Colorado is home to 413,271 veterans. These brave men and women have made significant sacrifices to fight for the freedom of the USA.
However, reintegration into society after serving isn’t always easy. Fortunately, the government has set up several benefit schemes for Colorado-based veterans to help them after their years of service.
Many people aren’t aware of the extent of the available benefits, and therefore they miss out on financial, emotional, and lifestyle support.
To find out more about the Colorado state veteran benefits that are available, read on.
Veterans Home’s In Colorado
The first option for veterans in Colorado is living in veteran’s housing. This is only available for those that are honorably discharged, significant others, widow’s and what’s known as ‘Gold-Star parents“.
This housing isn’t suitable for those with minimal needs. It’s best for people that require 24-hour nursing care, food service, around-the-clock physician access, and transportation.
For those that qualify for a veteran home in Colorado, there are five locations to choose from: Aurora, Homelake, Rifle, Walsenburg, and Florence.
Financial Benefits For Veterans In Colorado
There are four main types of financial veteran benefits. These include tax allowances and relief funds.
The first is property tax exemption.
This benefit aims to help injured Colorado state veterans get on the property ladder. A permanently and totally disabled veteran can receive a property tax exemption of 50% on the first $200k of a home’s value. However, they do not qualify for this benefit if they already receive 100% disability due to being unemployable.
The next benefit is income tax on active duty pay.
This benefit means that any money someone earns while on active duty is tax-free as long as they spend at least 305 days working outside of the US. Active duty military pay is also applicable to spouses if they also meet the requirements.
The third type of financial veteran benefits is income tax on retired military pay.
This benefit means that military retirees can exclude a portion of their retirement income from their taxable income. The amount varies by age:
- <55 can exclude $10,000
- 55-64 can exclude $20,000
- <65 can exclude $24,000
The final financial benefit is the military family relief fund.
This benefit entitles the families of active-duty members to claim financial aid while their family is in a combat zone. These grants are designed to help families with the costs of medical expenses, housing, food, and utilities.
Contact your local veteran advisor for guidance claiming these benefits.
Colorado State Veteran Employment Benefits
One of the main drives for getting veterans back to work comes in the form of extra points given in an employment examination.
There is an additional five points available for those who:
- Were honorably discharged after serving in a war
- Received a campaign medal
- Are a spouse of a veteran that’s unable to work due to disability
- Are the widow/widower of a veteran that could have claimed the benefit
If veterans receive VA disability or VA pension, they can claim a ten-point preference.
Colorado National Guard Education Benefits
Any veterans that are part of the Colorado National Guard qualify for state tuition assistance at any CO state-funded school. They can claim up to 100% of tuition fees depending on how much funding is available, and it can be used alongside Federal Tuition Assitance.
For every year of tuition claimed, they must have served two years to be eligible.
Recreation Benefits for Colorado Veterans
There are several recreational benefits available to any veterans residing in Colorado. These include:
Hunting & Fishing License for Disabled Veterans
Permanently disabled veterans can claim a free lifetime license for hunting and fishing. To qualify for this benefit, they must be a resident at a Colorado VA hospital or have a service-connected disability of 60% or more.
Hunting & Fishing License for Active Duty
While on active duty and stationed in Colorado, non-residents and their families can obtain hunting and fishing licenses. These licenses are the same price as they would be for a Colorado resident.
Resident Fishing While Home on Leave
Colorado residents on active duty and permanently stationed outside of Colorado get allowances with fishing when on leave. They do not have to obtain a license to fish in Colorado while on temporary leave.
Free State Park Admission
All veterans and active-duty members can enter Colorado’s state parks for no charge during August and on Veterans Day. They don’t need to live in Colorado to qualify for this benefit.
State Park Admission for Disabled Veterans
Any veteran with a Disabled Veterans License Plate can enter any state park or recreation area for free. Additionally, any veterans with a 60% disability can receive a discounted admission to all state parks with their Columbine pass.
Colorado State Veterans’ Cemetery
Veterans that live in Colorado can choose to be buried in The Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado. They must meet the requirements for any VA cemetery and live in Colorado.
Stay Up To Date About Colorado State Veteran Benefits
There are many types of benefits available to help active-duty members and veterans. Veteran care is a critical way of saying thank you to those that serve the USA and protect its citizens.
The Colorado state veteran benefits are constantly being renewed and updated, so it’s important to stay in the loop about any upcoming changes. At VetLink Solutions, we’re here to help. We know how to submit successful claims to the VA and get you the benefits you deserve.
You can find out more about the benefits you’re due as a veteran or veteran family member. Contact us for a free evaluation by a veteran benefits advisor.