Vermont State Veteran’s Benefits 2020

The state of Vermont provides veteran benefits. This section offers a brief description of each of the following benefits.

  • Veteran Housing
  • Financial Assistance
  • Employment and Training Assistance
  • Education
  • Veteran Recreation
  • Other State Veteran

Visit the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs website veterans.vermont.gov for contact information and benefits assistance.

Veteran Housing Programs

Bennington Vermont Veterans’ Home

The state of Vermont runs a veterans home in Bennington in which Vermont Vets have priority for admission to the Vermont Veterans Home (VVH).  Veterans from other states are welcome to apply. Eligible Veterans are those who served at least ninety days in the Armed Forces of the United States and were discharged under honorable conditions. Gold Star parents and spouses of qualified Veterans also are eligible for admission.

The original estate that houses Vermont Veterans’ Home was constructed in 1860. In 1884, recognizing the need to care for veterans disabled in the Civil War, the State General Assembly appointed Trustees of a Soldiers’ Home and authorized a $10,000 appropriation as initial funding. The first of twenty-five residents was admitted on May 18, 1887. On April 14, 1971, the Soldiers’ Home was renamed the Vermont Veterans’ Home.

Overall Campus

Construction of a cemetery began in 1884 with one acre devoted to the burial of Civil War veterans. Expanded to 17 acres, and containing about 300 gravesites, burial is now restricted to residents of the VVH. Significant capital construction began in the 1960’s including renovation of the administration building, residential areas, and dining room, and construction of new nursing care units, a chapel, social hall, gazebo, and bandstand.

The Vermont Veterans’ Home property includes a public picnic area and an enclosed area known as the Deer Park. The picnic area has long been a stopping point for residents and visitors alike. This area includes spacious lawns, shade trees, a pond, and picnic tables as well as a close view of the deer yard. The deer yard enclosure is home to approximately 20 Fallow deer. The Veterans’ Home staff cares for the deer herd year round. It has been a source of great interest for thousands of visitors annually. The fish pond is a natural marvel. Situated at the north end of the grounds, it was originally a drainage pond. In the early 1990’s, it was enlarged, stocked with trout, provided with a dock, dam, and a ramp for wheelchair accessibility. Today it provides part of our water needs for the geothermal installation. It contains literally hundreds of large trout and is the setting for several fishing derbies for the enjoyment of all ages.

In the past several years, other significant additions and renovations occurred, including a geothermal system for heating and cooling, and renovation of four residential units, and development of a memorial area which includes monuments dedicated to Vermont Medal of Honor winners, Gold Star Mothers, and Vermont Veterans. Lighting systems, electronic controls, and information systems have been updated. The home publishes a monthly newsletter “The Buzz” accessible at vvh.vermont.gov/about-us/newsletter. Vermont Veterans Home videos can be accessed at vvh.vermont.gov/content/vermont-veterans-home-videos.

The VVH has the full support of many military-oriented community organizations. Among these – in Bennington and the surrounding area – are chapters of the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, the Vietnam Veterans of America and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Additionally, other service organizations such as the Elks are significantly involved in activities of the VVH. Among the activities sponsored by these very active organizations are picnics, steak nights, fishing derbies, bingo and movies. Additionally, the local high school encourages residents to attend musical and sporting events, the Bennington Museum provides annual passes, and the Recreation Center offers reduced rates to residents.

The 177 bed nursing home provides a full range of care, including skilled nursing home care, and accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. Veterans without Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance will have to pay for their care, but the home’s staff will help make sure all available insurance programs are used if the individual is eligible. The VVH accepts private payment, Medicare, and Vermont and New York Medicaid. Other insurers may require special arrangements. If you are a Service Connected Disable Veteran with a rating of 70% or higher the VA will cover your stay with us. (The VVH is not affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs.) The Admissions Coordinator will answer your questions by telephone, e-mail, traditional mail, or in a personal meeting. For information email the Admission Department or call 802-447-6539. If you are a Veteran not enrolled in VA healthcare or not sure about VA benefits available to you contact State of Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs: Paul Perreault 802-828-2874.

Goals focus on dignity, independence, and the highest quality of life for each resident. The home is located at 325 North Street, Bennington, VT 05201 Tel: 1-802-447-6523 E-mail: [email protected]. The home offers a complete range of specialized health care services which include:

  • A top notch skilled nursing and a certified dementia unit that is innovative and provides care that is tailored to residents with those specific needs. Every staff member that works in the dementia unit goes through extensive training that provides them with the skills they need to help residents that have dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc. This allows everyone to provide the best possible care.
  • Namaste and Music and Memory Therapy
  • Certified Alzheimer’s Unit.
  • Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Medical Social Work
  • Respite Care
  • Registered Dietician
  • Podiatry Care
  • Dental Services
  • End of Life Care
  • Chapel and Pastoral Care on Campus
  • Transportation to Medical Appointments
  • Guest Room for Family Members

The Vermont Veterans’ Home is a community for all Veterans of military service, not just those that have served during war time. You can confirm your eligibility with their admissions team. To apply for residency at the Vermont Veterans’ Home, there are a few steps that need to be taken.

