Arizona Veteran’s Benefits

Updated: December 24, 2022
In this Article

    Find Arizona state and local veteran’s benefits including education, tax deductions, veterans homes, financial assistance, and more below. The Grand Canyon State has over 500,000 veterans with access to these great veterans benefits.

    Arizona Veteran Education Benefits

    Tuition and Fees-Deferred Payment

    Veterans and eligible dependents applying for educational benefits under the G.I. Bill may have payment of tuition, fees, and books deferred for 120 days with a no interest charge; extensions may be granted if money has not been received the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for payment during the 120-day time frame.

    In-State Tuition

    Allows eligible veterans and dependents to be granted immediate residency, indicating eligibility to pay in-state tuition rates. To qualify, veterans and dependents must either reside in the state or provide other proof of Arizona residency such as:

    • Arizona voter or vehicle registration
    • Arizona driver’s license
    • in-state employment history or transfer of banking services
    • change of permanent address
    • In order to be eligible, individuals must have been discharged or be a spouse or dependent of a veteran who was discharged within the last 36 months from a period of active duty 90 days or longer and using VA Chapter 30 or 33 benefits.

    Arizona Tuition Waiver Scholarship aka Arizona Purple Heart Tuition Waiver

    This scholarship is available to:

    • Post 9/11 veterans established as Arizona residents during their time of service who have least a 50 percent VA disability and received a Purple Heart medal
    • Dependent children up to 30 years of age and dependent spouses of an Arizona military member killed in the line of duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001
    • Post 9/11 Arizona guard members who were medically discharged or received a Purple Heart.

    Veteran Supportive Campuses (VSCs)

    Arizona VSCs are post-secondary institutions that are in compliance with the State Approving Agency and Department of Veterans Affairs; these are campuses that are eligible to receive GI Bill Education Benefits and also meet certain standards to meet the needs of veteran students and their families.

    Some of the requirements these schools meet to maintain VSC certification are:

    • Maintaining surveys and metrics on veteran students
    • Have committees to provide guidance on developing programs for veterans
    • Conduct sensitivity and awareness training on military and veteran culture
    • Provide the following specific to military and veteran students:
      • orientation programs
      • peer mentoring and support programs
      • outreach
      • resources

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    Arizona Veteran Employment Benefits

    Civil Service

    Veterans and spouses of veterans deceased of a service-connected disability passing examination by state, county or city for civil service may have extra points added to their certification score.

    Arizona Veteran Employment Roadmap

    The Arizona Veteran Employment Roadmap is a statewide effort developed in partnership by the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services and the Arizona Coalition for Military Families to connect veterans and their families to employment, training, and resources. The roadmap includes resources for job-seekers, employers, employment service providers, and the community. Some of the services that can be found at the site are:

    • Military Skills Translator
    • Online Resume Builder
    • Online document storage
    • Personalized Job Portal

    Veterans Toolkit Program

    This program was launched in July 2017 to help veterans get the supplies they need to begin working. A veteran can qualify by proving they live in Arizona, being enrolled in the Arizona Department of Economic Security Employment program, and identifying the job that supplies are needed for. The program provides up to $750 of supplies per veteran and can cover anything from tools to work clothes to transportation.

    Economic Veterans Programs

    The purpose of this program is to develop and support initiatives to create more opportunities for employment and job training for Arizona veterans. Veterans can receive priority service for referrals and training. Also, veterans with unemployment insurance claims can get priority referrals to job openings along with training workshops and job screenings.

    Department of Economic Security Vet Programs

    • Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP)
      • Provides specialized services such as assessments, employment plans, career guidance, referrals to support services, and job opening connections to disabled veterans and other eligible persons.
    • Local Veteran Employment Representative (LVER)
      • LVER staff work with employers and hiring executives to increase job opportunities for veterans and advocate for the hiring of veterans.

    Arizona State Retirement Benefits

    If a period of military service is not on account with any other retirement system, military service may be counted towards a state retirement plan. Length of military service will be included in computing length of service for retirement for Police and Fire Department Employees.

    Professional and Occupational Licenses

    All funeral directors, embalmers, or apprentice embalmers serving in the armed forces during a time of war for the duration of the war and six months thereafter or six months following discharge is exempt from paying license renewal fees.

    Employment resources

    The Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services does not have its own employment website but does offer links to a variety of services that can be useful to veterans seeking employment.

    Arizona Veteran Housing Benefits

    State Veteran Homes

    Arizona has two state veteran homes, one in Phoenix and one in Tucson. Honorably discharged veterans and their spouses may apply for admission. Both offer skilled certified nursing care as well as a host of services and activities.

    Arizona Veterans Stand-down Alliance (AVSA)

    The AVSA is a program of the Arizona Housing Coalition. AVSA holds events and fairs to provide resources and assistance for veterans and their families who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability.

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    Arizona Veteran Financial Benefits

    State Income Tax Exemptions

    Federal payments (civil service or military retirement) up to $2,500.00 per year are exempt from state income tax.

    Vehicle License Tax and Registration Fees

    Exemptions on vehicle license taxes apply for personally owned vehicles of Arizona resident veterans if the veteran is 100% service-connected disabled and drawing disability and/or if the vehicle owned by the veteran was acquired through financial aid from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    • This exemption also applies to surviving unmarried spouses of deceased 100% disabled veterans.

    Property Tax

    Property tax on real estate, mobile homes, or automobiles may be exempted under specific guidelines for widows, widowers, or disabled persons.

    Arizona Military Family Relief Fund

    The Arizona Military Family Relief Fund provides financial assistance to families of deployed Service Members and post-9/11 military as well as honorably discharged veteran Arizona residents who experienced hardship caused by the veteran’s deployment to a combat zone post 9/11. Applications for financial assistance must be submitted to a committee who reviews and determines eligibility.

    Native American Settlement Fund (NASF)

    The NASF was established in 2016 to refund all state income taxes withheld from active duty military pay of Native Americans domiciled on their reservation from 1977 to 2005. Native American veterans and their spouses and if the veteran is deceased may submit claims for a refund.

    Additional Arizona Veteran Benefits

    Benefits Counseling

    Veterans Benefits Counselors (VBCs) provide free information, counseling, and assistance to veterans; they are located at Veterans Benefits Offices (VBOs) around the state and they also travel to fifteen state counties.

    Hunting and Fishing Licenses

    Disabled veterans receiving compensation for permanent service-connected disabilities rated at 100% and who have more than one year of residency in Arizona can receive complimentary hunting and fishing licenses. For more information, contact the nearest Department of Game & Fish Office.

    Arizona State Parks

    100% disabled veterans can receive a “Disabled Veterans Annual Day Use pass” which will provide day-use access to all 27 state parks.

    Veterans Drivers Licenses and License Plates

    • All Arizona veterans have the option to have the VETERAN designation on their Arizona issued driver’s license, commercial driver license, Identifications card or learner permit.
    • Veterans applying for an Arizona CDL can request a waiver of the skills test if they meet specific requirements.
    • Several military/veteran license plates are available for purchase from the ADOT’s Motor Vehicle Division; each gives $17 of proceeds to the Veterans’ Donation Fund. Military and veteran license plates cost $25 and require proof of veteran status.

    Cemeteries and Burials

    There are four veterans’ cemeteries in Arizona located in Sierra Vista, Marana, Bellemont, and Phoenix. Veterans and their spouses are eligible for burial.

    Veterans Court

    Arizona supports Veterans’ Courts in several counties. These courts are incarceration diversion programs for Veterans who have entered the criminal justice system through violations of the law; they focus on treatment and rehabilitation geared specifically towards Veterans.

    Arizona Gold Star Military Medal

    The Arizona Gold Star Military Medal was created to honor all Arizona military members killed in action since Feb. 14, 1912. Families of qualifying individuals may apply for this Medal.

    Written by Team