On November 11th of each year, we honor the men and women who served in our Armed Forces. The origin of Veterans Day dates back to the First World War. Originally called Armistice Day, it originated in 1919 as a way to commemorate the anniversary of the end of World War I. It became a national holiday in 1938. In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower changed the name to Veterans Day in order to honor veterans of all wars.
As of 2018, 144,032 veterans lived in West Virginia. That is about 8% of the state’s population. These veterans and their families are 100% of the population the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance serves. We work to connect those veterans to the benefits and resources they are qualified to receive. In the last year alone, we have been able to connect our state’s veterans with more than $1.9 billion in benefits and assistance.
We want to do more and we need your help.
Veterans in West Virginia enjoy the Military Retirement Pay State Income Tax Exemption and the Homestead Exemption. For veterans receiving the Military Retirement Pay State Income Tax Exemption, military retirement income paid by the United States or the state are exempt from state income tax. With the Homestead Act, veterans with 100% permanent and total service-connected disabilities may be exempt from certain property taxes.
Some education benefits veterans may be intitled to include the Medal of Honor and Purple Heart Tuition waivers and In-State Tuition Rates for nonresidents. West Virginia residents who have been awarded the Medal of Honor or Purple Heart are eligible to have tuition and mandatory fee charges at public higher education institutions waived while nonresident recipients of the GI are eligible for in-state tuition.
One important issue we work with is connecting veterans to disability services, benefits and compensation for service-related injuries and illnesses. More than 35,000 veterans in this state qualify for federal disability compensation benefits and we want to make sure we leave nothing on the table when it comes to getting these individuals what they are entitled to receive.
This Veterans Day we call on you to help us help more veterans. Educate veterans about our services and how we can help. Encourage veterans to contact us for any assistance they may need. Connect with us so we can to connect these men, women, and their families to these and many more benefits that are available.
For information on the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance, visit veterans.wv.gov.