Virgin Islands Veteran Benefits

VIRGIN ISLANDS VETERAN BENEFITS

We endeavor to keep this information current, but it is subject to change without notice.

EDUCATION BENEFITS

Cell Program

Veterans who were living as residents in the Virgin Islands when they entered the military can get an education at local public colleges and the University of the Virgin Islands for free by enrolling in the Community Engagement & Lifelong Learning program or CELL for short.

The University of the Virgin Islands CELL (UVICELL) program allows for training via in class study or online courses, and classes do not need to lead to an associates or bachelor’s degree. Eligible veterans can take classes on cake decorating if they want and have it covered under the CELL program. Rules and regulations apply. Contact the University of the Virgin Islands.

USVI In-Territory Tuition

Other veterans who enroll in the University of the Virgin Islands within three years of separating from the military and using a GI Bill, will pay resident rates regardless of their legal state of residence.  

Likewise, anyone enrolling in the University using the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship within 3 years of their military parent’s death will pay in-territory tuition, regardless of legal residency. Rules and regulations apply. Contact the University of the Virgin Islands.

FINANCIAL BENEFITS

Emergency Ambulance Service

All veterans residing in the American Virgin Islands receive free emergency ambulance service.

Reimbursement for medical travel

The VA reimburses non-service-connected veterans at 100 percent when they are required to travel off the island for a VA medical appointment.

License Plates

Resident Veterans don’t pay for their license plates in the Virgin Islands

Property Tax Credits

Veteran property owners may choose the general homestead property tax credit and another tax credit from several available options as eligibility dictates. Property owners may only use two from these categories: 

  • General Homestead – tax credit limit: $400.00 
  • Veterans – tax credit limit: $650.00 
  • Seniors – tax credit limit: $500.00 
  • Disabled – tax credit limit: $500.00 
  • Class 1 Inheritance Tax Credit – Gives a credit equal to 80% of the real property taxes until $5,000 or more is spent improving the property
  • Visitable Home Tax Credit – Credit equal to 20% of the taxes levied

Each of these options have eligibility clauses and require an application to be submitted before January 1st of the tax year for the credit.

Homestead Tax Exception

Resident veterans can get a homestead tax exemption on their primary U.S. Virgin Islands home of up to $650.00.

Income tax

Retirement pay is normally taxed in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but disability retirement pay should not be if certain conditions are met:

  • Obligatory commitment to join the active service or reserves occurred on or by September 24, 1975
  • A combat-related injury or sickness has resulted in disability compensation by virtue of direct conflict, hazardous engagement, war exercises, maneuvers or live simulations, being caused by an instrument of war
  • Entitlement to disability payment occurred before September 25, 1975, OR
  • Entitlement to disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would exist if applied for

EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE

Hiring Preference

The U.S. Virgin Islands award a 10-point preference onto a veteran’s passing score on local public employment exams.  Disabled veterans receive 15 points preference.

Government Employee Retirement System

U.S. Virgin Island government employees who were active military service with the U.S. Armed Forces may be able to receive credit for their military service in their government retirement system.

Tier I employees were hired before October 1, 2005. They can get up to 10 years credit for working and paying contributions for 10 years before September 25, 2001. If their work was after September 25, 2005, their service credit is limited to 3 years.

Tier II employers were/are hired after October 1, 2005. They can receive up to three years of service credit when they qualify.

VETERANS HOME BENEFITS

The U.S. Virgin Islands does not operate a veterans’ home for its retirees or infirm.

VETERANS CEMETERY BENEFITS

Burial Plot and Expenses

While the U.S. Virgin Islands do not maintain a veterans’ cemetery, they do provide a free burial plot in local cemeteries and a burial allowance up to $3,500. The veteran must be a legal resident and have entered the military as a resident of the Virgin Islands in order to be buried under this benefit.

 

 

You can find more information regarding these benefits and other programs at the Virgin Islands Government and the Veterans Affairs website.