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A Look Back at 2017 - Message from the Secretary

Many throughout our country and worldwide know of West Virginia because of the great number of our citizens who chose to carry the torch of service and freedom to all corners of the world.  As West Virginians, we have always been proud of our veterans. Those of us at the Department of Veterans Assistance are proud to be able to be of service to our veteran family.
Two thousand seventeen  was an exciting year. We have a new governor who in his first year has already made positive and substantive changes that involve our veteran community. He successfully advocated for an exemption to income tax on veteran-retirement pensions that resulted in House Bill 201. Previously, the state exempted a portion of retirement pay. With the passage of this bill in October, West Virginia is among a handful of states that exempt all military-retirement pay from personal income tax. This will encourage more veterans to resettle in West Virginia after the completion of their military careers.
The Department of Veterans Assistance was responsible for bringing in nearly $2 billion  of federal funds to benefit state veterans this past year. Additionally, we initiated changes that will make our offices not only more accessible to veterans and their families, but also more visible. This will allow us to contact and assist more of our veteran community who otherwise would not know what benefits are available to them.
We have moved some of our busier offices to more suitable locations. We have also added several positions, including additional Veteran Service Officers to help veterans and their families access their benefits..
I believe these changes will allow us to better serve the veteran community throughout the state now and for years to come.