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FAQ's - 100% Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Exemption

The Texas Legislature recently passed HB 3613. This bill provides for a 100% exemption for the residence homestead of qualified disabled veterans. The bill also increases the amount of the regular disabled veteran's exemption for veterans who have a disability rating of 30%, 50%, or 70%. Below are some commonly asked questions and answers about the new 100% disability homestead exemption.

• What are the qualifications for the new exemption?  [Read more...]

You qualify for the new 100% homestead exemption if you meet these requirements:

  • You own a home and occupy it as your residence homestead.
  • You are receiving 100% disability compensation from the US Department of Veterans Affairs for a service-connected disability.
  • You have a disability rating of 100% disabled or of individual unemployability.

To get this exemption, you must fill out and return the Application For Residential Homestead Exemption. Check off the "100% Disabled Veterans Exemption" check box and you must attach documentation as well. You may attach a copy of a recent award letter, a “VA tax letter,” or another recent document from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs showing 100% disability compensation due to a service-connected disability and a rating of 100% disability or of individual un-employability.

• How much of my home’s value will it exempt?  [Read more...]

If you qualify, your home will be totally exempt from property taxes in all jurisdictions, regardless of the home’s value. If you co-own the home with someone other than your spouse, your share of the home’s value will be exempted.

• I have a homestead exemption. Do I need to apply for the new exemption?  [Read more...]

Yes. The new exemption is not given automatically.

• I just qualified for the disabled veteran’s exemption. Why do I need to send you my documentation for the new exemption?  [Read more...]

Qualifications for the new homestead exemption differ from those for the prior disabled veteran’s exemption. In particular, you must show that you actually receive 100% disability compensation for a service-connected disability, and have a rating of 100% disability or individual unemployability.

• When is the new homestead exemption effective?  [Read more...]

It is retroactive to January 1, 2009. If you owned your home and qualified on that date, you’ll receive the exemption for 2009.

• I bought my home after Jan. 1, 2009. Will I get the exemption for part of '09?  [Read more...]

No. The exemption will take effect for the 2010 year if you didn’t own your home on January 1, 2009.

• My disability rating is actually 50%, but because I am over 65, I receive the maximum disability exemption. Do I qualify for the new homestead exemption?  [Read more...]

No. You must be 100% disabled or have a rating of individual unemployability to qualify for the new exemption. You must also be receiving 100% disability compensation from the VA. If the VA reduces or changes either of these ratings, it is your responsibility to notify the appraisal district in writing.

• If something happens to me, will the new homestead exemption pass to my spouse or children?  [Read more...]

The 100 percent disabled veteran exemption extends to a surviving spouse who was married to a disabled veteran who qualified or would have qualified for this exemption if it had been in effect at the time of the veteran’s death. To be entitled to this exemption, the surviving spouse must not have remarried; the property was the residence homestead of the surviving spouse when the veteran died; and the property remains the residence homestead of the surviving spouse.

• What if my spouse was killed in action?  [Read more...]

A surviving spouse of a member of the U.S. armed services killed in action is allowed a total property tax exemption on his or her residence homestead if the surviving spouse has not remarried since the death of the armed services member.

• I owe delinquent taxes on my home for years before 2009. Will the new exemption affect those?  [Read more...]

No. The exemption will apply for 2009 forward. It does not affect prior years.

• I am in a hospital or nursing home. Can I still get the new exemption?  [Read more...]

Yes, as long as you intend to return to the home when you are able.

• My spouse and I own our home together. How is the new homestead exemption calculated?  [Read more...]

If the home is community property, it is calculated as if you owned 100% of the home. If the home is not community property, the exemption is prorated in proportion to the value of your interest.

• I have a mortgage on my home. Can I get the new homestead exemption?  [Read more...]

Yes.

• I don’t currently have a homestead exemption. Do I need to apply for the regular homestead exemption in addition to this one?  [Read more...]

You should also apply for the regular homestead exemption. This will ensure that you receive the maximum benefits of the regular exemption should your qualification for the new exemption change.

• I have recently turned 65. Should I apply for the over-65 homestead exemption in addition to the new exemption?  [Read more...]

Yes, for the same reasons given above.

• How much of my home’s value will the new exemption exempt?  [Read more...]

Your home will be totally exempt from property taxes.

• I meet all of the qualifications for the new exemption. I currently apply the $12,000 regular disabled veteran’s exemption to my home. When I get the new disability homestead exemption, what happens to the other exemption?  [Read more...]

The new exemption will exempt all of the value of your home. Consequently, the $12,000 disabled veteran’s exemption will have no effect. If you own other taxable property (such as a vacation home or business), you may file a new application with the appraisal district to designate the exemption to the other property. Remember you may only claim the Disabled Veteran’s exemption on one property.

• Will I have to reapply every year for the new disability homestead exemption?  [Read more...]

No. Once your exemption is granted, you will not have to reapply unless the chief appraiser requires you to do so in writing. You do have to notify the appraisal district if your qualifications for this exemption change.

• I already have a disability homestead exemption on my home. What is the difference between that one and this one?  [Read more...]

The existing disability homestead exemption has different requirements and benefits. For that exemption, you must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disabled, which is not necessarily the same as that used by the VA or your branch of the military. The benefits are also different. Only school districts are required to provide a disability homestead exemption, though many other taxing entities do. The new exemption will apply to all taxing units and will exempt the total value of your home.

• Can I apply the new exemption to my main home and get the general homestead exemption on my vacation home?  [Read more...]

No. Both exemptions apply only to the home that is your principal residence. You can, however, apply the prior disabled veteran’s exemption to your vacation home.

• How do I get documentation of my status from the VA?  [Read more...]

You can contact the VA at 1-800-827-1000. Their website is at www.va.gov.

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