  1. At vvh.vermont.gov/sites/vahome/files/VVH_Admission__Application_.pdf download the application and fill it out to the best of your ability
  2. Fill out the supporting documents indicated at vvh.vermont.gov/Admissionsat
  3. Call to set up a tour and meet with an admission representative
  4. Submit the applications with all current medical information attached and a copy of discharge paperwork from the armed forces (DD 214 of VA HINK)

VA Nursing Homes

Veterans who are 70% service-connected disabled or higher can stay at nursing homes operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs free of charge. The closest VA operated nursing home is in North Hampton, Massachusetts. It is recommend veterans discuss this option with their Primary Care Provider at the VA.

Community Nursing Home Care Paid for by VA

Veterans who are 70% service-connected disabled or higher can stay at some community nursing homes free of charge, as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will pay for their care. It is recommend veterans discuss this option with their Primary Care Provider at the VA.

Homeless Veterans

1. Where Homeless Veterans Find Emergency Shelter — The best way to find shelters is by contacting Vermont 211. You can do this by dialing 2-1-1- from any phone. The call is toll free. You can also visit the Vermont 211 website www.vt211.org. Here’s how to find the list on their website to find an updated list of shelters. At the bottom of the page is a list of shelters.

  • Go to the Vermont 211 Website
  • Click on the “Search the 211 Network of Services” link on the right of the page
  • Click the “See a List of Services by Category” button
  • Click the “Basic Needs” link at the top of the list
  • Click the “+” next to the “Housing – Emergency Shelter/Transitional Housing” option
  • Select the Emergency Shelter Description that best suits your situation.

2. Transitional Housing for Veterans — Vermont now has four programs that provide homeless veterans with individualized assistance to reintegrate them back into the community. They focus on long-term assistance, with most veterans staying between six months to a year or longer. Emergency shelter is not provided, as veterans must submit an application to participate.

  • Canal Street Veteran Housing, Winooski – (802) 864-7402
  • The Dodge House, Rutland – (802) 775-6772
  • Veterans Inc., Bradford – (866) 627-7838
  • The Veterans Place, Northfield – (802) 485-8874

3. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a homeless coordinator that works out of the WRJ VA Medical Center. She travels the state to assist homeless veterans, and is also a great resource for shelters.

WRJ VA Medical Center Homeless Coordinator – (802) 295-9363 Ext. 6184

4. Community Shelters for Single Adults

  • Good Samaritan Haven, 105 North Seminary Street, Barre, VT 05641 (802) 479-2294
  • Morningside Shelter, 81 Morningside Drive, Brattleboro, VT 05301 (802) 257-0066
  • ANEW Place, 89 North Street, Burlington, VT 05401 (802) 862-9879
  • Committee On Temporary Shelter (COTS) Waystation Shelter, 189 Church Street, Burlington, VT 05401 (802) 862-7776 After Hours – After 6:30pm (802) 862-5418 Day Station/Way Station
  • Tri County Community Action Programs, Upper Valley Community Office, 57 Mechanic Street, Suite 5, Lebanon, NH 03766 (603) 443-6150 Information & Services (603) 448-4400 After Hours
  • Middlebury Transitional Care Coalition, 27 North Pleasant Street, Charter House, Middlebury, VT 05753 (802) 388-5381
  • Northeast Kingdom Community Action Transitional Housing / Shelter, 343 Main Street, Newport, VT 05855 (802) 334-0184
  • Open Door Mission, 31 Park Street, Rutland, VT 05701 (802) 775-5661
  • Samaritan House, 20 Kingman Street, Saint Albans, VT 05478 (802) 527-0847
  • John W. Graham Emergency Shelter, 69 Main Street, Vergennes, VT 05491 (802) 877-2677 (802) 877-2048 After Hours – 5:30pm-8:30am-Shelter only

