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September 29, 2021

Top 9 West Virginia Veteran Benefits

Last updated on October 14, 2021

Your Ultimate Guide to 2021 Veteran Benefits in West Virginia

There are many different West Virginia veteran benefits and exemptions offered by the state to current and former members of the Armed Forces who honorably served our country.

west virginia veteran benefits

West Virginia has a higher population of veterans than the national average, with nearly 8 percent or over 140,000 veterans living in West Virginia. VA Claims Insider has built this complete guide of West Virginia veteran benefits to help West Virginia veterans like you find all the benefits you earned!

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What are the top veteran benefits in West Virginia?

With such a large veteran population, it’s no wonder that West Virginia offers such a wide range of benefits for veterans. The state offers property tax exemptions, excellent state income tax exemptions for retired military, bonuses for recent veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, employment assistance, tuition assistance options, and recreational discounts to its veteran population. 

An excellent resource for veterans in the state is the WV Department of Veterans Assistance, which assists veterans in securing all the benefits you’ve rightfully earned. You can find a field office near you here. 

Make sure to get acquainted with all the benefits and exemptions you may qualify for, especially when it comes to tuition assistance. 


Property Tax Exemptions for Veterans in West Virginia

West Virginia veteran benefits include a property tax exemption for disabled veterans. If you have a 100 percent permanent and total (P&T) VA disability rating, you may be eligible for a $20,000 property tax exemption. 

You must have resided in the home as a West Virginia resident for at least two years before claiming the exemption. This requirement is waived if you’re a West Virginia resident serving outside of the state and you retire or separate to West Virginia with a 100 percent P&T rating. 

Contact your local County Assessor’s Office and apply by December 1st to receive the exemption for the next year.


West Virginia Veteran Benefits Include Income Tax Exemptions

West Virginia has excellent state income tax benefits for service members and veterans. As an active duty service member, you aren’t required to pay state income tax on your military pay if you’re stationed outside of West Virginia. If you’re stationed in West Virginia, the state income tax rate ranges from 3 to 6.5 percent, depending on total income. 

One major consideration for income tax is military retirement pay, as West Virginia does not levy state income tax on retired military members! Military disability pay and VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) pay are also not taxed. You can simply deduct your disability or DIC pay from your adjusted gross income for the state.

west virginia veteran benefits

What education benefits are available to veterans in West Virginia?

West Virginia veteran benefits for education are excellent for service members, veterans, and their families. There are many military-friendly colleges in West Virginia. According to the VA, in 2017, 76 West Virginia schools received Post 9/11 GI Bill funds for over 17,000 students totaling over $71 million. The state’s available benefits augment the federal education support available to all U.S. veterans.

Resident College Tuition Rates in West Virginia

In-state tuition rates are available at any public West Virginia college or university for active-duty military personnel or members of the National Guard, or their spouses or dependent children. United States veterans are eligible for in-state tuition if the veteran enrolls within three years of discharge and uses GI Bill benefits. Spouses or dependent children using GI Bill benefits are also eligible for resident tuition. 

College Credit in West Virginia for Military Training

All universities and local community colleges in West Virginia use the recommendations made by the American Council on Education to award academic credit toward a degree for education and training received in the military. Most schools in West Virginia will award a minimum of 11 credit hours for Basic Training alone!

To claim college credit for military training, request a transcript from your military service branch. Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard members should request a Joint Services Transcript. Air Force and Space 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 in support of West Virginia veteran benefits for education.

Veterans Re-Education Assistance

Veterans enrolled in a certified post-secondary class in West Virginia may qualify for a $500 stipend per semester. The program also supports veterans with vocational and non-traditional education on a case-by-case basis. Veterans must have received an honorable discharge, must have exhausted GI Bill benefits, and be West Virginia residents to qualify. 

To apply, complete the application and mail to:

West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance
Office of the Cabinet Secretary
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Building 5, Suite 205
Charleston, WV 25305

War Orphan Education Program

Children and spouses of service members killed in the line of duty may be eligible for free college from West Virginia. To qualify, students must be between the ages of 16 and 25 (unless they are surviving spouses). The service member must have been serving on Title 10 active duty status and also must have West Virginia as their home of record when they first enlisted. 

Students will not be charged tuition or fees by any West Virginia post-secondary institution. Additionally, if funding is available, the West Virginia Department of Veterans Affairs may award students up to $1,000 per semester to help cover the cost of room, board, books, and other living expenses.

