Virgin Islands Veterans Benefits

Updated: March 17, 2021

Table of Contents

    Find Virgin Islands state and local veterans benefits including education, employment, healthcare, tax breaks/exemptions, recreation and much more below. Twin City, Love City, and Rock City are home to over 10,000 veterans. Learn more about Veterans benefits in the Virgin Islands.


    Veteran Education Benefits Virgin Islands Veterans Benefits

    Tuition Waivers

    Virgin Islands veterans may be eligible to attend the University of the Virgin Islands Community Engagement & Lifelong Learning (UVICELL) program free of charge.

    The UVICELL program offers both in-class and online instruction. In-class courses include subjects such as real estate, computer training, and bookkeeping. Online courses include subjects such as business, healthcare, green energy, and education. Applicants are encouraged to explore options on the university website to determine which program to pursue.

    Eligibility to attend UVICELL free of charge is determined through the Virgin Islands Office of Veterans Affairs.

    US Territory Tuition

    Veterans may be eligible for in-territory tuition rates while attending the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI). There are several ways to access this benefit.

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

    • Using Montgomery G.I. Bill – Active Duty Program; or
    • Using Post-9/11 G.I. Bill
    • Resides in the U.S. Virgin Islands while attending UVI
    • Enrolled at the university either
      • Within three years of discharge; or
      • Release from 90 days or more active duty.

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, individuals using either transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill must meet the following criteria:

    • Resides in the U.S. Virgin Islands while attending UVI
    • Enrolled at the university either:
      • Within three years of the transferor’s discharge; or
      • Release from 90 days or more active duty

    In order to be eligible for this benefit, individuals using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship must meet the following criteria:

    • Resides in the U.S. Virgin Islands while attending UVI
    • Enrolled at the university:
      • Within three years of service member’s death in the line of duty
      • 90 days or more active duty

    Veteran Employment Benefits

    Retirement System Service Credits

    Veterans may be eligible to receive service credit with the Government Employee Retirement System of the Virgin Islands for active military service.

    Credits are distributed in tiers. Tier I is divided into two groups: those hired before Oct 1st,  2005 who have worked for a period of ten years prior to Sept. 25th, 2001, and those hired before Oct 1st, 2005 who worked for a period of time after Sept. 25th, 2001.

    Those who fall into the first group will receive a maximum service credit of ten years. Vets who fall into the second group will receive a maximum service credit of three years. Tier II refers to those hired on or after Oct 1st, 2005. These individuals will receive a maximum service credit of three years.

    USVI Government Employment Veteran Hiring Preference

    Veterans may be eligible to receive additional points on Local Civil Service Examinations. Veterans may receive ten points, and disabled veterans may receive 15 points.

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

    • Veteran discharged or released under other than dishonorable conditions
    • Spouse of a qualifying veteran
    • Surviving spouse of a qualifying veteran

    Veteran Housing Benefits

    US Virgin Islands Veterans Home/Land Loans and Home Improvement Loans

    Veterans may be eligible to receive home mortgage, land mortgage, or home improvement loan assistance through the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority (VIHFA).

    The Home/Land Mortgage Program for Virgin Islands Veterans provides several benefits to qualifying applicants, including:

    • Zero down payment required
    • Application fee discount of 25%
    • Land sold by the VIHFA discounted and additional 10% additional discount on the established price
    • Fixed interest rate 3% below Federal Prime rate
    • Up to $220,000 for homes
    • Up to $50,000 for land

    VIHFA home improvement loans are designed to assist veterans in improving, changing or repairing a primary residence. Loan provide the following benefits:

    • $40,000 maximum loan amount
    • Ten years maximum loan term
    • Interest rate 3% below the Federal Prime rate

    Per the VIHFA website, “the combined loan-to-value ratio must not exceed 100% of the appraised value.”

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

    • Veteran discharged or released under other than dishonorable conditions
    • First-time home buyer
    • Meets income guidelines
    • Resident of the Virgin Islands for the last three years
    • Ability to make an earnest money deposit of at least $500
      • Earnest money deposit is waived for qualified veterans
    • Pre-qualified for a mortgage loan
      • Based on underwriting standards of Federal Housing Administration/ U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs /Conventional Mortgages
    • Attendance and completion of VIHFA’s Homebuyer Education Program
      • Must earn Certificate of Completion
    • Property must be primary residence

    Refinancing to Prevent Foreclosure

    Veterans at risk of foreclosure on primary residence may qualify for refinancing through the VIHFA. Once eligibility has been determined, veterans may receive a maximum loan amount of $220,000 qt a fixed rate 3% below the Federal Prime rate.

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    Veteran Financial Benefits

    Tax Breaks for Veterans

    Disabled veterans, surviving spouses, and families  may be eligible for exemption from taxes on retirement income. The Virgin Islands do not collect taxes on the following types of income:

    • Military Disability Retired Pay
    • Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
    • Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)
    • Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)
    • Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP)

    Property Tax Credit For Veterans

    Veterans may be eligible for property tax credit.The maximum tax credit is $650. In order to be eligible for this benefit, applicants must meet the following criteria:

    • Property owners of record as of Jan. 1 of the taxable year
    • Honorably discharged
      • Must provide copy of DD-214 with filing
      • Valid USVI driver’s license, or
      • Voter registration card

    The deadline for tax credit application is prior to Jan. 1st for the year in which the application will be processed.

    Taxi Medallions

    Veterans may be eligible to acquire New US Virgin Islands taxi medallions (taxi medallions serve as permits which allow drivers to operate taxis). Taxi medallions are sold at annual auction every December, and only veterans are permitted to buy medallions through the auction.


    Additional Veteran Benefits

    Funeral Benefits

    Funeral Leave for Veterans

    Veterans may be excused to perform duties in funeral ceremonies for deceased service members. Excusal may be up to 4 hours with pay, and duties may include pallbearer, member of a firing squad, or honor guard.

    Reimbursement for Burial Expenses

    Veterans who entered military service while residing in the Virgin Islands may be eligible for reimbursement of funeral expenses. The maximum amount is $3,500.

    Free Burial in Local Cemeteries

    Veterans may be eligible for free burials in local cemeteries. This benefit is available to veterans who are residents of the Virgin Islands and who entered military service while residing in the Virgin Islands.

    Miscellaneous Benefits

    Veterans residing in the Virgin Island may be eligible to receive the following benefits:

    • Free license plates
    • Free emergency ambulance service
    • 100% reimbursement for off-island travel assistance to VA medical appointments

    For specific eligibility requirements or assistance regarding these benefits, please contact the Virgin Islands Office of Veteran Affairs.


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