Benefits in my Backyard: Idaho

Idaho drinks more wine per person than any other state in the country.

Jonathan Kaupanger
April 20, 2018 - 12:41 pm



The Gem State is home to more than 120,000 veterans.  It’s called the Gem State because 72 types of precious and semi-precious stones are mined here. There are more than 3,100 miles of rivers here, more than any other state in the country.  About a third of the U.S.’s potatoes are grown in Idaho – that’s about 27 billion potatoes each year. There are also some interesting laws still on the books in Idaho.  Did you know it’s illegal for a man to give someone a box of candy weighing less than 50 lbs.? And you can’t fish while riding on a camel’s back or while riding on a giraffe.  In Eagle you can’t sweep dirt from your house into the street.  And in Pocatello, although rarely enforced, a person may not be seen in public without a smile on their face.


Military retirement benefits for anyone 65 years old or older, or disabled veterans with at least a 10 percent service-connected disability and are 62 years old and older are excluded from state taxes.  Contact your county assessor for application materials.

  • Property Tax Reduction.  Qualified homeowners and veterans with at least a 10 percent service-connected disability may reduce property taxes from $150 to $1,320 on their home and up to one acre of land.  The rules are based on the income earned in a given year.  Apply through your county assessor’s office.


  • Licensing and Certification reimbursement.  If your license or certification is listed as approved, you may apply for reimbursement with VA Form 22-0803.  If your license or certification is not listed, contact the Idaho Division of Veterans Services education department or call (208) 780-1334 for approval information.
  • Armed Forces/Public Safety Officer Dependent Scholarship.  This scholarship provides a waiver of tuition and fees plus up to $500 per semester for books in addition to on-campus housing.  Spouse or children of state residents who were POW’s, MIA, killed in action or died of injuries or wounds sustained in any area of armed conflict are eligible. 
  • Idaho State University Veteran Student Services Center.  Academic, educational, community, personal and family resources all in one location.
  • Operation Education.  For severely injured U.S. military personnel and/or their spouses.  In addition to assistance with direct educational costs such as fees, tuition & textbooks, support may be provided for on-campus housing needs, transportation, adaptive equipment, childcare, tutoring & accommodative services. 


  • On request, when applying for Idaho state jobs, veterans’ preference points may be applied to veterans with an honorable discharge. 
    • 10 points given to veterans with a 10 percent service-connected disability. Spouse of deceased veterans receive 10 points as long as they remain un-remarried.
    • 5 points given to eligible veterans and spouse as long as they remain unmarried
  • Idaho Division of Human Resources.  A page specifically for veterans.
  • Jobs.  Training, employee rights, unemployment compensation
  • Idaho Department of Labor


  • Financial Assistance.  A grant of up to $1,000 is provided in cases of extreme emergencies to wartime veterans.  Must have entered the military from Idaho or lived in the state for at least 5 years.  Call (208) 780-1380 for information.
  • Live Better Idaho.  This site is designed to help families discover and connect with services to help them live a better life. 
  • Idaho Veterans Support Fund. Career training, acquisition of equipment to support the health of veterans.
  •  Provides benefits that reduce the cost of care for veterans and surviving spouses who require assisted living.
  • Supportive Services for Veteran Families.  Outreach to veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  Transportation and childcare services as it relates to stable housing.


  • Fishing/Hunting licenses.  Resident disabled veterans are eligible for reduced fees for licenses and tags.  The resident DAV license is $5 and allows the veteran to purchase reduced fee DAV tags for deer, elk, bear or turkey.  Veterans must provide a copy of their official VA Disability Percentage Rating letter.  The letter must verify a service-connected disability rating of 40 percent or more.  Apply at any regional office.   
    • Nonresident Disabled Veterans may purchase reduced fees for licenses and tags.  The nonresident DAV hunting with 3-day fishing license is $31.75
  • State Parks.  Veterans with a 100 percent service-related disability have free day use and camping passes at Idaho State Parks.


  • Veterans’ Homes.  There are three veterans’ homes in Idaho.  Located in Boise, Lewiston and Pocatello.  Applicants may be peacetime or wartime veterans and spouses of eligible veterans.  Wartime veterans have priority admission.  You will need an honorable discharge and be a state resident at the time of application.

Cemetery and Burial

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