STATE BENEFITS             
The Department assists with state benefits such as state educational benefits for dependent of MIA/POWs, tax exemptions for the disabled, job reinstatement and veterans preference in public employment. We also administer a Veterans Aid Loan Program, a Grant Program, and a Transportation Program.         
Our goal is to preserve the dignity and self-determination of veterans through awareness and procurement of available benefits that may improve their living conditions and opportunities; we also serve as a focal point for coordination among agencies, both public and private, in all programs and projects affecting veterans and their dependents.         
Veteran's Bonus
Senate Bill 2145, passed by the 59th Legislative Assembly, provides for payment of adjusted compensation (bonus) for domestic and foreign service.
Special License Plates            
Disabled American Veteran
To be eligible the Department of Veteran Affairs office must sign a letter stating the applicant is 100 percent service related disabled or attesting eligibility under Public Law 663 of the 79th Congress.         
Gold Star
The director (DOT) may issue distinctive number plates to a surviving spouse, parent, including stepmother, stepfather, parent through adoption, and foster parent who stands or stood in loco parentis, grandparents, child, including stepchild and child through adoption, and sibling, including half-brother and half-sister, of a member of the armed forces of the United States who died while serving on active duty during a time of military conflict.              
National Guard
Distinctive numbered plates may be issued to members of the National Guard. The Adjutant General shall certify those members of the national guard eligible to receive the plates.          
N.D. Veterans' Cemetery
Distinctive numbered plates may be issued to individuals eligible for interment in the North Dakota Veterans' Cemetery. The surcharge collected will be divided between the Veterans' Cemetery Trust Fund and the Veterans' Cemetery Maintenance Fund.                             
Purple Heart
Available to those recipients of the Purple Heart award as listed on the DD214 or Certificate.

POWA veteran, while serving in the U.S. armed forces was a prisoner of war and has received an honorable discharge from the U.S. armed forces, may be issued a special number license plate. On the death of the veteran, the surviving spouse may retain the numbered plate as an active plate.                  
Veterans Individuals eligible for interment in the North Dakota Veterans’ Cemetery qualify for these plates.                        
Transportation System
The veterans transportation system is designed to aid veterans in transportation to a Veterans Hospital. Currently , there are 5 vans on scheduled routes bringing veterans to Fargo, North Dakota or Miles City, Montana. The cost of this program is underwritten in part by the Post War Trust Fund.                     
National Guard Tuition Waiver
Any qualifying member of the national guard who enrolls in any state-controlled school, shall, subject to national guard rules promulgated by the adjutant general, receive a waiver of the tuition charged by the school.                     
The tuition waiver is valid only so long as the member of the national guard maintains satisfactory performance with the guard, meets the qualification requirements of rules promulgated by the adjutant general, and pursues a course of study in a manner which satisfies the normal requirements of the school.                  
Free Tuition to qualified Dependents in North Dakota Institution of Higher Education.Any dependent of a resident veteran who was killed in action or died from wounds or other service-connected causes, was totally disabled as a result of service-connected causes, died from service-connected disabilities, was a prisoner of war, or was declared missing in action, upon being duly accepted for enrollment into any North Dakota state-supported institution of higher education or state-supported technical or vocational school, must be allowed to obtain a bachelor's degree or certificate of completion, for so long as the dependent is eligible, free of any tuition and fee charges.... provided that the bachelor's degree or certificate of completion is earned within a forty-five month or ten semester period or its equivalent; and further that tuition and fee charges shall not include costs for aviation flight charges or expenses.               
Contact: School of higher educations financial aid department North Dakota University System                  
Hardship Assistance Grant
The purpose of this assistance is to provide monies to give aid and comfort to veterans [as defined in NDCC 37-14] and their spouses, or un-remarried widow/widowers of eligible veterans.  The individual must have an unmet need of dental work, eye glasses, hearing aids, transportation for medical treatment, or any special need for medical reasons, approved by the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs. Routine and maintenance procedures are not covered.                        
Income will be based on established indexes such as pension rates and poverty guidelines which will be reviewed annually.                      
Documentation will be required.The applicant must be a North Dakota resident for one year prior to application date.                    
Documentation will be required.Medical bills showing all work completed, and all payments and credits must be received by the department within 60-90 days of the date of approval.                           
To apply: Contact your County Veterans Service Officer                    
Veterans Aid Loan Program
The Veterans Aid Fund is a permanent fund to be used solely for the purpose of making loans to veterans or their widow/widowers.                 
To qualify, the applicant is required to be a: peacetime veteran, wartime veteran or, National Guard with active duty [as defined in NDCC 37-14], or unremarried widow/widower of eligible veteran; a citizen and resident of North Dakota for at least one year, and have the financial ability to make payments.The maximum loan amount is $5,000. The interest rate is 8% per annum. Time limit can be from six months to 48 months.                  
One half of the interest paid will be refunded provided the loan is repaid under the agreed upon terms.                    
The Department has the right to take legal action to collect on delinquent loans.                  
To apply: Contact your County Veterans Service Officer

North Dakota Veterans HomeThe North Dakota Veterans Home, located in Lisbon, North Dakota, consists of 111 basic care and 38 skilled nursing beds. The Veterans Home was established to provide service to an eligible veteran who is:

A bona fide resident of North Dakota for at least one year; or Served in a North Dakota regiment (activated N. D. National Guard); or Entered the Armed Forces as a North Dakota resident; or

Is the spouse or surviving spouse of above veteran.                       
Application may be made through any County Veterans Service Officer.                    
Veterans CemeteryThe North Dakota Veterans Cemetery was established by an act of the 1989 Legislative Assembly. This cemetery is located on a 35 acre tract of land in the southwest corner of Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, south of Mandan ND.               
Veterans PreferenceFor information on North Dakota Veterans Preference, conact Gene Kouba at              
For information on Federal Veterans Preference, contact Jerry Meske at                     
Uniform Service Dates and Campaign Service Medals for Veterans PreferenceN.D.C.C. 37-01-40, subsection 2 defines wartime veteran as follows:                   
A "wartime veteran" is a person who served in the active military forces, during a period of war or who received the Armed Forces Expeditionary or other campaign service medal during an emergency condition and who was discharged or released there from under other than dishonorable conditions. A "wartime veteran" also includes a person who died in the line of duty in the active military forces, as determined by the Armed Forces.                   
Wars, Campaigns and Expeditions of the Armed Forces Since World War II which Qualify for Veterans Preference.                     
Military Discharge Requests (DD214)Most Veteran’s benefits require that applicants provide a copy of their Form DD 214 or discharge record, which is evidence of their veteran status. This is an important document and must be safeguarded. In the State of North Dakota separation documents are considered confidential and privileged NDCC 38-18-11 (13). National Guard members may receive a NGB22 and /or NGB23 upon obtaining 20 years of satisfactory service (20 year letter).


Upon discharge from military service the service member’s discharges are sent to their state of residence, usually as indicated by the veteran. The North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs maintains these records but not all states do.                    
It is recommended that you file a copy of your DD 214 with your county court house and maintain a copy in a safe place. It is important that your family members or trusted individual know where your DD214 is located.                   
There are several places where your DD214 may have been stored, including your county (or county Veteran returned to upon discharge), North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs, the North Dakota National Guard, Other State Department of Veteran Affairs Offices (if Veteran resided in another state after being discharged from the military) and the National Record Center or online.                     
Requests for copies of discharge papers may be made by the Veteran or the next of kin of a deceased Veteran which include a surviving spouse that has not remarried, father, mother, son, daughter, sister, or brother.                    
Travel Assistance
The Veterans travel assistance programs are designed to assist Veterans in getting to Veterans Health Care facilities. The Families/Next of Kin programs are designed to assist military members families with travel needs to visit the veteran while at medical care facilities throughout the nation.                       
Veteran owned businesses or Veterans interested in starting a business can find assistance in their business development, financing and in applying for government contracts.                 
Business financing                      
Patriot Express Loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the SBA’s Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative for veterans and members of the military community wanting to establish or expand small businesses.
Business Development
The mission of the Office of Veterans Business Development is to maximize the availability, applicability and usability of all administration small business programs for Veterans, Service-Disabled Veterans, Reserve Component Members, and their Dependents or Survivors.


