Call us at: (833) 577-8387
Decoration Texture

Veteran Benefits for Delaware

Veteran Benefits for Delaware

Delaware offers benefits for Service members, Veterans, and their Families including state employment preferences and assistance, education and tuition assistance, special vehicle tags, Veteran’s homes, burial benefits, hunting and fishing licenses. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component, and Veteran disability status. The following are benefits for the state of Delaware.

Delaware Veteran Financial Benefits

  • Delaware State Sales Tax:  Delaware does not have state or local sales taxes.
  • Delaware State Taxes on Military Pay:  Delaware resident Service members are required to pay state taxes on their military pay.
  • Delaware Military Retired Pay Income Taxes:  Delaware residents are eligible for a military pension exclusion of up to $12,500.

    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.

  • Delaware Taxes on 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 generally not be included in taxable income. Some of the payments that are considered disability benefits and thus exempt from taxation 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
  • Delaware 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) Delaware State Tax Benefits:  Delaware residents receiving a military survivor’s pension 60 years old or older are eligible for a pension exclusion of up to $12,500. For residents under age 60, the exclusion amount limited to $2,000.
    • In addition, $2,000 may be excluded by survivors who have a permanent disability, their earned income in the taxable year is less than $2,500, and their adjusted gross income is $10,000 or less.
  • Delaware Disabled Veterans School Tax Credit:  Delaware resident disabled Veterans may be eligible for a tax credit of 100% of their non-vocational school district property tax. Credit may only be used against property taxes assessed on a primary residence.

    Who is eligible for the Delaware Disabled Veterans School Tax Credit? Veterans must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

    • Receives compensation from the VA for a service-connected 100% permanent and total disability, or
    • Receives compensation from the VA at the 100% rate due to individual unemployability
    • Legal resident of Delaware for the past three years

Sales Tax:

  • Statewide: None
  • Counties: cannot levy an additional sales tax
  • Gasoline Tax:  $0.23 cents per gallon (includes all state, local and federal taxes)


Delaware Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing License Exemption for Disabled Veterans:  Delaware will issue an exemption from hunting, trapping, and fishing licenses for qualifying disabled Veterans.

Delaware Resident Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing Privileges for Nonresident Service Members:  Nonresident active duty Service members stationed in Delaware and nonresident Delaware National Guard Service members are eligible to purchase recreational licenses at the resident price.

Delaware Resident Military One-Time Hunting and Fishing License for Wartime Veterans:  Delaware residents who served 90 or more days in Operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom are eligible for a one-time license exemption for the first 12 months following the date they are honorably discharged or removed from active status.

Delaware Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing License for Hospitalized Service Members:  A Service member serving in the U.S. Armed Forces who is a patient at a military hospital may be issued a free license to hunt, trap, and fish in Delaware. The Service member must provide a written statement signed by their commanding officer certifying the nature of their disability and place of duty when they apply.

Delaware Fishing License Exemption for Veterans Hospitalized in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities:  Veterans who are patients in a VA facility are eligible to fish without a license in Delaware. Veterans must carry official documentation that they are a patient in a VA Facility when they are fishing.

“Delaware Military Pass” Reduced Fee State Park Passes:  The Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation offers a 50% discount on annual park passes to Delaware resident Service members, Veterans, and Retired Service members.

Who is eligible for the Delaware Military Pass?  Individuals must be a Delaware resident and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Active duty Service member serving in the U.S. Armed Forces or in the Delaware National Guard
  • Veteran who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and received an honorable discharge
  • Service member who served for 20 or more years in the U.S. Armed Forces and received an honorable discharge

Delaware Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom Park Pass:  The Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation offers a free pass to Veterans of Operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom. This pass is available for the first 12 months following the date the Veteran was honorably discharged or released from active status.

Out-of-State Military Vehicle Pass for Active Duty Service Members Stationed in Delaware:  Active duty Service members stationed in Delaware, with a vehicle registration or driver’s license from another state, are eligible for an out-of-state Military Vehicle Pass for half the price of a civilian out-of-state vehicle pass.

Delaware Military and Veterans Miscellaneous Benefits

Delaware Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF):  SSVF provides assistance to Veterans and their Families who have housing stability issues or are homeless. SSVF will provide case management, benefit application assistance, financial assistance (includes rental, security deposit, and utility assistance) and access to benefit enrollment.

Education Programs

Delaware National Guard Tuition Assistance:   Delaware National Guard Service members can receive up to 100% tuition at state-supported colleges and universities or the average in-state tuition at a private college or university in Delaware. Service members are eligible to receive tuition assistance for one certificate or associate or bachelor’s degree. Master’s degrees may be reimbursed if funding for all undergraduates has been paid. All tuition assistance is dependent on state funding.

Delaware Educational Benefits for Children of Deceased Veterans and Service Members Declared a Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA):   Delaware will provide tuition and required fees for the Children of Veterans and Service members who were current or former POW/MIA. Students can receive tuition assistance for up to four years at a state-supported college or university. Students are authorized to attend a private college in Delaware if their program of study is not offered at a Delaware public college or an out-of-state public or private college if there is no institution in Delaware offering their program of study.

Delaware High School Diploma for Wartime Veterans:   Delaware will award a high school diploma to Veterans who did not graduate because they left school to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II (WW II), Korea, or Vietnam.

