Did you know that approximately 83,247, or 11.4 percent, of all homes in West Virginia are occupied by veterans? One reason for this is that there are homestead tax exemptions and other benefits that allow veterans to be able to afford homes in the state.
If you are one of the 141,341 veterans who call West Virginia home, you need to know what benefits you are entitled to. Let us look closer at the West Virginia state veteran benefits available to you.
West Virginia State Veteran Benefits: Veteran Homes
In West Virginia, there is a veterans home in Barboursville as well as a nursing facility in Clarksburg.
The veterans home is a 150-bed facility on a 23-acre plot and offers residency for veterans who were honorably discharged. It is one of the best veterans homes in the country.
There are a few requirements for residency, including having been discharged honorably and being ambulatory. The facility does accept veterans with disabilities as long as they do not require skillful nursing or hospitalization. They must also be eligible for care at VA medical centers.
The facility has a nursing department staffed at all hours. It offers first aid, preventive care, and assistance with medications. There are recreation specialists who prepare activities as well as a well-stocked library and lounges to encourage interaction.
The West Virginia Veterans Nursing facility is a 120-bed modern facility that is one of the best veterans-only nursing homes in the country. It features private and semi-private rooms along with a unit for residents who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Nurses and doctors are available at all hours and the facility has its own pharmacy, as well as a breezeway that connects to the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center.
Both of these facilities require the veteran to have been honorably discharged and to have served at least 12 months of active duty service.
Veteran Financial Benefits
The state offers financial benefits for honorably discharged veterans. These include income tax benefits, disabled veterans homestead exemption, and veterans bonus.
This benefit allows all military pay to be tax-free if stations out-of-state. It also ensures that retired pay, including retirement income from the Armed Forces, Reserves, and National Guard, is exempt from taxes. This also includes survivorship annuities.
You will need to speak with experts about the West Virginia military tax exemption for which you are eligible.
Disabled Veterans Homestead Exemption
Veterans with 100 percent permanent disabilities that are service-connected can be exempt from some property taxes. To apply for this exemption you must file the paperwork before the first day of December each year. Those over 65 may be allowed to file only once with no re-application needed.
If you are a veteran who served during both World Wars, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. You may be eligible for a cash bonus. The bonus includes a one-time payment of $600 for their time in the combat zone or a one-time payment of $400 if you were outside the combat zone.
You need to apply within one year of leaving service to receive the West Virginia veterans bonus.
The military incentive credit encourages the employment of veterans, as well as members of the guard and reserve forces, in the private sector. It does this by providing tax credits to qualified businesses that employ veterans.
The state of West Virginia also offers hiring preference to qualified veterans who served during hostile times. They can be awarded additional points to Civil Service job exam scores. Veterans receive 5 extra points and those who have been awarded a Purple Heart or who have a service-connected disability get 5 extra.
West Virginia also offers many education benefits for veterans and for their children. These include tuition waivers for Purple Heart and Medal of Honor recipients, an orphan education program, the re-education fund, and in-state tuition for veterans.
Purple Heart and Medal of Honor Tuition Waivers
Recipients of the Purple Heart or Medal of Honor can have their fees waived at public institutions of higher learning. Different schools have different requirements, so check with the individual school.
West Virginia War Orphan Education Program
Qualified dependents of military members who were West Virginia residents at the time of enlistment and who died during service can apply for this benefit. There is an age limit since applicants must be between 16 and 25.
The amounts the award provides can vary depending on the number of applications received that semester, but usually, the maximum help offered is $1,000 per student per semester.
Veterans Re-education Assistance
For qualified veterans, the state of West Virginia offers re-education assistance in the form of $500 per semester for those enrolled in a certified post-secondary class. The funds can also be available for non-traditional education and vocational classes.
In-state Tuition Rates for Nonresident Veterans
For veterans who are not residents of West Virginia, higher-learning institutions will offer in-state tuition. This only applies to veterans who are eligible for the GI Bill and who enroll within three years of their discharge.
West Virginia also offers recreation benefits. A veteran with 100 percent service-connected disabilities who have applied and received the automobile grant does not need fishing or hunting licenses.
Active duty members of the military and those who are home on leave do not require hunting or fishing licenses, either. Veterans and active-duty members can also receive a 10 percent discount on lodge rooms, cabins, and campsites that are run by West Virginia State Parks. Being a resident is not a requirement.
West Virginia State Veterans Cemetery
In Dunbar, there is the Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, where veterans can be buried for free. Their spouses and dependent children have to pay a small fee to be buried there. The requirements for this cemetery are the same as for all national cemeteries.
Get the Benefits for Which You Are Eligible
If you are a disabled veteran living in West Virginia, you need to know what benefits you can apply for. Whether you need nursing care, you want to apply for tax exemptions, or anything else, you have to turn to experts for help.
At VetLink Solutions, we are here to help you apply for West Virginia state veteran benefits. We are a team of veterans ourselves and we are here to ensure you get what you deserve. Get a free evaluation today!