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May 15, 2020

Hawaii Veteran Benefits – The Insider’s Guide

Last updated on July 16, 2021

Brian Reese here from VA Claims Insider, and I’m reporting on all the great Hawaii Veteran benefits you can receive if you call Hawaii your home!. So if you live in, or are considering moving to the Aloha state, then hoʻolohe – Hawaiian for “listen” – because this guide is for you!

The state of Hawaii has an Office of Veterans’ Services (OVS) that can help with many issues related to Hawaii veteran benefits and services. Advocacy is their primary service offering, and OVS may take action on behalf of Veterans, their families, and survivors to secure appropriate rights, benefits, & services. This includes receiving, investigating, and resolving disputes or complaints of any nature.

You can visit the OVS website to learn more about the activities, services and benefits they can assist with if you are an in-state Veteran or family member of a Hawaii disabled veteran. But first, let’s jump into all the Veteran benefits and VA benefits the islands of paradise have in store for you!

Hawaii veteran benefits

Overview of Hawaii Military Life

Hawaii’s veteran population ranks 40th according to the most recent available data from the U.S. Census Bureau (released in July 2019):

  • Adult Population: 1.1 million (42nd)
  • Veteran Population: 106,123 (40th)

Hawaii is in the top 5 of lowest unemployment for vets (tied with Virginia), but still has one of the highest rates of poverty for veterans in the entire nation.

  • Veteran Unemployment: 2.7% (45th overall)
  • Veteran Poverty Rate: 7.6% (12th)

Veterans in Hawaii also have one of the lower rates of disability in the 50 states. 

  • Veterans with a Disability: 25.3% (46th)

In recent years the population of veterans in Hawaii has started to dwindle, as many of the veterans living in Hawaii came from earlier wartime periods and have begun to pass on. 

Life in Hawaii has tended to be good to veterans. At a median income of $46,599, Hawaii ranks high for veteran’s income levels. And despite ranking last in cost of living (50th) and affordability of housing (50th) recent surveys still have Hawaii as the 2nd best state for veterans to live in overall. 

Hawaii ranks right in the middle for Quality of Life (25th) and in veteran health care (36th). Hawaii also has one of the fewest amounts of VA health facilities per veteran.  

With all that said, let’s take a closer look at Hawaii veteran benefits.

Hawaii disabled veteran benefits

Hawaii Veteran Benefits

The State of Hawaii Office of Veterans’ Services administers a range of state sponsored benefits for disabled veterans and their dependants such as financial, housing, employment, education, recreation, and other benefits.

Hawaii Veteran Benefits: Financial

Property Tax Exemption

Tax exemptions on real property owned and occupied as a home by a totally disabled Veteran or their widow(er).  Tax exemptions on passenger cars when they are owned by totally disabled Veterans and subsidized by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. This benefit varies by island.  Visit your local real property tax office for more information.

Income Tax

Veteran pensions are tax-free.

Hawaii Veteran Benefits: Housing and Healthcare

Hawaii Veterans Home

The Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo is a state nursing home for honorably discharged Hawaii resident veterans over 55 who require skilled nursing care and meet the VA requirements for an “eligible veteran”. The veteran is responsible for any costs not covered by the VA or medicare. Spouses may be eligible for admission depending on available space.

Hawaii Disabled Veteran Benefits: Special Housing

Payment by the State of up to $5,000 to each qualified totally disabled Veteran for the purpose of purchasing or remodeling a home to improve handicapped accessibility. Award of payment pending the availability of State funds and Veteran Affairs approval.  Contact your local OVS office for more information.

Resource: https://dod.hawaii.gov/ovs/benefits-and-services/

Hawaii veteran employment benefits
Lt. Col. Daniel C. Wrazien accepts command 169th Air Defense Squadron from Col. Phillip Mallory, Commander, 298th Air Defense Group as the 169th ADS was transferred to the 298th ADS. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson)

Hawaii Veteran Benefits: Employment

Employment Preference for Hawaii Disabled Veterans

Non-disabled veterans receive 5 preference points, disabled veterans receive 10 points. Preference points are added to examination scores completed by applicants for open competitive state employment positions.

Hawaii Veteran Benefits: Education

Hawaii State Education Benefit

The Hawaii Army National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program (STAP) offers tuition waivers for eligible members who have completed Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training. The waiver covers 100% of your tuition if you are a community college student, and 50% of your tuition if you are a four-year university student. STAP can also be used in conjunction with your G.I. Bill and Federal Tuition Assistance benefits.

Hawaii State Benefits for Disabled Veterans: Recreational Benefits, Licenses & Passes

Veteran Hunting Licenses

Active duty military personnel and their dependents stationed in Hawaii are considered to be residents for the purposes of obtaining a hunting license.

Hawaii Disabled Veteran Benefits: Vehicle Licenses, Plates & Privileges

Waived Vehicle Registration

Permanently disabled veterans can get a $45.00 discount on the state registration fee. To be eligible, you must be have a service connected 100% VA disability rating, be a Hawaii resident and have an other than dishonorable discharge.

