Skip to content

September 7, 2021

Top 9 Virginia Veteran Benefits

Last updated on April 11, 2024

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want to learn how to implement these strategies to get the VA benefits you deserve, click here to speak with a VA claim expert for free.

Your Ultimate Guide to Virginia Veteran Benefits

There are many Virginia veteran benefits and exemptions provided by the state to current and former members of the U.S. military. 

Virginia is ranked #7 in the country for veteran population by state, with over 690,000 veteran residents!

With such a large veteran population, it’s no wonder Virginia veteran benefits are plentiful.

Table of Contents
va state benefits


Take advantage of a FREE VA Claim Discovery Call with an experienced Team Member. Learn what you’ve been missing so you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation you’ve earned for your service.

Virginia Veteran Benefits

Virginia veteran benefits include:

  • Property tax exemptions
  • Income and age-dependent state income tax exemptions
  • Excellent tuition waivers for disabled veterans
  • An extensive employment assistance program for its veteran population

An excellent resource for veterans is the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, which administers many Virginia veteran benefits. 

Make sure to compare the different types of exemptions you may qualify for as a veteran, especially when it comes to income tax exemptions, tuition assistance, and internship opportunities for transitioning veterans.

We’ve built this complete guide of Virginia veteran benefits to help Virginia veterans like you find all the benefits you earned!

Property Tax Exemptions

Virginia VA benefits include a full exemption of property tax for veterans with a 100 percent permanent and total (P&T) disability rating, as well as for unremarried spouses of service members killed in action.

The exemption applies to the house and up to one acre of land. Unremarried surviving spouses of disabled veterans are also eligible for this exemption.

To apply, contact your local county Commissioner of Revenue.

Income Tax Exemptions

Virginia veteran benefits include income tax exemptions. Virginia taxes both active duty pay and military retirement pay.

For active-duty service members, the state taxes their military income, regardless of where they’re stationed, at a rate of 2 to 5.75 percent.

There is an exemption for active-duty military pay worth up to $15,000 if their base pay is under $30,000. 

Virginia National Guard members are also eligible for this exemption if they are at the rank of Captain (O-3) or below and on active duty status for at least 90 consecutive days during the taxable year. 

Virginia also taxes military retirement pay. If you’re over age 65, you may qualify for exemptions up to $12,000 as a veteran.

However, if you received the Medal of Honor, your military retirement pay is not taxed at the state level. 

Virginia Veterans Education Benefits

Virginia’s educational benefits are excellent for veterans and their families, augmenting the federal education support available to all U.S. veterans.

There are many military-friendly colleges in Virginia. According to the VA, in 2017, 304 Virginia schools received Post-9/11 GI bill funds for over 44,000 students, totaling over $301 million. 

Resident College Tuition Rates in Virginia

In-state tuition rates represent just one of the great Virginia veteran benefits for education.

Resident tuition rates are available at any Virginia public college or university for active-duty military personnel, members of the National Guard, or their spouses or dependent children. 

Virginia waives the one-year requirement for in-state tuition for all veterans. To receive in-state tuition, you must simply move to and remain in Virginia during your course of study.

College Credit in Virginia for Military Training

All universities and local community colleges in Virginia follow the recommendations of the American Council on Education to award academic credit toward a degree for education and training received in the military. 

To claim college credit for military training, request a transcript from your military service branch.

Army, Navy, Marines, Space Force, and Coast Guard members can request a Joint Services Transcript.

Air Force members should request a Community College of the Air Force transcript. Both methods let service members order online copies of their transcripts. Each service branch will provide official copies to schools at no charge.

Virginia’s Community Colleges utilize the Credit2Careers (C2C) portal to award credit.

You can upload your Joint Services Transcript to this site to instantly see how many academic credits your experience could translate into—at more than 1,700 community college programs! 

Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program

If you have a VA disability rating of 90 percent or more, your spouse or children may be eligible for a free Virginia public college education.

