Colorado Veterans Benefits & Disabled Veterans Benefits
The following are the Colorado state benefits programs for veterans, military and the National Guard. These programs are included in the areas of housing, health care, employment and education.
Colorado Veterans’ Benefits
Education Benefits for Veterans In Colorado
In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, there are veterans’ benefits programs provided by the states.
Colorado National Guard
Any member of the Colorado National Guard is eligible for state tuition assistance, up to 100% tuition paid at any CO state-funded school depending on funding available. State funding can be used in conjunction with Federal Tuition Assistance.
RELATED: National Guard Tuition Assistance
>> Find VA-approved colleges and universities in Colorado with our School Finder.
Housing Benefits for Veterans In Colorado
Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption
This is a program for disabled veterans who are rated by the US Department of Veterans Affairs at 100%, Permanently, are totally disabled by the US Department of Veterans Affairs and have owned and occupied their property since January 1st of the year in which the veteran is applying.
The exemption is 50% of the first 200,000 value of the home. This is only for a primary residence.
Health Care Benefits for Veterans In Colorado
Colorado State Veterans Community Living Centers
There are five Colorado State Veteran Community Living Centers in Aurora, Florence, Monte Vista, Rifle, and Walsenburg. These centers serve honorably discharged veterans, veterans’ spouses and widows, and gold star parents who lost children while serving in the Armed Forces. Those who are residents can enjoy camaraderie of sharing activities and daily life with other veterans, friends, and family.
Each of the five locations offer 24 hour nursing care, meals, physician services restorative therapy, transportation, diversified activities, with an all-inclusive rate.
Employment Benefits for Veterans In Colorado
Career Assistance for Veterans
There is career assistance available to all individuals who are eligible for Veteran’s services. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) and the American Job Center (AJC) partner together to offer career assistance to those who have served in the US military and those who are eligible for veterans priority of service.
Using Connecting Colorado, users can register in order to receive automatic job matching from the statewide database. They also offer assistance in developing and customizing resumes and cover letters, job search guidance, information on licensure, certification, apprenticeship and training programs, information on rights and priority for veterans, direct referrals for job openings, customized job development, and job fairs and hiring events.
Their Veterans Employment Specialists serve fellow veterans by providing expertise in job and training opportunities. They have a partnership with local Workforce Centers that will allow any veteran who has served at least one day of active duty to receive that additional support with their job search. Eligible spouses are also included.
The Colorado Workforce Center Services also provide workshops, on-the-job training, information on wage rates and employment trends, vocational guidance and career counseling, referrals to services within the community, and access to phone, internet, printer, fax and copy machines.
You can find their two main locations in Denver and Lakewood, the department also deploys many nationally trained County Veteran Service Officers throughout the state.
Veterans Preference in Selection
The US Congress and the Colorado Constitution have authorized the awarding of preference to certain veterans.
Candidates that do meet the criteria for veterans’ preference are only referred if their final passing score, plus any applicable veterans’ preference points, places them as one of the six highest ranking applicants that are eligible for referral.
The preference points are added after the final examination has been scored, but before the referral is given.
Five-point preference is given to those who honorably separated, who served on active duty, excluding active duty for training, in the Armed Forces during any war declared by congress. It is also given to the spouse of a veteran who is unable to work because of a service related disability, and the widow or widower of a deceased veteran who would have been entitled to veterans’ preference.
Ten-point preference is given to those who were honorably separated and qualify as a disabled veteran because they served on active duty in the Armed Forces at any time and have a present service-connected disability or are receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or a pension from the military or the Veterans Administration.
Preference in Layoff
If there is a layoff because of lack of work or lack of funds in the state workforce, employees that were eligible for veterans’ preference are awarded service credit on a year-for-year basis for up to ten years of military service. Veterans who have 20 or more years of military service are not eligible to receive any 4 credit for this service for retention purposes. Those who do have veterans’ preference shall not be separated from employment before individuals not eligible for veterans’ preference with the same amount of total service.
Colorado State Income Tax Exemption
If you are between the ages of 55-64 you may deduct up to $20,000 of retirement benefits from your federal taxable income. If you are over 65, you can deduct up to $24,000. Any age can deduct a percentage of military retirement benefits from his or her state income tax. In 2018, the percentage is equal to 10% and it increases by 10% each year thereafter until all military retirement benefits are exempt.
For more information regarding Alabama veterans benefits, please visit Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs