The state of Oregon provides several veteran benefits. This section offers a brief description of each of the following benefits.
- Other State Veteran Benefits
Veteran Housing Programs
Oregon Veterans Home Loans
Since 1945, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA) has helped more than 334,000 veterans realize their dreams of owning a home, loaning over $7.5 billion to veterans. ODVA offers a state veterans’ home loan that is an additional and distinctively separate benefit from the Federal VA Home Loan Guaranty Program. The current maximum loan amount is $417,000 for a single family, owner occupied residence and veterans are now eligible to use the loan as a lifetime benefit. The program is designed specifically to provide veterans the lowest interest rate possible and is secured through special federal bonding only available to state home loan programs. ODVA takes pride in achieving consistent high levels of customer satisfaction, and makes every attempt to be flexible and provide and easy application process. A home loan program for honorably discharged veterans with below market interest rates. The eligibility for the program expires 30 years after discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces. ODVA also offers home improvement loans. Toll free information number 1-800-828-8801. Learn more about Oregon Veterans Home Loans at http://www.oregon.gov/ODVA/HOMELOANS/Pages/index.aspx .
Adaptive Assistance: Housing
For service members and veterans with qualifying service-connected disabilities, the federal VA offers several grant programs to help with the cost of purchasing or constructing an adapted home, or modifying an existing residence with special features to accommodate a disability. These grant programs include the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant, the Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant, and the Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant.
Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) Grant — Under the SHA grant program, the VA may approve a grant for the actual cost for adaptations to a veteran’s residence — either their own home or that of a family member with whom they reside — determined by the VA to be reasonably necessary to promote ease and freedom of movement throughout the house. These include, but are not limited to, the installation of covered porches, entry ramps and walkways, security devices, sliding doors, handrails, and grab bars. The grant may also be applied to new home purchases: either toward acquiring a residence that has already been adapted with special features for the veteran’s disability, or to modifying a home which the veteran or hosting family member intends to buy.
Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant — SAH grants provide toward the cost of building, buying, or remodeling adapted homes, or paying indebtedness on homes previously acquired. Additionally, SAH grants can be used to purchase land on which specially-adapted housing is to be built. For more information refer to Federal VA: SHA and SAH Grants
Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology (SAHAT) Grant Program — This federal VA program awards grants to persons or entities to encourage the development of specially-adapted assistive technologies that enhance a disabled veteran’s ability to live independently, such as voice-recognition and voice-command operations, living environment controls, and adaptive feeding equipment.
For more information: Federal VA: Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology (SAHAT) Grant Program
Supplemental Financing Loan Guaranty
Veterans who have available loan guarantee entitlement may also obtain a guaranteed loan or possibly a direct loan from the federal VA to supplement the grants to acquire a specially-adapted home. For more information refer to Federal VA: Home Loans
Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) — This federal VA program provides funding for disabled veterans to make home improvements necessary for the continuation of treatment or for disability access to the home, and essential lavatory and sanitary facilities. Disabled veterans may be eligible for HISA when it is determined medically necessary or appropriate for the effective and economical treatment of the service-connected disability. For more information refer to Federal VA: Home Improvements and Structural Alterations(HISA).
Oregon Veterans Homes
Care at the Oregon Veteran’s Homes is an earned benefit available to veterans, their spouses and parents who had a child die while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. To be eligible for this benefit, qualifying veterans must have served as defined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (Federal VA) and received an honorable discharge from their branch of service. A VA physician’s certification that nursing home care is needed due to a service connected disability may qualify a veterans to be eligible to have some or all of the cost of care at the Veterans’ Home covered by the VA. Typically veterans who have a 70 percent or greater service-connected disability and are in need of skilled nursing care due to their disability may be eligible to have their cost of care covered by the VA. The Homes are Medicare and Medicaid Certified. Veterans living at the Home may be eligible for additional federal benefits which can help them supplement their cost of care. The Admissions Liaison at the Oregon Veterans’ Home is able to assist veterans and their families in obtaining additional federal benefits. Admissions Assistance – The Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs has Admission Liaisons to assist veterans and their families with questions about care and the admissions process at the two homes.
The Dalles Oregon Veterans’ Home
- 700 Veterans’ Drive, The Dalles, Oregon 97058 Tel: (541) 296-7190 or 800-846-8460.
