Benefits in my Backyard: District of Columbia

Jonathan Kaupanger
April 20, 2018 - 12:46 pm



There are just over 26,000 veterans living in the nation’s capital.  The District of Columbia is in a unique situation: it’s not a state, but a federal district.  If you live there, you're an American, but without voting rights and representation.   Benefits for veterans are mostly provided by the VA and federal programs.  Local programs for veterans that are provided by the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs.



The District of Columbia follows federal tax rules, so military retirement pay is taxed in DC. Survivor benefits are taxed as well. 

  • Homestead/Senior Citizen deduction.  A veteran must be over 65 years old or disabled to qualify for a property tax exemption in DC. The exemption reduces the veterans’ property tax by 50 percent. The veteran must own at least 50 percent of the property and the annual income can’t exceed $130,550.  Here’s the application.



There are several colleges and universities in DC.   Find one that you are interested in and type “veterans” in the search field.  Most will have a program specifically for veterans.  Here are just a couple:



  • Veterans with more than 180 consecutive days of active duty are eligible for preference in District government jobs.  Typically an honorable discharge gives veterans 5 preference points; a service connected disability of 30 percent or more gives veterans 10 extra points. Some spouses and surviving spouses of disabled veterans can receive the preference as well. 
  • DC’s Department of Employment Services gives priority to veterans and eligible spouses.  You can contact the Veterans Program Coordinator at (202) 422-4460.







Armed Forces Retirement Home is a retirement community for veterans who served a minimum of 20 years.  Disabled veterans have special eligibility, married couples are welcome but both must be eligible for residency.  Fees do apply.

Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing must be DC resident and chronically homeless.

DC’s VA Medical Center’s  Community Resource and Referral Center isn’t a shelter but it provides services to assist veterans and family members. The building has a primary care clinic, a complete kitchen, laundry and shower facilities, food pantry and a play room for children.

Knollwood Military Retirement Community in NW DC is a owned and funded by the Army Distaff Foundation and provides residential and healthcare for retired military officers and their families.


Ceremonial and Burial

  • Eligibility Determination Form. Pre-needs determination is intended to simplify and assist the veteran’s next-of-kin at the time of death. This does not reserve a plot or niche at the cemetery. There is no cost for this.


Links and Resources