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Colorado Veterans Benefits & Disabled Veterans Benefits

Colorado Veterans Benefits

Veteran and Disabled Veteran Benefits for Colorado

The following are the Colorado state benefits programs for military members. You can also learn about veterans’ benefits in other states.

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 Tuition Assistance

Members of the Colorado National Guard may qualify for state tuition assistance, up to 100% tuition paid at any CO state-funded school.

This program depends on the amount of available funding in the current year and may not be offered for all school terms or semesters. The official site advises, “Due to the expanded number of applications and authorizations using the State Tuition Assistance Program, funding authorizations may be revised based on the available funding and the number of applicants.”

Students who depend on this tuition assistance should know they may be responsible for their own tuition if funding runs out in a given semester. State funding can be used in conjunction with Federal Tuition Assistance, and some may rely on both in times when funding levels are too low.

Colorado Tuition Assistance cannot exceed $5000 per semester and can be used for eight years or 132 total semester hours (whichever is achieved first). To qualify, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum of six months of service in the Colorado National Guard.
  • Your Service commitment end date must be on or after the semester end date.
  • You must maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average.

RELATED: National Guard Tuition Assistance

Colorado In-State Tuition for Nonresident Service Members, Veterans, and Families

Military members and their immediate family members may qualify for in-state tuition at Colorado colleges and universities. Physical residence and/or military service in the state is required. You must be able to show orders or other documentation establishing military duty in the area.

Once approved for in-state tuition, it is approved indefinitely. Family members must apply for this benefit while the service member is still serving within the state. Discuss your needs with an admissions counselor or Veteran Service Officer for more information on how to claim this benefit in the current academic year.

>> 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 in the year the application is submitted.

The Colorado property tax exemption is 50% of the first $200,000 of a primary residence.

Colorado Property Tax Deferral Program for Active Duty Military

The Property Tax Deferral program was created to help both military members and senior citizens via deferred property tax payments. Under this program, the Colorado State Treasurer’s office makes tax payments on behalf of the veteran.

That assistance is viewed as a loan, and a lien is placed on the property for the tax. The loan is not due “until the participant no longer qualifies to defer their property taxes,” according to the State of Colorado.

Who qualifies?

  • The applicant must be either a senior citizen or a military member called into active service.
  • You cannot be delinquent on past year’s taxes.
  • Applicants must own and occupy the property as their primary residence.
  • The property cannot produce income of any kind.
  • The total value of liens against the property “cannot exceed 100% of the assessed market value” of the home.
  • The assistance must include lender participation; the lender must agree that state interest in the property has priority.
  • The deferral amount must be paid upon the sale or transfer of the property.

You must apply for this benefit via your county Treasurer’s Office. The state Treasurer’s office will create an account for your tax-deferred property; the interest on this account is paid to the State General Fund.

Health Care Benefits for Veterans In Colorado

Colorado State Veterans Community Living Centers

There are five Colorado State Veteran Community Living Centers. They are located in:

  • Fitzsimmons
  • Florence
  • Homelake
  • Rifle
  • Walsenburg

These centers serve honorably discharged veterans, spouses, and Gold Star, parents. Each of the 5 locations offers 24-hour nursing care, meals, physician services, therapy, transportation, and activities.

Admissions policies may vary depending on whether the applicant needs memory care, palliative care, or other specialized services. Short-term, long-term, assisted care and hospice care may all be available.

Vacancies may be limited due to demand, depending on the time of year and other variables. Medicaid requirements may vary depending on the nature of care needed and other factors.

Colorado State Burial Benefits for Veterans

The Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado was created by Colorado state law in 1999 and officially opened in 2002. Eligible service members, their dependents, and other qualifying applicants may be buried here at no cost.

Next-of-kin is provided zero-cost options such as:

  • A gravesite or niche
  • Opening and closing of the gravesite or niche
  • An upright granite headstone or granite niche marker with the inscription,
  • Concrete vault or grave liner
  • Perpetual care

Pre-need arrangements are possible, but a grave location cannot be reserved ahead of time.

Employment Benefits for Veterans In Colorado

Career Assistance for Veterans

There is career assistance available to all individuals who are eligible for veteran 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. There is help for 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, and direct referrals for job openings.

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.

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 Hiring Preference

State and federal job opportunities in Colorado include veteran hiring preference for positions that require a state or federal examination. Preference points are added after the job exams have been scored but prior to the referral of any applicant for the next steps.

  • Five-point preference may be awarded to those with honorable discharges who meet other approval criteria; these points may also be awarded to a qualifying military spouse.
  • Ten-point preference is available to those who meet state-disabled veteran criteria for hiring preference.

In the case of certain layoffs in state agencies, those hired under veteran preference may qualify for service credit “on a year-for-year basis for up to ten years of military service,” according to the State of Colorado.

Military Tax Benefits for Veterans In CO

Colorado State Income Tax Exemption For Military Retirement Pay

Colorado residents drawing military retirement pay may be permitted to deduct a percentage of the pay from state income tax.

  • Retired Military Under Age 55: May claim a military retirement pay deduction up to $15,000.
  • Retired Service Members Age 55 or Older: May claim a military retirement pay deduction of up to $24,000, depending on the age of the taxpayer.

The Colorado Military Spouse Residency Relief Act

This state law says wages and tips earned in Colorado by an eligible “nonresident military Spouse” are not subject to state taxes. To qualify, you must be married to a service member, have moved to Colorado from elsewhere and work in Colorado, and did so to accompany a spouse on military orders.

For more information regarding Colorado veterans benefits, please visit the Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs website.






About the author

Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.