You have served your country. You may have even sustained a disability in the process. Now that you’re back in your home state of Virginia, do you know what benefits you’re entitled to as a resident?
Nearly all Virginia residents who have served can claim a selection of Virginia Commonwealth veteran benefits. These range from financial benefits and tax exemptions to free or discounted admission to state parks. Often, all you need to claim these benefits is a valid Virginia Commonwealth Veteran ID.
We’ve created this Virginia Commonwealth veteran benefits guide to help those who have served find and claim the benefits that the state owes them. Below, you’ll find a list of the Virginia Commonwealth veteran benefits explained for you. Continue reading to learn how you or your loved ones can improve their lives in these many simple but important ways.
Financial Benefits for Virginia Veterans
Veterans who live in the state of Virginia may receive income tax benefits. Additionally, disabled veterans can claim additional real estate exemptions.
Income Tax Benefits
Foremost, veterans residing in the state of Virginia may claim significant income tax exemptions. You will not be responsible for taxes on up to $15,000 of your military basic pay. This only relates to your state taxes, and only applies to individuals whose basic pay is below $30,000.
Do note that $15,000 is the maximum exemption possible, and will vary greatly by individual. You can calculate your exemption if you know your basic income. For every one dollar of military basic income over that maximum, the exemption decreases by one dollar.
For example, an individual who makes $16,000 in military basic income is making $1,000 more than the $15,000 maximum. Thus, that individual should subtract $1,000 from the maximum. They would receive an exemption of $14,000 annually.
The exception is for the VA National Guard, who may deduct either $3,000 or thirty-nine days of service. You will receive the smaller value, and you must be 0-3 or below to claim this benefit.
Real Estate Tax Benefits
Virginia veterans with 100% disability status are exempt from property taxes. In certain cases, surviving spouses may also be eligible for this benefit.
Employment Benefits for Virginia Veterans
After service, it can seem challenging to find employment. Those seeking state employment in Virginia can claim several benefits to ease the transition back into working life.
State Job Preference for VA Veterans
Test scores are the biggest factor that determines state job placement in Virginia. Veterans in the state of Virginia can claim an additional 5% to their score. Disabled veterans can claim a 10% addition to their score.
Transition Assistance Program
The state of Virginia also offers a program known as Virginia Values Veterans or V3. This provides direct support to service members and their spouses who are transitioning to the workforce.
This program can help you prepare a resume and help with the application process. They may be able to help forge connections with employees seeking to hire qualified veterans.
Troops to Trucks Program
Veterans with more than two years of heavy truck or bus driving experience in the military do not need to take a road skills test to receive a CDL license in Virginia. You may still have to take a written knowledge test. This only applies to veterans separated for less than one year.
Education Programs for Virginia Veterans
The dependents and surviving spouses of Virginia Veterans may claim education benefits. The veteran in question must meet one of the following criteria:
- Killed during service
- At least 90% disabled due to service
Dependents and surviving spouses may attend any state-supported college or university in the state. The program covers both tuition and fees for up to 36 months.
Veterans Housing in the State of Virginia
There are two Veteran homes in the state of Virginia, in Roanoke and Richmond. Two new homes, in Puller and Virginia Beach, should be opening within the year.
You may be eligible for admission if you have been honorably discharged. Do note that fees may apply.
Recreation Programs for Virginia Veterans
Resident veterans who are 100% disabled with a service-related disability may receive a free lifetime hunting and fishing license from the state. You may also be eligible for a discounted saltwater fishing license. If you have at least 70% disability, you can receive a hunting and freshwater fishing license at a discount.
Those who meet the 100% disability requirement are also admitted to state parks for free. This includes parking at the parks for the affected veteran and one assistant. Both trailer parking and boat launch parking are also included.
Veterans in Virginia may also receive a discount of 50% on equipment rental, as well as swimming, camping, and shelters.
Veterans Cemeteries in Virginia
The three veterans’ cemeteries in Virginia are in the cities of Suffolk, Dublin, and Amelia. There is no cost for interment for veterans who have been honorably discharged. There is a small cost associated with the interment of family members.
Virginia Commonwealth Veteran Benefits Tips
If you have returned to the state of Virginia after service, these Virginia Commonwealth veteran benefits are yours to claim. They can make your life easier and more affordable, whether or not you have sustained injuries or disabilities during service.
The qualified professionals at VetLink Solutions can help answer any questions you have about your disability status.
If you have experienced a disability, do you know if your disability rating is accurate? Get in touch to receive a free evaluation with a veteran medical benefits advisor.