Colorado extends various special benefits to Service members, Veterans, and their Families, encompassing exemptions from military retired pay taxes, property taxes, state employment preferences, educational and tuition assistance, distinctive vehicle license plates, along with hunting and fishing license privileges. It’s important to note that eligibility for certain benefits may be contingent on factors like residency, military component, and the disability status of Veterans. The following are benefits for the state of Colorado.
Colorado Veteran Financial Benefits
Colorado Income Tax on Military Pay: Military pay received by Colorado Resident Service members is subject to Colorado income tax. However, pay received by active duty Service members for service in a combat zone, which is exempt from federal taxes, is likewise exempt from Colorado income taxes. Furthermore, Service members are granted a 180-day extension to file their Colorado taxes upon their return from a combat zone. During this extension period, all interest and penalties are deferred.
Colorado resident Service members serving on active duty, stationed outside the U.S. for 305 days or more during a tax year, are eligible to file their Colorado income taxes as nonresidents. This favorable provision also extends to their Spouse, provided they accompany the Service member overseas.
Retired Military Pay Income Taxes: Retired Service members have the option to claim one of two subtractions for a portion or the entirety of their military retired pay, provided that it was included in their federal taxable income. The specific amount of the subtraction is contingent on the age of the retired Service member at the conclusion of the tax year.
Retired Service Members Under Age 55: May claim a military retired pay subtraction up to $15,000
Retired Service Members Aged 55 or Older: May claim a military retired pay subtraction up to the following amounts.
- At least 65 years old – $24,000
- 55 but less than 65 years old – $20,000
Colorado State Taxes on Military Disability Retirement Pay: Military Disability Retirement Pay, received as a pension, annuity, or a similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces, is not to be included in taxable income. Some of the payments categorized as disability benefits comprise:
- 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
Colorado State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): DIC is a tax free benefit paid to eligible survivors of 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) Colorado State Tax Benefits: Survivors who receive an annuity based on the death of a Service member may claim a subtraction from their state taxes. The amount of the subtraction depends on the survivor’s age at the end of the tax year.
- Survivors Under age 65: May claim a subtraction of up to $20,000
- Survivors 65 or Older: May claim a subtraction of up to $24,000
Colorado Property Tax Deferral for Activated Reserve Component Service Members: Reserve component Service members who are called to federal active duty may be eligible to defer payment of their property taxes. Service members must pay all their deferred property taxes when they are deactivated.
- Who is eligible for the Colorado Property Tax Deferral for Activated Reserve Component Service Members? Service members must meet the following requirements:
- National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service member who is called to federal active duty during a time of war or national emergency for 30 or more consecutive days, prior to January 1 of the year in which they file a claim
- All prior years’ property taxes must be paid
- Service member must own and occupy the property as their primary residence, property cannot be income-producing
- Total value of all liens of mortgages and deeds of trust is less than or equal to 90% of the actual value of the property
- Mortgage lender agrees that the state’s interest in the property would take priority over all other interests
- Reverse mortgage properties are only eligible for future deferrals if an agreement from the mortgage lender is submitted with the application
- Deferral amount must be paid upon sale or transfer of the property
Colorado Disabled Veteran and Surviving Spouse Property Tax Exemption: Colorado offers a property tax exemption to eligible disabled Veterans and Surviving Spouses. This is an exemption of the first 50% of the first $200,000 in actual value of their primary residence.
- Who is eligible for the Colorado Disabled Veteran Property and Surviving Spouse Tax Exemption? To be eligible for the exemption applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Veteran who received an honorable discharge and has a 100% service-connected permanent disability rating from the VA (unemployable ratings do not qualify)
- Applicants must have owned and occupied the property as their primary residence on January 1st of the year they are claiming the exemption
- If the Veteran’s Spouse is the owner, the Veteran can still qualify if they were married on or before January 1 and both lived in the home as their primary residence
- Surviving Spouse of a Service member who died in the line of duty and is receiving a death gratuity from the Department of Defense
- Surviving Spouse of a Veteran whose death was due to a service-connected injury or disease and is receiving Dependency Indemnity Compensation
Colorado Nonresident Military Spouse Tax Relief: Wages and tips received in Colorado by an eligible nonresident military Spouse are not subject to Colorado income tax.
