WISCONSIN STATE VETERAN BENEFITS
We endeavor to keep this information current, but it is subject to change without notice.
WISCONSIN VETERAN EDUCATION BENEFITS
Wisconsin G.I. Bill
Eligible veterans and their dependents can get up to eight semesters or 128 credits under the Wisconsin GI Bill. The program grants full tuition and fees at any school in the University of Wisconsin or the Wisconsin Technical College system.
Generally, eligibility is determined by the veteran’s type of discharge, whether he or she has wartime service and is a resident of Wisconsin. Dependents are only eligible if the Veteran has been rated to be 30% percent disabled or more with a service-connected disability.
VetEd Education Grant
The Veterans Education (VetEd) grant can be used at the same time as the federal VA Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill. This grant allows for reimbursement amounts that are tethered to the length of military service. Veterans still working toward their bachelor’s degrees may be eligible. When the VetEd program is successfully tapped, it can reimburse money spent at an eligible state college, technical college or approved private institution. Reimbursement monies from the VetEd Education Grant will be reduced to the extent that other grants, scholarships or GI Bill, such as the Chapter 33 Post 9/11, pays for the tuition and fees associated with earning a bachelor’s degree.
WISCONSIN VETERAN EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
Veterans Retraining Grants
The Badger State sets aside some money to help cover possible financial hardships some veterans experience when they undergo retraining for a new career. Designed for recently unemployed or underemployed veterans while they receive retraining benefits, these Veterans could get up to $3,000 per year to help if they experience a financial need. The Grant may be used for two years if necessary.
Honorably discharged veterans receive hiring preference when competing for public jobs in the state’s civil service system. All veterans receive at least an extra 10 points over non-veterans. These points are added to the Vet’s already passing score…they can’t be used to get a passing score. However, disabled Veterans receive even more points. Those with a service-connected disability shy of 30% get 15 points total and those with 30% or greater get 20 total points.
These preference points extend to some spouses too. Spouses of disabled or deceased veterans may qualify for the points of the qualifying veteran.
One final note – if you are a disabled Wisconsin Veteran with 30% disability or more, you don’t just get 20 extra points added to your passing score. You may be eligible to be hired for a permanent, entry-level position without going through the competitive process. The hiring agency will have more information.
WISCONSIN VETERAN FINANCIAL BENEFITS
Wisconsin has chosen not to tax military retirement pay.
Disabled Veterans Property Tax Credit
Veterans who are rated 100% permanently and totally disabled and those deemed by the VA to be 100% due to individual unemployability are eligible under the Wisconsin Veterans & Surviving Spouses Property Tax Credit to escape paying taxes on their primary residence. This benefit extends to eligible veterans and some surviving spouses, if the spouses receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from the VA.
Needy Veterans Grant
Wisconsin provides a safety net through its Assistance to Needy Veterans Grant (ANVG) program. They provide some financial assistance when other avenues of help have been exhausted. Assistance under the program comes in three forms:
- Health Care Aid – grant limits vary depending on dental care, vision care or hearing care
- Subsistence Aid – Aid to help breach a loss of income due to illness, injury, or natural disaster. Applications must be made within 120 days of the initial income loss. There are individual grant limits for any 30-day period, but the fund can be tapped multiple times if necessary, up to a lifetime limit of $7,500
- Aid to Military Families – This grant is for surviving spouses who elect not to remarry and dependent children of eligible veterans who die under certain circumstances, and to help ease a dependent family’s financial stress when military service member gets activated and deployed
WISCONSIN VETERAN RECREATION BENEFITS
Hunting & Fishing Licenses
- Disabled veterans in Wisconsin can get a discounted fishing license if they have VA disability of 70 percent or more
- Recently returning Veterans who are residents of the Badger State are eligible to receive a free license for small game, archery, gun deer or fishing but it’s only good once and only if used with one year of separation. If interested, veterans must start the process at the state’s department of veteran affairs for an eligibility determination. If eligible, they will get a voucher code good up to 365 days from the date of discharge
- Purple Heart recipients don’t need to win a turkey drawing to receive harvest authorization. They can purchase a spring turkey harvest authorization
- Purple Heart recipients whether they are residents or not can receive the Conservation Patron license at a discount
- Non-resident Purple Heart recipients pay resident licensee rates for hunting, fishing, and trapping
- Finally, Purple Heart recipients are eligible for a one-time transfer of a Class A bear license
- Active Duty military receive some special privileges too, which can be found here
The State will waive the cost of vehicle entry into its state parks for veterans rated by the VA to have a 70 percent disability or more. Likewise, these same disabled veterans qualify to have trail pass fees waived.
WISCONSIN VETERANS HOMES
Wisconsin has 3 veterans’ homes in King, Chippewa Falls, and Union Grove, serving almost 1,000 veterans and their spouses. Wisconsin residents of at least a 6-month duration receive priority admittance but the state no longer has any residency requirements. They do, however, require the veteran to have an honorable discharge.
For their purposes, they define the word Veteran to mean either:
- A military person who served during peacetime on active duty for two or more years, or their full initial obligation period
- An active duty military person who served for 90 days or more, with one day at least being during an official wartime period
Any of the three Veteran Homes will also admit spouses, surviving spouses, and Gold Star Parents on a space available basis. Veterans or their qualified dependents who are unable to pay for care may be able to offset the cost with Medicare or Medicaid if they are eligible. However, Medicare and Medicaid can help with Nursing Home costs, not Assisted Living.
WISCONSIN VETERANS CEMETERIES
Wisconsin also operates three veterans’ cemeteries in King, Union Grove and Spooner. The oldest has been operating since 1888 and is on the grounds of the Veterans Home in King. The cemeteries are open to receive resident veterans and their dependents as long as the Veterans were honorably discharged from military service. The Veteran has no charge for burial. His or her dependents incur a small fee.
You can find more information regarding these benefits and other programs at the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs website.