State / Territory Benefits - Delaware
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Health and Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation
Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities
Summary: The State of Delaware offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including State Employment Preferences and Assistance, Education and Tuition Assistance, Special Vehicle Tags, Veterans Homes, Burial Benefits as well as Hunting and Fishing Licenses. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status.
State Sales Tax: No state or local sales tax
Retirement Income Taxes: Social Security benefits are exempt.
Retired Military Pay: Up to $2,000 of military retirement pay excluded for individuals under age 60; $12,500 if 60 or older.
Eligibility: Retiree of the US Armed Forces.
Military Disability Retired Pay: Retirees who entered the military before September 24, 1975, and members receiving disability retirements based on combat injuries or who could receive disability payments from the VA are covered by laws giving disability broad exemption from federal income tax. Most military retired pay based on service-related disabilities also is free from federal income tax, but there is no guarantee of total protection.
VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Not subject to federal or state taxes.
Military SBP/RCSBP/RSFPP: Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with state department of revenue office.
Tuition Assistance: Up to 100% tuition at state college/university or average of in-state tuition at private college or university in Delaware.
Eligibility: Any active member of a federally recognized unit of the Delaware National Guard, who meets the requirements for satisfactory membership as defined by the Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard, shall be eligible for funding support by the Delaware National Guard for certain post-secondary education tuition and fees. (Title 14, Chapter 34, Sections 3480-3481)
Educational Benefits for Children of Deceased Veterans, etc.: The State of Delaware provides educational benefits for the Children of deceased Veterans, POWs (Prisoners of War) and MIAs (Missing in Action). The per pupil benefits may include funds for the payment of room, board, tuition and required institutional fees for an academic year. Benefits shall be limited to four (4) years of training or education. The amount of benefit per pupil cannot exceed the amount of tuition and fees per academic year. Benefits are administered by the Delaware Postsecondary Education Commission. (Title 14, Chapter 34, Sections 3451-3455)
Eligibility: In order to qualify for this entitlement an applicant must be: the Child of a member of the armed forces who was killed while on active duty or who died from disease, wounds, injuries or disabilities arising or resulting from performance of duty; a member of the armed forces who is being held, or who was held prisoner of war; or a member of the armed forces officially declared missing in action; a person who at the time of application for benefits is at least 16 years of age, but not more than 24 years of age, and who has been a resident of the State for at least three (3) years prior to the date of application; attending or admitted for attendance at an educational institution beyond the high school level in a program not to exceed four (4) years in duration.
High School Diploma for WWII Veterans: House Bill No. 60 provides a High School Diploma to those World War II Veterans who did not graduate from high school due to their military service.
Eligibility: Any World War II Veteran who performed wartime service between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946 shall be eligible to receive a High School Diploma. World War II Veterans interested in receiving a diploma may contact the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs at (800) 344-9900 or (302) 739-2792.
Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: It is the purpose of this compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on Children of military Families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:
- Facilitating the timely enrollment of Children of military Families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of educational records from the previous school district or variations in entrance or age requirements.
- Facilitating the student placement process through which Children of military Families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content or assessment. Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs, and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic and social activities.
- Facilitating the on-time graduation of Children of military Families.
- Providing for the promulgation and enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact.
- Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools and military Families under this compact.
- Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military Children.
- Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student.
Primary Point of Contact:
Susan Haberstroh, Compact Commissioner
Address: 401 Federal St, Suite 2, Dover, DE 19901
Employment Assistance: State employees receive 15 days of paid military leave per year.
Eligibility: Delaware National Guard and Reserve members.
Employment Preference: State employment preference will be given to Veterans of the armed forces of the U.S. who served during wartime. (Title 29, Chapter 59, Section 5935).Such rules shall provide that:
- Preference shall be confined to original entrance and shall not be applied to promotion within the classified service or to retention in case of reduction in force;
- Preference shall be granted only in the form of credits to be added to earned ratings in examinations, with disabled Veterans receiving no more than 10 points and other Veterans no more than 5 points;
- A definition of a disabled Veteran shall be set forth in the rules; A definition of a disabled Veteran shall be set forth in the rules;
- All Veterans shall be required to meet job requirements before receiving preference credits;
- Employees in the classified service who, while in good standing, leave or have left the state service to engage in military service shall be given credit for seniority purposes for the time served in the armed forces not to exceed 3 years; and
- Five preference points may be claimed by the Spouse of any of the following, so long as the Spouse achieves a passing examination grade:
- Any Veteran who has died, so long as the Widow or Widower has not remarried;
- Any member of the armed forces serving on active duty who, at the time of application for the priority, is listed in 1 or more of the following categories and has been so listed for a total of more than 90 days:
- Missing in action;
- Captured in line of duty by a hostile force; or
- Forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power; or
- Any Veteran who has a disability resulting from a service connected disability.
