Updated: Dec 28, 2020
Oregon, The Beaver State, offers benefits to 317,000 veterans.
Oregon Veteran Education Benefits
College Credit for Military Training
For some Oregon veterans, military experience and training can sometimes translate into college credits. Universities and colleges in Oregon follow guidance from the American Council on Education on awarding academic credit for military experience and training. To apply for college credit, request a service transcript from your military service branch and submit it to the school for evaluation.
In-State Tuition for Non-residents
Veterans pursuing an undergraduate degree at an Oregon public institution qualify for in-state tuition whether or not they are permanent residents of the state. The benefit extends to dependents of veterans who use transferred benefits and orphans of veterans who died on active duty. The award is not for active military members or their dependents.
This benefit does not apply to graduate studies. For graduate degrees, qualified veterans may be able to have out-of-state tuition reduced if other VA benefits, grants, and fee remissions have been depleted.
Voyager Tuition Assistance Program
The Voyager Tuition Assistance Program applies to members of the National Guard or Reserves who served on active duty in a combat zone after September 10, 2001. The program ensures that these individuals do not pay tuition costs when other federal military education benefits fall short. This benefit can be used for undergraduate study towards a bachelor’s degree. The program will not cover online or distance courses. The usual length of the award is four or five years.
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, together with businesses in Oregon, offers career opportunities, paid training, and education for veterans through apprenticeships in construction, industrial, and manufacturing trades.
Oregon Veteran Employment Benefits
Professional Licensing for Military Experience
Designed to get veterans back to work quickly after returning from military service, Oregon law requires that certain professional licensing agencies and boards accept military training or experience as a substitution for civilian education or experience needed to meet requirements for professional licensure, certification, or registration.
Veterans receive preference when they apply to state government jobs in Oregon Preference applies as a new hire or for promotion from within an agency. The veteran must pass an initial application screening, any applicable exam or civil service test, and have the job's required qualifications. Veterans are awarded five preference points and disabled veterans 10 points.
Oregon Veteran Housing
Oregon has two veterans’ homes:
● The Dalles, Oklahoma
● Lebanon, Oklahoma
To be eligible for admittance, the applicant must need 24-hour nursing care as documented by their primary care physician. The Department of Veterans Affairs must agree with the physician’s assessment. Oregon Veterans must have been honorably discharged to qualify. Surviving spouses and parents may also be eligible.
ODVA Home Loan Program
In addition to the VA Home Loan Program, Oregon offers its own veteran home loan program. Eligible veterans receive fixed-rate financing for single-family owner-occupied homes. The loan amount cannot exceed the Fannie Mae limit. The loan can only be used for the initial purchase and not for refinancing. Loans are available for up to four homes in a member’s lifetime.
Property Tax Exemption
Disabled veterans may exempt some of their property’s assessed value from their property taxes. The veteran must be certified as having at least a 40 percent disability.
National Guard or Reserve members and active duty military members may also be eligible for a residential property tax exemption.
Oregon Veteran Financial Benefits
Oregon Veterans’ Emergency Financial Assistance
Veterans and their families who need emergency financial assistance can apply for this one-time grant from the state. The family includes spouse, surviving spouse if they have not remarried, children, and stepchildren. Emergency financial assistance granted on a case by case basis can be used for:
● emergency or temporary housing
● house repairs
● mortgage or rent assistance
● emergency medical or dental expenses
● emergency transportation expenses.
Retired Pay Income Tax
Some military retirees who are considered exceptional cases qualify for a federal pension subtraction.
Additional Oregon Veteran Benefits
Motor Vehicle License Plates
The Department of Motor Vehicles in Oregon offers special designation license plates for veterans, disabled veterans, and active-duty military members. While there is a one-time special fee for the disabled veteran plate, the other plate styles carry no additional cost.
Free Fishing and Hunting License
The Beaver state wants disabled veterans to enjoy the great outdoors. The state offers free hunting and fishing licenses to veterans with at least a 25% disability rating. The licensees must have been an Oregon resident for six months.
Non-resident active duty service members are entitled to buy hunting and fishing licenses at resident rates.
Free Special Access Pass for Veterans
Veterans with service-connected disabilities are eligible for free camping and day-use privileges at 26 Oregon State Parks. Passes are valid for four years.
Active military on official leave also qualify for this benefit, but they must pay the fees and file for reimbursement within 30 days of a park visit.
Willamette National Cemetery
Oregon veterans eligible to be buried in national veterans cemeteries qualify for burial at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. A veteran’s spouse, surviving spouse, minor dependent children, and unmarried disabled adult children may also be eligible. Families of eligible deceased veterans can apply for a burial allowance from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help with burial and funeral expenses.