Vermont Veterans Benefits

Updated: December 24, 2022
In this Article

    Find Vermont state and local veterans’ benefits including education, employment, healthcare, tax breaks and exemptions, recreation and much more below. The Green Mountain State is home to over 45,000 Veterans, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Learn more about veterans benefits in the state of Vermont.

    Veteran Education Benefits

    Tuition Waivers

    National Guard service members may be eligible for loan forgiveness through the Vermont National Guard Educational Assistance Program.

    In order to receive this benefit, applicants must meet the following criteria:

    • Active member of Vermont Army or Air National Guard in good standing who has successfully completed commission or basic training
    • Attendance at approved state technical center or college
    • Enrolled in a degree or diploma program OR
    • Attending continuing education

    High School Diploma Program For Veterans

    Veterans may be eligible to receive a high school diploma from any Vermont public school.

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, applicants must have served during one of the following periods:

    • World War II (Dec. 7, 1941 to Dec. 31, 1946)
    • Korean War Era (June 27, 1950 to Jan. 31, 1955)
    • Vietnam War Era:
      • Veterans who served outside Vietnam (Aug. 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975)
      • Veterans who served inside Vietnam (Feb. 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975)

    The Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs, (VOVA) takes applications over the phone. Once eligibility is determined, the specified high school will arrange the presentation with the eligible veteran.

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    Veteran Employment Benefits

    Employment Assistance

    The Vermont State Department of Labor has programs to assist veterans and disabled veterans to find job training or employment: Career Resource Center professionals who specialize in working with veterans and disabled veterans, and the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP). Center professionals who specialize in working with veterans and disabled veterans can assist with the following areas;

    • Assisting veterans to find work
    • Identifying job training needs
    • Identifying funds for training

    DVOP representatives travel to all Vermont Regional Career Centers, as well as White River Junction VA, to assist disabled veterans who are looking for work.

    Veterans Hiring Preference

    Veterans may be eligible to claim preference points when seeking state employment in Vermont. Veterans may also be eligible to apply for jobs for positions normally only open to current state employees.

    In order to be eligible for the addition of preference points, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

    • Minimum service of 90 days
    • Honorable discharge or other acceptable conditions of discharge
    • Disability due to military service

    Spouses of veterans who are totally disabled due to military service and unremarried surviving spouses may also be eligible for this benefit.

    Veteran Housing Benefits

    Veterans Assisted Care Homes And Nursing Homes

    The State of Vermont operates the Vermont Veterans Home, which is located in Bennington. The home has 177 beds, and is a licensed healthcare facility with a wide range of medical services for residents, including:

    • Skilled nursing home care
    • Short-and long-term care
    • Post-operative wound care
    • Physical therapy
    • Speech therapy
    • Rehabilitation therapy
    • Occupational therapy
    • Namaste program
      • Relaxation techniques for comfort and pain management
    • Certified Alzheimer’s & dementia unit
      • Music and Memory program for memory care and relaxation

    Eligible Vermont veterans have priority for admission. The Home defines eligible veterans as service members who served at least ninety days and were discharged under honorable conditions. Gold Star parents and spouses of eligible veterans also are eligible for admission, and veterans from other states are welcome to apply.

    The Vermont Veterans’ Home accepts the following options for payment:

    • Private payment
      • Reduced costs may be available
    • Medicare
    • Vermont Medicaid
    • New York Medicaid
    • Other insurance through special arrangements

    The Home is not affiliated with the VA, and receives no payments for care at the Home. Also, if an applicant does not have Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance, he or she will have to pay for care. However, the Home will assist veterans with accessing any available insurance program he or she is eligible for.

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    Veteran Financial Benefits

    Vermont Veterans Assistance Fund

    Veterans may be eligible to receive financial assistance from VOVA Vermont Veterans Assistance Fund. Veterans, or families of veterans, may receive a one-time payment of up to $500. The VOVA application takes roughly ten minutes to complete, and is done via telephone.

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

    • Vermont resident
    • Experiencing a financial crisis that prohibits paying for housing, utilities, or similar “critical need”
    • The ability to provide detailed information regarding income and expenses

    Tax Breaks for Veterans

    Veterans may be eligible for tax breaks on military disability retirement pay awarded for disability due to military service.

    In order to qualify for this benefit, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

    • Awarded disability payment prior to Sept. 25, 1975
    • Active or reserves service member on Sept. 24, 1975
    • Under binding written commitment on Sept. 24, 1975

    Applicants must also either receive disability payments for injury or illness due to military service, or be entitled to receive disability from the VA. Disability due to military service must result from one of the following situations:

    • Armed conflict
    • Extra-hazardous service
    • Training exercises, or
    • Vehicles, devices, or vessels of war

    Property Tax Exemption For Totally Disabled Veterans

    Disabled veterans may be eligible for exemption from property tax through the VOVA. This exemption applies to the first $10,000 of appraisal value, but may also apply up to the first $40,000, depending upon the place of residence. Surviving spouses or surviving dependents may also be eligible for this exemption if it was granted prior to death.

    In order to qualify for this benefit, applicants must provide proof of receipt for one of the following types of compensation:

    • Military medical retirement pension
    • Rated at 50% or more disability compensation
    • Non-Service Connected or Improved Pension

    This exemption also only applies to the primary residence owned by a veteran or surviving spouse, (rentals are excluded). Also, recipients must reapply annually to the VOVA before May 1st. However, veterans who are totally and permanently disabled are only required to submit applications the first year, and are only required to reapply if they relocate.

