Virginia Veterans Benefits

Updated: January 4, 2024
In this Article

    Find Virginia veterans benefits including education, employment, health care, home loans, tax exemptions, recreation and much more below. There are more than 780,000 veterans in the Old Dominion State.

    Virginia is home to several military bases including Coast Guard, Navy, Army and Air Force installations. As such, there are many perks and benefits for military members and their families to be had from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    Virginia Veteran Employment and Education Benefits

    Veterans Education Transition and Employment (VETE)

    VETE ensures that every veteran or eligible person has a full and fair opportunity to reach his or her fullest potential through access to the G.I. Bill approved post-secondary educational, training/licensure/certification, entrepreneurial institutions, V3-certified employers and Virginia colleges and universities. Currently, more than 1,000 institutions with various programs are approved in Virginia.

    Transition Assistance Program (VTAP)

    This official program from the state of Virginia offers help to transition into civilian life, including assistance with education, employment and training. One program known as the Veterans Career Transition Program offers free training to post-9/11 active-duty members, veterans and spouses.

    The program is paid for by a private company and features professional skills training, technical training, and an independent study track.

    Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP)

    The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (MSDEP), offers “educational assistance for the spouses and children of military service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner or who became at least 90% disabled as a result of military service in an armed conflict,” according to the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia.

    This program pays for tuition and fees at “any” state-supported college or university and waives tuition and fees in Virginia for up to four years. Dependents have an age requirement (between the ages of 16-29), but there is no age limit for spouses.

    Veterans On Campus

    Veterans On Campus is designed to help in a variety of ways, including accommodations for vets with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, and other service-connected medical issues with the potential for interfering with academic progress. These services are available by request and the Department of Veterans Services (DVS) program is designed to work with individual colleges in the state to determine the level and availability of such accommodations.

    The Virginia National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program is available to Virginia National Guard members and funds 100% of tuition expenses after all Federal Tuition Assistance benefits have been used.

    Good at any Virginia state school, this benefit can be used concurrently with the GI Bill, and when receiving this tuition assistance, Guard members are charged at the in-state tuition rate. There is also a textbook stipend.

    State Employment for Veterans in Virginia

    Virginia offers typical hiring preference to veterans, with an increased preference for those with VA-rated disabilities. Those hired by the state of Virginia receive extra vacation time, and full-time state employees who are members of the Guard or Reserve get to “bank” unused leave time, instead of being subjected to a “use-or-lose” arrangement.

    The Virginia Employment Commission features job referral and placement services for qualifying veterans and qualifying spouses, and offers them preference where such services are offered to nonveterans.

    The Virginia Board of Workforce Development offers job transition services including resume building, career transition skills assessment by military occupation specialty, and job services/career placement help.

    Military Medics and Corpsmen Program

    The Virginia Military Medics and Corpsmen (MMAC) Program offers job placement services for qualifying veterans working in certain health-care fields.

    This program does not provide licensure or certification, but is intended to help qualifying veterans while they work toward those certifications allowing them to continue using their health-care skills in the civilian health-care sector. Veterans must apply for this program through the Virginia Department of Veterans Services.

    Virginia Values Veterans (V3)

    V3 educates and trains employers throughout Virginia to help employers connect with these personnel assets to maximize the productivity of their workforce. V3 is committed to assisting employers recruit, hire, train, and retain veterans.

    Virginia Veteran Housing Benefits

    Income Tax Deduction

    Military personnel stationed inside or outside Virginia, or National Guard service members, may be eligible to subtract up to $15,000 of military basic pay received during the taxable year.

    Military Retirement Pay Income Tax Deduction

    Military retirement pay can be exempt on your income taxes. In 2022, the state began phasing in $10,000 increases each year until 2025, when it caps at $40,000. Starting in the 2024 tax year, there will be no age restriction for military retirement pay income tax exemptions. 

    Real Estate Tax Exemption

    Veterans are exempt from paying real estate taxes if they have been awarded a 100% disability rating by the Department of Veterans Affairs and/or who are deemed unemployable as a result of the disability. This veteran tax benefit is only good for primary residences, and qualifying surviving spouses are also eligible for this benefit if the veteran died on or after Sept. 11, 2011.

    Veterans Care Centers

    The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) has two long-term veteran care centers, with two more care centers to be opened by 2022. The care centers are available based on the following criteria:

    • Honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces
    • Virginia residency at the time of admission or entry into active duty from Virginia
    • Meets medical requirements for nursing home care

    Virginia veteran care centers:

    • Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center (Richmond)
    • Virginia Veterans Care Center (Roanoke)
    • Jones & Cabacoy Veterans Care Center, Virginia Beach (Opening in 2022)
    • Puller Veterans Care Center, Vint Hill, Fauquier County (Opening in 2022)

    Virginia Veteran Financial Benefits

    Veteran Tax Benefits

    • Military members on active duty for 90 days or more get a tax break for basic pay for those earning less than $30,000.
    • Medal of Honor recipients are allowed to subtract their retirement pay from their federal gross income.
    • Those serving in combat zones are given the same tax extension benefits for state filing as are permitted for federal income tax returns.

    Additional Virginia Veteran Benefits

    Virginia Veteran and Family Support (VVFS)

    VVFS provides peer and family support and care coordination services to veterans, the Virginia National Guard and Armed Forces Reserves, including their families. Support includes behavioral health, rehabilitative and supportive services.

    Veteran Cemetery Benefits

    Qualifying service members have the option of burial with military honors in state veteran cemeteries including Virginia Veterans Cemetery at Amelia, Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, Suffolk and Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery, Dublin. Virginia provides the gravesite, orders and places the grave marker, and provides caretaker services for the gravesite at no cost. This benefit cannot be reserved, it is offered on a first-come, first served basis.

    Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Disabled Veterans

    The Commonwealth of Virginia offers a variety of veteran benefits to those with VA disability ratings including free lifetime hunting and freshwater fishing licenses, and discounted saltwater fishing licenses.

    Veteran Driver Benefits

    The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles offers a special Veteran ID card available for a fee that can be used by qualifying vets to claim veteran discounts in a variety of Virginia-based establishments.

    Special license plates for a variety of service-related associations (wartime service, POW/MIA, disabled veteran plates, etc.).

    Disabled Veteran Public Transportation Benefits

    Disabled veterans may qualify for discounted public transit fares on Virginia’s MetroBus and MetroRail systems. Veterans with a 60% or greater disability rating are exempt from some application requirements to receive these transportation discounts.

    Written by Team