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101 Eggert Crossing Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
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NJ Veterans Benefits Guide Veterans Diversion Resource Entities Directory Apply to be a Veteran Mentor

About NJ Department of Military & Veteran Affairs HQ

Ready To Serve ★ Proud To Have Served

DMAVA offers education, resources and benefits to New Jersey Veterans through local Veteran Service Offices. For immediate assistance, dial the NJ Veterans Benefits Hotline at 1-888-865-8387.

Our Programs

Veterans Status For Pensions
Those with Veterans Status who are enrolled in the following state operated pension funds qualify for Veterans Retirement:

  • New Jersey Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS)
  • Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS)
  • New Jersey Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF)
  • Veterans Retirement is different than the standard Service Retirement available to most enrolled in the above pension funds, and has special benefits.

These benefits include the ability to retire at age 55 (with 25 years of service) and a more generous calculation of your Maximum Annual Allowance during retirement. Unlike Civil Service Preference for Veterans which MAY transfer to the spouse, Veteran Status for Pension does not.

Qualifying for Veterans Status
To qualify for Veterans Status, the Veteran must have been honorably discharged and served on active duty during a qualifying war era. The following documents will be needed to prove this service occurred:

  • WD Form 53-55 or DD Form 214
  • Honorable Discharge Certificate
  • 14 days in a combat theater during specified time periods. As an exception to the 14 day rule, the Vietnam Conflict requires 90 days active duty on or after
  • December 31, 1960 and must have begun on or before May 7, 1975. Refer to Civil Service Preference for Veterans Qualifying War Era Service Dates.
  • Additional documents as needed

Request Military Records

The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs maintains and archives many military records of current and former members of the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard in accordance with N.J.S.A. 38A:3-6(e).

Additionally, the Department maintains and archives Active Duty DD Form 214’s. A DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) is sent to the Department if the Servicemember’s Home of Record (HOR) is New Jersey at the time of discharge and the Servicemember elected to have a copy sent to the state. Please note that the Department did not start receiving these discharge records until the 1980’s or later.

If your records do not meet the above criteria, we advise you to visit the National Personnel Records Center website for your records request.

Authorized to Request Military Records
Current and former Servicemembers of the military or their next of kin may request from the Department copies of their military records.

Next of kin are defined as the unremarried surviving spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, brother and sister only of the Servicemember.
Next of kin must provide proof of death (such as a copy of the death certificate; newspaper article (obituary) or death notice; coroner’s report of death; funeral director’s signed statement of death; or verdict of coroner’s jury).
Next of kin supporting documents must list the requestor’s name. If their name is not listed, they cannot sign the Standard Form 180 requesting records.
For military funerals, the funeral director may act as the next of kin.

All other requests must provide a power of attorney or the Servicemember’s written authorization.


Operation Recognition: Diplomas for Veterans

In 2000, the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (NJDMAVA) and the Department of Education jointly launched a program to honor World War II era veterans who left school to join the military and never received a high school diploma. Known as Operation Recognition, the program was expanded to award a state-endorsed high school diploma to any New Jersey veteran who left a New Jersey high school to enter military service during World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Any current New Jersey veteran who left a New Jersey high school to join the military between the dates of Sept. 16, 1940-Dec. 31, 1946, June 23, 1950-Jan. 31, 1955, or Dec. 31, 1960-May 7, 1975 and were honorably discharged. All branches of service including Merchant Marine and Coast Guard are eligible.

Those who earned a GED are also eligible. Diplomas may be issued posthumously.
Surviving family members of eligible veterans are urged to apply. The paperwork needed:

– A copy of the veterans’ DD-214 or discharge papers,
– The name and address of the high school the veteran attended,
– The year the veteran would have graduated and
– The applicant’s name, address and daytime phone number.
– Send your request to:

Operation Recognition
New Jersey Department of Military & Veterans Affairs
Eggert Crossing Road
P.O. Box 340
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

For more information: Call Kathy at (609) 530-6854/6876


Civil Service Preference for Veterans

Eligible Veterans are provided an absolute Veterans Preference when applying for a New Jersey civil service position. This means that qualified New Jersey Veterans who receive a passing score are placed at the top of open competitive employment lists, ahead of Non-Veterans, regardless of their scores.

Eligible Disabled Veterans are given the highest preference, being placed above both Veterans and Non-Veterans on open competitive employment lists. Veterans Preference can be established as late as 8 days prior to an open competitive employment list being issued. For an example of how this works, please visit the Civil Service Commission’s Open Competitive Exams for Veterans page.


