It’s not uncommon for veterans to delay collecting their benefits for years after transitioning out of the service. It’s not that they don’t want the benefits; instead, the barriers often prove to be too high. It’s the complicated websites, the changing login credentials, the ever-evolving rules, and the eligibility requirements that can prevent veterans from receiving benefits.
We want to provide a clear and concise review of some key Virginia veteran benefits you earned as a service member and a Virginia resident, including financial assistance, healthcare, education, and housing.
The primary reasons for Virginia’s high ranking include:
Virginia is set to improve their ranking even further in the immediate future with new veteran care centers.
Executive Order 29, Serving Virginia’s Veterans, requires state agencies to give preference to veterans in the hiring process. Additionally, if the agency uses a test in hiring, veterans will receive a 5% increase in their test scores. A veteran with service-based disabilities will receive a 10% increase in their score.
V3 (Formerly Known as the VTAP Program) has three core areas of focus: education, employment, and entrepreneurship. It offers resume workshops, hiring events, and connections with certified hiring partners. This program is available to service members and their spouses during their transition period. You can also sign up for a weekly newsletter featuring the latest updates on job openings, educational seminars, and entrepreneurial workshops.
If you are a military veteran with at least two years of heavy truck or bus driving experience, the Troops to Trucks program will waive your need for the CDL road skills test. The knowledge-based portion of the test will still be required for the CDL license.
Veterans transitioning from military life to civilian careers might find they need an entirely new wardrobe. Boots to Suits is a clothing program that provides veterans with two career outfits, enabling them to perform well in interviews and non-military work environments. Spouses who are job-seeking and the main provider are also eligible. To participate, you must be within 60 days of your separation date.
This program is available to active members of the Virginia National Guard who’ve also completed their initial active duty training requirements. Service members receive $7,000 per year to put toward a degree program.
This program includes educational benefits that may pay for tuition and fees of any state university in Virginia for up to 36 months. Eligible students may also receive a one-time stipend to cover additional educational expenses such as room, board, books, and supplies. It provides assistance to the widow and children of a veteran who was killed in battle, taken prisoner, went missing in action, or is 90% disabled from the result of military service in an armed conflict.
Military personnel can subtract $15,000 from their military service income if they are on extended active duty for more than90 days. However, if they are earning over $15,000 will lose $1.00 of this amount for every dollar that exceeds $15,000 from military pay. For example, suppose, your military pay is $30,000 per year. In that case, you will no longer qualify for these benefits as they exceed exactly $15,000 above the cap.
For the Virginia National Guard, benefits for tax exemption may be used for income from 39 days of service or exactly $3,000. This deduction is only available for O-3 (Captain) and lower ranks.
As of June 21, 2022, Virginia has authorized a graduated income subtraction for military retired pay. For the 2022 tax year, Veterans age 55 and over who are receiving retired military pay can deduct $10,000 from their Virginia taxable income. This subtraction will increase yearly by $10,000 until the 2025 tax year, for a maximum subtraction of $40,000.
Veterans with a 100% permanent and total disability are exempt from property taxes on their homes. The surviving spouse may also be eligible.
There are four veteran care center centers in Virginia; two are opening in 2022 and accepting admissions applications now. Honorably discharged veterans in Virginia who meet the medical requirements are eligible for these benefits. These centers provide affordable care to veterans needing short-term rehabilitative or long-term skilled nursing care.
Here are the veteran’s care facilities:
Virginia veterans can receive a free lifetime hunting and fishing license. Permanently disabled veterans can receive a discounted saltwater fishing license.Veterans with 70% disability can receive discounted hunting and saltwater fishing licenses.
Active duty members stationed in Virginia can receive a hunting and fishing license for the resident rate.
You do not need to be a Virginia Resident to qualify for the State park benefits. Veterans with 100% disability can receive free admissions and parking fees, including anyone needed to help assist them at all Virginia state parks. This includes a free boat launch and horse trailer parking and a 50% discount for camping, swimming, shelters, and equipment rental.
Veterans who have been honorably discharged can be buried at no cost. Spouses and minors can also be buried in the veteran cemeteries. There is a $400 administrative fee for eligible family members. Veterans cemeteries are located in Amelia, Dublin, and Suffolk.
State benefits vary, but Veterans Affairs benefits are available nationwide for eligible service members. Additionally, Veterans Affairs benefits change over time. Virginia’s very own Jim Webb, former Secretary of the Navy, introduced some of the more prominent changes added with the post 9/11 GI bill in 2009.
The United States has the most robust benefits and assistance program of any nation. Make sure you’re taking advantage of all the benefits you deserve and have earned. VA disability benefits are for those suffering from long-term chronic illness or injury or mental health conditions such as (PTSD). You might qualify for these if they happened before, after, or during your time of service.
There is plenty of information on the internet about what qualifies a veteran for disability benefits (unfortunately, some aren’t true). The best approach is to use official channels for basic information like the Veterans Affairs disability web page. Even still, the information isn’t easy to navigate. You might find yourself digging through the government websites clicking on link after link becoming more confused about what you qualify for than when you started.
When you are fully ready, you can apply for disability benefits here. However, preparing for the application is complicated.
Below are some of the items you’ll need to include:
These documents can help tell your story of when injuries occurred and how they changed over time. Here is a list of the evidence needed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
To receive benefits, you must have served for the minimum period and must have a discharge other than dishonorable. If you’re unsure about your eligibility for benefits, you may get help from an accredited representative for VA-related claims. You can also visit your state’s veteran’s agency, the veteran’s assistance website, or even call 1-877-222-8387.
Fill out our website’s contact form or call (812) 625-2113 to speak with one of our attorneys about maximizing your Virginia veteran benefits for you and your family.