Connecticut veterans are eligible for state benefits in a variety of areas. However, eligibility requirements may vary according to the benefit program:
- Admission to the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs
- Burial in the Connecticut Veterans Cemetery, Middletown
- Educational Benefit/Tuition Waivers
- Motor Vehicles
- Tax Exemptions
- Connecticut Veteran-Owned Micro Business Certification
- Veterans Agriculture Program
Admission to the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs
Eligible Connecticut Veterans may apply for the Residential Facility, Patriots' Landing or the Sgt. John L. Levitow Healthcare Center.
Burial in the Connecticut Veterans Cemetery is reserved for eligible veterans and their spouses. Grave markers are also provided.
Veterans may attend Connecticut Public Colleges and Universities tuition free. Connecticut statutes provide that tuition may be waived for qualified veterans attending the University of Connecticut, Connecticut State Universities and the 12 Community-Technical Colleges. Waivers cover only the cost of tuition for credit-bearing undergraduate and graduate programs. Other charges, such as for books, student activity and course fees, parking, and room and board, are not waived. To qualify for a waiver at the University of Connecticut and Connecticut State Universities, veterans generally must be matriculated, that is, admitted to a degree program. The Community-Technical Colleges are more flexible. Remember to take a copy of your separation papers with you when applying for admission and registering for courses.
Tuition waivers for veterans cover 100% of tuition for General Fund courses at all public colleges and universities and 50% for Extension Fund and summer courses at Connecticut State Universities.
For more information it is highly recommended you contact the Veterans Services or Financial Aid/Bursar’s Office of the school you are interested in attending:
- University of Connecticut Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window
- Connecticut State University System (Eastern, Central, Western, Southern) Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window
- List of Connecticut Community Colleges Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window
How To Qualify
To be eligible for veterans’ tuition benefits at any college or university, a veteran must:
Honorably discharged or released from under honorable conditions from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces. National Guard members, activated under Title 10 of the United States Code, are also included;
Have served at least 90 days or more cumulative days active duty in time of war (see Periods of Service) except if separated from service earlier because of a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs rated service-connected disability; or the war, campaign or operation lasted less than 90 days and service was for the duration;
Accepted for admission at a Connecticut public college or university;
Living in Connecticut at the time of acceptance, which includes domicile for less than one year.
High School Diplomas and Veterans of World War II
Local Boards of Education may award high school diplomas to those World War II veterans who did not receive them when they left high school before graduation for military service. [PA 00-124]
State law provides for free motor vehicle registration and special plates for former prisoners of war and recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Veterans who were state residents at the time of induction and who apply within two (2) years of receiving an honorable discharge are exempt from paying for an operator’s license and examination fees for one (1) licensing period (CGS § 14-50 ).(C))
State law also provides that fees may be waived for the following registration items, subject to a formal determination by the Department of Motor Vehicles:
- Special license plates for disabled veterans, and Special-fee license plates for certain disabilities (loss of use of or loss of limb, or blindness) for handicapped and overtime parking.
Veterans, including Merchant Marines who served during WWII, are eligible for a $1,500 exemption for property tax purposes (e.g., real estate property or automobiles).
Veterans below a certain income level and/or disabled veterans are eligible for additional property tax exemptions. Surviving spouses of veterans may also be eligible for this benefit. Contact your municipality’s Tax Assessor Officer for specific details. (CGS § 12-81, CGS § 12-81g)
An exemption is the reduction of the property’s assessed value for tax purposes. (CGS § 12-81)
Towns that evaluate after October 1988 must adjust their veteran’s property tax exemptions above statutory limits. The adjustment must be proportionate to the change in the value of the town’s grand list following revaluation. (CGS § 12-62)
State law fully exempts federally taxable military retirement pay from the state income tax (CGS § 12-701(20)(B)(xvii)).
Connecticut Veteran-Owned Micro Business Certification
Pursuant to Public Act 16-184 Connecticut Veteran-owned micro businesses shall be afforded a fifteen per cent price preference in the determination of the lowest responsible qualified bidder by the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services (DAS) pursuant to (CGS § 4a-59 as amended).
ELIGIBILITY: To receive the fifteen per cent price preference, a bidding business must first obtain a Veteran-owned Micro Business certification from the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs. The Certification is valid for one year or until such time as the business is no longer in compliance with the statutory requirements, which ever occurs first. The Certification must be submitted to DAS along with your business' state contract bid.
Veterans Agriculture Program
This program gives a tax incentive to encourage certain veterans to start a farming business. Specifically, the law relaxes the conditions eligible veterans must meet to qualify for a sales and use tax exemption permit for property used exclusively in commercial agricultural production (CGS § 12-412(63)(D)).
Pretrial Diversionary Programs
The law allows veterans to participate in accelerated rehabilitation twice, instead of only once, as allowed by law for non-veterans (CGS § 54-56e). The accelerated rehabilitation program is available for people accused of certain crimes or motor vehicle violations. It also allows veterans (1) participating in the pretrial drug education program or (2) with certain mental health conditions that are amenable to treatment to be assigned to state and federal departments of veterans’ affairs services as an alternative to services from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (CGS §§ 54-56i and 54-56l). (Pretrial diversionary programs allow criminal defendants to avoid prosecution and incarceration by successfully completing these court-sanctioned community-based treatment programs before trial.)
Other Than Honorable (OTH) Discharge and State and Municipal Benefits
Effective October 1, 2018, Public Act 18-47 extends certain state and municipal benefits, currently available to veterans honorably discharged or released under honorable conditions from active service in the armed forces, to veterans who received an Other than Honorable (OTH) discharge characterization.
To be eligible for such benefits, a veteran with an OTH discharge must be diagnosed with one or more of three “Qualifying Conditions” which are: (1) post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from military service, (2) a traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting from military service, or (3) experienced military sexual trauma (MST) as described in 38 U.S.C. § 1720D.
The diagnosis/determination must be made by an individual licensed “to provide health care services at a United States Department of Veterans Affairs facility” which includes the following licensed persons: Physicians, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Psychologists and Licensed Clinical Social Worker and will complete CT DVA OTH Form 1.
Additional information for the OTH Qualifying Condition Verification