State / Territory Benefits - District of Columbia


State Taxes
Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Compensation
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks & Recreation Benefits

Resource Locator
Miscellaneous Benefits
Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities


Summary: The District of Columbia offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including property tax exemptions, state employment preferences, education and tuition assistance, vehicle tags, as well as hunting and fishing license privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status.


District Benefit Highlights and Eligibility

State Taxes:

Retired Military Pay: Up to $3,000 of military retirement pay is exempt for individual 62 or older. Survivor benefits are taxable.

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 the Office of Tax and Revenue.

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Property Tax Exemption (Senior Citizen or Disabled Property Owner Tax Relief): When a property owner turns 65 years of age or older, or when he or she is disabled, he or she may file an application immediately for disabled or senior citizen property tax relief. This benefit reduces a qualified property owner's property tax by 50 percent. If the property owner lives in a cooperative housing association, the cooperative will supply and collect the applications.
Eligibility: The following guidelines apply:

  1. The disabled or senior citizen must own 50 percent or more of the property or cooperative unit;
  2. The total adjusted gross income of everyone living in the property or cooperative unit, excluding tenants, must be less than $100,000 for the prior calendar year; and
  3. The same requirements for application, occupancy, ownership, principal residence (domicile), number of dwelling units, cooperative housing associations and revocable trusts apply as in the homestead deduction.

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Education Benefits:

State Tuition Program: The DC National Guard Scholarship will reimburse members of the Army DC National Guard up to $6,000 per individual during any school year at an approved college, university or educational institution while monies are available.
Eligibility: DC Army National Guard member.

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Employment Benefits:

Leave Entitlements of Individuals with Prior Military Service Credibility of Military Time: A District government employee who is a military retiree is entitled to credit for active-military service only if the military retirement was based on disability resulting from injury or disease received in the line of duty as a direct result of armed conflict or caused by an instrumentality of war, and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war as defined in Title 49 of the United States Code.
(Military service other than described in the above paragraph is not credible for the purposes of this benefit.)

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Employment Assistance: 5 U.S.C. 6323(c) provides 15 days military leave per fiscal year to members of a Reserve component for active duty, active duty for training, and inactive duty training. An employee can carry over a maximum of 15 days into the next fiscal year.
National Guard and Reserve Service members.

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Employment Assistance: 5 U.S.C. 6323(c) provides unlimited military leave to members of the National Guard of the District of Columbia for certain types of duty ordered or authorized under Title 39 of the District of Columbia Code.
Eligibility: DC National Guard member.

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Employment Preference: Veterans preference credits are restricted to initial appointments with the District government, or new appointments following a break in service, except for reduction-in-force purposes. The District offers 5-point and 10-point Veteran preference based on eligibility.
Eligibility: A Veteran, whose service in the armed forces was for more than 180 consecutive days, beginning on or before October 14, 1976, or, if in time of war, beginning on or after October 15, 1976, and who was separated with an honorable or general discharge.

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Unemployment Compensation:

Unemployment Insurance: Unemployment Insurance (UI) is a program that provides temporary benefits to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own, and who are able and available for work. The benefits paid to unemployed workers reduce the hardship of unemployment, help to maintain purchasing power of the unemployed, thereby supporting the local economy, and help to stabilize the workforce so that local workers are available to employers when they are ready to re-employ.

To begin the process of filing for your unemployment benefits, you will need to have the following information readily available:

  • Your social security number
  • Your most recent 30-day employer's name(s), address(es), phone number(s) and dates of employment
  • Your Alien Registration Number, if you are not a US Citizen
  • Your DD214, if you are ex-military
  • Your Standard Form 8 or Standard Form 50, if you are a former federal employee
  • Severance pay information (only applicable if you did or will receive severance pay)

Service Contact: Office of Unemployment Compensation - Tax Division
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: (202) 698-7550
Contact Fax: (202) 698-5706

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Department of Motor Vehicles Benefits:

Special Vehicle License Plates: DMV is issuing DC Veteran Tags on behalf of the Office of Veteran Affairs. The specialty Veteran tags can only be used on passenger cars, pickup trucks and vans. There are additional fees other than registration fees for specialty tags.
Eligibility: Proof of military service must be provided to the DC Office of Veterans Affairs (OVA) and an application [PDF] issued by OVA must be completed, which will verify eligibility. Interested residents may apply at the Office of Veteran Affairs office at 441 4th Street, NW, Suite 570 South. After receiving a completed application from OVA, the following documents must be presented at a DMV service center in order to secure the Veterans tags:

  • Completed application from the Office of Veterans Affairs (OVA) showing eligibility for issuance of the DC Veteran plate.
  • DC driver license and vehicle registration of the registered owner(s)

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Health and Insurance Benefits:

Medical Benefits: State Active Duty receives medical, dental and hospital benefits.
Eligibility: DC National Guard member.

