NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
Veterans Veterans Status

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

  • World War II September 16, 1940 to December 31, 1946
  • Korean Conflict June 23, 1950 to January 31, 1955
  • Lebanon Crisis July 1, 1958 to November 1, 1958
  • Vietnam Conflict December 31, 1960 to May 7, 1975
  • Lebanon Peacekeeping Mission September 26, 1982 to December 1, 1987
  • Grenada Peackeeping Mission October 23, 1983 to November 21, 1983
  • Panama Peacekeeping Mission December 20, 1989 to January 31, 1990
  • Operation Desert Shield/Storm August 2, 1990 to February 28, 1991
  • Operations Northern Watch and Southern Watch August 27, 1992 to March 17, 2003
  • Operation Restore Hope (Somalia) December 5, 1992 to March 31, 1994
  • Operation Joint Endeavor / Joint Guard (Bosnia and Herzegovina)November 20, 1995 to June 20, 1998
  • Operation Enduring Freedom - On or after September 11, 2001
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom - On or after March 19, 2003

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: 

  • State Militia;
  • Student training corps during World War II;
  • Army of the Allies but not as a citizen of the United States at the time of such service;
  • Military service during peacetime;
  • Military service for training purposes. Also, courses of education and training under the Army Specialized Training Program or the Navy College Training Program where the courses were a continuation of the individual's civilian courses and were pursued to completion;
  • As a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies; or
  • Any military service performed pursuant to the provisions of Section 511 (d) of Title 10, United States Code, pursuant to enlistment in the Army National Guard or as a reserve for Service in the Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps or Coast Guard Reserve. 

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
ATTN: DVS-VBB
PO Box 340
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0340

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
1 Archives Drive
St Louis, MO 63138-1002
USA

To obtain discharge papers for the Merchant Marines, you should write to:

Maritime Administration (MAR-250)
400 7th Street S.W., Room 7302
Washington, D.C. 20590

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AVAILABLE
Fact Sheet #1 "Purchasing Service Credit"
Fact Sheet #4 "Types of Retirement" (PERS and TPAF)
Fact Sheet #17 "Veterans Status" (PERS and TPAF)

For additional information or questions contact:

NJ Department of Military & Veterans Affairs
ATTN: DVS-VBB
P.O. Box 340
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0340
Phone: 1-888-865-8387
Fax: 609-530-6970

 

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