- Program Director Melissa Craig (541) 296-7152
- Admissions Coordinator Diane Wanous, LPN [email protected] Tel: (541) 296-7190 ext. 233
- Website: http://www.thedalles.oregonveteranshomes.com.
The Oregon Veterans’ Home in The Dalles was the first State Veterans Home in Oregon, opening its doors in the fall of 1997. The facility is nestled on a hillside, overlooking the majestic Columbia River, with clear views of the Columba River Gorge. One of the many things that truly sets The Dalles Veterans’ Home apart from other care communities are the residents. The Home is situated on 15 acres located in the historic Columbia Gorge community of The Dalles. Residents have a beautiful panoramic view of the city, the Columbia River, The Dalles Dam and the majestic Mount Hood. The core mission at The Dalles is to provide the state’s aged or disabled veterans with rehabilitative, residential, and medical care and services in a home-like environment. The home also acknowledges the tremendous sacrifice Oregon veterans have made and recognizes them for their noble service to our nation. The Home can care for as many as 151 residents who need long-term care in a care facility that provides skilled nursing, Alzheimer’s and dementia-related care, and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitative care to veterans, their spouses and parents who have lost a child to war-time service. Additional information on what the home offers can be found at:
Lebanon Oregon Veterans’ Home
- 600 North 5th Street, Lebanon, Oregon 97355 Tel: (541) 497 -7265.
- Program Director: Jeremy Woodall [email protected] or (541) 497-7268.
- Admissions Coordinator Glenda Pedersen [email protected] Tel: (541) 570-7477
- Website: http://www.lebanon.oregonveteranshomes.com.
The Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home, located in Lebanon, is the second Veterans’ Home in Oregon. Organized around the idea of an intentional community or neighborhood, this new veterans’ home offers residents a way to maximize normal living environments and routines, provides autonomy, a sense of community, and quality of life. The campus consists of four neighborhoods, up to three houses per neighborhood, and each house accommodates up to 14 eligible residents. Additional information on what the home offers can be found at:
Oregon Property Tax Deferrals
Disabled veterans may qualify to “borrow” from the State of Oregon to pay property taxes to the county. To qualify, veterans must be determined eligible to receive or be receiving federal Social Security disability benefits due to disability or blindness. If you qualify, the Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR) will pay property taxes to the county. Six percent of the taxes are deferred and a lien will be placed on the property. All taxes plus interest and fees must be repaid. Applicants must file their requests with their local county assessor’s office. For more information: Contact your county assessor or visit the Oregon DOR Deferral Programs at https://www.oregon.gov/DOR/programs/property/Pages/deferral.aspx.
Oregon Property Tax Exemption
If you are a disabled veteran, you may be entitled to exempt some of your homestead property’s assessed value from your property taxes. To qualify, veterans must be certified by the VA or any branch of the Armed Forces as having disabilities of 40 percent or more or be certified each year by a licensed physician as being 40 percent or more disabled. Active duty service members, including National Guard and Reserve members, may also qualify for a residential property tax exemption. Property tax exemptions also apply to qualifying surviving spouses of veterans. For more information contact your county assessor or visit the Oregon DOR at https://www.oregon.gov/DOR/programs/property/Pages/exemptions.aspx.
Special Monthly Compensation
The federal VA offers additional compensation, called Special Monthly Compensation, to veterans with very severe service-connected disabilities, or who have lost (or lost the use of) limbs, organs or extremities as a result of their military service. The VA may also pay higher rates of compensation if you have lost or lost the use of more than one limb, organ or extremity, or if it is combined with another service-connected disability or condition, such as blindness or deafness. Special Monthly Compensation may also be paid to veterans, spouses, surviving spouses and parents if they are bedridden, housebound or require the aid and attendance of another person to perform the basic functions of everyday life, such as eating, dressing, bathing and going to the bathroom. Special Monthly Compensation is set based on federal law and is not subject to state or federal income tax. More information about how Special Monthly Compensation is calculated can be found on the federal VA’s website.
Veterans must meet all of the federal VA’s requirements for Disability Compensation to be eligible for Special Monthly Compensation, including having been released from military service under honorable conditions, meaning an honorable or general discharge. Spouses, surviving spouses and parents must meet the requirements for dependency and indemnity compensation to be eligible. See Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and Parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. For more information: Federal VA: Special Monthly Compensation Fact Sheet at https://benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets/serviceconnected/smc.pdf.
Supplemental Financing Loan Guaranty
Veterans who have available home loan guaranty entitlement may also obtain a guaranteed loan, or possibly a direct loan, from the VA to supplement the grants to acquire a specially adapted home. For more information visit https://www.va.gov/housing-assistance/disability-housing-grants.
Parents Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
The financially struggling parents of veterans and service members killed or wounded in the line of duty may be eligible for Parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, a tax-free monetary benefit paid by the federal VA. This benefit is similar to the VA’s Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), which is for the surviving spouses and children of deceased veterans whose deaths were service-connected. The main difference is that, unlike regular DIC, parents’ DIC is also income-based, meaning applicants must have an income below the level set by Congress to qualify. More information about eligibility and how the income rates are calculated can be found on the federal VA’s website https://www.va.gov/disability/parent-dic-rates.
The parent of any service member who died while on active duty or in training, or of any veteran whose death resulted from a service-connected injury or disease, may be eligible for this benefit. Biological, adoptive and foster parents are all eligible, foster parent being defined as a person who stood in the relationship of a parent for at least one year before the veteran or service member’s last entry into active service. To apply the VA requires you to submit evidence in support of your claim, demonstrating that your child was killed in the line of duty or that his or her death resulted from a service-connected condition. This evidence may include service records, medical records and other documentation. For more information: Federal VA: Parents’ Dependency and Indemnity Compensation at https://www.va.gov/disability/dependency-indemnity-compensation.
A number of state and federal programs are available to help veterans get the most out of their careers – whether you are seeking advancement in your current position or looking for the right place in your first civilian job.
Direct Professional Licensing for Military Experience
Veterans leave military service with a wealth of transferable skills and professional experiences. Now, thanks to an Oregon law passed in 2012, you may be able to attain official accreditation for those skills in the civilian workforce. House Bill 4063, designed to quickly get service members back to work after serving in the military, requires certain professional licensing agencies and boards in Oregon to accept military training or experience as an allowable substitution for traditional civilian education or experience required for licensure, certification or registration. That means veterans in certain career fields will not need to go back to school for training that they have already received in the military, saving time and money. Certain professions specified in the bill may have special requirements that must be met in addition to military education or experience. For more information refer to House Bill 4063 of the 2012 Legislative Session.
Employment Opportunities for Homeless Veterans
The Homeless Veteran Supported Employment Program (HVSEP) provides vocational assistance, job development and placement, and ongoing supports to improve employment outcomes among homeless Veterans and Veterans at-risk of homelessness. Formerly homeless Veterans who have been trained as Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists (VRSs) provide these services.
- VA’s Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) Program is a national vocational program comprised of three unique programs which assist homeless Veterans in returning to competitive employment: Sheltered Workshop, Transitional Work, and Supported Employment. Veterans in CWT are paid at least the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher.
- VA’s National Cemetery Administration and Veterans Health Administration have also formed partnerships at national cemeteries, where formerly homeless Veterans from the CWT program have received work opportunities.
- The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program assists Veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. Services that may be provided include: Comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation to determine abilities, skills, and interests for employment; employment services; assistance finding and keeping a job; and On the Job Training (OJT), apprenticeship, and non-paid work experiences.
For more information visit https://www.va.gov/homeless/employment.asp.
Oregon disabled Veterans and Veterans Employment Representatives
Veterans can avail themselves of a number of programs at the state and federal level for assistance with finding employment in the civilian sector.
- Priority of Service: Through WorkSource Oregon, veterans and spouses of veterans may qualify for Priority of Service in employment and training services. This includes priority referrals to jobs and other services over non-veteran applicants with the same qualifications.
- Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOPs): Specialists (DVOPs) and Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) assist veterans in applying for job in federal, state, and local government as well as the private sector. DVOPs and LVERS have offices to serve all veterans in more than 20 Oregon cities.
For more information visit https://www.oregon.gov/EMPLOY/jobseekers/Pages/Veterans.aspx.
Veterans Day Off
In the eyes of the State of Oregon, you, as a military veteran, are entitled to the day off on Veterans Day. According to Senate Bill 1, passed during the Oregon Legislature’s 2013 Regular Session, employers are required to offer eligible veteran employees paid or unpaid time off from work on November 11 of each year in recognition of their national service.
By law, you must give notice and proof-of-service documentation, such as a DD 214, to your employer at least 21 days in advance of Veterans Day. Employers must respond to time-off requests at least 14 days prior to the holiday, confirming explicitly if time off will be granted and whether it will be paid or unpaid. Whether the time off is paid or unpaid is at the discretion of the employer.
Employers may deny the eligible veteran’s request only if the employer can demonstrate that granting the request would cause a significant economic or operational disruption or an undue hardship to the company. In those circumstances, the employer must then allow the eligible veteran a single day off before the following Veterans Day to honor the holiday. That day off must be in addition to any other time off to which the employee would otherwise be entitled.
For more information refer to Senate Bill 1 from the Oregon Legislature’s 2013 Regular Session at https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB1/Enrolled
Veterans and disabled veterans receive preference when applying for federal, state, county, and local government jobs in Oregon.
Oregon Public Sector Veterans’ Preference
Thanks to an Oregon law first passed by the Legislature in 1977, public employers must grant preference to a veteran or disabled veteran who applies for a vacant civil service position — whether as a new hire or as a promotion from within — at any state, county or local government agency. To receive preference, you must successfully clear an initial application screening, satisfy any applicable exam or civil service test, and meet the minimum and any special qualifications for the job. Veterans’ Preference does not compel a public employer to hire a veteran or disabled veteran based solely on their veteran status; however, it does require that an eligible veteran or disabled veteran be appointed when their application assessment, combined with applicable veterans’ preference points, is equal to or higher than that of a non-veteran. For more information refer to Oregon Veterans’ Preference. Veterans’ Preference is granted in accordance with Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 408.225, 408.230, and 408.235; Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 105-040-0010 and 105-040-0015. You can read the Veteran Preference OARs here.
Federal Veterans’ Preference
Veterans who meet certain qualifications receive preference over other applicants when applying for federal government jobs in both the competitive and excepted service. Detailed in Title 5 of the United States Code, veterans’ preference can be confusing. Eligibility is based on length and dates of active duty service, a service-connected disability, or receipt of a campaign badge or Purple Heart. Not all active duty service may qualify for veterans’ preference. Unlike Oregon state Veterans’ Preference, which only has two preference categories, federal employment allows for THREE types of eligible preferences: disabled veterans (10-point preference), non-disabled veterans (five-point preference) and sole survivorship (zero-point preference).
To be eligible for veterans’ preference by federal employers, you must have been discharged or released under honorable conditions.
For more information refer to https://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/vets/vetpref/mservice.htm.
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program
This federal VA program provides education and job training to aid your transition back into the civilian workforce. It applies to veterans in general, but also has specific provisions for disabled veterans and their family members. Find out more at Federal VA: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services.
Education Assistance Benefits
National Guard State Tuition Aid
The Oregon National Guard State Tuition Assistance (ONGSTA) program provides 100% funding for tuition at no more than the state residency rate to eligible Oregon Army and Air National Guard members at Oregon public universities and Oregon community colleges. The ONGSTA program provides an additional opportunity for eligible ONG members to obtain an associate or baccalaureate degree without being concerned with the obstacles of paying out of pocket tuition costs. For more information visit oregonstudentaid.gov/state-tuition-assistance.aspx
Post 911 GI Bill
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to honorably discharged veterans with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits; generally benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty. You qualify for this benefit if you:
- Served at least 90 days aggregate service on Title 10 Active Duty or Title 32 Active Guard Reserve Duty on or after September 11, 2001 or;
- Were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days; and
- Received an honorable discharge.
- Maintain enrollment at more than half-time in a VA-approved training program. Programs include undergraduate or graduate degrees, vocational training, licensing and certification exams, in addition to others.
- Full tuition and fees paid directly to your school (you must be an in-state student attending a public institution).
- If you attend a private or foreign school, tuition & fees are capped at the national maximum rate of $18,077.50.
- A Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) equal to the active duty Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. Click here to determine your MHA.
