Connecticut Veteran’s Benefits

Updated: December 24, 2022
In this Article

    Find Connecticut state and local veteran’s benefits including education, employment, healthcare, tax breaks/exemptions, recreation, and much more below. The “Nutmeg State” has more than 200,000 veterans residing there.

    Veteran Education Benefits

    Connecticut In-State Tuition for Veterans and Spouses

    Active military personnel who are stationed in Connecticut are eligible for in-state tuition and fees at the University of Connecticut along with 17 other Connecticut state colleges & universities. This policy also applies to military spouses and dependents. Proof of service, current military orders, and other documentation may be required.

    Contact the admissions office of the school you wish to apply to for more information on how to apply for the in-state tuition benefit.

    Connecticut State Combat Veterans Tuition Waiver

    Qualifying wartime veterans and military dependents may be eligible for tuition waivers at Connecticut public colleges supported by the state.

    Veterans qualify if they have served 90 days of active duty during wartime and are state residents at the time of acceptance into the school. A discharge not characterized as Dishonorable or Bad Conduct is required. This waiver is for undergraduate and graduate programs only.

    Military dependents of those declared missing in action after 1 January, 1960 are also eligible to apply for this tuition waiver.

    Connecticut State High School Diploma Program for Veterans

    The State of Connecticut permits local school boards to award high school diplomas to World War Two veterans who had their high school education interrupted by military service.

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    Veteran Employment Benefits

    Connecticut State Job Protection for Veterans

    Connecticut state law makes a provision for those who leave certain types of jobs to enter military service. The Connecticut State Department of Veterans Affairs official site quotes state public law which states, “An employee who leaves any public authority or public agency to enter the armed forces can be reinstated in their former position.”

    The caveat is that returning veterans who wish to reclaim such job must do so within 90 days of “receipt of a certificate from the armed forces confirming satisfactory service.”

    Connecticut State Hiring Preferences for Wartime Veterans

    Connecticut state policy for competitive state exams includes a provision for wartime veterans to earn extra points on those exams. The number of points awarded depends greatly on circumstances.

    • Wartime veterans eligible for or receiving VA compensation are awarded an additional ten exam points.
    • Wartime veterans not eligible for VA compensation or pension are awarded five additional exam points.
    • Spouses of qualified veterans may also be considered eligible for additional points, but a passing grade is required on the exam.
    • Honorably discharged wartime veterans awarded a campaign badge or expeditionary medal qualify for five additional points if a passing grade is received on the examination.
    • For competitive municipal job exams, wartime veterans who are eligible for VA compensation or a pension are awarded ten additional points to a passing score.
    • A wartime veteran not eligible for compensation or a pension is eligible for five additional exam points on a passing score.

    Retirement Benefit for Qualifying Veterans in The Municipal Employees’ Retirement System

    Qualifying veterans who are members of the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System may be eligible to get retirement credit for time served in the military.

    According to state law, those who left a municipal job for military service during wartime and then returned to be “re-employed by the municipality within six (6) months of discharge” may apply for credit “with the period of service as though they had been continuously employed.”

    The six-month limitation listed above may be extended for veterans with service-connected medical issues.

    Veteran Housing Benefits

    Connecticut State Veterans Home in Rocky Hill

    The State of Connecticut administers a veterans’ home in Rocky Hill featuring a 400-bed residential program, a substance abuse recovery program, and skilled care. According to the official site, “Professional services are provided by staff physicians, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, OT, PT, RT, dietitians and social workers are augmented by community specialists, as well as, networking to local VA and major area hospitals when appropriate.”

    Veterans who are able to pay in whole or in part for programs or services will receive a monthly bill for such services rendered. Eligibility requirements include, but may not be limited to:

    • Proof of military discharge (any other than Dishonorable)
    • Connecticut residency

    There is also an option to be admitted to the Sgt. John Levitow Healthcare Center in Rocky Hill for those with qualifying needs/conditions. A waiting list for these services may apply.

    CHFA Military Mortgage Option

    The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) provides military families with special home buyer benefits. These are offered to both those currently serving and veterans from all branches of military service including the Guard and Reserve.

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    Veteran Financial Benefits

    Connecticut State Tax Breaks for Veterans

    Qualifying veterans with wartime military service, including Merchant Marines, may be eligible for property tax exemptions. The State of Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs official site states that those who served in World War Two may qualify for a $1,500 exemption for either real property or automobiles. Additionally, “certain veterans, who do not own real property or a motor vehicle, may be eligible for a tax refund if they are leasing a motor vehicle.”

    There is also help for veterans who demonstrate financial need and for qualifying disabled veterans in the form of property tax exemptions as high as $10,000 for those with qualifying disabilities.

    Surviving spouses may also qualify. It is necessary to discuss these exemptions with a municipal tax assessor’s office for current application and qualification procedures.

    Connecticut State Tax Exemption for Military Retirement Pay

    The State of Connecticut does not tax military retirement pay.

    The Connecticut Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund (SSMF)

    The SSMF is a Connecticut state fund which is “administered by the American Legion for the purpose of providing temporary financial assistance” for qualifying military veterans with ninety or more days of wartime service.

    This fund is intended for qualifying veterans with disabilities, illness, and/or unemployment issues. State residency is required at application time.

    Funds may be used for emergency food, medical care including surgery, plus “general care and relief.”

    Additional Veteran Benefits

    Connecticut State Veteran Drivers’ License

    All Connecticut veterans with qualifying service may request a “veteran flag identifier” on state drivers’ licenses or ID cards.

    This service is offered to those with 90 days or more of active duty service (not including training), proof of a non-punitive military discharge (Honorable or Under Honorable Conditions), plus documentation such as a DD Form 214 or a VA Certificate of Service. Applications must be received no later than 30 days before the license expiration date.

    Connecticut State Military Vehicle Registration and License Plate Benefits for Qualifying Veterans

    Former prisoners of war and Medal of Honor awardees are eligible for free motor vehicle registration. Former prisoners of war and recipients of the Medal of Honor can also receive special plates.

    Veterans who were residents of Connecticut at the time they entered military service are exempt from paying operators licenses and exam fees for one year or licensing period if they apply within two years of an Honorable discharge.

    State law waives fees for qualifying service members who seek the following services:

    • Special License plates for disabled veterans
    • Special fee license plates for certain disabilities (loss of use or loss of limb, or blind) handicapped and overtime parking
    • When applying for an auto grant from the VA or as a Medal of Honor recipient, state law exempts qualifying applicants from having to pay registration fees

    Recreational Benefits for Veterans

    The State of Connecticut provides hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses for active full-time military members at the in-state rate regardless of the military member’s status as a resident or non-resident. Disabled veterans with the loss of (or loss of use) of a limb and accompanying documentation can be issued a free hunting, fishing, or trapping license.

    Connecticut State Burial Benefits for Veterans

    Veterans with military discharges characterized as Honorable or Under Honorable Conditions are eligible to be buried in the Connecticut State Veterans’ Cemetery in Middletown.

    There are no fees associated with the burial plot, opening and closing the grave, or perpetual care. To qualify, veterans must meet the following standards:

    • Must have a military discharge characterization of Honorable or General Under Honorable Conditions
    • Must have a record of active duty service other than for training purposes OR a minimum of 20 years of qualifying service in the National Guard or Reserve
    • Must be a Connecticut resident at time of death, or have Connecticut listed as the home of record on entering military service

    Certain qualifying dependents may also be eligible for burial at the Connecticut State Veterans’ Cemetery in Middletown. Contact the cemetery to discuss pre-need verification of eligibility.

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