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Idaho State Benefits Information

Idaho offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including Compensation for State Active Duty, Idaho National Guard Tuition Scholarship Program, State Park Passes, Vehicle License Plates, as well as Hunting and Fishing License privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component, and Veteran disability status.

LiveBetterIdaho is a collaborative effort between the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and Community Partners in Idaho to help Idahoans seek, find and access services online. This site has been designed to help families and individuals Discover and Connect with services that can Empower them to Live Better. This site went live in December 2015 and will incrementally add a broad range of services across the state of Idaho.

Veterans hiring preference closely mirrors the rules within the Federal Government. Specific Information can be found in Idaho Statute Title 65, Chapter 5.

General Information

Idaho Law provides Veterans preference points for individuals who have been in active service, other than active duty for training, of the United States as defined by Idaho Code, Title 65, Chapter 5, Section 502(6), & U.S.C Section 2108. (See specific eligibility information below). Veterans preference points are also provided for individuals who have served on active duty in the armed services, have been discharged honorably, & who have a present service connected disability of 10% or more, or are a Purple Heart recipient. Veterans preference points are added to the final passing score & may improve a Veterans position on a list of qualified candidates. The preference points added are used only for initial appointment & not for promotions, transfers, or reassignments. Veterans preference requires public employers to provide additional consideration for eligible Veterans, but it does not guarantee the Veteran a job.

Who is Eligible

To be eligible for Veterans preference points you must have been discharged under honorable conditions. Veterans preference points are available on the initial hire only.

Preference Points

5 Points.  Preference eligible Veterans discharged under honorable conditions, or the widow or widower of a preference eligible Veteran, as long as she or he remains unmarried, are eligible for five (5) preference points.

10 Points.  Disabled Veterans are defined as any individual who has served on active duty in the armed services at any time, who has been discharged under honorable conditions, & who has a present service connected disability of 10% or more or are Purple Heart recipients. They are eligible for 10 points that will be added to the earned rating & shall be placed on the register in accordance with their augmented rating. Widows or widowers of any disabled Veteran or Purple Heart recipient honorably discharged may also claim the 10 points if he or she remains unmarried. Spouses of disabled Veterans may claim preference if the Veteran is unable to qualify for any public employment because of a service-connected disability.

10 points with offer of interview: Disabled Veterans discharged under honorable conditions who served on active duty in the armed forces at any time & who have a service connected disability of 30% or more shall be offered an interview if they are one (1) of the top ten (10) qualified applicants. Widows or widowers of any disabled Veteran may also claim the 10 points if he or she remains unmarried -- however they will not be guaranteed an interview if he or she is one (1) of the top ten (10) qualified applicants.

Preference Eligible Veterans

  • Served on active duty in the armed forces at any time, & separated under honorable conditions & has established the existence of a service-connected disability of 10% or more; OR
  • are Purple Heart recipients; OR
  • Served on active duty at any time from December 7, 1941 & ending July 1, 1955; OR
  • Served on active duty for 180 consecutive days, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, & before October 15, 1976; OR
  • Served on active duty at any time from August 2, 1990, & ending on January 2, 1992; OR
  • Served on active duty for a period of more than 180 consecutive days, any part of which occurred during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, & ending when prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law as the last date of Operation Iraqi Freedom; OR
  • Have been awarded an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM), whether listed here or not**, is qualified for Veterans preference. Examples of some of the most common campaign medals are: Vietnam (Service Medal), El Salvador, Lebanon, Granada, Panama, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Southwest Asia (Persian Gulf), Somalia, & Haiti; OR if you are the spouse of a disabled Veteran who is physically unable to perform any work; or the widow(er) of a preference eligible or disabled Veteran; please refer to our Veterans preference form in your online application for more information.

The Veteran must have been separated from the Armed Forces under honorable conditions & your DD214 may be requested to verify your Veteran status at time of appointment

Reference Idaho Code, Title 65, Chapter 5, Section 502 (6) U.S.C. Section 2108.

For a complete list of wars, campaigns, & expeditions of the Armed Forces which qualify for Veterans preference, go to OPM VetGuide

Veterans Requesting to Open a Register:

Disabled Veterans: May be eligible to open a closed announcement for which there is an existing register.

Other Veterans: Within 120 days of discharge may also be eligible to open a closed announcement for which there is an existing register.

Department of Labor Veteran Services

All persons holding occupational or professional licenses issued by the State of Idaho and who are serving in the armed forces of the United States, shall be exempt from the payment of any professional or occupational license or renewal fee required by any law of this state for the period during which such persons shall be engaged in the military services of the United States. And during such period of military service, or service in the auxiliary branches thereof, or servitude and for six (6) months following the discharge from such military service or auxiliary service or servitude in the present war, such license shall remain in good standing without the necessity of renewal and during said period the same shall not be cancelled, suspended or revoked

All license plates and registration information can be obtained at:  Idaho DMV Online Services

The following Veterans Specialty Licenses Plates are available through the Idaho Department of Transportation:

Military License Plate Application

Disabled Veteran

Purple Heart Recipient

Congressional Medal Of Honor

Pearl Harbor Survivor

Former Prisoner Of War

Veterans Plates

Military Veteran Motorcycle

National Guard Members

Members Of The Armed Forces Reserves

Gold Star

Gold Star License Plate Verification Form GS-001

The Gold Star plate is available for spouses, parents and other immediate family members of military members killed by hostile actions during active military service in a period of war recognized by the US Congress. Surviving spouses and parents of deceased service members will not pay fees for gold star plates. A portion of the fees paid by other qualifying relatives will be used to defray the costs of administering the issuance of the plates at ITD and IDVS. Any remaining fees will be used to provide support programs for veterans. Proof of entitlement must be furnished to the department before plates will be issued. This proof can be provided by a copy of DD214 or equivalent documentation, or a letter from the United States Veterans Administration attesting to veterans status.

Starting November 10, 2014 Veterans who present valid documentation showing proof of honorable discharge from military service will be provided veteran designation on their Idaho Driver's license or state-issued identification card. There is no charge to add the veteran designation to a new or renewed Idaho driver's license or identification card. There will be a $15 duplicate card fee to add the veteran designation at any other time. The designation is permanent, and will not incur any additional costs.

List of Acceptable Documents for Proof of Honorable Service

DD Form 214 from any branch of the armed forces [copy 4 (members copy)] DD Form 215 from any branch of the armed forces DD Form 217 from any branch of the armed forces GSA Form 6954 from the National Archives NA Form 13038 from the National Archives NA Form 13041 from the National Archives NAVCG Form 2510 from the United States Coast Guard NAVMC Form 70-PD from the United States Marine Corps NAVMC Form 78-PD from the United States Marine Corps NAVPERS Form 553 from the United States Navy NAVPERS Form 554 from the United States Navy NAVPERS Form 660 from the United States Navy NAVPERS Form 661 from the United States Navy NGB Form 22 from the National Guard Bureau PHS Form 1867 from the US Public Health Services WD AGO Form 53-55 from the United States Army WD AGO Form 53-98 from the United States Army WD AGO Form 755 from the United States Army Verification of Service Letter from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs DD Form 2 Military Retired ID Card 100% Disabled Veteran Card or Letter

Prior to claiming any Tax Benefits, individuals are urged to review the current Idaho Tax Code. Tax benefits are based upon specific criterion, & each individual should review their particular situation.)

Tax Benefits for Veterans are primarily tied to income, & all retirement income is taxable prior to age 65. Disability Income is not taxed.

Property Tax Reductions & Exemptions

The state has rules allowing low income individuals to reduce their property taxes. These rules are based upon the income earned by the individual in a given year. For more information regarding the Property Tax Reduction (Circuit Breaker) visit the Idaho State Tax Commission website.

State Tax Exemption

When stationed outside the State of Idaho, active duty personnel are exempt from Idaho state income tax.

Retired Military Pay: Retirement benefits paid by the United States to a retired member of the U.S. Military or the unremarried widow of a member if the recipient is age 65 or older, or disabled and age 62 or older is deductible. The amount deducted must be reduced by retirement benefits paid under the Federal Social Security Act or the Tier 1 Federal Railroad Retirement Act. See the Individual Income Tax Instructions for the maximum amount that can be deducted for a particular year.

There are three (3) Skilled Nursing Facilities in Idaho for Veterans, all of which are Medicare and Medicaid certified. Honorably discharged Veterans and their spouses (who require skilled nursing care) are eligible for admission to the nursing homes. Spouses are not eligible for admission to the residential/domiciliary unit at the Boise home. There are limits to the number of spouses that can be residing in a home at any given time.

The Idaho State Veterans Home - Boise offers a 131 bed skilled nursing unit, 36 bed residential unit, and a special care unit.

The Idaho State Veterans Homes in Lewiston and Pocatello are both 66 bed skilled nursing facilities.

Provides up to a $1,000 grant, in cases of extreme emergency, to wartime Veterans in need of assistance. Must have entered the military from Idaho, or lived within the state for at least 5 years. The event or emergency must have occurred within 90 days of the request.

For assistance contact Office of Veterans Advocacy at 208-780-1380.

Idaho resident veterans who are 100% disabled with 100% service-related disabilities receive a free campsite while camping within Idaho's State Parks and free day-use access. You can apply for this benefit today.  Website:  Passes, Fees, and Regulations

Resident Disabled American Veterans - Reduced Fees

Resident disabled American veterans may be eligible for DAV reduced fees for licenses and tags. The DAV license, $5, allows the disabled veteran to purchase reduced fee Disabled American Veteran tags for deer $10.75, elk $16.50, bear $6.75, or turkey $10.75. They must submit a letter from the Veterans Affairs office verifying a service-connected disability rating of 40 percent or greater. Letters can be brought to any regional office or mailed to the address below. Such documentation may bear any date prior to license application. Documentation for the resident DAV license will be required only for the initial application and will not be required for subsequent applications.

Nonresident Disabled Veterans - Reduced Fees (effective May 16, 2014)

Nonresident disabled American veterans with a disability rating of 40 percent or more by Veterans Affairs are eligible for nonresident DAV reduced fees for licenses and tags. 

Individuals meeting the DAV requirements must submit a letter from the Veterans Affairs office verifying a service-connected disability rating of 40 percent or greater. Letters can be brought to any regional office or mailed to the address below. Such documentation may bear any date prior to license application. Documentation for the nonresident DAV license will be required only for the initial application and will not be required for subsequent applications.

The nonresident DAV hunting with 3-day fishing license, $31.75, allows the nonresident disabled veteran to purchase reduced fee nonresident Disabled American Veteran tags for deer $23.75, elk $39.75, bear $23.75, or turkey $19.75.  Website:  Idaho Fish and Game.  Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game - Licensing Section, P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707

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