Veterans Education Benefits: New Jersey

New Jersey Veterans Tuition Credit Program
Veterans attending any approved educational institution may apply for the Veterans Tuition Credit Program. Under the program, partial reimbursement is provided to the institution to offset the cost of the Veteran’s tuition. Maximum reimbursement is $400.00 per year for full-time students, $200.00 for part-time students.

Eligibility: To qualify, the Veteran must have been on active duty between Dec.31,1960, and May 7, 1975, and have been a legal resident of NJ at the time of entrance into or discharge from the service, or two years immediately prior to application.

New Jersey National Guard Tuition Assistance
Pays up to 75% of tuition costs at accredited schools only with a maximum of $100.00 per undergraduate credit and a maximum of $170.00 per graduate credit. Tuition Assistance may not be used together with any other federal program (i.e., the GI Bill) Applications available at: Youcanretain.net

Eligibility: New Jersey National Guardsman (Army or Air) who must have completed initial active duty training, and be in good standing with your unit.

New Jersey National Guard Tuition (Waiver) Program
30 Participating State Schools. 100% tuition waiver (up to 15 credit hours per semester) at any New Jersey state (public), college/university, community college on a space available basis. Available through graduate level.

Eligibility:All members and surviving dependents of New Jersey Guard service members: Must apply for financial aid annually (FAFSA) Complete NJDMAVA Form 621-2-R “ Commander’s Certification” every semester. Maintain academic standards set by the school. Each school has their own policies and procedures for administering the program. You must find out which office is responsible for the program and meet with a representative from that office before you register. This will ensure that you follow the school’s policy. For assistance at each school, contact the Veterans Affairs Representative, the Financial Aid Office or the Registrar’s Office.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder & Readjustment Counseling

This psychiatric disorder can occur following military combat, violent assaults, natural disasters, terrorist incidents or any other life-threatening event. The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA) provides veterans with a Readjustment Counseling Program. New Jersey veterans and their families are currently provided services ranging from individual counseling, group counseling, biofeedback to medication monitoring. The clinicians provide exceptional services to veterans and their families and address the problems encountered when reintegrating into civilian life.

It is important to recognize the stressors and traumas of these combat veterans, raise awareness of civilians back home, and meet the clinical needs of our veterans. For more information, contact a local DMAVA Veterans Service Officeror call 888-8NJ-VETS (888-865-8387).

Transportation Program

This program assists the veteran in need of transportation. The program originated due to the distance many NJ Veterans had to travel to get to a VA facility for medical care. Free transportation is offered to VA medical centers, clinics, pharmacies, private physicians, regional veterans services offices or job service offices, and other community services in most counties. The DMAVA Veterans Service Officer in the county should be contacted to explain the details of the program, level of service in that county, qualifications and requirements, and assist in scheduling the transportation.

War Orphans Tuition Assistance

Children of those service personnel who died while in the military or due to service-connected disabilities, or who are officially listed as missing in action by the U.S. Dept. of Defense may claim $500 per year for four years of college or equivalent training. To qualify, the child must be a resident of New Jersey for at least one year immediately preceding the filing of the application and be between the ages of 16 and 21 at the time of application. The veteran must have been a state resident. For more information, contact the Veterans Benefits Bureau at 609-530-6949 or vbb@dmava.nj.gov.

POW-MIA Tuition Benefit Program

Free undergraduate college tuition is available to any child born or adopted before or during the period of time his or her parent was officially declared a prisoner of war (POW) or person missing in action (MIA) after Jan. 1, 1960. The POW-MIA must have been a New Jersey resident at the time he or she entered the service or whose official residence is in NJ. The child must attend either a public or private institution in NJ. A copy of DD 1300 must be furnished with the application. For more information, contact the Veterans Benefits Bureau at 609-530-6949 or vbb@dmava.nj.gov.

Catastrophic Entitlement

Eligible Veterans/surviving spouses receive a monthly entitlement of $62.50.

Criteria: A Veteran must be a New Jersey resident in receipt of a permanent service-connected disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that resulted from wartime service resulting in one of the following catastrophic disabilities: loss of sight; amputation of both hands, both feet or one hand and one foot; hemiplegia and permanent paralysis of one leg and one arm on either side of the body; paraplegia and permanent paralysis of both legs and lower parts of the body; osteochondritis and permanent loss of use of both legs; multiple sclerosis and the loss of use of both feet or both legs; quadriplegia.

For more information contact the Veterans Benefits Bureau at 609-530-6954 or vbb@dmava.nj.gov.  Download the Catastrophic Entitlement Application.

 

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NJ Department of Military & Veteran Affairs HQ
101 Eggert Crossing Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648