Updated: May 27
Delaware, The First State, Diamond State, Blue Hen State, and Small Wonder is home to over 70,000 veterans.
Veteran Education Benefits
Educational Benefits for Dependents of Deceased or POW Veterans
Delaware Postsecondary Education Commission offers education benefits to dependents of deceased or POW veterans. To qualify, the veteran must meet one of the following criteria:
● Died on active duty
● Declared MIA
● Died from wounds, injuries, disease, or disabilities attributed to their military service
Students can apply a maximum of $525 per year to tuition, fees, room, and board. Benefit payments are limited to four years.
Applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 24 years of age and be Delaware residents for at least three years prior to the application date. Applicants must either already be students in an undergraduate or vocational program or be accepted into a program.
Education Benefits for Active Delaware National Guard Members
Active members of the Delaware National Guard may also be eligible for education benefits that cover post-secondary tuition and fees.
Applicants must meet the requirements outlined by the Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard.
High School Diplomas for WWII Veterans
WWII veterans who enlisted between December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946, and left school before receiving their high school diploma may qualify to receive their diplomas through the Delaware Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veteran Employment Benefits
Veterans applying to Delaware state jobs may qualify for preference points, five points for veterans, or ten points for disabled veterans. These preference points pertain to hiring and not advancement after hiring or job retention during a workforce reduction.
Spouses of qualified veterans are eligible under the following conditions:
● Surviving spouse (not remarried)
● Spouse of POW
● Spouse of MIA
● Spouse of a totally disabled veteran
All applicants must pass pre-employment examinations.
Veteran Housing Benefits
Delaware State Housing Authority Preferred Plus Home Loan
Veterans looking to purchase a primary residence can apply for assistance. Using participating lenders who understand VA mortgages, government-backed loans, and the more conventional equivalents, this program helps veterans get home loans.
First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit
All first-time buyers who purchase a primary residence in the state of Delaware qualify for a federal income tax credit up to $2,000. Qualified veterans qualify for the credit even if they are not first-time home buyers.
Special Note: Any applicant (regardless of military status) who bought a first home after August 1, 2017, and paid the increased Delaware State Transfer Tax (at a rate of 1.25%) may qualify for a refund.
Delaware Veterans Home
Delaware Veterans Home in Milford
Residents of this 150-bed long-term care facility get assistance with daily needs concerning diet, exercise, personal hygiene, and grooming. For medical conditions, the home has skilled nurses and can provide residents with speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. The facility contains a memory care unit as well. Residents receive housekeeping services. Low-cost laundry services are also available.
Meals served in the main dining room meet nutritional standards while taking residents’ preferences into account. Residents may also enjoy snacks at the home’s canteen.
Daily activities include day trips for shopping and other needs. Residents can also take advantage of different activities, including games, entertainment, and arts and crafts. Every year there are special veterans programs for Flag Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Independence Day.
The home encourages visitors at any time. There are no restrictions on visiting hours. Residents also have access to the internet and a Skype account to make virtual visits possible.
To qualify for residency at the home, applicants must meet the following requirements:
● Residency in Delaware for a minimum of three years prior
● Need for a skilled nursing home level of care (see state and federal guidelines)
● Honorably discharged from military service.
● National Guard service member or Reservist who is either:
o Eligible for retirement pay at age 60; or
o Served on active duty for a minimum of 180 days
Veteran Financial Benefits
Pension Benefits for Paraplegic Veterans
Paraplegic veterans may be eligible for pension payments of $3,000 per year (paid in 12 monthly amounts) from the state. To qualify, applicants must submit documentation from the VA that they are a totally disabled paraplegic because of injuries received during military service either in wartime or during an UN-supported period of conflict with another nation.
Military Retirement Pay Tax Exemptions
Veterans under the age of 60 may exclude up to $2,000 annually of their military retirement pay from state taxes. Veterans over 60 exclude up to $12,500.
Additional Veteran Benefits
Registration and Inspection of Motor Vehicles of Disabled Veterans
Some disabled veterans qualify for exemption from motor vehicle registration fees. The disabled veteran must own the vehicle. That veteran must qualify for ‘adaptive equipment’ benefits, including power steering, seats, windows and steering, or any equipment needed to help the veteran in and out of the vehicle. Veterans are limited to one exemption (one vehicle).
Recreational Benefits for Veterans
State Park Admission
Annual vehicle entrance passes to state parks, and recreation areas are available to eligible veterans and Delaware National Guard members at a 50% discount.
To qualify, veterans must meet the following requirements:
● Honorably serving or discharged.
● Delaware residency
● Delaware vehicle registration
Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing License:
Disabled veterans who can provide documentation of a 60% or more VA disability rating qualify for no-fee hunting, trapping, and fishing licenses.
Document Assistance for Veterans
Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs (DCVA) may be able to help veterans receive copies of service-related documents like:
● Certified copies of DD 214- Discharge from Active Duty or Certificates of Release
● Duplicates of military awards
● Copies of service records or service medical treatment records
● Discharge document upgrades submissions
● Request updates to DD-214’s
o Campaign medal received after discharge
If a veteran originally listed Delaware as the home of record, or if a veteran visited a Delaware Veteran Service Officer, DCVA may have a DD 214 on file. If not, DCVA Veterans Service Officers will help file a request for a certified copy from the National Archives.
Notary Service for Veterans
Free notary services are available at the DCVA for veterans, dependents, and family members.
Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery
There are two Delaware State-run Veterans Memorial Cemeteries: Bear, Delaware in the north, and Millsboro, Delaware, in the south.
Veterans, spouses, or dependents may be eligible for burial if the deceased veteran was honorably discharged, is legally a resident of Delaware either:
● At the time of entry into active service; or
● At the time of death; or
● For a minimum period of three years.
A deceased National Guard or Reservist veterans must have been receiving military retirement pay or would have been eligible to receive it once reaching 60 years of age.
Any active duty term of service under Executive Orders, excluding training, would also qualify.
Deceased active duty service members must have served continuously for a minimum of 24 months. Some exemptions exist for this requirement:
● Enlisted service members who served on active duty on or before September 7, 1980 qualify regardless of service length.
● Commissioned officers who served on or before October 16, 1981 qualify regardless of the length of service.
● Any length of service qualifies in the following cases:
Died on active duty; or
Early separation because of hardship; or
Early separation upon being disabled due to military service.
Indigent Veteran Burial
Honorably discharged veterans who served during wartime and resided in Delaware may have burial costs covered by the Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard. The veteran must not have sufficient mean left to cover the expenses.