Rhode Island Veterans & Disabled Veterans Benefits
Rhode Island Veterans Benefits Programs
The following are the Rhode Island veterans’ education, healthcare, taxes, and veteran employment benefits programs.
Education Benefits for Veterans In Rhode Island
In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, the state of Rhode Island provides veterans benefits programs for education.
Rhode Island Free Tuition for Disabled Veterans
RI resident veterans with VA-rated disabilities between 10% and 100% may qualify for free tuition at Rhode Island state-supported colleges and universities. This financial aid is typically applied after other programs have paid first.
Rhode Island Free Tuition for Surviving Spouses and Dependent Children Of National Guard Members
Rhode Island offers free tuition for qualifying surviving spouses and school-age dependents who want to attend Rhode Island state-supported colleges or universities.
This is offered to survivors of a military member who dies in the line of duty and is offered for up to four years. Contact the school’s financial aid office for more information and application procedures.
State Tuition Exemption Program
Covers one tuition-free course for summer semesters, not to exceed 2 courses a year. STEP can be used with the Montgomery GI Bill.
This program is available to all Army and Air National Guard Service members seeking an Associate, Bachelor, Master’s Degree, or certificate from Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and the University of Rhode Island.
National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program
The Rhode Island National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program (STAP) provides a tuition waiver for current National Guard members at Rhode Island’s public colleges and universities.
You may qualify for up to five tuition-free classes per (fall or spring) semester, with fees and book expenses paid by the military member.
To qualify for this tuition assistance:
- Army and Air National Guard service members seeking an Associate, Bachelor, or Masters Degree from Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and University of Rhode Island.
- Service members must be in good standing and not be flagged for adverse action.
- The service member’s ETS must be after the class ends.
- This program may be used with the GI Bill.
The state of Rhode Island may offer tuition waivers for up to five classes at any qualifying school. You must be a degree-seeking student in an approved program and may be required to commit to one additional year of military service after completing classes for every 12 credits waived.
RELATED: National Guard Tuition Assistance
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Tax Benefits for Veterans in Rhode Island
Military Retirement Pay Tax Exemption
Beginning in tax year 2023, military retirement pay is exempt from Rhode Island state income taxes. Military disability retirement pay is also exempt from state taxes in Rhode Island.
Military pay earned by those stationed in Rhode Island but who are not residents of the state is not subject to state income tax.
Property Tax Exemptions
You may qualify for a Rhode Island property tax exemption if you are a veteran or a surviving spouse of a veteran. These exemptions may vary from county to county and apply to those with wartime service and/or to those with qualifying disabilities.
Contact your local Tax Assessor’s office to learn what property tax exemption may apply in your circumstances.
Rhode Island Veterans Home
The Rhode Island Veterans Home is located at Mount Hope Bay in Bristol. This facility offers medical, nursing, and rehabilitative services to wartime veterans.
Applicants must have an Honorable discharge, 90 days of active service during wartime, be a Rhode Island resident for two consecutive years before the date of application, or must have joined the military from Rhode Island.
To apply, veterans must provide the following documentation:
- DD214 or equivalent report of military discharge
- Medical records from primary care physician for the last two years
- Copy of guardianship or power of attorney for health care or finances where applicable
Contact the facility directly to discuss pre-need arrangements or to learn more about applying.
Rhode Island State Burial Benefits
The State of Rhode Island operates Veterans Memorial Cemetery, located in Exeter. Options at this facility include in-ground casket burial, cremation burial, and above-ground columbarium cremation sites.
The official site notes that all service members and veterans may qualify for military funeral honors. Services are provided at no cost for veterans, family members may be charged a nominal fee for some options.
Eligibility requirements for burial at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery are identical to those listed for VA National Cemeteries.
There is also a state residency requirement. View the national standards at the VA National Cemetery Administration Eligibility official site.
In general, the following eligibility requirements apply. You may be accepted if one of the following is true:
- Discharged from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces under conditions other than dishonorable;
- Two years of service required for peacetime service;
- Active service during a wartime period (conditions may apply)
- Died while on active duty;
- Served at least 20 years in the National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves and qualified for military retirement pay
- Reservists activated for federal service
- Qualifying spouses and dependents
- Rhode Island resident for two consecutive years before death or entered the U.S. Armed Forces from Rhode Island
Rhode Island Veterans’ Hiring Preference
Rhode Island offers hiring preference to qualifying veterans applying for competitive state jobs. Veterans may qualify for a 5-point credit on Civil Service. Disabled veterans may qualify for up to 10 points.
Veterans with any discharge other than Dishonorable and 30 days or more of active duty service may qualify. Those discharged because of a service-connected disability may also apply.
Other Veterans’ Benefits in Rhode Island
Rhode Island Family Relief Fund
The Rhode Island Family Relief Fund offers financial help for active duty, National Guard, and Reserve members and their families.
These grants are offered to help during a crisis “that can reasonably be expected to be remedied with a one-time grant that is either financial or casualty based,” according to the State of Rhode Island.
This relief is offered as a one-time grant of $5,000 per family. To qualify, you must serve in Rhode Island or be a member of a Rhode Island unit.
There must be an “emergency financial need,” and the assistance must be for needs such as rent or a mortgage, utilities, medical service, insurance, or car payments.
For more information regarding Rhode Island veterans’ benefits, please visit the State of Rhode Island Office of Veterans Affairs
Related state military and veteran information: