The Best 2021 Wyoming Disabled Veteran Benefits
In addition to the federal benefits available to all eligible U.S. military veterans no matter where you live, each state offers additional benefits for veterans that are unique to that state.
Wyoming is no exception and offers a host of special benefits and exemptions for veterans and their families.
Wyoming Veteran Benefits are excellent and Wyoming is one of the most veteran-friendly states in the U.S. Wyoming has the most veteran facilities per 10,000 veterans, and nearly 60% of Wyoming veterans are enrolled in VA health care. Approximately 1 in every 10 residents are veterans—over 10% of the state population.
In the 2016-2016 U.S. Census, the veteran unemployment rate in Wyoming was 3.67—below the state unemployment rate of 4.3%! The veteran poverty rate is low, and CNBC named it one of the top best states for veterans to live and work in 2020.
- The Best 2021 Wyoming Disabled Veteran Benefits
- Property Tax Exemptions for Wyoming Veterans
- Education Benefits for Veterans in Wyoming
- Wyoming Veterans Hiring Preferences and Employment Benefits
- Emergency Relief
- Wyoming Veteran Benefits for Vehicle License and Driver’s License
- Wyoming Veteran Benefits for Recreation
- Housing Programs for Veterans in Wyoming
- Make Sure You Get ALL the Benefits YOU Deserve
- About the Author
What are the top Wyoming Veteran Benefits?
Veteran benefits specific to the state of Wyoming include property tax exemptions, education and training programs, financial exemptions and assistance, recreational licenses and discounts, vehicle registrations, and assistance with employment.
A veteran’s (or service member’s) military branch, career status, and disability status as well as residence status can affect benefit eligibility.
The Wyoming Military Department administers many of these Wyoming veteran benefits.
Read on for a rundown of the top service member and veteran benefits in Wyoming for 2021!
Property Tax Exemptions for Wyoming Veterans
Certain veterans can get $3,000 off their primary residence’s assessed value for tax purposes (or have their vehicle licensing fee waived if they do not own their own home). This is one of the most valuable Wyoming veteran benefits.
The exemption applies to taxes on a veteran’s primary residence, lowering the assessed value by $3,000. (The $800 cap was removed in 2007. Veterans who reached the previous cap can reapply.)
To qualify, veterans must be residents of Wyoming for three or more years prior to claiming the tax exemption, and must have a DD Form 214 or equivalent from their branch of the military.
Additionally, ONE of the following must apply. The veteran must:
- have served in the Armed Forces during World War II, Korean War, or Vietnam War
- have served overseas during an armed conflict and received an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or equivalent
- be a disabled Veteran with a compensable service-connected disability as certified by VA
- be the surviving and un-remarried spouse of a qualifying veteran and reside in Wyoming
Apply at your County Assessor’s Office between January 1st and the fourth Monday of May each year. Veterans should check with their County Assessor each year prior to the deadline as the reapplication process may vary.
Education Benefits for Veterans in Wyoming
There are many Wyoming veteran benefits for service members who seek tuition and education help!
Tuition Benefits for Veterans, Spouses and Dependents
Wyoming Statute 19-14-106 provides a veterans tuition benefit in the form of free tuition and fees for overseas combat veterans, surviving spouses and dependents.
This program underwent changes during the 2018 legislative session. Current participants since summer 2018 are entitled to payment of tuition only (no fees) and are limited to eight semesters within an eight-year period.
For more information, visit: https://veteranseducation.wyo.gov/state-tuition-assistance/Welcome-page
The Wyoming National Guard Educational Assistance Plan
For the National Guard, this benefit pays 100% resident-rate tuition and mandatory fees (base fees applicable to all students) at state-sponsored community colleges, the University of Wyoming, and the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy.
At a private institution within the state, or an institution that has an agreement with the DoD, the plan pays the average of University of Wyoming and community college full-time tuition and fees per semester period. The amount changes each academic year.
The WYNG Educational Assistance Plan does have a service commitment. That commitment is six years in the Wyoming National Guard and two years of service after the last day of the term in which the plan is used. Both requirements must be satisfied.
Other eligibility requirements include:
- Participants must be in good standing and eligible for reenlistment or continuation of service
- Participants must have a 2.0 Cumulative GPA to continue receiving Educational Assistance
- Courses may be taken at multiple schools as long as they apply to the degree program being pursued
- Recreational courses must apply to the degree or program, and may not be duplicated
Participants have 10 years to complete a program.
With questions, contact the Education Service Office at 307-772-5069.
Honorary High School Diplomas for Wyoming Veterans
Wyoming Operation Recognition offers high school diplomas for veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam who were unable to complete their Wyoming high school education before entering service. Even Veterans who received their GED certificates after returning home are eligible.
