Washington State Veteran Benefits


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


Educational and Training Resources 

The USDA offers programs and other agricultural educational assistance to help veterans learn about agriculture and natural resources of the state. They even have some paid internships, as well as several financial programs to encourage veterans to enter into agricultural careers. 


State Employment

All veterans must have an honorable discharge to qualify for employment preference in their job search with the state or county or any public works job. Hiring preference applies to initial hire; no extra percentage points apply for promotions.

For jobs requiring examinations, non-combat veterans and mobilized Guard or Reserve members receive an additional 5 percent added to their passing scores. Combat veterans and those with a campaign ribbon, along with their surviving spouses, receive 10 percent when seeking state jobs. A retired military veteran receives 5 percent regardless of combat status.

Military Service Credit

Washington State Department of Retirement Systems offers military service credit to qualified public employees. There are several plans available depending on whether a person leaves a public job to serve, or whether they take a public job after they serve. Plans also depend on what job one holds with the state. In some cases, the military member gets credit and does not even have to ‘buy back’ retirement time.

Professional Licenses or Credentials

The Evergreen State will allow military experience and training to count toward professional licensing particularly in the civilian healthcare fields if the military training is roughly equal to civilian standards.

Commercial Driver’s License Skills Test Waiver

Veterans who are currently licensed to drive military vehicles and who want to obtain their civilian commercial driver’s License (CDL) can request a waiver of the skills test portion. It’s a short window though…they must have operated a military commercial vehicle in the last 90 days. The written portion of the CDL examination must still be taken.

Veteran Conservation Corps

The Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington state has active partnerships with counties, federal agencies and other state agencies (such as the Washington State Department of Ecology) where Veterans can intern to restore and protect the natural resources of the area. Some of these programs offer paid internships and some can lead to jobs.


Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

The State exempts disabled Veterans with 100% service-connected disabilities from paying property tax on their primary residence but there are income qualifications. Veterans must earn less than $40,000, but they do not have to consider their VA disability payments when calculating their income. Some surviving spouses may also qualify.

Free License Plates for Disabled Veterans

After one year of receiving VA disability at the 100% rate, disabled Veterans can apply to receive a disabled veteran vehicle license plate at no charge.

Loans and Assistance Programs

The USDA operates several active programs in Washington that encourage Veterans to get into farming and ranching. Specific programs include:

  • Farm Service Agency (FSA) (within the USDA) loans money to veterans so they can invest in farmland, buy equipment, or make repairs
  • The FSA Microloan program loans smaller amount of money to Veterans and others in order to meet the obligations and vision of niche-type farm and small operations
  • Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Loans for Veterans
  • Farm Service Agency Direct Farm Ownership Loans
  • Department of Veteran Affairs Farm Loans: Home Loans for Rural Residents


Hunting & Fishing Licenses

The Evergreen state offers hunting and fishing licenses at a discount to Veterans who have a 30 percent or greater rating. Residents and non-residents alike qualify. And, if you are aged 65 or older, you can get your sport licenses at a discount no matter what level of VA disability you have. 

In addition, Washington allows its non-resident active duty military stationed in the state to purchase hunting & fishing licenses as if they were residents.

State Parks Lifetime Pass

Once again, having a 30 percent VA service-connected disability seems to be the magic number. With it, one can get a life time pass from the State for free. This lifetime state park pass allows you day use, campsite reservations, camping, moorage, boat launch and trailer waste water/sewage dumping at all state parks for free.


Washington’ four state veterans’ homes in Orting, Port Orchard, Spokane and Walla Walla are certified for both Medicare and Medicaid. Plus, they do not limit the number of Medicaid beds and the cost of medications are included. If the veteran is 70% or more disabled, or his or her VA disability is the reason they need nursing care, the VA will pick up the tab. 

To be eligible, the Veteran must reside in Washington state, have served in any military branch including the Guard at any time, have an honorable discharge. They will also accept the spouse or widow of an eligible Veteran and Gold Star parents.


The Washington State Veterans Cemetery is in Medical Lake and there is no residency requirement. Veterans must have ‘other than dishonorable’ discharges. There is no charge to bury a Veteran. There is a $300 fee to bury his or her spouse or eligible child dependent.



You can find more information regarding these benefits and other programs at the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs website.