Who is eligible for Delaware High School Diploma for Wartime Veterans?   Veterans must have received an honorable discharge following service in the U.S. Armed Forces during the following time periods:

  • WW II – December 7, 1941, through December 11, 1946, and during occupation of defeated territories up until September 8, 1951
  • Korean War – June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955
  • Vietnam – May 1, 1961, through April 30, 1975

Delaware 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

Delaware Purple Star School Program for Military-Friendly Schools:   The Delaware Purple Star School program for military-friendly schools recognizes schools that show a major commitment to students and Families connected to the U.S. Armed Forces.

  • For a school to qualify for the Purple Star Award, they must appoint a school liaison specially trained to handle the unique challenges experienced by military Families. This liaison will ensure other teachers at their school are aware of special considerations that students from military Families can benefit from. Each school will also have a dedicated page on their school website featuring resources for military Families.

Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes


Delaware State Veterans Home at Milford

Eligibility for admission:

  • Veterans must be honorably discharged
  • Veterans must be residents of Delaware for at least three years
  • Have at least 180 days of active duty
  • Reserve/Guard Members eligible for retirement pay at 60
  • Veterans must require nursing home level care

Employment and Job Training: Veterans Preference

Delaware State Employee Leave for Military Duty:  Delaware State Merit Employees who are members of the National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves who are ordered to attend training or special duty training during scheduled work hours are eligible for paid military leave for 112.5 hours (based on a 37.5 hour work week) or 120 hours (based on a 40 hour work week). This leave accrues at the beginning of each calendar year.

Service members who use all their military leave are authorized unpaid leave, or they may request to use annual leave. Military leave is pro-rated for part-time employees.

  • State Merit Employees who enter active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for a leave of absence for the duration of their active duty service plus 90 calendar days after their discharge.

Delaware State Employee Salary Continuation During Military Duty:  If a Delaware state employee called to federal active duty and their military base pay is less than their state base salary, the state will pay the difference.

    • Employees must request salary continuation from their human resources representative within 90 days of their release from active duty.

Delaware Professional License Services for Service Members, Veterans, and their Spouses:  The Delaware Division of Professional Regulation offers several benefits for Service members, Veterans, and Spouses. The Delaware Professional license of deployed Service members remains active for the duration of their deployment. Service members must continue to meet all license requirements of applicable laws and regulations.

Delaware Provisional License/Permit for Service Members and Spouses:  Service members and their Spouses may apply for a provisional Delaware professional license to practice in Delaware for up to six months while their application is pending.

Military Education, Training, or Experience:  Delaware professional licensing boards will consider military education, training, or experience (METE) when determining qualifications for a professional license. To give credit to the METE, education, and training must be generally equivalent to the license requirements and regulations for their profession. Applicants must meet all other licensure requirements and meet all the following criteria:

  • Active or reserve component Service member serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, retired Service member, or a Veteran
  • Filing a license application at the same time as this request or have already filed the application and it is still pending
  • Applicant believes they can meet licensure requirements only if given credit for METE
  • Delaware State Employment Veterans’ Hiring Preference: Delaware offers Veterans’ hiring preference to Veterans, disabled Veterans, and certain Spouses for state employment. Preference is given by awarding points to passing entrance exam scores. Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements for the position.

Who is eligible for Delaware State Employment Veterans’ Hiring Preference?  The following applicants are eligible for five points added to their score:

  • Veterans who served in an active or reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces and received an honorable discharge
  • Service members serving in the Delaware National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves who have at least 20 years of service and continue to serve
  • Unremarried Spouse of an eligible deceased Veteran or Service member
  • Spouse of a Service member who declared for at least 90 days as:
    • Missing in action
    • Prisoner of War
    • Forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power
  • Spouse of a Veteran or Service member who has a service-connected disability

Honorably discharged Veterans or reserve component Service members who have at least 20 years of service who have a service-connected disability are eligible for 10 points.

In addition, state employees who leave their state employment to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces will be given credit for seniority purposes for the time served, up to three years.

Federal Employment Veteran’s Hiring Preferences:  By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-veterans in hiring into the Federal civil service and in 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 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: 10 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):  10 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): 10 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): 10 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 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.

Delaware Office of Pensions Military Service Credit:  Delaware state employees who were hired before July 1, 1976, can receive military service credit for up to five years, for active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces. Former Service members must become state employees within five years after their completion of active duty service or completion of professional or vocational training. The course of professional or vocational training must be started within five years of discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces and lead to a certificate, diploma, or degree approved by the Department of Education. Former Service members must be enrolled on a continuous, full-time basis and successfully complete their course of instruction to be eligible.

State employees who are called into, or volunteer for active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and return to the state employment within 90 days of their discharge will receive full service credit for the time they serve on active duty

Those who do not qualify above may purchase up to five years of service credit for full-time active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces by paying an amount equal to the actuarial value of the service credit. Purchased service credit cannot be used to determine eligibility for a pension but will be used to calculate the amount of their retirement benefit.

Compensation for Delaware National Guard Service Members While on State Active Duty:  Delaware National Guard Service members called to state active duty during an emergency or impending emergency will receive per diem equal to twice what would be authorized for federal active duty Service members of the same grade and time in service.  For state active duty including training or other nonemergency response, Delaware National Guard Service members will receive per diem equal to what is authorized for active duty Service members of the same grade and length of service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

For radiological emergency preparedness events, Service members receive twice their base pay and all authorized allowances.

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:

Bear: New Castle County Veterans Cemetery

Millsboro: Sussex County Veterans Cemetery

Delaware VA Benefit Resources

Delaware provides Veterans with a Regional Benefits Office and a VA Medical Center.

Delaware VA Regional Benefits Office

Delaware VA Medical Centers

Important information for Delaware 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

Delaware Veteran Benefits

If you are a disabled Veteran in Delaware 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.