5. Community Shelters for Families

  • Good Samaritan Haven, 105 North Seminary Street, Barre, VT 05641 (802) 479-2294
  • Morningside Shelter, 81 Morningside Drive, Brattleboro, VT 05301 (802) 257-0066
  • Burlington Emergency Shelter, 89 North Street, Burlington, VT 05401 (802) 862-9879
  • Committee On Temporary Shelter (COTS) Waystation Shelter, 189 Church Street, Burlington, VT 05401 (802) 862-7776 After Hours – After 6:30pm (802) 862-5418 Day Station/Way Station
  • Firehouse Family Shelter, 120 North Champlain Street, Burlington, VT 05401 (802) 862-6567
  • Middlebury Transitional Care Coalition, 27 North Pleasant Street, Charter House, Middlebury, VT 05753 (802) 388-5381
  • Northeast Kingdom Community Action Transitional Housing / Shelter, 343 Main Street, Newport, VT 05855 (802) 334-0184
  • Good Samaritan Haven, 05 North Seminary Street, Barre, VT 05641 (802) 479-2294
  • John W. Graham Emergency Shelter, 69 Main Street, Vergennes, VT 05491 (802) 877-2677 (802) 877-2048 After Hours – 5:30pm-8:30am-Shelter only
  • Upper Valley Haven, 713 Hartford Avenue, White River Junction, VT 05001 (802) 295-6500

6. Community Shelters for Mentally Ill Homeless

  • Howard Center Safe Haven, 133 King Street, Burlington, VT 05401 (802) 488-6229

Financial Assistance Programs

Income Tax Benefits

Active duty pay earned while out-of-state is not taxed. Up to $2,000 in guard/reserve pay is not taxed.

Property Tax Reduction

The following are eligible for the Property Tax exemption:

  • Veterans receiving Disability Compensation at a rating of 50% or higher
  • Veterans receiving Non-Service Connected Pension (also called Improved Pension)
  • Veterans collecting military retirement pay for a medical military retirement
  • Unmarried Surviving spouses of veterans who had received the exemption (surviving spouses may also be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation or Death Pension. Go to veterans.vermont.gov/sites/ova/files/Property%20Tax%20APPLICATION%20fillable.pdf for the application form.

The exemption level varies from town to town. State law mandates a minimum $10,000 exemption, although towns are given the option of increasing the exemption to $40,000. The exemption reduces the appraised value of the home prior to the assessment of taxes. For example: An eligible veteran lives in a home valued at $200,000. The veteran’s town provides a $20,000 exemption. The veteran’s home will be taxed at $180,000. Veterans who would like to have their town increase their exemption must go through their town’s local procedures for having a measure placed on an election ballot for town voters to consider. The exemption only applies to homes that are owned by the veteran or survivor; and is the primary residence.  Veterans or survivors who rent their homes cannot pass this exemption on to their landlord. To receive the exemption, the veteran must provide proof of eligibility to the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs.

Most veterans will have to provide proof of eligibility every year before 1 MAY. Veterans who are determined to be totally and permanently disabled only have to provide proof of eligibility the first year they use the benefit for a home (if they move to a new home in a different town, they will have to provide proof of eligibility again). They also must provide proof of eligibility by 1 MAY. Proof of eligibility is provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Our recommendation is to call the VA no later than April 1st to request this documentation. The proof of eligibility may also be obtained through ebenefits or by calling the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits at (800) 827-1000.

Property Tax Credit Claim

Like other homeowners, veterans may qualify for a property tax credit. This Property Tax Credit claim is made in conjunction with the Homestead Declaration. The state education property tax may then be adjusted based on a percentage of household income. You will need the following forms to file a Property Tax Credit Claim:

  • Form HS-122, Homestead Declaration and Property Tax Credit Claim
  • Schedule HI-144, Household Income

Note: When completing HS-122 be sure to enter the house site value and property taxes as shown in the housesite section of your property tax bill. Also, when completing HS-144 remember household income is different from the income reported on the income tax forms. It includes both taxable and non-taxable income. Social Security, nontaxable pensions, some gifts, and all benefits paid by VA are considered part of household income and need to be reported on line b of HI-144.

Emergency Financial Assistance and Financial Support

1. Who to Contact First when Having Trouble Making Ends Meet — Veterans and their families who are having a hard time with basic life necessities such as food, shelter, utilities, etc., should contact Vermont 211. (www.vermont211.org). This program has an inventory of all the federal, state, and local resources available to Vermonters. This includes local food shelves, state assistance programs, local private organizations, etc. They are available 24 hours a day, every day. Just dial 2-1-1 from any phone in Vermont to get connected.

2. Who to Contact Next — After 211, veterans should visit their local Agency of Human Services’ Economic Services Division. The folks in this division administer programs that can provide emergency funds, food, and heating assistance. They are an especially important contact for families with children. We recommend you follow the link below to find the local office that is closest to you.

3. Financial Assistance Program Specifically for Veterans — The Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs administers the Vermont Veteran Assistance Fund. This program can provide a one-time payment to Vermont veterans or their families who are in a financial crisis and need help paying for a critical need, such as housing and utilities. The amount of assistance provided can be up to $500. Applications are done over the phone and takes about 10 minutes to complete. Vermont residency is required.

