Vermont State Veteran Benefits

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

Vermont, The Green Mountain State, has benefits for over 45,000 veterans.


Veteran Education Benefits

Tuition Waivers

National Guard members may be eligible for student loan forgiveness through the Vermont National Guard Educational Assistance Program.

To receive loan forgiveness, applicants must meet the following criteria:

● An active member in good standing of Vermont Air or Army National Guard who has successfully completed basic training or commission

● Attendance must have been at an approved state technical school or college.

● Studies must have been toward earning a degree or diploma or continuing education.



Veterans who left school to join the service are eligible to receive a high school diploma from a Vermont public school if the veteran served during one of the qualifying periods:

● World War II between December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946

● Korean War Era between June 27, 1950, and January 31, 1955

● Vietnam War Era:

o Veterans can have served outside Vietnam between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975, OR

o Veterans can have served inside Vietnam between February 28, 1961, and May 7, 1975

Call the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs to apply over the phone. Once eligibility has been confirmed, the specified high school will arrange the presentation to the veteran.



Veteran Employment Benefits

Employment Assistance

Several Vermont State Department of Labor programs exist to assist veterans and disabled veterans with job training and placement.

Professionals at both the Career Resource Center and Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) specialize in working with veterans and disabled veterans. They assist in the following areas:

● Helping veterans to find employment

● Identifying job training needs

● Finding funds for training

DVOP representatives move between the various Vermont Regional Career Centers, and the White River Junction VA, to assist local disabled veterans looking for work.

Veterans Hiring Preference

Veterans may be eligible for preference points for Vermont state employment.

To be eligible for added preference points, applicants must meet the following requirements:

● Minimum service of 90 days

● Honorable discharged under any but dishonorable conditions.

● Service-related Disability

Spouses of veterans totally disabled due to military service and unmarried surviving spouses may also qualify for extra points.

Veteran Housing Benefits

Veterans Assisted Care Homes and Nursing Homes

Vermont operates the Vermont Veterans Home in Bennington, Vermont. The 177-bed home is a licensed healthcare facility offering a wide range of medical services, including:

● Skilled nursing home care

● Long and short-term care

● Post-operative wound care

● Physical, speech, occupational, and rehabilitation therapy

● The Namaste Program which includes relaxation techniques for comfort and pain management

o A Certified Alzheimer’s & dementia unit which includes music and memory programs for memory care and relaxation

Eligible Vermont veterans have priority for admission. Eligible veterans are service members who served ninety days or more and were discharged under honorable conditions. Spouses of eligible veterans and Gold Star parents are also eligible for admission. Veterans from other states are welcome when space allows.

The Vermont Veterans' Home accepts the following payment options for payment:

● Private payment

o Reduced costs may be available.

● Private insurance through special arrangements

● Medicare

● Vermont or New York Medicaid

The Home is not affiliated with the Veterans’ Administration and receives no funds for veterans’ care. Applicants who do not have Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance must pay for care. The Home assists veterans with finding insurance programs available.



Veteran Financial Benefits

Veterans Assistance Fund

Veterans may be eligible for financial assistance from the VOVA Vermont Veterans Assistance Fund. Veterans or families of veterans who find themselves in need may receive up to $500 in emergency funds. The VOVA application only takes about ten minutes over the phone.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

● Resident of Vermont

● Experiencing a financial crisis that makes them unable to pay for housing, utilities, or other critical expenses

● The ability to present detailed income and expense information

Tax Breaks for Veterans

Veterans might be entitled to state tax breaks on military disability retirement pay if the pay was awarded for service-related disabilities.

Applicants must meet one of these criteria to be eligible:

● Awarded a disability payment before September 25, 1975

● Been an active or reserves service member on September 24, 1975

● Serving under a binding written commitment on September 24, 1975

Veterans must also receive disability payments for injury or illness caused by military service or be entitled to receive disability from the VA. The disability must result from one of the following:

● Extra-hazardous service

● Armed conflict

● Training exercises, or

● From vehicles, devices, or vessels of war



Property Tax Exemption for Totally Disabled Veterans

Totally disabled veterans may be eligible for a VOVA exemption from property tax. This exemption only applies to the first $10,000 of a property’s appraised value unless the residence qualifies for more due to its placement. Homes in some areas qualify for up to the first $40,000 of value. Surviving spouses or dependents may also be eligible for an exemption if it was granted before death.

Applicants must provide proof of receipt of one of the following compensation types:

● Military medical retirement pension

● Compensation for a 50% or more disability

● Non-Service Connected or Improved Pension

The tax exemption only applies to a primary veteran or surviving spouse-owned residence. Most recipients must also reapply to the VOVA annually before May 1, but veterans who are totally and permanently disabled only need to submit applications the first year. They are required to reapply if they relocate.

