In addition to the standard and well known benefits available to current and prior members of our United States Armed Forces, the state of Colorado provides a number of significant additional privileges to our deserving warriors.
Consider the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, where degree-offering educational institutions partner with the Veterans Administration (VA) to provide educational benefits. Although not limited to Colorado, two of our largest universities, Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins and the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in Greeley have responded to the call of duty, providing the maximum benefit for tuition and fees totaling 100 percent. Yes, the entire tuition and all fees are covered for qualifying veterans and in some cases, their children under Transfer of Entitlement. Funds for housing and books are also part of the package offered at CSU campuses including CSU Global (online) and CSU in Pueblo. An extensive list of participating Colorado schools is available at http://inquiry.vba.va.gov/weamspub/searchInst.do#content-area
Colorado National Guard members who have served two or more years are eligible for state tuition assistance up to 100 percent at any Colorado state-funded institution. Current active members of the Colorado National Guard are provided $1,000 of State Sponsored Life Insurance.
Military spouses who are non-residents of Colorado are granted tax-exempt status for all wages and tips they earn while working in Colorado when married to an active-duty member of the Armed Forces who is stationed in Colorado. For more details about the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act contact the Colorado Department of Revenue.
Disabled veterans, senior citizens and surviving spouses are encouraged to apply for the property tax exemption benefit offered in Colorado. The program offers a reduced tax status at fifty percent of the value of the home you live in, up to the first $200,000. If your home is valued at $250,000 property taxes will be assessed at a considered value of $150,000 each year, reducing the annual property tax you have to pay.
Military training is an advantage in the competitive Colorado job market. The Colorado Department of Labor gives top priority to veterans for job placement and assistance by fellow veterans who understand potential challenges. Access to career counseling and office services such as phone, internet, printer, fax and copy machines are also provided when needed.
Active duty hunters who are also members of the Wounded Warrior or Safe Harbor program have been granted free hunting licenses by The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission. If you are interested in participating in this program complete the Application for Wounded Warrior Big Game Licenses Program. For more information, contact the Limited Licensing Unit at 303-291-7380.
Engage with the restorative beauty and abundance of nature at any Colorado state park for free throughout the month of August and on Veteran’s Day for all military service members past and present. Veterans are encouraged to take advantage of a discounted Columbine Annual Pass which enables year round access to all state parks for a small fee.
Contact the Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs for further benefits including tax deferrals, driver’s license exemptions and more for both active duty members and veterans.
- US Department of Veteran Affairs; The Yellow Ribbon Program; http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/yellow_ribbon/yellow_ribbon_info_schools.asp
- My Army Benefits; State/Territory Benefits-Colorado; http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/Home/Benefit_Library/State__Territory_Benefits/Colorado.html#UC
- Application for Wounded Warrior Hunting License Program; https://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/About/Accessibility/WoundedWarriorApplication.pdf
- Colorado Parks and Wildlife; Columbine Pass for the totally and permanently disabled; https://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/About/Accessibility/ColumbineFAQ.pdf
- Colorado Department of Labor and Employment: Veterans; https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/node/21626