  • Office of Veterans Affairs Toll Free (for in State) – (888) 666-9844
  • Office of Veterans Affairs Direct Dial – (802) 828-3379

4. Financial Assistance Programs for Military Families — The Vermont National Guard’s family support section administers several funds to help families who are in financial hardship, especially families in financial hardship because of a deployment. Their programs are not limited to only the guard, as they assist active duty and reserve families as well.

5. Private Organizations That Provide Financial Assistance — Below are some resources from private organizations that are available to help veterans and their families.

  • Friends of Veterans – (802) 296-8368 or www.fovvtnh.org
  • EasterSeals of VT – (802) 223-4744 or www.easterseals.com/vt
  • Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) – (802) 656-3232 or toll free (844) 820-3232

6. American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Vietnam Veterans of America — Many American Legion and VFW posts have an emergency assistance fund for veterans and their families. We recommend veterans get in touch with their local post. In addition, the American Legion service officer in White River Junction operates a financial assistance program, as does the Vietnam Veterans of America.

  • American Legion & Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) (802) 296-5166
  • Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) – (802) 447-0407
  • Disabled American Veterans (DAV) – (802) 296 5167
  • Military Order of the Purple Heart – (802) 868 4488

7. Local Churches

Many churches also have emergency assistance funds and can be approached to assist with a financial crisis.

Veteran Employment Programs

DOL

The Vermont Department of Labor (DOL) has trained staff composed of Veterans and non-veteran staff at their Career Resource Centers to help veterans find work. They can also provide assistance with identifying job training needs and funds for training.  If you’re a veteran looking for work, call the Career Resource Center closest to you:

  • Barre Resource Center – (802) 476-2600
  • Bennington Resource Center – (802) 442-6376
  • Brattelboro Resource Center – (802) 254-4555
  • Burlington Resource Center – (802) 863-7676
  • Middlebury Resource Center – (802) 388-4921
  • Morrisville Resource Center – (802) 888-4545
  • Rutland Resource Center – (802) 786-5837
  • St. Albans Resource Center – (802) 524-6585
  • Springfield Resource Center – (802) 885-2167

Programs Available to Help Disabled Veterans Find Work

The Vermont Department of Labor administers the Jobs for Veterans State Grant which provides staff to assist disabled veterans and veterans with barriers to employment, find suitable employment. The Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Representatives travel throughout the state to work with disabled veterans at any one of the 12 regional offices, including the VA at White River Junction.  Drop in or call a Career Resource Center nearest you for assistance.

Government Employment Options

Many veterans decide to continue working in the government sector. Below is information on how to apply for state and federal employment.

  • State of Vermont Civil Service — Search and apply for state jobs entirely online at Department of Human Resources Career Center. Veterans have increased access to state hiring, as they can apply for positions that are normally only eligible for current state employees. Contact their Human Resources Department at (800) 640-1657 or visit their website for more information.
  • U.S. Government Civil Service — Search and apply for federal jobs entirely online at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), USAJOBS Website. Vermont has numerous opportunities to serve with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Homeland Security. Veterans have strong hiring preferences for federal positions.
  • State of Vermont State Police — The Vermont State Police is the largest police agency in the state. Contact their recruiting office for more information at (802) 483-2606.
  • Vermont National Guard — You can continue your military service in a reserve capacity in Vermont Army or Air National Guard. In addition to defending our nation, Guard members defend our state by responding to disasters such as flooding and ice storms. Guard service provides a wide assortment of benefits for veterans and their families.
  • Vermont State Guard — Vermonters also have the opportunity to serve in a volunteer capacity. Members of the State Guard provide back up to the National Guard during emergency responses. For more information, call (802) 338-3045.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation helps people with disabilities prepare for employment that both meets their needs. It can involve career retraining, going back to school, or learning how to continue doing what you’ve done before in a different way. The end goal for both programs is finding meaningful employment. There are two programs that operate in Vermont that go by the same name of Voc Rehab, which is short for Vocational Rehabilitation. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs operates a Voc Rehab program specifically for disabled veterans. The Vermont Agency of Human Services operates a Voc Rehab program for any Vermonter with disabilities. Because every disabled veteran has unique interests and needs, there is no cookie cutter approach to determining what will work best for your situation. Your best bet is to contact both programs, discuss your goals, and then choose the program that works best for you. This may mean using both!

1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation — VA Voc Rehab is for veterans who have service connected disabilities. Typically, veterans must have a disability rating of 20% or higher, but veterans with a 10% rating also qualify if their service connected disability poses a significant employment handicap. If approved for VA Voc Rehab, the VA will pay for a veteran to attend college or a training program that has an employment goal upon completion, to include a subsistence stipend. Applications can be made directly to the VA, but veterans can get help with the application from an accredited service officer. Applicants for VA Voc Rehab should definitely make contact with the Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP) professional nearest them, as they will have insight into what careers have job opportunities in their area. In Vermont, all VA Voc Rehab administration is handled in White River Junction.

