Updated: May 16
Wisconsin, The Forward State, provides benefits to over 400,000 veterans.
Wisconsin Veteran Education Benefits
Wisconsin GI Bill:
The Wisconsin GI Bill offers funds to eligible veterans and their dependents for higher learning. The grants provide tuition and fees for eight semesters or 128 credits, whichever is less.
VA home care benefits for spouses, This program is available for attendance at the any University of Wisconsin System or Wisconsin Technical College System school when students qualify for the institution.
The VetEd Program:
Qualifying veterans who have not earned a Bachelor’s degree can apply for VetEd tuition and fee reimbursement. Students must attend qualifying state colleges, private schools, and technical colleges, and benefits are based on the applicant’s length of qualifying service in the military. This program can be used concurrently with VA GI Bill benefits.
All other grants and scholarships should be applied to educational bills before VetEd funds can be used.
Wisconsin Veteran High School Diploma Program:
Wisconsin statutes permit local school boards to offer high school diplomas to qualifying veterans whose high school education was interrupted by military service during wartime.
The veteran or their family should apply directly to their local Wisconsin school district. To receive a diploma, applicants must have been honorably discharged and be 65 or 55 with a qualifying service-connected disability.
Veteran Employment Benefits
Wisconsin Veteran Hiring Preference (Civil Service)
The State of Wisconsin offers employment preference to disabled veterans and combat veterans who served during specific periods. Preference applies to competitive hiring that requires a Civil Service exam.
Ten points are added to the qualifying veteran’s final exam score. Military spouses of disabled or deceased eligible veterans may also be eligible for employment preference.
Qualifying disabled veterans with 30% VA-rated service-connected disabilities may be hired to any non-competitive State of Wisconsin job without taking an exam.
The hiring preferences do not usually apply for Limited-Term Employment (LTE) positions.
Wisconsin EX-Servicemember Unemployment Compensation :
Honorably discharged veterans who have not found employment may be allowed to receive UCX, Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers. To apply, members should call one of the numbers below with their social security number, DD Form 214, and a Wisconsin drivers' license in hand.
● Milwaukee: (414) 438-7700
● Madison: (608) 232-0678
● Toll-free: 800-822-5246
Wisconsin Un-Underemployment Benefits For Veterans:
Qualifying veterans recently unemployed or considered underemployed may qualify for up to a $3,000 retraining grant per year by demonstrating a financial need. The grant is limited to two years.
The actual amount of the grant is determined by financial need. The applicant must reveal other retraining funds available to them at application time.
Wisconsin One-Time Professional or Occupational Licenses Fee Waiver
The state offers a one-use fee waiver for various occupational licenses related to hunting, trapping, farming, sanitary permits, and much more. Qualification requirements vary depending on the permit the veteran needs. Applicants must be individuals rather than companies or corporations and must be qualifying veterans and Wisconsin residents.
Veteran Housing Benefits
Wisconsin Veterans Assisted Care and Nursing Homes
Wisconsin operates three veteran’s care homes:
● Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
● King, Wisconsin
● Union Grove, Wisconsin
Each facility offers 24-hour care and accepts federal assistance for individual residents, private-pay, and Medicare paid options. The facilities are opened to honorably discharged veterans but also provides admission on a space-availability basis giving priority in descending order for:
Spouses of living veterans
Spouses of deceased veterans
Gold Star Parents
For admission, veterans must meet the following criteria:
● Served active duty during peacetime for two years or the full period of their initial obligation OR
● Served on active duty for a minimum of 90 days with one day during a wartime period AND
● Discharged from the armed forces under honorable conditions
Wisconsin Veteran Property Tax Credit:
Wisconsin offers a property tax credit to qualifying veterans and surviving military spouses ( not remarried) for primary residences and a maximum of an acre of land. Veterans must be a Wisconsin resident when entering the military or for five consecutive years after joining.
To qualify, veterans must have a 100% service-connected disabled rating or be considered 100% disabled because of unemployability. Un-remarried surviving spouses who receive the VA benefit, known as Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), also qualify.
Veteran Financial Benefits
Wisconsin Income Tax Breaks for Veterans
Wisconsin offers various state income tax breaks for veterans, including:
● Wisconsin Income Tax Combat Pay Exemption
● Tax Filing Extension Deadlines for Active Duty Military
● State Income Tax Military Retirement Benefits Exemptions
● Wisconsin Income Tax Military Pay Tax Exemption for Mobilized Guard/Reserve Members
Tax code change, so consult a tax professional to see how and which benefits may apply to your current year’s Wisconsin State Income Tax filing.
Additional Veteran Benefits
Wisconsin MOVE-IT Program
This Wisconsin program Makes Opportunities for Veteran Employment in Transportation. Vets can transfer commercial driving skills gained during their military careers to employment after they are discharged. Because of military driving experience, veterans are not required to take a CDL, commercial driver’s license, skills test.
Applicants must have operated military commercial-sized vehicles for at least two years. They must either be still in the service or be discharged less than a year before making an application. All drivers must pass the written test.
Identification Cards, Driver License, and License Plates
Wisconsin offers Veteran and military designations on state licenses and ID cards. Applicants must present proof of their military service.
Drivers’ License Renewal Options for Military Members
VA home care benefits for spouses, Military members stationed anywhere outside of Wisconsin during military conflict when their driver's licenses or registrations need to be renewed are considered active-duty personnel. The state offers extensions to these military members.
Wisconsin State Veteran Cemeteries
There are three Veteran Cemeteries in Wisconsin:
● Union Grove, Wisconsin
● Spooner, Wisconsin
● King, Wisconsin
Veterans with discharges other than dishonorable are eligible for free burial services in these cemeteries if they meet residency and time-in-service requirements.
Some veterans who die in state veterans’ homes may be exempt from some requirements. Eligible spouses and dependents may also receive services for a fee. Pre-registration services are encouraged.
Recreation License Discounts
The state offers discounted and free hunting and fishing licenses for veterans, retired and active military. Veterans are eligible for fee exemptions for Wisconsin State Parks and other facilities. To get details on the special recreational benefits and requirements, contact the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 888-936-7463