- If you are attending solely by distance learning, you will receive one half of the BAH national average.
- MHA is not payable to individuals on active duty or those enrolled at half-time or less.
- An annual books and supplies stipend of $1,000.
- A one-time rural benefit payment.
- Transferability of benefits to dependents and spouses of veterans with six years of active duty service.
For more information visit https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/post-9-11.
Tillman Military Scholars Program
The Pat Tillman Foundation’s Tillman Military Scholars program is another great resource for removing financial barriers to higher education. Each year, this program awards a select number of scholarships to veterans across the country to cover not only direct study-related expenses such as tuition and fees, but also other needs, including housing and child care. Both veterans and their spouses are eligible to apply. For more information: contact your campus veteran services office or visit https://pattillmanfoundation.org.
Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB)
For qualified veterans, the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) can be a valuable resource for reducing the cost of education and training programs. This benefit can be used to pay for up to 36 months of costs for many different programs including:
- College degrees (undergraduate and graduate)
- Technical or Vocational Training
- Distance Learning or Correspondence Courses
- Apprenticeships/Job Training
- Flight Training
- Licensing and Certification Tests
- Entrepreneurship Training
- Certain Entrance Examinations
Generally, these benefits must be accessed within 10 years of your separation from active duty. Unlike the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill is not transferable to veterans’ family members. You may be eligible for this benefit if you have an honorable discharge and you have a high school diploma or GED, and if the nature of your service meets all of the requirements of one of four VA qualification categories. For more information visit https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/montgomery-active-duty.
Tuition Assistance Top Up
Top-up allows the federal VA to reimburse you for all or a portion of the charges for your college courses that are not covered under certain military education programs. The amount of this benefit can be equal to the difference between the total cost of a college course and the amount of Tuition Assistance (TA) that is paid by the military for the course. To be eligible for the Top-up benefit, you must be approved for federal TA by a military department and be eligible for either Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) – Active Duty benefits or the Post-9/11 GI Bill. For more information visit https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/how-to-use-benefits/tuition-assistance-top-up.
Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program
This federal program provides additional funds toward your education expenses at a number of participating colleges and universities nationwide. It is meant to fill the payment gap in situations where the maximum amount awarded by your Post 9/11 GI Bill falls short of the total cost of attendance at your school. Institutions voluntarily enter into a Yellow Ribbon Agreement with VA and choose the amount of tuition and fees that will be contributed. VA matches that amount and issues payments directly to the institution, with no additional charge to your GI Bill entitlement. Contact your institution to see if they participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. To access this benefit, you must:
- Be entitled to the maximum benefit rate of the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
- Not be on active duty or a spouse using transferred entitlement.
- Dependent transferees may be eligible in certain circumstances.
- Be attending an institution participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
- Your school must certify your enrollment to the VA.
- Your school must have not offered Yellow Ribbon to more than the maximum number of individuals, as stated in their participation agreement.
For more information visit https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/post-9-11/yellow-ribbon-program.
Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
REAP provides educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called to active duty in response to a war or national emergency declared by the president or Congress. Eligible veterans must be a member of a Ready Reserve component (Selected Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve, or Inactive National Guard) to pay into the “buy-up” program. National Guard members are eligible if they were serving under Title 32 orders for 90 consecutive days as authorized by the president or secretary of defense for a national emergency and that was supported by federal funds.
Noteworthy: The Post-9/11 GI Bill in many ways has replaced REAP because it also provides educational assistance benefits for Reserve and National Guard members called to active duty on or after September 11, 2001, and in many cases provides a greater benefit than REAP. For more information visit https://www.va.gov/education/other-va-education-benefits/reap.
College Credit for Military Training
You can receive college credit for certain types of education and training you received in the military, saving you money and time as you pursue your education goals. All universities and local community colleges throughout Oregon accept guidance from the American Council on Education (ACE), which provides recommendations on how to award academic credit for military training. To claim college credit for military training, request a transcript from your military service branch and submit it to your local higher learning institution. Request a transcript: Veterans of the Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy can access their Joint Services Transcript (JST) online by visiting the JST website. Air Force veterans should contact https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Barnes/CCAF to receive transcripts.
