The state of Utah 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 Utah.
Utah Veteran Financial Benefits
- Utah State Taxes on Military Retired Pay: Utah treats military retirement pensions as taxable income and does not offer any additional credits for Veteran retirees other than for retirement in general.
- Utah State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retired Pay: Military Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the Armed Forces should not be included in taxable income if any of the following conditions apply:
- You were entitled to receive a disability payment before September 25, 1975
- You were a member of the military (active or reserves) or were under a binding written commitment to become a member on September 24th, 1975
- You receive disability payments for a combat-related injury. This is a personal injury or sickness that:
- Resulted directly from armed conflict
- Took place while you were engaged in extra-hazardous service
- Took place under conditions simulating, including training exercises such as maneuvers
- Was caused by an instrumentality of war
- You would be entitled to receive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if you filed an application for it (the exclusion under this condition equals the amount you would be entitled to from the VA)
- Utah State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (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-related injury or disease.
- Utah Active or Reserve Duty Armed Forces Property Tax Exemption: The total taxable value of the claimant’s primary residence may be exempt from taxation if the claimant is deployed out-of-state for military duty.
- Property Tax Abatement: Disabled Veterans qualify for a reduction in property tax. The maximum reduction in your home’s appraised value is $260,370, and this amount changes every year. Multiply this by your disability percentage to determine your appraised value reduction. Surviving spouses may also be eligible.
- Armed Forces Property Tax Exemption: Active duty and reserve members with at least 200 days of active service may qualify for a total exemption from real property tax. You get a reduction in the year after your service.
- Purple Heart Fee Exemption: Purple Heart recipients are exempt from motor vehicle license and registration fees: automobile driver education fee; motor vehicle registration fee; license plate issuance fees; uninsured motorist identification fee; and local option transportation corridor preservation fee. The only fee due is property tax or age-based fee.
- Statewide: 4.85%
- Counties: can levy an additional sales tax of no more than 4.2%
- Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 6.88%
Disabled Veteran Fishing License: Utah disabled Veterans with a 20% or more disability rating may be eligible for discounted fishing licenses.
Disabled Veteran State Park Admission: Honorably discharged Utah resident Veterans with a 50% or more disability rating are eligible for an Honor Pass which gives free access to all state parks for the qualified Veteran and up to 7 guests in the same private vehicle.
Utah National Guard State Tuition Assistance (STA) Program: The Utah National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program provides additional financial assistance toward tuition after A Service member has reached Their annual Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) limit or for Soldiers or Airmen who are actively serving and in good standing but otherwise ineligible to use FTA. It can be used for colleges/universities in-state or out-of-state, online or in-person, and for just one class at a time or full-time enrollment! STA covers up to $250 per semester hour and up to $6,000 per fiscal year (combined if also using FTA). Service Members pursuing a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) or Cyber degree program are allowed up to $7,000 per fiscal year (combined if also using FTA) that can be applied both to tuition and fees starting in FY20. Service Member must include STEM-C Verification Letter signed by an advisor/official at the school indicating that their degree program qualifies as STEM or Cyber to receive additional funding. STA packets should be submitted at least 15 days prior to the class start and must include a completed application, signed Statement of Understanding (SOU), and course/cost verification. Please see the Utah National Guard STA checklist to ensure you have included all required components of your application.
Utah Purple Heart Tuition Waiver: Purple Heart recipients are eligible for a tuition waiver in all state schools in Utah. This benefit can be used toward a degree up to and including a master’s degree.
Utah Veterans’ Tuition Gap Coverage: This program provides funding for eligible Utah resident Veterans who have exhausted their post-9/11 education benefits, but have not yet completed the requirements for a Bachelor’s degree. The grant funding can help cover tuition for the last year of undergraduate education leading up to a bachelor’s degree.
Scott B. Lundell Military Survivors Tuition Waiver: Utah System of Higher Education institutions shall waive undergraduate tuition for surviving dependents of a Utah resident, who, as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, including the Utah National Guard or a reserve component on or after September 11, 2001, was killed or died of wounds or injuries received while serving on federal or state active duty, under orders of the competent authority and not as a result of the member’s own misconduct.
Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes
Eligibility for admission:
- Honorably discharged Veterans (Wartime Veterans get preference)
- Spouses or surviving spouses may also qualify for admission
- There may be a cost for care
Employment and Job Training: Veteran’s Preference
All honorably discharged Veterans can have 5 points added to any state employment examination scores. Those with a VA service-connected disability will get 10 points added to their score. Eligible spouses and un-remarried surviving spouses may be eligible for the same percentage as the Veteran.
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.
Extension of Utah Professional Licenses for Members of the National Guard and Army Reserve: Any license held by a member of the National Guard or reserve component of the Armed Forces that expires while the member is on active duty shall be extended until 90 days after the member is discharged from active duty status.
CDL Driving Skills Test Waiver: Utah may waive the driving skills tests for Veterans applying for a CDL if they meet the licensing qualifications, was honorably discharged in the last 90 days and have operated a commercial vehicle in the last two years.
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 interment in the State Veterans Cemetery follows National Cemetery Administration eligibility requirements. Reservists and National Guard retirees are eligible for burial also. Surviving spouses and dependents may also be eligible for burial. There is no fee for the Veteran and a small fee for dependents.
National Cemeteries include:
Bluffdale: National Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Utah VA Benefit Resources
Utah provides Veterans with a Regional Benefits Office and a VA Medical Centers.
Utah VA Regional Benefits Office
- Salt Lake City: Salt Lake City Regional Office
Utah VA Medical Centers
- Salt Lake City: VA Salt Lake City Health Care System
Important information for Utah 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
Utah Veteran Benefits
If you are a disabled Veteran in Utah 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.