Washington Veteran’s Benefits

Updated: May 2, 2021

Washington, The Evergreen State, provides benefits to over 500,000 veterans.

Washington Veteran’s Benefits

Washington Veteran Education Benefits

Veterans Tuition Waiver

Washington State waives all or partial tuition at community colleges, state colleges, and state universities for eligible veterans and National Guard members. The veteran or National Guard member should have served during war or conflict in another country or international waters, or in any location that provided support to members out of the country. Applicants for waivers must have received an honorable discharge. Contact the school’s financial aid office for information on applying for the tuition waiver.

Free Tuition for Dependents of Disabled Veterans

Washington State waives undergraduate tuition and fees for state community colleges, colleges, and universities for some dependents of 100 percent disabled veterans. To determine if a student qualifies, check the tuition waiver law.

Washington Veteran Employment Benefits

State Employment Preference

Veterans and spouses receive an employment preference for appointments to state government jobs in Washington. The veteran must have been honorably discharged, medically discharged with an honorable record, or have a DD-214, NGB-22, or equivalent. Veterans who qualify for any campaign ribbon are eligible, as are their surviving spouses or registered domestic partners. Spouses and partners of honorably discharged veterans with service-connected, permanent, and total disabilities also qualify for preference. Five to ten percent preference is added to examination scores.

Veteran Conservation Corps

The state offers training and paid internships for veterans working to restore and protect Washington’s natural resources.

Military CDL Skills Waiver Program

Service members who, in the last 90 days, were employed in a military position involving the operation of military motor vehicles equivalent to a Commercial Motor Vehicle are eligible to apply for a CDL without taking a skills testing. Members must take the CDL written test.

Military Service Credit

The Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) grants any non-interruptive military service time credit to anyone who served in the military before enrolling in the Public Employees’ Retirement System Plan 1.

The veteran must have:

Served on active duty between World War I and World War II OR

Served on active duty during wartime OR

Received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal OR

Received the Marine Corps and Navy Expeditionary Medal

Orting, Washington

Retsil, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Walla Walla, Washington

All homes are Medicare- and Medicaid-certified and provide 24-hour nursing care, medical care, pharmacy services, and supportive programs. Veterans who received honorable discharges from any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for admission if they are state residents. Gold Star parents, veterans’ spouses, and surviving spouses are also eligible.

The Washington Veterans Down Payment Assistance Loan Program

This program offers down payment assistance on a second mortgage loan with a 3.00% interest rate as of 2020.

Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing

To increase residential stability, self-determination, and income potential for homeless veterans, Washington offers the Building 9 Transitional Housing Program. The facility, located at the Retsil Veterans Home, provides housing for those who meet the requirements:

The veteran must:

Have received an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions from a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces

Been homeless for one night

Be sober for 30 days

Have the desire to live a clean lifestyle

Be willing to undergo a criminal background check

Veterans are usually referred for placement by the Federal VA Medical Center.

Property Tax Relief

Veterans retired because of a disability, who have a 100 percent service-connected disability, and surviving spouses of 100 percent disabled veterans may qualify for property tax exemptions and deferrals. To qualify, tax payor must live in the state and meet income limitations.

Washington Veteran Financial Benefits

Estate Management

Veterans and family members who cannot manage personal financial affairs can turn to Washington VA’s Veterans Estate Management Program. The WDVA assumes custody of the member's finances to ensures that basic housing, medical care, food, and clothing needs are provided.

Veterans Innovations Program

The Veterans Innovations Program aids veteran families experiencing financial hardships because of deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Additional Washington Veteran Benefits

PTSD Counseling

Washington’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Program offers community-based free counseling that is less formal than traditional counseling. Counseling services are provided for individuals, couples, families, and veteran groups. Veterans not formally diagnosed with PTSD who show significant post-war adjustment issues can get counseling.

Motor Vehicle License Plates

The Washington State Department of Licensing offers free special disabled veteran license plates to veterans with a 100 percent VA disability rating for one year or more. The state also offers license plates for veterans, active-duty military members, family members, and Gold Star Families.

Reduced Fishing and Hunting License

The Evergreen state offers disabled veterans a discount on fishing and hunting licenses so they can enjoy the great outdoors in Washington. Veterans must have received an honorable discharge and have at least a 30 percent disability rating or be 65 with any service-connected disability.

Free Lifetime State Park Passes for Disabled Veterans

Disabled veterans with 30% service-connected disabilities may enjoy unlimited access to state parks. The Disabled Veterans Pass offers free camping and moorage, campsite reservations made through the central reservations system.

Washington State Veterans Cemetery

Any Washington veteran eligible to be buried in a national cemetery can be buried in the state’s cemetery in Medical Lake, Washington. The Federal Veterans Administration provides a burial plot or columbarium niche, a concrete liner for casket burials, inscribed gravestone, opening and closing of the grave, 30-minute funeral service, and perpetual care. Spouses and dependent children can be buried at the cemetery for $300.

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