Utah State Veteran's Benefits

The state of Utah provides several veteran benefits. This section offers a brief description of each of the following benefits.

Utah Veteran Housing and Tax Programs

Property Tax Abatement
A Utah permanent place-of-residence property tax exemption equivalent to the military service-connected disability rating percentage is provided for disabled veterans or for their unremarried widows or minor orphans.

Veteran's disability rating must be at least 10%. The maximum property tax exemption, rated at 100% military service-connected disability, is $219.64. To figure out how much your tax abatement will be multiply your percentage of disability by 219,164. Example: 10% disability X 206,214 = $21,916.40 tax abatement.

To apply for Utah Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption, request VA Form 20-5455 from U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) at 1-800-827-1000, then file VA Form 20-5455, along with a copy of the veteran's U.S. Military active duty release/discharge certificate or other satisfactory evidence of eligible military service, and the tax exemption application, on or before September 1, to the applicable county treasurer, tax assessor or clerk/recorder located in the county courthouse or county government building of each county seat.

All property must be on record as of January 1st of the year you wish to file. However, a recent change allows qualified widows and orphans an exemption to that rule.

Disabled veterans are only be required to file for property tax abatement one time.  After the initial filing it will automatically renew each year although the counties may require recertification of home address. However, veterans will have to re-file if all or a portion of their abatement is used towards tangible personal property (i.e. vehicles), if their service-connected disability percentage changes, the veteran dies, sales the property or no longer claims that property as their primary place of residence. (Utah Code 59-2-1104 & 1105)

Visit the Utah Dept. of Veterans Affairs website for contact information and benefits assistance.

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Utah Veteran Employment Programs

Veterans Job Representatives
Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER) and Disabled Veterans Outreach Person (DVOP) are located statewide in the larger employment offices of the Utah Dept. of Workforce Services. They provide intensive employment related services for targeted veterans: referral to job opportunities, resume writing, referral letters, veteran's preference, employment counseling, etc.

Veterans Job Preference
Eligible veterans or un-remarried spouses are granted either 5 or 10 points, as applicable, for employment preference, added to the results of any written &/or oral exam or other related qualifying technique, by any Utah government entity (state, county, municipality, special district or other political subdivision or administration.) The U.S. Dept. of Labor will protect the veteran's rights to the Veterans Job Preference.

Veterans Hiring Priority
Any officers, agents or representatives of the state, or any contractor performing work for Utah state government, who willfully fails to hire a military veteran shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Visit the Utah Dept. of Veterans Affairs website for contact information and benefits assistance.

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Utah Veteran Education Assistance Programs

Veterans Upward Bound
VUB is funded by the Department of Education and sponsored by Weber State University. VUB provides a valuable service by assisting veterans in obtaining admission to post- secondary schools. Instruction and tutoring are provided free of charge to veterans in math, English and basic computer applications. The services are provided to veterans in Salt Lake, Davis and Weber Counties.

Visit the Utah Dept. of Veterans Affairs website for contact information and benefits assistance.

Tuition Waiver for Purple Heart Recipients
Utah public institutions of higher learning are required to waive the tuition of a Utah resident admitted to an undergraduate program of study leading to a degree or certificate, if the student is a recipient of a Purple Heart. Recent changes have expanded this benefit to include a Masters Degree.

Scott B Lundell Tuition Waiver for Military Members' Surviving Dependents
This Bill waives the undergraduate tuition at state institutions of higher education for surviving dependents of Utah resident military members killed in the line of duty after 9/11/2001. The waiver in this section does not apply to fees, books, or housing expenses.  The Utah Department of Veterans Affairs is the administering agency for this benefit. Call 1-800-894-9497 or (801) 326-2372 for information on how to use this benefit.

Honorary High School Diplomas
Veterans from WWII, Korea and Vietnam who left High School for military service are eligible to receive Honorary High School Diplomas from the school they left. Contact the local school district for information on how to receive the diploma.

Visit the Utah Dept. of Veterans Affairs website for contact information and benefits assistance.

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Other Utah State Veteran Benefits

Drivers License Privileges
Driver licenses possessed by persons on U.S. military active duty shall be valid 90 days after active duty discharge, unless driver licenses are suspended or revoked for cause by a police department or other judicial entity.

Veterans License Plates
Utah veterans license plates may be purchased for an initial $25.00 contribution to the Utah State Division of Veterans Affairs plus a $10.00 plate transfer fee, in addition to normal vehicle registration and property tax fees. Plates can be purchased at any Utah Department of Motor Vehicle office. There will also be a yearly $10.00 renewal fee. Proceeds from the sale and renewal of these plates help fund veteran programs within the state. Utah veteran's license plates display colored decal emblems of the U.S. military branch in which served (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, Marines as well as the American Legion) and are further inscribed "UTAH HONORS VETERANS". Utah special group license plates for Purple Heart recipients, Pearl Harbor Survivors or former POW's are exempt of application and renewal fees: however, regular registration and property tax fees still must be paid. Proper evidence to present for special group plates includes Military Order of the Purple Heart or Pearl Harbor Survivors Association membership cards, or DD-214 (& equivalent WD AGO 5355) military discharge certificates. You need not wait until renewal time to purchase the license plates.

Purple Heart Fee Exemption
Recipients of a Purple Heart is exempt from paying the following motor vehicle license and registration fees: automobile driver education fee; motor vehicle registration fee; license plate issuance fees; uninsured motorist identification fee; and local option transportation corridor preservation fee.  The only fee due is property tax or age-based fee.