  • VA Vocational Rehabilitation – (800) 827-1000
  • American Legion Veteran Service Officer (Office at White River Junction) – (802) 296-5166
  • Disabled American Veterans Veteran Service Officer (Office at White River Junction) – (802) 296-5167
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Veteran Service Officer (Office at White River Junction) – (802) 296-5168
  • Vietnam Veterans of America (Various Locations Statewide) – (603) 903-1257
  • State of Vermont Veteran Service Officer Program (Travels Statewide) – (888) 666-9844
  • Burlington Resource Center DVOP – (802) 652-0338
  • Barre Resource Center DVOP – (802) 476-2601
  • Newport Resource Center DVOP – (802) 334-3301
  • St. Johnsbury Resource Center DVOP – (802) 748-4954
  • White River Junction Resource Center DVOP – (802) 295-8805

2. Agency of Human Services Vocational Rehabilitation — AHS Voc Rehab is for anyone with disabilities. Veterans with disabilities, even if the disabilities aren’t a result of their military service, may be eligible for this program. This Voc Rehab will work with you to identify suitable careers for your abilities and interests; will help arrange training, if necessary, for you to pursue these careers; will then help you find employment; and will work with your employer to help make sure your experience transitioning back into the workforce is successful. AHS Voc Rehab has offices across the state. To start the process, call the office closest to you.

  • Barre-Montpelier Regional Office – (802) 479-4210
  • Morrisville District Office – (802) 888-5976
  • Newport District Office – (802) 334-6794
  • St. Johnsbury District Office – (802) 748-8716
  • Burlington Regional Office – (802) 863-7500
  • Middlebury District Office – (802) 388-4666
  • St. Albans District Office – (802) 524-7950
  • Rutland Regional Office – (802) 786-5866
  • Bennington District Office – (802) 447-2780
  • Springfield Regional Office – (802) 885-2279
  • Brattleboro District Office – (802) 257-0579
  • White River Junction District Office – (802) 295-8850

Veteran Education Assistance

There are two sources of government provided education benefits for veterans in Vermont.

1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – The majority of education programs for veterans are administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, usually just referred to as the VA. This includes the GI Bill. Their website benefits.va.gov/gibill is a must visit for veterans looking to find information about how the VA can help them continue their education. The can also call (888) 442-4551. Note that benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, including the GI Bill, are not automatic. You must apply for them, and you can do so at the VA’s website.

The GI Bill can only be used at programs that meet federal statutory and regulatory guidelines. Even at well-established universities, not all programs at the university will meet these guidelines. Contact the school you are interested in and ask to speak to the “VA Certifying Official”. Often this person works in the school’s Registrar’s Office. The certifying official can tell you which of their programs are approved for use with the GI Bill. If you enroll in a program that is not approved, you will not receive benefits which could result in your paying out of pocket for your education expenses and not being reimbursed. If the school cannot tell you who their certifying official is, call the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs at (802) 828-1082.

2. Vermont National Guard — Members of the Vermont National Guard are eligible for various tuition assistance programs. To learn more about these benefits, contact the Vermont National Guard Education Office – (802) 338-3346

VSAC

The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) is a public nonprofit agency that helps Vermonters who want to go to college or other training after high school. They provide grants, loans, scholarships, career and education planning, and general information about how you, or others in your family, can get the education you want. VSAC also administers a small number of private scholarships for veterans and their families. Any Vermonter, not just veterans, considering going back to school should contact them to find out what assistance is available by calling (800) 642-3177 or accessing www.vsac.org.

High School Diplomas for WWII and Korean War Era Veterans

Veterans of the World War II and Korean War Eras who do not have a high school diploma may be eligible to receive one from a Vermont high school. Applications are verified by the Office of Veterans Affairs, and the diplomas are issued by a secondary school picked by the veteran.

Veteran Recreation Benefits

Disabled Veteran Hunting & Fishing License

Vermont resident Veterans with a VA Service Connected Disability rating of at least 60 percent can get a free lifetime hunting and fishing license. To see if you qualify for the license, call the Veterans Benefits Section at 1-800-827-1000.

Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Non-Resident Disabled Veterans

Non-resident veterans who live in a state that provides reciprocal privilege for Vermont residents and who would qualify for a free license under the disabled veteran provision above if they were a Vermont resident, can get a free one-year fishing, hunting or combination hunting and fishing license.

Active Duty Hunting & Fishing Licenses

Vermont offers no-cost or reduced cost licenses for active military personnel as their way of saying thank you for your service. Any resident of Vermont who certifies that he or she is serving on active duty in the armed forces of the United States or is performing, or is under orders to perform, a homeland defense or state-side contingency operation for a period of 120 or more consecutive days may obtain at no cost a hunting or fishing license or combination hunting and fishing license. A person who obtains a license under this provision may keep the license until it expires, whether or not the person continues to serve in the armed forces. If requesting a hunting or combination license, you also need to submit a copy of your hunter education certification, a previous hunting license, or sign an affidavit stating you have held a hunting license.

