State / Territory Benefits - Rhode Island


State Taxes
Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Compensation
Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
Resource Locator
Miscellaneous Benefits
Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities

Summary: Rhode Island offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including Veterans Employment Preference, Tax Exemption, Education Assistance and Scholarships and Special Vehicle License Plates. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component, and Veteran disability status.


State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility


State Taxes:

State Tax Advantage: None

Retired Military Pay: Follows federal tax rules.

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.

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Tax Exemption: Eligible Veterans in Cranston, RI may receive an exemption either on their real estate tax bill or on their motor vehicle tax bill. Veterans who serve in more than one campaign may receive only one exemption. Additional cities in Rhode Island offer exemptions to Veterans.
Eligibility: Veterans of specific wartime services listed below, disabled Veterans requiring specially adapted housing, Gold Star parents.

Real Motor

Veterans Exemptions Estate Vehicle

World War I
April 6, 1917 to June 2, 1921.



World War II
December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946



Korean Campaign
June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955



December 22, 1961 to May 7, 1975



October 23, 1983 to November 21, 1983



August 20, 1982 to December 31, 1983



Persian Gulf*
August 2, 1990 to May 1, 1994



Prisoners of War



Total service-connected disabled Veteran



Total service-connected disabled Veteran who lives in Specially Adapted Housing



Unmarried Widow of a qualified Veteran



Gold Star parents one per household



*Veterans of Grenada Lebanon the Persian Gulf or any other conflict or undeclared war must have served in the conflict and received a campaign ribbon or expeditionary medal to qualify for a Veterans exemption.

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Education Benefits:

Rhode Island State Tuition Assistance Program (STAP): The State Tuition Assistance Program (STAP) is available to all Army National Guard Service members (enlisted and officer) who are pursuing an Associate, Bachelor, Masters Degree, from Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), Rhode Island College (RIC), and University of Rhode Island (URI).

STAP waives tuition for up to five (5) tuition free classes per semester.Fees and books must be paid by military member. Soldiers must be in good standing and not be flagged for adverse action. Soldiers must have one (1) year military commitment at end of class for every 12 credits. Less than 12 credits Soldier's ETS must be after end of class date. The waiver can be used in conjunction with GI Bill.

Soldier must register for classes first, then bring class schedule information to the Education Office, 645 New London Ave, Cranston, RI and have the waiver signed. Bring the waiver to the bursar's office at the school and tuition will not be charged.
Eligibility: National Guard Service members who are pursuing an Associate, Bachelor, Masters Degree, or certification from CCRI, RIC, and URI with in-state tuition rates

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Rhode Island National Guard State Tuition Exemption program (STEP): Covers one (1) tuition free course per SUMMER semester, not to exceed two (2) courses a year. STEP can only be used based on seat availability. You must get a STEP certificate from the Education Office before registering for your class. STEP can be used with Montgomery GI Bill. Four free per enlistment, the member can get four more free for every year he/she extend his/her enlistment.
This program is available to all Army and Air National Guard Service members (enlisted and officer) who are pursuing an Associate, Bachelor, Masters Degree, or certification from Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and University of Rhode Island.

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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:
Rosemarie K. Kraeger, Commissioner
Address: 26 Oliphant Lane, Middletown, RI 02842
Phone: 401-849-2122

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Employment Benefits:

Employment Assistance: State employee receives 15 days paid military leave per year. Leave without pay for State active duty or length of emergency.
Eligibility: State employee on orders for annual training or active duty.

Veterans Employment Preference: Veterans receive an additional 5 points for Veterans, 10 points for disabled Veterans on state examinations for state employment.

You are a 5 point preference eligible if your active duty service meets any of the following:

  1. 180 or more consecutive days, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001 and ending on a future date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law as the last date of Operation Iraqi Freedom, OR

  2. Between August 2, 1990 and January 2, 1992, OR

  3. 180 or more consecutive days, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955 and before October 15, 1976.

  4. 4. In a war, campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized or between April 28, 1952 and July 1, 1955.

You are a 10 point preference eligible if you served at any time, and you:

  1. Have a service connected disability, OR

  2. Received a Purple Heart.

Eligibility: A Veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States. "Retired members of the armed forces" are not included in the definition of preference eligible unless a disabled Veteran OR retired below the rank of major or its equivalent.

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Rhode Island Military Family Leave: Employers with at least 15 employees must give time off to eligible employees with a Spouse or child who has been called to military service lasting more than 30 days in the state or the United States. The amount of leave depends on the size of the employer:

  • Employers with 50 or more employees must allow employees to take up to 30 days of leave.

