IDVA Benefit Specialists
The IDVA staff includes benefits specialists, accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, who specialize in federal VA benefits, as well as state benefits. They advise veterans and family members of veterans concerning federal VA benefits they may be entitled to receive. These include pension, disability compensation, and other ancillary benefits. Benefit specialists can also represent claimants with federal claims and review all correspondence pursuant to those claims to determine if an award action or denial was correct. For additional information, please call the IDVA office at (515)242-5331 and ask for a benefit specialist.
Injured Veterans Grant
This grant provides up to $10,000 to service members or discharged veterans who sustained serious or very serious combat-related injuries in a combat theater of operations after September 11, 2001.
Information: Injured Veterans Grant Program
Apply: Iowa Injured Veteran Grant Application
This $5,000 grant is available to a service member who is buying a home in the state of Iowa. Members must have served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 and purchased a home after March 10, 2005. Eligibility has been expanded to include service members who served 90 days active duty between August 2, 1990 and April 6, 1991.
Information: Military Service Member Homeownership Assistance
Contact: To learn more, call 1-800-432-7230
Property Tax Exemption
This benefit reduces a veteran’s assessed home value for property tax purposes by $1,852. In order to qualify, a service member must have served on active duty during a period of war or for a minimum of 18 months during peacetime.
Information: Iowa Property Tax (Scroll down the page for veteran tax exemption information.)
Apply: Property Tax Exemption Application
Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License
Veterans in receipt of at least a 0% service connected disability can receive a lifetime hunting or fishing license for a $7.00 fee. In order to qualify, the Iowa resident must have served on active federal service and was disabled as a result of that service.
Apply: Hunting and Fishing License Application
Honorably discharged veterans as defined in Iowa Code 35.1 are eligible to purchase specialty veteran license plates for their vehicle. These special plates are available for an additional charge through the Iowa Department of Transportation. 2014 – the special plate issuance fees charged for plates associated with military service have been eliminated. (Note: the issuance fee and not the registration fee)
Information: Iowa DOT Military License Plates
Apply: Armed Forces License Plates (Click on license plate image to access application.)
The State of Iowa has established a multi-million dollar fund to provide certain services to veterans. Beginning in December 2007, interest from this fund has been available to provide relief for Iowa veterans and their families. At this time, interest funds are received monthly and approved applicants are placed on a waiting list based on the date received and approved. Currently, funds are used for unemployment or underemployment assistance due to service-related causes, assistance with vision, hearing, dental care, durable medical equipment, and prescription drugs; counseling and substance abuse services; housing repair; and transitional housing in an emergency. Trust fund expenditures are approved through the Iowa Veterans Commission.
Apply: Trust Fund Application
Branstad/Reynold Scholarship Fund (Children of Fallen Iowa Service Members Scholarship)
The scholarship fund provides post secondary educational scholarships for children of deceased military service members who died while in an active military status after September 11, 2001. The scholarship is administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. Contact our office for an application.
War Orphan Tuition Assistance
Children of Iowa veterans killed in action following September 11, 2001 are eligible for up to $11,844 per year in tuition assistance at an Iowa post secondary institution. Children qualify up to the age of twenty-six (26). Dependents of those killed in action prior to September 11, 2001 are eligible for $600 per year with a maximum of $3,000. Residency is required to receive this benefit. Contact our office for an application.
The Iowa Department of Education has been designated by the governor of the state of Iowa as the location for the Iowa State Approving Agency. The State Approving Agency is responsible for approving all GI Bill programs in Iowa for veterans and other eligible persons. (Program approval is a function of the State not the Department of Veterans Affairs.)
Information: Iowa Department of Education Veteran and Military Education
Thomas Beasley, Consultant – Thomas.Beasley@iowa.gov
Michael Dommer, Consultant – Michael.Dommer@iowa.gov
Rebecca Griglione, Assistant – Rebecca.Griglione@iowa.gov
Phone: 515-281-3317 Ext. 3317
Post 9/11 GI Bill Information
National Guard Tuition Benefits
Present Iowa National Guard members in good standing are eligible for up to $2,700 per semester for full time enrollment. Part-time students are eligible for $196 per semester hour. Additionally, Guard members who are mobilized will receive a tuition refund.
Information: National Guard Tuition Benefits
Contact Information:To learn more call, 515.252.4579
High School Diploma
This program furnishes an honorary high school diploma to qualifying veterans who did not complete high school (in Iowa) due to armed service enlistment. The application form is used by the IDVA and the Department of Education to establish eligibility for honorably discharged veterans.
Apply: Operation Recognition
Iowa Veterans Cemetery
The Iowa Veterans Cemetery began operation on July 3, 2008. Located 10 miles west of Des Moines, near Van Meter, the cemetery is available to all veterans, their spouses, and dependent children for burial. Honorably discharged veterans will be interred at no charge and spouses/dependents will be buried for a $300 fee.
Information: Iowa Veterans Cemetery
Apply: Pre-Registration for Burial Determination
Disabled Veterans Homestead Tax Credit
This recently enacted legislation provides 100% exemption of property taxes for 100% permanent and total disabled service connected veterans, service connected disabled veterans with permanent and total disability ratings based on individual unemployability (IU) paid at the 100% disability rate and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) recipients. (Note – the disabilities need to be rated by the Veterans Administration.)
Military Retirement Exemption
This recently enacted legislation exempts federal retirement pay received for military service and survivor benefits from state individual income tax.
Veterans Designation on Iowa Drivers License or IDs
Honorably discharged veterans may request the “Veteran” designation be placed on their drivers license or non-operator identification card. Veteran must present a copy of their DD214 or applicable discharge document to the County or State Veterans Affairs Office to have their eligibility certified. That office and the veteran will complete an Iowa DOT Application form. (Note – Veterans may request the designation at time of renewal and pay regular renewal fees. If requesting at any other time would pay a duplicate fee.)
Any questions regarding these benefits, contact our office.