The state of Texas offers a wide range of services for veterans and active duty service members.
Employment & Re-Employment
Wartime veterans have preference in employment with State agencies or offices, as do widows and children of those killed on active duty. State agencies must practice veterans' preference until they have reached 40% veteran employment. Non-retired veterans who are employed by the State of Texas are entitled to claim their active duty military time toward retirement, provided they present a proper request and pay to the Retirement System the specified amount of retirement contribution for up to 60 months' military credit. Such contribution is paid at the rate which was applicable at the time the employed veteran first was covered by the state Retirement System, plus any accrued interest.
Additionally, a veteran is entitled to reemployment rights with his last employer when he is released from the Armed Forces of the United States, providing his absence is not longer than four years. The right of reemployment is available regardless of whether the veteran was, prior to service, employed by the State, county or city government, or by private industry. Reemployment rights of veterans are now provided by both State and Federal laws. We have provided a link to the State Law regarding reemployment rights.
Texas Veterans Land Board Programs
The Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB), a division of the Texas General Land Office, administers three veterans' loan programs: The Land Loan Program, Veterans Housing Assistance Purchase Program, and the Veterans Home Improvement Loan Program.
Texas State Veterans Homes
The Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB), a division of the Texas General Land Office, administers the Texas State Veterans Homes program
Texas State Cemetery Program
In the November 2001 statewide elections, voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 7, a constitutional amendment that authorized the creation of up to seven state cemeteries for veterans and their eligible dependents. The cemeteries will be built and operated through a partnership between the Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA). The USDVA will fund up to 100 percent of the construction and equipment costs. The state will own and operate the cemeteries and fund most of the cost of operations.
No Cost Medical Records
Under the Health and Safety Code, Chapter 161.201 Subchapter M, Medical or Mental Health Records, Texas veterans are eligible for no cost medical records when they are obtained to file a claim for a disability against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA). The health care provider or health care facility is not required to provide more than one complete record for the patient or former patient without charge. Also, it should be noted, that some medical facilities will charge a small administrative fee for obtaining the records.
Free Drivers License for Disabled Veterans
Under Texas Transportation Code Title 7, Chapter 521, Section 521.426, Texas drivers licenses may be furnished free of charge to veterans who have service-connected disabilities rated 60% or more by the VA or by a branch of the Armed Forces of the U.S. Application must be made prior to the time present drivers license expires. Application forms may be obtained from Department of Public Safety's license examining offices located throughout the State. We have provided a link to the to the Texas Department of Public Safety's Drivers License information website. Application forms should be completed by the veteran and forwarded to the VA for verification of service-connected rating of 60% or more. If a veteran was disability-retired from military service and has no VA claim file, proof of disability must come from their respective branch of military service.
Fishing & Hunting Licenses For Disabled Veterans
Disabled veterans are eligible for special hunting and fishing licenses, at a reduced cost. A disabled veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States is one who has a service-connected disability, as defined by the Department of Veterans Affairs, consisting of the loss of use of a lower extremity or of a disability rating of 60% or more, and who is receiving compensation from the United States for the disability. A resident veteran as described in the law may hunt wild turkey and deer without a resident hunting license if he has acquired a resident exemption hunting license.
Free Park Admission for Disabled Veterans
Free admission to Texas State Parks is available to any veteran who has a service-connected disability, which is rated 60% or more by VA, or a service-connected disability, which has resulted in the loss of a lower extremity. Application may be made at the headquarters office of any Texas State park by providing satisfactory evidence of service-connected disability. If such evidence is not readily available, it can be obtained from the VA regional office where the claims folder is located. The Texas State Parklands Passport is available to any veteran who meets the disability requirements, whether or not he or she resides in Texas. The Passport provides only free admission to the State parks, and does not exempt anyone from payment of other charges, such as camping fees, etc.