The state of Oklahoma values the service and sacrifice of over 300,000 military veterans who call it home. From education support to healthcare options, financial assistance to recreation discounts,
Oklahoma offers a wide range of benefits to eligible veterans and their families. This guide will explain the key programs available, who qualifies, and how to apply. Read on to make the most of the benefits you’ve earned through your military service.
What’s the Difference Between Federal and State Veteran Benefits?
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides federal benefits to veterans nationwide based on factors like service history, income level, and disabilities incurred during active duty. States like Oklahoma offer additional benefits, resources, and perks specifically for veterans living there.
Department of Veterans Affairs
The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) serves as the main resource for state-level veterans services. Register with the free Oklahoma Veterans Registry to stay updated on new benefits and events.
How Can Oklahoma Help Pay for Your Education Goals?
Taking advantage of education benefits can help advance your career or gain new skills. Options in Oklahoma include:
The federal GI Bill helps cover college tuition and provides a monthly housing stipend and other funding. Benefits like the Post-9/11 GI Bill are available for those with qualifying active military service.
This program offers college tuition assistance to children of Oklahoma veterans who passed away in the line of duty after January 1, 2000. Funds can be used at public colleges and universities or accredited private schools in the state.
National Guard Tuition Waiver
Oklahoma National Guard members may have 100% of college tuition waived at in-state public institutions when maintaining satisfactory academic progress. This helps offset education costs.
College Credit for Military Training
Previous military training and experience may count as academic credit at Oklahoma colleges and universities. This allows veterans to accelerate their degree paths.
Does Oklahoma Offer Job Programs for Veterans?
Finding meaningful civilian employment after military service is key. Oklahoma provides various workforce programs and hiring preference policies for veterans including:
State Hiring Preferences
Honorably discharged veterans get additional points added to civil service exam scores when applying for Oklahoma government jobs and promotions. Higher preferences apply for disabled veterans.
Workforce programs in Oklahoma funded by U.S. Department of Labor grants must give priority referral to qualified veterans when matching job seekers to opportunities.
Services like interview coaching, vocational training, and resume help are available to veterans changing careers after active duty.
What Medical Care Options Exist for Oklahoma Veterans?
The Oklahoma VA Health Care System operates medical centers, clinics, and Vet Centers across that state that offer health services to enrolled veterans. Veterans may access VA health insurance options like:
VA Life Insurance - Providing coverage for service-connected disabilities or deaths.
Long Term Care - Skilled nursing facilities reserved for eligible veterans are located throughout Oklahoma.
In addition to VA healthcare, some veterans qualifying for disability benefits receive financial assistance for medical costs and injuries incurred during service.
How Can Oklahoma Resident Veterans Get Financial Help and Tax Breaks?
A number of state financial benefits and tax exemptions are available to Sooner State veterans including:
Compensation for Service-Connected Disabilities - VA disability ratings determine monthly compensation. Veterans with 100% ratings get the maximum amount.
Property Tax Exemption - 100% disabled war veterans may get full property tax exemption on their primary residence. Surviving spouses may also qualify.
Income Tax Breaks - Such as exemptions for military retirement pay and waived tax on disability benefits. Certain active duty pay is also exempt.
Vehicle Tax Waivers - Disabled veterans can get vehicle excise tax exemptions and registration discounts.
Oklahoma Disabled Veteran and Surviving Spouse Sales Tax Exemption
Oklahoma offers an annual sales tax exemption (including city and county sales tax) to eligible disabled Veterans for up to $25,000 and up to $1000 for Surviving Spouses.
Review eligibility requirements for each program before applying. Qualifying veterans can see significant savings through these state tax exemptions.
Can Veterans Get FREE Cell Phone Service in Oklahoma?
Yes! Veterans who receive VA pension benefits or participate in programs like Medicaid can qualify for FREE cell phone service and a new smartphone through the federal Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs. Providers like EASY Wireless offer this benefit to eligible veterans in Oklahoma.
To enroll, veterans can apply online by submitting their ZIP code and email address to get started.
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Visit a Retail Store
Alternatively, they can visit an EASY Wireless retail store in Oklahoma and speak to a representative about qualifying documentation and benefits.
Once approved, veterans get FREE Unlimited Talk, Text, High-speed Data, a new Smartphone, activation, and more!
What Recreation Discounts Are Offered to Oklahoma Veterans?
Besides healthcare and finances, Oklahoma also offers veterans perks like:
Free Park Entry - Veterans with an honorable discharge and an Oklahoma ID get into state parks and museums at no cost.
Hunting/Fishing Discounts - Disabled veterans can get fishing/hunting license privileges and exemptions.
Specialty Plates - Veterans can show pride in their service branch, campaign medals, and more through military-themed license plates.
Burial Options - Two national veterans cemeteries are maintained in Oklahoma by the VA providing dignified resting places for those who served.
Does Oklahoma Provide Any Additional Veteran Perks?
Other Oklahoma benefits for veterans include protections like:
- License renewal extensions for deployed Oklahoma National Guard members
- Continued driver's license validity for veterans stationed overseas
- State-sponsored life insurance options for National Guard members
- Oklahoma Veterans Registry to verify eligibility status
- Support programs specifically for women veterans
The list of perks for veterans in Oklahoma goes on and on. Be sure to research everything you’ve earned through your military service. And contact an OK Veterans representative if you have any other questions. The sooner you take advantage of these benefits, the better.