Updated: Nov 14, 2020
Benefits are available for the over 500,000 military veterans in the Grand Canyon State. Veterans Benefits Counselors (VBCs) are available at Benefits Offices in 15 counties throughout the state. Counselors provide veterans with counseling, information, and other assistance.
Arizona Veteran Education Benefits
Tuition and Fees-Deferred Payment
If veterans or dependents apply for G.I. Bill education benefits, Arizona can defer payments for tuition, fees, and books for 120 days without charging any interest. The deferment may be extended if G.I. Bill benefits do not arrive within the 120 days.
Veterans and dependents are granted immediate residency, which makes them eligible to pay in-state tuition. Veterans and their dependents must reside in Arizona or provide other proof of residency, such as:
● Arizona voter registration, vehicle registration, or driver’s license
● in-state employment history
● banking service transfer to Arizona
● change of permanent address documentation
Veterans must have been discharged within the last 36 months and must have had a minimum of 90 days on active duty. To be eligible, they also must be using VA Chapter 30 or 33 benefits.
Arizona Tuition Waiver Scholarship (Arizona Purple Heart Tuition Waiver)
Who qualifies for this scholarship?
● Post 9/11 Purple Heart medal recipients who established Arizona residency during their military service and have at least a 50 percent VA disability.
● Dependent children and spouses of an Arizona military member killed in the line of duty on or after 9/11
● Arizona guard members who were either medically discharged or received a Purple Heart after 9/11.
Arizona Veteran Employment Benefits
Veterans who take exams to qualify for civil service jobs may have points added to their final exam score. A spouse of veterans who died from a service-connected disability may also qualify for extra points on civil service certification exams.
Veterans Toolkit Program
Arizona veterans who register for the Arizona Economic Security Employment program may qualify for funds towards tools and supplies they need to start a job. The Veterans Toolkit Program offers veterans up to $750 worth of needed supplies, including tools, work clothes, and transportation costs.
Arizona Veteran Employment Roadmap
Developed by the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services and the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, the “Roadmap” website was designed to connect veterans, their spouses, and dependents to employment, training resources. Services on the website include:
● online resume planner and document storage
● military skills translator
● personalized job portal
Economic Veterans Programs
This program was set up to develop and support plans that create employment and occupational training opportunities for Arizona veterans. Under this program, veterans get priority service for referrals and training.
Department of Economic Security Vet Programs
Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP)provides disabled veterans and other eligible persons with individual assessments, career guidance, employment plans, and referrals for support services and job openings
Local Veteran Employment Representative (LVER) works with potential employers to find veterans' job opportunities and encourage them to hire veterans.
Arizona State Retirement Benefits
As long as military service years are not already counted towards any other retirement system, those years can count towards any state retirement plan. Years of service in the military are included in the number of years required for retirement from any Police and Fire Departments.
Professional and Occupational Licenses
Funeral directors and embalmers (or apprentice embalmers) who have served in the armed forces in wartime throughout the war and six months thereafter or six months following discharge will be exempt license renewal fees.
Arizona Veteran Housing Benefits
Arizona has two state veteran homes, one in Phoenix and one in Tucson. Veterans who have been honorably discharged ( or their spouses) can apply for admission to an Arizona state veterans home. One located in Phoenix and the other Tucson, they offer a host of services, including skilled, certified nursing.
Arizona Veterans Stand-down Alliance (AVSA)
Under the Arizona Housing Coalition, this program holds events and fairs that offer a variety of resources for veterans and their families who may be experiencing housing instability or homelessness.
Arizona Veteran Financial Benefits
State Income Tax Exemptions
Military and federal civil service retirement payments (up to $2,500.00 per year) are exempt from state income tax.
Vehicle License Tax and Registration Fees
Arizona veterans who are 100% service-connected disabled and own vehicles are exempt from paying vehicle license tax. Veterans who purchase a vehicle with aid from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are also eligible for vehicle license tax exemption. The exemption also pertains to surviving unmarried spouses of deceased 100% disabled veterans.
For widows, widowers, or disabled persons, property taxes on real estate, mobile homes, or automobiles may not be charged in some cases.
Arizona Military Family Relief Fund
Any family of a deployed service member and post-9/11 military and families of honorably discharged veterans can apply for financial assistance under the Arizona Military Family Relief Fund.
Native American Settlement Fund (NASF)
Native American veterans and spouses may apply for a refund of all income taxes withheld from military pay if they lived on reservation land between 1977 and 2005.
Additional Arizona Veteran Benefits
Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Any veterans receiving compensation for permanent service-connected disabilities rated at 100% are entitled to free hunting and fishing licenses. They must have residency in Arizona for a minimum of one year. Contact the Department of Game & Fish Office to apply.
Arizona State Parks
Disabled Veterans Annual Day Use Pass is available to any 100% disabled veterans. The day-use pass is good at all 27 state parks.
Arizona Veterans Drivers Licenses and License Plates
● All Arizona veterans can apply for the VETERAN designation on their driver's licenses, commercial driver licenses, learners' permit, or picture ID.
● Veterans applying for a CDL in Arizona who had a commercial driving experience during their time in the service can ask to have the driving skills test waived.
● ADOT’s MVD offers several military/veteran license plates for purchase. The military or veteran license plates cost $25, but $17 of the purchase price goes to the Veterans’ Donation Fund. You must provide proof of veteran status.
Cemeteries and Burials
The four veterans' cemeteries in Arizona are located in Sierra Vista, Marana, Bellemont, and Phoenix. All veterans and their spouses are eligible for burial.
For veterans who violate Arizona's laws and enter the criminal justice system, the state supports Veterans’ Courts in several counties. These courts offer incarceration diversion programs for veterans that focus on treatment and rehabilitation geared towards veterans.
Arizona Gold Star Military Medal
The Arizona Gold Star Military Medal honors Arizona military members killed in action since February 14, 1912. Family members of service members who qualify are encouraged to apply for the Medal.