Skip to main content
For Immediate Help: 800-544-9144
Veterans Law

Florida State Veterans Benefits

Robert Chisholm

June 5, 2024

Updated: June 11, 2024

Florida State Veterans Benefits

According to the U.S. Census, veterans constitute about 7.4 percent of Florida’s population. In a state with over 21 million residents, this represents a significant group. Florida serves these veterans, in part, by offering them several types of benefits, including financial aid.

Our law firm represents many veterans from Florida. We know that these state benefits form an important part of their day-to-day living. Therefore, we have compiled a list of benefits that Florida veterans may wish to use.

If you are a veteran living in Florida and need help with your VA benefits appeal, then CCK may be able to help. Call us today at (800) 544-9144 to see if we can assist.

Florida Housing Benefits for Veterans

A veteran residing in Florida who requires skilled nursing care can utilize the state’s housing benefits. Currently, Florida has eight veteran nursing homes and one veteran assisted living facility.

The Robert H. Jenkins Jr. Veterans’ Domiciliary Home in Lake City, FL, is the assisted living facility and contains 150 beds. The Florida veterans’ nursing homes are as follows:

  • Emory L. Bennett SVNH — Daytona Beach, FL
  • Baldomero Lopez SVNH — Land O’ Lakes, FL
  • Alexander “Sandy” Nininger SVNH — Pembroke Pines, FL
  • Clifford C. Sims SVNH — Panama City, FL
  • Douglas T. Jacobson SVNH — Port Charlotte, FL
  • Clyde E. Lassen SVNH — St. Augustine, FL
  • Ardie R. Copas SVNH — Port St. Lucie, FL
  • Alwyn C. Cashe SVNH — Orlando, FL

Veterans who have service-connected disabilities with ratings between 70 and 100 percent do not owe a share of cost to the facility in which they are placed. Veterans that are required to pay a share of cost must apply for any available monetary benefits that could help them pay these costs.

To be eligible for abovementioned housing facilities in Florida, veterans must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Be a veteran as defined under Chapter 1.01 (14), Florida Statutes
  • Been honorable discharged
  • Be a Florida resident
  • Require nursing home care for a medical condition
  • Do not owe any money to the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs,
  • Submit a completed application
  • Pay any share of cost before admission (if applicable)

As part of the housing application process, veterans service-connected below 70 percent must submit their financial information. However, veterans rated at 70 percent or higher need only submit a VA disability letter as proof of their rating.

Financial Benefits for Florida Veterans

There are several tax breaks to veterans residing in the state. Additionally, veterans who live in Florida are also eligible for other financial incentives.

Florida Income Tax Relief

Florida does not have an income tax. If a veteran utilizes the “Thrift Savings Plan” (TSP), then the distributions received through it are also not taxed.

Property Taxes

Veterans living in Florida have access to numerous property tax benefits. For example, veterans who have a service-connected condition of at least 10 percent receive a $5,000 deduction on their home assessment for tax purposes.

Other property tax benefits include:

  • War Time Veteran Disabled 10% or More Property Tax Discount
  • Veterans with Service-Connected, Total and Permanent Disability or Confined to a Wheelchair Property Tax Exemption
  • Disabled Veteran, age 65 and older Property Tax Discount
  • Florida Local Business Tax Emption for Veterans, Spouses of Veterans, and Service Members
  • Deployed Military Tax Emption
  • Surviving Spouse of Service Members Killed on Active Duty Property Tax Exemption

Motor Vehicle Financial Benefits

Florida also offers several financial benefits for veterans who own a vehicle. For example, eligible veterans may receive one free disabled veteran license plate.

Moreover, if a veteran operates a specially modified vehicle for handicapped individuals and is certified by VA (or a physician) as having an upper-body medical condition that prevents them from depositing coins at tolls, then they can pass for free at all tolls in the state.

Employment Benefits for Veterans in Florida

Veterans also have several employment benefits available to them.

Veterans Employment Preference

Florida offers eligible veterans “employment preference.” Florida Statute 295 reads, “The state and political subdivisions in the state shall give preference in appointment and retention in positions of employment.”

This preference is available to disabled veterans who were honorably discharged and have established a service-connected condition that is compensable.

Preference is also provided for:

  • Wartime veterans who served at least one day during wartime
  • Unmarried widows/widowers of deceased veterans who died due to their service-connect disabilities
  • Parents or legal guardians of a deceased veteran of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty
  • Current members of reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces or Florida National Guard

Troops to Teachers

Eligible veterans who are transitioning from military duty to civilian life may wish to embark on a teaching career. Florida offers the Troops to Teachers program to help these individuals transition into a career teaching grades K-12.

Health License Fee Waivers

The Florida Department of Health offers programs to veterans who are seeking careers in a health-related field. For example, veterans can receive expedited health care practitioner licensure and associated fee waivers.

Business License Fee Waivers

Veterans who are honorably discharged may apply for certain business license fee waivers, specifically for a state professional license.

This application must be submitted within 60 months of their discharge. These fee waivers can include:

  • The initial licensing fee
  • The application fee
  • Unlicensed activity fees

These waivers also extend to veterans’ spouses.

Recreation Benefits Available to Florida Veterans

Discount Passes to State Parks

Both active and honorably discharged Florida veterans can receive a 25 percent discount on individual and family annual passes for state parks in Florida. Moreover, veterans with a service-connect disability and surviving spouses are eligible for a free Military Entrance Pass to state parks for life.

Hunting and Fishing Benefits

Active or retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Armed Forces Reserve, or National Guard can receive a Military Gold Sportsman’s License for a discounted price of $20. To be eligible, they must be a resident of Florida and submit a current military ID card.

Florida also offers veterans free hunting and fishing licenses and permits for five years. Florida residents, veterans who are 100% totally and permanently disabled by VA or the U.S. Armed Forces, and veterans who have a valid disabled ID card from FDVA can receive this benefit.

Operation Outdoor Freedom

This program offers wounded veterans both recreational and rehabilitative free programs on state forests, agricultural lands, and private lands in the state.

Florida Burial Benefits for Veterans

There are nine national cemeteries in the state. They are:

  • Barrancas National Cemetery
  • Bay Pines National Cemetery
  • Cape Canaveral National Cemetery
  • Florida National Cemetery
  • Jacksonville National Cemetery
  • Sarasota National Cemetery
  • South Florida National Cemetery
  • Augustine National Cemetery
  • Tallahassee National Cemetery

Eligible veterans may be buried in these cemeteries at no cost. To be eligible, veterans must have met the minimum active-duty requirements and they must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

VA Death and Burial Benefits Explained

Additionally, spouses and dependents of veterans may also be buried in the abovementioned national cemeteries if they predeceased the veteran.

If a veteran is buried in a private cemetery in Florida, then they may also receive the following burial benefits:

  • Government headstone, marker, or medallion
  • Burial flag
  • Presidential memorial certificate

How Can Florida Veterans Get Help with Their VA Disability Claims?

Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick is committed to getting veterans all the benefits they deserve. We are the nation’s largest veterans law firm and one of the leading public interest law firms in the country. If you are a veteran living in Florida and VA denied your claim for benefits, then Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick may be able to help.

Call us today at (800) 544-9144 for a free case evaluation with a member of our team.

About the Author

Bio photo of Robert Chisholm

Robert is a Founding Partner of CCK Law. His law practice focuses on representing disabled veterans in the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and before the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a veterans lawyer Robert has been representing disabled veterans since 1990. During his extensive career, Robert has successfully represented veterans before the Board of Veterans Appeals, Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

See more about Robert