If you’re seeking the 10 percent military discount at The Home Depot, be prepared for a new policy.

The national home improvement retailer has expanded its year-round discount to all veterans — potentially 16 million more veterans plus spouses — and the company has also tightened up its verification process for that discount.

Here’s how it works.

  • The military discount program is now open year-round to all veterans with other-than-dishonorable discharges. Previously, only currently serving members, retirees, service-connected disabled veterans and their dependents with ID cards could use it year-round. Other veterans could only use it around certain holidays.
  • The discount can now be used for Home Depot online purchases; previously it was limited to in-store purchases.
  • There are stricter verification requirements. Rather than showing your ID card at checkout, or some proof of other veteran status each time, you now must be verified through SheerID. That’s a one-time process, where you’ll create an account that will allow the discount to be automatically applied when shopping online, and a QR code to be scanned in-store at checkout. This will make it easier to verify veterans, who don’t always have an ID card. It’s not a charge card.
  • Spouses of these currently serving and veteran service members are eligible too, but the spouse and veteran must have separate personal accounts in order to each use the discount.
  • Eligible participants each have a maximum $400 discount that can be applied each year to eligible purchases of up to $4,000, according to the Home Depot website. The discount resets each calendar year. Home Depot officials confirmed to Military Times that these rules mean that a couple would have in effect up to $800 a year discount on $8,000 in purchases.
  • To get the discount, those eligible must create an account and verify their eligibility through Sheer ID, in a simple process that takes about five minutes. Once you’re verified, to use the discount online, you’ll log in to your Home Depot account on HomeDepot.com, and the military discount will be automatically applied to eligible items during checkout.

To use in store, you can download the Home Depot mobile app, and navigate to the military discount page. Scan the QR code during your transaction, and the discount will be applied to eligible items during checkout. You can also log in to your Home Depot account on HomeDepot.com on your mobile device and scan the QR code from there. The QR codes are updated regularly for security reasons.

The Home Depot military discount can only be used on eligible purchases within the $400 maximum annual discount. There are some exclusions. It can’t be used on certain items, services and fees, such as some commodity products (including lumber, wire, building materials), value-priced merchandise, appliances, tool rental fees, labor items, gift cards and services including freight and delivery. That’s not an all-inclusive list.

The changes to The Home Depot military discount program are similar to those that another national home improvement chain, Lowe’s, made to their military discount program in 2017. The Lowe’s program doesn’t have a maximum discount level. Other retailers also provide discounts to all veterans, such as the military exchanges’ online stores, with no maximum discount.

There has been some confusion in the past because some individual Home Depot stores have had different procedures, but this brings a more standard implementation while expanding the discount to all veterans with other-than-dishonorable discharges.

“We’re proud to expand this military discount benefit for families who have sacrificed so much for our country,” said Ted Decker, president and chief operating officer of The Home Depot, in an announcement of the expansion.

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.

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