Updated: May 16
Vermont, The Green Mountain State, has benefits for over 45,000 veterans.
Veteran Education Benefits
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
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
● 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.