Vermont Veteran Benefits

Military servicemembers and veterans in Vermont can enjoy a generous range of benefits from organizations in the state. These benefits can help you with your education, housing, health, and other needs. Check out our summaries of many of these benefits below.

Veteran Home Loans

If you're currently stationed in the Green Mountain State, you might have thought about buying a home near one of the Vermont military installations shown in the following graphic:

Those who've served in our military—whether currently stationed in the state, from Vermont and serving elsewhere, or veterans—deserve a mortgage that's better and more accessible than a conventional loan. That's why the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) guarantees mortgages for eligible men and women with military service.

VA loans in Vermont can be used to meet different financial goals, including:

  • Buying a home
  • Refinancing an existing mortgage
  • Consolidating debts into one mortgage debt with a lower interest rate

With a VA loan, you could finance a home much more easily than you might expect. These loans offer excellent advantages over other mortgages, boasting the following:

  • Low interest rates when compared to the national average
  • A fairly low cost of borrowing (which is even lower for veterans with disabilities)
  • No high credit score requirement
  • The option to put no money down on a home purchase
  • No private mortgage insurance (PMI) payments

The amount you are eligible to borrow depends on multiple factors, including things like your income and debt-to-income ratio.

How to Get a VA Home Loan in Vermont

To get a VA mortgage in Vermont, you'll want to first find out if you're eligible. Contact any VA-approved lender, and they'll likely verify your eligibility quickly. (We at Low VA Rates would be happy to help you with this step!)

If you find out you're not currently eligible, don't worry—our loan experts at Low VA Rates can help. They'll work with you to create a qualification action plan.

Second, it's smart to get VA loan quotes from several VA-approved lenders that each have a reputation for understanding and helping military personnel and veterans.

It's not uncommon for borrowers to think that because the loans are government-backed, it's fine to go with the first lender you find that offers VA loans. However, though there are some government guidelines they have to follow, lenders can still offer their own rates, terms, and other loan details—which is why it's smart to shop around.

We at Low VA Rates have been committed to serving veterans and servicemembers from day one. To get a quote or ask questions about VA loans in Vermont, call Low VA Rates at 866-569-8272 (toll-free). You can also use our simple online application.

Veteran Housing Benefits

Programs for Homeless Veterans

If you're a veteran facing homelessness in Vermont or are at risk of becoming homeless, you are not alone. There are resources and organizations that can help, including the following three:

  • 211 – Call 2-1-1, which is a toll-free number, to get a list of nearby shelters. You can also visit the Vermont 211 Resource Directory's Housing page to find providers of different housing services.
  • Transitional Housing Programs – Certain Vermont facilities focus on long-term, transitional housing as well as helping each veteran successfully reintegrate into the community. To apply for a program, visit Vermont's Homeless Veterans web page and find the contact information for these facilities.
  • Community Shelters – The Homeless Veterans web page (in the previous bullet) also lists a variety of shelters for single adults, families, and those with mental illnesses.

Veteran Crisis Support

Vermont has multiple resources to help veterans who are facing a crisis, whether it's mental health-related, needs-related, or something else. You and your family can receive confidential, professional help getting through a difficult time. Visit the state's Veterans in Crisis page for more information, resources, and contact details.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of hurting themselves or others, the state recommends you call 911 rather than taking the time to look through other crisis resources.

Vermont Veterans' Home

Eligible veterans, along with their spouses and Gold Star parents, may be admitted to the Vermont Veterans' Home to receive clinical care and other services, which include:

  • Alzheimer's care
  • Skilled nursing
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Podiatry
  • Dental care
  • Music and Memory therapy
  • And others

Qualified veterans must have an honorable discharge after serving for 90 days or longer in either peacetime or wartime. Spouses and Gold Star parents may be eligible as well, though veterans are given priority admission. Visit the Admissions page for application instructions.

Property Tax Exemption for Veterans

Certain veterans and veterans' spouses qualify for a Vermont property tax exemption. The exemption allows your taxes to be calculated with a lowered appraised home value, reducing the taxes you pay on your property. An eligible veteran or survivor must own the home and use it as a primary residence to qualify for the exemption.

The following may be eligible for this exemption:

  • Veterans who have been rated as at least 50% disabled and are receiving Disability Compensation
  • Veterans who receive medical military retirement pay
  • Veterans who receive the Improved Pension (a non-service-related pension)
  • The surviving spouses of deceased veterans who were eligible

To apply, submit proof of your eligibility to the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs before the deadline each year.

Veteran Education & Employment Benefits

Education Benefits

The postsecondary education world can be difficult to navigate even for those who have not spent time in the service. That's why Vermont provides several resources to assist veterans and servicemembers in their pursuit of further education or training, from scholarships to help finding quality programs.

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC)

The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC), a non-profit organization in the state, helps Vermont residents to get post-secondary education or training. It provides information, guidance, grants, and other resources, including scholarships for veterans and military families.

Visit their website to learn about financial aid, get started with an educational plan, and more.

