Washington State Veterans Benefits

Washington State offers its resident veterans employment benefits, educational assistant, and emergency cash assistance.

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The State of Washington provides some helpful benefits for veterans who live in Washington, in addition to the federal benefits the VA provides.

Educational Benefits for Washington Veterans

Veterans Tuition Waiver

Veterans and national guard members in the state of Washington are eligible to have all or part of their tuition and fees waived at state universities, colleges, and community colleges. Each educational institution operates their own waiver program. For a list of educational institutions that offer the fee waiver, visit the Washington Student Achievement Council website.

Eligibility requires that a veteran or a national guard member called to national service:

  • served during a war or conflict
  • served in another country, in international waters, or
  • served in any location if serving in support of others serving in another country or in international waters, and received an honorable discharge.

Contact the financial aid office at the institution you are planning to attend, or are attending, for information about how to apply for the veteran tuition waiver.

Veterans Dependents Tuition Waiver

Washington state offers educational benefits to dependents of veterans who are 100% disabled and to dependents of veterans who died due to military service. The state requires all state educational institutions to waive tuition and fees for dependents of eligible veterans or national guard members, for up to 200 quarter credits or an equal number of semester credits for undergraduate education.

State educational institutions are not required to provide a waiver for graduate studies, but are encouraged to do so.

Eligibility requires that a dependent’s parent be a veteran or a national guard member called to national service who:

  • served during a war or conflict
  • served in another country, in international waters, or
  • served in any location if serving in support of others serving in another country or in international waters, and received an honorable discharge.

An eligible dependent child must be:

  • a resident of Washington state, and
  • between age 17 and age 26.

A surviving spouse or domestic partner must be:

  • a resident of Washington State, and
  • not remarried or not registered in another domestic partnership, and
  • using the waiver within ten years of the eligible veteran's or national guard member's:
    • date of death
    • date deemed totally and permanently disabled, or
    • date the federal government determined status as a prisoner of war (POW) or missing in action (MIA).

Operation Recognition

Veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam are eligible to have a high school diploma conferred upon them if they left high school in order to serve and they:

  • were scheduled to graduate, and
  • were honorably discharged.

Veterans who obtained a GED due to the interruption in their high school education are also eligible to receive a high school diploma.

Families can request diplomas for deceased veterans.

Submit an application to the school district where the veteran attended school and contact the district with any questions.

Veterans Conservation Corps Training Opportunities

Volunteer and training opportunities are available through the programs of the Veterans Conservation Corps. These programs train workers to help with the conservation of natural resources in the state of Washington. For more information, call 800-562-2308 or email Jason Alves at jasona@dva.wa.gov.

Employment Benefits for Washington Veterans

Preference in State Hiring

Washington State provides preference in state hiring and appointments to military veterans who were honorably discharged. The surviving spouses of these veterans are also eligible for hiring preference. Spouses of living veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to service-connected disabilities are also eligible.

Veterans cannot be disqualified for a position on the basis of their age or disability, including the loss of a limb, as long as they have the capacity to perform the responsibilities of the position.

In civil service exams, eligible veterans and spouses who pass the exam will have a certain percentage added to their grade. An increase of 10% will go to veterans who:

  • served during a time of war or during a conflict for which campaign ribbons were issued
  • are not military retirees, and
  • are applying for their first appointment.

An increase of 5% will go to veterans who are applying for their first appointment and:

  • did not serve during a time of war or receive a campaign ribbon, or
  • are military retirees.

A 5% preference is also available to veterans who were working for the state at the time they were called to active duty, and who are seeking a promotion. However, the preference applies only once, for the first promotion only.

Qualifying for a Professional License

Washington State allows veterans in certain medical roles to qualify for licensing on the basis of military training and experience. This applies to:

  • dental, nursing, pharmacy, radiology, physician, osteopathic physician, and physical therapy assistants
  • EMTs and first responders
  • surgical and radiologic technologists
  • physical therapists and respiratory care therapists
  • pharmacy technicians and x-ray technicians
  • dispensing opticians
  • denturists
  • ocularists, and
  • cardiovascular invasive specialists.
You must explain your military training and experience on the application form.

County Veterans Assistance Fund

The County Veterans Assistance Fund provides emergency assistance for needy veterans and their families. Families includes registered domestic partners.

Emergency financial assistance helps with costs of rent, utilities, food, and other essentials. Each county administers the program for its residents.

Eligibility requires that the veteran served honorably during a period or war, or during a period for which a campaign medal was awarded. Service in the merchant marines or as part of a civil service crew aboard a Navy transportation service vessel during World War II also creates eligibility.

Residency in Washington State and in the county applied to is also required. One year residency in Washington State is required, and each county may have different lengths of county residency that are required. Some only require residency at the time of application, while others require at least six months residency in the county.

Financial eligibility requires one of the following:

  • an annual income of 150% or less of the federal poverty level or a higher income that meets county requirements for indigency
  • receipt of public assistance, or
  • insufficient funds to cover essential costs: reasonable housing, food, transportation and utility expenses.

The veteran must also:

  • be serving honorably
  • have received an honorable discharge, or
  • have served honorably until discharged for a physical disability.

Contact your county for more information on these benefits.

Additional Wasington State Benefits

For information about other benefits such as employment resources and discount recreational passes, visit theWashington State Department of Veterans Affairs website.

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