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Veteran benefits for Vermont

Veteran benefits for Vermont

Vermont offers special benefits for service members, veterans, and their families, including property tax exemptions, state employment preferences, education and tuition assistance, vehicle tags, and 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 Vermont.

Vermont Veteran Financial Benefits

  • Vermont Income Tax Exemptions for Military Pay: Military pay is exempt from Vermont income taxes for Service members serving on full-time active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces when the pay is earned outside of Vermont.

    Up to $2,000 of military pay is tax-exempt for service in the Vermont National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves if the Service member’s federal adjusted gross income is less than $50,000.

    If funds received through the College Loan Repayment Program are included in the federal adjusted gross income, they are exempt from Vermont income taxes.

  • Vermont Income Taxes on Military Retired Pay: Vermont resident retired Service members who have an annual gross income of $50,000 or less for single filers or $65,000 or less for joint filers receive a tax exemption on the first $10,000 of their military retired pay from Vermont 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.

  • Vermont 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 not be included in taxable income. Some of the payments that 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


  • Vermont 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.


  • Vermont Taxes on Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Military SBP/RCSBP/RSFPP: A Surviving Spouse who has an annual gross income of $50,000 or less is eligible for a tax exemption on the first $10,000 of their survivor annuity.


  • Vermont Property Tax Filing Benefits for U.S. Armed Forces Service Members During Military Conflict: Vermont offers tax filing extensions to the following Service members:
    • Reserve component Service members called up for full-time active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces because of a military conflict in an area designated as a combat zone (duty does not need to be performed within the combat zone) or
    • Service member serving in an area designated as a combat zone or
    • Service member hospitalized due to injuries received during qualified service

    Service members meeting the eligibility requirements above are eligible for the following filing benefits:

    Income Tax Extension: 180-day extension to file income tax after qualifying service ends.

    Penalty and Interest Exemption for Property Tax: 180-day extension to file property tax without penalty, fee, or interest. This extension must be approved by the local municipality. Contact the town clerk in the town where your property is located for instructions to request this exemption.

  • Homestead Declaration Abatement: If a resident Service member’s Vermont Homestead Declaration was late or incorrect due to active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces, they may qualify for 180-day abatement. The local municipality has the authority to abate all or a portion of the Service member’s property tax. Contact the town clerk where the property is located for instructions to request this abatement.
  • Combat Zone Property Tax Credit and Renter Rebate: Qualified Service members are eligible for a 180-day extension to file a Vermont Property Tax Credit or a Vermont Renter Credit. Applicants may file online using their tax software, the myVTax webpage, or they can mail their completed Vermont Homestead Declaration and Property Tax Adjustment Claim or Vermont Renters Credit Claim (found in the Vermont Income Tax Return Booklet, Forms, and Instructions) and documentation of their service. 
  • Vermont Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans and their Survivors: Vermont offers a property tax exemption to disabled Veterans and their survivors on the first $10,000 of the appraised value of their home. Local municipalities may vote to increase this exemption up to $40,000.

    The exemption only applies to the primary residence that is owned by the Veteran or their survivor. Veterans and survivors who rent their homes are not eligible for this exemption.

    Who is eligible for the Vermont Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans and their Survivors? To be eligible, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

    • Veterans who have a service-connected disability rating from the VA of 50% or higher
    • Veterans who receive a non-service-connected disability pension from the VA
    • Veterans who received a permanent medical retirement from the U.S. Armed Forces
    • Un-remarried Surviving Spouses or minor Children of Veterans who were eligible for the exemption at the time of their death

Sales Tax:

  • Statewide: 6.0%
  • Counties: can levy a sales tax of no more than 1.0%
  • Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 6.30%


Vermont Free Disabled Veteran, Fishing, Hunting, or Combination Licenses: Vermont offers free hunting, fishing, or combination licenses to eligible disabled Veterans.

Who is eligible for Vermont Free Disabled Veteran, Fishing, Hunting, or Combination Licenses? Vermont resident veterans who have ever had a service-connected VA disability rating of 60% or greater are eligible for a free, permanent fishing, hunting, or combination license.

Veterans who are residents of Maine or New Hampshire and who have ever had a service-connected VA disability rating of 60% or greater are eligible for a free one-year reciprocal Vermont fishing, hunting, or combination license.

Vermont Active Duty and Reserve Component Service Member Hunting, Fishing, and Combination License Benefits: Resident Service members who are serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or reserve component Service members who are activated for homeland defense or a state-side contingency operation for 120 or more consecutive days are eligible for a free one-year year fishing, hunting or combination license.

Nonresident Service members serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and are stationed in Vermont can purchase hunting and fishing or combination licenses for resident prices.

Service members applying for a hunting or combination license must meet Vermont Hunting License Requirements.  

Vermont Green Mountain Passport Lifetime Pass for Resident Veterans: Vermont resident Veterans who received an honorable discharge are eligible for a $2 lifetime Green Mountain Passport. The passport authorizes free day entry at Vermont State Parks, historic sites, and fully state-sponsored events. Green Mountain Passports are only available from local city or town clerk’s offices.

Education Programs

Vermont National Guard Tuition Benefit Program (VNGTBP): VNGTBP offers interest-free and forgivable loans to Vermont National Guard (VTNG) Service members. Loan forgiveness means that Service members do not have to pay part or all of their loan. VNGTBP provides loans for the following academic programs:

  • First or second bachelor’s degree
  • Master’s degree
  • Two certificates per term, four per year

The award is a loan that covers tuition only. Service members must use all available federal tuition benefits first; then, the VNGTBP will cover the remainder of eligible tuition.

