State Benefits Series: Each state has their own department of veterans affairs, but many veterans are not aware of what benefits these state departments offer that are different from the federal Dept. Va. This series hopes to clear that up. In alphabetical order, we will tell you what each state offers. Some articles will have just one state, and some will have several states.
Each state is divided into several categories, so you can easily see an overview of the benefits available in that section. The categories are: Education, Employment/Retirement, Taxes, Vehicles Licensing, Death/Burial, and Other Benefits.
There are no education benefits specifically for Veterans, but because many veterans’ children continue the “family tradition” of military service, we want to include the education benefits below, which are available to Colorado Army and Air National Guard members.
Tuition Waiver: Colorado provides tuition for 34 colleges in the state. This tuition waiver is available to all Colorado residents who are active members of the Colorado National Guard. (Air or Army) To see the list of schools, and more information, go here.
Extra Points on Civil Service Exams: Disabled veterans receive an extra 10 points, while non-disabled veterans receive an extra 5 points to their exam when applying for a civil service position.
Property Tax Reduction: For eligible veterans, 50% of the taxes assessed on the first $200,000 of property value are removed. This only applies to the primary residence of the veteran, and only one primary residence can be claimed. Details on property ownership, including if the veteran’s spouse is the only listed owner, and application instructions can be found here.
Honorably discharged veterans who are awarded 100% total and permanent disability from the Dept. VA.
Income Tax Waiver for Retirement Pay: Veterans who have retired (honorably served 20 or more years and are receiving retirement benefits from the DoD) from the military may exclude the first $20,000 per year of their retirement pay.
Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado: Colorado maintains a cemetery for veterans who are residents of the state.
Qualifications for internment:
Any Colorado resident, who, while a member of any branch of the U.S. military, dies while on active duty.
Any Colorado resident who was discharged from the military with any designation other than “dishonorable,” with service lasting at least 24 months. There are some exceptions to this 24 month requirement that vary with time of service, and specifications pertaining to activation of National Guard and Reserve branches.
There are several other qualifying groups, such as WWII Merchant Marines, and certain public health service personnel. Go here to see these details.
Free Vehicle License Plates: Veterans who received the Medal of Honor or Purple Heart Medal, who were designated as a Prisoner of War, or who are 50% or greater disabled are able to receive special vehicle license plates at no charge for a single vehicle. License plates for other veterans’ circumstances are available for a small fee.
State Veterans Home and State Veterans Nursing Home: Colorado maintains one Veterans Home, and four Veterans Nursing Homes throughout the state.
Free Fishing License: No charge for fishing licenses for veterans who are a patient at a Dept. VA hospital in the state of Colorado, or veterans who are considered 100% totally and permanently disabled.
Free Small Game and Fishing Combination License: No charge for this combination license for Colorado resident veterans who are 60% or more disabled.
A Family Relief Fund: Again, this is for the families of National Guard and Active Duty military families. We are including it because we want to make sure that our readership who is, or knows, military families that may be in need are informed. Colorado has created a family relief fund to help the families of certain activated military members. This is not an emergency fund, but instead assistance provided to families that just need that little bit of extra help. Please read more here.
Photo thanks to jimmywayne under creative commons license on Flickr.