  • Employers with 15 to 49 employees must allow employees to take up to 15 days of leave.

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Discrimination in employment against reservists: No employer, or officer or agent of any corporation, company, or firm, or other person shall discharge any person from employment because of being an officer or enlisted person in the reserve military forces of the United States, or hinder or prevent that person from performing any military service he or she may be called upon to perform by proper authority, or dissuade any person from membership in the reserve military forces of the United States by threat of injury to that person in respect to his or her employment, trade, or business in case of his or her enlistment or commission. Any person violating any of the above provisions shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (Universal Citation: RI Gen L § 30-11-6 (2012))


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Unemployment Compensation:

Unemployment Insurance: Rhode Island's Department of Labor and Training administers the Unemployment Insurance (UI), providing temporary assistance and partial wage replacement to unemployed Rhode Island workers. Unemployment Compensation (UC) is money paid to workers who have become unemployed through no fault of their own. The program, funded by employer paid taxes, aids in maintaining the economic stability within a community by safeguarding the income and purchasing power of the unemployed worker.

There are two ways to file a claim for Unemployment Insurance: 1. Click here to file a UI claim online or 2. File a claim over the telephone through the UI Call Center at (401)243-9100.

You will need to provide the following information in order to file an Unemployment Insurance Claim.

  • Social Security Number

  • Full name, address and telephone number of all employers you have worked for in the last two years.

  • If you are not a US citizen, you will need your alien registration number.

Please be sure you have all of the above information BEFORE calling to file your claim.

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Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Benefits:

National Guard Member License Plate: Applicant must present a letter from his/her commanding officer stating that they are a member of the Rhode Island National Guard. Retirees must show proof of retirement form the Rhode Island National Guard. There is a one-time fee of $25.00 to order this plate. Normal registration fees apply. A fee of $31.50 will be assessed to remake damaged plate.

Purple Heart License Plate: Applicant must present either your DD-214 or other paperwork showing award of a Purple Heart. There is no fee to order this plate. In addition, yearly registration fees are also waived. Upon death of the holder of any Purple Heart plates, the plates may be transferred to the surviving Spouse for the Spouse's lifetime or until he/she remarries. There is no fee for initial or renewal plates. A fee of $31.50 will be assessed to remake damaged plate.

Prisoner of War (POW) Plate: Applicant must provide either discharge papers (form DD-214) or other valid proof supporting your military record. This plate is issued to former POW. Upon the death of the holder of any POW plates, the plates shall be transferred to his or her surviving Spouse for the Spouse's lifetime until he or she remarries. There is no fee to order the plate. A fee of $1.50 will be assessed to remake damaged plate.

Veteran Plate: Applicant must provide discharge papers (form DD-214) or other valid proof supporting their military record. There is an initial fee of $$20.00 plus a plate change fee of $21.50. A fee of $31.50 will be assessed to remake damaged plate.

Veteran Gold Star Parent Plate: "Gold Star Parent" means a person who has lost a son or a daughter as a result of service with the armed forces of the United States of America; provided, the death was determined to be in the line of duty. There is no fee to order this plate. A fee of $31.50 will be assessed to remake damaged plate.

Disabled Veteran: Applicant needs to provide either discharge papers (form DD-214) or other valid proof supporting your military record. In addition, a form from the Department of Veteran Affairs, 300 Westminster Street Providence RI describing the injury is required. There is no fee for initial or renewal plate. A fee of $31.50 will be assessed to remake damaged plate.

Costs are listed in the DMV Fee Table

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Health and Insurance Benefits:

Medical Benefits: Worker's Compensation
Eligibility: National Guard Service member on State active duty.

Worker's Compensation: Same as State employees.
Eligibility: National Guard Service member on State active duty.

Injury/Death Benefits: Same as Worker's compensation.
Eligibility: Disease, Injury, or Death occurs while serving on State Active Duty.

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Parks and Recreation Benefits:

Hunting and Fishing Licenses:

100% Disabled Veterans: In order to be determined to be eligible for a 100% Permanent Disability Fishing/Combination License, applicants are required to present the original document of the final decision(s), from the Department of Veteran Affairs for a fishing license. For a hunting license, the applicant MUST also provide a previous Rhode Island hunting license, a hunter safety card, or an honorable discharge (DD-214). This license, once issued is permanent.

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Active Duty Military Personnel Hunting and Fishing License: Active duty military personnel are entitled to purchase a RI Resident Hunting and / or Fishing Licenses even if you do not live in Rhode Island. Those licenses held by active military personnel are valid until 6 months after their official discharge.

