Indiana is very supportive of veterans. The state works alongside many other groups, such as the U.S. Department of Labor, the Local Veterans Employment Representative and Veterans Employment and Training Service. Veteran assistance programs cover a wide range services. There are several different programs which help veterans who have just left the military and are struggling to find work in their civilian lives. Other veteran assistance programs offer assistance for veterans who were injured while serving. Numerous financial assistance programs exist to help veterans. Finally, veteran assistance is available for any veterans who want to pursue an education in Indiana.
In addition to directly supporting veterans, there are some benefits which apply to the family members of veterans. The majority of veteran assistance programs in Indiana come directly from the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs. However, there are smaller, local programs which work alongside the IDVA to provide veteran assistance, with one of the more notable groups being the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation.
Employment Assistance for Veterans in Indiana
There are many veterans who have a hard time adjusting to civilian life, especially when it comes to finding work. For many veterans, the shift to civilian life is very jarring because it is not as structured as the military. Being in the military provides veterans with a number of useful skills that should, in theory, make it easy to find work in Indiana. However, many veterans do not know how to best utilize their skills or where they can go to look for work.
Through employment assistance, veterans are given the chance to work directly with a workforce development officer to help locate work. The officer helps with identifying what skills the veteran has, finding a career that interests him or her and crafting a resume which best displays his or her skills and experiences. In addition, officers can point out when military experience can be used as a substitution for other job requirements. For example, many medical jobs have strict requirements, such as serving in different educational programs.
Another important service provided by employment assistance is finding jobs for veterans who were injured in the line of duty. Injured veterans have access to the same services as uninjured veterans, but workforce representatives will also closely monitor the job application process to ensure injured veterans are not being discriminated against and denied work due to their condition.
Indiana Hoosier Veteran Plates
Any veterans returning to Indiana are eligible for a veteran license plate. All veterans have to do is present their discharge certificate, also known as DD-214, to the BMV office of their choice. Veterans must pay a very small fee to process the request for their veteran license plate. In addition, the plates are available to any military member who was a prisoner of war and surviving spouses of prisoners of war. Finally, there are additional veteran plates available for any veteran who received a purple heart.
Family members of a veteran are able to apply for a Gold Star license plate. The Gold Star license plate requires a separate application, but there are no additional costs outside of the usual vehicle registration fees.
Golden Hoosier Passport and License Reduction for Indiana Veterans
The Golden Hoosier Passport offers free admission to any Indiana owned recreation areas, parks, forests and reservoirs for an entire year. Veterans who have a Disabled American Veteran license plate are automatically eligible for the passport. Other veterans must request a form through the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs.
Although it is not included in the Golden Hoosier Passport, all veterans are eligible for free peddler, vendor and hawkers license completely free of charge. Hunting and fishing licenses are available at reduced prices.
Veteran High School Diploma Program in Indiana
The High School Diploma Program is offered to specific veterans who served during World War I or II, the Korean War or Vietnam. In order to apply, the veteran must have attended either public or private high school, but was unable to graduate due to military service. In addition, these veterans must have been honorably discharged from the military. Applicants who meet the requirements are able to apply through the Department of Veteran Affairs to receive a high school diploma, without having to repeat any classes.
Property Tax Deductions in Indiana
Property tax deductions are available for veterans that served during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War or the Gulf War. These veterans must have received an honorable discharge and they must have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10 percent to qualify. Additional deductions are available depending on how long the veteran served, their current age and their disability rating. Of all the veteran benefits, the property tax deduction is one of the most complex. Veterans are strongly encouraged to ask for assistance from Veteran Services to ensure everything is done correctly.
Tuition and Fee Exemptions for Veterans in Indiana
Veterans who received a Purple Heart and were honorably discharged are entitled to free tuition in Indiana. These veterans receive this exemption for up to 124 semester credit hours. Similar discounts are available for the children of disabled veterans in Indiana. The GI Bill is also accepted by many major Indiana universities.