Virginia disabled veteran benefits under this program pay for up to four years of tuition and fees.

The average cost of tuition and fees at a Virginia public college is about $14,000 per year or $56,000 for a four-year education! 

If funding is available, these Virginia veteran benefits may also include a stipend of up to $1,800 annually to cover the cost of room and board, books, and other supplies.

This stipend is only available to spouses and children of veterans whose disability rating is due to direct involvement in military action or those who were MIA/KIA/POW. 

For eligibility, service members must have been serving on active duty in the armed forces, Virginia National Guard, or Reserves and also meet one of the following criteria:

  • Was killed
  • Was POW/MIA
  • Became permanently disabled or at least 90 percent disabled

If you meet eligibility through disability, your disability must coincide with one of the following:

  • Military operations against terrorism
  • A peacekeeping mission
  • Active duty as a result of a terrorist act
  • Any armed conflict after December 6, 1941 

To apply as a student, you must be the spouse or child of a qualifying military service member between the ages of 16 and 29.

You must also be accepted by your school of choice and meet one of the following Virginia residency requirements:

  • Virginia resident when entering service or called up from reserves
  • Virginia resident for at least five years before applying to college

Apply online at the myVMSDEP portal by May 1st if you’re applying for the fall semester. 

Virginia National Guard Tuition Assistance Program (VANGTAP)

If you’re a member of the Virginia National Guard, you could receive up to $7,000 per year to pay for college. Unlike many other National Guard tuition assistance programs, Virginia’s program will pay tuition assistance up to a Ph.D. at 230 colleges and universities! Virginia National Guard members can even use tuition assistance for approved online schools outside Virginia.

To apply for Virginia veteran benefits for education with the National Guard, you must be an active member of the Virginia National Guard in good standing and have completed your initial basic training requirements to be eligible for tuition assistance.

When the term ends, you must have at least two years left on your commitment to the Virginia National Guard.

To apply for tuition assistance for the fall semester, submit the online application by the July 1st deadline. Tuition amounts are based on state funding, so apply early.

Create an online profile with the program to access approved schools. 

virginia va benefits

Hiring and Employment Benefits for Virginia Veterans

Many Virginia veteran benefits offer employment support, and many resources are available to help veterans and their families find jobs and advance their careers.

Veteran Employment Preference for Virginia Veterans

Virginia recognizes those who have served in our nation’s military by offering employment preference to veterans and their family members when they apply for federal, state, county, and local government jobs in Virginia. 

Veterans with an honorable discharge receive five percentage points added to their civil service exam as long as they’re qualified for the position and meet a minimum passing score.

National Guard members also receive a five percent addition. Virginia disabled veteran benefits are even better: ten total percentage points added with any service-connected disability rating. 

Surviving spouses and children (under age 27) of service members killed in the line of duty are also eligible for a five percent addition to their points on civil service exams. 

Virginia’s HIRE VETS NOW Fellowship Program

Service members who are transitioning out of the military have the opportunity to participate in civilian internships to enhance their civilian career opportunities.

Virginia employers offer six- to 12-week internships for service members in the HIRE VETS NOW program.

With commander approval, members can participate in the program up to six months before their date of separation.

You can apply for the internship up to 18 months before separation. 

You can learn more about applying for the HIRE VETS NOW program by calling (804) 482-8517.

Virginia Employment Commission (VEC)

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) helps veterans and eligible spouses seek employment throughout the state.

The VEC assists by providing:

  • Career counseling
  • Job referrals
  • Training and education recommendations
  • Resume preparation
  • Apprenticeship opportunities
  • Interview preparation

Eligible veterans qualify for Virginia veteran benefits with the VEC if they served on active duty, including full-time duty in the National Guard and Reserves. 

You must have an honorable discharge. 

Eligible spouses are those of veterans who have a permanent and total (P&T) VA disability, died from a service-connected disability, or were MIA/POW. 

