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October 12, 2021

Utah Veteran Benefits – Our Top 10

Last updated on October 14, 2021

A Guide to the Best of Utah Veteran Benefits in 2021

There are many Utah veteran benefits and exemptions provided by the state to current and former members of the U.S. military. Nearly 144,000 veterans live in Utah, with veterans making up 4.5% of the population. The Beehive State is proud to honor and support those who served.

VA Claims Insider has put together this guide to the best Utah veteran benefits to help you find all the benefits you’ve earned!

utah veteran benefits
Table of Contents

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What are the top Utah veteran benefits?

Utah veteran benefits include property tax exemptions, education and training programs, employment assistance, special driver’s licenses and vehicle plates, discounted hunting and fishing licenses, and more!

A veteran’s (or service member’s) military branch, career status, disability status, and residence status can affect benefit eligibility.

The Utah Department of Military and Veterans Affairs administers many of Utah’s veterans’ programs and benefits. This is a great place to learn about your state and federal benefits or get help with claims and applications. 

Read on for the ultimate guide to top Utah veteran benefits in 2021!  


Utah Disabled Veteran Benefits for Property Taxes, Retirement Pay

Utah offers disabled veterans with a VA disability rating of 10% (or greater) a property tax exemption of up to $275,699 of the taxable value of their residence (or personal property). 

The amount of your exemption is based on your VA disability percentage, and veterans with 100% VA disability can claim the entire exemption. If your VA disability is less than 100%, you’ll receive a percentage of the total exemption that’s equal to your disability percentage. You can figure out your abatement by multiplying your percentage of disability by 275,699. For example: 10% disability x 275,699 = $27,569.90 tax abatement. This amount is subtracted from the property’s taxable value; taxes are paid on the remaining amount.

The surviving spouse or dependent of a veteran who died in the line of duty is also eligible for an exemption.

To apply for this exemption, submit a summary-of-benefits letter from the VA along with a property tax abatement application to your county treasurer, tax assessor, or clerk in the county government building where you live, on or before Sept. 1 of the year. 

All property must be on record as of January 1 of the year you file taxes.

You only have to file for this exemption one time. After that, it automatically renews each year.

Utah veterans tax benefits

No Tax on Utah Disabled Veteran Benefits

Utah disabled veteran retirement pay is not subject to state income tax. This includes any pay received as a pension, annuity, or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces Utah, such as:

  • Compensation and pension payments for disabilities paid to Utah disabled veteran families
  • Grants for homes designed for wheelchair living
  • Grants for motor vehicles for Utah veterans who lost their sight or the use of limbs, or
  • Benefits under a dependent-care assistance program

Utah Veteran Benefits for Education

Utah veteran benefits for college students extend to veterans and their families seeking tuition and education support.

Utah Veteran Benefits Include State-Resident Tuition Rates

Veterans released from active service within 12 months of attending school are granted in-state tuition rates at Utah schools. See your school’s admissions office to apply.

Purple Heart Tuition Waiver

Purple Heart recipients are eligible for a tuition waiver at all public institutions of higher learning in Utah. This benefit can be used toward a degree up to and including a master’s degree. For these Utah veteran benefits, submit your Purple Heart documentation to the school you are attending.

Scott Lundell Military Survivors Tuition Waiver

Surviving dependents of service members killed in action on or after September 11, 2001, are eligible for a full tuition waiver at Utah schools. See the Utah veteran benefits in Utah state law here.

Tuition Gap Program

Utah veteran benefits include tuition assistance for the final school year at Utah higher education institutions. The assistance is for tuition only and does not include housing, books, or other expenses.

Funds are awarded annually unless the remaining period of enrollment is less than the award year. Funds are paid each semester or a quarter if the student maintains a satisfactory academic standing (as defined by the institution).  

More about the Tuition Gap program

Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) Program

Utah veterans attending (or planning to attend) college, university, technical school, or a certificate program may qualify for the Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program. Services are free and include:

  • Academic assessment
  • Academic instruction in math, English, and computer literacy
  • Counseling and advisement
  • College and life skills development workshops
  • Information and assistance with financial aid and admissions applications
  • Referrals to additional college and community services
  • Dedicated computer lab and study areas

You may be eligible if you served at least 181 days of active duty and meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You are a low-income student and potential first-generation college graduate (neither parent has a baccalaureate, four-year degree), or
  • You were a member of a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces called to active duty for at least 31 days on or after September 11, 2001, or
  • You were called to active duty for fewer than 30 days in support of a contingency operation on or after September 11, 2001

More about the Veterans Upward Bound Program


Utah Veteran Benefits for Employment

Several Utah veteran benefits aim to support those who served and their families transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce.

Utah Veteran Benefits in the Utah Patriot Partnership

The Utah Patriot Partnership program recognizes the efforts of organizations that hire and retain veterans in their workforce. Businesses all across the state want to thank Utah veterans who have returned home after serving courageously on the world’s battlefields. Participating employers recognize the value of hiring veterans and meet specified criteria distinguishing them as a Utah Patriot Partner.

Utah Veteran Benefits Grant Hiring Preference for State Jobs

Utah veteran benefits entitle you to hiring preferences when seeking initial employment with the Utah state government:

  • Five points or 5% of the total possible score (whichever is greater) if the applicant is a veteran
  • 10 points or 10% of the total possible score (whichever is greater) for a Utah disabled veteran or Purple Heart recipient, or
  • A spouse or surviving spouse may receive the same preferences as the qualifying veteran

More about Utah veteran hiring preference for state employment

Utah Veteran Benefits for Accelerated Credentialing

The Accelerated Credentialing to Employment (ACE) program helps Utah veterans and their spouses overcome barriers to employment. Whether assisting them in attaining certificates and licenses based on their military training and experience or helping them with short-term training, ACE specialists throughout the state stand ready to help veterans find better jobs.

Veterans Business Resource Center (VBRC)

The Veterans Business Resource Center (VBRS) ensures that Utah veteran entrepreneurs and their families have the best resources available to start or grow their business. The program works closely with the Utah Veteran-Owned Business Partnership to help serve the 17,000 veteran-owned businesses and veteran entrepreneurs throughout the state.

Find out more about the VBRC.

Utah Veterans Employment Representatives

Disabled Veterans Outreach Program representatives (DVOPs), along with Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs), are located statewide in various employment centers of the Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS). They provide intensive employment-related services and aid for veterans, such as:

  • Referrals to employment opportunities 
  • Help with resume writing (and referral letters)
  • Ensuring veterans hiring preferences
  • Employment counseling, and more

DWS Employment Center Sites/Veteran Representative Phone Numbers

va benefits uta

 


Utah Veteran Benefits for Driver Licenses, State ID Cards, Registration Fees, and License Plates

The Beehive State offers Utah veteran benefits for driver licenses and state ID cards, special license plates, and in some cases fee exemptions.


Veteran Designation for Driver Licenses and State ID cards

Veteran-Designated License or ID Card

Veterans 21 years or older applying for a Utah driver’s license or state ID card may add a “Veteran” designation to their license by providing proof of honorable discharge. You must appear in person at one of the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Driver License Division offices to request this designation for your driver’s license or ID card. Proof would be DD214 or, for WWII veterans, a record of separation.

Purple Heart License and Registration Fee Exemptions

Utah Purple Heart recipients are exempt from fees for motor vehicle license and registration. To receive this Utah veterans benefit, submit proof of your Purple Heart award to the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles.

Utah Veteran Benefits for Commercial Driver Licenses (CDL)

The Utah Driver License Division will waive driving skills tests for a commercial driver’s license for eligible veterans. Eligible veterans must meet the licensing qualifications, have been honorably discharged in the previous 90 days, and have operated a commercial motor vehicle during the immediate two-year period preceding discharge.

