Veterans Status for Pensions
Government employees who are enrolled in the New Jersey Public Employees' Retirement System, Police and Firemen's Retirement System or the New Jersey Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund are entitled to special retirement benefits if they are military veterans. A veteran for pension purposes is a person who holds an honorable discharge from the military service of the United States and who served during the time periods shown in the chart below:
WAR ERA SERVICE DATES
Veteran status can be granted for World War II, the Korean Conflict or the Vietnam Conflict if the member had at least 90 days of continuous active military service as long as any part of the 90 days falls on or within the dates listed above.
For World War II, Chapter 389, P.L. 1991 extended the definition of a veteran to include any honorably discharged member of the American Merchant Marines who served during World War II and presents a DD-214 which establishes 90 days of continuous active service during the period noted above.
Veteran status for the Lebanon Crisis, the Grenada Peacekeeping Mission, the Lebanon Peacekeeping Mission, the Panama Peacekeeping Mission, Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, Operation Joint Endeavor/Joint Guard in Bosnia, Herzegovina, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom requires that the member served in the country/region or on ships patrolling the territorial waters of these nations for at least 14 days.
If the start of the member's service began on or after the beginning date of the war era, veteran status will be granted as long as any part of the 14 days service falls on or within the dates listed above.
If the start of the member's service was prior to the beginning date of the war era, then the member must have served 14 days in the area within the dates specified for the conflict in order to be granted veteran status.
The 90 or 14-day requirement for service is not prescribed if the veteran was discharged because of a service-incurred disability.
Service with the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and Women's Army Corps (WAC) qualifies for veteran status.
Absent Without Leave (AWOL) must be deducted from active service and if this reduces the active service to less than the 90 or 14-day service requirement, veteran status will be denied.
Veteran status cannot be granted if an individual received a dishonorable discharge, a discharge from the draft, disenrollment from the Coast Guard Reserve, or a discharge from the reserve with no evidence of active service in time of war.
Veteran status cannot be granted if the individual service was:
ESTABLISHING VETERAN STATUS
Individuals wishing to establish veteran status with the retirement system should submit an Application for Veteran Designation for Pension (10kb PDF) and copies of their discharge papers (DD214) to:
NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
Be sure to include your name, address, social security number, and telephone number or e-mail when submitting these forms.
If you do not have your discharge papers (DD214), you should write to:
National Personnel Records Center
To obtain discharge papers for the Merchant Marines, you should write to:
Maritime Administration (MAR-250)
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AVAILABLE
For additional information or questions contact:
NJ Department of Military & Veterans Affairs
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