Special Report

This Is the Worst State for Veteran Benefits

The list of the benefits the U.S. government offers veterans is long. According to Military.com, a news and resource website for military members, veterans, and their families, these benefits include disability compensation, pension programs, free or low-cost medical care through VA hospitals and medical facilities, education plans, home loan guarantees, vocational training, Small Business Administration loans, counseling, and burials. (These are the most popular veterans benefit in every state.)

For a variety of reasons, some states across the country are better places for veterans of the armed services to retire to, and the worst state for veterans benefits is New Jersey.

The number of people eligible for veteran benefits is large. Pew Research reports there are 19 million American veterans. The percentage of those from World War II has dropped to well under 1%. The number of Korean War veterans has declined to 5%. Almost 70% are veterans from the Vietnam War and Gulf War.

About 30% of vets nationwide (and 41% of those who have served since Sept. 11, 2001) have physical disabilities connected with their tours of duty or they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. The difficulty of adjusting to civilian life, an uncertain pandemic-era job market, and the way each state taxes military benefits are other factors affecting them.

To determine the states with the best and worst benefits for veterans, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the article Best and Worst States for Veterans from financial comparison site MagnifyMoney. States were ranked based on the veteran population, the quality and quantity of Veterans Affairs centers, and the economic circumstances for veterans.

Based on these criteria, the state with the worst benefits for veterans is New Jersey, which scored 22.8/100. The best state scored 67.9/100, significantly higher. Only 5.7% of the state’s adult population are veterans, the second lowest percentage of all states, and that is projected to further decline. (Find out if any of New Jersey cities made the list of America’s 25 military cities.)

The state, however, has 16.9 veterans center facilities per 100,000 VA enrollees — the 20th lowest ratio. The median property tax range for veterans in New Jersey is among the highest at $7,000 to $7,999.

Click here to see the state with the best benefits for veterans