To have the CDL skills test waived, applicants must:

  • Complete the CDL-ST WVR Page 1 (the last commanding officer must complete the CDL-ST WVR Page 2)
  • Provide a DD214 or discharge papers showing honorable discharge within the previous 90 days
  • Provide a copy of a DA348, AF2293, or equivalent document verifying certification for operating a commercial motor vehicle
  • Pass all required knowledge testing

Transfer of school bus or passenger (P) endorsements is prohibited. If the applicant did not operate a vehicle with air brakes or a manual transmission, an air-brake restriction and automatic transmission rating is added to the CDL. A driver must complete a road test in a representative vehicle to remove these restrictions.

Utah application for a military skills test waiver

More about Utah Commercial Driver License Driving Skills Test Waiver

Vehicle License Plates 

Utah veteran benefits include a choice of 16 distinctive license plates honoring your service. Obtaining a special plate requires an initial $25 contribution to the Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs plus a $10 plate transfer fee and the normal vehicle registration, property tax, and shipping fees. 

You can purchase Utah veterans’ license plates from any Utah DMV facility. There is an annual $10 renewal fee. Proceeds help to fund Utah veteran benefits.

Special license plate designations include:

  • Veteran-Army
  • Purple Heart/Combat Wounded
  • Pearl Harbor Survivor
  • POW
  • Gold Star Family
  • Disabled Veteran (with no annual contribution)

More about Utah military special group license plates

More about Utah disabled veteran license plate


Utah Veteran Benefits For Recreation

Utah disabled veterans can enjoy the state’s spectacular natural beauty with reduced fees to parks as well as hunting and fishing licenses.

Utah Disabled Veteran Benefits Include an Honor Pass

The Utah Parks and Recreation Division offers a free “Honor Pass” to nearly all Utah state parks.

The Honor Pass is valid for the Utah disabled veteran and up to seven guests in the same private vehicle (day-use admittance only). Passes are good until the end of the calendar year, but you can present your updated documentation again to receive another pass.

Honor Passes are non transferable and are not valid at This Is the Place Heritage Park. The pass does not apply to special fees within state parks, including camping fees, golf greens fees, special program fees, etc.

Honorably discharged Utah veterans with a service-related disability rating of 50% or greater should provide a current summary of benefits letter from VA to obtain the Honor Pass at select locations across Utah.

Utah State Parks region offices

Utah Disabled Veteran Benefits for Fishing and Hunting 

Reduced-fee fishing and hunting licenses are available to Utah disabled veterans:

  • One-year fishing license, $12.00
  • One-year hunting license, $25.50
  • One-year combination license, $28.50

Applicants must provide an official written letter, statement, or card issued by the VA (or their service branch), certifying a service-connected disability rating of 20% or higher.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, license, permit, and miscellaneous fees

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources online application for disabled veteran hunting, fishing, or combination license

utah disabled veteran benefits

Utah Veteran Benefits Fight Homelessness 

When it comes to Utah veteran benefits and the problem of homelessness, the State of Utah leaves no hero behind.

Homeless Veterans Fellowship

The Utah Homeless Veterans Fellowship is a nonprofit organization in Ogden offering a comprehensive set of services to address homelessness among veterans. The Fellowship’s mission is to provide a stabilized living environment, counseling services, and additional programs to enable homeless veterans to return to self-sufficiency.

Contact:

Utah Homeless Veterans Fellowship
541 23rd St., P.O. Box 1706
Ogden, Utah 84402-1706

Phone: (801)392-7662
Fax: (801)392-5796
Email: [email protected]

More about the Utah Homeless Veterans Fellowship

Valor House

Located on the VA campus in Salt Lake City, Valor House provides transitional housing for up to two years for homeless veterans. There are 60 beds available. For more information regarding this program, contact Rich Landward at (801)582-1565, ext. 2703, or (800)613-4012, ext. 2703.


Utah Veteran Benefits for Health Care

Utah veteran benefits for health care flow through a Regional Benefits Office and several medical centers across the state.

Utah falls within the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System under the Rocky Mountain Network (VISN 19). Utah veterans can receive care from several facilities, including the George E. Wahlen Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center as well as seven outpatient clinics and four Vet Centers.

More on eligibility for VA health care 

Utah Veterans Homes

There are currently four beautiful veterans’ nursing homes that provide long-term care for Utah veterans. The state works in conjunction with a private health care provider to manage and operate the homes. All four homes carry a five-star rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

In general, a veteran is eligible for admission to a veteran’s home if they served on active duty or deployed while serving in the Reserves. There is no cost for veterans with a 70% (or greater) service-connected disability. For veterans with a lower disability rating, VA subsidizes the cost with a per diem of approximately $115/day. Spouses of veterans and Gold Star parents are also eligible for admission, but the VA does not subsidize the cost of care.

William E. Christoffersen Salt Lake Veterans Home
700 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah 84113-1104
(801)584-1900

George E. Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home
1102 N 1200 W Ogden, Utah 84404
(801) 334-4300

Mervyn Sharp Bennion Central Utah Veterans Home
1551 N. Main St., Payson, Utah 84651
(801)465-5400

Southern Utah Veterans Home
160N 200E, Ivins, Utah 84738
(435)634-5220

Utah veterans school benefits

Utah Disabled Veteran Benefits for Public Transportation

Utah disabled veteran benefits include reduced-fare cards issued by the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) for riding UTA busses and TRAX light-rail systems.

Eligible Utah disabled veterans have at least one of the following:

  • Difficulty getting on or off a system
  • Difficulty standing in a moving system
  • Difficulty reading system schedules or understanding signs
  • Difficulty hearing announcements by system operators

Reduced-fare cards require proof of eligibility. Veterans must provide one of the following documents (along with a completed application form):

  • Proof of age (65 or older) and photo ID (state driver’s license, pictured VA card, or passport)
  • Medicare card and photo ID
  • A healthcare provider statement form from an approved provider written and signed within the last 45 days

Create an account to apply for a Utah Transit Authority reduced fare card.


Utah Veteran Benefits: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do Utah disabled veteran benefits include help with property taxes?

Yes! Utah offers a tax abatement for disabled veterans (and unmarried spouses, as well as dependents) on a permanent residence. The veteran’s disability rating must be at least 10% to qualify. The maximum property tax abatement is $275,699 (for 100% service-connected disability); multiply your percentage of disability by 275,699. For example: 10% disability x 275,699 = $27,569.90 tax abatement. This amount is subtracted from the property’s taxable value; taxes are paid on the remaining amount.

Does Utah assist disabled veterans with college tuition?

Purple Heart recipients are eligible for a tuition waiver at all public institutions of higher learning in Utah. The benefit can be used toward a degree up to and including a master’s degree. For these Utah veteran benefits, submit your Purple Heart documentation to the school you want to attend.

Do Utah veteran benefits help when seeking professional credentials?

Yes! The Accelerated Credentialing to Employment (ACE) program helps Utah veterans and their spouses overcome barriers to employment by expediting certificates and licenses based on their military training and experience or assisting them with short-term training. There are ACE specialists available throughout the state.

Can Utah veterans order special license plates for their vehicles?

Yes! Utah offers veterans 16 distinctive license plates honoring their service. Obtaining a special plate requires an initial $25 contribution to the Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs plus a $10 plate transfer fee and the standard vehicle registration, property tax, and shipping fees. You can purchase these plates from any Utah DMV. 

Are there Utah disabled veteran benefits for state parks and recreation?

Yes! Utah disabled veterans with a service-connected disability rating of 50% or greater can receive an “Honor Pass” good for day admission at nearly all Utah state parks. The pass is valid for the disabled veteran and up to seven guests in the same private vehicle. Reduced-fee fishing and hunting licenses are also available to Utah disabled veterans.

Do Utah disabled veteran benefits help with transportation?

Yes! Utah disabled veteran benefits include reduced-fare cards issued by the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) for riding UTA buses and TRAX light-rail systems.

For answers to more questions, visit the Utah Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.


MAKE SURE YOU GET ALL THE BENEFITS YOU DESERVE

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 every step of the way 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 have 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 supported more than 15,000 veterans to 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 & Nexus Statements (Medical Nexus Letters) for a wide range of disability conditions.

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