Delaware Veterans Benefits

Updated: December 24, 2022
In this Article

    Find Delaware state and local veterans benefits including education, employment, healthcare, tax breaks/exemptions, recreation and much more below. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, The First State (also known as the Diamond State, the Blue Hen State, and Small Wonder) is home to more than 70,000 veterans. Read on to learn more about Delaware veterans benefits.

    Veteran Education Benefits

    Educational Benefits For Dependents Of Deceased or POW Veterans

    Dependents of deceased or POW veterans may qualify for education benefits through the Delaware Postsecondary Education Commission. These benefits may apply to dependents of veterans who meet one of the following criteria:

    • Died while on active duty
    • Former or current POWs
    • Officially declared MIA
    • Died as a result of wounds, injuries, disease, or disabilities due to military service

    Benefits may cover tuition, fees, room, and board. The amount may not exceed either amount of tuition per year, or $525 per year, whichever is greater. Also, payment of benefits is limited to four years of training or education.

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 24 years of age, residents of Delaware for a minimum of three years prior to date of application; and either already attending or admitted to an undergraduate or vocational program that is four years in length.

    Education Benefits for Active Delaware National Guard Members

    Active members of the Delaware National Guard may qualify for education benefits. These benefits may cover post-secondary tuition and fees.

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, applicants must meet the requirements for satisfactory membership. These requirements are outlined by the Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard.

    High School Diplomas For WWII Veterans

    WWII veterans may be eligible to receive high school diplomas through the Delaware Department of Veterans Affairs.

    In order to receive this benefit, applicants must have performed wartime service between Dec. 7, 1941 and Dec. 31, 1946, and must have not graduated from high school due to military service.

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    Veteran Employment Benefits

    State Employment

    Veterans may be eligible for ratings preference when applying for state jobs. This may include a five-point preference for veterans, and a ten-point preference for disabled veterans. These preference points do not apply to either promotion or retention during workforce reduction. Preference points may also be applied to spouses of qualified veterans in the following circumstances:

    • Unremarried surviving spouse
    • Spouse of POW
    • Spouse of MIA service member
    • Spouse of totally disabled veteran

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, veterans must pass pre-employment examinations.

    Veteran Housing Benefits

    Delaware State Housing Authority Preferred Plus Home Loan

    This program assists borrowers who want to purchase a primary residence; this program uses a network of participating lenders who can work with VA mortgages and other government-backed loans or conventional equivalents.

    First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

    Qualified veterans can participate in this program even if they’re not buying their first home. The program entitles first-time buyers who purchase a home in Delaware as their primary residence to take a federal income tax credit up to $2,000 each.

    Delaware First-Time Home Buyer Transfer Tax Break

    While not specifically aimed at veterans or currently serving military members, any applicant who bought a first home after Aug. 1, 2017 and paid an increased Delaware State Transfer Tax (at a rate of 1.25%) may be entitled to a refund.

    Delaware Veterans Home

    Located in Milford, the Delaware Veterans Home is a 150-bed long term care facility. The home offers skilled nursing services for residents, as well as a memory care unit.

    Care teams in the home may provide residents with assistance for daily living activities, such as personal grooming and hygiene, as well as support with dietary and exercise needs. The home also provides speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy to residents, as needed.

    All meals are served  in the main dining room, and dietary staff work to ensure meals meet nutritional standards and residents’ preferences. There is also a Canteen, where residents may enjoy snacks.

    The home provides numerous daily activities for residents, including games, entertainment, arts and crafts, and day trips. The home also provides special veterans programs for Flag Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Independence Day.

    Residents receive housekeeping services, and are provided with laundry services at minimal cost.

    The home does not have restrictive visiting hours so as to allow family members 24-hour access to loved ones in residence. The library is also equipped with internet/Skype access so family members and friends who cannot easily travel to the home can stay in touch.

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, applicants must meet the following criteria:

    • Resident of Delaware at least three years prior to application
    • Meets state and federal guidelines for skilled nursing home level of care
    • Honorably discharged from active service that occurred either in peacetime or wartime; or
    • National Guard service member who is either:
      • Eligible for retirement pay at age 60; or
      • Served on active duty at least 180 consecutive or non-consecutive days; or
    • Reservist who is either
      • Eligible for retirement pay at age 60; or
      • Served on active duty at least 180 consecutive or non-consecutive days.