To apply, complete the application by August 31st for the fall semester and mail to:

West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance
Office of the Cabinet Secretary
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Building 5, Suite 205
Charleston, WV 25305

Medal of Honor and Purple Heart Tuition Waivers

West Virginia veteran benefits include free college for members of our Armed Forces who have sacrificed so much for our nation. If you’re an honorably discharged veteran awarded with the Medal or Honor or a Purple Heart, you’re eligible for a full tuition and fee waiver for all public colleges and universities in West Virginia! This waiver is good for up to eight semesters or until completion of a bachelor’s degree, and students must be enrolled full-time. 

To apply, contact the financial aid office at the West Virginia higher education institution of your choosing. 

Tuition Assistance for West Virginia National Guard Members

The West Virginia National Guard will pay up to 100 percent of in-state tuition and fees for colleges and universities in the state for members! The program falls under the West Virginia National Guard Education Encouragement Program. The current cap is set at $7,000 per year. 

West Virginia Education Benefits

In order to be eligible you must:

  • Enroll in an approved college program
  • Be in good standing with your unit
  • Provide a detailed degree plan
  • Complete courses before your Expired Term of Service (ETS) date
  • Submit grades to a program manager upon completion of a course

To apply, you must complete the application online by 1 May for the fall term. 

You can find a list of participating schools here


West Virginia Benefits for Employment

There are a number of West Virginia veteran benefits that offer support with employment, and many resources are available to help veterans and their families find jobs and advance their careers.

West Virginia Veterans’ Employment Preference

West Virginia recognizes those who have served by offering employment preference to veterans when they apply for federal, state, county, and local government jobs in West Virginia.

Veterans with an honorable discharge receive five points added to their civil service exam as long as they have an initial passing score. West Virginia disabled veteran benefits are even better: ten total points for Purple Heart recipients or disabled veterans with any disability rating. 

WorkForce West Virginia Veteran Employment Assistance

West Virginia honors members of the Armed Forces, National Guard, and Reserves by offering employment assistance. Members must receive an honorable discharge to qualify for these West Virginia veteran benefits, but services include tools to help you change careers or continue with your education. 

There are 18 WorkForce Career Centers across the state to help you identify skills, determine interest, get training, polish your job-seeking skills, and find a job that’s right for you! 

If you’re a disabled veteran, Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialists (DVOPS) at each Career Center can also help you find long term employment. 

You can find a WorkForce Career Center near you to get started here. 


Financial Assistance Programs in West Virginia

Afghanistan Veteran Bonus in West Virginia

Veterans who served in the Kosovo, Iraq, or Afghanistan conflicts may qualify for a bonus of up to $600. The bonus awards $400 for those who served during a conflict outside of the combat zone and $600 for those who served in the combat zone. 

You can apply for these West Virginia veteran benefits while serving on active duty, but if you apply as a veteran you must apply for the bonus within one year of leaving military service with an honorable discharge. 

To apply, complete the application and mail to :

West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance
Office of the Cabinet Secretary
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Building 5, Suite 205
Charleston, WV 25305


Housing Benefits for Veterans in West Virginia

Veteran Homes in West Virginia

West Virginia veteran benefits include two Veterans Nursing Homes within the state. These homes are located in Barboursville and Clarksburg and offer different types of care depending on the home! For both homes, veterans must have served on Active Duty or on active service in a reserve component for 12 months to be eligible.

West Virginia Veterans Home

The West Virginia Veterans Home in Barboursville is designed for independent veterans that do not need skilled nursing care, as the home is not a treatment facility. 

WEST VIRGINIA PROPERTY TAX BENEFITS min

Veterans are eligible if they have an honorable discharge, are independent in the daily activities of living, are eligible for care at federal VA Medical Centers, and veterans must pass a pre-admission physical. The Veterans Home does not have West Virginia residency requirements to apply!

West Virginia Veterans Nursing Facility

This facility provides long-term care for veterans in need. The home is designed to create a comfortable environment for those who require skilled nursing care. Services include memory care for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. West Virginia residency for at least 12 consecutive months is also a requirement. 

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


Veteran Health Care in West Virginia

List of VA Locations in West Virginia

LocationMedical Facilities for West Virginia Veteran Benefits
BeckleyBeckley VA Medical Center
BeckleyBeckley Vet Center
CharlestonCharleston, WV Vet Center
ClarksburgClarksburg – Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center
ClarksburgRural Mobile Unit (540)
FranklinFranklin Community Based Outpatient Clinic
GassawayBraxton County CBOC (540GC)
HenlawsonLogan Outstation
HuntingtonHomeless Veterans Resource Center (Huntington, WV)
HuntingtonHershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center
HuntingtonHuntington Vet Center
LenoreLenore VA Clinic
MartinsburgMartinsburg VA Medical Center
MartinsburgMartinsburg Vet Center
MorgantownMorgantown Vet Center
ParkersburgWood County CBOC (540GB)
ParkersburgParkersburg Outstation
ParsonsTucker County CBOC (540GA)
PetersburgPetersburg Community Based Outpatient Clinic
PrincetonPrinceton VA Clinic
PrincetonPrinceton Vet Center
RonceverteGreenbrier County VA Clinic
South CharlestonCharleston VA Clinic
WestoverMonongalia County (540GD)
WheelingWheeling Vet Center

West Virginia Veterans Vehicle and Driver’s License Benefits

West 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 West Virginia driver’s license or ID card.