Credited Military Service; Eligibility: Credited service for Veterans shall mean: Those who first became an employee before July 1, 1976, full-time active duty, not in excess of 5 years, in the armed forces of the U.S. during time of war or national emergency, provided that the individual became an employee within five (5) years after completion of his or her tour of duty; or within five (5) years after his or her completion of a course of professional or vocational training, if such course was begun within five (5) years after completion of his or her tour of duty, except that the aforesaid 5 year period within which the individual must become an employee shall not apply to full-time officers and members of the National Guard of the States who were active members of the State Employee's Pension Plan on June 1, 1970. (Title 29, Chapter 55, Section 5501).
Unemployment Insurance (UI) is designed to provide benefits to eligible individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own, and who would be employed if suitable jobs were available. Unlike public welfare, UI is an insurance program. UI is, in many ways, similar to other forms of insurance. In all states, employers pay a tax to cover their workers against involuntary unemployment. Most employers are required to pay this tax. When you work for such an employer, you are in "covered employment," and your wages are "covered wages." Your UI benefit is based upon these wages. Like any other insurance, UI has certain requirements that must be met if you are to receive benefit payments. Claimant Handbook
One of the below combinations of identification documents must be provided at the time you file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits:
- Social Security Card & Driver's License (by federal law, it can be a valid license from any state)
- Social Security Card & State Issued Picture ID (by federal law, it can be a valid Picture ID from any state)
- Social Security Card and Passport
- Social Security Card and Military ID
- Driver's License or Passport, and "any official document with full SSN indicated"
Unemployment Insurance Information Hotline:
New Castle County residents:
Kent & Sussex County residents:
Special Vehicle License Plates: Special Veteran License Plates are available for Delaware Veterans, including the following licenses for Valor: Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Navy Commendation Medal, Silver Star, Air Force Commendation Medal, Bronze Star, Distinguished Service Cross, and Navy Cross. The owner of any private passenger vehicle or a truck with a 3/4 ton or less manufacturer's rated capacity may apply to the Department of Transportation for the assignment to that vehicle of a special Prisoner-of-War (POW), Missing-in-Action (MIA), Purple Heart or disabled Veteran (DAV) registration number (Title 21, Chapter 21, Sections 2137 & 2138 and Title 21, Chapter 21, Sections 2139, 2139(a), (b), (d), (e), (g) & 2164).
Eligibility: Applications for special vehicle license plates must be accompanied by proper certification and a one-time $10.00 processing fee: Copy of certification letter from Veterans Administration must be attached to registration form for Disabled Veterans Plate (Note: A disabled Veteran plate does not permit special parking in handicapped zones). A copy of the certification from the Department of Defense must accompany application forms for POW, MIA, Purple Heart, Valor and Retired Military and Korean War Veteran Plates. Applications for the Delaware National Guard and Reserves Plates must be reviewed by the Delaware Air National Guard Security Forces Squadron.
National Guard Plates: Distinctive auto plates with one-time administrative fee of $10.
Eligibility: Delaware National Guard member.
Reserve Plates: Distinctive auto plates with one-time administrative fee of $10. Application for Reserve license plate.
Eligibility: Reserve member
Former Prisoner of War (POW) Plates: Distinctive auto plates with one-time administrative fee of $10. Application for Former Prisoner of War license plate.
Eligibility: Former POW in any war (World War II, the Korean conflict, the Vietnam conflict, Operation Desert Storm or other military conflict on foreign soil) in which United States armed forces were formally engaged in battle.
Disabled American Veterans Plates: Distinctive auto plates with one-time administrative fee of $10. Application for Special DAV license plates.
Eligibility: Veterans with a disability of any war (the Korean conflict, the Vietnam conflict, Operation Desert Storm or other military conflict on foreign soil) in which United States armed forces were formally engaged in battle.
Missing-In-Action Plates: Distinctive auto plates with one-time administrative fee of $10. Application for Missing in Action license plate.