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    Veteran Financial Benefits

    Pension Benefits for Paraplegic Veterans

    Paraplegic veterans may be eligible for a pension in the amount of $3,000 per year from the State of Delaware. Pensions are paid throughout the year in equal monthly installments.

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, applicants must provide certification from the VA of being paraplegic and totally disabled due to military service either during wartime or a UN-supported period of conflict with another nation. Documentation must be provided to the Delaware Pension Office.

    Military Retirement Pay Tax Exemptions

    Veterans may be eligible for tax exemptions on military retirement pay. Veterans who are under 60 years of age may exclude up to $2,000 of military retirement pay from state taxes. Veterans who are 60 years of age or older may exclude up to $12,500 from state taxes.

    Additional Veteran Benefits

    Registration and Inspection of Motor Vehicles of Disabled Veterans

    Disabled veterans may be eligible for exemption from registration fees.

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, the vehicle must be owned by a disabled veteran who is eligible for ‘adaptive equipment’ benefits, which may include the following:

    • Power brakes
    • Power steering
    • Power seats
    • Power window lifts
    • Special equipment to assist an eligible individual into and out of the vehicle

    This benefit is limited to one vehicle per eligible veteran.

    Recreational Benefits For Veterans

    State Park Admission

    Veterans and Delaware National Guard members may be eligible for a 50% discount on annual fees for vehicle entrance into state parks and recreation areas.

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, applicants must meet the following criteria:

    • Honorably discharged; or
    • Honorably serving
    • Residing in Delaware
    • Owns a vehicle registered in Delaware

    Hunting, Trapping and Fishing License: Disabled veterans may be eligible for no-fee hunting, trapping, and fishing licenses. In order to be eligible for this benefit, applicants must provide documentation of 60% or more  disability rating by the VA.

    Document Assistance For Veterans

    Veterans may be eligible to receive copies of service-related documents through the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs (DCVA). The DCVA may be able to assist with documents such as:

    • Certified copy of Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD 214)
    • Duplicate military awards
    • Copies of service records
    • Copies of service treatment records
    • Submission of discharge document upgrades
    • Request updates to DD-214’s
      • Campaign medal received after discharge

    Veterans who have listed Delaware as home of record, or have visited a Delaware Veteran Service Officer, may have a DD 214 on file with the DCVA. If a copy is not on file, a DCVA Veterans Service Officers may assist with requests for a certified copy from the National Archives.

    Notary Service for Veterans

    The DCVA provides notary service for veterans, dependents and family members free of charge.

    Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery

    Veterans, spouses, or dependents may be eligible for interment at either one of two Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemeteries. The cemeteries are located in Bear and Millsboro.

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, the deceased veteran must have been honorably discharged, and must have been a legal Delaware resident under one of the following circumstances:

    • At time of entry into active service; or
    • At time of death; or
    • For minimum period of three years.

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, deceased National Guard or Reservist veterans must have either been eligible for retirement pay, or would have been eligible at age 60. Any active duty term of service under Executive Orders, excluding training, would also qualify.

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, deceased active duty service members must have served continuously for at least 24 months. However, there are exceptions. For enlisted service members, any active duty term of service on or before Sept. 7, 1980 qualifies. For commissioned officers, any active duty term of service on or before Oct. 16, 1981 qualifies. Finally, any term of service qualifies in the following cases:

    • Death while on active duty; or
    • Early separation due to hardship; or
    • Early separation as a result of disability due to military service.

    Indigent Veteran Burial

    Indigent veterans may qualify to have the cost of interment covered by the Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard.

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, the deceased veteran must meet the following criteria:

    • Honorably discharged
    • Served during any wartime
    • Resident of Delaware
    • Left insufficient means to cover burial costs

    Copy of Death Certificate

    The State Registrar will provide a certified copy of a veteran’s death certificate free of charge to next of kin for the purpose of settling the deceased veteran’s estate.

    Written by Veteran.com Team