Hancock Community Agency brings community resources together to help people in Washington and Hancock counties to achieve self-sufficiency and a better quality of life.
  • Caregiver Support.  A variety of financial, medical and peer support benefits to help family members who are responsible for the care of a disabled veteran.
  • Maine Army National Guard Family Program website

Entertainment

  • Fishing/Hunting licenses. You are required to keep an electronic and/or paper copy of your hunting license and any necessary permits with you while hunting or transporting wild birds and wild animals.
    • Military currently stationed in Maine. Anyone serving in the Armed Forces and is permanently stationed at a military base in Maine may purchase a resident license to hunt, trap or fish. This applies to spouse and dependent children if they permanently reside with the veteran.
    • Disabled veterans who have an honorable discharge and a service-connected disability of 50 percent or more will be issued, upon application, a complimentary license to fish, trap or hunt.
  • Free Lifetime Veteran State Park & Museum Pass.  Is available for veterans with an honorable or general under honorable discharge. This pass does not expire and is valid for the lifetime of the holder. You must supply a copy of your DD214 with the application.
  • Day Use Park Pass for Active Military. Passes are issued for calendar year and may be renewed upon verification of continuing eligibility
  • Veterans’ Park Pass. Maine resident veterans may get a lifetime park pass from the Bureau of Veteran Services. Contact them by phone at (207) 430-6035 or email.

Housing

Cemetery and Burial

  • There are four veterans’ cemeteries in Maine, two in Augusta (Civic Center Drive & Mt. Vernon Rd.), one in Caribou and one in Springvale. For more information, contact the Maine Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery System at (207) 287-3481 or by email.
  • 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