Group Insurance: State low-cost life and health insurance.
Eligibility: DC National Guard member.

Worker's Compensation: DC National Guard members receive State worker's compensation.
Eligibility: DC National Guard member.

Injury / Death benefits: Covered through State worker's compensation.
Eligibility: DC National Guard member.

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Parks and Recreation: None

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Miscellaneous Benefits:

Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) Washington is a retirement community for enlisted military retirees and Veterans. For additional information click here.
Eligibility: Army Soldiers who served for a minimum of twenty years and at least one-half of their service was not active commissioned service (other than as a warrant officer or limited-duty officer), are eligible to become residents of the Retirement Home:

  • Soldiers with 20 or more honorable years of active duty service and are at least 60 years old, or
  • Soldiers unable to earn a livelihood due to a service-connected disability, or
  • Soldiers unable to earn a livelihood due to injuries, disease, or disability, or who served in a war theater or were eligible for hostile fire pay; were discharged or released from service in the Armed Forces under honorable conditions; and determined to be incapable of earning a livelihood due to injuries, disease or disability, or
  • Female Soldiers who served in a women's component of the Armed Forces prior to June 12, 1948 and determined to be eligible for admission because of compelling personal circumstances.

Married couples are welcome, but both must be eligible in their own right.

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Reduced Fare Program for Veterans with Disabilities (Metro Disability ID/SmarTrip® Card): Metrobus and Metrorail customers with disabilities may be eligible to ride at a discounted rate. Those customers who qualify will be issued a Metro Disability ID card. Metro Disability ID/SmarTrip® cards can be used to:

  • Pay Fare when using Metrobus and Metrorail
  • Buy a 7-Day regional pass
  • Pay half the peak fare on Metrorail
  • Pay 85¢ with cash or if paying with the Metro Disability ID/SmarTrip® on regular Metrobus routes and other regional bus services

Eligibility: Disabled Veterans who have been granted a 60% or greater disability rating by the Department of Veterans Affairs do not need to complete Part B or C of the application. The applicant must appear in person at the Metro Transit Accessibility Center, 600 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC with a valid photo ID and an original letter of disability notification issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Disabled Veterans rated at 100% can show their valid DD Form 2465 Department of Defense Uniformed Serves ID card in lieu of an award letter. Metro Disability ID Card Application

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Military Installations in the District Of Washington

Active Duty

Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region/Military District of Washington:

Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Washington, DC:

Naval District Washington:

US Naval Observatory:

Naval Research Laboratory:

Air Force
Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling:

Marine Corps
Henderson Hall, Washington, D.C.:

National Guard:
District of Columbia National Guard Joint Force Headquarters:

District of Columbia Army National Guard:

District of Columbia Air National Guard:

 113th Wing:

U.S. Army Reserve (USAR):
Regional Readiness Command (RRC) Headquarters, 99th RRC:


Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities in the District of Columbia:

Veterans Health Administration
VA Medical Center

Washington: Washington DC VA Medical Center, 50 Irving St. NW, 202-745-8000 / 877-328-2621

Community Based Outpatient Clinic
Washington: Community Clinic-Southeast, 820 Chesapeake St, SE, 202-745-8685 / Fax: 202-562-8789
Washington: Community Resource and Referral Center (CRRC), 1500 Franklin St, NE, 202-636-7660

Vet Center
Washington: Washington DC Vet Center, 1250 Taylor St, NW, 202-726-5212 /Fax: 202-726-8968

Veterans Benefits Administration
Regional Office
Washington, D.C.: Washington D.C. Regional Office, 1722 I St NW, 800-827-1000

Intake Site (Pre-Discharge Claims Assistance)
Bolling AFB: Bolling Air Force Base, Airman and Family Readiness Center, 118 Brookley Ave, Bldg 13, Suite 100
Washington: DC Coast Guard, Coast Guard Head Quarters, 2100 Second St, SW
Washington: Pentagon (Air Force), 11MSS/DPF, RM 5C1049, 1565 AF Pentagon

National Cemetery Administration
National Cemetery
Washington: Congressional Cemetery Government Lots, 1801 E St, SE, 410-644-9696 or 9697 / Fax: 410-644-1563


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District of Columbia Office of Veterans Affairs
441 4th Street, NW, Suite 570 South
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 724-5454
Fax: (202) 724-7117
TTY: 711

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Document Review Date: 9 September 2014