HARRIS COUNTY ONLY:
Questions and Answers About the Harris County 100% Disabled Veteran's Homestead Exemption
If you qualify as a 100% Disabled Veteran, you will be interested in the answers to the most commonly asked questions below.
Q. What are the qualifications for this exemption?
- You qualify for this 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 Form 11.13, checking the box for 100% Disabled Veterans Exemption, as well as all boxes that apply to you. You must attach documentation as well. You may attach a copy of your award letter, a “VA tax letter,” or another 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 unemployability. The documents you attach must be current documents.
Q. How much of my home’s value will it exempt?
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.
Q. I already have a homestead exemption. Do I need to apply for the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption?
Yes. This exemption is not given automatically.
Q. I just qualified for the disabled veteran’s exemption. Why do I need to send you my documentation for this exemption?
Qualifications for the 100% Disabled Veteran 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.
Q. When is the new homestead exemption effective?
If you apply and qualify for the current tax year as well as the prior tax year, you will be granted the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption for both years. Effective January 1, 2012, you may receive this exemption for the applicable portion of the year immediately upon qualification. (This applies to 2012 forward; not to prior years).
Q. I bought my home after January 1, 2011. Will I get the new exemption for part of 2011?
No. The exemption will take effect for the 2012 year if you didn’t own your home on January 1, 2011.
Q. 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?
No. You must be 100% disabled or have a rating of individual unemployability to qualify for the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead 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.
Q. If something happens to me, will the new homestead exemption pass to my spouse or children?
Your surviving spouse, married to you and living at the same residence, may qualify to continue this exemption.
Q. I owe delinquent taxes on my home for years before 2011. Will the new exemption affect those?
No. The exemption will apply for 2011 forward. It does not affect prior years.
Q. I am in a hospital or nursing home. Can I still get the new exemption?
Yes, as long as you intend to return to the home when you are able.
Q. My spouse and I own our home together. How is this homestead exemption calculated?
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.
Q. I have a mortgage on the home. Can I still get the new homestead exemption?
Q. I don’t currently have a homestead exemption. Do I need to apply for the regular homestead exemption in addition to this one?
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.
Q. I have recently turned 65. Should I apply for the over-65 homestead exemption in addition to the new exemption?
Yes, for the same reasons given above.
Q. How much of my home’s value will the new exemption exempt?
Your home will be totally exempt from property taxes.
Q. I meet all of the qualifications for this exemption. I currently apply the $12,000 regular disabled veteran’s exemption to my home. When I get the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption, what happens to the other exemption?
This 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 should file a new application with the appraisal district and designate the $12,000 exemption as applying to the other property.
Q. Will I have to reapply every year for the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption?
No. Once your exemption is granted, you will not have to reapply unless the chief appraiser requires you to do so in writing.
Q. I already have a disability homestead exemption on my home. What is the difference between that one and this one?
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 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption will apply to all taxing units and will exempt the total value of your home.
Q. Can I apply this exemption to my main home and get the general homestead exemption on my vacation home?
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.
Q. How do I get documentation of my status from the VA?
You can contact the VA at 1-800-827-1000. Their website is at www.va.gov.
HARRIS COUNTY ONLY:
10-99% Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Exemption
Are you a disabled veteran or survivor? You may qualify for a property tax exemption if you are either (1) a veteran who was disabled while serving with the U.S. armed forces or (2) the surviving spouse or child (under 18 years of age and unmarried) of a disabled veteran or of a member of the armed forces who was killed while on active duty. You must be a Texas resident.
An Application for Disabled Veteran's or Survivor's Exemption can be found at the Forms Page under the Residential Exemption Section (11-22). Click Here
To establish eligibility, you must have documents from either the Veterans' Administration or the branch of the armed forces that shows the percentage of your service-related disability. Your disability rating must be at least 10 percent.
If you are a surviving spouse or child, you must have the veteran's disability records. You may need other documents such as proof of marriage or age.
Currently, the exemption ranges from $5,000 to $12,000, depending on the extent of the disability. This exemption is not only for a home -- you can apply it to any property you own on January 1, such as to a truck used for business purposes. However, you may pick only one property to receive this exemption. The appropriate exemption amount will be deducted from the appraised value of the property to which you want the exemption applied.
The disabled veterans' exemption is different from a disabled homeowner's exemption, and disabled veterans do not necessarily qualify for the latter type exemption.
This chart outlines disabled veterans' exemptions effective January 1, 2008:
||$ Amount of Exemption
|Disability Rating of 10 - 29%
|Disability Rating of 30 - 49%
|Disability Rating of 50 - 69%
|Disability Rating of 70 - 100%
|65 years of age and disabled at least 10%, or blind, or paraplegic, or having lost one or both limbs
|Surviving spouse or children of a deceased disabled veteran
If you have a disability rating of 100% or individual unemployability, you should also consider the 100% disabled veterans' homestead exemption. You can find information about it here.