Updated: Dec 23, 2020
State Tuition Assistance
Colorado National Guard members could be qualified state tuition assistance at selected schools. Up to 100% of tuition is available for those who qualify.
Veterans who served during World War II, Korea, Vietnam eras, and left school to serve before receiving a high school diploma may be eligible to receive their high school diploma. To apply, veterans must be at least 60 years old, and presently live in the school district or did live in the district when they left to serve.
Colorado Veteran Employment Benefits
Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) assists active duty, National Guard, veterans, and spouses to make a smoother transition from military life to civilian life.
DORA helps new civilians get appropriate licensing they qualify for because of their military experience. They know how to transfer military credentials to civilian credentials.
Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE)
CDLE, working with American Job Centers, registers veterans so that they can access employment assistance and networking opportunities that include:
o Help with resumes and cover letters
o Help with employment searches and referrals
o Licensure, certification, and apprenticeship information
o Guidance with veterans’ rights and priorities
o Job fairs and individual job development
o Access to computers, fax machines, telephones, and copiers in the AJC resource room
Veterans are eligible for vocational rehabilitation when they are determined to have a 10% or greater handicap for employment or if they are rated 20% or more work handicapped. The program can offer counseling, testing, and monitoring for training and job assistance for veterans with a disability. A monthly financial supplement may also be available.
The following Colorado veterans are eligible for hiring preference for select employment opportunities:
● Veterans who were on active duty for a specific period (as defined by U.S Congress)
● Veterans who have been awarded campaign badge or service medals
● Veterans who were injured during active duty and received compensation or disability retirement benefits due to the injury.
Career Assistance for Veterans
Workforce Centers located across the state of Colorado offer career assistance to veterans. The well-qualified staff assists their local veteran’s with employment and training challenges.
VA Vocational Assistance
The following services are available to all veterans to help them find employment:
Computer Lab: It enables veterans to learn necessary computer/internet skills and write a resume and search for work online.
Job Club: provides a place for veterans to network with employers and other veterans to learn about employment services.
One-on-One Assistance: staff members work personally with individual veterans to search for jobs, write effective resumes, and perform well in employment interviews.
Colorado Veteran Housing Benefits
State Veteran Homes
There are five Veterans Community Living Centers in Colorado
All honorably discharged veterans, their spouses, and all Gold Star parents can apply for housing in these facilities.
● short-term and long-term care
● short-term rehabilitation
● memory care
● assistant living in domiciliary cottages,
● short-term “respite” care
● hospice services.
Property Tax Deferral Program
Seniors and Active Military Personnel can apply to have their property taxes deferred. The Colorado Treasurer’s office will pay the taxes to the county for them in the form of a loan and lien on the applicant’s property.
CHFA Firststep & Firststep Plus
Colorado Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) offers affordable interest rates on a 30-year term. Second Mortgage Loan also may be available to help with a down payment and any closing costs. These loans are available to veterans who are first-time home buyers and non-first time buyers alike.
Colorado Veteran Financial Benefits
Income Tax on Active Duty Pay
Colorado residents on active duty military and stationed outside Colorado are exempt from paying state income tax.
Income Tax on Retired Military Pay
Some of military retiree pay can be excluded from income tax based when:
● the retiree is between 55-64 (up to $20,000 in retired military pay could be excluded)
● the retiree is 65 or over (up to $24,000 in retired military pay could be excluded)
Other Colorado Veteran Benefits
Life Insurance (SSLI)
Active Colorado National Guard members are covered with $1,000 of SSLI without charge. Members can purchase additional coverage.
Free Legal Self-Help Clinic – Virtual Pro Clinic
Individuals without attorneys can use a computer link to access a free legal clinic. Volunteer attorneys are available to answer legal questions, help individuals with forms, explain family law issues, property and probate law, collections, appeals, landlord-tenant problems , veterans' benefits, civil litigation, and civil orders of protection.
Fishing and Hunting Licenses
The Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife gives Veterans:
● Colorado veterans with a service-connected disability of 60% or more are entitled to a free, lifetime small-game hunting and fishing license combination.
● Resident patients at a Colorado USDVA hospital and all permanently 100% disabled veterans are entitled to free fishing licenses.
● Anyone with a Disabled Veterans License Plate gets free admission to state parks/recreation areas.
Resident Fishing on Temporary Leave
Colorado residents stationed outside of the state may fish for up to 30 days without a license while on leave in Colorado.
Resident Rates for Fishing and Hunting Licenses
Military members (and their families) who are presently stationed in Colorado may purchase hunting and fishing licenses at resident rates, whether they are permanent residents or not.
Armed Forces members stationed in Colorado but deployed outside the U.S. during a hunting/fishing license application deadline period can apply for a preference point for a future hunt. Members can also apply for a refund of the $25 preference point fee.
License Refund and Point Return if Deployed after Application
Active duty military members who purchase a license and then cannot use it because they are deployed overseas can apply to receive a refund for the license.
Wounded Warrior Program
Members of the Wounded Warrior or Safe Harbor programs can apply to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission for free hunting licenses.
Requirements to qualify are:
● Active military members who are Colorado resident/stationed in Colorado
● The military member must be returning from a post-9/11 overseas operation.
● The military member must be currently assigned to a military medical facility.
● Armed Services Wounded Warrior or Safe Harbor Program participant.
Veteran’s Lifetime Combination Small Game Hunting/Fishing License
Disable veterans who are Colorado residents are eligible for a free Lifetime VA Combo license if:
● They have 60%, or more VA rated service-connected disability.
● They were born on or after 1/1/1949
● They have completed a hunter’s safety course
Purple Heart recipients are also eligible for the free lifetime Combo License.
Parks and Recreation
● Parks and Recreation Pass -Free entrance pass to state parks and recreation areas for the month of August is available for all service members and Veterans. (campgrounds, yurts, and certain other services are not included)
● Free State Park admission for Resident Disabled Veterans- Colorado Disabled Veteran license plate holders may enter Colorado State Parks free, without a windshield pass; (vehicle must display the plates and the veteran must be present)
● Columbine Annual Pass -Under the Columbine Annual Pass, all qualified disabled persons (including disabled veterans) can purchase a one-year vehicle pass to most Colorado State Parks for $14. (additional fees may apply at some parks)
● Discounted Camping – Discounts on camping fees in state parks are available to disabled Veterans over the age of 64 (only Sunday-Thursday excluding holidays).
● YMCA Military Getaway Package- Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado, offers a Military Getaway Package to active and reserve military members.
Licenses and ID Cards
● License or ID military identifier-Military members and veterans can apply for a regular or commercial license or a picture ID displaying a military identifier.
● License Extensions for Military Personnel- With a letter from their commanding officer, active duty personnel are entitled to a license extension of up to three years without charge.
● Colorado Driver License Exemption-Out of state residents who are active-duty and stationed in Colorado and their spouses are not required to have Colorado driver’s licenses.
Veteran License Plates
The following special license plates are available to those who qualify:
● Disabled Veteran License Plates
● Branch and Award Specific License Plates
Free RTD Bus and Rail Use
Regional Transportation District (RTD) provides bus and rail use free of charge for active-duty military members who are either in uniform or present a valid military ID.
Furniture and Delivery Vouchers
For veterans and their families who find themselves in need, Providers Resource Clearing House offers can deliver donated furniture to help. Veterans must present ID and be honorably discharged.
The Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado
The Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado
To be eligible for burial, the individual must be a Colorado resident and meet the standard requirements for Veteran Cemetery burial outlined by Veterans Affairs national cemeteries. Veterans buried here receive a free headstone.
The two national military cemeteries in Colorado are Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver and Fort Lyon National Cemetery in Las Anamas.