Eligibility: Veteran formerly missing-in-action in any war (the Korean conflict, the Vietnam conflict, Operation Desert Storm or other military conflict on foreign soil) in which United States armed forces were formally engaged in battle.
Purple Heart Plates: Distinctive auto plates with one-time administrative fee of $10. Application for Purple Heart license plate
Eligibility: Applicant must possess official documentation which indicates that they are the recipient of the Purple Heart medal.
Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Medal of Honor, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Distinguished Service Cross, and Distinguished Flying Cross Medal Plates: Distinctive auto plates with one-time administrative fee of $10.
Eligibility: Applicant must possess official documentation which indicates that they are the recipient of a medal or commendation for valor while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Retired Military Plates: Distinctive auto plates with one-time administrative fee of $10. Application for Retired Military license plates.
Eligibility: Veterans that have been honorably discharged from the United States armed forces after having served an aggregate minimum of 20 years in 1 or more of the branches of the United States armed services.
Korean War Veteran Plates: Distinctive auto plates with one-time administrative fee of $10. Only one plate shall be issued to an applicant. Application for Korean War Veteran license plate.Eligibility: Veteran must possess official documentation that they are a Veteran of the Korean War.
Gold Star Family Plates: Distinctive auto plates with one-time administrative fee of $10. Application for Gold Star Family license plate
Eligibility: Applicant must provide sufficient official documentation of being awarded a Gold Star lapel button by the United States Department of Defense in recognition of a close relative's death while serving in the military.
Vietnam Veteran Plate: Distinctive auto plates with one-time administrative fee of $10. Only one plate shall be issued to an applicant. Application for Vietnam Veteran license plate
Eligibility: Applicant must possess official documentation that indicates that that are a Veteran of the Vietnam War.
Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran Plate: Distinctive auto plates with one-time administrative fee of $10. Only one plate shall be issued to an applicant. Application for Operation Iraq Freedom license Plate
Eligibility: Applicant must possess official documentation that indicates that that are a Veteran of the Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran Plate: Distinctive auto plates with one-time administrative fee of $15. Only one plate shall be issued to an applicant. Application for Operation Enduring Freedom license plate.
Eligibility: Applicant must possess official documentation that indicates that that are a Veteran of the Operation Enduring Freedom.
Registration and Inspection of Motor Vehicles of Disabled Veterans: Any motor vehicle owned by a disabled Veteran will be registered, but will not have to pay any registration fees. This payment exemption is limited to one automobile per eligible Veteran at any one time. The Division of Motor Vehicles will also provide number and registration plates free of charge to eligible applicants and vehicles. (Title 21, Chapter 21, Section 2164)
Eligibility: Any Veteran who is eligible for "adaptive equipment" benefits under Title 38 U.S.C. (which includes, but is not limited to power steering, power brakes, power window lifts, power seats, and special equipment necessary to assist the eligible person into and out of the automobile or other conveyance).
Medical Benefits: State active duty receives medical, dental and hospital benefits.
Eligibility: Delaware National Guard member.
Group Insurance: $1,000 free life insurance offered upon enlistment. Dental insurance is also available.
Eligibility: Delaware National Guard member.
Workers Compensation: Delaware National Guard members receive Workers Compensation.
Eligibility: Delaware National Guard member
Veterans Preference - Admission to Governor Bacon Health Center: The Department of Health and Social Services will give Veterans of World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam era who are eligible for admission to the Health Center a preference over other applicants. (Title 16, Chapter 53, Section 5323)
Injury and Death Benefits: Delaware National Guard injured while in the service of the State will receive a disability based on the larger of his/her civilian or military wages (includes State Active Duty, military school attending, drills and field training). The State of Delaware will provide $150,000 to beneficiary of National Guard member who dies while on State Active Duty and will also provide tuition assistance for surviving Children at State Colleges.
Pension Benefits for Paraplegic Veterans: Each eligible paraplegic Veteran will receive a pension from the State of $3,000 per year payable in equal monthly installments at the end of each month.
Eligibility: The Veteran must file evidence with the Pension Office that: he/she is a paraplegic and fully disabled to the extent that he/she has no voluntary control over either of his/her legs, and he/she is listed on the rolls of the U.S. Veterans Administration as totally disabled for the cause, and the disability is a direct result of service in the armed forces of the United States while the United States was officially at war or during a period when the United States was engaged in hostilities with another nation as a member of the United Nations and the Veteran is a bona fide resident of the State. (Title 20, Chapter 10, Section 1001)
Hunting and Fishing License for Disabled Veterans: Free license to qualifying Veterans.
Eligibility: Any Veteran having at least a 60% service-connected disability (certified by the Veterans Administration), or 65 years or older, or blind, is exempt from the licensing requirements. (Title 7, Chapter 5, Section 502) (To obtain a permit please contact DCVA at 302-739-2792).
Hunting and Fishing Privileges: Any member of the armed forces of the United States of America, stationed within the State of Delaware shall be deemed a resident and can obtain a license to hunt, trap and fish in this State (Title 7, Chapter 5, Section 505).
One Time Free Hunting/Fishing License: Any resident who has served honorably for 90 or more consecutive days on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, including service as member of the Delaware National Guard, in military actions in Southwest Asia associated with Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom may, for the first 12 months following the date the resident was honorably discharged or removed from active status, be issued a license to hunt and/or fish in this State without charge.
Delaware Military Pass: The Delaware legislature's House Bill 235, amended by Senate Amendment No. 1, created the Delawarean Military Pass. It was signed into law July 5, 2012 and is found in Title 7 §4701(a)(5)(E). This legislation authorizes the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation to reduce the cost of an annual pass by 50% for military members who are permanent residents of the State of Delaware.
Eligibility: A permanent resident of the state of Delaware and one of the following:
- An active-duty military member serving honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States or in the Delaware National Guard, or
- A Veteran who was honorably discharged, or
- A military retiree who served honorably for 20 or more years
Veterans of Southwest Asia Military Pass: In 2007, the Delaware Legislature authorized the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation to offer a free pass to Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom. This pass is available for the first 12 months following the date the resident was honorably discharged or removed from active status. This pass is issued only at our 89 King's Highway location in Dover, by our Office of Business Services.
Eligibility: Applicants must be resident Veterans of the Armed Forces and served honorably for 90 or more consecutive days in Southwest Asia associated with Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operations Enduring Freedom. Veteran must provide a copy of their DD 214. Download application here.
People's Place Veteran's Outreach Program: With support from the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Outreach program offers a wide range of services for Veterans who reside in areas from New Castle County to the Delaware-Maryland line. Services range from career counseling; guidance to access state and federal VA benefits, such as medical care and treatment; psychotherapy referrals; mental health counseling; and door-to-door transportation to medical facilities in the region. Outreach is also performed to locate and house homeless Veterans. Once the Veteran is temporarily housed, a social worker from the VA is notified and more permanent living arrangements are made.
Eligibility: Veterans of all wars who live in Southern New Castle County to the Delaware-Maryland line. For further information about LP Lo-Del and People's Place Programs, call (302) 422-8033 x173.
Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF): The SSVF Program assists Veterans with rapid re- housing, financial assistance for rent, utility bills, and security deposits. This program targets low- income Veterans, and there are eligibility requirements the Veteran must meet in order to determine eligibility for the SSVF Program. For more information regarding SSVF assistance, please call Vickie Bryant at 302-422- 8033, ext. 172.
"The Centurion" (Newsletter): The Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs publishes a free quarterly newsletter, The Centurion. The Centurion is a newsletter that provides subscribers and Veterans organizations with current developments in benefits, legislative initiatives, community services and local events. To receive the most current copy of The Centurion by email, click this link subscribe and send a blank email and you will be added to the subscriber list.
Certificate of Appreciation: The Governor has announced that the State of Delaware will provide a "Certificate of Appreciation."
Eligibility: All Delaware Veterans who have served honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States during time of peace, conflict, or war. To request a "Certificate of Appreciation" application, the Veteran or Family member may contact the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs at (800) 344-9900 or (302) 739-2792.
Copies of Statement of Service: The Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs has established a repository for Veterans' "Statement of Service" or similar documentary verification of active armed service. Records maintained are World War I through the Vietnam era. In 1987 the State of Delaware again started keeping records and has records from 1987 to present. (Title 29, Chapter 87, Section 8721).
Free Death Certificates for Veterans: The State Registrar will provide a certified copy of the Veteran's certificate of death free of charge to the relative of a Veteran, one time, providing that the certified copy is essential to the settlement of a claim involving the settlement of the Veteran's affairs. All other copies will be issued at the statutory fee. (Title 16, Chapter 31, Section 3132c).
No Charge for Notary Services for Veterans: Service organizations' appointed notaries public may notarize documents and papers in connection with and for the benefit of any Veteran, their Families, or dependents. These notaries public will not charge for any service rendered in connection with filing claims on behalf of the Veteran, their Families, or dependents. The Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs provides free notary service. (Title 29, Chapter 43, Sections 4312).
Auctioneer and Book Agent Exemption for Veterans: No license is needed for the occupation of "book agent" (including canvassing for the sale of books) or for the occupation of auctioneer.
Eligibility: Honorably discharged Soldiers or Sailors. (Title 30, Chapter 21, Section 2116).
Delaware Veterans Home: Delaware Veterans Home is a 150-bed long-term care facility offering skilled nursing services and special needs unit to serve those who may suffer from forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.
Eligibility: Admission to the Delaware Veterans Home is open to Veterans that meet the following criteria:
- Military Service:
- Honorably discharged from active service (peacetime or wartime) or Any National Guard Service or Reservist who is eligible for retirement pay at age 60 and has served on active duty at least 180 days (does not have to be consecutive)
- Applicant must have resided in the State of Delaware for 3 years or more prior to application.
- Level of Care:
- Must meet federal and state requirement for having a skilled nursing home level of care.
The Delaware Veterans Home is located at:
100 Delaware Veterans Blvd
Milford, DE 19963
Phone 302- 424-6000
State Veterans Home Fund: House Bill No. 500 establishes a Delaware Veterans Home Fund within the Secretary of State's office. The fund provides for individuals who claim an overpayment of taxes on their income tax return to voluntarily designate a tax-deductible contribution to the Veterans Home. The fund will be used for the operation of the Veterans Home in the State of Delaware. All contributions can be forwarded to the following address: Delaware Veterans Home Fund, Department of State, 401 Federal St, Suite 3, Dover, DE 19901.
Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery: All eligible Veterans and members of the Armed Forces of the U.S. can be buried in the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemeteries - New Castle County Cemetery, Bear, DE and Sussex County Cemetery, Millsboro, DE. Burial Application
Eligibility: Veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States, their Spouse and dependent Children may be interred at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Eligibility requirements are prescribed by the National Cemetery Administration, and while this is not an exhaustive list to describe every instance; it generally applies that any of the following criterion will constitute eligibility:
- Served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States for a continuous period of at least 24 months and was separated or discharged under honorable conditions. With the following exceptions:
- Any term of service is qualifying for enlisted persons that entered active duty on or before September 7, 1980.
- Any term of service is qualifying for commissioned officers who entered active duty on or before October 16, 1981.
- Any term of service, where death occurs on active duty or a Service member is separated early as a result of hardship or service connected disability.
- Served in the National Guard or reserve components of the Armed Forces of the United States and:
- Eligible to receive retired pay or would have been entitled to receive retired pay at the age of sixty (60).
- Any term of service where a member is called to serve on active duty under Executive Orders (other than for training).
- A Veteran must also be a resident of Delaware in either of the following cases:
- At the time of entry into active service.
- At the time of Death.
- For a period of three (3) years.
Veterans Health Administration
VA Medical Center
Wilmington: Wilmington VA Medical Center, 1601 Kirkwood Hwy, 302-994-2511 / 800-461-8262
Community Based Outpatient Clinic
Dover: Kent County CBOC, 1198 S Governors Ave, Ste 201, 800-461-8262 x2400 / Fax: 302-678-9176
Georgetown: Sussex County CBOC, 15 Georgetown Plaza, 800-461-8262 x2300 / Fax: 302-855-9836
Vet Center - 877-927-8387
Georgetown: Sussex County Vet Center, 20653 Dupont Blvd, 302-225-9110 / Fax: 302-253-1061
Wilmington: Wilmington Vet Center, 2710 Centerville Rd, Ste 103, 302-994-1660 / Fax: 302-994-8361
Veterans Benefits Administration
Wilmington: Wilmington Regional Office, 1601 Kirkwood Hwy, 215-842-2000
Dover AFB: Dover Air Force Base, Airman & Family Readiness Center
Military Installations in Delaware
Delaware Air National Guard
United States Army Reserve (USAR)
Additional information can be found at: http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/Home/Benefit_Library/Resource_Locator/Delaware.html
Document Review Date: 15 December 2014