Nonresident Veteran In-State Tuition
Attending college in Oregon is now more affordable for some recently-relocated veterans thanks to an Oregon law eliminating out-of-state education costs. Oregon House Bill 2158, signed into law in the summer of 2013, states that if you are a veteran of the armed forces pursuing undergraduate studies at a public institution in Oregon, you will pay tuition rates and fees no greater than the Oregon resident rate — even if you are not yet considered a permanent resident of the state. These savings also apply to veterans’ dependents using transferred benefits, as well as orphans of veterans who died on active duty. Note: Certain online-only programs may be excluded from this program. This benefit does not apply to graduate students or active duty military members or their dependents.
For Graduate Students — Similar to the above program, HB 4021, signed into law in the spring of 2014, reduces out-of-state tuition costs for nonresident veterans attending graduate school in Oregon. Under this program, qualified student-veterans will have their nonresident tuition reduced after all other VA benefits and Gift Aid (grants and fee remissions) have been deducted. Loans received through financial aid do not fall into this category. For more information: contact the veterans’ service office or financial aid office at your local institution.
Voyager Aid Program for Oregon National Guard and Reserve
Voyager is a tuition benefit that is available to Oregon veterans who served as members of the National Guard or Reserves in an active duty capacity in a combat zone on or after September 11, 2001. Under this program, eligible student veterans will be awarded a fee remission for no more than the difference between campus tuition and mandatory fees and expected military tuition benefits. This program is meant to work in conjunction with other educational aid programs; thus, you are still responsible for obtaining federal military tuition benefits. If you are not eligible for federal tuition benefits, you must demonstrate proof of ineligibility.
Voyager is a “last dollar award,” meaning it works to ensure that you do not pay tuition costs if your other federal military education benefits fall short. The typical maximum length of the award is four years for undergraduate programs (a fifth year may be approved under certain programs). This benefit is only available to those seeking their initial bachelor’s degree, and it carries a maximum credit limit of 15 course credits beyond the minimum needed for degree completion. The Voyager Tuition Assistance Program does not cover E-Campus or Distance courses. This benefit is not transferable to a veteran’s spouse or dependents. For more information: Contact your campus financial services office.
Statewide Apprenticeships (BOLI)
Are you a veteran seeking training in the construction, industrial or manufacturing trades? If so, you may be able to use your veterans’ educational benefits for apprenticeship programs such as Oregon Apprenticeship Opportunities Statewide. This program, offered through the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) in partnership with Oregon businesses and local apprenticeship committees, offers career opportunities through paid on-the-job training and education, with a focus on building and industrial career fields. If an existing apprenticeship program does not have an approved veteran’s program in place, you can coordinate the establishment of a new training program by communicating with an employer and the Apprenticeship and Training Division. For more information visit https://www.oregon.gov/boli/apprenticeship/pages/default.aspx.
Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance Program (DEA)
This program offers education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition or of veterans who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition. Benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. Find more information visit https://www.va.gov/education/survivor-dependent-benefits/dependents-education-assistance.
Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
VEAP is available if you elected to make contributions from your military pay to participate in this education benefit program. The government matches your contributions on a 2-for-1 basis. Educational programs for which these benefits may be used include college degree and certificate programs, technical or vocational training, flight training, apprenticeships, and licensing and certification tests, as well as various others. Benefit entitlement is for one to 36 months, depending on the number of monthly contributions. You have 10 years from your release from active duty to use VEAP benefits. If the entitlement is not used after the 10-year period, your portion remaining in the fund will be automatically refunded. If you are currently on active duty and wish to receive VEAP benefits, you must have at least three months of contributions available. For more information visit https://www.va.gov/education/other-va-education-benefits/veap.
Oregon Hunting and Fishing Licenses
A free lifetime Oregon hunting and angling license to service-connected disabled veterans rated 25% or more. Disabled veterans are also eligible for an Oregon Elk tag at a reduced cost. Active members of the armed forces or veterans who retired from the Armed Forces within 12 months of the date of application, may apply to the Oregon Military Department for reimbursement for the cost of a resident annual hunting and angling license. For more info refer to https://myodfw.com/articles/hunters-and-anglers-disabilities.
Special Access Pass for Disabled Veterans
Service-connected disabled veterans can apply for this pass from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Passes are valid for four years and allow free year-round camping and day-use privileges at RV and tent sites at 26 Oregon State Parks.
