Oregon State Veterans Benefits

Oregon provides its state veterans with a home loan program and tuition assistance.

By , Attorney · Northeastern University School of Law

In addition to benefits available to veterans through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, state benefits are available to residents of Oregon through the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Oregon State Home Loan for Veterans

Oregon offers a home loan program for veterans, offering loans up to $417,000 (2013 limit) for a single family home that the veteran uses as a primary residence. The program provides low interest rates on home loans.

Eligibility for the home loan requires active duty service in the U.S. Armed Forces for the following length of time:

  • at least 90 days, with discharge under honorable conditions, for service beginning on or before January 31, 1955, or
  • for service beginning after January 31, 1955, either:
    • over 178 days in a row with a discharge under honorable conditions
    • up to 178 days and was released under honorable conditions due to a service-connected disability, or, has a service-connected disability rating from the VA, or
    • one day or more in a combat zone with a discharge under honorable conditions.

Veterans are also eligible for the home loan program if they received a campaign, combat or expeditionary medal and were discharged under honorable conditions or are receiving a VA pension.

How to Apply

Complete the application form in order to establish your eligibility for the program. Fax or mail the form to:

Oregon Dept. of Veterans' Affairs
ORVET Home Loans
700 Summer St NE
Salem, OR 97301-1285
Fax 503-373-2393

The Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs will process your application, and if you are eligible, the agency will send you a letter confirming your eligibility. Once you receive this letter, you can apply for a loan. Contact the home loan program at (888) 673-8387 or [email protected] for further information.

Education Benefits

The Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs offers educational benefits for veterans and their dependents, including programs for individuals who served in the Guard or Reserves.

Veterans' Dependent Tuition Waiver

Veterans' dependents are eligible for a full tuition waiver at any Oregon public university or community college. This benefit does not include fees. It can be applied toward a bachelor's or a master's degree. It is available to a child (including adopted children and stepchildren) or an unremarried spouse of an individual who served in the U.S. military and who died while serving, who died due to a service-connected disability, or who is 100% disabled due to a service-connected disability.

Additionally, a child of a veteran (living or deceased) who has been awarded a Purple Heart in 2001 or later due to injuries sustained in combat, and who received a discharge under honorable conditions, is also eligible for a tuition waiver.

All applicants must be residents of Oregon and must be an admitted to a public university or community college. At the time a child applies for a tuition waiver for a bachelor's degree, he or she must be 23 or younger.

To apply for a tuition waiver, complete the application form and send it to the Veterans' Clerk Certifying Official at the educational institution you are attending. You must submit the application at least two weeks before you start school (though in some cases, exceptions may be made). Visit the University System website for more information.

Voyager Aid Program for Oregon National Guard and Reserve

Oregon offers a tuition benefit to residents of Oregon who have served in a combat zone since September 11, 2001. The Voyager Aid Program will make up the difference between educational benefits from the VA and remaining tuition and fee costs. Students ineligible for VA educational benefits must submit proof of ineligibility. The Voyager Aid Program does not cover E-Campus or Distance courses. For more information, contact the financial aid office at your educational institution.

High School Diploma for Veterans

Veterans who were unable to complete their high school education due to entry into the military may be eligible to have a high school diploma awarded to them. Diplomas can be requested in the school district the veteran attended or in the school district the veteran now resides in. A representative of a veteran who is deceased may also request the diploma.

Eligibility requires:

  • high school attendance prior to military service, and
  • military service either:
    • during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War
    • during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Just Cause, Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Restore Hope, Operation Urgent Fury or Operation Enduring Freedom, or
    • in an area the President designated as a combat zone, and
  • discharge or release under honorable conditions

A DD-214 will be required to establish eligibility. Contact the Oregon Department of Education for more information.

Veterans' Preference Points

Preference points in state hiring are available to eligible veterans for jobs in state, city, county and local government. To show eligibility, veterans must supply a copy of a DD-214, DD-215, or a VA letter indicating eligibility for a VA pension. Disabled veterans must provide a copy of their letter from the VA that establishes their eligibility for preference in federal hiring. To obtain this letter, veterans can call 800-827-1000.

Preference applies to initial hiring and for promotion after veterans have passed a civil service exam and established qualification for the job.

here is how points are awarded:

  • pre-interview screening scores: 5 points added for a veteran, 10 points added for a disabled veteran
  • civil service exam: points added after a passing score is achieved. 5 points added for a veteran, 10 points added for a disabled veteran
  • when no exam is required such that points are not available, employers shall use other means to provide special consideration to veterans.

Additional Benefits

See the overview of Oregon benefits for veterans or complete the online Veterans Services Outreach Form to request additional information about benefits available to you and to get connected with a Veterans' Service Officer who can assist you with your claim. You can also locate the Veterans' Service Officer in your county to obtain assistance obtaining these benefits.

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