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Connecticut Veterans Benefits

Connecticut Veterans Benefits

Connecticut State Veteran Benefits

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

Education Benefits for Veterans in Connecticut

In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, there are veterans’ benefits programs provided at the state level.

Veterans Tuition Waiver

Qualifying veterans, dependents, and National Guard members may qualify for tuition waivers at Connecticut public colleges and universities. This military education benefit is meant to offset the tuition expenses not covered by an employer or the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Not covered: “other fees” including books, activity fees, course fees, parking, or housing.

Other requirements include but are not limited to:

  • Veterans must have an honorable discharge or equivalent.
  • You must have served at least 90 or more cumulative days active duty during wartime or you separated earlier due to a service-connected disability, or the war, campaign or operation lasted less than 90 days “and service was for the duration”.
  • Applicants must be Connecticut residents.
  • Active members of the Connecticut National Guard may qualify.
  • Dependent children and surviving spouses of Colorado residents killed in action on or after September 11, 2001, while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Dependent children of a service member who is an MIA or POW.

Things to know about the tuition waiver:

  • According to multiple sources, if you want admission to Central, Eastern, Southern or Western Connecticut State University you must be formally admitted but do not have to declare a major initially.
  • A 50% tuition waiver may be available for summer courses.
  • The tuition waiver offered for Connecticut Community Colleges is available for full or part-time attendance but it cannot be used for summer courses.

Contact the admissions office of the college you want to attend for more information about current-year tuition waiver opportunities.

Tax Benefits for Veterans in Connecticut

Connecticut Income Tax Exemption on Military Pay

Connecticut residents who are also service members must pay state income taxes on military pay UNLESS:

  • The service member does not have a permanent residence in Connecticut
  • The service member has a permanent home outside Connecticut
  • The service member spends “30 days or less in Connecticut”.

There is an exception known as the Group B Exception, which allows a tax exemption on military pay if “any period of 548 consecutive days” the servicemember is “present in a foreign country (or countries) for at least 450 days.”

During that 548-day period, the servicemember must not be “present in Connecticut for more than 90 days” and the servicemember does not “maintain a permanent place of abode in Connecticut at which your spouse (unless the spouse is legally separated) or minor children are present for more than 90 days”. Other requirements may apply.

Property Taxes

Veterans who financially qualify and who have 90 days of wartime service (including Merchant Marines who served during World War Two) may be eligible for a property tax exemption, which was offered up to $1,500 in 2022.

This property tax exemption may be used for either a vehicle or real estate. Contact your county tax assessor’s office for more information on how to claim this tax break. Remember, tax laws change from year to year and what was allowed last year may be modified or eliminated in future tax seasons.

Always consult a tax professional if you are not sure what you are entitled to when filing in the current tax year.

Retirement Taxes

Connecticut state law exempts military retirement pay from state income tax.

Housing Benefits for Veterans in Connecticut

Patriots’ Landing Houses

The State of Connecticut offers “landing houses” to veterans, their spouses, and their children who are at risk of becoming homeless.

All of the houses are furnished, including kitchen supplies, bedding, furniture, washers and dryers, and full kitchens. These homes are smoke-free and pets are not allowed, though there may be exceptions made for verified service animals.

Housing is provided on a month-to-month basis, not to exceed 12 months in typical cases. You may be required to pay a monthly housing program fee. A case manager is assigned to help military families meet their individual recovery plans and return to life in the community.

In order to qualify you must be a veteran honorably discharged from or released under honorable conditions from active service in the Armed Forces. You must be a current resident of Connecticut or a resident at the time you entered military service.

Health Care Benefits for Veterans in Connecticut

Rocky Hill Residential Facility And Levitow Healthcare Center

The Rocky Hill Residential Facility features a 180-bed healthcare center and 480-bed nursing home offering care for “veterans honorably discharged from the Armed Forces” according to the official site.

To qualify for care at this facility, you need an Honorable discharge, you must be a current resident of the state, or you must have been a resident of the state at the time you entered military service.

You must be a veteran honorably discharged from or released under honorable conditions from active service in the Armed Forces and be a current resident of Connecticut or a resident at the time of your enlistment or induction in the Armed Forces.

The Sgt. John L. Levitow Healthcare Center

The Levitow Healthcare Center serves as the Rocky Hill certified State Veterans Home and offers care for those who suffer from a variety of medical conditions including but not limited to:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiac Disease
  • COPD
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • End Stage Renal Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Parkinson’s

To qualify for this facility, the veteran must meet the following requirements:

  • Have an honorable discharge or general discharge under honorable conditions.
  • Must be a resident of Connecticut at the time of application or was a resident of Connecticut at the time of induction or enlistment into the Armed Forces.
  • Must have served at least ninety (90) days of active duty.
  • Applicants for residential care “must be able to perform regular activities of daily living” without assistance.

State and Municipal Benefits for Those With Other Than Honorable Discharges

In 2018, Connecticut state law was updated to offer state-level benefits for military service previously only offered to those with Honorable discharges. Some services are now offered to those who received an Other Than Honorable discharge, but only for benefits funded by the state alone-this program does not extend to federal benefits for military service or to benefits that are co-funded by state and federal funds.

In order to qualify, you must be diagnosed with one or more of the following:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder resulting from military service.
  • A Traumatic Brain Injury related to military service.
  • Military sexual trauma.

Veterans with Bad Conduct discharges or Dishonorable discharges are not eligible under this program.

Employment Benefits for Veterans in Connecticut

CT Veteran Owned Micro Business Certification

State-recognized, veteran-owned “micro businesses” are offered a “price preference” when determining the lowest qualified bidder as recognized by the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services. State certification for this price break is good for one year at a time and must be renewed.

Veterans Agriculture Program

The Veterans Agriculture Program offers qualifying veterans a tax incentive for starting a farm business, and it also makes it easier for veterans to qualify for Sales and Use tax exemptions for purposes “exclusively in commercial agricultural production”.

Connecticut State And Federal Veterans Hiring Preference:

The federal government and Connecticut offer hiring preferences to qualifying vets and spouses in the form of additional points on competitive exams. Depending on circumstances you may qualify for 5 or 10 points of preference:

  • 10-point eligibility is offered to disabled wartime veterans eligible for or receiving compensation for disabilities from the VA. It is also offered to spouses of disabled veterans who are unable to work due to their disabilities, and to surviving spouses of those eligible for 10-point preference.
  • 5-point eligibility is offered to wartime veterans with Honorable discharges who are not eligible for a VA disability rating and do not draw a pension.

Other Connecticut State Veteran Benefits

Pretrial Diversionary Programs

Connecticut state law offers the option for veterans to opt in to “accelerated rehabilitation” twice, as opposed to the single opportunity offered to non-veterans. This state program also permits a veteran participating in the pretrial drug education program or those with certain mental health conditions to be assigned to state and federal Departments of Veterans Affairs Services instead of state-based addiction services agencies.

Vehicle License And Registration Services For Qualifying Veterans

Connecticut state law offers free motor vehicle registration and special plates for former prisoners of war and recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Connecticut veterans who were state residents when they joined the military, and who apply for this benefit within two years of discharge (an Honorable discharge is required) may be declared “exempt from paying for an operator’s license and examination fees for one (1) licensing period”. These veterans may also qualify for waived fees on special license plates for qualifying disabilities.

Learn more about these Connecticut veterans’ benefits at the official site of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs.

Related state military and veteran information: