California

State Taxes
Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Compensation
Department of Motor Vehicles Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks & Recreation Benefits
Miscellaneous Benefits
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities
Military Resource Locator
Resources

Summary of California Military and Veterans Benefits: California offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including disabled Veteran property tax exemptions, California National Guard Tuition Scholarship Program, 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.

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California Military and Veterans State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility

What are my California Military and Veterans State Tax Benefits?

California Taxes on Retired Military Pay: Retired military pay is taxed in California, the amount of pension income taxable by California is the same as the amount taxable under federal law.

Learn more about California Taxes on Retired Military Pay

California State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retired Pay: Military Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the Armed Forces should not be included in taxable income if any of the following conditions apply:

  • You were entitled to receive a disability payment before September 25, 1975

  • You were a member of the military (active or reserves) or were under a binding written commitment to become a member on September 24, 1975

  • You receive disability payments for a combat-related injury. This is a personal injury or sickness that:

    • Resulted directly from armed conflict

    • Took place while you were engaged in extra-hazardous service

    • Took place under conditions simulating, including training exercises such as maneuvers, or

    • Was caused by an instrumentality of war

  • You would be entitled to receive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if you filed an application for it (the exclusion under this condition equals the amount you would be entitled to from the VA).

Learn more about California State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retired Pay

California State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

Learn more about California State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

young child hugging a tombstone in a veteran cemetery Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) California State Tax Benefits: SBP, RCSBP and RSFPP pensions are taxed in California, the amount of pension income taxable by California is the same as the amount taxable under federal law.

Learn more about Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) California State Tax Benefits

California Veteran's Property Tax Exemption: The Veterans' Exemption provides exemption of property not to exceed $4,000 for qualified Veterans who own limited property (see California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 205). The Veterans' Exemption may be claimed by a person currently serving in the military service or one who has been honorably discharged, the unmarried Surviving Spouse or parent of a deceased Veteran meeting the service requirements. In order to qualify for this exemption, the claimant may not own property, real or personal, worth more in aggregate than $5,000 if the claimant is single. If married, the couple may not own property worth more than $10,000. In addition, the claimant must have lived in California on the lien date, January 1.
Who is eligible for the California Veteran's Property Tax Exemption? In order to qualify for the Veterans' Exemption, a person must first be considered a Veteran by the government by meeting certain criteria regarding their service as a Veteran. A Veteran means either of the following:

  • A person serving or has served in and has been discharged under honorable conditions and served in any of the following:

    • in time of war

    • in time of peace in a campaign or expedition for which a medal has been issued to the Veteran by Congress

    • in time of peace and because of a service-connected disability was released from active duty

  • Persons from the National Guard or National Guard Reserve who are called into active service as part of the Armed Forces of the United States may also qualify for the Veterans' Exemption.

To apply for the Veterans' Exemption, a claim must be filed each year with the assessor of the county where the property is located. The claim form, BOE-261, Claim for Veterans' Exemption, is available from the county assessor. To receive the full 100 percent exemption for property owned on the January 1 lien date, the claim must be filed by February 15.
California County Assessor Directory

Learn more about the California Veteran's Property Tax Exemption

California Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemptions: The Disabled Veterans' Exemption reduces the property tax liability on the principal place of residence of qualified Veterans who, due to a service-connected injury or disease, have been rated 100% disabled or are being compensated at the 100% rate due to unemployability. An unmarried Surviving Spouse of a qualified Veteran may also claim the exemption.

There are two levels of the Disabled Veterans' Exemption:

  • Basic – The basic exemption, also referred to as the $100,000 exemption, is available to all qualifying claimants. The exemption amount is compounded annually by an inflation factor. For example, for 2018, the basic exemption amount was $134,706.

  • Low-Income – The low-income exemption, also referred to as the $150,000 exemption, is available to qualifying claimants whose annual household income does not exceed a specified income limit. The amounts for both the low-income exemption and the annual income limit are compounded annually by an inflation factor. For example, for 2018, the low-income exemption amount was $202,060 and the annual household income limit was $60,490.

Who is eligible for the California Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemptions? In general, in order to qualify for the Disabled Veterans' Exemption:

  • The Veteran must meet the definition of a disabled Veteran, as described below, for the purposes of the exemption.

  • The claimant for the exemption may be the disabled Veteran or the unmarried Surviving Spouse of the Veteran.

  • The property on which the exemption is claimed must be the claimant's principal place of residence.

  • The Veteran's character of discharge from military service must have been under "other than dishonorable" conditions.

  • The Veteran must have served during one of the time periods listed in The following wars or campaigns:

    • War with Germany-Austria, April 6, 1917 - November 11, 1918

    • World War II, December 7, 1941 - January 1, 1947

    • Campaign against the North Koreans and Chinese Communists in Korea, June 27, 1950 - January 31, 1955

    • Campaign against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Communists in South Vietnam, August 5, 1964 - May 8, 1975

    • First Nicaraguan campaign, July 29, 1912 - November 14, 1912

    • Second Nicaraguan campaign, August 27, 1926 - January 2, 1933

    • Yangtze River campaign in China, September 3, 1926 - October 21, 1927 or March 1, 1930 - December 31, 1932

    • All other campaigns for service in which a medal has been issued to the Veteran by the Congress of the United States

Note: Definitions of “Disabled Veteran”, Surviving Spouse”, and “Principal Place of Residence” can be found under the “Qualifications Tab” located here at the California State Board of Equalization, Disabled Veterans’ Exemption webpage.

Learn more about the California Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemptions

California Business License, Tax and Fee Waiver for Veterans: The Business License, Tax, and Fee Waiver benefit waives municipal, county, and state business license fees, taxes, and fees for Veterans who hawk, peddle, or vend any goods, wares, or merchandise owned by the Veteran, except spirituous, malt, vinous, or other intoxicating liquor, including sales from a fixed location.
Who is eligible for the California Business License, Tax and Fee Waive r for Veterans? Honorably discharged Veterans who engage in sales (not services) activities may be eligible. Eligibility criteria will differ based upon local jurisdiction. If your county/city licensing authority offers this benefit and they establish eligibility for your specific business, submit proof of honorable discharge to the authority.

Learn more about the California Business License, Tax and Fee Waiver for Veterans

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What are my California Military and Veterans Education Benefits?

California College Tuition Fee Waivers for Veterans' Dependents: The California College Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents benefit waives of mandatory system wide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University or University of California campus. This program does not cover the expense of books, parking or room and board. There are four plans under which dependents of Veterans may be eligible.
Who is eligible for the California College Tuition Fee Waivers for Veterans' Dependents? There are four plans under which dependents of Veterans may be eligible:

Plan A:

  • The Child of a Veteran who is totally disabled due to service-connected disabilities or whose death was officially rated as service-connected is eligible. The Child must be over 14 years old and under 27 years old to be eligible. If the Child is a Veteran, then the age limit is extended to age 30

  • The Spouse or Registered Domestic Partner (RDP) of a wartime Veteran who has been rated as service-connected totally disabled is eligible. There are no age limit restrictions

  • The unmarried Surviving Spouse or RDP of a wartime Veteran whose death has been rated as service-connected is eligible. There are no age limit restrictions

  • Any dependent of any Veteran who has been declared missing in action, captured in the line of duty by hostile forces, or forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power is eligible.