A nonresident member of the armed forces of the United States who certifies that he or she is: on active duty and stationed at a military, air or naval post, station or base within Vermont may buy a license to hunt or fish at the resident fee. Military licenses are available from the Montpelier office, online, and through license agents. Any questions on eligibility for military licenses should be directed to 802-828-1190 or [email protected] or sent to: Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, ATTN: Licensing Dewey Building, 1 National Life Drive, Montpelier, VT 05620-3208

State Park Green Mountain Passport

Vermont residents 62 yrs. or older, or honorably discharged veterans can obtain a Green Mountain Passport good for lifetime free day entry at all Vermont state parks at a cost $2. Passports are available only from your local Town Clerk’s office. For fees associated with facilities available at all state parks refer to vtstateparks.com/fees.html.

Note: Effective November 10, 2020, the State of Vermont is requiring anyone traveling to Vermont from another state to complete a 14-day quarantine before participating in any activities outside of a home or dwelling, including hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation pursuits. This travel policy will be reviewed weekly and the most current guidance will be made available on the Cross State Travel website. Hunters and anglers are encouraged to carefully consider this quarantine requirement before purchasing a license, and make sure to allow sufficient time to quarantine as part of any planned travel to Vermont.

Other State Veteran Benefits

Vermont Medals

1. The Vermont Veterans Medal is awarded to U.S. veterans from Vermont. If the service was only in the Vermont National Guard, they must have been activated during a conflict or be retired. The medal was established in 1999, but is retroactively available to veterans of prior military service. Eligibility extends to those veterans who:

  • Have been a Vermont resident when entered military; or be a current Vermont resident; or be a member of a reserve or guard unit stationed in Vermont.
  • Received an honorable discharge, unless died prior to separation.
  • If national guard/reserve service only, must have been brought on active duty during a period of conflict or must have retired.

2. The Vermont Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to U.S. veterans from Vermont who served in a combat theater. The medal was established in 1999, but is retroactively available to veterans of prior military service. It is a state award, presented by the Vermont Department of Veterans Affairs. U.S. military active duty regulations allow their members to accept but not wear state awards. In addition, activated National Guard members may not wear their state awards while serving in Title 10 (federal) status. Eliibility extend to those veterans who:

  • Have been a Vermont resident when entered military; or be a current Vermont resident; or be a member of a reserve or guard unit stationed in Vermont.
  • Received an honorable discharge, unless died prior to separation.
  • Have served in a combat theater, as evidenced by receipt of combat related decorations.

3. The Vermont Patriots Medal is an award of the state of Vermont. It is presented to the next of kin of each Vermont military service member who is killed in armed conflict. The award was first authorized in 1966, during the Vietnam War, but presentations did not commence until 1996. Award of the Vermont Patriots Medal is managed by the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs. The adjutant general of the Vermont National Guard is authorized to present the medal and a scroll acknowledging Vermont’s debt to the family to the next of kin of each Vermont service member whose life is given in an armed conflict. The costs associated with creating the medal, and presenting the award and scroll are paid for from the state’s legislative budget.

Veterans may choose to have the medals mailed to them or presented in a ceremony. In cases where the veteran is deceased, the medals may be requested by a family member. Medals are usually mailed within 4 weeks of our office receiving an application; those who request a ceremony may have to wait up to a year before there will be a presentations. Distribution of the Veterans Medal and Distinguished Service Medal is not automatic. Veterans must apply for them, or have someone apply on their behalf. Applications are quick and easy… most can be completed over the phone by calling the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs at (888) 666-9844 or (802) 828-3379.

Transportation to VA Healthcare

Veterans who need transportation to VA hospitals and clinics can get a ride with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Transportation Network. Volunteers in this network pick up veterans in their local area and takes them to VA facilities for medical appointments. Call (866) 687-8387 x5394 to get in touch with the transportation coordinator in your area.

Discharge Records

The Office of Veterans Affairs maintains copies of active duty discharge records for most veterans who entered the service from Vermont. We help veterans locate their records, will store copies of their records, and will make certified copies of records…all free of charge. Because of the federal Privacy Act, we need to have your request for your discharge in writing. You can come to our office, mail a request, or fax a request. Although we have a Records Request Form, you don’t have to use it. If you don’t want to use the form, just send us a letter requesting a copy of the discharge (it doesn’t have to be typed) with the veteran’s name, Social Security Number, date of birth, and approximate dates of service. Make sure to sign the letter and include the address you would like the discharge mailed to. We only release the discharge to the veteran, or the veteran’s next of kin if the veteran is deceased.