Additional Veteran Benefits

Vermont Driver Licenses and Identification Cards

Veterans may be for a Veteran designation on their driver licenses or identification cards. Applicants must submit a completed Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status to any local Vermont DMV office or the VOVA.

Driver License Fee Exemption

Veterans are eligible for exemption from driver license fees when they have been approved for VA financial assistance.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

● Vermont Resident

● Honorably discharged

● Motor vehicle purchased or acquired with VA financial assistance

● Eligible for a license

Commercial Driver License Test WaiverAn approved VA Form 21-4502

Veterans may be eligible for a test waiver for a Vermont CDL. To be eligible, applicants must submit verification that, within the last two years, they have not had:

● Suspended, revoked, or canceled license

● More than one license in addition to a military license

● Convictions for any disqualifying offenses

● More than one serious traffic violations conviction

● A conviction for a violation of military, state, or local law relating to crash-related motor vehicle traffic laws

● Record of fault for a crash

This waiver is available to veterans who, while in the military:

● Were exempted from commercial driver license requirements usually required to drive military vehicles on state roads or highways, and

● Employed in a military position requiring them to operate a vehicle equivalent to a commercial vehicle within two years of leaving the military.

Veteran License Plates

Veterans may be eligible for license plates with service-specific designations. All applicants must present their Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status as verified by the Veterans Affairs Vermont Office. Designations include:

● US Veteran

● Pearl Harbor Survivor

● POW

Purple Heart

Veterans who complete tours of duty overseas in theater may also be eligible for plates with in-theater designations. Special in-theater tags include:

● World War II

● Korean War

● Vietnam War

● Afghanistan

● Gulf War

● Iraq War

In addition to VOVA verification, some plates require additional affiliations, forms, and confirmations, including:

● Vietnam Veterans

o Members in good standing of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)

o Completed Safety and Service Organization Plate Application

o A signed authorization or a valid VT Membership card

● Veterans of Foreign Wars

o Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars

o Completed Safety and Service Organization Plate Application

● Disabled Veteran

o Universal Medical Evaluation and Progress Report, unless a medical evaluation has been filed during the previous four years

● Gold Star

o Gold Star Family Plate Application

o Report of Casualty

Veteran Recreational Benefits

Veterans may be eligible for permanent hunting, fishing, or combination licenses free of charge from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

To qualify, applicants must meet the following criteria:

● Resident of Vermont

● Rated at 60% disabled due to military service

o The disability must be certified through a letter from the VA.

Veterans from out of state may be eligible for one-year non-resident hunting, fishing, or combination licenses free from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

To qualify, applicants must meet the following criteria:

● Reside in states allowing reciprocal privileges for Vermont residents

o Presently New Hampshire and Maine

● Rated at 60% disabled due to military service

o The disability must be certified through a letter from the VA

Green Mountain Passport Lifetime Pass for Vermont Veterans: Veterans can receive lifetime day passes for $2.00 each through their local town clerk’s offices. Applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

● 62 or older, OR

● Honorably discharged from active duty

Medals

Veterans may be eligible for VOVA service-specific medals. Awards may be delivered by the Governor during the annual medal presentation ceremony at the Vermont State House or be mailed to the veterans.

Vermont awards three medals:

● The Vermont Veterans Medal

● The Vermont Distinguished Service Medal

● The Patriots Medal

To receive these medals, veterans or a designated representative must apply for them.

Burial Benefits for Veterans

Vermont provides burial benefits and honors to deceased veterans. To qualify, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

● Veteran

● Veteran spouse

● Unmarried minor children

o National Guard members with 20 years of service and a retirement letter

o Reserve Service members with 20 years of service and retirement letter

The Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery (VVMC) in Randolph Center provides several services free of charge to veterans interred at the cemetery:

● Perpetual plot care

● Standard Plot marker

o Custom plot markers must be paid for by the veteran or family.

o Funeral honors by the Vermont National Guard:

● Appropriate gun salute

● Flag folding and presentation ceremony

● Playing of Taps

The VVMC also provides some benefits to spouses:

● Perpetual care of burial plot

● Plot marker for a nominal fee

Families of veterans whose ashes have been scattered elsewhere or buried at sea may have a memorial stone placed in the VVMC memorial garden.

Burial of Vermont’s Destitute Veterans

Vermont provides paid burial services for veterans who die destitute. Make arrangements through a local Economic Services Division Office.

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