Veteran Benefits for Washington D.C.
The District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia.
District of Columbia Veteran Financial Benefits
Summary of Washington, D.C. Military and Veterans Benefits: Washington, D.C. offers special benefits for Service members, Veterans and their Families including property tax exemptions, Washington, D.C. employment preferences, education and tuition assistance and vehicle tags. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status.
Washington, D.C., Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, Claims Assistance: The Washington, D.C. Mayor’s Office of Veteran Affairs (MOVA) has trained service representatives that can assist Service members, Veterans, retired Service members and their Families find and apply for military/ Veterans benefits under federal and local laws. For more information, please call 202-724-7116.
Washington, D.C. Military Retired Pay Income Taxes: Washington, D.C. offers no reduction in taxes for military retired pay.
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 taxes and early distributions may incur higher taxes.
Washington, D.C. Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retirement Pay: 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 which 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
Washington, D.C. 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 Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.
Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Washington, D.C. Tax Benefits: SBP, RCSBP, RSFPP annuities received from the federal government are excluded from Washington, D.C. gross income.
Washington, D.C. Senior Citizen or Disabled Property Owner Tax Relief: Washington, D.C. resident property owners that are 65 years old or older, or that are totally and permanently disabled, or that are receiving government disability payments are eligible for a reduction in their Washington, D.C. property taxes. This benefit reduces a property owner’s real property assessed value by $78,700 (savings of $668.95) prior to computing the yearly tax liability.
Residents must meet the following requirements:
Own 50% or more of the property or cooperative unit
Total federal adjusted gross income for everyone living in the property or cooperative unit (excluding tenants) for 2022 must be less than $139,900
Property must be occupied as the principal residence and contain no more than five dwelling units (including the unit occupied by the owner).
If the property owner lives in a cooperative housing association, the cooperative will supply and collect the applications.
To apply for the Senior Citizen or Disabled Property Owner Tax Relief, applicants can file online using the Washington, D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue, MyTax DC webpage. A paper form can be requested by calling Customer Service 202-727-4TAX (4829).
What are my Washington, D.C. Military and Veterans Education Benefits?
Washington, D.C. National Guard, State Tuition Assistance Reimbursement (STAR) Program: The STAR program is offered to Washington, D.C. National Guard Service members to cover the costs of higher education that are not covered by Federal Tuition Assistance. Star can be used for up to a master’s degree. Assistance is provided by reimbursing expenses at the end of each semester for successfully completed courses.
Army National Guard Service members can receive up to $2,000 for tuition and $500 for fees each year. Air National Guard Service members can receive up to $6,000 for tuition each year.
Who is eligible for Washington, D.C. National Guard STAR Program? To be eligible Service members must have at least one year remaining in their contract while they are seeking reimbursement, passed most recent APFT and meet height and weight standards. Service members must have received at a least a 2.0 GPA for each course to be eligible for reimbursement.
For more information, Service members should contact their unit or call 202-685-9909.
Washington, D.C. 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:
What are my Washington, D.C. Military and Veterans Employment Benefits?
Paid Leave for Washington, D.C. Government Employees for Military Duty: Washington, D.C. government employees that are members of a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces is authorized 15 days military leave per fiscal year for active duty, active duty for training, and inactive duty training. This leave is without loss in pay, time, or performance or efficiency rating.
Who is eligible for Paid Leave for Washington, D.C. Government Employees for Military Duty? National Guard and Reserve Service members that are Washington, D.C. government employees are eligible for paid military leave.
Washington, D.C. Government Employee, Credit for Military Service: The rate that a Washington, D.C. employee accrues annual leave depends on an employee’s creditable service.
Washington, D.C. government employees who retired from the U.S. Armed Forces may be eligible for credit for active duty service that allows them to accrue leave at a faster rate.
Who is eligible for Washington, D.C. Government Employee, Credit for Military Service? Veterans can receive credit for military service if they meet the following requirements:
Retirement from the U.S. Armed Forces was due to a service-connected disability
Disability was in the line of duty and was a direct result of armed conflict or caused by an instrumentality of war
Disability occurred during a period of war.
Leave will be credited in the following manner:
Years of Service
Annual Leave Accrual Rate
4 hours per pay period
6 hours per pay period
8 hours per pay period
Paid Leave for Washington, D.C. Government Employees for Emergency Military Duty: Washington, D.C. employees that are members of a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces are authorized 22 workdays per calendar year for emergency federal or state active duty. 5 U.S.C. 6323 (b)
Who is eligible for Paid Leave for Washington, D.C. Government Employees for Emergency Military Duty? National Guard and Reserve Service members who are Washington, D.C. government employees are eligible for paid leave for emergency duty.
Washington, D.C., Call to Hire Program: The Call to Hire program allows Washington, D.C. government agencies to non-competitively hire applicants that register for a qualified talent pool made up of only Veterans and their Spouses.
Employment positions available for this program are time-limited Career Service appointments at grades 12 and below. After the completion of the time-limited appointment, the participant may be eligible to compete for a permanent Career Service position.
Who is eligible for the Washington, D.C. Call to Hire Program? Participants in the Call to Hire program must meet the following requirements to be eligible:
Resident of Washington, D.C.
Served in the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty for 180 consecutive days or more and received an Honorable or General Discharge
Spouse of a disabled Veteran that has a 30% or more disability rating from the VA
Unremarried Surviving Spouse of a Service member that was killed in the line of duty while serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
To register for this program or for more information, please call the Washington, D.C. Department of Human Resources at 202-442-9700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Washington, D.C. Government Employment, Veterans Hiring Preference: Washington, D.C. offers Veterans’ hiring preference for Washington, D.C. government initial employment for eligible Veterans and their Spouse (domestic partner). Preference is given by adding points to an applicant’s numerical rating scores.
Who is eligible for Washington, D.C. Government Employment, Veterans Hiring Preference? Veterans must meet the following requirements to be eligible:
5 Point eligibility:
Received an Honorable or General Discharge
Served on active duty (not for training) in the U.S. Armed Forces for 180 days or more, preference is limited to five years after their discharge
Veterans that entered the U.S. Armed Forces after October 14, 1976, must have served during a time of war
Veterans that are eligible for military retired pay are not eligible for preference.
10 Point eligibility:
Received an Honorable or General Discharge
Has a service-connected disability rating of 30% or more from the VA
Receiving a disability pension, compensation or retirement benefits from the VA.
Spouses and Surviving Spouses may be eligible if they meet the following requirements
Unremarried Surviving Spouse is eligible for the same preference the deceased Veteran would be eligible for
Spouse of a disabled Veteran who is unqualified for Washington, D.C. government employment due to a service-connected disability.
Federal Employment Veteran’s Hiring Preferences: By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans in hiring into the Federal civil service and in retention during reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews.
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
A 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 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 to five years. Exceptions to the five-year limit, include initial enlistments lasting more than five years, periodic National Guard and 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 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, Reservists, 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 that have claims under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees.
VETS Regional Office Locations
What are my Washington, D.C. Military and Veterans Unemployment Compensation Benefits?
Washington, D.C. Unemployment Insurance (UI): UI provides temporary financial assistance for workers that are unemployed through no fault of their own. UI is a partial, short-term replacement of lost wages while workers are seeking other work and is not intended to be a permanent source of income. Benefits are not based on financial need. Employers pay all costs of the UI program.
Who is eligible for Washington, D.C. UI? To be eligible for UI applicants must meet the following requirements:
Unemployed through no fault of their own
Be able, available, and actively looking for work
Meet required Wage Requirements.
Applicants will need the following information to file a claim:
Social Security number
Most recent employer name, address, phone number and dates of employment
Alien Registration Number, if you are not a U.S. Citizen
DD214 for prior military
Standard Form 8 or Standard Form 50, for former federal employees
Severance pay information (if applicable)
Pension information (if applicable).
To apply for UI applicants must use the Washington, D.C. UI Portal. For more information or assistance please call 202-724-7000 or email email@example.com.
Washington, D.C., Department of Employment Services, Apply for Benefits Information
Washington, D.C. Department of Employment Services, UI Handbook
Washington, D.C., Department of Employment Services, UI Quick Guide
Washington, D.C., Department of Employment Services (DOES) Veterans Employment Assistance: DOES helps Veterans, Service members that are leaving the U.S. Armed Forces and eligible Spouses by providing employment training and placement services.
Eligible Veterans and Spouses may qualify for priority of service for all services provided at an American Job Centers. Priority of service means:
Receive access to a service or resource earlier than those not eligible
When services or resources are limited, those eligible receive access before or instead of others.
Some of the services provided are:
Registration assistance at an American Job Center
One on one case management
Assessment of individual interest, skills and abilities
Effective job search counseling
Referrals to medical services or counseling
Priority status accorded to all Veterans for all employment services.
Who is eligible for the Washington, D.C. DOES Veterans Employment Assistance? For Veterans to be eligible they must have served at least one day on active duty (does not include active duty for training) in the U.S. Armed Forces and received an honorable discharge.
The Spouse or unremarried Surviving Spouse of the following are also eligible
What are my Washington, D.C. Military and Veterans Department of Motor Vehicles Benefits?
“Veteran” Designation on Washington, D.C. Driver Licenses and Non-Driver Identification (ID) Cards: The Washington, D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles offers a “Veteran” designation on a Washington, D.C. driver license or ID cards for Veterans that received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces.
Veterans can apply at any Washington, D.C. DMV Service Centers. Veterans will have to provide a copy of their DD214, WD AGO Form or DD256 as proof of eligibility.
Washington, D.C. Military and Veteran License Plates: Washington, D.C. offers four distinctive license plates to honor the service and sacrifice of eligible Service members, Veterans, retired Service members, and certain Family members. Specific eligibility and documentation requirements will apply. Applicants must apply at a Washington, D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles Service Center. A short description of some these license plates is listed below.
Washington, D.C., Department of Motor Vehicles Vehicle Tag Fees
Washington, D.C., Department of Motor Vehicles, Service Center Directory
Washington, D.C. Disabled American Veteran License Plate: The Washington, D.C. Disabled American Veteran license plate is available for eligible disabled Veterans.
Who is eligible for the Washington, D.C. Disabled American Veterans License Plate? Disabled Veterans must be Washington, D.C. residents and members of the Washington, D.C., Disabled American Veterans organization. Veterans with a service-connected, permanent and total disability rating from the VA, can receive one set of tags with no annual registration fee. Veterans that require a license plate with a wheelchair symbol will be required to provide a completed Washington, D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, Application for Disability Parking Tags and Placard. DC Code 50-1503.01.
Disabled American Veterans, Local Office Directory
Washington, D.C. Veterans License Plates: The Washington, D.C. Veteran license is available for eligible Veterans, their Spouse and Surviving Spouse.
Who is eligible for the Washington, D.C. Veterans License Plates? To be eligible Veterans must meet the following requirements
Washington, D.C. resident
Served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, or
Served as a member of a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces and was called to federal active duty, or
Served at least 20 years of service with record of separation, and
Discharge or release was under conditions other than dishonorable
Spouse of an eligible Veteran
May be transferred to the unremarried Surviving Spouse of a deceased Veteran.
Veterans with a service-connected, permanent and total disability rating from the VA, can receive one set of tags with no annual registration fee.
Washington, D.C., Commercial Driver License (CDL), Military Skills Test Waiver: The CDL skills test may be waived for Service members who are currently licensed and who are or were employed within the last 90 days in a military position requiring the operation of a military motor vehicle equivalent to a commercial motor vehicle. CDL knowledge (written) tests cannot be waived. The transfer of school bus and/ or passenger endorsements are prohibited.
What are my Washington, D.C. Military and Veterans Health and Insurance Benefits?
TRICARE Reserve Select Health Insurance: TRICARE Reserve Select is a premium-based plan, available worldwide for Selected Reserve, (Reserve and National Guard) and their Families who meet the following qualifications:
Not on active duty orders
Not covered under the Transitional Assistance Management Program
Not eligible for or enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program or currently covered under FEHB, either under their own eligibility or through a Family member.
The plan provides comprehensive health care coverage when Service members are not activated and covered by active duty TRICARE benefits.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The VA provides valuable life insurance benefits to Veterans, active and reserve component Service members and their Families to provide financial security given the extraordinary risks involved in military Service. The VA provides the following life insurance benefit programs:
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI
What are my Washington, D.C. Military and Veterans Parks and Recreation?
Washington, D.C. Fishing License Exemption: Persons younger than 16 or 65 years of age or older may fish in Washington, D.C. without a fishing license.
What are my Washington, D.C. Military and Veterans Miscellaneous Benefits?
Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) Washington: The Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C. is a retirement community for enlisted retired Service members and Veterans and their eligible Spouses. The AFRH has a wide range of programs and amenities for residents combined with accredited healthcare, including assisted living, long-term nursing care and memory support.
Some of the services provided are:
24/7 wellness center
Those eligible for admission must initially be able to live independently. This means they can care for their personal needs, attend a dining facility for meals, and keep all medical appointments. Once the Veteran or Spouse is a resident of an AFRH if advanced care is needed later, it will be provided.
Who is eligible for Care at the ARFH, Washington? To be eligible for admission at the AFRH applicants must meet the following requirements:
Served in the U.S. Armed Forces, at least half of that military service was not as a commissioned officer (other than as a warrant officer or limited-duty officer)
60 years old or older
Discharged or released from service in the U.S. Armed under honorable conditions
Veterans who retired with 20 or more years of active duty service
Veterans, who served in an active or reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces and are eligible to receive retired pay and benefits
Spouses may apply to live with a Veteran if they are enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) and was married to the Veteran before they became eligible for retirement
Veterans that have a service-connected disability rating of 50% or greater from the VA
Veterans who served in a war theater or received hostile fire pay and suffer from injuries, disease, or disability (including service-connected disabilities or other conditions unrelated to military service)
Veteran who served in a women’s component of the U.S. Armed Forces before June 12, 1948.
Applicants must not have a felony conviction, be free of drug, alcohol, and psychiatric problems. For admission assistance or information please call 800-422-9988 ext. 1.
Applicants must print the Armed Forces Retirement Home Admission Application and mail or fax the completed application and any required documentation to:
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Public Affairs Office, Box #584
3700 North Capitol St, NW
Washington, DC 20011-8400
Fax: 202-541-7519 (please call the AFRH Public Affairs Office at 202-541-7698 or 202-541-7551 before faxing any documents)
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Reduced Fare Program for Veterans with Disabilities (Reduced Fare/SmarTrip Photo ID Card): Disabled Veterans may be eligible to ride Metrobus and Metrorail at a discounted rate. Those who qualify will be issued a Reduced Fare SmarTrip photo ID card.
Reduced Fare SmarTrip photo ID cards can be used to:
Pay fare when using Metrobus and Metrorail
Buy a 7-Day regional pass
Pay half the peak fare on Metrorail
Pay $1 on regular Metrobus routes and other regional bus services.
Who is eligible for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Reduced Fare Program for Veterans with Disabilities (Reduced Fare/SmarTrip Photo ID Card)? Disabled Veterans who have a 60% or greater disability rating from the VA are eligible.
Veterans must appear in person at the Metro Transit Accessibility Center and show a valid photo ID and an original disability letter from the VA. Disabled Veterans rated at 100% disabled can show their valid Common Access Card instead of an award letter. Disabled Veterans must complete Part A of the application but do not need to complete Part B or C.
Metro Transit Accessibility Center
600 5th Street, NW
Washington, D.C., Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, VetsRide Program: VetsRide provides convenient, free transportation for Washington, D.C. Veterans for educational, health, employment, food distribution, or housing services.
Who is eligible for the Washington, D.C., Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, VetsRide Program? To be eligible Veterans must be residents of Washington, D.C. with an annual income less than $45,000 or recently unemployed.
VetsRide hours of operation are 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. seven days a week.
Veterans can register for this service by calling the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs at 202-724-4010
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in Washington, D.C.: The VA has numerous resources available for Veterans and Family members. Please see the local location listing for your nearest facility.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Cemeteries in Washington, D.C.: The VA National Cemetery Administration maintains one national cemetery in Washington, D.C. Please see the local location listing for the nearest cemetery.
*This information is accurate as of December 2019
District of Columbia Veteran Benefits
If you are a disabled Veteran in the District of Columbia 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.