Loan Forgiveness: Loans are forgiven based on the Service member’s time in service in the VTNG. To be eligible for partial or complete forgiveness of their loan, Service members must:

  • Complete two years of service in the VTNG for each full-time (12 credits or more) academic year
  • Service commitment is pro-rated below 12 credit hours
  • Certificate programs require a 6-month service commitment per certificate

Who is eligible for the VTNGTBP? To be eligible for this loan, Service members must meet the following requirements:

  • Completed basic training or commissioning and a VTNG Service member in good standing
  • Attend a Vermont university, college, or eligible training institution
  • Demonstrate satisfactory academic progress
  • Not in default on a federal education loan

Vermont Armed Services Scholarship: The Vermont Armed Services Scholarship provides educational assistance to the Families of Service members who were serving in the U.S. Armed Forces and died on active or inactive duty. Scholarships can be used at a Vermont university, college, post-secondary institution, or technical institute leading to a certificate or degree (other than a postgraduate degree).

Armed Services Scholarship may be used for up to 18 credit hours per semester, up to a maximum of 130 credits. Any Pell Grant financial assistance is deducted from the amount the applicant can receive.

Who is eligible for the Vermont Armed Services Scholarship? To receive the Vermont Armed Services Scholarship, applicants must be a Child, stepchild, or Surviving Spouse of:

  • Vermont National Guard Service member who was killed after 1955 or who died after January 1, 2001, while on active or inactive duty
  • Vermont resident, U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service member who died after January 1, 2001, while on active or inactive duty
  • Service members serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces who died after January 1, 2001, and at the time of death, and were either a:
    • Vermont resident
    • Nonresident Service member serving in the Vermont National Guard who was mobilized to active duty
    • Nonresident U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service member in a Vermont-based unit that was mobilized to active duty

Vermont High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans: Vermont offers high school diplomas to wartime Veterans who left high school before receiving their diploma to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Who is eligible for Vermont High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans? Honorably discharged Veterans who left a Vermont high school before graduation to serve during the following wartime periods are eligible:

  • World War II – December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946
  • Korean War Era – June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955
  • Vietnam War Era – August 5, 1964, through May 7, 1975, for Veterans serving outside Vietnam; February 28, 1961, through May 7, 1975, for service inside Vietnam

Applicants can choose to receive their diploma from any Vermont public school listed on page two of the application. 

Vermont 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

Vermont Purple Star Campus Designation for Military-Friendly Schools: Recent legislation authorized the Vermont Purple Star Campus Designation for military-friendly schools. The Purple Star Designation 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 who is specially trained to handle the unique challenges experienced by military Families. This liaison will ensure that other teachers at their school are aware of special considerations that students from military Families can benefit from. Each designated 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

Vermont Veterans’ Home: The Vermont Veterans’ Home, located in Bennington, Vermont, provides rehabilitation and long-term care for Veterans and their eligible Family members.

The Vermont Veterans’ Home is a licensed, residential healthcare facility with an extensively trained staff that provides a wide range of services.

Vermont State Veterans Home at Bennington

These services include:

  • Short and long-term skilled nursing care
  • Post-operative wound care
  • Physical, speech, rehabilitation, and occupational therapies
  • Certified Alzheimer’s and dementia unit
  • Medical social work
  • Respite care
  • Dietary services
  • Podiatry care
  • Dental Services
  • Palliative care
  • Transportation service
  • Family guest room

Who is eligible for care at the Vermont Veterans’ Home? To be eligible for care at the Vermont Veterans’ Home, Veterans must have served at least 90 days in the U.S. Armed Forces and received an honorable discharge. Gold Star parents, Spouse, or Surviving Spouse of an eligible Veteran are also eligible for admission. Vermont residency is not a requirement, but Vermont residents will have priority for admission.

The Vermont Veterans’ Home accepts private payments, Medicare, and Vermont Medicaid. The VA will pay for Veterans who have a 70% or greater service-connected disability rating.

Employment and Job Training: Veteran’s Preference

Vermont Employees Authorized Absence for Military Training: Vermont Service members serving in a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces have authorized leave of absence from their job for 15 days in any calendar year for military drill, training, or other temporary duty under military authority.

This leave of absence can be with or without pay as determined by the employer. When the Service member returns to their civilian employment, they must be returned to their previous position with the same status, pay, and seniority, including seniority that accrued during their absence.

Vermont State Employment Veterans Hiring Preference: Vermont offers veterans’ preference when hiring for state employment. Preference is given by adding points to the scores of eligible applicants.

In addition, those eligible for Veterans preference can apply for jobs that are normally only available to current State employees. Those eligible for preference may also apply and compete for vacant positions that are recruited as “State Promotional Only.”

Who is eligible for Vermont State Employment Veterans Hiring Preference? The following individuals are eligible for preference:

  • Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who served at least 90 days on active duty and received an honorable discharge
  • Veterans who have a service-connected disability
  • Spouse of a totally disabled Veteran who has a service-connected disability
  • Un-remarried Surviving Spouse of a Veteran

Vermont Veterans Employment Assistance: The Vermont Department of Labor has trained staff at their Job Centers to help Veterans find work. They help Veterans by identifying job training needs and funds for training.

The Vermont Department of Labor also has Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Representatives who help disabled Veterans and Veterans with barriers to employment find suitable employment. 

  • 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.


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.

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:

Brattleboro: Prospect Hill Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot (VT)

Montpelier: Green Mount Cemetery Soldiers’ Lot

Vermont VA Benefit Resources

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

Vermont VA Regional Benefits Office

Vermont VA Medical Centers

Important information for Vermont 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, 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 and medical records in a safe place where you and your family can access 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 conditions other than dishonorable. 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 November 2023

Vermont Veteran Benefits

If you are a disabled Veteran in Vermont 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 if you are eligible for an increase in VA compensation and whether you qualify for additional benefits.