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Veteran Benefits for West Virginia

Veteran Benefits for West Virginia

West Virginia offers unique benefits for service members, veterans, and their families, including state tax exemptions, employment preferences, education and tuition assistance, special 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 West Virginia.

West Virginia Veteran Financial Benefits

West Virginia Taxes on Military Pay: West Virginia offers the following reductions in state income tax for West Virginia Resident Service members.

If a Service member’s Home of Record is West Virginia, but they did not spend more than 30 days in West Virginia, the Service member is not considered a resident for tax purposes and is not subject to state income tax on their military income.

Military pay received by West Virginia resident Service members serving in the National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves who are called to federal active duty to serve during Operation Enduring Freedom or during domestic security ordered by the President is exempt from West Virginia income taxes.

Service members serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for 30 or more days who permanently separate from service and receive a DD214 are eligible for an income tax deduction of their military pay for the year of their discharge.

West Virginia Income Taxes on Military Retired Pay: West Virginia does not tax 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 state taxes, and early distributions may incur higher taxes.

Nonresident Military Spouses West Virginia State Tax Exemption: Income earned by a nonresident spouse of a nonresident Service member stationed in West Virginia is exempt from West Virginia income taxes.

Which Nonresident Military Spouses are Exempt from West Virginia State Taxes? Nonresident spouses are exempt if the Service member is living in West Virginia due to military orders and they are in West Virginia to be with the Service member.

West Virginia State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 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 payments considered disability benefits include:

  • Disability compensation and pension payments for disabilities paid either to Veterans or their family
  • Grants for homes designed for wheelchair living
  • Grants for motor vehicles for Veterans who lost their sight or the use of their limbs
  • Benefits under a dependent-care assistance program

West 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 Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-connected injury or disease.

Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) West Virginia State Tax Exemption: West Virginia does not tax SBP, RCSBP, or RSFPP annuities.

West Virginia Homestead Property Tax Exemption for Resident Permanent and Total Disabled Veterans: West Virginia offers a $20,000 property tax exemption to Veterans who have a 100% permanent and total disability rating from the VA. Veterans must be the owner/occupier of the homestead and a West Virginia resident for two consecutive calendar years prior to claiming the exemption. Veterans must meet residency requirements if they entered the U.S. Armed Forces from West Virginia and kept their residency until their discharge. Veterans are required to provide written certification from the VA verifying they are totally and permanently disabled.

*New * Beginning 1 January 2024, Veterans who have a 90% or greater combined disability rating are eligible for an income tax credit for the amount they paid on property tax for their residence.

West Virginia Tax Benefit for Service Members Killed or Missing during Service in a Combat Zone: Service members who died while serving in a combat zone or from wounds, disease, or injury they received while serving in a combat zone will not owe taxes for the year of their death.

  • Taxes will not apply for the taxable year of their death or any prior taxable year ending on or after the first day they served in a combat zone.
  • Any tax for previous taxable years that is unpaid when they die will not be assessed, or if it has been collected, the amount collected will be credited or refunded as an overpayment.

Service members who are declared missing in action are also eligible for this tax exemption. The date they were listed as missing is their date of eligibility. Service members continue to be eligible until they are returned to U.S. control or until two years after the official end of hostilities.

Sales Tax:

  • Statewide: 6.0%
  • Counties: can levy an additional sales tax of no more than 1.0%
  • Current average sales tax (with local taxes included): 6.55%


Free Hunting and Fishing for West Virginia Resident Disabled Veterans and Prisoners of War: Eligible Veterans can hunt and fish in West Virginia for free. Veterans are required to file an application with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to be eligible.

Who is eligible for Free Hunting and Fishing for West Virginia Disabled Veterans and Prisoners of War? To be eligible, West Virginia resident Veterans must have received an honorable discharge and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Receive compensation from the VA for a total, permanent service-connected disability or
  • Was declared a prisoner of war, or
  • Eligible for an exemption of motor vehicle registration fees West Virginia Code 17A-10-8

Hunting or Fishing Licenses Not Required for West Virginia Resident Active Duty Service Members on Leave: Resident active duty Service members are not required to have hunting, trapping, or fishing licenses when they are on leave. Service members must carry leave papers with them while they are hunting, trapping, or fishing.

West Virginia State Park Discounts for Veterans and Active Duty Service Members: Veterans and active duty Service members receive a 10% discount at West Virginia State Parks for all lodge rooms, cabins, and campsites. Veterans and Service members should use code Vets10* when making reservations and must present valid military ID or proof of eligibility at check-in.

Veterans and active duty service members can also receive 15% off greens fees year-round at Pipestem, Twin Falls, and Cacapon Resort State Parks. Veterans or Service members must show a valid military ID at check-in for tee time.