Armed Services Scholarship

The Armed Services Scholarship may benefit the spouses and children of:

  • Active duty military servicemembers who died on active duty from 2001 on
  • Members of the Vermont National Guard or the US reserves who died while in the service

The scholarship can help eligible students finish an undergraduate degree at a college or university in Vermont. Students using the benefit at state institutions can receive full tuition coverage, while students at private institutions can receive a portion of the tuition cost.

You can apply for this scholarship either through the Vermont National Guard (for Guard members) or the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs.

Using Education Benefits at Non-College Institutions

Many servicemembers and veterans want to pursue educational goals other than a college degree. If that's you, Vermont has approved certain programs where you can use your GI Bill, including:

  • Programs at certain trade schools
  • Apprenticeships
  • On-the-job training programs

Each of these three categories is managed by a different representative or agency, which you can contact to learn more. For more information, visit the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs page and scroll to the "Can I Use Education Benefits if I Don't Want to Go to College?" section.

Finding Vermont Institutions and Programs Approved for Education Benefits

To find Vermont institutions of higher education, apprenticeships, and other programs that are approved for the GI Bill, you can use the WEAMS (Web Enabled Approval Management System) search engine in this way:

  • Choose which type of program you're looking for from the drop-down menu
  • Click on "VT" either on the US map or the list beneath it
  • Click on an institution to see its contact information, certain program information, and the name(s) of the certifying official(s) you can ask about their approved programs

For more specific information, you can also speak with the VA Certifying Official at the school or program or contact the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs.

High School Diplomas for Veterans

If you weren't able to receive a high school diploma because you were serving in World War II, Korea, or Vietnam, you can apply to receive one now.

Visit the Recognition for Your Service web page to find more information (under "High School Diplomas for Veterans") as well as the application, which you can turn in to the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs. The office will confirm whether you're eligible and send your application to the high school you choose.

Employment Benefits

Veterans in Vermont have freely offered their time and energy to the country and deserve to receive assistance preparing, finding, and applying for work. Check out the following resources for career support and benefits available for Vermont's veterans.

Career Resource Centers

If you're a veteran, Vermont's Career Resource Centers can help you search for employment and find training opportunities. Visit the Employment Assistance web page to find the contact information for your nearest center.

Vermont also has Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Representatives who are trained to provide employment assistance to veterans who have disabilities or other barriers to employment. Contact or visit your local center for more information.

Work in the Vermont Civil Service

If you'd like to find and apply for a state government job, you can visit Vermont's Careers web page and follow the instructions for logging in and searching for jobs.

As a veteran, you may be able to apply to certain job positions that the general public doesn't have access to. Contact the Department of Human Resources to learn more about the opportunities available to you.

Veterans Preference in Civil Service Job Applications

You may be eligible to have preference points added to your application score during the hiring process for a civil service position. This could improve your chances of getting a job, but you might still have to compete with other qualified candidates.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a veteran of the US Armed Forces with 90 or more days of service and an honorable or other acceptable discharge,
  • Be the spouse of a veteran who has a complete service-related disability, or
  • Be the unremarried surviving spouse of a veteran.

If you're a qualified veteran, Vermont's veterans preference law also says you should be able to apply for state jobs that are usually only offered to current state employees. Contact the Department of Human Resources for more information on what you could apply for or how preference is applied.

Military Waiver of Skills Test for Commercial Driver's License

If you have commercial driving experience from your service in the US military, you may be able to get a civilian commercial driver's license (CDL) without taking the skills test. To be eligible, you must:

  • Have driven a commercial vehicle in the military for set periods of time immediately before both applying and being discharged
  • Have a current license
  • Not have a disqualifying offense

Visit the Military Skills Test Waiver Eligibility web page to see if you're eligible and download the application form.

Other Veteran Benefits

Tax Exemptions for Vermont Military Members

You might qualify for a tax exemption, abatement, or extension if you're a member of the military. With these benefits, you may be able to:

  • Exclude military pay from taxable income,
  • Receive a tax extension or interest/fee exemption if you've served in a combat zone,
  • Be exempt from repaying education loans, or
  • Receive other advantages (there are quite a few).

The tax benefits you're eligible for depend on your resident status, military status, and whether you're a full-time active duty servicemember. Spouses of servicemembers may also be eligible for tax benefits.

For more information, visit the Vermont Tax Guide for Military and National Services or contact the Vermont Department of Taxes.

Waiver of Fees from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

You may be eligible to have certain DMV fees waived, including the registration, licensing, and sales tax on your vehicle. To receive this benefit, you must:

  • Be a disabled veteran
  • Have received a VA grant to have your motor vehicle altered to better accommodate your disability

Contact the DMV to learn more.

License Plates for Veterans

Vermont's DMV offers a Veterans Plate option for eligible veterans' vehicles. The DMV also offers other types of military license plates, including the following (and more):

  • Former Prisoner of War
  • Pearl Harbor Survivor
  • Purple Heart
  • Veterans' Organizations

Visit the Military License Plates web page to see available plates and, when applicable, their associated requirements and fees.

You can apply at any time—not just when you need to renew your registration—through the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs with a DD-214 form, or you can go in person to the Montpelier DMV.

Extension of Driver's License for Servicemembers

If you're a resident of Vermont on active duty with the military, you can get a military extension to keep using your Vermont driver's license for up to four years beyond its normal expiration date. Once you're discharged, you should renew your driver's license within 30 days.

Veteran Designation on Vermont Driver's License or Identification Card

You can request a veteran designation on the front of your Vermont driver's license or ID card. This can help verify you as a veteran in certain situations, like to get discounted services from vendors.

You can get the application forms by visiting a Vermont DMV location or contacting the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs.

Vermont's Medals for Veterans

Vermont awards three different medals for military service:

  • The Vermont Veterans Medal – Can be awarded to honorably-discharged veterans.
  • The Vermont Distinguished Service Medal – Can be awarded to honorably-discharged veterans with combat service experience.
  • The Patriots Medal – Can be awarded to family members of Vermont veterans who died during service.

Medals can be sent through the mail, or you can elect to receive yours during the Vermont State House presentation ceremony with the Governor. If you have a deceased veteran family member, you may be able to accept a medal in their honor.

Fill out an application form or call the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs for more information about applying.

Vermont Veteran Assistance Fund

The Vermont Veteran Assistance Fund gives veterans and military families one-time grants for severe financial needs. You must be a resident of Vermont to receive this benefit and can use it to pay for utilities, housing, or other necessities.

Apply over the phone by calling the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs.

Veteran Recreation Benefits

Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Disabled Veterans

You could be eligible for a free permanent Vermont fishing or combination hunting and fishing license. You'll need to meet the following three qualifications:

  • You're a resident of Vermont
  • You're a veteran with a service-related disability
  • You're VA-rated to be (or have previously been) at least 60% disabled

To get the combination license instead of just the fishing license, you'll need to also qualify for a hunting license.

Apply using the application found on the Permanent Licenses for People with Disabilities web page. You'll need to show your disability rating letter from the VA, along with other required documents.

If you're not a resident of Vermont but would qualify for this benefit if you were, you may be able to get a free fishing or combination license that lasts for one year. Your state of residency must be one that provides a reciprocal privilege for Vermont veterans.

Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Military Personnel

You may qualify for a free or reduced-cost hunting, fishing, or combination license if you are either of the following:

  • A resident on active duty or in a state-side contingency or homeland defense operation (the license is free)
  • A non-resident stationed in Vermont (resident license fees apply)

Please visit the Licenses for Military Personnel web page for application instructions. When you apply for a hunting or combination license, you may need to submit additional documentation of your fitness to hold a hunting license.

Green Mountain Passports

For a very small fee, you can get a Green Mountain Passport, which will give you free admission to Vermont's state parks, historic sites, and state-sponsored events. You must be a resident of Vermont and a veteran of the uniformed services to be eligible.

You can apply at your town office.

Veteran Service Organizations

To find community activities, benefits, service projects, entertainment, services, political work, etc. for veterans, you can contact independent veterans service organizations in Vermont, such as:

  • Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
  • The American Legion
  • Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
  • Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Transportation Network

Some of these organizations have Veteran Service Officers that can help you for free with your VA benefits. Contact the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs to get a list of even more organizations that may focus on things relevant to your veteran experience.

Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery

The Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery provides free interment for veterans, as well as free care of veterans' lots, markers, and funeral honors. Veterans' spouses and minor children can also be interred at the cemetery for a fee. You may want to pre-register with the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs in order to make the process of interment simpler for loved ones when the time comes.

For more details, view the cemetery's Customer Guidelines.

Additionally, if a veteran dies destitute, Vermont will take care of his or her interment. You can contact the nearest Vermont Economic Services Division Office for help.

Veteran Benefits Assistance

The Vermont Veterans and Family Outreach Program is available to help veterans and their families access the benefits they qualify for. Staff are often veterans themselves—most of whom have seen combat—and can:

  • Direct you to helpful resources
  • Provide crisis support
  • Help you overcome certain barriers to receiving the care you need

You can also contact a Veterans Service Officer near you (see the list near the bottom of the linked web page), who can help you prepare claims for your benefits.

Additionally, if you need help getting your state benefits or have questions, contact the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs. Experienced staff members can also help you apply for federal benefits, such as disability and survivor benefits.

Records Request

Applying for benefits often requires accessing certain records. If your home of record was Vermont when you were discharged from the military, you can request your military records from the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs using the records release application.

Women Veterans

Vermont has multiple resources specifically for women veterans. Some of these include:

  • Medical services for women
  • A VA medical women's coordinator
  • A Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs women's coordinator

If you have any questions about what services or benefits are available to you or you need help accessing your benefits, you can contact the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs women's coordinator for assistance.

About Low VA Rates

Low VA Rates was founded on our passion for serving those who've served our country. We specialize in helping eligible veterans and current military personnel get their hard-earned VA loan benefits, and with years of experience, our experts can provide you great assistance with VA loans in Vermont.

Call Low VA Rates toll-free at 866-569-8272 for a VA loan quote or to learn more about how to get a VA home loan in Vermont. You can also go through our quick online application system.