If the requestor is the next of kin, please provide the veteran’s date of death and the relationship to the veteran. Requests can be faxed or mailed…sorry, we can’t take Email requests for records. If we don’t have your discharge, you can request it from the state you entered the military from or from the National Personnel Records Center. If you need a full copy of your records, to include your medical records, you would need to get them from the records center. Requests from them take a minimum of two months.

Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery

The Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery is located at 487 Furnace Rd, Randolph Center, VT 05061 Tel: (802) 828-1211 It provides veterans with a resting-place that honors their service at a cost lower than a commercial cemetery. In addition, certain family members may also be buried with the veteran. Applicants can choose from government markers or custom made commercial markers.

Veterans who wish to be interred at the Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery should contact the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs in Montpelier.

Vermont Veterans License Plates

Veterans can receive a Vermont Veterans License Plate when they register their vehicle. Veterans can have a Vermont Veterans License Plate on each of their cars. The Department of Motor Vehicles will charge $10 the first time a vehicle is registered with the plate. Of this fee, $5 goes towards the Office of Veterans Affairs to fund their activities. For additional information on veteran license plates refer to dmv.vermont.gov/military/military-license-plates. Military specialty plates available include:

Ex-POW Plate

Additional Fee:  None

Personalized/Vanity Plate Available?  No

Required Document(s):  Application must be accompanied by written certification of eligibility from U.S. Veteran’s Administration

Application: Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status (form #VG-168) must be certified by the Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.Former prisoners of war, Pearl Harbor veterans and Purple Heart veterans may complete an application for special number plates for use only on vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate. The application must be accompanied by certification of the applicant’s status as a former prisoner of war (P.O.W.), Pearl Harbor veteran or Purple Heart veteran. This certification must be completed by the Veterans’ Administration or state veterans’ affairs office, respectively. The prisoner of war (P.O.W.), Pearl Harbor or Purple Heart plates are not subject to any special plate fees.

Gold Star Family Plate

 

Additional Fee:  None

Personalized/Vanity Plate Available?  No

Required Document(s):  Submit a completed application and DD form 1300 , Report of Casualty, to the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs for certification as a Gold Star Family member. The Office of Veterans’ Affairs will forward the completed application and the copy of the DD form 1300 to the Department of Motor Vehicles for processing.

Application: Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status (form #VG-168) must be certified by the Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

The Gold Star Family License Plate is a special motor vehicle license plate for Gold Star Families, as defined in 10 U.S.C. §1126. The Gold Star Family license plate identifies widows, parents, and next of kin of members of the Armed Forces of the United States who lost their lives during a war, military conflict, international terrorist attack, or military operations.

Family members who may receive these plates are:  Widows – Widowers – Mother – Father – Stepmother – Stepfather – Son – Daughter – Stepson – Stepdaughter – Brother – Sister – Half Brother – Half Sister – Mother (through adoption) – Father (through adoption) – Son (by adoption) – Daughter (by adoption) – Foster Father in Loco Parentis – Foster Mother in Loco Parentis

The Gold Star Family plates are not subject to any special plate fees. These license plates may be issued for use only on vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate or on trucks registered for less than 26,001 lbs. at the applicable fee.  The plates will be reissued only to the original holder of the plates.

Pearl Harbor Survivor Plate

 

Additional Fee:  None

Personalized/Vanity Plate Available?  No

Required Document(s):  Application must be accompanied by copy of Discharge Record, DD-214, or other document indicating eligibility which bears the stamp and certification of the State of Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

Application: Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status (form #VG-168) must be certified by the Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

Former prisoners of war, Pearl Harbor veterans and Purple Heart veterans may complete an application for special number plates for use only on vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate. The application must be accompanied by certification of the applicant’s status as a former prisoner of war (P.O.W.), Pearl Harbor veteran or Purple Heart veteran. This certification must be completed by the Veterans’ Administration or state veterans’ affairs office, respectively. The prisoner of war (P.O.W.), Pearl Harbor or Purple Heart plates are not subject to any special plate fees.

Purple Heart Plate

Additional Fee:  None

Personalized/Vanity Plate Available?  No

Required Document(s):  Application must be accompanied by copy of Discharge Record, DD-214, or other document indicating eligibility which bears the stamp and certification of the State of Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

Application: Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status (form #VG-168) must be certified by the Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

Former prisoners of war, Pearl Harbor veterans and Purple Heart veterans may complete an application for special number plates for use only on vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate. The application must be accompanied by certification of the applicant’s status as a former prisoner of war (P.O.W.), Pearl Harbor veteran or Purple Heart veteran. This certification must be completed by the Veterans’ Administration or state veterans’ affairs office, respectively. The prisoner of war (P.O.W.), Pearl Harbor or Purple Heart plates are not subject to any special plate fees.