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100% Disabled Veteran State Parks Pass: No fee shall be charged to any Veteran with a disability regardless of age, or to automobiles transporting a non-driver with a disability at any recreational facility owned by the state, however, proper identification is presented as prescribed by the Department of Environmental Management. For the purpose of this section "person with a disability shall mean an individual who has a physical or mental impairment and is receiving: [A] Social Security disability (SSDI), [B] Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI) or Veterans benefits and who shall be determined under applicable federal law by the Federal Department of Veteran's Affairs to be 100% disabled through a service connected injury. "Fees" shall include all fees for parking, admittance, or other user-fees for playing golf. The term "fees" shall not include licensing fees; camping fees, picnic table fees or specialized facility use fees, including, but not limited to fees for the use of equestrian areas, performing art centers, game fields and mule shed. Effective April 1, 2014, Disability passes are issued at the following location only:

Rhode Island State Parks Headquarters
1100 Tower Hill Road
North Kingtown, RI 02852
Phone: 401-222-2632

Click here for more information regarding a disability pass
Eligibility: Veterans determined under applicable federal law by the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs to be 100% disabled through a service connected injury.

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Goddard Park Golf Course Exemption: Any Veteran who is a resident of the state, and who is determined under applicable federal law by the Veteran's Administration of the United States of America to be totally disabled through service connected disability shall be exempt from paying any fee to play golf at the Goddard Park Golf Course. Further information can be obtained regarding this exemption by calling the Clubhouse at Goddard Memorial State Park from April 1st through the 3rd Saturday in November at (401) 884-9834 or year round at Division Headquarters at (401)667-6200.

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Miscellaneous Benefits:

State Veterans' Home and Nursing Care Facilities: Located in Bristol, the Veterans Home consists of 260 nursing care beds in six long-term care units, including an Alzheimer's Care Unit. There are also two ambulatory care units with 79 beds. Additional services include: dental, x-ray and pharmacy services, and transportation to and from the Veterans Administration Hospital clinics in Providence.
Eligibility: The Rhode Island Veterans Home Services is open to war service Veterans who were honorably discharged and who served for 90 days or more during any foreign war or conflict in which the United States was engaged or in any expedition or campaign for which the United States government issued a campaign medal or as a result of service, acquired a service-related disability or disease.

Applicants must be honorably discharged and deemed in need of the care and services provided at the Home. In addition, war service Veterans need to have lived in the state at least two years prior to the date of application or who were inducted into military services while a resident of the State of Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island Veterans Home will accept any Veteran we are licensed to accept, however, the Medical Director has the authority to approve or disapprove any Veteran's diagnosis for admission to the Home. Admission to the Rhode Island Veterans Home is voluntary..

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Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery: The Division of Veterans Affairs maintains a dignified and solemn military cemetery on 265 acres in Exeter, Rhode Island. Committals are conducted with military honors and memorial services are provided at the facility as well. The grounds of the cemetery are beautifully maintained and include memorials dedicated to Veterans of specific wars and conflicts, including the recently dedicated Korean War Memorial.
Eligibility: Veterans, his or her Spouse, and an eligible dependent Child may be buried at the cemetery. A Veteran must have been:

  • discharged from the military with "Honorable Service,"

  • entered the service from Rhode Island or lived in Rhode Island two consecutive years prior to death,

  • been on active duty during a wartime period, served two or more consecutive years of active duty during peacetime, or served 20 years of National Guard or Reserve time.

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Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities in Rhode Island

Veterans Health Administration
VA Medical Center
Providence: Providence VA Medical Center, 830 Chalkstone Ave, 401-273-7100 / 866-363-4486

Community Based Outpatient Clinic
Middletown: Middletown Outpatient Clinic, One Corporate Place, 401-847-6239 / Fax: 401-847-8057

Vet Center
Warwick: Providence Vet Center, 2038 Warwick Ave, 401-739-0167 / 877-927-8387 / Fax: 401-739-7705

Veterans Benefits Administration
VBA Regional Office
Providence: Providence Regional Office, 38 Westminster St, 800-827-1000

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Rhode Island Division of Veterans Affairs
Address: 480 Metacom Ave, Bristol, RI 02809
Phone: 401-253-8000
Fax: 401-254-2320

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Military Installations in Rhode Island

Active Duty

Naval Station Newport

National Guard
Rhode Island National Guard
Rhode Island Army National Guard
Rhode Island Air National Guard



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Document Review Date: 28 April 2014