The Veteran must have served at least one day of active duty during a period of war as declared by the U.S. Congress, or during any time in which the Veteran was awarded a campaign or expeditionary medal. Concurrent receipt of benefits under Plan A and VA Chapter 35 benefits is prohibited. To receive benefits under Plan A, a dependent must sign an "election" statement acknowledging this fact. There are no income restrictions under this plan. To be eligible, the event which caused basic entitlement to benefit (i.e., the date the Veteran died of service-connected causes or the date the VA rated the Veteran as totally disabled as a result of service-connected disabilities) must have occurred prior to the Child's 21st birthday.

Plan B: The Child of a Veteran who has a service-connected disability or had a service-connected disability at the time of death or died of service-related causes is eligible. The Child's annual income, which includes the Child's adjusted gross income, plus the value of support provided by a parent, may not exceed the annual income limit. The current academic year entitlement is based upon the previous calendar year's annual income. Under Plan B, wartime service is not required and there are no specific age requirements. Children are the only dependents eligible under this plan. There is no prohibition against receiving concurrent VA Chapter 35 benefits.

Plan C: Any dependent of any member of the California National Guard, who in the line of duty while on active service to the state, was killed, died of a disability resulting from an event that occurred while in active service to the state, or is permanently disabled as a result of an event that occurred while in the service to the state is eligible. Surviving Spouses or RDPs who have not remarried are also eligible.

"Active service to the state," for the purpose of this benefit, means a member of the California National Guard activated pursuant to Section 146 of the Military and Veterans Code. A copy of those orders pursuant to Section 146, not Section 143, must be furnished to establish eligibility.

Plan D: Medal of Honor recipients and Children of Medal of Honor recipients under the age of 27 may qualify. Benefits under Plan D are limited to undergraduate studies only, and applicants are subject to both income and age restrictions. There is no prohibition against receiving concurrent VA Chapter 35 benefits.

Note: All applicants must meet California residency requirements.

Please use the California Department of Veterans Affairs, College Fee Waiver Calculator to verify eligibility.

To apply download an application, then go to your local County Veterans Service Office. For more information, you can also contact the admissions office or the Veterans Affairs office of any California college system campus.
California Department of Veterans Affairs, College Fee Waiver Program for Veteran Dependents Application
California Department of Veterans Affairs, County Veterans Service Officer Directory

Learn more about the California College Tuition Fee Waivers for Veterans' Dependents

California Non-Resident College Fee Waiver: The Non-Resident College Fee Waiver waives non-resident fees at all State of California Community Colleges, California State University, or University of California campuses.
Who is eligible for the California Non-Resident College Fee Waiver?

  • 3 people in cap and gowns at a graduation ceremony A student who is a Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in this state on active duty for more than one year immediately prior to being discharged is entitled to resident classification. This classification is valid for the length of time the Veteran lives in this state after being discharged up to the minimum time necessary to become a resident.

  • An undergraduate student who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in this state on active duty is eligible, except a member of the Armed Forces assigned for educational purposes to a state-supported institution of higher education

  • An undergraduate student who is a natural or adopted Child, Stepchild, or Spouse who is a dependent of a member of the Armed Forces stationed in this state on active duty is eligible

  • A student seeking a graduate degree, who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in this state on active duty except a member of the Armed Forces assigned for educational purposes to a state-supported institution of higher education, is eligible. There is a two-year limit for graduate-level studies

  • A student seeking a graduate degree who is a natural or adopted Child, Stepchild, or Spouse who is a dependent of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in this state on active duty is eligible. There is a one-year limit for graduate level studies.

To apply, contact the Admissions Office of any State of California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus.

Learn more about the California Non-Resident College Fee Waiver

California Military Department GI Bill Award Program (CMD GI BILL): The California Military Department GI Bill Award Program (CMD GI Bill), formerly known as the California National Guard Education Assistance Award Program (CNG EAAP). The CMD GI Bill issues educational awards to qualifying members of the California Army or Air National Guard, California State Guard, and the California Naval Militia. This State Grant can pay for up to 100% of the tuition and fees at a University of California, California State University, or a California Community College. It can also be used for eligible California proprietary and private institutions.
Who is eligible for the California Military Department GI Bill Award Program (CMD GI BILL)? All applicants must:

  • Agree to remain an active member in the CMD throughout the participation period in the Program

  • Agree to attend a qualifying institution as defined by section 69432.7(l) of the California Education Code and with an active Institutional Participation Agreement with the California Student Aid Commission

  • Agree to maintain enrollment in at least three (3) academic units per term

  • Agree to maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) annually

  • Maintain California residency as determined by the institution (based on resident and non-resident tuition)

  • Agree to not receive a Cal Grant award check for the same academic year; and

  • Agree to use the award to obtain a certificate, degree, or diploma that is currently not held

  • Participants who enter the program during or after the 2020-2021 academic year must:

    • Agree to serve two years in the California National Guard, the California State Guard, or the California Naval Militia upon completion of the last academic period of utilizing this program

    • Agree to complete course of study within 10 years of initial acceptance into the program; and

    • Agree to only obtain one degree (baccalaureate, graduate, or doctoral) while participating in the program.

To apply and for application instructions go to the middle of the page at the “Learn more…” link below and select the academic year you are applying for, or the “For Renewal Participants” tab if you are a returning student.
California Military Department GI Bill Award Program (CMD GI BILL) Applicants Fact Sheet
California Military Department GI Bill Award Program (CMD GI BILL) Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the California Military Department GI Bill Award Program (CMD GI BILL)

California 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:

  • Children sitting on the steps of a school 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:
Khieem Jackson, Commissioner
CEO, Mission Strategy Group
Address: Temecula, CA
Email: khieemjackson@gmail.com
Phone: 951-472-3572

Learn more about California Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

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What are my California Military and Veterans Employment Benefits?

Soldiers training California State Employment Veterans Hiring Preference: Veterans' Preference Points can be added to a Veteran's passing score for qualifying open and closed, non-promotional examinations. To determine if the exam being administered qualifies to grant Veterans' Preference Points, please review the examination bulletin.
Who is eligible for California State Employment Veterans Hiring Preference? Veterans' Preference will be awarded as follows:

  • Any Veteran, Surviving Spouse of a Veteran, or Spouse of a 100 percent disabled Veteran, who achieves a passing score in an entrance examination, shall be ranked in the top rank of the resulting eligibility list. Any Veteran who has been dishonorably discharged or released is not eligible for Veterans' Preference.

  • An entrance examination is defined, under the law, as any open competitive examination

  • Veterans' Preference is not granted once a person achieves permanent civil service status.

To apply for Veterans' Preference, applicants must submit:

NOTE: If you are applying for Veterans’ Preference as a Spouse or Surviving Spouse of a Veteran, additional documentation is required. Please review the specific requirements on the Instructions section of the Veteran’s Preference Application Form (CALHR 1093).