These discounts are not available at Stonewall Resort State Park.

Education Programs

West Virginia Medal of Honor and Purple Heart Tuition Waiver:  All state-supported institutions of higher education waive tuition and mandatory fees for Veterans who have been awarded the Medal of Honor or the Purple Heart. Eligible Veterans can receive a waiver for up to eight semesters.

Who is eligible for the West Virginia Medal of Honor and Purple Heart Tuition Waiver? To be eligible, Veterans must be West Virginia residents, received either the Medal of Honor or the Purple Heart, and received an honorable discharge. Purple Heart recipients must also have either lost a limb or have a permanent disability from the wounds they received.

The waiver only applies after all other state and federal education benefits, grants, or scholarships are used to pay tuition and mandatory fees. For more information, students should contact the admission office at the educational institution they plan to attend.

West Virginia Educational Encouragement Program (WVEEP): WVEEP pays 100% of tuition and fees up to $9,000 per fiscal year for West Virginia National Guard Service members who are attending a participating West Virginia institution of higher education. This benefit may be used in addition to federal tuition assistance.

Who is eligible for WVEEP? Service members must meet the following requirements:

  • Enrolled in an approved, accredited post-secondary institution in West Virginia
  • Service members must not currently be under any type of adverse action or administrative flag when they apply
  • Provide a detailed degree plan
  • Complete all classes before their Expiration Term of Service (ETS) date
  • Must have documentation from the school that clearly lists the cost of each course
  • Submit grades to the WVEEP manager when they complete a class

WVEEP funds can only be used for tuition and allowable fees; students cannot keep any overpayments or refunds. 

West Virginia Veterans Re-education Assistance: The West Virginia Veterans Re-education Assistance program offers up to $500 per semester to Veterans for tuition assistance, tests for a professional license or certification, and other training materials. Tuition assistance is based on funding availability.

Who is eligible for West Virginia Re-Education Assistance? To be eligible, Veterans must meet the following requirements:

  • Honorably Discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Used all VA educational benefits
  • A resident of West Virginia

West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance War Orphan Education Program: Spouses and children of deceased wartime Veterans will not be charged tuition and fees at a West Virginia post-secondary educational or training institution. Assistance can be used to cover the cost of room, board, books, and other living expenses. This amount varies depending on the number of applications each semester but will award no more than $1,000 per semester and $2,000 per year.

Who is eligible for the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance War Orphans Education Program? Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Resident Surviving spouse or child (between 16 – 25 years old)
  • Enrolled in a post-secondary education or training institution in West Virginia
  • Deceased Veteran must have:
    • Designated West Virginia as their state of residence at the time of enlistment
    • Served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and was killed in action or as a result of their wartime service

To apply, applicants must provide:

  • Completed application
  • Proof of enrollment in a West Virginia institution of post-secondary education or training (copy of tuition bill, schedule of courses, transcript, student ID, etc.)
  • Copy of Veteran parent’s DD214
  • If the Veteran’s death occurred after discharge, proof of death and evidence of relationship between war service and cause of death must be provided

West Virginia Operation Recognition Diploma Program for Wartime Veterans: West Virginia Veterans who left high school prior to graduation to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II, Korea, or Vietnam may be awarded a West Virginia high school diploma.

Who is eligible for the West Virginia Operation Recognition Diploma Program for Wartime Veterans? To be eligible, Veterans must meet the following requirements:

  • Left school before graduating to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Did not receive a high school diploma
  • Was discharged under honorable conditions
  • Served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces between one of the following dates:
    • World War II – September 16, 1940, through December 31, 1946
    • Korean War – June 27, 1950, through January 31, 1955
    • Vietnam Era – February 28, 1961, through May 7, 1975

West Virginia In-State Tuition Rates for Nonresident Veterans, Service Members, and their Dependents: All public higher education institutions charge in-state tuition for nonresidents who are using VA education benefits and enroll within three years of their discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces.

In addition, nonresident Service members and their dependents who are assigned to a duty location and living in West Virginia are eligible for in-state tuition and fee rates.

West Virginia Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) Higher Education Assistance for Veterans: VUB offers free assistance to Veterans to help them complete a certificate, diploma, or degree program.

VUB academic advisors assist Veterans with the following:

  • Exploring college options
  • Completing applications
  • Applying for VA Education and Veteran Readiness and Employment benefits
  • Applying for financial aid and scholarships
  • Refresher classes on basic academic skills

Who is eligible for the West Virginia VUB Higher Education Assistance for Veterans? To be eligible, the Veteran must have ended their service in the U.S. Armed Forces in good standing, received a modest income, and/or neither of their parents earned a bachelor’s degree. 

West 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 children of military families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content, or assessment
  • Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs, and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic, and social activities
  • Facilitating the on-time graduation of children of military families
  • Providing for the enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact
  • Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools, and military families under this compact
  • Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military children
  • Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents, and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student

West Virginia Purple Star Award for Military-Friendly Schools: The West Virginia Purple Star Award recognizes schools that show a major commitment to students and families connected to the U.S. Armed Forces. Schools that earn the award are issued an official certificate and additional electronic materials, which can be displayed throughout their campus.

For a school to qualify for the Purple Star Award, they must appoint a school liaison Who is specially trained to handle the unique challenges experienced by military families. This liaison will ensure that other teachers at their school are aware of special considerations that students from military families can benefit from. Each school also has a dedicated page on their school website featuring resources for military families.

Housing: The following are the sites for Veterans Homes

West Virginia Veterans Home: The West Virginia Veterans Home is a 150-bed facility overlooking the Village of Barboursville that serves as a convenient and comfortable home for veterans in times of need. The Home is not a treatment facility and cannot care for Veterans in need of daily care or skilled assistance.

West Virginia State Veterans Home at Barboursville

Who is eligible for care at the West Virginia Veterans Home? Veterans must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Discharged from active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces with an Honorable or General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions
  • Able to move on their own and take care of all activities of daily living
  • Veterans who have disabilities that prevent employment will be accepted if they do not require skilled nursing care or hospitalization.
  • Served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for at least 12 consecutive months (unless medically discharged for a service-connected injury prior to 12 months)
  • If enlisted before September 7, 1980, Veterans must have served a minimum of 24 consecutive months on active duty or the full period they were called to active duty (unless medically discharged for a service-connected injury prior to 24 months)
  • Must be eligible for care at VA Medical Centers
  • Must complete required pre-admission medical tests before being admitted

The Home has a nursing department and a contact physician, but all medical treatment is provided by the VA Medical Center located in Huntington.

Employment and Job Training: Veteran’s Preference

WorkForce West Virginia, Veteran Employment Assistance: Eligible Veterans receive priority in all employment and training programs or services offered at WorkForce West Virginia locations that are funded all or in part with state or federal funds.

Veterans who meet eligibility requirements may be referred to Veterans’ program staff for specialized services. Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialists (DVOPS) offer intensive services to qualified Veterans to help them find long-term sustainable employment. Local Veteran Employment Representatives (LVER) conduct outreach to employers to encourage them to hire Veterans.

Eligible Veterans have early access to job listings and other benefits such as:

  • Career assessment and counseling
  • Resumes, cover letters, and interviewing skills assistance
  • Support services referrals
  • Job placement assistance
  • Information on careers, training, education, and financial aid
  • Job search workshops
  • Labor market information
  • Computers with Internet access
  • Help with online job applications
  • Assistive technology for special needs

Who is eligible for WorkForce West Virginia, Veteran Employment Assistance? To be eligible, Veterans must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and received an honorable discharge or was discharged because of a service-connected disability
  • Served in the National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves on active duty during a wartime period or were awarded a campaign or expeditionary medal and received an honorable discharge
  • Completed their service obligation in the National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves and received an honorable discharge or was discharged because of a service-connected disability

West Virginia Veterans Hiring Preference for State Employment: Eligible Veterans can have up to 10 preference points added to their passing entrance exam scores when applying for state employment.

Five points will be added to the final passing examination score of applicants who meet one of the following conditions:

  • Served on active duty between December 7, 1941, through September 7, 1980
  • Was a reserve component Service member called to active duty between February 1, 1955, through October 14, 1976, and served for more than 180 days, or
  • Was a reserve component Service member who entered active duty between October 15, 1976, through October 13, 1982, and:
    • Received a campaign or expeditionary medal, or
    • Is a disabled Veteran
  • Enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces after September 7, 1980, and
    • Completed 24 months of continuous active duty or the full term, they were ordered to active duty unless they were discharged under 10 U.S.C. 1171 or for hardship under 10 U.S.C. 1173 and received or were eligible to receive a campaign or expeditionary medal, or
    • Is a disabled Veteran

An additional five points will be added to the final score of a Veteran who received a Purple Heart or has a service-connected disability. Award of the Purple Heart must be listed on the Veteran’s DD214.

Applicants claiming Veteran’s Preference points must provide a copy of their DD214 and, if applicable, a letter from the V.A., dated within the last six months, that indicates they are receiving compensation for a service-connected disability.

  • 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:

Grafton: Grafton National Cemetery

Grafton: West Virginia National Cemetery

West Virginia VA Benefit Resources

West Virginia provides Veterans with a Regional Benefits Office and VA Medical Centers.

West Virginia VA Regional Benefits Office

West Virginia VA Medical Centers

Important information for West 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

West Virginia Veteran Benefits

If you are a disabled Veteran in West 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.