The state of Virginia 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 Virginia.
Virginia Veteran Financial Benefits
- Virginia Income Tax Deduction for Military Pay: Deduction of up to $15,000 of basic pay (does not apply if basic pay income is over $30,000). Must be a member of the military (Active, Reserve, or National Guard) stationed inside or outside Virginia, provided they are on extended active duty for more than 90 days. For every $1.00 of income over $15,000, the maximum subtraction is reduced by $1.00. For example, if basic pay is $16,000, the Service member is entitled to deduct only $14,000.
- Virginia Taxes on Retired Military Pay: Military retirement pay is subject to tax as income.
- Virginia Income Tax Exemption on Retired Military Pay received by Medal of Honor Recipients: Military retirement income received by those awarded the Medal of Honor can be subtracted from federal gross income for tax purposes. The subtraction does not apply to benefits received by a Surviving Spouse.
- Virginia Tax Exemption for National Guard Income: The wages or salaries received by any person for active and inactive service in the National Guard of the Commonwealth of Virginia, not to exceed the amount of income derived from thirty-nine calendar days of such service or $3,000, whichever amount is less. If a National Guard Service member has been in an active duty status for 90 consecutive days or more during the taxable year, they may also qualify for the exemption for the first $15,000 of basic military pay. However, if a National Guard Service member has been on active duty status for less than 90 consecutive days of the taxable year, they will not qualify for the exemption for the first $15,000 of basic military pay. If their extended active duty status rolls into the following taxable year and lasts for more than 90 consecutive days, they will qualify for the exemption on the following year’s income tax return, but only for the pay earned in that taxable period.
- Virginia Tax Exemption for Spouses and Dependents of Military Personnel: Spouses and dependents that are present in Virginia solely to be with the Service member Spouse/ parent who is permanently stationed here in compliance with military orders, have the same domicile or legal state of residence, and the income received in Virginia is from wages or salaries earned as an employee, or is derived from certain limited self-employment is exempt from Virginia taxes. You must meet all of these criteria to qualify for relief.
- Statewide: 4.3%
- Counties: can levy an additional sales tax of no more than 2.7%
- Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 5.488%
Virginia Hunting and Fishing Lifetime Licenses Free for 100% Disabled Veterans: The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) offers a free lifetime hunting and freshwater fishing license to service-connected totally and permanently Disabled Veterans.
Special Virginia Fishing License for Disabled Active Duty Military Personnel: The 2010 Virginia General Assembly has authorized the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to issue a freshwater fishing and trout license at no cost to disabled active duty military personnel who are receiving inpatient or outpatient medical treatment from a hospital in Virginia, an adjoining state, or the District of Columbia. This license is valid for one year and the holder of the license is not eligible to receive a re-issue of this license.
Virginia Special Annual Partially Disabled Veteran Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Resident and Non-Resident: The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) offers discounted hunting licenses and freshwater fishing licenses to partially service-connected disabled Veterans. Annual Freshwater Fishing: $12.00 per license for Residents and $24.00 per license for non-Residents. Annual Hunting License: $12.00 per license for Residents and $56.00 per license for non-Residents. (Does NOT include any of the following licenses: Bear; Deer & Turkey; Muzzleloader; Archery or National Forest Permit).
Virginia National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program (VNGSTAP): The State Tuition Assistance Program offers up to $8,000 per year for tuition and fees toward one credential at each level up to a Ph.D. Tuition assistance can now be used at participating online schools, not in Virginia, but Service members can only attend on-campus classes at Virginia Schools. It cannot be used at for-profit schools. All users incur a 2-year commitment to the Virginia National Guard upon completion of the last term used.
Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program: The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP) provides educational assistance for the Spouses and Children of military service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or who served in covered military combat and has been rated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as totally and permanently disabled or at least 90% permanently disabled as a result of such service. Military service includes service in the United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces Reserves, the Virginia National Guard, or the Reserves. Armed conflict includes military operations against terrorism, on a peace-keeping mission, as the result of a terrorist act, or any armed conflict.
Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program: The Military Survivors and Dependents Program provides educations benefits to spouses and children of military service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or who became at least 90 percent disabled as a result of military service in an armed conflict. This program may pay for tuition and fees at any state-supported college or university in Virginia. Benefits are available for up to 36 months.
Virginia 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 an honorable discharge
- Veterans must be residents of Virginia
- There may be a cost
Employment and Job Training: Veteran’s Preference
In accordance with the Code of Virginia, which requires that state agencies give preference in the hiring process to Veterans, the Surviving Spouse, or Child under the age of 27, of a Veteran who was killed in the line of duty and to members of the Virginia National Guard, and in support of Executive Order 29(2010), Serving Virginia’s Veterans, the following is provided to guide agencies’ application of the Veterans Preference provision of the Commonwealth’s Hiring Policy.
If an agency uses a scored test by which to evaluate applicants, Veterans must receive a credit of an additional 5% of his or her score or, if the applicant is a Veteran having a service-connected disability rating fixed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, he or she must receive a credit of an additional 10% of his or her score. To be eligible for such an increase in score, the applicant must first achieve a passing score on the test or examination. However, because most state recruitments do not use scored tests, the challenge for agencies is to apply a preference that is equivalent to the 5% increase Veterans receive on test scores (10% for Veterans with a disability rating from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs).
Virginia State Employee Paid Leave for Military Duty: State employees receive 15 workdays of paid military leave annually.
Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) Veterans and Spouses Employment Assistance: Veterans from all periods of military service are eligible for job referral, job training, and job placement assistance through the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC). Veterans may access these employment services through a statewide network of VEC offices. They also work with those that are currently transitioning out of the military.
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. Honorably discharged veterans may be buried at no cost, there is a small cost for their eligible family members.
National Cemeteries include:
Alexandria: Alexandria National Cemetery
Culpeper: Culpeper National Cemetery
Danville: Danville National Cemetery
Hampton: Hampton National Cemetery
Hampton: Hampton National Cemetery (VAMC)
Hopewell: City Point National Cemetery
Leesburg: Ball’s Bluff National Cemetery
Mechanicsville: Cold Harbor National Cemetery
Richmond: Fort Harrison National Cemetery
Richmond: Glendale National Cemetery
Richmond: Richmond National Cemetery
Sandston: Seven Pines National Cemetery
Staunton: Staunton National Cemetery
Triangle: Quantico National Cemetery
Winchester: Winchester National Cemetery
Virginia VA Benefit Resources
Virginia provides Veterans with a Regional Benefits Office and VA Medical Centers.
Virginia VA Regional Benefits Office
- Roanoke: Roanoke Regional Office
Virginia VA Medical Centers
- Hampton: Hampton VA Medical Center
- Richmond: Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center
- Salem: Salem VA Medical Center
Important information for Virginia 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
Virginia Veteran Benefits
If you are a disabled Veteran in Virginia 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.