Submit copies of the completed CALHR 1093 Form and supporting documents to:

California Department of Human Resources
ATTN: Examination Unit
1515 S Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Veterans Preference in Promotional Exams: Persons retired from the United States military or honorably discharged from active duty are eligible to compete in promotional examinations, including examinations for Career Executive Assignments (CEA), for which they meet the minimum qualifications as prescribed by the class specification. Persons receiving passing scores will have their names placed on the promotional eligibility lists resulting from these examinations.

Learn more about California State Employment Veterans Hiring Preference

Federal Employment Veterans Hiring Preferences: By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans both in hiring into the Federal civil service and in retention during reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews.

5-point Hiring Preference: Five points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served:

  • During a war; or

  • During the period April 28, 1952 through July 1, 1955; or

  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976; or

  • During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992; or

  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom; or

  • In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference.

10-point Compensable Disability (CP) Preference: Ten points are added to the examination score or rating of:

  • A Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10 percent but less than 30 percent.

10-Point 30 Percent Compensable Disability Preference (CPS): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:

  • A Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.

10-Point Disability Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:

  • A Veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the Department of Veterans Affairs but does not qualify as a CP or CPS; or

  • A Veteran who received a Purple Heart.

10-Point Derived Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of Spouses, Surviving Spouse, or Mothers of Veterans as described below. This type of preference is usually referred to as "derived preference" because it is based on service of a Veteran who is not able to use the preference. Both a Mother and a Spouse (including Surviving Spouse) may be entitled to preference on the basis of the same Veteran's service if they both meet the requirements. However, neither may receive preference if the Veteran is living and is qualified for Federal employment.

Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of the Spouse of a disabled Veteran who is disqualified for a Federal position along the general lines of their usual occupation because of a service-connected disability. Such a disqualification may be presumed when the Veteran is unemployed and

  • Is rated by appropriate military or Department of Veterans Affairs authorities to be 100 percent disabled and/or unemployable; or

  • Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position on the basis of a disability that is service-connected in origin; or

  • Has attempted to obtain a civil service position or other position along the lines of their usual occupation and has failed to qualify because of a service-connected disability.

Preference may be allowed in other circumstances but anything less than the above warrants a more careful analysis.

A campaign medal holder or Gulf War Veteran who originally enlisted after September 7, 1980, (or began active duty on or after October 14, 1982, and has not previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty) must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty. The 24-month service requirement does not apply to 10-point preference eligible Veterans separated for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or to Veterans separated for hardship or other reasons under Title 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.

Learn more about Federal Employment Veterans Hiring Preferences

California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) Program: Certified Veteran owned businesses can participate in the state goal of awarding 3% of all state contracts to disabled Veterans through the Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) Program.

Accordingly, the State of California established the Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) Program in 1989 under Public Contract Code 10115 to primarily help DVBEs compete more effectively for a portion of those dollars, and to promote self-reliance for California's disabled Veterans by offering Veterans the opportunity to gain experience in business, while sharing their expertise with the citizens of California and provide a goal of awarding 3% of all state contracts to certified DVBEs. The State of California contracts billions of dollars for goods and services to ensure California's economy stays healthy, strong, and prosperous and promotes business opportunities and participation for all of its citizenry. Small businesses, including Veterans, disabled Veterans, and disabled Veteran business enterprises are instrumental to the good health of the State's economy and a principal source of new jobs in California. The program also facilitates the integration of disabled Veterans into California's entrepreneurial economy because of their incomparable sacrifices made when they answered their Country's call.
Who is eligible for the California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) Program? To be eligible for certification the business must meet the following criteria:

  • Disabled Veterans must have a service-connected disability of at least 10 percent declared by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Department of Defense

  • The disabled Veteran(s) who own the firm must be domiciled in California

  • Disabled Veterans must have an established business that is operational and active prior to submission of an application

  • Daily business operations must be managed and controlled by one or more disabled Veterans. The disabled Veteran(s) who managed and controls the business is not required to be the disabled Veteran business owner(s)

  • Principal office must be located in the United States and cannot be a branch or subsidiary of a foreign corporation, foreign firm, or other foreign-based business.

California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) Program Eligibility and Certification Process Webpage

Learn more about the California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) Program

California Business License Tax and Fee Waiver: The Business License, Tax, and Fee Waiver benefit waives municipal, county and state business license fees, taxes and fees, for Veterans who hawk, peddle or vend any goods, wares or merchandise owned by the Veteran, except spirituous, malt, vinous or other intoxicating liquor, including sales from a fixed location.
Who is eligible for the California Business License Tax and Fee Waiver? Honorably discharged Veterans who engage in sales (not services) business activities may be eligible. Eligibility criteria will differ based upon local jurisdiction. Proof of honorable discharge must be made to the local appropriate county/city licensing authority.

Learn more about the California Business License Tax and Fee Waiver

California State Employee Military leave: The State of California offers several different types of military leave to afford state employees the ability to serve in the Armed Forces. A short description of these types of leave are listed below.

Short-Term Military Leave: Short-term military leave is military leave of 6 months or less (GC 19772).
Who is eligible for Short-Term Military Leave? The State grants short-term military leave if:

  • tank next to a lake You're a permanent, probationary, limited-term, or temporary employee and

  • You're ordered to report for active duty in the Armed Forces, National Guard, or Naval Militia for a period of six months or less.

Types of short-term leave:

  • Annual Training: The State grants short-term military leave for annual training such as active duty military training, encampment, naval cruises, and special exercises. (GC 19775.1)

  • Inactive Duty (Unpaid): Inactive duty such as scheduled reserve drill periods also qualify for a military leave of absence. The State does not grant paid time off for inactive duty leaves. But you may use any leave credits except sick leave to attend scheduled reserve drill periods or perform other inactive duty reserve obligations.

The length of your military leave is the period of active duty plus one day for travel going to and returning from such duty, unless your orders already provide for additional travel time.

Long-Term Military Leave: Long-term military leave is military leave of more than 6 months (GC 19772). Long-term military leave can't exceed five years. A Federal Statute provides for an exception to the five-year limit (Section 4312 [c]).
Who is eligible for Long-Term Military Leave? The State grants long-term military leave if:

  • You're a permanent or probationary employee and

  • You're ordered to report for active duty in the Armed Forces, National Guard, or Naval Militia for a period of more than six months.

To receive the rights and benefits of long-term military leave you must begin your active duty within 90 calendar days after:

  • The last day you physically worked, or

  • Your last day on vacation or compensating time off before your active duty date.

Emergency Military Leave: Emergency Military Leave is military leave for members of the National Guard during such time as the Governor may have issued a proclamation of a state of extreme emergency or insurrection under the provisions of Section 143 or 146 of the Military and Veterans Code or during such time as the National Guard may be on active duty for one or more situations in Section 146 of the Military and Veterans Code (GC 19773).
Who is eligible for Emergency Military Leave? The State grants emergency military leave if:

  • You're a member of the National Guard, and

  • You're ordered to report for active duty in response to the Governor's proclamation of a state of extreme emergency or insurrection under the provisions of Sections 143 or 146 of the Military and Veterans Code. (This also includes such time as the National Guard may be on active duty for one or more situations described in Section 146 of the Military and Veterans Code.)

The length of your military leave is the period of active duty plus one day for travel going to and returning from such duty, unless your orders already provide for additional travel time.

To receive the rights and benefits of emergency military leave, you must begin your active duty within 10 calendar days after:

  • The last day you physically worked, or

  • Your last day on vacation or compensating time off before your active duty date.

War or National Emergency Leave: War or National Emergency Leave is leave when the President has determined that it's necessary to augment the active forces for any operational mission, or in time of a national emergency declared by the President or Congress (GC 19775.15 through 19775.18).
Who is eligible for War or National Emergency Leave? The State grants war or national emergency military leave if:

  • You're a State employee, and

  • You're a member of the California National Guard or a United States military reserve organization, and

  • You're ordered to active duty by the President or Congress.

The length of your military leave is the period of active duty plus one day for travel going to and returning from such duty, unless your orders already provide for additional travel time.

To receive the rights and benefits of war or national emergency military leave, you must begin your active duty within 10 calendar days after:

  • The last day you physically worked, or

  • Your last day on vacation or compensating time off before your active duty date.

Learn more about California State Employee Military leave

California State Employees may Receive their Salary or Compensation during Military Duty: A State employee who is granted a long-term military leave of absence and who for a period of not less than one year immediately prior to the effective date active duty begins has had continuous state service as defined by Department of Human Resources rule which is not broken by a permanent separation is entitled to receive their salary or compensation for the first 30 calendar days of active duty served during the absence.
Who is eligible for California State Employees may Receive their Salary or Compensation during Military Duty? State employees on official military orders for duty are eligible.

Learn more about how California State Employees may Receive their Salary or Compensation during Military Duty

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act: Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protect civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of Reserve components. USERRA also makes major improvements in protecting Service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.

Tank in the desert Absence from Work for Military Duty: USERRA establishes the cumulative length of time that an individual may be absent from work for military duty and retain reemployment rights to five years (the previous law provided four years of active duty, plus an additional year if it was for the convenience of the Government). There are important exceptions to the five-year limit, including initial enlistments lasting more than five years, periodic National Guard and Reserve training duty, and involuntary active duty extensions and recalls, especially during a time of national emergency. USERRA clearly establishes that reemployment protection does not depend on the timing, frequency, duration, or nature of an individual's service as long as the basic eligibility criteria are met.

Disability Accommodation: USERRA provides protection for disabled Veterans, requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability. Service members convalescing from injuries received during service or training may have up to two years from the date of completion of service to return to their jobs or apply for reemployment.

Return to Work without Loss of Seniority: USERRA provides that returning service-members are reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service (the long-standing "escalator" principle), with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) be made to enable returning Service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. The law clearly provides for alternative reemployment positions if the Service member cannot qualify for the "escalator" position. USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, they are deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and are entitled to the non-seniority rights accorded other individuals on non-military leaves of absence.

Extension of Health and Pension Plans: Health and pension plan coverage for Service members is provided for by USERRA. Individuals performing military duty of more than 30 days may elect to continue employer sponsored health care for up to 24 months; however, they may be required to pay up to 102 percent of the full premium. For military service of less than 31 days, health care coverage is provided as if the Service member had remained employed. USERRA clarifies pension plan coverage by making explicit that all pension plans are protected.
Who is eligible for USERRA benefits?
Veterans, Reservists, or National Guard members who leave a position for training or active military service are eligible.

The Department of Labor, through the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), provides assistance to all persons having claims under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees.
VETS Regional Office Locations

Learn more about Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

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What are my California Military and Veterans Unemployment Compensation Benefits?

California Unemployment Insurance: Unemployment Insurance (UI) payments (benefits) are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to unemployed workers who meet the requirements of state law.

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program pays benefits to workers who have lost their job and meet the program’s eligibility requirements. You will need to provide your personal information and your:

  • Last employer information including company name, supervisor’s name, address (mailing and physical location) and phone number

  • Last date worked and the reason you are no longer working

  • Gross earnings in the last week you worked, beginning with Sunday and ending with your last day of work

  • Information on all employers you worked for during the past 18 months, including name, address (mailing and physical location), the dates of employment, gross wages earned, hours worked per week, hourly rate of pay, and the reason you are no longer working.

  • Notice to Federal Employees About Unemployment Insurance, Standard Form 8 (former federal employees only)

  • DD214 Member 4 copy (ex-Military only)

Who is eligible for California Unemployment Insurance? An individual who files for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits must meet specific eligibility requirements before benefits can be paid. Individuals must:

  • Have received enough wages during the base period to establish a claim

  • Be totally or partially unemployed

  • Be unemployed through no fault of their own

  • Be physically able to work

  • Be available for work

  • Be ready and willing to immediately accept work

  • Be actively looking for work.

You can file for a claim online, by phone, fax or by mail. To file online go to California Employment Development Department, Unemployment Insurance online claim portal. You may file online during the following hours:

  • Sunday 5 am – 8:30 pm

  • Monday 4 am -10 pm

  • Tuesday- Friday 2 am – 10 pm

  • Saturday 2 am – 8 pm

To file by phone call, 800-300-5616 seven days a week from 8 am to 8 pm (Pacific time) except on state holidays.

To file by mail or fax, download and complete the California Development Department, Unemployment Insurance Application. Completed applications can be faxed to 866-215-9159 or mailed to:

EDD
P.O. Box 12906
Oakland, CA 94604-2909

California Employment Development Department, Unemployment Insurance Forms and Publications
California Employment Development Department, Unemployment Insurance, Complete Eligibility Information
California Employment Development Department, Unemployment Insurance, Claim Information

Learn more about California Unemployment Insurance

California Employment Development Department , Employment Assistance for Veterans: The Employment Development Department (EDD) assists Veterans and their eligible Spouses to maximize their employment and training opportunities. Veterans are entitled to many resources designed to help in their search for employment.

The EDD Veterans’ representatives specialize in assisting Veterans in their efforts to return to work and are located in many local EDD offices. Services provided include a Veteran 24-hour priority hold on all job listings, customized job search assistance, job fairs, employer recruitments, and other events and resources.

Veterans are encouraged to schedule an appointment with an EDD Veterans’ representative for personalized services and assistance to achieve professional goals.

CalJOBS, California labor exchange system allows job seekers to create résumés that can be seen by employers, search the full-service employment center for job openings, and more. CalJOBS can help Veterans translate their military training and specialties into marketable skills applicable to civilian jobs. It also allows employers to post job openings, browse through thousands of viable résumés and find qualified candidates.
California Employment Development Department, Veterans Employment Services Fact Sheet
California Employment Development Department Office Locator
California Employment Development Department, CalJOBS Labor Exchange Webpage

Learn more about California Employment Development Department, Employment Assistance for Veterans

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What are my California Military and Veterans Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Benefits?

CA Veterans Designation license Veteran Designation on California Driver License and ID Card: Eligible Veterans have the opportunity to add the word “VETERAN” to the front of their DL/ID card to indicate that they have served in the United States (U.S.) military.