- Who is eligible for Colorado Nonresident Military Spouse Tax Relief? To qualify the Spouse must meet the following requirements:
- Married to a Service member
- Moved to Colorado from another state and work in Colorado
- Moved to Colorado only to accompany the Service member while they are stationed in Colorado on military orders
Colorado Tax Subtraction for Reacquiring Colorado Residency: Former Colorado resident Service members who reacquire Colorado residency can claim an income tax subtraction for military pay (included in their federal taxable income) they received for active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces after reacquiring Colorado residency.
- Who is eligible for the Colorado Tax Subtraction for Reacquiring Colorado Residency? To be eligible applicants must be active duty Service members whose home of record when joining the U.S. Armed Forces was Colorado and they acquired legal residence in another state. To reacquire residency in Colorado, Service members do not need to be physically present in Colorado but must demonstrate they intend to reacquire Colorado residency by doing one of the following:
- Register to vote in Colorado
- Purchase residential property or an unimproved residential lot in Colorado
- Title and register a motor vehicle in Colorado
- Notify the state of their previous legal residence that they intend to make Colorado their state of legal residence
- Prepare a new will that indicates Colorado as their state of legal residence
Colorado Specific Ownership Tax Exemption for Nonresident Active Duty Service Members: Nonresident active duty Service members are exempt from the Colorado Specific Ownership Tax on their vehicles.
- Statewide: 2.9%
- Counties: can levy a sales tax of no more than 8.3%
- Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 7.78%
Free Admission to Colorado State Parks in August for Veterans and Service Members: During the month of August, Service members and Veterans are entitled to free admission to Colorado State Parks. To gain this benefit, the Service member or Veteran can request free admission at any Colorado State Park or CPW office, provided they present proof of their military service. It’s important to note that the Service member or Veteran must be present in the vehicle to utilize the pass. However, please be aware that all other park fees, including camping, are still applicable.
Free Admission on Veteran’s Day (November 11) to all Colorado State Parks for Veterans and Service Members: Active duty Service members and Veterans are admitted free to Colorado State Parks on Veteran’s Day. The Service member or Veteran must show proof of military service (military ID, DD214). All other park fees (camping, etc.) are still charged.
Free Admission to Colorado State Parks for Disabled Veterans and Purple Heart Recipients: Colorado residents with Colorado Disabled Veteran or Purple Heart license plates are granted free admission to Colorado State Parks. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that while entry is complimentary, additional fees such as camping charges remain in place. It’s also crucial to note that the Veteran must be in the vehicle to qualify for this free admission.
Colorado State Parks, Independence Pass for Disabled Veterans and Purple Heart Recipients: Eligible disabled Veterans and Purple Heart recipients are entitled to an annual Independence Pass, which grants them unlimited access to all Colorado State Parks. Those who qualify can renew the Independence Pass annually as long as they maintain Colorado residency. It’s important to note that visitors to Cherry Creek State Park are subject to an additional $3 annual fee.
Who is eligible for the Colorado State Parks, Independence Pass for Disabled Veterans and Purple Heart Recipients? To qualify for the Independence Pass, applicants must be a Colorado resident and provide a letter from the VA stating they were honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces and receiving compensation from the VA for one of the following:
- 50% or greater disability (if there are multiple ratings, the combined rating must equal 50% or greater)
- Loss of use of one or both hands or feet
- Permanent loss of vision in both eyes
Purple Heart recipients must provide a Purple Heart Certificate or DD214 showing they received the Purple Heart. All applicants must have lived in Colorado for six consecutive months before they apply and must have a valid Colorado driver license or ID card.
Colorado Hunting and Fishing Licenses at Resident Rate for Nonresident Service Members and their Families: Active Duty nonresident Service members who are stationed in Colorado and their family members may purchase Colorado hunting and fishing licenses for resident rates. Active duty does not include U.S. Armed Forces Reserve or National Guard Service members who are not on federal active duty.
Colorado Hunting Preference Points for Deployed Active Duty Service Members: Nonresident active duty Service members stationed at a military installation in Colorado or Colorado resident Service members deployed outside the U.S. during the license application deadline period are eligible to apply for a preference point for a future big game hunt. To do so, they need to submit the Military Preference Point Request form, with the postmark date within six months of their return to the U.S.
Advance Purchase of Leftover Colorado Hunting Licenses: Active duty Service members stationed at a military installation in Colorado or a Colorado resident Service member who are deployed outside the U.S. can purchase leftover licenses after the primary and secondary draw and prior to the annual leftover purchase date (normally available end of July
Hunting & Fishing License for Disabled Veterans: Veteran residents with a disability rating of 60% or more are provided with a free, lifetime combination small-game hunting and fishing license.
Hunting & Fishing License for Active Duty: Active duty members, resident or non-resident, of Colorado and their families can get hunting and fishing licenses at the resident rate while stationed in the state.
Resident Fishing While Home on Leave: Active duty residents who are permanently stationed outside of the state may fish without a license while in Colorado on temporary leave.
Free State Park Admission: All active-duty members and Veterans are admitted free to Colorado state parks for the entire month of August and on Veterans Day. There is no residency requirement.
State Park Admission for Disabled Veterans: Veterans with a Disabled Veterans License Plate receive free admission to any state park or recreation area. Colorado resident disabled Veterans with at least a 60% disability can get discounted admission to all Colorado state parks with a Columbine pass.
Colorado National Guard (CONG) Tuition Assistance: Colorado National Guard Service members have the opportunity to access tuition assistance (TA) that covers 100% of tuition costs at any Colorado state-supported school approved for this benefit. This state funding can be combined with Federal Tuition Assistance. However, it’s important to note that TA support is capped at $5,000 per semester and can be utilized for a maximum of 132 semester hours or up to eight years, whichever comes first.
Colorado “Operation Recognition” High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans: Operation Recognition aims to grant high school diplomas to Colorado Veterans who, in pursuit of serving in World War II (WWII), the Korean War, or the Vietnam War, had to leave high school prior to graduating.
Who is eligible for Colorado Operation Recognition High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans? Veteran Eligibility requirements:
- Served in the U.S. Armed Forces during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam and received an honorable discharge
- Left high school before graduating to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces
- 60 years old or older
- Did not receive high school diploma (may hold a GED)
- At the time of request lives in Colorado, or
- At the time of leaving high school to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, lived in Colorado
- Diplomas may be awarded posthumously
Colorado Resident Tuition Rates for Non-resident Service Members, Veterans, and Families: Nonresident Veterans, active duty Service members, members of the Colorado National Guard and their dependents may qualify for residency for tuition purposes.
Colorado Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (MIC3): The purpose of this compact is 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
Purple Star Designation for Colorado Military-Friendly Schools: The Colorado Purple Star School program recognizes schools that show a major commitment to students and Families connected to the U.S. Armed Forces.
- To be eligible for the Purple Star Award, a school must designate a school liaison with specialized training to address the distinctive challenges encountered by military families. This liaison will be responsible for raising awareness among other educators in the school about the specific needs of students from military families. Additionally, each school is required to maintain a dedicated webpage on their website containing resources tailored for military families.
Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes
Eligibility for admission:
- The Veteran must have an honorable discharge
- Veterans’ Spouses/Widows, including “Gold-Star” Parents (Parent of a fallen Service Member), are eligible
Colorado Veterans Community Living Centers offer the following services:
- Long-Term Care –Skilled nursing care, speech, physical and occupational therapy, social activities, activities of daily life assistance
- Short-Term Rehabilitation – Improve physical strength, endurance and aerobic capacity through Medicare-certified rehabilitation services following a hospital stay
- Domiciliary Care (Assisted Living) – Veterans Community Living Center at Homelake offers assisted living services in 48 recently renovated cottages
- Memory Care –Specialized care for individuals with dementia, secure units are available at the Veterans Community Living Centers at Fitzsimons, Florence, Rifle and Walsenburg
- Short-Term Respite Care – Short-term admission at the Veterans Community Living Centers at Florence, Homelake, Rifle and Walsenburg
- End-of-Life and Hospice Services – Comfort oriented care at all Veterans Community Living Centers
Employment and Job Training: Veteran’s Preference
Leave for Colorado State Employees for Military Duty: State employees who are Service members in a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for 15 days of paid military leave per year during authorized training or call to state or federal active duty. Service members who use this leave may not lose seniority, status, efficiency rating, vacation, sick leave, or any other benefits. Colorado Code 28-3-601
- In addition, Service members who are called to active duty for longer than 15 days are granted extended military leave while they are serving on active duty. Service members granted extended military leave must be reinstated to their former position after they complete their military service. Colorado Code 28-3-602
Right to Reinstatement After Military Service for Colorado Employees: Colorado’s public and private employers are mandated to reemploy reserve component Service members who temporarily leave their civilian jobs for military training, up to a maximum of 15 days per calendar year. These Service members should be reinstated to either their original position or a comparable one, without any adverse impact on their status, compensation, or seniority.
Colorado State Employee Veterans Hiring Preference: Colorado extends hiring preference to eligible Veterans and certain Spouses. It’s important to note that this preference does not factor into promotions. When an unscored hiring process is employed, those eligible for preference must be included in the interview pool alongside the six highest-ranking applicants.
In the case of a scoring process, additional points are incorporated into the applicant’s final passing score. If these preference points propel a Veteran into the top six candidates, they will be considered for an interview opportunity.
Five preference points are given to Individuals who meet the following requirements:
- Veterans who received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces and served on active duty (not for training) during the following time periods:
- Any war declared by Congress, or
- From April 28, 1952, through July 1, 1955, or
- For more than 180 consecutive days, any part of which occurred between January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976, or
- Gulf War period beginning August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992, or
- For more than 180 consecutive days, any part of which occurred between September 11, 2001, and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law, or
- In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized
- Spouse of a Veteran unable to work because of a service-connected disability
- Surviving Spouse of a deceased Veteran who was or would have been eligible for Veterans preference
Recipients of campaign medals and Gulf War Veterans, who enlisted after September 7, 1980, or entered active duty on or after October 14, 1982, without having previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty, are required to have a continuous service period of 24 months or the full duration they were called or ordered to active duty.
Veterans who were honorably discharged, served in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time, and have a service-connected disability or are receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pensions from the U.S. Armed Forces or the VA, will receive a 10-point preference.
Individuals applying for Veterans’ Preference should be prepared to furnish supporting documentation to verify their eligibility, including but not limited to:
- DD214, member copy 4 showing characterization of service
- A disability letter from the VA verifying the Veteran is currently receiving benefits or has a disability retirement
- Marriage license (for Spouse or Surviving Spouse)
- Death certificate, and a signed statement stating they have not remarried (for Surviving Spouse)
Colorado Private Employer Veterans’ Hiring Preference: Colorado private employers are authorized by Colorado law to have a Veterans’ preference policy when hiring. The policy must be in writing and applied uniformly in all hiring decisions.
Colorado Career Assistance for Veterans: The Veteran Employment Specialists at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment are here to assist eligible Veterans and their Spouses who are actively seeking employment. Their mission is to provide Veterans with the information they need to make well-informed career choices, and all their services come at no cost.
In addition, eligible Veterans and their Spouses receive priority service at all Colorado Workforce Centers. The Veteran Employment Specialist team is also available to offer intensive support to Veterans and eligible Spouses facing significant employment challenges.
Federal Employment Veteran’s Hiring Preferences: Federal law mandates that Veterans, especially those with disabilities or those who served during specific time periods or in military campaigns, are granted preference over non-veterans when it comes to Federal civil service hiring and retention during workforce reductions. In various scoring processes for examinations and interviews, Veterans may be eligible for an additional 5 or 10 points.
5-point Hiring Preference: Five points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served:
- During a 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 for which a campaign medal has been authorized. 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 who 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 who 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
- 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. Both 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 are added 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
Preference may be allowed in other circumstances but anything less than the above warrants a more careful analysis.
A campaign medal holder or Gulf War Veteran who originally enlisted after September 7, 1980, (or began active duty on or after October 14, 1982, and has not previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty) must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty. The 24-month service requirement does not apply to 10-point preference eligible Veterans separated for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or to Veterans separated for hardship or other reasons under Title 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA): 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.
Absence from Work for Military Duty: USERRA establishes the cumulative length of time that an individual may be absent from work for military duty and retain reemployment rights for five years. Exceptions to the five-year limit, include initial enlistments lasting more than five years, periodic National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Reserve training duty, and involuntary active duty extensions and recalls, especially during a time of national emergency. USERRA establishes that reemployment protection does not depend on the timing, frequency, duration, or nature of an individual’s service if the basic eligibility criteria are met.
