Updated: Dec 17, 2020
West Virginia, The Mountain State, provides benefits to over 160,000 veterans.
West Virginia State Veteran Education Benefits
West Virginia Tuition Waivers for Purple Heart and Medal of Honor Recipients
Requirements for the waiver vary depending on the institution. Check with your chosen college’s admissions department. You need to present documentation like VA award letters, service records showing the awards, or copies of the written citation for the medal, depending on the school.
West Virginia War Orphan Education Program
This program provides qualifying dependents of West Virginia military members who died because of wartime military service. Service members must have entered the military from West Virginia, and students must be between 16 and 25.
The amounts awarded vary depending on the number of applications received each semester. Funds are usually capped at $1,000 per student per semester ( $2,000 per student per year). Proof of school enrollment and the parent’s military service are required.
High School Diploma Program for West Virginia Veterans
West Virginia residents who left high school before receiving a diploma to serve in WWII, Korea, or Vietnam may be eligible to receive a high school diploma. Diplomas may be granted by the veteran's present county of residence or by the county where the veteran's high school was located.
West Virginia In-state Tuition Rates
Non-resident GI Bill recipients who attend West Virginia supported schools pay in-state tuition. This program is meant for veterans who enroll within three years of their discharge, according to the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance. Ask the enrollment office at your state-supported institution about the in-state tuition program.
West Virginia State Veteran Employment Benefits
West Virginia Veteran Re-Education Assistance
This program offers qualified veterans $500 per semester when they are enrolled in an approved post-secondary class. Funds are also available on a case-by-case basis for vocational and non-traditional education.
Applicants must have been honorable discharged and have used up all GI Bill funds. Students must apply every semester.
State Combat Veteran Hiring Preference
Service members who served during hostile conflict times may be given additional points on competitive Civil Service job exam scores. Five points are awarded to veterans and extra five points (10 total) to Purple Heart recipients and disabled veterans.
Claiming preference points requires proof of service, award, or disability.
West Virginia State Veteran Housing Benefits
West Virginia Veterans Homes
West Virginia operates two facilities:
an assisted care home in Barboursville, West Virginia
a nursing home in Clarksburg, West Virginia.
Admissions requirements include a discharge other than punitive and eligibility for care at a federal Department of Veterans Affairs facility.
Screenings are required before admittance, and some patients with specific conditions cannot be admitted. Applicants must be ambulatory and independent in daily living.
West Virginia State Veteran Financial Benefits
Cash Bonuses for Qualifying Combat Veterans
Many previously offered bonuses for combat veterans with service in World Wars I and II, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, and elsewhere have expired. Those who served in Afghanistan can still apply for a bonus within one year of leaving military service. The bonuses offered include $600 for service in the combat zone or $400 for other than a combat zone.
Property Tax Breaks for Qualifying Disabled Veterans
Veterans with a VA rating of 100% service-connected disabled may be eligible for state property tax waivers. Tax laws change, so check for current year requirements, which will likely include the presentation of VA award letters and military discharge paperwork.
Those receiving the benefit must agree to notify the State if their disability status changes.
To claim the tax breaks, veterans must file paperwork before December first each year. Those over 65 may be allowed to file only once with no need to re-apply needed unless the veteran changes residence.
Military Retirement Pay Tax Waiver
West Virginia no longer charges state income tax on military retirement pay.
Additional West Virginia State Veteran Benefits
Free West Virginia License Plates for Qualifying Veterans
Special designation, West Virginia license plates, and disabled veteran placards or tags are free for veterans who qualify. Those who receive VA vehicle grant benefits and veterans with a service-related VA-rated 100% permanent and total disability qualify. Former POWs, Pearl Harbor survivors, and Purple Heart recipients are also eligible for free special license plates. Applicants must present documentation of their veteran status, VA award letters, and other documentation.
Recreational Benefits for Veterans
● West Virginia recreational benefits include offers a Veterans’ Salute Program, which gives a year-round 10% discount on standard lodge rooms, cabins, and campsites in West Virginia State Parks. Other seasonal discounts may also be available under the program.
● Qualifying disabled veterans who are residents of West Virginia residents and qualify for a veteran’s pension because of a total permanent service-connected disability can hunt, trap or fish without obtaining a state license.
● Active duty West Virginia residents on leave may hunt, fish, or trap without a license. Service members must carry proof of their leave with them.
Burial Benefits for Veterans
The West Virginia Jack Bennett Fund provides money to families of veterans who have died to offset burial and grave marker costs. The Fund offers applicants up to $380 to families who meet the criteria for financial eligibility, as determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery
This 350-acres state veterans cemetery is opened to veterans, their spouses, and dependents. Services are available to:
● Members of the Armed Forces of the United States who die on active duty
● Veterans discharged under any but dishonorable conditions who have served for at least 24 months
● Eligible veterans’ spouses or surviving spouses
● Minor dependent children of eligible veterans Minor may be dependent under 21 under 23 and a full-time student in an approved school.
A military member need not have died for dependents and spouses to qualify for interred at Kinnard. Surviving spouses still qualify if they remarry. The following services are included at no cost for the veteran:
● Opening and closing of the grave
● Gravesite or niche
● Perpetual Care
● Presidential Memorial Certificate
● Concrete crypt, Headstone / Niche Cover