Having this designation on your Driver License/ Identification Card (DL/ID) can play a critical role in enabling access to certain privileges, benefits, or compensation associated with being a Veteran without having to carry a certificate of release or discharge from active duty.

To apply for the Veteran designation on your DL/ID card, you will need to:

  • Complete the online Driver License & Identification Card Application (DL 44/eDL 44) form

  • Visit a County Veteran Service Office (CVSO) to obtain a Veteran Status Verification Form (VSD-001). (This form is not available from DMV)

  • Bring the completed VSD-001 to a DMV field office

  • Pay the nonrefundable application fee

  • Pay an additional $5 fee to add the Veteran designation to your DL/ID card (applicants who qualify for a reduced fee or no fee driver license or identification card may waive the $5 fee).

Once all requirements have been met, a DL/ID card with the word “VETERAN” will be issued.

DMV collaborates with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to offer Veterans of the U.S. military the opportunity to request benefit information. Veterans can request benefit information whenever they submit to DMV a DL44/eDL44, Commercial Driver License Application (DL44C) form or when renewing their DL/ID card online by checking the “Yes” box when asked if they would like to receive Veteran benefit information. As a result, DMV will forward the contact information to CalVet to provide benefit information to the requesting Veteran.
Who is eligible for the Veteran Designation on California Driver Licenses and ID Cards? Applicants that served in the active military, naval, or air service of the United States and received an other than dishonorable discharge, or, they served in a Guard or Reserve component and were mobilized for Federal Active Duty, are eligible.
California Department of Motor Vehicles Directory
California Office of Veterans Affairs, County Veteran Service Office Directory
California Department of Veterans Affairs, Veteran Designation Fact Sheet

Learn more about Veteran Designation on California Driver Licenses and ID Cards

California Motor Vehicle Registration Fee Waiver: Waiver of registration fees and free license plates for one passenger motor vehicle, or one motorcycle, or one commercial motor vehicle of less than 8,001 pounds unladed weight.
Who is eligible for a California Motor Vehicle Registration Fee Waiver?

  • A 100% disabled Veteran

  • A former American Prisoner of War (POW)

  • The Surviving Spouse of a former American POW who has elected to retain the special license plates issued under Section 5101.5

  • A Medal of Honor recipient

  • The Surviving Spouse of a Medal of Honor recipient who has elected to retain the special license plates issued under Section 5101.6.

The Veteran must provide proof they are a Medal of Honor recipient, American Ex-Prisoners of War or 100% Disabled Veteran status.

Learn more about the California Motor Vehicle Registration Fee Waiver

California Commercial Driver License (CDL) Driving Test Waiver: The Troops to Trucks program allows the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to waive the CDL driving test for qualified military Service members who are, or were employed within the last year, in a military position requiring the operation of a military motor vehicle equivalent to a commercial motor vehicle on public roads and highways. Waiving the driving test requirement streamlines the CDL application process for service men and women and eliminates the need to provide a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The driving test will not be waived for a school bus and/or passenger endorsement.

Applicants must submit the following documents to a DMV Field Office:

Note: A California Department of Motor Vehicles, Commercial Driver License Online Application must be completed.

California Commercial Driver License Military Even Exchange Program: The Military Even Exchange program qualified, and eligible military Service members may apply for a waiver of the commercial driver license (CDL) knowledge and skills tests. Qualified applicants will be issued a California (CA) CDL that is applicable to the type of vehicle(s) they operated during their military service.

This program applies to applicants who are seeking an initial CDL only and cannot be used for upgrades, transfers, or removal of restrictions. Qualified applicants must be active Service members (active duty, reserve, or National Guard) or be within 12 months of discharge and provide the proper documentation to support any information certified in their application. Qualified applicants must submit a completed Commercial Military Waiver (DL 965) and meet all the requirements for a CA CDL. The Military Even Exchange Program does not apply to the School Bus (S) endorsement.

Learn more about the California Commercial Driver License Driving Test Waiver

California Resident Military Personnel, Renewal Penalty Waiver for Deployed Service Members: Military personnel who are also residents of California but are deployed to a location outside the state may qualify for a renewal penalty waiver.

To qualify for the renewal penalty waiver, the registered owner must be ordered to temporary military duty during a period when a Presidential Executive Order specifies the U.S. is engaged in combat or homeland defense and the registered owner is a member of one of the following:

  • Armed Forces

  • Armed Forces Reserve

  • National Guard

Deployment does not include:

  • Temporary duty for the sole purpose of training or processing

  • A permanent change of station.

Only penalties incurred during deployment may be waived.

The application for registration renewal must be submitted with the appropriate fees within 60 days after termination of deployment to qualify for the penalty waiver.

Submit proof of temporary military duty during a period when a Presidential Executive Order specifies the U.S. is engaged in combat or homeland defense and be a member of the Armed Forces, Armed Forces Reserve, or the National Guard who has been called to active duty or active service.

Complete a California Department of Motor Vehicles Form, Miscellaneous Statements of Fact (REG 256) stating:

  • That you are a member of the Armed Forces, Armed Forces Reserve, or the National Guard

  • The termination date of deployment.

Learn more about California Resident Military Personnel, Renewal Penalty Waiver for Deployed Service Members

California Vehicle Registration Extension for Discharged Service Members: Any person entering California following discharge from the Armed Forces of the U.S. is exempted from registration of passenger vehicles and trailer coaches provided the vehicles have out-of-state plates and registration.

Registration becomes due when you accept gainful employment in California or become a California resident and must be paid within 20 days following that date to avoid penalties.

Learn more about California Vehicle Registration Extension for Discharged Service Members

California Vehicle License Fee (VLF) Exemption for Nonresident Service Members: Nonresident military personnel stationed in California are exempt from payment of the VLF on any vehicle owned or leased and registered in California provided:

  • The nonresident military owner is shown as a lessee or registered owner of the vehicle

  • The vehicle is not operated “for hire.”

In order to obtain the VLF exemption, military personnel must complete a California Department of Motor Vehicles, Nonresident Military Exemption Statement Form (REG 5045) .

The duty station must be located in California in order to receive a VLF exemption.

Learn more about the California Vehicle License Fee (VLF) Exemption for Nonresident Service Members

California Special Recognition Military and Veteran Vehicle License Plates: The State of California offers 7 special recognition license plates to honor the service and sacrifice of Service members, Veterans, retirees and eligible Family members. Specific eligibility and documentation requirements will apply. A short description of some these license plates is listed below.
California Department of Motor Vehicles, Special License Plate Fees
California Department of Motor Vehicles, Special Recognition License Plate Application

California Purple Heart License Plates: ( VC §5101.8 ) Any Veteran who was the recipient of a Purple Heart is eligible for one set of free commemorative special Purple Heart plates. There is no fee for the issuance of the license plates; however, assignment of this plate on a vehicle does not exempt the vehicle from fees. A Purple Heart recipient, who is also a qualified disabled Veteran (DV), may request the DV fee exemption and issuance of Purple Heart license plates in lieu of Disabled Veteran (DV) license plates. The DV fee exemption may be used for one vehicle only. An applicant who chooses this option cannot have DV plates assigned to another vehicle.
Who is eligible for the California Purple Heart License Plates? The Veteran must provide proof of the awarding of the Purple Heart. Upon the death of a Veteran who was issued special license plates, their Surviving Spouse may retain the special license plates. If there is no Surviving Spouse, the plates must be returned to the department either within 60 days following that death or upon the expiration of the vehicle registration, whichever occurs first.

Gold Star Family plate California Gold Star Family Licenses Plate: ( VC §5156(d) (1) ) These license plates are issued, upon request, to qualified Family members whose relative lost their life in the line of duty while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. This bill authorizes a Family member of a member of the Armed Forces who was killed while serving on active duty in the military to apply for a special license plate at no cost with a design containing a Gold Star and the words "Gold Star Family."
Who is eligible for the California Gold Star Family Licenses Plate? The California Veterans Service Office and the California Department Motor Vehicles will require proof of the Family relationship and one of the following:

  • Report of Casualty (DD 1300)

  • A letter or telegram from the Federal Government (Department of Defense (DOD), Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, or War Dept).

  • A letter from a Commanding Officer.

  • A Purple Heart Citation that states the recipient was killed in action.

  • Any form of verifiable official notification.

Submit the completed California Department of Motor Vehicles, Special Recognition License Plate Application and the California, Project: Gold Star License Plate Application, (this application must be obtained from a California County Veterans Service Office) and one of the documents listed above to:

DMV Special Processing Unit
ATTN: Gold Star Family
P.O. Box 932345 MS D238
Sacramento, CA 94232-3450

CA Medal of Honor plate California Congressional Medal of Honor (CMOH) License Plates: (VC §5101.6) Any California Veteran who is a recipient of the Medal of Honor is eligible for one set of free commemorative license plates.
Who is eligible for the California Congressional Medal of Honor (CMOH) License Plates? The Veteran must provide proof that they were awarded the Medal of Honor. Upon the death of a person issued special license plates their Surviving Spouse may retain the special license plates and will be eligible for the fee exemption until the death of that Spouse. If there is no Surviving Spouse, the plates must be returned to the department either within 60 days following that death or upon the expiration of the vehicle registration, whichever occurs first.

A Family member (limited to parent, step-parent, Child, Stepchild, grandparent, step-grandparent, sibling, or step-sibling) may keep one CMOH plate as a Family heirloom upon the death of the plate owner and the Surviving Spouse (if any).

Learn more about California Special Recognition Military and Veteran Vehicle License Plates

California Disabled Veteran License Plates: Veterans that are 100% disabled are eligible for the California Disabled Veteran (DV) License Plate.
Who is eligible for the California Disabled Veteran License Plates? A Veteran who, as a result of an injury or disease that occurred while on active service with the U.S. Armed Forces, qualifies if any of the following apply:

  • CA Disabled Veteran plate Has a disability rated at 100% by the U.S. Veterans Affairs or the military service that discharged the Veteran, due to a diagnosed disease or disorder that substantially impairs or interferes with mobility

  • Is so severely disabled as to be unable to move without the aid of an assistive device

  • Has lost, or lost the use of, one or more limbs

  • Is permanently blind, as defined in §19153 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code.

A qualified DV is exempt from the payment of all fees except fees for duplicates, for one passenger motor vehicle, motorcycle, or commercial vehicle with an unladen weight of 8,000 pounds or less not used for transportation for hire, compensation, or profit, which is owned by the disabled Veteran and displays DV license plates.

Once you have valid DV plates, you may park:

  • In parking spaces with the International Symbol of Access (wheelchair symbol)

  • Next to a blue curb authorized for persons with disabilities parking

  • Next to a green curb (green curbs indicate limited time parking) for as long as you wish. There is no time limit with DV license plates

  • In an on-street metered parking space at no charge

  • In an area that indicates it requires a resident or merchant permit.

In addition to parking privileges, service stations must refuel a disabled person's vehicle at self-service rates unless the service facility has only one employee on duty.

Learn more about the California Disabled Veteran License Plates

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What are my California Military and Veterans Health and Insurance Benefits?

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides valuable life insurance benefits to Veterans, Active and Reserve Component Service members and their Families to provide financial security given the extraordinary risks involved in military Service. The VA provides the following life insurance benefit programs:

  • Service Member's Group Life Insurance (SGLI)

  • Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)

  • Family Members Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)

  • Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI)

  • Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI)

  • Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)

Learn more about U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance

TRICARE Reserve Select Health Insurance: TRICARE Reserve Select is a premium-based plan, available worldwide for Selected Reserve, (Reserve and National Guard) and their Families who meet the following qualifications:

  • Not on active duty orders

  • Not covered under the Transitional Assistance Management Program

  • Not eligible for or enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program or currently covered under FEHB, either under their own eligibility or through a Family member.

The plan provides comprehensive health care coverage when you're not activated and covered by active duty TRICARE benefits.

Learn more about TRICARE Reserve Select Health Insurance

California National Guard State-Sponsored Life Insurance (SSLI): State Sponsored Life Insurance is a program that provides group term life insurance exclusively for National Guard members and their dependents. The program is derived from United States Public Law 93-289, May 24, 1974, enacted “to encourage persons to join and remain in the National Guard.”

The program features include:

  • $1,000 no cost life insurance coverage on all active Soldiers and Airmen

  • $10,000 to $260,000 additional coverage available for Soldiers and Airmen

  • $5,000 to $155,000 available for Spouses

  • $5,000 to $10,000 available for Children

  • Coverage continues until age 70

  • Provides an emergency death benefit up to $25,000 within 24 hours

  • Benefits remain the same and monthly costs does not change when you retire or separate from the National Guard

  • No war, aviation, or terrorism clauses

  • Protection is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and on or off duty

  • Monthly premiums are payroll deducted for your convenience

  • $40,000 scholarship fund available to a dependent when military member is insured for $100,000 of qualifying coverage and dies in a combat zone or due to an act of terrorism

Learn more about the California National Guard State-Sponsored Life Insurance (SSLI)

California National Guard Medical Coverage for Injury, Illness and Death Benefits incurred while on State Active Duty: Whenever any officer, warrant officer, or enlisted member of the California National Guard, the organized militia, or the unorganized militia, when called into the active service of the state, is wounded, injured, disabled, or killed in the active service of the state in the line of duty, the member or the member’s dependents shall receive compensation under Division 4, Worker’s Compensation and Insurance of the California Labor Code. For these purposes, the member is deemed to be an employee of the state.

The compensation will be based on the member’s average income from all sources during the year immediately preceding the date of wounding, injury, death, or the commencement of disability and may not exceed the maximum prescribed in the California Code.

Learn more about California National Guard Medical Coverage for Injury, Illness and Death Benefits incurred while on State Active Duty

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What are my California Military and Veterans Parks and Recreation Benefits?

California Hunting and Fishing Benefits for Service Members and Veterans: The State of California offers the Disabled Veteran Sport Fishing and Hunting License and the Recovering Service member Fishing and Hunting Licenses.

