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Veteran Benefits for Virginia

Veteran Benefits for Virginia

Virginia offers unique benefits for Service members, veterans, and their families, including a property tax exemption for disabled veterans, education and tuition assistance, employment 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 Virginia.

Virginia Veteran Financial Benefits

Virginia Income Tax Deduction for Military Pay: Resident Service members serving on active duty who earn less than $30,000 (base pay) can deduct up to $15,000 from their Virginia Income tax. For every $1 of income over $15,000, the maximum subtraction is reduced by $1. Service members must be on active duty for 90 days or more to be eligible.

Virginia Tax Exemption for National Guard Income: Virginia National Guard Service members in pay grades O-3 and below can deduct their National Guard pay that is received for up to 39 calendar days of service or $3,000, whichever is less.

Virginia Tax Exemption for Nonresident Military Spouses: Income earned by a nonresident military spouse who is in Virginia only to be with their nonresident Service member spouse who is permanently stationed in Virginia is exempt from Virginia Income tax. The spouse must have the same legal state of residence as the Service member to be eligible.

Virginia Taxes on Combat and Hazardous Duty Pay: In Virginia, combat pay and hazardous duty pay are not taxed.

Virginia Taxable Income Subtraction for Military Retired Pay: Virginia has a graduated income subtraction for military retired pay. For the 2022 tax year, Veterans aged 55 and over receiving military retired pay can deduct $10,000 from their Virginia taxable income. This subtraction will increase yearly by $10,000 until the 2025 tax year for a maximum subtraction of $40,000.

  • 2022 – $10,000
  • 2023 – $20,000
  • 2024 – $30,000
  • 2025 – $40,000

Beginning in the 2023 tax year, the over-age 55 eligibility requirement has been eliminated.

Virginia Income Tax Subtraction for Military Retired Pay Received by Medal of Honor Recipients: Military retired pay received by a Medal of Honor recipient is not taxed in Virginia. The subtraction does not apply to benefits received by a Surviving spouse.

Virginia 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

Virginia Income Tax Filing and Payment Extensions for Service Members and their Spouses: Virginia offers extensions to file and pay Virginia income taxes for Service members and their spouses. Service members must serve in one of the following situations to be eligible:

  • Stationed outside the U.S. or Puerto Rico on May 1, receive an automatic extension until July 1; write “Overseas Rule” at the top of the return and envelope and attach a statement explaining the reason for being out of the country.
  • When serving in a combat zone, eligible for the same extension granted by the IRS, plus an additional 15 days or a one-year extension, whichever date is later, write “Combat Zone” at the top of the tax return and envelope.
  • Deployed to noncombat service outside of the U.S. are allowed an extension of 90 days after the completion of deployment; write “Overseas Noncombat” at the top of their tax returns and on the envelope.

Virginia 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.

Virginia State Taxes on Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP): Virginia has a graduated taxable income subtraction for survivor benefits paid to a resident Surviving spouse of a deceased Veteran. For the 2022 tax year, a Surviving spouse, age 55 and older, receiving survivor benefits, can deduct $10,000 from their Virginia taxable income. This subtraction will increase yearly by $10,000 until the 2025 tax year for a maximum subtraction of $40,000.

  • 2022- $10,000
  • 2023 – $20,000
  • 2024 – $30,000
  • 2025 – $40,000

Virginia Real Property Tax Exemption for 100% Disabled Veterans and Surviving Spouses: Virginia offers a complete property tax exemption for eligible disabled Veterans or Surviving spouses. This exemption applies to the home that is their principal residence and up to one acre of land where the home is located.

Who is eligible for Virginia Real Property Tax Exemption for 100% Disabled Veterans and Surviving Spouses? Veterans who have a service-connected 100% permanent and total disability rating or have an individually unemployable rating are eligible.

The un-remarried Surviving spouses of eligible disabled Veterans and of Service members who were killed in action or died of wounds are also eligible. In addition, Surviving spouses may move within Virginia and keep their exemption. Please contact the local county, city, or town tax office for more information.

Virginia Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans: Veterans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces or the Virginia National Guard and who have a service-connected, 100%, permanent, and total disability rating from the VA are eligible for a Sales and Use Tax Exemption on the purchase of one vehicle. The vehicle must be owned and used primarily by or for the qualifying Veteran.

A vehicle that the spouse of a qualifying Veteran purchases can also be eligible for this exemption if the vehicle is used primarily by or for the qualifying Veteran.

Sales Tax:

  • Statewide: 5.3%
  • Counties: can levy an additional sales tax of no more than .70%
  • Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 5.75%


Virginia Resident Disabled Veteran Lifetime Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Licenses: The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) offers free and reduced fee lifetime hunting, freshwater fishing, and trapping licenses to eligible disabled Veterans. 

Veterans are required to provide a VA disability benefit letter or a Veterans’ Certificate of Disability as proof of eligibility when they apply. Required documentation and submission information is on the application.

Virginia Nonresident Totally and Permanently Disabled Veteran Annual Hunting and Fishing Licenses: The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) offers discounted hunting and freshwater fishing licenses to eligible nonresident disabled Veterans.

Veterans are required to provide a VA disability benefit letter or a Veterans’ Certificate of Disability as proof of eligibility when they apply. Required documentation and submission information is on the application.

Special Virginia Fishing License for Disabled Active Duty Service Members: The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will issue a free freshwater fishing and trout license to any resident or nonresident disabled active duty Service member who is receiving inpatient or outpatient medical treatment from a hospital in Virginia, a neighboring state, or the District of Columbia. This license is valid for one year and may not be reissued.

Virginia State Parks, Free Veteran Disability Passport: Virginia State Parks offers a free Veteran Disability Passport for eligible disabled Veterans. The Veteran Passport authorizes free vehicle parking, boat launch, horse trailer parking, and admission for the pass holder and all vehicle occupants at parks and facilities with “per person” admission.

This pass includes a 50% discount on camping, swimming, shelters, two or more night stays in a standard yurt, and equipment rentals (park-operated rentals only). One-night standard yurt reservations receive a 25% discount.

Who is eligible for the Virginia State Parks Free Veteran Disability Passport? To be eligible, Veterans must have a 100% service-connected disability rating from the VA.

Education Programs

Virginia National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program (VNGSTAP): VNGSTAP offers up to $7,000 per year for tuition toward one degree or credential at each level up to a doctorate. VNGSTAP may be used at any accredited public or private (nonprofit) institution of higher education or participating online schools outside Virginia.

All service members incur a two-year commitment to the Virginia National Guard after completing the last term in which tuition assistance is used. Religious or theological studies are not eligible for VNGSTAP. Service members must use all available federal tuition assistance before VNGSTAP will pay up to the $7,000 cap. 

Who is eligible for the VNGSTAP? To be eligible, VNGSTAP Service members must have completed initial active duty training requirements or ROTC Advanced Camp and be active members of the Virginia National Guard in good standing.

Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP): VMSDEP provides educational financial assistance for eligible Spouses/Surviving spouses and children of certain Service members and disabled Veterans. Eligible students are guaranteed a waiver of all tuition and mandatory fees for eight semesters at a Virginia public college or university. In addition, the spouses/Surviving spouses and children of a Service member whose death or a Veteran’s disability was directly caused by military operations are eligible for a stipend to offset the cost of educational expenses such as room, board, books, and supplies.

Who is eligible for the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program? For a spouse/Surviving spouse or child to be eligible, they must meet the following requirements:

  • Accepted to a Virginia public college or university
  • Surviving spouse must be un-remarried
  • Children must be between 16 and 29 years old

For family members to be eligible for a tuition waiver, the Veteran must meet the following requirements:

  • Virginia Resident
  • Permanent and total non-service-connected disability rating from the VA
  • 90% or greater service-connected disability rating from the VA

For family members to be eligible for a tuition waiver and stipend, the Veteran or Service member must meet the following requirements:

  • Service member was killed, declared missing in action, or taken prisoner of war during military operations.
  • Veteran who has a service-connected disability rating of 90% or more from the VA as a direct result of military operations

Military operations include:

  • Combatting terrorism
  • Peacekeeping mission
  • Result of a terrorist act
  • Armed conflict

Virginia Honorary High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans: Virginia will award honorary high school diplomas to Veterans who left high school before graduating to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. 

Who is eligible for Virginia Honorary High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans? Veterans must have received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces for service during the following periods:

  • World War II – 1939 through 1945
  • Korean War – 1950 through 1953
  • Vietnam War – 1959 through 1975

Honorary diplomas can be requested by the Veteran, a Family member, or a Veterans’ organization. 

Virginia Residency for Tuition and Financial Aid Purposes for Service Members, Dependents, Veterans, and Surviving Spouses: Virginia offers in-state residency for tuition and financial aid purposes under the following circumstances:

  • Waiver of One Year Waiting Period to Establish Residency – Active duty Service members who establish legal residence in Virginia and their dependents are not required to wait one year to qualify
  • Residency When on Active Service for 180 Days or More – Active duty Service members, active or mobilized reserve component Service members, or those on temporary active duty orders for 180 days or more who live in Virginia
  • Assignment to Permanent Duty Station in Virginia Nonresident Service member and dependents assigned to a permanent duty station in Virginia; the Service member and family do not need to live in Virginia as long as the Service member is assigned to a duty station in Virginia
  • Assigned to a Neighboring State – Nonresident Service members and dependents assigned to a permanent duty station in Maryland, Washington D.C., North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky, or Tennessee who live in Virginia
  • Veterans and Surviving Spouses Honorably discharged Veterans or their Surviving spouses living in Virginia who have not met legal residency requirements.
  • VA Education Assistance – Veterans using VA education assistance

Students remain eligible for these benefits based on continued enrollment at any Virginia institution of higher education.

Virginia 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 variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content, or assessment do not disadvantage children of military families. 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 to achieve academic success for the student

Virginia Purple Star Designation Program for Military-Friendly Schools: The Virginia Purple Star Designation Program for military-friendly schools recognizes schools that strongly commit to students and families connected to the U.S. Armed Forces. Schools that earn the award receive a special Purple Star recognition to display on their campus.

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 ensures that other teachers at their school are aware of special considerations that students from military families can benefit from. Each school maintains a dedicated page on their school website featuring resources for military families.

Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes

Virginia Veteran Care Centers, State Veterans Homes: The Virginia Department of Veterans Services has two Veterans Care Centers that provide affordable, long-term skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/dementia care, and short and long-term rehabilitation for Veterans. Each first-class facility is designed to enhance a resident’s quality of life in a clean, caring, and dignified environment.

Virginia State Veterans Home at Richmond

Virginia State Veterans Home at Roanoke

Two new 128 bed Veterans Care Centers are scheduled to be opened in 2023:

Virginia State Veterans Care Center at Virginia Beach

Virginia State Veterans Care Center, Vint Hill, Fauquier County

Who is eligible for care at the Virginia Veteran Care Centers, State Veterans Homes? Veterans must meet the following requirements to be eligible for admission to a Virginia Veterans Care Center:

  • Virginia resident at the time of entry into the U.S. Armed Forces or at the time of admission
  • Received an honorable discharge for their last term of service
  • Requires skilled nursing home care

Employment and Job Training: Veteran’s Preference

Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Transition Program: The Virginia Department of Veterans Services’ V3 Transition Program offers peer-to-peer support and referrals to Service members separated from the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses. The V3 Transition Program focuses on helping Service members seeking employment, education, and entrepreneurship opportunities.

V3 Transition Program makes referrals, including a resume review, introduction to the Virginia Labor Market index, connection with the V3 Certified Companies for employment, and other Virginia Department of Veterans Services programs.

The V3 Transition Program has a network of employers and resources committed to helping transition service members and their spouses by offering networking events, job fairs, hiring events, and electronic communications promoting jobs and events.

Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS), SkillBridge Internships: The DVS SkillBridge program offers internships for transitioning Service members. With commander approval, Service members can participate in a 4-20 week internship up to six months before separation, helping them gain marketable skills and experience to enhance their civilian career opportunities.

Interested Service members who are within 18 months from separation can submit the online  Virginia DVS SkillBridge Intake Form to apply.

Virginia State Employee Paid Leave for Military Duty: State employees who are Service members in a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces are authorized 15 workdays of paid military leave per federal fiscal year for required military training and state or federal active duty. Former Service members recalled to active duty and state employees who voluntarily enter active duty are also eligible for paid military leave.

Employees do not lose seniority or accrued leave balances when taking military leave with pay. In addition, employees are paid up to 8 hours per year for pre-induction and other physical examinations required for military service in addition to the 15 workdays discussed above.

Virginia State Employee Reserve Component Active Duty Pay Supplement: The Virginia State Employee Active Military Supplement is a payment to a state employee on military leave without pay that makes up the difference between their base state salary and gross military salary plus allowances.

Who is eligible for the Virginia State Employee Reserve Component Active Duty Pay Supplement? Classified employees of Virginia Executive Branch agencies, including classified employees of institutions of higher education and the Virginia Community College System, must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

  • On military leave without pay
  • Gross military pay (base pay plus allowances) while on active duty is less than their base state salary

Wage, hourly, or p-14 employees are not eligible for the military supplement.

Virginia State Employee Military Bank Leave: Full-time Virginia state employees who are Service members in a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces may carry forward leave that is more than the allowable carry-over amount to be saved as Military Bank leave (MB). MB may be used only when called to active duty and may not be paid out or credited in any other form to the employee.

Who is eligible for Virginia State Employee MB? Service members serving in the National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves who are called to state or federal active duty are eligible. Employees must have an MR (Military Reserve) or NG (National Guard) designation in the Personnel Management Information System and have prior authorization to accrue MB.

Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), Veterans and Spouses Employment Assistance: VEC, Virginia Career Works offices help Service members who are leaving the U.S. Armed Forces, Veterans, and their sby offering employment assistance, training, and placement services.

Some services provided include:

  • Job readiness assessment, including interviews and testing
  • Resume preparation assistance
  • Education and training recommendations
  • Development of an individual employment plan
  • Job search assistance
  • Career counseling
  • Labor market, occupational and training information
  • Referral to job banks, job portals, and job openings
  • Referral to employers and registered apprenticeships
  • Developing jobs for Veterans with barriers to employment.
  • Referral to Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act-funded training or third-party services
  • Monthly follow-up by an assigned case manager for six months

Priority of Service: Eligible Veterans and spouses receive priority of service at VEC, Virginia Career Centers for all programs funded wholly or partly by the U.S. Department of Labor. Priority of service means that Veterans and eligible spouses receive earlier preference for a service. 

In addition, VEC staff search all new job listings to see if any Veterans and eligible spouses qualify for a position.

Who is eligible for Priority of Service? For Veterans to be eligible, they must have served on active duty (other than for training) in the U.S. Armed Forces and received a discharge other than dishonorable.

The spouse or un-remarried Surviving spouse of the following are also eligible:

  • Veteran who died from a service-connected disability
  • Service member serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces who is listed for 90 or more days as one of the following:
    • Missing in action
    • Captured in the line of duty by a hostile force
    • Forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power.
  • A veteran who has a total service-connected disability rating from the VA
  • Veteran who died while a disability (as above) was in existence

Virginia Workforce Connection, Veterans Services: The Virginia Workforce Connection webpage (at the “Learn more… link below) has a Veterans Services tab containing links to information of interest to Veterans and their families. Topics include employment, military occupational code (MOC) based job search, disabled resources, Veterans organizations, VA services, and more.

Virginia Boots to Suits Program: Virginia Boots to Suits is a clothing program for Virginia Veterans transitioning from service in the U.S. Armed Forces to civilian careers. This program provides Veterans within 60 days of separation from the U.S. Armed Forces with two complimentary career outfits, helping them look and feel their best for job interviews and non-military work environments. Military spouses who are job-seeking and the main household provider are also eligible. For more information, submit a Boots to Suits application at the “Learn more…” link below.

Virginia State Employment Veterans Hiring Preferences: Virginia offers a hiring preference when hiring for state employment to eligible Veterans, National Guard Service members, and certain family members.

When a scored test is used during hiring, additional percentage points are added to an applicant’s passing score. Applicants must meet all the position’s knowledge, skill, and ability requirements.

Percentage Point Distribution:

  • Honorably discharged Veterans receive an additional 5%
  • Veterans who have a service-connected disability rating from the VA receive an additional 10%
  • National Guard Service members receive an additional 5%
  • Surviving spouses and children (under age 27) of a Service member who was killed in the line of duty receive an additional 5%.

For positions that do not use a scored metric for hiring, the hiring authority must find an equitable alternative that provides a veteran hiring preference.

Virginia Professional License Expedited Review for Military Spouses: The spouse of a Service member stationed in Virginia is authorized to expedite their professional license application. Examples of these licenses include:

  • Real estate
  • Contractor
  • Cosmetology
  • Architect
  • Engineer
  • Interior designer

Licenses regulated by the Virginia Board of Health are not eligible for expedited processing.

A spouse’s professional license application must be completed within 20 days of receipt. If the board cannot respond within 20 days, it issues a temporary license until it can decide on the application. Temporary licenses are valid for 12 months. 

Military Spouses may Practice Law in Virginia: Military spouses licensed to practice law in another state may practice law in Virginia if they meet certain requirements and practice under the supervision of a licensed Virginia attorney. 

Virginia Military Medics and Corpsmen (MMAC) Program: MMAC recruits, reviews, and refers candidates to healthcare employers statewide.

MMAC provides the following assistance:

  • Helps Veterans or transitioning Service members who were Combat Medic (68W), Corpsman, or Medical Technician (4N0X) who are within 12 months of discharge to practice clinical skills without civilian health care credentials
  • Helps Veterans with clinical and non-clinical military training and experience find employment in the healthcare field
  • Assists those looking to transition their military leadership skills towards the medical field leadership
  • Assist military spouses looking to start or continue a career in Virginia’s healthcare system.

MMAC does not provide licensure and certification or direct financial assistance but assists in finding jobs in medical career fields.

Virginia Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small-Business (SDVOSB) Designation: As part of the Virginia Small, Women-owned, and Minority Owned Business (SWaM) certification program, qualifying Veterans who have a service-connected disability and are small business owners may request an SDVOSB designation in the Virginia SWaM vendor database. This is not a separate SWaM certification but a designation of those small businesses disabled Veterans own.

For a business to be certified as an SDVOSB, it must meet the following requirements:

  • The veteran owner must have received an honorable discharge from active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces and must have a service-connected disability rating from the VA.
  • Businesses must be at least 51% owned by one or more disabled Veterans.
  • Daily business operations must be managed and controlled by one or more disabled Veterans.
  • Businesses must have 250 or fewer employees and annual gross receipts of $10 million or less, averaged over the previous three years.
  • 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:

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

Virginia VA Medical Centers

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, 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

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.