West Virginia Veteran Benefits Programs
In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, there are West Virginia veteran benefits programs provided by the state.
West Virginia Veteran Education Benefits
The following are the West Virginia veterans’ benefits programs for education in 2020.
Guaranteed Veterans Re-Education Act Fund
Veterans who have run out of GI Bill benefits may be eligible for state funds that can be used for tuition assistance, tests associated with professional licensure and certification, or other training materials.
War Orphan Education Program
Students who qualify for the War Orphan Education Program will not be charged tuition and fees by a West Virginia post-secondary education or training institution.
Award amounts administered by the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance are to cover costs associated with room, board, books and other living expenses.
This amount fluctuates according to the number of applications received each semester. No more than $1,000 will be awarded to a student in any one semester and no more than $2,000 will be awarded to a student in any one year.
Medal of Honor & Purple Heart Tuition Waivers
All public institutions of higher education waive tuition and mandatory fee charges for West Virginia residents who have been awarded the Medal of Honor or Purple Heart.
West Virginia National Guard Education Benefits
The West Virginia Educational Encouragement Program (WVEEP) provides up to 100% tuition assistance for certificate, associate, bachelor and master’s level courses and up to $6, 500 per year for Soldiers attending in-state institutions.
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West Virginia Veteran Housing Benefits
Military Retirement Pay State Income Tax Exemption
As of December 31, 2017, any military retirement income, to include retirement income from the regular Armed Forces, reserves, and the national guard, are exempt from state income tax. This also includes survivorship amenities if they are included in their federal adjusted gross income for the taxable year.
Property Tax Exemption
If a veteran has a 100% permanent and total service-connected disability they may be exempt from certain property taxes as well as those veterans who are over the age of 65. They will be exempt from paying taxes on the first $20,000 of the assessed value on a self-occupied property as long as the veteran was a resident of West Virginia when they entered military service.
West Virginia Veteran Health Care Benefits
West Virginia Veterans Home
West Virginia has one veterans home, and it is a 150-bed facility, in Barboursville. The home serves as a convenient and comfortable home for veterans in need who were discharged under honorable conditions.
In addition to that, a veteran will also need to:
- be ambulatory and independent in all activities of daily living
- have served on active duty or performed active service in a reserve component of the Armed Forces, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months unless medically discharged or if they enlisted since September 7, 1980
- have served a minimum of 24 months on active duty or the full period they were called for active duty
- be eligible for care at federal VA medical centers
- not have their income exceed those specified by federal VA guidelines
- pass certain pre-admission medical tests
West Virginia Veteran Employment Benefits
Military Incentive Program
West Virginia has a military incentive credit that encourages the employment of veterans and members of the national guard and the reserves in the private sector. The incentive provides tax credits to qualified businesses that employ economically disadvantaged veterans and unemployed members of the West Virginia National Guard and the US Reserves.
West Virginia Veterans Hiring Preference
In West Virginia, they have Veterans Hiring Preference for state employment. In order for five points to be added they need to meet one of the following situations:
- Served on active duty between December 7, 1941 and September 7, 1980
- Be a reservist who was called to active duty between February 1, 1955 and October 14, 1976 and who served for more than 180 days
- Be a reservist who entered active duty between October 15, 1976 and October 13, 1982 and received a campaign badge or expeditionary medal, or who is a disabled veteran
- Enlisted in the Armed Forces after September 7, 1980 or entered active duty other than by enlistment on or after October 14, 1982 and completed 24 months of continuous active duty or the full period they were ordered to service or discharged under 10 U.S.C. 1171 or for hardship and received or was entitled to receive a campaign badge or expeditionary medal or who is a disabled veteran.
An additional 5 points will be added to the veteran’s final score for those who have earned a Purple Heart Award or who have a compensable service-connected disability.
Other Veteran Benefits
Afghanistan Veterans Bonus
In 2005, the House passed a bill that provides for the payment of a veteran bonus to veterans of the Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan conflicts. Since then, the program has ended for Iraq and Kosovo.
The program provides $400 to qualified veterans who served during the designated time frame outside the combat zone, and $600 to those who served in the combat zone, which is the maximum amount given.
In order to qualify, a veteran must have an honorable discharge, or still be in service and must have served on active duty, under Title 10 orders between October 7, 2001 and a date to be determined. They also must have been a resident of the state of West Virginia for the six months immediately prior to entering the Armed Forces. Applications must be made within one year of the end of the veteran’s service.
For more information regarding West Virginia veterans’ benefits, please visit – West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance