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Hawaii Veterans Benefits & Disabled Veterans Benefits

Hawaii Veterans Benefits

Hawaii State Benefits for Veterans

The following are the Hawaii state veterans’ benefits programs for education, housing, healthcare, and employment. You can also learn about veterans’ benefits in other states.

Education Benefits for Hawaii’s Veterans

In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, there are veterans’ benefits programs provided by the state of Hawaii.

Hawaii Residency Waivers for Nonresident Veterans, Service Members, and Dependents:

Qualifying military members and their dependents may be eligible to attend colleges in Hawaii at the resident tuition rate. The following requirements may apply depending on your status as an active duty member, a veteran, or a dependent, as described at Army.mil:

    • Service members in Hawaii on active duty.
    • “Authorized dependents” who accompany the servicemember while stationed in Hawaii
    • Hawaii National Guard Service members and Reservists serving in a Hawaii-based unit.
    • Veterans in Hawaii who served at least 90 days on active duty using VA educational benefits within 3 years of discharge
    • Students living in Hawaii using transferred VA educational benefits. You must enroll within three years of the servicemember’s discharge after active duty service (90 days or more).
    • Students living in Hawaii using the Fry Scholarship
    • Veterans using the VA Veteran Readiness and Employment program

Contact the admissions office at your chosen school to learn how to apply for this waiver.

Hawaii Army National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program (STAP)

STAP features tuition waivers for eligible military members. This option is only offered after you have completed basic training and any required advanced training. It covers the full cost of tuition at community colleges and 50% of tuition for 4-year universities.

You may qualify for STAP if:

    • You are a Hawaii resident.
    • You are an undergraduate working towards a degree.
    • You are currently serving in the Hawaii National Guard.
    • You maintain satisfactory academic performance.

STAP may be used with the GI Bill. To apply, contact the Hawaii National Guard Education Office.

Find colleges in Hawaii with our School Finder. Use the filters to sort schools by state.

Tax Benefits For Hawaii Veterans

Veterans with qualifying disabilities and their spouses may be eligible for tax relief on primary residences. There may also be tax breaks for vehicles owned by veterans with qualifying disabilities. However, these tax breaks are not standardized state-wide; the benefits may vary depending on the island:

Tax-Free Military Retirement Income

The State of Hawaii does not tax military retirement pay.

Tax Exemptions For Specially Adapted Vehicles

The State of Hawaii offers tax exemptions to qualifying veterans who own vehicles “subsidized by the Department of Veterans Affairs”. If you received a VA grant to adapt a motor vehicle or you got a grant to purchase a modified vehicle, you may qualify for this tax exemption. Contact the Hawaii Department of Motor Vehicles for application information.

Nursing Home Benefits for Hawaii Veterans

The Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home

The Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo, Hawaii offers both short-term and residential care. This facility features 24-hour skilled care, respite care, hospice, plus private and semi-private room options.

Admission requirements include being eligible for VA benefits, being over age 55, and there must be a documented medical need for skilled care. You must be a Hawaii resident for at least one year before applying, and you must have been a Hawaii resident before entering military service. Military spouses may also qualify, but they are accepted on a space-available basis.


Employment Benefits for Hawaii’s Veterans

Employment Preference for State and Federal Jobs

Veterans may qualify for preference points for Civil Service exams for state or federal jobs. A veteran may qualify for 5 preference points; qualifying disabled veterans may be awarded 10 points.

The 5-point veterans’ preference may be awarded to veterans with Honorable discharges who served active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces:

    • From December 7, 1941, to July 1, 1955.
    • For more than 180 consecutive days from January 31, 1955, through October 14, 1976.
    • In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge or service medal was authorized.

A 10-point veterans preference is offered to those who meet the following criteria:

    • Honorably separated veterans with service-connected disabilities.
    • Purple Heart recipients.
    • The spouse of an honorably separated veteran with a qualifying service-connected disability.
    • An un-remarried, surviving spouse of a service member who died while on active duty
    • An un-remarried surviving spouse of an Honorably discharged veteran who served during the periods cited above.

An application form and additional information regarding veterans’ preference points can be found at the State of Hawaii official site.

Hawaii State Employee Leave for Military Duty:

Those employed by the State of Hawaii or who work city jobs in the state may qualify for up to 15 days of paid military leave for Guard or Reserve military duty each year.

Hawaii State Employee Military Caregiver Leave

Hawaii State employees may qualify for up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave to act as a caregiver for a military family member who received an injury or illness in the line of duty.

Burial Benefits for Hawaii Veterans

Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery (HSVC)

HSVC offers burial and interment services to qualifying military veterans and “eligible dependents”. The official site notes, “Family members utilize a one-grave concept” and HSVC offers a gravesite, marker, perpetual care of the site, plus opening and closing of the grave. Things to know about HSVC:

    • In cases where both spouses are veterans, two gravesites and two headstones may be provided by request.
    • Some pre-need arrangements are possible, but the physical gravesite or interment location cannot be reserved in advance.

The official site advises that application criteria will apply in the same way as for eligibility to be buried in a VA national cemetery. HSVC requires the veteran’s family to pay for mortuary services and other costs such as transportation of remains.

Eligibility for burial at HSVC is identical to the requirements for VA National Cemeteries. In general, you must meet the following:

    • Discharged from active duty service with any discharge other than Dishonorable. OR;
    • Died while serving on active duty. OR;
    • Served at least 20 years in the National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves and considered eligible for military retirement pay. OR;
    • Reserve component Service members activated for federal service. OR;
    • Qualifying spouses and dependent children.

When applying, the following documentation is required:

    • Veteran’s full name
    • Rank
    • Branch of service
    • SSN
    • VA claim number
    • Date of entry
    • Date of discharge
    • Date of birth
    • Date of death

For more information regarding Hawaii veterans benefits, please visit the Hawaii Office of Veterans Services