Veteran Benefits for Connecticut
The state of Connecticut offers many veteran benefits for service members and Veterans that have served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. These benefits include income and property tax exemptions, financial exemptions, education and training programs, hunting and fishing licenses, vehicle registrations, and assistance with employment. Your residency, military career, and disability status may result in certain differences in what benefits you may be eligible for. The following are benefits for the state of Connecticut.
Connecticut Veteran Financial Benefits
- Retired Military Pay Exempt from Connecticut State Taxes: Connecticut law allows a retired member of the Armed Forces of the United States or National Guard-to the extent retirement pay from the U.S. government is properly includible in federal adjusted gross income (AGI)-to subtract from federal AGI 100% of the income received from the U.S. government as retirement pay when computing his or her Connecticut AGI. Payments received by a former spouse of a retired military member, under a final decree of divorce, dissolution, annulment, or legal separation or a court-ordered, ratified or approved property settlement incident to a decree dividing military retirement pay, do not qualify for the 100% retirement pay exclusion. If you are a nonresident of Connecticut, your Armed Forces pension is not Connecticut-sourced income.
- Connecticut Veteran Property Tax Exemption: A reduction of the assessed value of the property for tax purposes is available – $1,500.00 deducted from the assessed value of either real estate or automobile before tax is assessed. Veterans below a certain income level and/or have service-connected disabilities are eligible for additional property tax exemptions (up to $10,000 for paraplegics). Veterans who have at least 90 days of active duty during wartime and are honorably discharged are eligible for the tax exemption. Veterans below a certain income level and/or disabled Veterans are eligible for additional property tax exemptions. Surviving Spouses of Veterans may also be eligible for this benefit. Contact your municipality’s Tax Assessor Officer for specific details.
- Connecticut State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retired Pay: Disability pensions and any other benefits granted for relief of injuries or disabled Veterans, as well as tuition payments, subsistence allowances, and any other benefits paid to or on account of a Veteran or beneficiary under the laws relating to Veterans are treated the same for Connecticut income tax purposes as for federal income tax purposes. If these amounts are excludable from gross income for federal income tax purposes, they are not subject to Connecticut income tax.
- Connecticut State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Disability pensions and any other benefits granted for relief of injuries or disabled Veterans, as well as tuition payments, subsistence allowances, and any other benefits paid to or on account of a Veteran or beneficiary under the laws relating to Veterans are treated the same for Connecticut income tax purposes as for federal income tax purposes. If these amounts are excludable from gross income for federal income tax purposes, they are not subject to Connecticut income tax.
- Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Connecticut State Tax Benefits: Connecticut law allows a retired member of the Armed Forces of the United States or National Guard-to the extent retirement pay from the U.S. government is properly includible in federal adjusted gross income (AGI)-to subtract from federal AGI 100% of the income received from the U.S. government as retirement pay when computing his or her Connecticut AGI. Survivor benefits received by a beneficiary under an option or election made by a retired member, and that began upon the member’s death, are also covered by this modification.
- Connecticut Tax Relief for Service Members Killed in Combat Zone or as a Result of Injuries: When a member of the military dies while on active duty in a combat zone or as a result of injuries received while serving in a combat zone, all income taxes are waived for the taxable year of the death and for any prior taxable year ending on or after the first day the deceased served in that combat zone. No income tax returns have to be filed for the deceased or the estate for these years. If the deceased paid any tax while in the combat zone, the full amount of the tax paid will be refunded to the estate or Surviving Spouse provided a return is filed to claim the refund. If any tax was assessed but not paid, the assessments will be canceled.
- Statewide: 6.35%
- Counties: cannot levy an additional sales tax
- Common Exceptions:
- Prescription and OTC Medicine are exempt
- Unprepared foods and meals are exempt
Hunting and Fishing Benefits for Service Members and Disabled Veterans: The State of Connecticut offers a number of hunting and fishing benefits for active service members and disabled persons. A short description of each is listed below.
Free State Park Lifetime Pass for Disabled Veterans: The Disabled Veteran Pass provides access to the State Parks and Forests and is available free to Connecticut residents who have a service-connected disability. The Pass is accepted for the Disabled Veteran Pass holder when visiting Gillette Castle, Dinosaur or Fort Trumbull State Parks. All other visitors, however, will be required to pay the appropriate fee. Please note that each pass is issued to a specific person and can only be used when presented by that individual. The passes are non-transferable. They are not valid for camping or special events having separate admission charges and may not be used for commercial purposes.
Connecticut Veterans, Military Service Member, Veteran, and Dependent Tuition Waiver: State statutes provide that tuition at Connecticut public colleges and universities may be waived for eligible Veterans, service members, and certain dependents. The state tuition waiver also covers the amount of tuition which exceeds the tuition benefit received under the federal 2008 Post-9/11 Veteran Educational Assistance Act. College costs other than tuition – such as for books, student activity, and course fees, parking and room and board – are not waived. When applying for admission or registering for courses, bring a copy of your separation paper (Form DD-214). Waivers may be reduced by the amount of education reimbursement you may receive from your employer. Veterans accepted for admission Connecticut State Universities, (Central, Eastern, Southern or Western Connecticut State University) must be formally admitted for undergraduate or graduate study to receive the 100% tuition waiver for-credit courses, although they do not have to declare a major initiative. A 50% course fee waiver is offered for Extension Fund courses (summer and intersession credit courses). The 12 Connecticut Community Colleges waive tuition for full- or part-time credit study funded through the state’s General Fund. The waiver, however, cannot be applied toward summer, intercession or Extension Fund courses.
Connecticut High School Diplomas for Veterans of WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam: Local Boards of Education may award diplomas to those WWII Veterans who did not receive them when they left high school before graduation for military service. Those interested should contact their local Board of education in their school district for more information.
Connecticut 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 timely 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 promulgation and 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 served in the Armed Forces (deployment necessary)
- Discharged other than on dishonorable accounts
- Veteran spouses or un-remarried surviving spouses (including Gold Star Parents) are also eligible provided they meet the age and residency requirements
- Costs are based on income
Employment and Job Training: Veteran’s Preference
All honorably discharged Veterans who served during wartime can have 5 points added to any state and municipal employment examination scores. Honorably discharged Veterans who served during wartime with a VA service-connected disability will get 10 points added to their score. A spouse of a qualified Veteran is also eligible for additional points.
Connecticut State Employment Reinstatement after Military Leave: An employee who leaves any public authority or public agency to enter the Armed Forces can be reinstated in their former position. Veterans must reapply within ninety (90) days following receipt of a certificate from the Armed Forces confirming satisfactory service.
No Loss of Benefits for Connecticut State Employees Due to Military Duty: The employer of any employee who is a member of the Reserve Armed Forces or National Guard who is ordered to perform military duty, including meetings or drills, during regular working hours shall allow such employee leave of absence for such purpose. The employee shall not be subjected to any loss or reduction of vacation or holiday privileges by reason of such absence or is prejudiced by reason of such absence with reference to promotion or continuance in office or employment, or to reappointment to office or reemployment.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act: Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protect civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of Reserve components. USERRA also makes major improvements in protecting service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive the Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.
Burials and Memorials
Please note that your preference regarding burial in a national cemetery and use of a headstone provided by VA should be documented and kept with your paperwork and medical records. Eligibility for burial in the cemetery is the same as for VA national cemeteries but includes a residency requirement. Spouses may also be eligible for burial.
National Cemeteries include:
Middletown: State Veterans Cemetery
Connecticut VA Benefit Resources
Connecticut provides Veterans with a Regional Benefits Office and VA Medical Centers.
Connecticut VA Regional Benefits Office
- Newington: Hartford Regional Office
Connecticut VA Medical Centers
- Newington: VA Connecticut Healthcare System, Newington Campus
- West Haven: VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven Campus
Important information for Connecticut 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 December 2019
Connecticut Veteran Benefits
If you are a disabled Veteran in Connecticut 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.