Wyoming Veterans Benefits

Updated: May 16, 2021

Wyoming provides benefits to more than 45,000 veterans.

Wyoming Veterans Benefits

Veteran Education Benefits

Tuition Waivers for Veterans, Dependents, and Surviving Spouses

Veterans, VA home care benefits for spouses, their dependents, and surviving spouses of a deceased military member may be eligible for free tuition and fees for ten semesters at state community colleges or the University of Wyoming. Best VA home loan lenders

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

● Served in Vietnam between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975, OR

● Be an overseas combat veteran who received

o Expeditionary Medal or equivalent AND

● Received any discharge other than dishonorable AND

● Wyoming resident for a minimum of one year before college application

Surviving spouses and dependents are eligible for this benefit if the eligible veteran died during active service. Dependents must be under 23 to apply.

Wyoming National Guard State Educational Assistance Plan

Wyoming National Guard members may qualify for free tuition and fees to attend state community colleges or the University of Wyoming. The program also covers some costs and tuition for attendance at VA-approved Wyoming private schools.

Guard members may use this waiver for one degree or certificate program. Qualifying programs include Certificates, Associates, Bachelor's, Master's degree programs, and Ph.D. programs. This benefit may be used with the GI Bill.

Spouses or dependents of Guard members may also qualify for tuition and fee waivers for the University of Wyoming, state community colleges, or vocational training programs. The Guard member must have died or be totally and permanently disabled due to state active duty or authorized training duty.

Wyoming Veterans’ High School Diploma Program

Veterans of WWII, Korea, or Vietnam who left high school to enter military service may be eligible to receive diplomas through Operation Recognition. Family members can request that diplomas be awarded posthumously.

Veteran Employment Benefits

State Employment

Veterans may be able to receive employment preference when applying for state jobs. Veterans may receive five preference points, and disabled veterans with at least a 10% disability due to military service may receive ten points.

Applicants must be Wyoming residents both at the time of entry into the service and at employment application time.

Wyoming State Department of Workforce and Veterans Services

Veterans who need employment support can get employment and training services through Veterans Services.

Wyoming National Guard Members Employment Assistance

Guard members also may be eligible for employment assistance. This Wyoming Military Department program helps Guard members and families find community job opportunities.

The Wyoming National Guard Jobs Coordinator also offers help to Guard members with job-seeking skills, like interview preparation and resume writing.

Veteran Housing Benefits

Veterans Assisted Care and Nursing Homes

On the grounds of former Fort McKinney, the Veterans Home of Wyoming has 117 beds in private rooms for its single residents and two-room suites for its married couples.

The home utilizes domiciliary care (like assisted living) with a wide variety of home services and supports:

A primary care provider who is available on weekdays and provides referrals to outside specialists when needed

Nurses who provide 24-hour care, medication and treatment supervision, and medical appointment scheduling for appointments with Sheridan VA Medical Center or outside providers

A licensed clinical social worker who provides individual counseling sessions

Social and recreational opportunities that include entertainment, social functions, recreation, and creative activities

▪ Computer room

▪ Library

▪ Greenhouse

▪ Fishing pond

▪ Walking paths

▪ Woodshop

▪ Paint room

● Dietary services

▪ The dietary department is supervised by a registered dietitian who monitors home residents’ diets and menus.

▪ A dietary manager who does individual nutritional counseling and overseas meal preparations

● Laundry Services

o Washers and dryers for residents’ use

o Laundry services for bed linens and towels

● Physical fitness and wellness

o Johnson County YMCA three times per week

o Nurse-monitored walking program

o Exercise equipment including;

▪ Stationary bikes

▪ Elliptical machines

▪ Treadmill

▪ Weights

● Financial Counseling including:

o Resident trust accounts

▪ Monthly interest

▪ Social Security and VA benefits deposited into resident accounts monthly

▪ Staff money management assistance

● Veterans Benefits Coordinator

o The Veterans’ Home of Wyoming employs a veterans benefits coordinator to help Johnson and Sheridan county veterans and their families with benefits.

● Support Services include housekeeping, maintenance, and building and grounds work.

● Chaplain Services

o Spiritual support and bible study

o Two Sunday services each month

For admission, applicants must be:

o Unable to earn a living due to injuries, disease, or other infirmities OR

o No adequate means of support AND

o A resident of Wyoming or intent to permanently reside in Wyoming state

Admission is offered to the dependent of a qualified veteran, but preference is given first to veterans and then accompanying dependents.

Veteran Financial Benefits

Property Tax Exemption

Veterans may qualify for property tax exemptions. The exemptions reduce the assessed values of a primary residence by $3,000 to lower the property tax burden.

To qualify, applicants must be Wyoming residents for three years before claiming exemption and must produce proof of military service and discharge. The following criteria must also be met:

● Service during one of the following war periods:

o World War II from December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946

o Korean War from June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955

o Vietnam War from February 28, 1961, through May 7, 1975

● Service overseas during armed conflict resulting in the award of an

o Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or the equivalent

o Veteran disabled due to military service as certified by either the VA or DOD.

● Surviving spouses of qualifying veterans who reside in Wyoming and have not remarried

Veterans who do not use the exemption on a property may be applied it to licensing fees for a vehicle.

Family Support Grant Program

Wyoming Guard and Reserve members and active personnel who need financial assistance may qualify for last-resort fund grants. The Wyoming Adjutant General administers the trust fund program.

Additional Veteran Benefits

Veteran License Plates

Veterans may be eligible for special designation license plates displaying POW or Disabled Veteran. The first set of plates are free.

To qualify for special plates, applicants must be Wyoming residents and own or lease the vehicle used to display the plates. The vehicle can be titled to the applicant or jointly owned by an immediate family member. To be eligible, applicants must prove their POW status or VA disability rating, which must be at least 50% due to military service.

Wyoming Recreational Benefits for Veterans

Wyoming offers recreational benefits to veterans.

Applicants must reside in Wyoming for a minimum of one year. Each benefit has additional specific criteria:

● Free Disabled Veteran Fishing License

o Must submit VA letter that certifies a 50% disability or more due to military service

● Free Annual State Parks Pass for Day Use and Camping Lifetime Permit

o Must submit a VA letter that certifies a 50% disability or more because of military service.

● Free Bird, Small Game, and Fishing Licenses for Disabled Veterans

o Must submit VA letter that certifies a 100% disability because of military service

Purple Heart Recipients are eligible for free lifetime game bird, small game, and fishing licenses

o Proof of Purple Heart medal required

Wyoming also offers these recreational benefits for service members:

● Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Active Duty Members

o Free resident general elk or deer, resident game bird, and small game and resident daily fishing license for

▪ Wyoming residents who were deployed to a combat zone and

▪ Home on leave

o A Free Pioneer Veteran Bird, Small Game, and Fishing License for those

▪ 65 or older

▪ Wyoming resident for 30 continuous years

o Special Limited Fishing Permit for Hospitalized Veterans

▪ The hospital supervises veteran while they fish

Free and Confidential Recording of Honorable Discharges

Veterans with honorable discharges may qualify to have their discharge papers recorded in the county clerk's office for free. This applies to documents not previously registered in another Wyoming county. Records are confidential.

Burial Benefits for Veterans

The Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery was established in Evansville, Wyoming, in 1983. All veterans with discharges other than dishonorable are eligible for burial in the cemetery. Spouses, minor or disabled dependent children of eligible veterans may also qualify for burial. All family members are buried in the same burial plot.

Burial plots and grave vaults for caskets are provided free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. The deceased's survivors must pay all other expenses.

Burial services are not held at gravesites. Services in the chapel and the patio are only scheduled for weekdays. Flat granite grave markers that the U.S. government provides are the only markers authorized.

Funeral Expenses

Deceased veterans who have not left sufficient funds for funeral expenses may be eligible to have the costs covered by the Board of County Commissioners.

The deceased veteran must have received any but a dishonorable discharge.

The Board of County Commissioners will pay up to $500 to cover costs for preparing the body, transmittal of the body to, and burial in the cemetery.

Military Funeral Honors

Honorably discharged, veterans may receive military honors at one funeral service. At least two uniformed military members will perform honors free of charge.

Burial of Indigent Veterans

Indigent veterans may be eligible for burial by their counties.VA home care benefits for spouses, Counties pay up to $500 for veterans proven to be unable to pay.

The deceased veteran must:

● Have been discharged under any but dishonorable conditions

● Have served during wartime

o WW I or II

o Korean war

o Vietnam war

● Died in the county to pay funeral expenses

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