Service-connected disabled Veterans get free parking at the 26 state parks that charge a day-use parking fee. They also receive free camping costs in RV sites, tent campsites & standard horse camp sites. You may camp for free in a tent, RV or standard horse camp site for 10 nights at a time at a single state park, or a total of 10 nights in a 30 day period, regardless of the location. If you stay longer than 10 nights at a park, you will pay the standard rate for the extra days. For more info refer to https://stateparks.oregon.gov/?do=v.page&id=19
Active Duty Leave Reimbursement
Active duty military members on official leave are eligible to be reimbursed for state park visits. After your visit, send the camping receipt for the dates of your stay, and a letter from your CO on official letterhead stating you were on leave for the dates you camped. The refund request must arrive no later than 30 days after departure date of your stay. Send a receipt to Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept., Reservations Northwest, 2501 SW 1st Ave., Suite 100, Portland, OR 97201-4751. For more info refer to https://stateparks.oregon.gov/?do=v.page&id=19
America the Beautiful Parks Pass Series
The America the Beautiful Parks Pass Series is your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Included in this series are two passes that benefit current service members and disabled veterans. A free annual pass (normally $80) is available to active duty military, reserve and National Guard members and their dependents. A free access pass is also available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a permanent disability. Each pass covers entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges, standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. You can obtain a pass in person, with proper documentation, from a participating federal recreation site or office. For more info refer to https://store.usgs.gov/pass/military.html
Other State Veteran Benefits
Permanent Vehicle Registration Fee for Disabled Veterans
One-time registration fee for motor vehicle registration for service-connected disabled veterans in receipt of compensation. Disabled veterans must provide proof that the qualifying disability is connected with service in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Oregon Veteran License Plates
Veterans may purchase a license plate set displaying the word VETERAN for a $10 surcharge in addition to normal fees from a local Oregon Division of Motor Vehicles office. The $10 surcharge goes to the support of the Oregon Veterans’ Home. Proof of honorable military service is required. Former POWs, members of the active Oregon National Guard and certain veteran service organization names are available on license plates. The following plates are available to veterans:
|Available License Plates|
Oregon Public Records
Certified copies of Oregon marriage, death, divorce, and birth records for VA claims purposes are provided free of charge. Also note that county clerks will record veterans’ discharge papers (DD Form 214) and provide copies of recorded documents free of charge.
Veteran Benefit Magazine
ODVA makes available a wide variety of free online and print publications. From the annual Veteran Benefits Magazine to weekly news updates. To view online or request/subscribe copies go to https://www.oregon.gov/odva/Connect/Pages/Publications.aspx. For questions, email [email protected] or call (503) 373-2389.
Request a Copy of DD-214, Medals, or Service Records
Veterans or their next of kin who need assistance in obtaining services records, a DD-214, or replacement awards and medals must formally request them through the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). The NPRC is the records custodian for most discharged and retired members of all branches of service. The fastest way to obtain a copy is through their eVetRecs. For more information visit National Personnel Records Center at https://www.archives.gov/veterans.
From burial at Willamette National Cemetery to a Presidential Memorial Certificate, there are many ways our nation honors and remembers its fallen heroes. The federal VA offers free headstones to mark the gravesite of any eligible veteran, or even a cash allowance to help cover the cost of funeral and burial expenses. Explore below for more detailed information about the various benefits that are available to ensure every veteran is laid to rest with the honor and dignity they deserve.
- Burial Flag
- Headstones and Markers
- Bronze Medallions for Headstones and Markers
- Burial at Sea
- Military Funeral Honors
- Presidential Memorial Certificates
Veteran Service Offices
Every county in Oregon has a Veteran Services Office with federally accredited and state-certified veteran service officers. These VSOs provide benefits counseling, represent and advocate for veterans, their dependents and survivors in obtaining benefits to which they are entitled. VSOs are trained and experienced in navigating the federal VA process to ensure claims are submitted accurately and efficiently, for no fee. Find the contact info of your county’s Veterans Service Office at https://www.oregon.gov/odva/Services/Pages/County-Services.aspx.
[Source: http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-state-benefits/oregon-state-veterans-benefits.html | September 2020 ++]