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Veteran benefits for Vermont

The state of Vermont 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 Vermont.

Vermont Veteran Financial Benefits

  • Vermont Income Tax Exemptions for Military Pay: The following is a list of tax exemptions for resident military personnel in Vermont:
    • Military pay is exempt for full-time active duty with the Armed Services when the pay is earned outside of Vermont.
    • Up to $2,000 of military pay for unit training in Vermont for National Guard and U.S. Reserve personnel when the unit certifies the training was completed during the calendar year and the Service member’s Federal adjusted gross income is less than $50,000.
  • Vermont Income Taxes on Retired Military pay: Military retirement pay is taxed according to federal guidelines.
  • Vermont Taxes on the 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 Servicemembers who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.
  • Vermont Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans: The first $10,000 of appraisal value (up to $40,000 by a vote of the town for the municipal portion) of the established residence of a qualifying Veteran. Surviving Spouses of Veterans that previously received the exemption are also eligible.
    • The exemption only applies to homes that are owned by the Veteran or survivor. Veterans or survivors who rent their homes cannot pass this exemption to their landlord.

Who is eligible for the Vermont Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans? A qualifying Veteran is defined as:

    • Veterans receiving disability compensation at a rating of 50% or higher
    • Veterans receiving a non-service-connected pension
    • Veterans collecting military medical retirement pension
    • Surviving Spouses of Veterans who had received the exemption prior to death
  • Vermont Earned Income Tax Credit: If you are eligible for Federal Earned Income Tax credit, you may also be eligible for Vermont earned income tax credit. Recent Federal tax changes allow military personnel to elect to treat nontaxable combat pay as earned income. The credit shall be 36 percent of the earned income tax credit granted to the individual under the laws of the United States, multiplied by the percentage which the individual’s earned income that is earned or received during the period of the individual’s residency in this State bears to the individual’s total earned income.

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): 6.075%

Recreation

Disabled Veteran Hunting & Fishing License: Veterans with a disability rating of at least 60% can get a free lifetime hunting and fishing license.

Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Non-Resident Veterans: Non-resident Veterans who live in a state that provides reciprocal privilege for Vermont residents and who would qualify for a free license under the disabled Veteran provision above if they were a Vermont resident, can get free one-year fishing, hunting or combination hunting and fishing license.

Active Duty Hunting & Fishing Licenses: Active duty members can get free fishing and hunting licenses by signing paperwork that certifies their active duty status. Non-residents on active duty in Vermont can get hunting & fishing licenses at the resident rate.

Green Mountain Passport: Vermont Veterans can get the Green Mountain Passport for $2. Veterans with a disability rating of at least 60% can get it for free.

Education Programs

Vermont National Guard Tuition Benefit Program: This program was established as an interest-free and forgivable loan program in 2018 by the Vermont General Assembly. Loan forgiveness means that you no longer have to pay part, or all, of the loan. The goal is to recruit and retain high-quality VTNG members.

Who is eligible for the Vermont National Guard Tuition Benefit Program? To receive this award, you must:

  • Attend a Vermont university, college, or eligible training institution offering certificate training or continuing education programs
  •  Not have previously earned an undergraduate bachelor’s degree
  • Demonstrate satisfactory academic progress
  • Be an active member in good standing of the Vermont National Guard
  • Have successfully completed basic training or commissioning
  • Have exhausted any post 9/11/2011 tuition benefits and other federally funded military tuition assistance, not including Montgomery GI Bill benefits, post-September 11, 2001 educational program housing allowances, federal educational entitlements, National Guard scholarship grants, loans under the National Guard Educational Assistance Program, and other nontuition benefits.

Vermont Armed Services Scholarship: This program was created by the Vermont Legislature to provide free tuition for the Families of Vermont National Guard (VTNG), or U.S. active reserve or active armed services members who have died while on active or inactive duty.

Vermont 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

Vermont State Veterans Home at Bennington

Eligibility for admission:

  • Honorably discharged
  • Have at least 90 days of service
  • Vermont veterans have priority admission but veterans from other states are welcome to apply
  • Veterans without Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance will have to pay for their care, but the home’s staff will help make sure all available insurance programs are used if the individual is eligible

Employment and Job Training: Veteran’s Preference

By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans both in hiring into the Federal civil service and in retention during a reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews. Eligible veterans can also apply for jobs that normally are available only to current state employees.

Vermont Employees Authorized Absence for Military Training: Any duly qualified member of the Reserve Components of the U.S. Armed Forces, of the Ready Reserve, or an organized unit of the Vermont National Guard or the National Guard of another state shall upon request be entitled to leaves of absence for a total of 15 days in any calendar year for the purpose of engaging in military drill, training, or other temporary duty under military authority. A leave of absence shall be with or without pay as determined by the employer. Upon completion of the military drill, training, or other temporary duty under military authority, a permanent employee shall be reinstated in that position with the same status, pay, and seniority, including seniority that accrued during the period of absence.

Vermont CDL Military Skills Test Waiver: Service members who have a military CDL and have driven a commercial vehicle in the last 12 months may have their skills test waived when applying for a CDL.

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 interment in the State Veterans Cemetery follows National Cemetery Administration eligibility requirements. Veterans, their spouses, and unmarried minor children are eligible for burial as are National Guard and Reserve members with 20 years of service. There is no cost for the veteran’s burial and a small cost for dependents.

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, 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

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.

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