Hawaii Military and Veterans Benefits

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Summary of Hawaii Military and Veterans Benefits: Hawaii offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including State Tax Advantage, Property Tax Exemptions, Hawaii National Guard Tuition Scholarship Program, Vehicle License Plates, Tax exemption on passenger cars, Preference in State and County Classified Employment, as well as State Veterans Cemetery benefits. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component, and Veteran disability status .

Hawaii State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility

What are my Hawaii Military and Veterans State Tax Benefits?

Hawaii National Guard and Reserve Drill Pay Exempt from Hawaii Income Tax: (HRS §235-7(a)(3)) Income received by members of the reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States of America, and the Hawaii National Guard as compensation for performance of duty, equivalent to pay received for forty-eight drills (equivalent of twelve weekends) and fifteen days of annual training duty, at a pay grade of E-5 and below after eight years of service is exempt from state taxation.
Who is eligible for National Guard and Reserve Drill Pay Exempt from Hawaii Income Tax?
Reserve Component Service members are eligible for this exemption.

Learn more about Hawaii National Guard and Reserve Drill Pay Exempt from Hawaii Income Tax

Hawaii Retired Military Pay Income Taxes: There shall be excluded from gross income, adjusted gross income, and taxable income any compensation received in the form of a pension for past services.

Learn more about Hawaii Retired Military Pay Income Tax

 

Hawaii State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retired Pay : (§235-7) There shall be excluded from gross income, adjusted gross income, and taxable income any compensation received in the form of a pension for past services.

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

Hawaii 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 Hawaii State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Hawaii State Tax Benefits : There shall be excluded from gross income, adjusted gross income, and taxable income any compensation received in the form of a pension for past services.

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

Hawaii Real Property Tax Exemptions: ( HRS §14-246-29 ) Real property owned and occupied as a home by any person who is totally disabled due to injuries received while on duty with the U.S. Armed Forces is exempt from all property taxes, other than special assessments.
Who is eligible for Hawaii Real Property Tax Exemptions? The exemption remains in place with no expiration, provided:

  •  The Veteran provides proof of service and disability (DD214 and award letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs)

  • The Veteran claiming exemption remains 100% disabled

  • The exemption is not allowed on more than one house for any one person

  • That the property in which the Veteran resides is not used for a commercial purpose.

Non-remarried Surviving Spouses of disabled Veterans are also eligible for the tax exemption, provided the Spouse submits proof of marriage and the deceased Veteran's disability.

Property taxes are assessed by each of the four counties in the state of Hawaii. Each county has their own special assessment rate and forms for the exemption.

County and City of Honolulu - Real Property Tax Exemption for Totally Disabled Veterans
County of Kauai - Real Property Tax Exemption for Totally Disabled Veterans
County of Maui - Real Property Tax Exemption for Totally Disabled Veterans
County of Hawaii - Real Property Tax Exemption for Totally Disabled Veterans

Learn more about Hawaii Real Property Tax Exemptions

Hawaii Passenger Vehicle Tax Exemption for Certain Cars Furnished to Disabled Veterans: ( HRS §14-249-6 ) State Tax exemptions on passenger vehicles are granted when they are owned by totally disabled Veterans.
Who is eligible for Hawaii Passenger Vehicle Tax Exemption for Certain Cars Furnished to Disabled Veterans? The exemption is valid provided:

  • Is a resident of Hawaii;

  • Has been other than dishonorably discharged from the United States uniformed Armed Forces;

  • Is determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its predecessor to have a service-connected one hundred per cent disability rating for compensation or a service-connected disability rating of one hundred per cent; and

  • Is in receipt of disability retirement pay from any branch of the uniformed Armed Forces

This exemption shall not extend to vehicles used for commercial purposes, nor to more than one vehicle owned by the disabled Veteran.

Learn more about Hawaii Passenger Vehicle Tax Exemption for Certain Cars Furnished to Disabled Veterans

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What are my Hawaii Military and Veterans Education Benefits ?

Hawaii Kupono Diploma Program for Wartime Veterans: The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) Kupono Diploma Program grants honorary high school diplomas to World War II, Korean, and Vietnam War era Veterans, as well as individuals whose schooling was interrupted due to internment in relocation camps during World War II.
Who is eligible for Hawaii Kupono Diploma Program for Wartime Veterans?
Veterans applying for this program must match the following criteria:

  • Veterans must have been enrolled in a State of Hawaii public high school prior to enlistment in military service.

  • Evidence of military status eligibility must be included with the program application (DD214 or Enlisted Record with proof of honorable discharge).

  • Military service must have been during World War II, the Korean War, or Vietnam War.

  • Internees must have been enrolled in a State of Hawaii public school prior to internment and must provide evidence of being interned in a relocation camp.

Under this program, qualified Veterans or internees who successfully completed a General Education Diploma (GED) program will also be granted an honorary high school diploma. Diplomas may also be awarded posthumously and awarded to Family members. There is no cost to participate in the Kupono Diploma Program.

To apply for the Kupono Diploma Program:

  • Application requests may be sent by e-mail to cherry_okahara@notes.k12.hi.us ​​ . Or mail to: Hawaii State Department of Education, Kupono Diploma Program, PO BOX 2360, Honolulu, HI 96804

  • Applications may be submitted at any time. However, applications must be submitted no later than January 30 to participate in the current year graduation ceremony.

  • Application processing will take four to six weeks. The Department of Education will contact all applicants regarding program eligibility.​

Hawaii State Department of Education, Kupono Diploma Application

Learn more about the Hawaii Kupono Diploma Program for Wartime Veterans

Hawaii Residency for Tuition Purposes (Veterans, Service Members and Dependents): Non-resident Veterans, military Service members who are stationed in Hawaii and their dependents are eligible to attend colleges in Hawaii at the resident tuition rate.
Who is eligible for Hawaii Residency for Tuition Purposes (Veterans, Service Members and Dependents)?
Nonresidents may be allowed to pay resident tuition if they qualify as one of the following:

  • United States military personnel and their authorized dependents during the period such personnel are stationed in Hawai‘i on active duty;

  • Members of the Hawai’i National Guard and Hawai’i based Reserves;

  • Veterans eligible to use Post 9/11 GI Bill (Ch. 33) or Montgomery GI Bill (Ch. 30) Active Duty educational benefits, who live in Hawaii, and enroll at the University within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more;

  • Individuals eligible to use transferred Post 9/11 GI Bill (Ch. 33) or Montgomery GI Bill (Ch. 30) Active Duty educational benefits, who live in Hawaii, and enroll at the University within three years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.;

  • Individuals eligible to use Post 9/11 GI Bill (Ch. 33) educational benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, who live in Hawai‘i; and

  • Individuals eligible to use transferred Post 9/11 GI Bill (Ch. 33) educational benefits, who live in Hawai‘i, and whose transferor is a member of the uniformed services who is serving on active duty.

Learn more about Hawaii Residency for Tuition Purposes (Veterans, Service Members and Dependents)

Hawaii National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program: The Hawaii Army National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program (STAP) offers tuition waivers for eligible Service members who have completed Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training. The waiver covers 100% of your tuition if you are a community college student, and 50% of your tuition if you are a four-year university student. In order to be eligible for STAP, you must:

  • Be pursuing an undergraduate degree

  • Be enrolled in courses pertaining to that undergraduate degree

  • Be a satisfactory performer in your assigned Hawaii National Guard unit

STAP can also be used in conjunction with your G.I. Bill and Federal Tuition Assistance benefits.

Learn more about the Hawaii National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program

Hawaii 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.