Utah State Division of Veterans Affairs
The Utah State Division of Veterans Affairs is located at 550 Foothill Dr. Suite #202, Salt Lake City, Utah 84113 (the corner of Wasatch & Foothill) on the VA Medical Center Campus. The mission of the office is to provide counsel, assist veterans and their dependents with VA claims processing, establish veterans' rights to state and federal benefits and to provide information and advisory services. Veteran service officers under contract provide an outreach assistance program to rural Utah veterans, in conjunction with the Utah State Division of Veterans Affairs. U.S. active duty military service discharge certificates (DD-214's) are on file in the office for veterans discharged after 1980. DD-214's are only on file for veterans with Utah residency or with a Utah forwarding address at the time of release from active duty.

Utah State Veterans Nursing Home
The first Utah State Veterans Nursing Home, located on the Salt Lake City VA Medical Center Campus, address, 700 Foothill Drive, SLC, UT. 84113-1104, was dedicated on 22 April 1998 and became operational in May 1998. Quality nursing and health care services are provided for Utah veterans with U.S. military service during peacetime or wartime. While wartime service is not a requirement for admission to the nursing home, wartime veterans with one day or more of wartime service, as recognized by state and federal laws, have top priority. A veteran's spouse or surviving spouse may also qualify for admittance to the Utah State Veterans Nursing Home, providing the marriage to the veteran occurred at least one year before the application. Note: The Utah Legislature has authorized a $4,500,000 bond to construct a veterans nursing home in Ogden. The bond will be repealed on December 31, 2008 if the VA's portion of the funding remains unavailable.

Utah State Veterans Cemetery & Memorial Park
Located at 17111 Camp Williams Road in Bluffdale. This states veteran's cemetery generally follows the eligibility requirements of VA National Cemetery System, including: any U.S. Armed Forces active personnel dying while performing duty or after having served during wartime. Reservist and National Guard retired personnel with 20 years of service are eligible for burial also. Surviving spouses and dependent children also are eligible to be buried in the Utah State Veterans Cemetery & Memorial Park, under rules established by the state of Utah. Authorized in 1988 by act of the Utah State Legislature, dedication occurred on Memorial Day, 1990. Veterans are not to be buried in any portion of any cemetery or burial ground used for paupers; cities, towns, counties or other political subdivisions of the state of Utah may provide proper sites for burial of veterans.

Visit the Utah Dept. of Veterans Affairs website for contact information and benefits assistance.

Military Discharge Records
Utah State Archives has military discharge records for Utah (ACTIVE DUTY) veterans from the territorial times, World War II and the Korean War. Utah State Archives will provide a copy of U.S. military discharge records on file free of charge. The Utah State Division of Veterans Affairs has active duty only U.S. military service DD-214's for Utah Veterans from 1980 to the current year. DD-214 certified copies are provided free of charge; toll free 1-800-894-9497. The Utah National Guard Headquarters in Draper Utah maintains file copies of National Guard Bureau record of separation certificates (NGB 22's) for completed service in the Utah Army National Guard & Utah Air National Guard (1950-present). NGB 22 certified copies are free of charge. NOTE: For many years, veterans were encouraged to place their DD-214 on file with their local county recorders office. We no longer recommend this practice because of issues with identity theft.

Free Use of Armories
Organizations of war veterans are entitled to have free use of state of Utah armories as meeting places, provided such use shall not interfere with the use of armories by the National Guard or organized militia of Utah.

Fishing License Privileges
Utah Disabled Veteran Fishing Licenses are available for Veterans, free of charge, from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. To qualify a Veteran must have obvious physical handicaps, such as, permanently confined to a wheelchair, paraplegic, minus at least one limb, permanently requiring crutches or blind.

Special Fun Tags
Free admission to most of the 41 state-controlled parks, campgrounds and other recreation areas throughout Utah. Effective July 1,2009, the new policy now allows Utah veterans to receive a special Fun Tag, free of charge, if they are:

  1. Legally Blind, which is defined as vision of 20/200 or less in the better eye with best correction, or a field restriction of 20 degrees of less in both eyes; or
  2. Non-Ambulatory, which is defined as being permanently confined to a wheelchair or the use of a cane, crutches or mobility device, or who has lost either or both lower extremities.

Special Fun Tag allows dayuse access to most Utah state parks, but does not include This Is The Place Heritage Park and does not cover the $2 Davis County Causeway Fee at Antelope Island State Park. The Special Fun Tag does not apply to camping or other special fees. Please call the State Parks and Recreation office at (801) 538-7220 or toll free at 1-877-UTPARKS to have an application mailed to you or log on to www.stateparks.utah.gov to download.

Applications can be mailed or faxed to (801) 538-7378.

Visit the Utah Dept. of Veterans Affairs website for contact information and benefits assistance.

Bus / Trax Reduced Fare Cards
Greatly discounted fares (65% reduced) to ride Utah Transit Authority (UTA) busses and TRAX light rail system are available for veterans meeting one of the following criteria: Forty percent (40%) or greater military service-connected disability rating by VA, in receipt of VA non-service connected pension or regardless of disability rating for veterans & others with transportation disabilities that cause either difficulty boarding or getting off a bus/light rail system, difficulty standing in a moving bus/light rail system, difficulty reading bus/light rail system schedules & understanding information signs, difficulty hearing announcements by bus/light rail system, or difficulty hearing announcements by bus/light rail systems operators.
 
Persons receiving Social Security Disability benefits, SSI, or Medicare also my get UTA Reduced Fare Cards. Elderly persons age 65 and over qualify for Senior Passes at the same price as Reduced Fare Cards. To obtain UTA Reduced Fare Cards 1. Go to either UTA location at 24 West 100 South or 3600 S 700 W in SLC, 2. Complete UTA Reduced Fare Card application form, 3. Present evidence (a VA letter verifying service connected disability rating or non service connected pension. 4. Pay for UTA photo identification to incorporate on UTA Reduced Fare Card.

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