Disability Accommodation: USERRA provides protection for disabled Veterans, requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability. Service members recovering from injuries received during service or training may have up to two years from the date of completion of service to return to their jobs or apply for reemployment.
Return to Work without Loss of Seniority: USERRA provides that returning Service members are reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status, and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) be made to enable returning Service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, they are deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and are entitled to the non-seniority rights accorded to other individuals on non-military leaves of absence.
Extension of Health and Pension Plans: Health and pension plan coverage for Service members is provided for by USERRA. Individuals performing military duty of more than 30 days may elect to continue employer-sponsored health care for up to 24 months; however, they may be required to pay up to 102% of the full premium. For military service of less than 31 days, health care coverage is provided as if the Service member had remained employed. USERRA clarifies pension plan coverage by making explicit that all pension plans are protected.
Who is eligible for USERRA Benefits? Veterans, U.S. Armed Forces Reserve or National Guard Service members who leave a position for training or active military service are eligible.
The Department of Labor, through the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), helps all who have claims under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees.
Colorado Professional License Benefits for Service Members, Veterans, and their Spouses: The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) and the Colorado Division of Professions and Occupations (DPO) license and regulate more than 50 licensed professions and occupations and are committed to providing professional support and customer service to Service members, Veterans, and their Spouses.
In certain cases, renewal fees may be waived for Service members and they can have military training and education count towards qualifications for licensure or certification. Military Spouses may receive special consideration when obtaining a Colorado professional license.
License Renewal Assistance Service members serving on federal active duty for 120 days or more during an officially designated war, emergency, or contingency may be eligible for exemption of renewal fees, continuing education, or professional competency requirements.
Colorado Code 12-20-302
Military Education, Service, and Training toward Licensure: Service members and Veterans can often receive credit toward the minimum licensure qualifications for their military training, service, and education. Additionally, many professions and occupations have adopted rules or policies specifically designed to assist Service members and Veterans in applying their training, service, and education toward a licensed profession.
Military License Reinstatement: License reinstatement may be available for Service members serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for at least 30 days and for Veterans who received an honorable discharge.
Requirements for Relocated Military Spouse Licensure: The Spouse of a Service member who relocates to Colorado due to military orders and holds an active license in good standing from another state, may practice in most professions regulated by DPO.
Colorado Hilton Honors Military Program: The Colorado Hilton Honors Military Program helps make the career transition from service in the U.S. Armed Forces to civilian employment easier for current and former Service members. The Hilton Honors Military Program will provide hotel accommodations for required travel while they are looking for a new job, training for a new job, or finding housing. Those eligible can receive up to a total of 100,000 hotel points for verifiable employment-related activities. Each state sets its own eligibility and residency requirements. Recipients must have a Hilton Honors account to receive the points.
Burials and Memorials
The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) pays tribute to eligible Veterans and their family members by providing a final resting place and a lasting memorial to commemorate the Veteran’s dedicated service to the nation.
The burial benefits encompass a gravesite in any of our open cemeteries with available space, the opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a government-furnished headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, all at no cost to the family. Some Veterans may also meet the criteria for a burial allowance. Cremated remains are interred or inurned in national cemeteries with the same honors and respect as casketed remains.
Burial benefits extend to eligible spouses and dependents, including burial alongside the Veteran and perpetual care of the interment site. The name and relevant dates of birth and death of the spouse or dependent are inscribed on the Veteran’s headstone at no expense to the family. Importantly, spouses and qualified dependents are eligible for burial even if they pass away before the Veteran and are not required to be interred in the same national cemetery as the Veteran.
National Cemeteries include:
Colorado Springs: Pikes Peak National Cemetery
Denver: Fort Logan National Cemetery
Las Animas: Fort Lyon National Cemetery
Colorado VA Benefit Resources
Colorado provides Veterans with a District Benefits Office and a Regional Benefits Office, along with a VA Medical Center.
Colorado VA District Benefits Office
- Lakewood: Continental District
Colorado VA Regional Benefits Office
- Lakewood: Denver Regional Office
Colorado VA Medical Centers
- Grand Junction: VA Western Colorado Health Care System
Important information for Colorado 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, or 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
Colorado Veteran Benefits
If you are a disabled Veteran in Colorado 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.