California

Benefits of California VA Loans for Veterans

If you are a veteran or active duty service member and a resident of the state of California, the first step is to determine if you are eligible for VA home loan benefits. To determine your eligibility please click the map below. If you have served in the military and received an honorable discharge, you will likely be eligible to buy a home using your VA loan benefits.

Financial Benefits

Does the State of California offer Property Tax Exemption for Veterans?

Yes. The State of California offers a property tax exemption for eligible disabled Veterans. For more information and to receive an application, visit the California County Assessors page: California County Assessors.

Who is an eligible Disabled Veteran?

An eligible disabled Veteran must meet one of the following criteria:

  • A wartime Veteran in receipt of a service-connected disability rated at 100%
  • A wartime Veteran with a service-connected disability for loss of, or loss of use of, two or more limbs
  • A wartime Veteran with a service connected disability for blindness
  • An unmarried surviving spouse of a Veteran who is receiving service-connected death benefits

 

Do Veterans receive a property tax exemption in the State of California?

Yes- the State of California allows the following property tax exemptions on the Assessed Value of a Home of Disabled Veterans (amounts are adjusted annually) :

  • Up to $122,128 if total household income is over $54,842 per year
  • Up to $183,193 if total household income is under $54,842 per year

 

Does the State of California offer any discounts on Motor Vehicle Registration toVeterans?

Yes. Medal of Honor Recipients, Former American Prisoners of War and Eligible Disabled Veterans are entitled to the waiver of registrations fees and free license plates for one vehicle weighing less than 8001 pounds.

How do I obtain the Motor Vehicle Registration Waiver?

Medal of Honor recipients need to complete DMV form REG 17A and provide proof of their Medal of Honor. Former Prisoners of War (POW) need to complete DMV form REG 17 and provide proof of their POW status. Disabled Veterans need to complete DMV forms REG 195 and REG 256A and obtain a doctor’s note stating the Veteran has a service connected disability that substantially impairs their mobility.

Completed applications and supporting documents should be mailed to: Department of Motor Vehicles

P.O. Box 932345
Sacramento, CA 94232
1-800-777-0133
www.dmv.ca.gov.

Employment Benefits

Does the State of California offer a VA Work Study Program?

Yes. Eligible Veterans and their dependents receiving VA education benefits and who are attending school at a minimum three-quarter rate are eligible to participate in the VA Work Study Program. Through this program, the work-study student is paid at the State or Federal minimum rate- whichever is greater. Students may work at a Veteran office or facility, or other State approved employment office.

Does the State of California offer Employment Assistance to Veterans?

Yes, the State of California offers the following programs to assist Veterans in finding employment:

  • California’s Employment Development Department (EDD)- California’s EDD assists Veterans in finding suitable employment by partnering with local employment and training agencies that help match Veterans and their skill set to appropriate work. Veterans should visit One-Stop Career Centers where they will receive further information and support in gaining interview skills and other employment related training.
  • State Employment- State positions requiring a minimum college education AND less than two years of work related experience, eligible Veterans and spouses of Veterans rated 100% for a service connected disability will receive additional points to their entrance examination score. Once a Veteran has attained a permanent civil service status, they will not be allowed future Veteran’s preference credits.
  • Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Opportunities- Disabled Veterans who own at least 51% of a business and have a service-connected disability rated at least 10% are eligible to participate in the Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) Program. Under the DVBE Program, the State has a goal of awarding 3% of all State contracts to certified Veteran-owned businesses.
  • Unemployment Insurance- Military members who were recently separated or retired are eligible to apply for unemployment insurance and receive a maximum of 26 weeks in payments, provided they are willing and able to accept a suitable job if offered. Former service members should apply for benefits immediately after separation from active duty service.

Education Benefits

Does the State of California offer Education Benefits to Veterans?

Yes, the State of California provides a Troops to College academic support program and a Non-Resident College Fee Waiver to Veterans and their families:

Troops to College

The Troops to College program is designed to help Veterans, specifically combat Veterans, transition to civilian life and the college environment. Veterans and their families may enroll in courses taught by a counselor who is also a former combat Veteran about combat stress, post traumatic stress disorders, and other issues affecting Veterans adjusting to civilian life to help them better succeed academically, socially and in their employment.

Troops to College provides the following academic support programs:

  • Veteran-focused tutoring, counseling and mentoring
  • Financial advice and support specific to Veterans
  • Priority registration and admissions for Veterans
  • Academic credit for experiences and courses completed in the military service
  • Student leadership opportunities

Non-Resident College Fee Waiver

The State of California offers a Non-Resident College Fee Waiver at its State Colleges and Universities. The following individuals are eligible:

  • A student who is a Veteran of the Armed Forces and was stationed in the State of California on Active Duty for at least one year immediately prior to being discharged from the service
  • An undergraduate student who is currently a member of the Armed Forces stationed in the State of California on Active Duty
  • An undergraduate student who is a dependent (child or spouse) of a service member currently stationed in the State of California on Active Duty
  • A graduate student who is currently a member of the Armed Forces and is stationed in the State of California on Active Duty. There is a two-year limit for graduate courses.
  • A graduated student who is a dependent (child or spouse) of a service member currently stationed in the State of California on Active Duty. There is a one-year limit for graduate courses.

Does the State of California offer Education Benefits to Veterans’ Dependents?

Yes. The State of California provides an exemption from mandatory educational and registration fees and nonresident tuition to eligible Veterans’s Dependents.

Who is an Eligible Dependent?

An eligible child must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a parent who is a disabled veteran rated 0% or more
  • Earn less than than $11,945 per year (no income limit if Veteran parent has a VA rating of 100% as a result of service-connected condition or who died while on Active Duty or as a result of a service-related condition)
  • Attend a California Community College or University (undergraduate or graduate level courses)
  • Meet in-state residency requirements as determined by the school they attend
  • Provide proof of relationship to Veteran (copy of a birth or adoption certificate)

An eligible spouse must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a spouse who is VA rated at 100% due to service-connected condition or who died while on Active Duty or as a result of a service-related condition
  • Attend a California Community College or University (undergraduate or graduate level courses)
  • Meet in-state residency requirements as determined by the school they attend
  • Provide proof of relationship to Veteran (copy of marriage certificate)

Does the State of California offer any Benefits for members of the California Army or Air National Guard, Naval Militia, or State Military Reserve?

Yes. The California National Guard Education Assistance Award Program (CNEAAP) provides financial awards to qualifying members of the California Army or Air National Guard, Naval Militia and State Military Reserve. This assistance can pay for 100% of fees and California Colleges and Universities.

Other California State Benefits for Veterans

Are there any Programs in the State of California to help a Veteran Purchase a Home?

Yes. The State of California offers direct loans at highly competitive rates to Veterans who served honorable on Active Duty. Veterans must reside in the State of California and may purchase a home or farm. Information to apply for a loan can be found at teh California Department of Veterans Affairs Farm and Home Loan Division, or by calling 1-800-952-5626

What Housing for Veterans does the State of California offer?

The State of California offers low cost residential, assisted living and medical care centers throughout the state to disabled or aged Veterans who are residents of California. It also offers transition homes to help Veterans make the transition from military life to home life:

The Pathway Home

The State of California offers a transition center free of charge specifically for the care of combat Veterans to help them deal with the effects of combat stress. The Pathway Home is a “therapeutic community focusing on resiliency, recovery, and post deployment transitions in a safe, respectful, caring, challenging and supportive environment.”
The goal of the Pathway Home is to help Veterans regain their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual strength, capitalize on their past coping skills, extend their employment opportunities and give and gain support from fellow service men. The Pathway Home is exclusively a men’s residential recovery program. You can find more information on how to apply for the program by calling their direct 24-hours number at 707-948-3026 or visiting their website at www.thepathwayhome.org

Veterans Transition Center

The Veterans Transition Center provides services specific to homeless Veterans and their families located exclusively in Monterey County. Not only does the Veterans Transition Center provide a short term solution through its housing, emergency services and individual case management, it aims to provide Veterans with the tools they need to better their lives and transition into employable, productive members of their communities. Further information on this program can be found by calling (831) 883-8387 or at www.vtcmonterey.org

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans is a non-profit organization that serves as a national network for local, state and federal agencies that provides comprehensive resources to Veterans. These services include emergency and supportive housing, food, health services, employment training and placement services, legal aid and case management support. More information on this organization can be found on their website: www.nchv.org

HUD- Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Vouchers

The HUD-VASH program is a combination of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance program for homeless Veterans and clinical and case management services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These services are provided by the VA at participating VA medical centers and community-based outreach clinics. More information on the HUD-VASH program can be found at your local U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs office.

State Parks and Recreation Passes

War Veterans who are former Prisoners of War, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients or Disabled with a service-connected disability of at least 50% are eligible for a lifetime State of California Parks pass. Veteran must be a California resident.

Fishing and Hunting Licenses

Disabled Veterans rated 50% or more for a service-connected disability are eligible for reduced annual fees for fishing and hunting licenses. To obtain the reduced fee, disabled Veterans must provide proof of their service-connected disability for the US Department of Veterans Affairs when applying for licenses with the California Department of Fish and Game.

Disabled Veteran Licenses Plates

Eligible Disabled Veterans receive free registration and Disabled Veteran handicap parking license plates for one passenger motor vehicle, motorcycle or commercial motor vehicle less than 8001 pounds unladen weight. To be eligible, a Veteran must have suffered injury or disease while serving on active duty with the United States Armed Forces and as a result,

  • Have a disability rated 100% percent by the Department of Veteran Affairs or the branch where Veteran was discharged as a result of a disease or injury that significantly impairs or interferes with a Veteran’s mobility or,
  • Requires an assistant devise in order to move due to severity of disability or,
  • Has lost at least one limb or the use of of at least one limb or,
  • Has permanent blindness, as defined in Section 19153 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

In order to received a Disabled Veteran License Plate, the Veteran must complete DMV forms REG 195, REG 256A, and submit a signed doctor’s statement indicating what mobility impairment listed above the Veteran suffers from as a result of their service-connected disability and mail the complete package to:

DMV PLACARD

P.O. Box 942869
Sacrament, CA 94269-0001
(800) 777-0133
For more information, contact the California Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Veteran License Plates

Veterans may order a special California license plate with the Veteran Service Organization or Armed Forces logo/emblem of their choice. There are over 100 insignias choices. Logo will be displayed at left of a six letter/number combination and Veterans have the option to “personalize” the characters (up to six) for a one-time fee of $10. Sequential plates are $30 per year.

California Women Veterans Roster

The State of California offers a strictly confidential roster for Women Veterans that serves as a bridge in connecting California Women Veterans to to the benefits and resources available to them. Historically, Women Veterans utilize their Veteran Benefits less than their male counterparts, and the hope is to help educate and encourage Women Veterans to utilize the benefits they have earned.

Veterans Claims Representation

The State of California provides professional, accredited representation in appellate processes for USDVA (United States Department of Veteran Affairs) claims and rating reviews. Any Veteran, their dependent or survivor applying for USDVA benefits may be eligible for representation. Contact your local VA office for more information.

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