Veteran’s Benefits [Exemptions]

There are a variety of benefits out there for the men and women who bravely served our Country.  Some of these benefits are well known, others less so.  While looking into some property tax exemptions for an inheritance issue, I came across two Veterans Property Tax Exemptions.  Although I was familiar with the exemptions it occurred to me that they may not be well known so I thought they were worth sharing.


Types of Veterans Property Tax Exemptions

1)    Veteran’s Exemption

2)    Disabled Veteran’s Exemption

  • Basic
  • Low Income


Veterans Exemption

The California Constitution provides a $4,000 real property (for ex. a home) or personal property (for ex. a boat) exemption for honorable discharged veterans or the spouse or pensioned parent of a deceased, honorably discharged veteran.   There are restrictions on the value of property a claimant may own, so the exemption applies to only a limited number of qualified veterans, but it is still worthy of mention.


Disabled Veterans Exemption

The California Constitution and the Revenue and Taxation Code provide a property tax exemption for the home of a disabled veteran or an unmarried spouse of a deceased disabled veteran.  There is a basic $100,000 exemption or low income $150,000 exemption (both exemption amounts are annually adjusted for cost of living index, as of January 1, 2012, the exemption amounts are $119,285 and $178,929 respectively) available to a disabled veteran who because of an injury incurred in military service: is blind in both eyes, or has lost the use of two or more limbs, or is totally disabled as determined by the US Department of Veterans Affairs or by the military service from which the veteran was discharged.  


An unmarried surviving spouse may also be eligible if the service person died as the result of a service-connected injury or a disease incurred while on active duty in the military even if the veteran was not eligible during his or her lifetime.  While the Veterans Exemption has personal cap requirements, the Disabled Veterans Exemption does not.  The disabled veterans exemption is only available on a veteran’s principal place of residence, and the home may only receive one property tax exemption, the greater benefit will be taken.


The issues regarding these exemptions are complex and the eligibility requirements are specific.  And the filing requirements differ for each exemption.  If you are interested in learning more about property tax exemptions contact our office to sign up for our next seminar.

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Brian Chew, the managing partner of OC Wills & Trust Attorneys, has extensive experience in the areas of estate planning, asset protection planning, business succession planning, long-term care planning, and veterans’ benefits. By devoting his practice to estate planning matters, he has founded a firm that strives to provide exceptional service to their clients by working closely with individuals and their families to create comprehensive and customized estate plans. For the past twenty five years, Brian has served thousands of clients in the matters of estate planning, wills and trusts. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Brian Chew here.