Hawaii vets

Hawaii Disabled Veteran Benefits: Healthcare & Housing

Hawaii Veteran’s Health Administration Centers

FacilityAddressPhone
VA Pacific Islands Health Care System459 Patterson Road   Honolulu, HI 96819-1522808-433-0600 /
800-214-1306
National Center for PTSD – Pacific Islands Division3375 Koapaka Street, Suite I-560   Honolulu, HI 96819808-566-1546
VA Lanai Outreach Clinic628-B Seventh Street   Lanai City, HI 96783808-565-6423
VA Molokai Outreach Clinic280 Home Olu Place   Kaunakakai, HI 96748808-553-3191
VA Hilo Community Based Outpatient Clinic1285 Waianuenue Avenue, Suite 211   Hilo, HI 96720808-935-3781
VA Kauai Community Based Outpatient Clinic4485 Pahe’e Street, Suite 150   Lihue, HI 96766808-246-0497
VA Kona Community Based Outpatient Clinic35-377 Hualalai Road   Kailua-Kona, HI 96740808-329-0774
VA Leeward Community Based Outpatient Clinic91-2135 Fort Weaver Road   Ewa Beach, HI 96706800-214-1306
VA Maui Community Based Outpatient Clinic203 Ho’ohana Street, Suite 303   Kahului, HI 96732808-871-2454
Hilo Vet Center70 Lanihuli Street, Suite 102   Hilo, HI 96720808-969-3833
Honolulu Vet Center1680 Kapiolani Blvd. Suite F-3   Honolulu, HI 96814808-973-8387
Kailua-Kona Vet Center73-4976 Kamanu St   Kailua-Kona, HI 96740808-329-0574
Kauai Vet Center4485 Pahe’e St., Suite 101   Lihue, HI 96766808-246-1163
Maui Vet Center157 Ma’a Street   KAHULUI, HI 96732808-242-8557
Western Oahu Vet Center885 Kamokila Boulevard, Suite 105   Kapolei, HI 96707808-674-2414

Veterans Benefits Administration – Pacific District

FacilityAddressPhone
Honolulu Regional Office459 Patterson Road, E-Wing, Honolulu, HI 96819-1522800-827-1000
Intake Site At Camp SmithDepartment of Veterans Affairs 459 Patterson rd 1st floor (E-Wing) Honolulu, HI 96819 
Intake Site At Fort ShafterDepartment of Veterans Affairs 459 Patterson Rd 1st floor (E-Wing) Honolulu, HI 96819 
Intake Site At Hickam Air Force BaseDepartment of Veterans Affairs 459 Patterson Rd 1st floor (E-Wing) Honolulu, HI 96819 
Intake Site At Marine Corps Base HawaiiDepartment of Veterans Affairs 459 Patterson Rd 1st floor (E-Wing) Honolulu, HI 96819 
Intake Site At Pearl Harbor Naval BaseDepartment of Veterans Affairs 459 Patterson Rd 1st floor (E-Wing) Honolulu, HI 96819 
Intake Site At Sand Island Coast GuardDepartment of Veterans Affairs 459 Patterson Rd 1st floor (E-Wing) Honolulu, HI 96819 
Intake Site At Schofield BarracksDepartment of Veterans Affairs 459 Patterson Rd 1st floor (E-Wing) Honolulu, HI 96819 
Intake Site At Tripler Army Medical Center (First Floor/E-Wing)Department of Veterans Affairs 459 Patterson Rd 1st floor (E-Wing) Honolulu, HI 96819 
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific2177 Puowaina Drive, Honolulu, HI 96813808-532-3720
VA Hawaii

Hawaii Department of Mental Health

VA Pacific Islands Health Care System recognizes the need for veterans to have access to health care for mental and emotional health issues. They have compiled the following resources for veterans in need of help:

Hawaii State Mental Health Resources

  • Emergency and crisis mental health services in Hawaii – The Hawaii Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services provides links to local resources available 24/7 throughout Hawaii
  • The Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center 
    •  Contact Numbers: 
      • 808-433-0660
      • 800-753-6879
  • Crisis Line Numbers provide 24/7 crisis intervention and referral to mental health services in Hawaii.
    • Honolulu-ACCESS @ 832-3100
    • Neighbor Islands-ACCESS @ 1-800-753-6879
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline @ 1-800-273-TALK
    • http://www.vets4warriors.com/
  • VA Women Veterans Call Center is a national service that answers questions about VA services for women.
    • 1-855 VA WOMEN
Hawaii disabled vets benefits

Summary of Hawaii Veteran Benefits

Hawaii has been a top destination for veterans since after WWII, and has a long tradition of taking veterans health seriously. It’s also one of the favorite places of veterans to visit. No surprise there!

The combination of job opportunities, ability to earn good income, and quality of life is hard to beat. And even though it’s the most expensive state to live in, veterans tend to make good lives there.

That said, Hawaii does not provide the same amount of benefits for veterans as many other states. Hawaii also provides less immediate access to health care for veterans than other states. It’s true that the state has a low population of disabled veterans, but it’s worth considering if you’re thinking about moving to Hawaii and require regular access to VA healthcare.  

If you are already in Hawaii and are looking to make the most of your Hawaii veteran benefits, you will want to visit the state portal for veterans at https://www.hawaii.va.gov/services/index.asp.

There you will find access to many of Hawaii’s benefit programs, as well as more information regarding each benefit available. 

For a complete list of VA hospitals, treatment centers, and other resources in Hawaii, you can also go to the Hawaii VA directory at VA.gov.

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About the Author

Brian Reese
Brian Reese

Brian Reese

Founder & CEO

Brian Reese is VA benefits expert, author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned, and founder of VA Claims Insider – “The Most Trusted Name in Education-Based Resources for Veterans.”

His frustration with the 8-step VA disability claims process led him to create “VA Claims Insider,” which provides U.S. military veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned for successfully submitting or re-submitting a winning VA disability compensation claim.

Brian is also the CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, which is the world’s largest free searchable database for all things related to DoD disability and VA disability claims and has served more than 4,600,000 military members and veterans since its founding in 2013.

His eBook, the “9 Secrets Strategies for Winning Your VA Disability Claim” has been downloaded more than 300,000 times in the past three years and is the #1 rated free VA disability claims guide for veterans.

He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

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