The state of Arizona offers special benefits for Service members, Veterans, and their families including, tax and license fee exceptions, education and tuition assistance, vehicle license plates, state park benefits, as well as hunting and fishing license privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component, and Veteran disability status. The following are benefits for the state of Arizona.
Arizona Veteran Financial Benefits
- Arizona Income Tax on Military Pay: Arizona does not tax military pay received by Service members serving in an active or reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces.
- Arizona Income Tax Exemption for Military Retired Pay: All military retired pay is exempt from Arizona income taxes. Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) does not withhold taxes for state or local income tax, but it is reported annually on IRS Form 1099-R. All TSP distributions are subject to state taxes and early distributions may incur higher taxes.
- Arizona State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retirement Pay: Military Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces should not be included in taxable income. Some of the payments which are considered disability benefits include:
- Disability compensation and pension payments for disabilities paid to Veterans or their Families
- Grants for homes designed for wheelchair living
- Grants for motor vehicles for Veterans who lost their sight or the use of limbs, or
- Benefits under a dependent-care assistance program
- Arizona State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): DIC is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-connected injury or disease.
- Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Arizona State Tax Benefits: SBP, RCSBP and RSFPP annuities are not subject to Arizona income taxes.
- Nonresident Military Spouses do not Pay Arizona Income Tax: Income earned in Arizona by a nonresident Spouse of a nonresident active duty Service member is not taxed in Arizona if all the following apply:
- Service member is in Arizona in compliance with military orders
- Spouse is in Arizona only to be with the active duty Service member
- Spouse has the same state of residence as the Service member
The military Spouse’s income is subject to state income tax in their state of residence.
- Arizona Property Tax Exemptions for Disabled Veterans and Surviving Spouses: The property of a resident disabled Veteran, or their Surviving Spouse may be exempt from taxation up to $4,375 of the assessed value. The amount of exemption authorized for a disabled Veteran is equal to $4,375 multiplied by their VA disability percentage. The total assessed value of property in Arizona must not exceed $29,418.
Income from all sources cannot exceed:
- $36,077 per household with no Children under the age 18
- $43,733 per household with Children under age 18 residing with Applicant
The exemption is applied to real estate first, then to a mobile home or an automobile.
- Vehicle License Tax and Registration Fees: Veterans with a 100% service-connected disability rating do not have to pay license tax or registration fees for personally owned vehicles. This also includes any vehicle acquired by the Veteran through financial aid from the VA. Un-remarried spouses are also eligible for this exemption.
- Statewide: 5.6%
- Counties: can levy a sales tax of no more than 5.30%
- Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 8.37%
Free or Reduced Price Arizona Hunting and Fishing Combination License for Disabled Veterans and Purple Heart Recipients:
- Free License – Has a 100% permanent and total service-connected disability rating from the VA
- Reduced Fee License ($42) – Has less than 100% service-connected disability rating from the VA
- Purple Heart Recipient ($28) – Purple Heart recipient
Arizona Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Nonresident Service Members and their Spouse at Resident Rates: Nonresident active duty Service members and their Spouse who are stationed in Arizona for 30 or more days for either permanent or temporary duty are eligible to purchase Arizona Game and Fish Department licenses for resident prices.
Arizona State Parks Veterans Discount Program: Arizona State Parks offer several discounts to Service members and Veterans. Discounts apply to the pass holder and up to three accompanying adults.
- Active Duty, National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service Members– Show military ID at the gate to receive 50% off the day-use entrance fee (no pass required)
- Partially Disabled Veteran – 50% off day-use pass for all service-connected disabled Veterans with a disability rating from the VA between 10-90%, must provide a copy of their VA disability letter and show their Arizona driver’s license
- Arizona Resident – Retired Veterans – 50% off day-use pass for retired Veterans, must provide a copy of DD214 or retired military ID card and show their Arizona driver’s license
- 100% Disabled Veterans – Free day-use pass for Veterans who have a 100% service-connected disabled rating from the VA, must provide a copy of the VA disability letter and show their Arizona driver’s license
Arizona Military Family Relief Fund (MFRF): MFRF provides financial assistance to active duty Service members, Veterans, and their Families for unforeseen financial hardships caused by the Service member’s or Veteran’s military service.
MFRF is designed to help with basic living expenses caused by unforeseen circumstances and can provide one-time assistance of $3,000 with a lifetime limit of $20,000. Basic living expenses include (but are not limited to) rental assistance, vehicle payments, utility assistance, etc. Common issues not covered by MFRF are VA debts, education, Child support, credit cards, legal fees, etc.
Arizona In-State Tuition Status for Veterans and their Dependents: Eligible Veterans and their dependents can be granted immediate residency, making them eligible for in-state tuition rates when using VA educational benefits.
- To be eligible the student must be a Veteran, the Spouse or dependent of a Veteran, who has been discharged within the last 36 months from a period of active duty 90 days or longer AND using either VA Chapter 30 or Chapter 33 benefits.
Students must also comply with the following requirements:
- Live in Arizona
- Complete one of the following:
- Register to vote in Arizona
- Get an Arizona driver license
- Register a motor vehicle in Arizona
- Work in Arizona
- Transfer of major banking services to Arizona
- Change of permanent address on all pertinent records
- Other materials that prove domicile or residency status
Veterans and their Dependents Tuition and Fees Deferred at Arizona State Supported Schools: Any student who is using VA educational benefits at an Arizona community college, college or university is eligible for a deferment of payment of tuition, fees, required books and materials for up to 120 days, with no interest.
Tuition Waivers at Arizona Public Educational Institutions for Service Members, Veterans and Dependents: Arizona offers tuition waivers at public educational institutions for eligible Veterans, Service members and their Family members. The waiver covers the required number of credits for a bachelor’s degree and may be used at Arizona community colleges and public universities.
Arizona National Guard State Tuition Reimbursement (STR): STR is a tuition reimbursement program available to eligible Arizona National Guard members for education programs to support their professional and personal self-development goals. STR will pay up to $250 per semester hour not to exceed $5250 per state fiscal year.
Arizona National Guard Service members who meet eligibility requirements are authorized to transfer STR funds up to the maximum annual limitation to their Spouse and dependents who are registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. STR eligibility is limited to Arizona National Guard members who:
- Completed a semester as a full or part-time student at a university, community college, vocational/ technical school or a VA qualified correspondence course.
- Actively drilling member of the Arizona National Guard through the entire time reimbursement is requested
- Completed Initial Active Duty for Training /Technical Training or Student Flight Training and maintains 90% attendance at scheduled Unit Training Assemblies and annual training
- Maintained an average academic grade of “C” (or its equivalent) for each course, reimbursement will not be made for courses with a final grade of less than “C”
Arizona Honorary Diploma Program for War Time Veterans: Arizona’s Honorary Diploma program will provide high school diplomas to eligible Veterans who left high school before graduating to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II, Korea or Vietnam.
Arizona Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: It is the purpose of this compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:
- Facilitating the prompt enrollment of children of military families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of educational records from the previous school district or variations in entrance or age requirements
- Facilitating the student placement process through which children of military families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content or assessment. Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic and social activities
- Facilitating the on-time graduation of children of military families
- Providing for the enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact
- Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools and military families under this compact
- Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military children
- Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student
Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes
Eligibility for admission:
- Veterans must have an honorable discharge
- Must be certified by a doctor as needing skilled nursing care
- Provide evidence they do not have tuberculosis
- Spouses may also be admitted
Employment and Job Training: Veteran’s Preference
By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-veterans in hiring into the Federal civil service and retention during reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews.
5-point Hiring Preference: Five points added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served:
- During the war, or
- During the period April 28, 1952, through July 1, 1955, or
- For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976, or
- During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992, or
- For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, or
- In a campaign or expedition with an authorized campaign medal. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference.
10-point Compensable Disability (CP) Preference: Ten points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10% but less than 30%.
10-Point 30% Compensable Disability Preference (CPS):Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30% or more.
10-Point Disability Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:
- A Veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the VA but does not qualify as a CP or CPS, or
- A Veteran who received a Purple Heart
10-Point Derived Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of Spouses, Surviving Spouses, or mothers of Veterans. A mother and a Spouse (including a Surviving Spouse) may be entitled to preference based on the same Veteran’s service if they both meet the requirements. However, neither may receive preference if the Veteran is living and is qualified for Federal employment.
Ten points to the passing examination score or rating of the Spouse of a disabled Veteran who is disqualified for a federal position along the general lines of their usual occupation because of a service-connected disability. Such a disqualification may be presumed when the Veteran is unemployed and:
- Is rated by appropriate military or VA authorities to be 100% disabled and/or unemployable or
- Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position because of a disability that is service-connected in origin or
- Has attempted to obtain a civil service position or other position along the lines of their usual occupation and has failed to qualify because of a service-connected disability
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act: USERRA protects civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of reserve components. USERRA also protects Service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.
Veterans’ Priority of Service at Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) Offices: DES Offices have dedicated staff who provide individualized career and training-related services to Veterans and “covered persons” with significant barriers to employment. They provide case management to remove barriers to help Veterans become job-ready and find gainful employment.
DES Offices offers the following services:
- Tutoring, study skills training, and instruction leading to completion of secondary school
- Alternative school services
- Paid and unpaid work experience (such as internships, apprenticeships, or job shadowing)
- Occupational skills training
- Leadership development
- Supportive services
- Guidance counseling
- Follow-up services
DES also offers priority service to eligible “covered persons” for employment training and placement services.
Priority of service means:
- Receiving earlier access to a service or resource
- When services or resources are limited, receiving access before or instead of others
Burials and Memorials
Burial in the cemetery includes a burial plot, opening and closing of the grave, a concrete liner (casket burials only), government marker, and perpetual care. A Columbaria Niche or in-ground burial of cremated remains is also available. Spaces are assigned at the time of need and may not be reserved. There is no charge for burial for Veterans and a one-time fee of $780 for eligible Spouses and dependents burials.
National Cemeteries include:
Prescott: Prescott National Cemetery
Arizona VA Benefit Resources
Arizona provides Veterans with a District Benefits Office and a Regional Benefits Office, along with VA Medical Centers.
Arizona VA District Benefits Office
- Phoenix: Pacific District
Arizona VA Regional Benefits Office
- Phoenix: Phoenix Regional Benefit Office
Arizona VA Medical Centers
- Phoenix: Phoenix VA Health Care System
- Prescott: Northern Arizona VA Health Care System
- Tucson: Southern Arizona VA Health Care System
Important information for Arizona Veteran Benefits:
For Veterans applying for VA benefits for the first time, you must submit a copy of your DD 214 (discharge paperwork). This will provide your discharge status, along with your full name, social security number, branch of service, and dates for which you served. Honorable and general discharges qualify a Veteran for most VA benefits.
You should always keep your paperwork, along with your medical records, in a safe place where you and your family can have access to them. It is imperative to have it in a location where it cannot be destroyed or tampered with, which includes a safe.
Your eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service means full-time service as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, the Environmental Services Administration or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Any Veteran discharged from the military under the conditions of “Dishonorable” due to bad conduct discharges issued by general courts-martial may bar VA benefits. Veterans in prison and parolees may be eligible for certain VA benefits. VA regional offices can clarify the eligibility of prisoners, parolees, and individuals with multiple discharges issued under differing conditions.
*This information is accurate as of October 2023
Arizona Veteran Benefits
If you are a disabled Veteran in Arizona and are VA rated 90% or less, you may be eligible for additional benefits. Contact Veterans Guardian for a free consultation with no obligation. Let us review your claim to determine whether you qualify for additional benefits.