From great schools and beautiful natural areas for outdoor recreation to the nation’s best health care and a thriving job market, it’s no secret – Wisconsin is the best state for individuals to live and work after their military service.
The tight-knit veterans’ community and personal advocates in each of the state’s 72 counties serve as reminders as to why Wisconsin is one of the most military-friendly states in the nation. If that’s not enough, the Badger State leads the nation in benefits offered to veterans and their families.
Here’s a look at some of the top benefits most often used by our nation’s heroes and their families.
The Wisconsin G.I. Bill
This benefit differs from the things veterans and their families receive by using the federal G.I. Bill. The Wisconsin G.I. Bill forgives full tuition and segregated fees for eligible veterans and their dependents. And that’s not just a portion of tuition – that’s up to eight full-time semesters or 128 credits, whichever is greater, at any University of Wisconsin System of Wisconsin College System school. Not to mention that the universities and colleges in Wisconsin are ranked among the best in the country. Eligibility determination is a two-part process. Click here to learn more about the Wisconsin G.I. Bill.
Financial Tax Benefits
Wisconsin offers a wide-ranging list of financial tax benefits to veterans and their families. The Wisconsin Veterans and Surviving Spouses Property Tax Credit gives eligible veterans and un-remarried, surviving spouses a refundable property tax credit for their primary, in-state residence and up to one acre of land. Eligibility for the program is determined through the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA), and the credit is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue through state income tax returns. Military retirement benefits are also exempt from Wisconsin state taxation, and military pay is as well. Learn more about the financial offerings to veterans and their families by clicking here.
Top-Rated State Veterans Homes
Wisconsin is home to multiple skilled-nursing facilities serving our nation’s heroes and their family members. The WDVA is proud to provide 24-hour nursing care to nearly 1,000 veterans and their spouses at the three top-rated veterans homes. The Wisconsin Veterans Home at Chippewa Falls serves the northern part of the state, the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King serves the central part of the state and the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Union Grove serves the southern part of the state. All three homes were among the highest rated in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report, and the skilled-nursing care members at the homes receive at the facilities is also among the best.
State Veterans Cemeteries Across the State
In addition to the Veterans Homes, the WDVA operates and maintains three cemeteries across the state. The Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery (Spooner), the Central Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery (King) and the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery (SWVMC) (Union Grove) are the final resting spots for many veterans and spouses in Wisconsin, with the SWVMC being the fifth busiest State Veterans Cemetery in the country. The WDVA’s Military Funeral Honors Program works to provide and coordinate a final tribute to the men and women who served our state and nation honorably, allowing people to pay their last respects in a solemn ceremony. The collaboration between the WDVA, Veterans Service Organizations, funeral directors, active components of the military and County Veterans Service Officers make honoring the fallen military across the state possible. Learn more about the cemeteries here.
While hundreds of companies across Wisconsin make it a priority to employ veterans, the WDVA’s State Approving Agency (SAA) has been proactive in giving them more options for employment. The WDVA’s team of SAA surveyors approves facilities that offer apprenticeships or on-the-job training to veterans. Right now, there are more than 200 institutions and 350 approved facilities in Wisconsin that eligible veterans can use to get the training or career guidance they may need. Learn about the program by clicking here.
Homeless Veterans and Rehabilitative Programs
The WDVA is proud to have provided services and programs to Wisconsin veterans and their families for more than 60 years. The WDVA is committed to helping veterans and their families experiencing homelessness and/or substance abuse and offering services such as housing, training, education, counseling and rehabilitative services needed to obtain permanent housing and employment. The Veterans Outreach and Recovery Program (VORP) recently expanded to all 72 counties in Wisconsin, allowing coordinators to connect at-risk veterans to community services and provide case management and support with a focus on treatment and recovery. Click here to learn more about the service offered by the WDVA’s VORP.
The Veterans Housing and Recovery Program is a collaboration between the WDVA and the Veterans Assistance Foundation. The program helps homeless veterans and those at risk of becoming homeless by giving them temporary housing and the job training, education, counseling and rehabilitative service they may need to get steady employment, affordable housing and the skills to sustain a productive lifestyle. The program has been extremely successful, and the WDVA recently announced that it is expanding its services to a third facility in Green Bay.
Wisconsin’s grant offerings to veterans and their families are unmatched. The WDVA offers 10 grants to eligible applicants. Those grants range from funding for non-profit organizations that provide assistance or other service to veterans to funding to employers that hire veterans with service-connected disability ratings. Learn more about the WDVA’s unique grant offerings by clicking here.
These are just a few of the benefits offered in Wisconsin to veterans and their families. To learn more about all of the programs and services available to veterans seeking to maximize their success In Wisconsin®, visit InWisconsin.com/Veterans.