The word “Veteran” printed on the center of a license allows West Virginia veterans to validate their honorable service with a government-issued ID card. 

To apply for West Virginia veteran benefits through the Motor Vehicle Division, veterans must submit an application form along with a DD214 in-person at the local West Virginia DMV office

No Fee License Plates for West Virginia Veterans

West Virginia disabled veteran benefits include no-fee license plates. If you’re a veteran with a 100 percent permanent and total (P&T) VA disability rating, a former POW, Purple Heart recipient, or Pearl Harbor survivor, you’re eligible for special license plates without fee. 

For the Disabled Veteran license plate, you must get your application certified by the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance. The DMV charges a small fee for this plate, but you’re exempt from paying an annual vehicle registration fee. 

Contact your local DMV office to apply for a no fee license plate. 

WEST VIRGINIA LICENSE BENEFITS min

Veterans Benefits in West Virginia for Recreation

Free Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Disabled Veterans

West Virginia veteran benefits include free hunting and fishing for residents who are former POWs or veterans with a 100 percent permanent and total (P&T) VA disability rating. If you qualify, you don’t need to purchase a license. Simply carry proof of your disability or POW status while hunting and fishing.

If you’re an active duty service member on leave home in West Virginia, the state allows you to hunt, fish, and trap in the state without a license. Make sure to bring your leave paperwork with you. 

Learn more about free hunting and fishing in West Virginia here. 

West Virginia State Parks and Veteran Discounts

West Virginia honors all veterans and active duty service members by offering a 10 percent discount on all state park lodges and cabins. When making reservations online, use the code “Vets10” and bring your military ID when checking in. 


FAQs

Are there special property tax exemptions for West Virginia veterans?

Yes, 100 percent P&T disabled veterans receive a property tax exemption in West Virginia up to $20,000, which reduces the taxable value of a veteran’s home. In order to qualify, the veteran must be a West Virginia resident living in the home they’re claiming in the exemption for at least two years before applying. Surviving spouses of eligible veterans may also apply for this benefit. 

Are there income tax benefits for West Virginia veterans?

Active service members who are residents of West Virginia do not have to pay state income tax if they’re stationed outside of West Virginia. And West Virginia does not tax military retirement pay!

Does West Virginia award college credit for military training?

Yes, West Virginia colleges consider military training and experience, and award credit and credentialing appropriately according to the American Council on Education. 

Does West Virginia offer any tuition assistance to veterans?
Yes, there are many programs available for veterans and their family members to financially assist in paying for college. Veterans can apply for a stipend up to $500 per semester for college. Veterans who have been awarded the Medal of Honor or Purple Heart are eligible for a full tuition waiver at any public college in West Virginia for up to eight semesters. West Virginia National Guard members are also eligible for tuition assistance worth up to $7,000 per year at approved WV colleges. 

For dependents of service members killed in the line of duty, West Virginia offers a tuition waiver at any West Virginia post-secondary institution, along with a $1,000 stipend per semester from the WV Department of Veterans Affairs to help cover the cost of room and board. 

Do West Virginia veteran benefits include preferential treatment when seeking employment?  

West Virginia veterans with an honorable discharge receive a 5-point added credit to the West Virginia civil service exam for West Virginia jobs, while disabled veterans receive a 10-point added credit. 

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

Yes, West Virginia offers employment counseling and assistance to veterans through their 18 WorkForce Career Centers located throughout the state. The services help veterans find gainful employment, identify how to translate their skills into a civilian career, and what training and education to accomplish to meet their employment goals if they desire a career change.

Does West Virginia offer any special financial assistance to veterans and their families? 

The West Virginia Afghanistan Veteran Bonus rewards veterans who served in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. It pays a bonus of up to $600 to service members who served in one of these combat zones, or $400 to service members who served during specific time periods outside of these combat zones. 

Are there special West Virginia veteran benefits offering reduced recreational fees?

West Virginia offers free hunting and fishing licenses to former POWs and 100 percent permanent and total (P&T) disabled veterans. Veterans who meet these requirements and active duty service members home on leave do not need to purchase licenses; while hunting or fishing, they can merely carry proof of their status as a POW, disabled veteran, or active duty service member.  There’s a 10% discount for veterans and active military at West Virginia State Parks for lodging and cabins. 


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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