    Additional Veteran Benefits

    Driver Licenses and Identification Cards

    Veterans may be eligible to receive a “Veteran” designation on driver licenses or identification cards. Applicants must submit a new Driver’s License/Identification Card along with completed Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status either to any local Vermont DMV office or the VOVA. Fee information is not currently available online. Inquiries regarding fees should be made to the VOVA or the Vermont DMV.

    Driver License Fee Exemption

    Veterans may be eligible for exemption from driver license fees if they have been approved for financial assistance through the VA.

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

    • Honorably discharged
    • Resident of Vermont
    • Motor vehicle acquired with VA financial assistance
    • Eligible to be granted a license
    • Application includes an approved VA Form 21-4502

    Commercial Driver License Test Waiver

    Veterans may be eligible for a test waiver when applying for a Vermont CDL.

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, applicants must submit verification that, within the last two years, they have not had:

    • More than one license in addition to military license
    • Suspended, revoked, or canceled license
    • Convictions for disqualifying offenses
    • More than one conviction for serious traffic violations
    • Any conviction for a violation of military, state, or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic laws due to crash
    • Record of fault for a crash

    This waiver is only available to veterans who, while in the military:

    • Were exempted from the commercial driver license requirements to drive military vehicles on state roads or highways, and
    • Were employed in a military position that required them to operate a vehicle equivalent to a commercial vehicle two years prior to leaving the military.

    Veteran License Plates

    Veterans may be eligible to receive and display license plates with service-specific designations. All applications must include Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status as verified by the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs. Special designations include:

    Veterans who completed tours of duty overseas in theater may be eligible for plates with specific “in-theater” designations. In addition to verification by the VOVA, applicants must have actual “boots on the ground” service. Special designations include:

    • Afghanistan
    • Gulf War
    • Iraq War
    • Korean War
    • Vietnam War
    • World War II

    In addition to verification by the VOVA, some plates available to veterans require additional affiliations, forms, and verifications. These include:

    • Vietnam Veterans
      • Available to members in good standing with Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)
      • Completed Safety/Service Organization Plate Application
      • Signed authorization or valid VT Membership card
      • One-time additional fee for plate
    • Veterans of Foreign Wars
      • Available to VFW members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars
      • Completed Safety/Service Organization Plate Application
      • Valid membership card or authorization signed by VFW Quartermaster
      • One-time additional fee for plate
    • Disabled Veteran
      • Universal Medical Evaluation/Progress Report, unless a medical evaluation has been filed in previous four years
    • Gold Star
      • Gold Star Family Plate Application
      • Report of Casualty
      • Submit to VOVA for certification as Gold Star Family member
      • Plates are not subject to special plate fees

    Recreational Benefits For Veterans

    Vermont Resident Veterans Hunting and Fishing Permanent Disability License: Veterans may be eligible for free permanent hunting, fishing, or combination licenses through the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

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

    • Vermont resident
    • Rated at 60% disabled or greater due to military service
      • Disability certified through letter from the VA

    Vermont Non-Resident Veterans Reciprocal Hunting and Fishing Privileges: Veterans may be eligible for free non-resident one-year hunting, fishing, or combination licenses through the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

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

    • Reside in states that allow reciprocal privileges for Vermont residents
      • New Hampshire and Maine
    • Qualify for a free license under disabled veteran provision
      • Disability certified through the VA

    Vermont Green Mountain Passport Lifetime Pass for Resident Veterans: Veterans may be eligible to receive lifetime day passes for $2.00 through local town clerk’s office. In order to qualify for this benefit, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

    • 62 years of age or older, OR
    • Honorably discharged from active duty

    Medals

    Veterans may qualify for service-specific medals awarded by the state of Vermont through the VOVA. Medals may be received via mail, or delivered by the Governor during an annual medal presentation ceremony at the Vermont State House.

    Vermont awards three medals to veterans. Each medal requires certain qualifying criteria:

    • The Vermont Veterans Medal
      • Honorable discharge
    • The Vermont Distinguished Service Medal
      • Honorable discharge
      • Service in combat theater
    • The Patriots Medal
      • Vermont service members killed in action
      • Awarded to surviving spouses or family members

    In order to receive these medals, veterans must apply for them, or a designated representative must apply on behalf of a qualifying veteran. The VOVA can take applications via telephone.

    Burial Benefits For Veterans

    Vermont provides several burial benefits and honors to deceased veterans. In order to qualify for this benefit, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

    • Veteran
    • Deceased spouse
    • Unmarried minor children
    • National Guard members
      • 20 years of service with retirement letter
    • Reserve Service members
      • 20 years of service with retirement letter

    The Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery (VVMC) is located in Randolph Center. The VVMC provides several free of charge benefits to veterans interred at the cemetery, including:

    • Perpetual care of burial plot
    • Plot marker
      • Custom-made plot markers must be paid for by the veteran or family
    • Funeral honors
      • Vermont National Guard may perform the following
    • Appropriate gun salute
    • Flag folding ceremony
    • Presentation of flag to next of kin
    • Playing of Taps

    The VVMC also provides several benefits to spouses interred at the cemetery, including:

    • Perpetual care of burial plot
    • Plot marker for nominal fee

    Families of veterans who have either been buried at sea or whose ashes have been scattered elsewhere may have a memorial stone placed in the VVMC memorial garden.

    Burial of Vermont’s Destitute Veterans

    Vermont provides guaranteed burial services for veterans who “die destitute.” Arrangements may be made through any local Economic Services Division Office.

    Written by Veteran.com Team