Veterans who left school to serve in the military (whether by enlistment or draft) during the qualifying dates of active service are eligible:
- 7 December 1941 through 31 December 1946
- 27 June 1950 through 31 January 1955
- 28 February 1961 through 7 May 1975.
In cases of closed high schools, diplomas are issued by high schools that took in the closed ones. Application is made through the Wyoming Veterans Commission office. For more information, call 307-777-8160 or toll free within Wyoming at 800-833-5987.
Wyoming Veterans Hiring Preferences and Employment Benefits
Wyoming veteran benefits include several sources of employment support.
All veterans with other than dishonorable discharges receive a 5-point employment preference over non-veteran competitors for state jobs (5 extra points added to their successful exam scores, giving them a hiring preference over non-veterans). Veterans with a disability rating of 10% or more get an advantage of 10 points. Surviving spouses may also be entitled to this benefit.
In order for a veteran or surviving spouse to receive preference, they must have been a resident of Wyoming one year or more immediately preceding the date for appointment or employment. In addition, the applicant must be a resident of the municipality or county in which they are seeking employment.
Wartime Veterans have a preference in employment with state agencies or offices, as do widows and children of those killed on active duty. State agencies must practice veterans’ preference until they have reached 40% Veteran employment.
Employment and Training Services
The Department of Workforce Services (DWS) is Wyoming’s newest state agency, dedicated to developing a demand-driven workforce that is responsive to Wyoming’s businesses, citizens, and economy.
Veterans Services ensure assistance is provided or targeted to veterans, including services for veterans who are disabled or have employment issues. A variety of employment and training services are available through DWS and can be accessed at: http://www.wyomingworkforce.org/workers/employment/veterans/
All of Wyoming’s Workforce Centers provide career guidance, job search, resume writing, skills assessments, labor market information, and training support to all eligible veterans.
The Wyoming DWS Employment and Training Workforce Centers offer employment and training services to veterans from all military branches on a Priority of Service basis.
Veteran Priority of Service means the right of eligible covered individuals to take precedence over eligible non-covered individuals in obtaining services. The covered person receives access to the service or resource earlier in time than the non-covered person. If the service or resource is limited, the covered person receives access to the service or resource instead of or before an equally qualified non-covered person.
Veterans or eligible spouses who qualify for Priority of Service receive preference for general services, open position notifications and referrals to training.
Covered individuals include any veteran or eligible spouse. An eligible spouse is the spouse of:
- Any veteran who died of a service-connected disability
- Any member of the U.S. Armed Forces serving on active duty who, at the time of application for the priority, is listed in one or more of the following categories and has been so listed for a total of more than 90 days:
- Missing in action
- Captured in line of duty by a hostile force
- Forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power
- Any Veteran who has a total disability resulting from a service-connected disability, as evaluated by the VA
- Any veteran who died while a disability was in existence.
To register online, go to Wyoming At Work Registration Page.
National Guard Jobs Program
The Wyoming Military Department also has a program to help traditional Guard members and their family members find civilian employment opportunities within their communities. The Wyoming National Guard Jobs Coordinator can assist with resume writing, job interview skills and other tips. Contact the coordinator at (307) 772-5942.
Another Wyoming veteran benefit is the Military Assistance Trust Fund, which provides emergency monetary grants in support of service members and/or families whose financial hardship relates directly to state or federal military duty.
When Wyoming military family members experience emergencies or hardships because of their service member’s state or federal military duty, they can apply to the Military Assistance Trust Fund for assistance. There is an application and budget sheet with a qualifying process to receive an emergency grant.
For more information: http://www.wyomilitary.wyo.gov/state/benefits/
Wyoming Veteran Benefits for Vehicle License and Driver’s License
Wyoming Veteran Designation on Driver License or Identification (ID) Cards
Wyoming Veterans now have the option of requesting a veteran designation be shown on the front of their Wyoming driver’s license or ID cards.
The red “V” in the upper right-hand corner of the license or card will allow Wyoming Veterans to validate their honorable service with a government-issued identification card.
To qualify for the designation, applicants must submit a verification form and copy of their separation papers (DD214) to the Wyoming Veterans Commission.
The commission will notify WYDOT Driver Services if an applicant qualifies as an honorably discharged veteran. The Veterans Commission will not keep the DD214 copies on file. They will be destroyed to protect privacy.
Veterans will need to indicate on their driver license or ID card application that they wish to have the veteran designation on their card. Veterans who get their status verified before going to a WYDOT Driver Services office to renew their license should get their new license with the red “V” in about three weeks.
For more information:
Wyoming Disabled Veteran License Plates
A disabled veteran with 50% or more service-connected disability, who is a resident at the time of initial application or renewal application, may apply for distinctive license plates for a passenger car, pickup truck, motorcycle or multipurpose vehicle. The vehicle must be owned or leased by the veteran upon registration of the vehicle.
