State Representative Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville) has introduced legislation that would allow qualified disabled veterans to file for a three year retroactive reimbursement of the Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Tax Exemption. The bill will be called The Russell D. Rego USMC Act after a Hall County veteran.
“I believe that the delays veterans are experiencing in receiving medical treatments and disability benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are inexcusable,” said Hawkins. “It is incumbent upon us, as state legislators, to provide assistance for our veterans.”
This legislation would allow qualified disabled veterans to file for a three year retroactive reimbursement of ad valorem taxes paid prior to his or her final determination of disability, particularly for Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Tax Exemption claims. Currently, veterans apply for disability status through the United States Veteran’s Affairs, and claims may take several years to be approved. Due to this delay, as well as Georgia’s current filing requirements, veterans are unable to file for many other disability benefits, including the Disabled Veterans Homestead Tax Exemption.
The Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Tax Exemption is available to honorably discharged Georgia veterans who are considered disabled according to any of several criteria. In order to qualify, the disabled veteran must own the home and use it as a primary residence. The exemption extends to surviving un-remarried spouses and minor children as long as they remain in the homestead or a subsequent homestead in the same county.