Oregon’s 317,000 veterans make up over 8 percent of the state’s population and have access to a wide array of benefits. Find Oregon veteran’s benefits including education, employment, tax relief, home loans, and more below.
Oregon Veteran Education Benefits
College Credit for Military Training
Military experience and training may translate into college credit for some Oregon veterans. All universities and community colleges in Oregon accept guidance from the American Council on Education regarding how to award academic credit for military training. To claim college credit, request a transcript from your military service branch and submit to your higher learning institution.
In-State Tuition for Non-residents
Veterans who are pursuing an undergraduate degree at a public institution in Oregon qualify for in-state tuition – even if they are not yet a permanent resident of the state. The benefit also extends to veterans’ dependents using transferred benefits and orphans of veterans who died while serving on active duty. This benefit does not apply to graduate students or active duty military and their dependents.
For graduate degrees, qualified student-veterans may be able to have their out-of-state tuition reduced after all other VA benefits, grants, and fee remissions have been deducted.
Voyager Tuition Assistance Program
Available to members of the National Guard or Reserves who served on active duty in a combat zone on or after September 11, 2001, the Voyager Tuition Assistance Program is a “last dollar award” meant to ensure that these service members do not pay tuition costs if other federal military education benefits fall short. This benefit is available to those earning a bachelor’s degree and the typical length of the award is four years (five in certain situations). It does not cover e-campus or distance courses and is non-transferable.
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries partners with Oregon businesses to offer career opportunities through paid training and education for veterans seeking apprenticeships in the construction, industrial, and manufacturing trades.
Oregon Veteran Employment Benefits
Direct Professional Licensing for Military Experience
Designed to help veterans get back to work quickly after serving in the military, an Oregon state law (House Bill 4063) requires that certain professional licensing agencies and boards in Oregon accept military training or experience as a substitution for traditional civilian education or experience when required for licensure, certification, or registration.
Veterans and disabled veterans receive preference in appointments to state government jobs in Oregon – whether as a new hire or promotion from within. To qualify, the veteran must clear an initial application screening, satisfy any applicable exam or civil service test, and meet the minimum and any special qualifications for the job. Preference is five points for veterans and 10 points for disabled veterans.
Oregon Veteran Housing
Oregon hosts two veterans’ homes in The Dalles and Lebanon. In order to be admitted, the applicant must be in need of 24-hour nursing care as recommended by their primary care physician, and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs must agree with the assessment. Care at an Oregon Veterans’ Home is available to honorably discharged veterans, their spouses, and parents of service members who had a child die while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
ODVA Home Loan Program
Separate from the VA Home Loan, Oregon is one of five states that offers its own veteran home loan program. Eligible veterans can receive fixed-rate financing for an owner-occupied, single-family residence; up to the Fannie Mae limit; purchase only (no refinancing), and up to four home loan maximum life benefit.
Property Tax Exemption
Disabled veterans may be entitled to exempt some of their property’s assessed value from their property taxes. To be eligible, the veteran must be certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, as having at least a 40 percent disability or be certified each year by a licensed physician as being 40 percent or more disabled.
Active duty military and National Guard and Reserves members may also qualify for a residential property tax exemption.
Oregon Veteran Financial Benefits
Oregon Veterans’ Emergency Financial Assistance
Veterans and their immediate family (spouse, un-remarried surviving spouse, child, or stepchild) who are in need of emergency financial assistance are eligible to apply for this one-time grant from the state of Oregon. Emergency financial assistance includes but is not limited to: emergency or temporary housing and related housing expenses, such as funds for utilities, insurance, and house repairs; mortgage or rent assistance; emergency medical or dental expenses; and emergency transportation expenses. The amount granted is assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Retired Pay Income Tax
Military retirees may qualify for a “federal pension subtraction”. Those considered “special-case” Oregon residents will have their military retirement pay taxed as regular income.
Additional Oregon Veteran Benefits
Motor Vehicle License Plates
The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles offers privileged license plates for veterans, active duty military, and disabled veterans. There is a one-time fee for the disabled veteran plate. All other plate styles can be obtained at no additional cost, but the regular fee is required.
Free Fishing/Hunting License
The Beaver state encourages disabled veterans to enjoy the great outdoors by offering free hunting and fishing licenses. Eligible veterans must have at least a 25 percent disability rating and have been an Oregon resident for at least six months.
Non-resident active duty service members may purchase a hunting and fishing license at the resident rate.
Free Special Access Pass for Veterans
Veterans with a verified service-connected disability are eligible for free, year-round camping and day-use privileges at RV and tent sites at 26 Oregon State Parks. The pass is valid for four years.
Active duty military on official leave are also eligible for this benefit but must pay up front and file for reimbursement within 30 days of visiting the park.
Willamette National Cemetery
Any Oregon veteran eligible to be buried in a national cemetery is eligible for burial at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. Additionally, a veteran’s spouse, widow or widower, minor dependent children, and unmarried adult children with disabilities may also be eligible for burial. Families of eligible deceased veterans may receive a burial allowance from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs to help cover the burial and funeral expenses.
Link to Oregon Veterans Services
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