In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, there are Virginia veteran benefits programs to assist veterans in the state.
Virginia Veteran Education Benefits
The following are the Virginia veterans’ benefits programs for education in 2020.
Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program
The Military Survivors and Dependents Program provides educational benefits to spouses and children of military service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or who became at least 90 percent disabled as a result of military service in an armed conflict. This program may pay for tuition and fees at any state-supported college or university in Virginia. Benefits are available for up to 36 months.
Virginia National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program (VNGSTAP)
Funds 100% of tuition costs remaining after all Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) benefits are applied, at any Virginia state supported school. Maximum VNGSTAP benefit is $6,000 per year, or $2,000 maximum per semester (fall, spring, and summer). VA Guard members are also offered in-state tuition rates as long as they are receiving State Tuition Assistance. Total tuition assistance for private institutions may not exceed the above rates. Subject to availability of funds, VNGSTAP recipients receive up to $350 per semester for textbooks. The VNGSTAP can be combined with the GI Bill.
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Virginia Veteran Housing Benefits
Real Property Tax Exemptions for Veterans
Virginia does have property tax exemptions for veterans. In order to qualify, the dwelling will need to be the primary residence of a qualifying veteran, to include up to one acre of land, or more if there is an exemption which is provided to elderly and handicapped persons.
In addition to that, the veteran will need to have a 100% service-connected, permanent and total disability, who is or was alive on or after January 1, 2011, or be the surviving spouse of that veteran, or be the surviving spouse of any member of the US Armed Forces who was killed in action, to include DOW. Veterans who are rated at less than 100%, but who the VA rates at 100% due to individual unemployability and are rated “permanent and total, also qualify for this exemption.
The disabled veteran or surviving spouse will need to occupy the property as their primary residence, not remarry if they are a surviving spouse, and can not relocate to a new primary residence if they are a surviving spouse of an 100% disabled veteran.
In the cases of KIA/DOW surviving spouse, they can move and take the exemption with them.
Virginia Veteran Health Care Benefits
Veterans Care Centers
Virginia has two long term veteran care centers, with plans to open two more by the end of 2019. They are in Richmond and Roanoke, with Virginia Beach, and Vint Hill planning to open later in the year. In order to be able to be at one of these centers, a veteran would need to be honorably discharged from the US Armed Forces, be a Virginia resident at the time of admission or when they entered into active duty, and meet the medical requirements for nursing home care.
Virginia Veteran Employment Benefits
When it comes to state employment, Virginia offers a typical hiring preference to veterans, and an increased preference for veterans with a VA-rated disability. Those who are hired will also receive extra vacation time, and those who are full-time state employees serving in the guard or the reserves, will be able to “bank” their unused leave time instead of losing it because of “use or lose” arrangement.
The Virginia Employment Commission does feature job referral and placement services for veterans and spouses who qualify. They offer them preference where services are also offered to non-veterans. In addition to that, the Virginia Board of Workforce Deployment offers services that help with job transition.
Virginia Values Veterans (V3)
The Virginia Values Veterans program helps to educate and train companies on why it is a good business decision to recruit, hire, train, and retain veterans, and to help committed companies meet their hiring goals. Since 2012, when they had the first V3 conference, 33,000 actual hires have been reported because of the program.