A disabled veteran may purchase one additional pair of license plates for either a motorcycle or multipurpose vehicle upon payment of regular registration fees.
(The disabled veteran license plates cannot be used to park in handicapped parking spaces in Wyoming. To legally park in handicap parking, a separate handicap parking placard must be obtained.)
The county treasurer will forward two copies of the approved application to the Wyoming Department of Transportation, which will indicate the assigned plate number and return a copy of the application and the plates to the county treasurer.
WYDOT Motor Vehicle Services
5300 Bishop Boulevard
Cheyenne WY 82009
Wyoming Veteran Benefits for Recreation
Wyoming Game Bird, Fish and Small Game Licenses Free for 100% Disabled Veterans
The Game and Fish Department will issue lifetime bird, small game, and fish licenses to Wyoming 100% disabled veterans at no charge. The license is valid so long as the licensee remains a Wyoming resident.
Contact one of the regional offices or the state office of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for application forms or the Wyoming Game and Fish Headquarters at 307-777-4600 for more information. Or ,call the Wyoming Veterans’ Commission state office at 307-777-8152 for more information. There are Game and Fish Department Regional Offices in Jackson, Pinedale, Cody, Sheridan, Green River, Laramie, Lander, and Casper.
To be eligible for a 100% Disabled Veteran Game Bird, Fish and Small Game License you must be a resident of Wyoming and have a letter from your Veterans Administration Regional Office certifying the 100% level of disability of the applicant. The letter must be signed by the Veterans Service Center Manager. . W.S. 23-1-705(d)
Free Wyoming State Park Lifetime Veterans Permit for Resident Disabled Veterans
The Lifetime Veteran’s Permit allows free day use and camping for life at all Wyoming State Parks, and is available to any Wyoming resident veteran with a 50% or greater service-connected disability.
Applicants must provide proof of residency and VA certification of disability rating.
Information about the permit, including the application process and benefits, can be found at the Wyoming Parks website, or you may call or visit Wyoming State Parks Headquarters at 2301 Central Ave., Cheyenne, 307-777-6323.
Housing Programs for Veterans in Wyoming
Among the best Wyoming veteran benefits is the Veterans’ Home of Wyoming. The VHW provides a secure, independent lifestyle for veterans who voluntarily seek admission. VHW offers what is known as “domiciliary care,” which is similar to assisted living care and includes food, shelter and other support.
VHW is located on the historic site of Fort McKinney, at the base of the majestic Big Horn Mountains. Built in 1878, the home was established in 1895.
Residents are able to maintain basic activities of daily living, but face challenges that prevent them from earning a living through employment.
VHW offers more than just room and board; it strives to be a community of caring people. There are two-room suites for married couples and private rooms for single residents, with a total of 117 beds. There is transportation to and from VHW, though some residents have their own cars. All residents are free to come and go as they please.
To be eligible for admission to the Veterans’ Home of Wyoming, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Must be unable to earn a living by reason of wounds, disease, old age or other infirmities; or have no adequate means of support or are already domiciled in this state.
- Must be a dependent of a qualified veteran.
- Valid in-state residence at the time of application, or the intent to permanently reside in the state
- if less than one year of state residence, the resident must not be in transit; temporary or seasonal residency is not acceptable.
Persons who are not veterans or dependents of veterans may be admitted, if less than 90 percent of the home’s capacity is occupied and a veteran’s dependent application is not pending. Individuals must also be unable to earn a living with no adequate means of support and/or domiciled in this state.
In all admission decisions, the facility will give preference to veterans first and their accompanying dependents second.
Veterans interested in joining the VHW community are encouraged to call VHW at 307-684-5511. You can request a pre-admission packet to fill out and return with copies of DD-214, recent history and physical, income verification, proof of Medicare A, B or D, and other documents. After these materials are returned to VHW, the potential resident is invited to VHW for a two-day trial stay. Following the two-day stay, the facility will give permission to admit, ask for further information, or deny the admission.
Residents’ fees are based on an individual’s ability to pay. Services included in the monthly maintenance fee include but are not limited to a furnished private room, meals, laundry services, social services, activities, and weekday transportation. There are many amenities and activities.
For more information on the Veterans’ Home of Wyoming visit the Wyoming Department of Health website https://health.wyo.gov/aging/veteranshome .
For more information on Veteran Housing Programs contact the Wyoming Veterans Commission website at: http://wyomilitary.wyo.gov/veterans/commission or call (307) 777-8152. OR, refer to the Wyoming Depart of Health website https://health.wyo.gov/aging/veteranshome.
What about income tax breaks for veterans in Wyoming?
Wyoming does not have state income tax. Residents do not file an individual state tax return.
Make Sure You Get ALL the Benefits YOU Deserve
Regardless of what state you live in, it’s important that veterans pursue the monthly compensation payments due them for disabilities connected to their 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! You served…you deserve.
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.