Government Contracts     
The Procurement Assistance Center is primarily focused on helping existing companies secure government contracts.
Nathan Berseth, Director of the Procurement Assistance Center, works with veteran and service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs to position their companies to successfully compete in the government contracting arena.
Entrepreneurship Training
Entrepreneurship training allows eligible service members and veterans to use VA education benefits to take courses offered by the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) or The National Veterans Business Development Corporation, better known as “The Veterans Corporation.” Individual courses must be specifically approved for VA purposes to use your benefits.
About one-third of the adult homeless population have served their country in the Armed Services. Current population estimates suggest that about 131,000 Veterans (male and female) are homeless on any given night and perhaps twice as many experience homelessness at some point during the course of a year. Many other Veterans are considered near homeless or at risk because of their poverty, lack of support from family and friends, and dismal living conditions in cheap hotels or in overcrowded or substandard housing.                  
Right now, the number of homeless male and female Vietnam era Veterans is greater than the number of service persons who died during that war -- and a small number of Desert Storm veterans are also appearing in the homeless population. Although many homeless Veterans served in combat in Vietnam and suffer from PTSD, at this time, epidemiologic studies do not suggest that there is a causal connection between military service, service in Vietnam, or exposure to combat and homelessness among Veterans. Family background, access to support from family and friends, and various personal characteristics (rather than military service) seem to be the stronger indicators of risk of homelessness                                 
Almost all homeless Veterans are male (about three percent are women), the vast majority are single, and most come from poor, disadvantaged backgrounds. Homeless Veterans tend to be older and more educated than homeless non-Veterans. But similar to the general population of homeless adult males, about 45% of homeless Veterans suffer from mental illness and (with considerable overlap) slightly more than 70% suffer from alcohol or other drug abuse problems. Roughly 56% are African American or Hispanic.                    
Federal VA
VA offers a wide array of special programs and initiatives specifically designed to help homeless veterans live as self-sufficiently and independently as possible. In fact, VA is the only Federal agency that provides substantial hands-on assistance directly to homeless persons. Although limited to veterans and their dependents, VA's major homeless-specific programs constitute the largest integrated network of homeless treatment and assistance services in the country. VA's specialized homeless veterans treatment programs have grown and developed since they were first authorized in 1987. The programs strive to offer a continuum of services that include:aggressive outreach to those veterans living on streets and in shelters who otherwise would not seek assistance;                      
clinical assessment and referral to needed medical treatment for physical and psychiatric disorders, including substance abuse;                            
long-term sheltered transitional assistance, case management, and rehabilitation;employment assistance and linkage with available income supports; and
supported permanent housing.                     
Dental Program
The mission of the Homeless Veteran Dental Program is to increase the accessibility of quality dental care to homeless Veteran patients and to help assure success in VA-sponsored and VA partnership homeless rehabilitation programs throughout the United States .                
ND Coalition for Homeless People
The North Dakota Coalition for Homeless People is a dynamic organization of service providers, joined together to work on the concerns of homelessness in our state. The Coalition believes that housing and other basic human needs should be within everyone's reach in an affordable and dignified manner. Our vision is to be a statewide team of agencies collaborating to end homelessness. Accomplishing this vision requires assistance from every community in the state. Regional Homeless Coalitions provide resources within communities to help accomplish this vision.               
ND Resources:Healthcare for Homeless Veterans
VA Medical Center
Elm Street North
Fargo, ND 58102
701-293-3700 ex. 3472
FM Area Coalition                  
Stand Downs
Stand Downs are one part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ efforts to provide services to homeless veterans. Stand Downs are typically one to three day events providing services to homeless Veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment. Stand Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies, and community agencies who serve the homeless. The first Stand Down was organized in 1988 by a group of Vietnam veterans in San Diego. Since then, Stand Downs have been used as an effective tool in reaching out to homeless Veterans, reaching more than 200,000 Veterans and their family members between 1994-2000.                          
ND Shelters
A complete list of North Dakota Homeless Shelters. Many other programs such as Food banks, Rent Assistance and more.                     
ND Food Pantries
The ND Division of Community Services periodically updates a list of Food Pantries operating within the State. This information is provided by the seven Community Action Agencies (CAAs) that provide services within their designated service areas.                      
The list provides the name and address of the Food Pantry, and a contact person available to provide assistance and information. Food Pantries are independent entities that provide food and non-food items to eligible individuals and families. There are a number of sponsors of Food Pantries, including churches, faith-based organizations, community groups, non-profit agencies, service organizations, senior citizen centers, governmental units, etc. The hours of operation, eligibility requirements and the types of food and non-food items available also vary. For additional information about a particular Food Pantry, contact the person listed for the specific Food Pantry.                                
ND HUD Food Banks
A list of food banks, Food Pantries, Food Baskets and Hot Meals in North Dakota. Listed by city.                
Missouri Valley Coalition
The Missouri Valley Coalition for Homeless People, Inc. is a regional nonprofit dedicated to helping ensure that housing and other basic human needs are within everyone’s reach in an affordable and dignified manner. The coalition exists to advocate, coordinate and optimize services for people experiencing homelessness, or at risk of homelessness, across North Dakota’s Missouri Valley including the counties of Burleigh, Emmons, Grant, Kidder, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sheridan and Sioux.
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