You can find a VEC office near you here.

Job seekers can connect to the Virginia Workforce Connection for openings.

Expedited Professional Licenses for Military Spouses

Military spouses who relocate to Virginia are eligible to get professional licenses expedited. 

Examples of such occupational licenses include:

  • Real estate
  • Contractors
  • Cosmetology
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Interior design

Spouses must have the same or equivalent license in another state to qualify. 

Virginia has 20 days to decide whether to approve or deny the application. 

If the state doesn’t decide in 20 days, a temporary license is issued to the applicant and is valid for up to 12 months. To apply for an expedited license, complete the standard license application along with this expedited application and mail it to:

Commonwealth of Virginia
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400
Richmond, Virginia 23233

Housing Benefits for Veterans in Virginia

Virginia State Veterans Home

Virginia disabled veteran benefits include two veterans homes in the state.

The Richmond and Roanoke locations offer long-term nursing care for veterans in need, with two additional homes currently under construction.

The goal of each home is to increase veteran quality of life while preserving their dignity. 

The Veterans Homes offer these services:

  • Assisted living
  • Skilled and intermediate nursing
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia memory care
  • Hospice

To be eligible, veterans must have an honorable discharge and be residents of Virginia when they apply (or were Virginia residents when they entered the military). There must also be a medical requirement for nursing home care. 

To learn more about each veteran home and how to apply, visit the respective homes’ website:

Two additional veterans homes are under construction and are scheduled to open in 2022:

100 disabled veteran benefits virginia

Veteran Health Care in Virginia

List of VA Healthcare and Vet Center Locations in Virginia

LocationMedical Facilities for Virginia Veteran Benefits
AlexandriaAlexandria, VA Vet Center
BristolBristol VA Clinic
CharlottesvilleCharlottesville CBOC
ChesapeakeChesapeake CBOC
ChesapeakeNorfolk Vet Center
DanvilleDanville CBOC
Fort BelvoirFort Belvoir Outpatient Clinic
FredericksburgFredericksburg at Southpoint CBOC
FredericksburgFredericksburg CBOC
HamptonHampton VA Medical Center
HarrisonburgHarrisonburg Outpatient Clinic
JonesvilleJonesville VA Clinic
LynchburgLynchburg CBOC
MarionMarion VA Clinic
NortonNorton VA Clinic
RichmondRichmond Vet Center
RoanokeRoanoke Vet Center
SalemSalem VA Medical Center
StauntonStaunton CBOC
TazewellTazewell VA Clinic
VansantVansant VA Clinic
Virginia BeachVirginia Beach CBOC
Virginia BeachVirginia Beach Vet Center
WinchesterStephens City Outpatient Clinic
WythevilleWytheville CBOC

Virginia Veterans Vehicle and Driver’s License Benefits

Virginia Veteran Designation on Driver License or Identification (ID) Cards

For a small fee, any honorably discharged veteran can request a veteran designation on the front of his or her Virginia driver’s license or ID card.

The word “veteran” printed on the top right corner of a license allows Virginia veterans to validate their honorable service with a government-issued ID card.

Veterans must have either served on active duty or served more than 180 days in the Virginia National Guard or Reserves to qualify. 

To apply for Virginia veteran benefits through the Division of Motor Vehicles, you can choose to apply online, mail in your application, or visit a local DMV customer service center near you.

Free License Plates for Virginia Veterans

Veterans who have received the Purple Heart, eligible disabled veterans, and Gold Star family members are eligible for no-fee specialized license plates.

For veterans to be eligible for a disabled veteran license plate in Virginia, they must have lost a limb or lost the use of a limb, be blind, or have a permanent and total (P&T) VA disability rating.

Unremarried surviving spouses also qualify to receive these license plates at no cost. 

Learn how to apply for a no-fee disabled license plate online here or visit a local DMV customer service center.

virginia disabled veteran benefits

Veterans Benefits in Virginia for Recreation

Virginia Disabled Veteran Benefits Include Discounted Lifetime Hunting and Fishing

Virginia honors veterans who have sacrificed their health for our nation by offering them free and discounted hunting and fishing licenses.

There are many different license applications for veterans; here is how the state breaks down the licenses:

Permanent and Total (P&T) Disabled Veterans 

Virginia resident veterans who are permanently and totally disabled are eligible for a free lifetime hunting and freshwater fishing license.

You can also add lifetime trapping and saltwater fishing licenses for $20.

Apply for your free resident license here.

P&T-rated veterans outside of Virginia can still obtain an annual license covering hunting and freshwater fishing for $41.

Apply here

Veterans with a Disability Rating of 70 Percent or Higher

If you have a VA rating of 70 percent or more, Virginia veteran benefits include a discounted annual hunting and freshwater fishing license—only $24 for residents.

Apply here

Note: These licenses do not cover bear, deer, turkey, muzzleloader, archery, or national forest permits. You must purchase additional permits if you plan to hunt these animals or use these tools. 

Free Fishing for Service Members Receiving Medical Treatment in Virginia

Service members receiving medical treatment at any hospital in Virginia, regardless of state residency, can get a one-year fishing license for Virginia and Washington, D.C. 

Service members can apply for this license at the hospital where they receive treatment.

Virginia State Park Discounts

If you have a 100 percent VA disability rating, Virginia wants to help you spend more time enjoying the outdoors!

The state offers a 50 percent discount on camping, shelter, and equipment rental, and parking is free.

Bring proof of your service-connected disability to receive the discount and a free parking passport. 

Miscellaneous Benefits for Virginia Veterans

Discounted Metrobus and Metrorail Tickets for Disabled Veterans

Virginia veterans with a 60 percent or greater VA disability rating are eligible for reduced fares on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority system.

This discount is worth up to 50 percent on passes and fares. 

Visit the Metro Transit Accessibility Center at 600 5th St NW, Washington, DC, to join the reduced fare program.

Bring a VA disability certification and a valid ID. 

virginia veteran benefits

Virginia Veteran Benefits (FAQs) Frequently Asked Questions

Are there special property tax exemptions for Virginia veterans?

Yes, 100% P&T disabled veterans receive a full property tax exemption in Virginia.

The exemption applies to the value of the home and up to one acre of land. Unremarried surviving spouses of service members killed in action may also apply for this benefit.

The exemption applies up to the countywide average assessed value for surviving spouses. 

What Virginia VA benefits exist for income tax?

Active service members may receive a Virginia state income tax exemption on the first $15,000 of military pay if base pay is under $30,000.

This exemption also applies to members of the National Guard with the rank of O-3 or below and those on active duty for 90 consecutive days during the year.

Military retirees over the age of 65 may also exempt $12,000 of their military retirement pay.

Also, Medal of Honor recipients don’t pay state income tax. 

Does Virginia award college credit for military training?

Yes, Virginia uses the Credit2Careers portal to translate military training and experience into college credit across the state’s 1700 community colleges. 

Does Virginia offer any tuition assistance to veterans?

Yes, Virginia offers many different tuition assistance programs to veterans.

Virginia offers full tuition and fees for spouses and children of veterans with a 90 percent or higher disability rating or those who died in the service of our country.

An annual stipend of up to $1,800 may also be available to help cover the cost of room and board.

National Guard members may be eligible for tuition assistance in Virginia worth up to $7,000 per year, for both undergraduate and graduate degrees, with a two-year service commitment at the end of the term of study. 

Do Virginia veterans receive preferential treatment when seeking employment?  

Virginia veterans with an honorable discharge and National Guard members receive 5 points added to their passing Virginia civil service exam score for Virginia jobs.

Disabled veterans receive a 10-point addition. Surviving spouses and children of service members killed in the line of duty also receive a 5-point addition. 

Does Virginia offer employment counseling and assistance to veterans seeking employment? 

Yes, Virginia operates the Virginia Employment Commission to help veterans find gainful employment as civilians.

The state also operates a HIRE VETS NOW fellowship program to match veterans with 6-12 week internships that they can begin up to six months before they transition out of the military. 

Are there special Virginia veterans benefits offering reduced recreational fees?

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries offers free lifetime hunting and fishing licenses to P&T-disabled veterans.

Disabled veterans with a 70 percent or greater rating are also eligible for discounted annual licenses.

Service members receiving treatment in any Virginia hospital can get a free one-year fishing license.

100 percent disabled veterans can camp, rent shelters, and rent equipment at state parks at a 50 percent discount. 


Regardless of what state you live in, it’s important that you pursue the monthly compensation payments due to you for disabilities connected to your military service.

Most veterans are underrated for their disabilities and therefore not getting the compensation they deserve. At VA Claims Insider, we help veterans understand and take control of the claims process so they can get the rating and compensation they’re owed by law.

Our process takes the guesswork out of filing a VA disability claim and supports you in building a fully developed claim (FDC)—so you can increase your rating in less time!  

If you’ve filed your VA disability claim and have been denied or received a low rating—or you’re not sure how to get started—reach out to us for a FREE VA Claim Discovery Call so you can FINALLY get the disability rating and compensation you deserve. We’ve helped more than 25,000 veterans win their claims and increase their ratings. NOW IT’S YOUR TURN.

About the Author

About VA Claims Insider

VA Claims Insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. We’re here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible independent medical opinions and nexus statements (medical nexus letters) for a wide range of disability conditions.

Related Articles

Connecticut road sign.

Top 9 Veterans Benefits in Connecticut

November 17, 2021

There are many veterans benefits in Connecticut, including exemptions provided by the state to current and former members of the U.S. military. Over 189,000 veterans live in Connecticut, with... continue reading

Featured Resources

Elite Membership

Dear Veteran,
Here’s the brutal truth about VA disability claims:

According to our data, 8/10 (80%) of veterans reading this message right now are underrated by the VA…

This means you do NOT currently have the VA disability rating and compensation YOU deserve, and you could be missing out on thousands of dollars of tax-free compensation and benefits each month.

As a fellow disabled Veteran this is shameful and I’m on a mission to change it.

Brian Reese here, Air Force service-disabled Veteran and Founder @ VA Claims Insider.

Since 2016, VA Claims Insider has helped thousands of Veterans just like you get the VA rating and compensation they deserve in less time.

If accepted into our ELITE membership program, you’ll get free up-front access and permission to use $13,119 worth of proprietary VA claim resources, including access to our network of independent medical professionals for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible Medical Nexus Letters, which could help you get a HIGHER VA rating in LESS time.

It’s FREE to get started, so click “Go Elite Now” below to complete our 3-step intake process.

  1. Complete Basic Information
  2. Sign Members Agreement
  3. Join the Mastermind Group

If you’re stuck, frustrated, underrated, and currently rated between 0%-90%, VA Claims Insider Elite is for you!

Click “Go Elite Now” below to get started today and a member of our team will be in touch within minutes.

Go Elite Now!

Why Choose VA Claims Insider

You’ve exhausted your free resources

You're not alone. Thousands of other Veterans in our Community are here for you.

Veteran Community

You’re ready to get the rating you deserve

We know the pain of feeling stuck, frustrated, and alone, and we want to make this process as easy and painless as possible for you.

Explore Elite Membership

We win ONLY when YOU win

Hear from fellow Veterans just like you, with many of our Veteran Ambassadors having gone through our programs.

Schedule a Call

Fellow Veterans:

For a limited time, you can book a free, no-obligation VA Claim Discovery Call with one of our experts.

Book A Call

Fellow Veterans:

For a limited time, you can book a free, no-obligation VA Claim Discovery Call with one of our experts.

Book A Call