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
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.