U.S. Veteran Plate

Additional Fee:  None

Personalized/Vanity Plate Available?  No

Required Document(s):  Application must be accompanied by written certification of eligibility from Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

Application: Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status (form #VG-168) must be certified by the Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

U.S. Veterans and members of the Armed Forces may complete an application for Veteran number plates for use only on vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate, on trucks registered for less than 26,001 lbs at the applicable fee, or at the motorcycle rate.  The application must be accompanied by certification of the applicant’s status as a U.S. Veteran or a current member of the U.S. Armed Forces. This certification must be completed by the Veterans’ Administration or state veterans’ affairs office, respectively. The U.S. Veteran plates are not subject to any special plate fees.

Vermont National Guard Plate

 

Additional Fee:  Refer to dmv.vermont.gov/registrations/fees#Cars

Personalized/Vanity Plate Available?  No

Required Document(s):  Must provide authorization from the Office of the Adjutant General, State of Vermont.

Application: Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status (form #VG-168) must be certified by the Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

Groups which provide police and fire protection, rescue squads, national guard, together with those organizations required to respond to public emergencies and amateur radio operators licensed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission may obtain special (safety organization) plates. At the request of the leader of a safety organization, upon application and payment of an annual fee for each set of plates (in addition to the annual fee for registration), special plates indicating membership in one of the “safety organizations” may be issued to registrants (who are members of these organizations) of:

  • pleasure cars
  • other vehicles registered at the pleasure car rate
  • trucks registered for less than 26,001 pounds

The applicant must provide a written statement from the appropriate official of the organization, authorizing the issuance of the plates. At the time that an organization requests the plates, it must deposit a set fee with the department. For each set of plates issued, a portion of this deposit will be applied as the safety organization special plate fee for each authorized applicant. When the initial deposit is depleted, applicants shall be required to pay the annual fee.

When an individual’s membership in a qualifying organization ceases or is terminated, the individual must surrender any special registration plates issued to the Department of Motor Vehicles immediately.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Plate

 

Additional Fee:  Refer to dmv.vermont.gov/registrations/fees#Cars

Personalized/Vanity Plate Available?  No

Required Document(s):  Copy of valid membership card or an authorization signed by VFW Quartermaster.

Application: Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status (form #VG-168) must be certified by the Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) can display the VFW insignia on their Vermont license plate. The plate is available to Vermont members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). The design features the official insignia of the VFW on the right side of the plate.

Vietnam Veterans of America Plate

 

Additional Fee:  Refer to dmv.vermont.gov/registrations/fees#Cars

Personalized/Vanity Plate Available?  No

Required Document(s):  Copy of a valid VT Membership card or signed authorization.

Application: Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status (form #VG-168) must be certified by the Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

Vietnam Veterans can proudly display their colors through their Vermont license plate. The plate is available to Vermont members in good standing of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). The design features the official insignia of the VVA on the right side of the plate.

Any veteran may apply for a non-specific Veterans’ Plate which displays an American flag and “V” designation (see “VT Veterans’ Plates”).

American Legion Plate

Additional Fee:  Refer to dmv.vermont.gov/registrations/fees#Cars

Personalized/Vanity Plate Available?  No

Required Document(s):  Copy of a valid membership ID card or letter of authorization from Post Adjutant.

Application: Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status (form #VG-168) must be certified by the Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

Members of the American Legion can display the American Legion logo on their Vermont license plate. The plate is available to Vermont members of the American Legion. The design features the official logo of the American Legion on the left side of the plate.

Afghanistan

Additional Fee: Refer to dmv.vermont.gov/registrations/fees#Cars

Personalized/Vanity Plate Available? No

Application: Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status (form #VG-168) must be certified by the Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

Gulf War

Additional Fee: Refer to dmv.vermont.gov/registrations/fees#Cars

Personalized/Vanity Plate Available? No

Application: Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status (form #VG-168) must be certified by the Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

Iraq War

Additional Fee: Refer to dmv.vermont.gov/registrations/fees#Cars

Personalized/Vanity Plate Available? No

Application: Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status (form #VG-168) must be certified by the Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

Korean War

Additional Fee: Refer to dmv.vermont.gov/registrations/fees#Cars

Personalized/Vanity Plate Available? No

Application: Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status (form #VG-168) must be certified by the Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

Vietnam War

Additional Fee: Refer to dmv.vermont.gov/registrations/fees#Cars

Personalized/Vanity Plate Available? No

Application: Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status (form #VG-168) must be certified by the Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

World War II

Additional Fee: Refer to dmv.vermont.gov/registrations/fees#Cars

Personalized/Vanity Plate Available? No

Application: Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status (form #VG-168) must be certified by the Vermont Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

-o-o-O-o-o-

Visit the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs website veterans.vermont.gov for contact information and benefits assistance.

Source: www.military.com/benefits/content/veteran-state-benefits/vermont-state-veterans-benefits.html | December 2020 ++]

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