Disabled Veteran Fishing California Disabled Veteran Sport Fishing and Hunting Licenses: Reduced-fee licenses are available for any honorably discharged Veteran of the US Armed Forces with a service-connected disability rating of 50% or greater. Cost: $8.38
Who is eligible for the California Disabled Veteran Sport Fishing and Hunting Licenses? To prequalify to purchase a disabled Veteran license, submit a letter from the Veteran's Administration documenting that you were honorably discharged from the US military and have a service-connected disability rating of 50% or greater. After your eligibility has been verified, your customer record will be updated. Once you receive notification from the Department that your customer record has been updated, you will be able to purchase a low cost disabled Veteran sport fishing license and/or hunting license anywhere licenses are sold.

California Recovering Service Member Fishing and Hunting Licenses : Reduced-fee hunting licenses are available for recovering Service members. The Fish and Game Code defines a recovering Service member as a member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or a Reserve, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy and is in an outpatient status while recovering from a serious injury or illness related to the member's military service. Cost: $8.38
Who is eligible for the California Recovering Service Member Fishing and Hunting License? To qualify for Recovering Service member Fishing and Hunting Licenses, submit a letter from your commanding officer or from a military medical doctor verifying your eligibility as a recovering Service member. Please have your commanding officer or military medical doctor include the expected recovery date in your verification letter. The Department will enter this date into your customer profile and allow you to renew your license until this date without submitting another letter from your commanding officer or doctor.

To prequalify for the California Disabled Veteran Sport Fishing and Hunting License or the California Recovering Service member Fishing and Hunting License, send a photocopy of your identification and documentation of eligibility by:

  • Email at LRB@wildlife.ca.gov

  • Fax at 916-419-7585

  • Mail or apply in person at any California Department of Fish and Wildlife license sales office.

You must include:

  • Identification - one of the following:

    • Your GO ID (from your previously issued ALDS hunting or fishing license); or

    • Other form of identification (driver's license, military ID). Identification must include your address, height, weight, eye color, hair color, gender, and date of birth.

  • A letter documenting your eligibility.

    • Disabled Veterans must submit a letter from the Veteran's Administration

    • Recovering Service members must submit a letter from their Commanding Officer or a military doctor).

  • Telephone number

  • Email address (optional, but may expedite issuance)

  • For hunting licenses only - proof of hunter education (Proof is not needed if you purchased a California hunting license after 2011. CDFW will have your hunter education on file.)

California Department of Fish and Wildlife License Sales Office Directory

Learn more about California Hunting and Fishing Benefits for Service Members and Veterans

California State Park Distinguished Veteran Pass California State Park Distinguished Veteran Pass (No Fee-Lifetime Pass): Honorably discharged war Veterans who are residents of California with an overall / combined rating at 50% or greater service-connected disability or were held as prisoners of war by forces hostile to the United States, or recipients of the Medal of Honor are eligible to receive the Distinguished Veteran Pass (formerly Disabled War Veteran/Prisoner of War Pass).

The pass entitles the holder to the use of all basic facilities (including day use, camping and boating) in California State Parks at no charge. The pass is not valid for group use or sites, special events, commercial use, additional/extra vehicle fees, or for supplemental fees and cannot be used in conjunction with any other pass and/or discount. Admittance and use subject to available space.

The Distinguished Veteran Pass Application may be made in person at the Park Pass Sales Office located at 1416 9th Street, Room 144, Sacramento, California.

Or, by mailing the completed application with required documentation, including copy of valid California Driver License or California Identification Card to:

California State Parks
Attn: Distinguished Veteran Pass Program
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, Ca 94296-0001

California Department of Parks and Recreation, Distinguished Veteran Pass Application
California Department of Parks and Recreation, Distinguished Veteran Pass Program Terms and Conditions

Learn more about the California Department of Parks and Recreation Distinguished Veteran Pass (Lifetime Pass)

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What are my California Military and Veterans Miscellaneous Benefits?

California Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loans: The California Department of Veterans Affairs offers direct loans from the State of California to eligible Veterans when purchasing a home. You will find the California Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loan is a true benefit with features that will save you money, simplify the lending process, and help you protect your investment.

California Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loan products have below market interest rates with low or no down payment requirements. In addition, California Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loans has expanded eligibility. Now, nearly any Veteran wanting to buy a home in California is eligible.
Who is eligible for The California Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loans? Applicants need not be a "California Veteran" to qualify for this benefit. In other words, you do not need to enlist or gain your commission in California. Any Veteran purchasing an owner-occupied home in California is eligible for the benefit (this is a change from past requirements).

There is no limit on the amount of times you can apply and receive a California Department of Veterans Affairs home loan. The following are the specific eligibility requirements:

  • All Veterans who served on active duty a minimum of 90 days (not including active duty for training purposes only), whether during wartime or peacetime, are eligible

  • Eligibility requires service under honorable conditions

  • There are no prior residency rules. A Veteran may have entered service from outside California. National Guard or Reservists who have been ordered to active duty, including Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) duty are eligible.

California Department of Veterans Affairs, Home Loan Online Application

California Department of Veterans Affairs, Home Loan Eligibility

Learn more about California Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loans

Veterans Homes of California: With highly skilled and dedicated leadership and staff, the eight California Veterans Homes provide premier care, a compassionate and close-knit atmosphere, activities and amenities that enhance residents’ quality of life, and home-like environments.
They range in size from 60 beds to nearly 1,000 beds. System-wide, the Homes offer four levels of care (although not all levels are offered at all Homes):

  • Veteran Home Barstow Domiciliary – This independent living setting is for residents able to perform activities of daily living with, at most, minimal assistance. Non-nursing employees provide limited supervision

  • Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) – Also commonly referred to Assisted Living, Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly are available for residents who require minimal assistance and supervision with some activities of daily living

  • Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) – Residents in this care level often require licensed nursing assistance with medications and treatments, and generally require unlicensed nursing assistance with several daily living activities. Residents have access to all medical services provided by The California Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) – Skilled nursing care provides 24-hour services of licensed nurses and certified nursing assistants. It is more comprehensive than intermediate care. Skilled nursing residents have greater access to rehabilitation therapies, nursing care, pharmacy management, structured activities, and clinical dietary services.

California Veterans Home in Chula Vista *Some Homes also offer a Skilled Nursing Memory Care program that is specialized for those with symptoms of confusion, memory loss, difficulty making decisions, solving problems or participating in conversations. California Veterans Homes are located in:


Who is eligible for care in the Veterans Homes of California? Veterans who are age 55 and above and discharged from active military service under honorable conditions, are eligible to apply for admission. The age requirement is waived for disabled or homeless Veterans needing long-term care. You must meet the following requirements:

  • Served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, for other than training purposes, during wartime or peacetime

  • Veteran Home Yountville Provide proof of military service by submitting a DD214, or obtaining proof through the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA)

  • Discharged or released from active duty honorably or under honorable conditions

  • California resident at the time of application for admission.

Note: Medal of Honor recipients, former Prisoners of War, wartime Veterans, homeless applicants, and those with 70% or greater service-connected disability ratings, are given priority for admission and are strongly encouraged to apply.
Veterans Homes of California (VHC) Admission Application
Veterans Homes of California (VHC) Online Admission Application and Instructions

Learn more about the Veterans Homes of California

California County Veterans Service Offices: County Veteran Service Offices (CVSO) are the key agencies in providing California's Veterans with assistance and connection to benefits and services in local communities throughout the state. The California Department of Veterans Affairs’ relationship with CVSOs ensures Veterans and their Families are served and represented by trained and accredited professionals. CVSOs are a critical component in the state's efforts to work directly with individual Veterans and their Families to ensure our Veterans receive benefits they earned through their service to our Nation. CVSOs are on the front lines for this important mission and play the key role in ensuring that Veterans and their Families are aware of their benefits, and in fact apply for and receive them. Together, the CVSOs, through claims initiation and development, and The California Department of Veterans Affairs, through claims development and representation with appeals, provide assistance to Veterans and their Families in preparing and submitting claims and in representing claimants before the federal, state and local agencies providing Veterans benefits. Call 844-SERV-VET to be connected to a local CVSO.
Who is eligible for assistance at a California County Veterans Service Office? A County Veterans Service Office can assist anyone who has questions on Veteran benefits, including:

  • Veterans

  • Surviving Spouses of Veterans

  • Children of deceased or disabled Veterans

  • Parents who lost a son or daughter in military service

  • Friends, neighbors, or other concerned citizens

California Veterans Service Office Locations

Learn more about the California County Veterans Service Offices

Northern CA Veterans Cemetery California Veterans Cemeteries: The State of California manages three State Veterans' cemeteries. Click on the links below for more information.

CA Veterans Cemetery Yountville The Northern California Veterans Cemetery (NCVC) is the first California Veterans Cemetery constructed with the cooperation of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and is operated by the state. State Veterans Cemeteries are intended to serve areas that are not adequately served by a National Cemetery. NCVC, located near Redding, California, primarily serves the Veteran population in the eighteen Northern-most California counties.

The Yountville Veterans Cemetery is located on 11 acres of oak-covered hills in the northwest corner of the Yountville Veterans Home; this historic cemetery marks the resting place of over 5,700 Veterans and dependents. The cemetery currently accepts only the interment of the Veteran Home's residents and their eligible dependents.

Central Coast Veterans Cemetery The California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery (CCCVC) The CCCVC is the second California Veterans Cemetery developed and constructed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Cemetery Grants Program. The facility is located in Monterey County in the City of Seaside. The first phase of the cemetery accommodates cremated remains only.
Who is eligible for interment at a California Veterans Cemeteries? The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CDVA) determines eligibility for burial in a state Veterans cemetery in accordance with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) requirements for national Veterans cemeteries. In general, burial in a CDVA State Cemetery is open to all members of the Armed Forces and Veterans who have met minimum active duty service requirements, as applicable by law and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces who die while on active duty under certain circumstances or who die while on training duty are also eligible for burial, as are Service members and former Service members who were eligible for retired pay at the time of their death. Spouses, minor Children and, under certain conditions, dependent unmarried adult Children are also eligible for burial even if they predecease the Veteran. Additional eligibility criteria can be found on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration Eligibility webpage .
California Department of Veterans Affairs, Form VSD-002, Eligibility for Burial Benefits Determination Application for California State Cemeteries
California State Veterans Cemeteries Forms and Policies

Learn more about the California Veterans Cemeteries

California Military Family Relief Fund (CMFRF): The California Military Family Relief Fund (CMFRF) was established to provide short term, financial assistance in the form of grants to eligible members of the California National Guard who are California residents and who have been impacted by mobilization and deployment.
Who is eligible for assistance from the California Military Family Relief Fund (CMFRF)? Members of the California National Guard may be eligible for financial aid based on the following criteria:

  • Current member of the California National Guard in good standing

  • Current California resident

  • Deployment to active duty for at least 60 consecutive days in Title 10 USC status

  • Member's salary has decreased by 10 percent or household income of member's Family has decreased by at least 10 percent from income prior to deployment

  • The member, within six months of returning from active duty, has experienced a 10 percent loss, or greater, in income, compared to pre-deployment income, as a direct result of deployment

  • The member was injured while serving on active duty and has been discharged from federal active duty and is actively seeking assistance through the United States Department of Veterans' Affairs with regard to disability compensation benefits or treatment, or both. Application for a cash grant under this section shall be submitted within 18 months of being released from federal military active duty, along with written substantiation demonstrating that the member's current financial hardship is a direct result of a military deployment and an injury sustained during the deployment.

Interested National Guard Service members or their Families should contact their unit chain of command or the California National Guard Service member and Family Assistance Helpline at 800-449-9662 to apply.

Learn more about the California Military Family Relief Fund (CMFRF)

California National Guard Surviving Spouses and Children Relief Act: The California National Guard Surviving Spouses and Children Relief Act was enacted to pay a $10,000 death benefit to the Surviving Spouse of, or a beneficiary designated by, any member of the California National Guard, State Military Reserve, or Naval Militia who dies or is killed after March 1, 2003, in the performance of duty.

Learn more about the California National Guard Surviving Spouses and Children Relief Act

California Department of Veterans Affairs, Division for Women Veterans Affairs: The mission of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, Division for Women Veterans Affairs is to provide information, advocacy, outreach, and support to Women Veterans and their Families.

Learn more about the California Department of Veterans Affairs, Division for Women Veterans Affairs

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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities in California

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in California: The VA has numerous resources available for Veterans and Family members. Please see the local location listing for your nearest facility.

VA CemeteryLearn more about U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in California

 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Cemeteries in California: The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) National Cemetery Administration maintains 10 national cemeteries in California. Please see the local location listing for the nearest cemetery.

Learn more about U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Cemeteries in California

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Military Installations and Veterans Affairs Facilities in California

Please see the California Military Resource Locator for additional information.

Active Duty

Army
Fort Irwin

Fort Hunter Liggett
Presidio of Monterey

Air Force
Beale AFB
Edwards AFB
Travis AFB
Vandenburg AFB
Los Angeles AFB

Marines
Camp Pendleton
Twentynine Palms
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
MC Logistics Base Barstow

Navy
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake
Naval Air Station Lemoore
Naval Base Coronado
Naval Post Graduate School
Naval Base Ventura County

National Guard
California Military Department

California Army National Guard

California Air National Guard
129th Rescue Wing
144th Fighter Wing
146th Airlift Wing
163rd Attack Wing
195th Wing

United States Army Reserve (USAR)
63rd Readiness Division


Resources

California Department of Veterans Affairs

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Air National Guard Benefits

Army National Guard Benefits

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Facility Directory California

California Department of Motor Vehicles, Special License Plates

California Department of Veterans Affairs, Education Benefits

California Department of Veterans Affairs, Women Veterans

California Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Resource Book

FEDSHIREVETS, Veterans Preference

California Employment Development Department, Services for Veterans

California Department of Human Resources, Military Leave

Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission, California

California Code

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Document Review Date: 17 February 2021