Kentucky Military and Veterans Benefits

State Taxes
Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Insurance
Motor Vehicle Licensing Benefits
Health and Insurance Benefits
Park and Recreation Benefits
Miscellaneous Benefits
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in Kentucky
Kentucky Military Resource Locator
Resources

Summary of Kentucky Military and Veterans Benefits: Kentucky offers special benefits for Service members, Veterans and their Families including state tax exemptions, state employment preference, education and tuition assistance, vehicle tags, as well as hunting and fishing license privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status.

Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Field Representatives (VBFRs): The Kentucky Department of Veteran Affairs, has trained VBFRs located at Field Offices throughout Kentucky to assist Veterans, retired Service members and their Families find and apply for Veterans benefits under federal, state and local laws. All their services are provided free of charge.
Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, VBFR Directory

Learn more about the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, Field Operations

Welcome to Kentucky

Kentucky State Military and Veterans Benefit Highlights and Eligibility

What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans State Tax Benefits?

Soldiers standing at attention Kentucky Income Tax Exemption for Military Pay: All military pay received for service in the U.S. Armed Forces is exempt from Kentucky income tax.

Learn more about Kentucky Income Tax Exemption for Military Pay

Kentucky Military Retired Pay Income Taxes: Kentucky allows a pension income exclusion of up to $31,110 for military retired pay that is reported as taxable and included in their federal adjusted gross income.

Retired Service members may be able to exclude more than $31,110 if they retired before January 1, 1998. Retired Service members must complete the Kentucky Pension Income Exclusion Schedule P to determine how much of their pension income is taxable.

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) does not withhold taxes for state or local income tax, but it is reported annually on IRS Form 1099-R. All TSP distributions are subject to state taxes and early distributions may incur higher taxes .

Learn more about Kentucky Military Retired Pay Income Taxes

Kentucky State Taxes on Military Disability Retirement Pay: Military Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces should not be included in taxable income. Some of the payments which are considered disability benefits include:

  • Disability compensation and pension payments for disabilities paid to Veterans or their Families

  • Grants for homes designed for wheelchair living

  • Grants for motor vehicles for Veterans who lost their sight or the use of limbs, or

  • Benefits under a dependent-care assistance program

See IRS Publication 525 for more information.

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

Kentucky State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): 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-connected injury or disease.

Learn more about Kentucky State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

young child hugging a tombstone in a veteran cemetery Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) Kentucky State Tax Benefits: Kentucky allows a pension income exclusion of up to $31,110 for survivor benefit annuities that are reported as taxable and included in their federal adjusted gross income.

Survivors may be able to exclude more than $31,110 if their Veteran Spouse retired before January 1, 1998. Survivors must complete the Kentucky Pension Income Exclusion Schedule P to determine how much of their pension income is taxable.

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

Kentucky Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans: Kentucky homeowners who are least 65 years of age or who are totally disabled are eligible to receive a homestead exemption. The adjustment for the 2021-2022 assessment years is $40,500. This amount is deducted from the assessed value of the Veteran’s home and property taxes are computed based on the remaining assessment. The amount of the homestead exemption is recalculated every two years to adjust for inflation. Office of Property Valuation, Homestead Exemption Allowance for 2021-2022
Who is eligible for the Kentucky Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans?
Veterans must have a total service-connected disability rating from the VA and was receiving disability compensation for the entire assessment period to be eligible. Disabled Veterans only need to apply the first time they are eligible to receive the exemption.

To apply for a homestead exemption an applicant must:

Kentucky Department of Revenue, PVA Directory

Learn more about the Kentucky Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans

Mother and Daughter Kentucky Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA) Benefits: Under Kentucky MSRRA a nonresident Service member’s Spouse may be exempt from paying Kentucky taxes on wages earned while stationed in Kentucky.
Who is eligible for Kentucky Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA) Benefits? A nonresident military Spouse must meet the following requirements to be exempt from Kentucky income tax:

  • Active duty Service member is in Kentucky in compliance with military orders

  • Spouse is in Kentucky only to be with the active duty Service member

  • Spouse is a resident of another state, which is the same state of residence as the Service member

soldiers holding an american flag Spouses should file a Form K-4 Kentucky Withholding Certificate with their employer to claim an exemption from Kentucky income tax withholding. Military Spouses can file Form 740-NP Kentucky Itemized Deductions, Nonresidents or Part-Year Residents to request a refund of any Kentucky income tax withheld from their pay. For information or assistance please call the Individual Taxpayer Assistance Section at 502-564-4581.

Learn more about the Kentucky Military Spouses Residency Relief Act Benefits

Extension for Filing Kentucky Income Tax Return for Service Members Serving in Combat Zones: Service members serving in the U.S. Armed Forces who are deployed to an area designated as a combat zone are not required to file an income tax return and pay the taxes until 12 months after they return from deployment.
IRS Combat and Hazardous Duty Areas for Tax Purposes

Learn more about the Extension for Filing Kentucky Income Tax Return for Service Members Serving in Combat Zones

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What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans Education Benefits?

soldier taking notes Kentucky Dependent Tuition Waiver: Kentucky offers a tuition waiver to the Spouse and Children of certain Veterans. Students can receive a waiver of tuition at any two-year, four-year or vocational technical school that are operated and funded by the Kentucky Department of Education.

Private or out of state schools do not qualify for the Tuition Waiver.
Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, Public Educational Institutions
Who is eligible for the Kentucky Veteran and Dependent Tuition Waiver? For a Veteran’s dependent to be eligible the Veteran must be a current Kentucky resident or was a resident at their time of death, dependents of Veterans are not required to be Kentucky residents. The Spouse, unremarried Surviving Spouse, Children, stepchildren and adopted Children are eligible if the Veteran meets the following requirements:

  • Died while serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces

  • Died as a direct result of a service-connected disability as determined by the VA

  • 100% service-connected disabled

  • Totally disabled (non-service-connected) with wartime service

  • Deceased and lived in Kentucky at the time of death and served during a wartime period

Dependent Children are eligible until their 26th birthday, there is no age limit for Surviving Spouses. In addition, the Child of a Veteran who has a disability that is due to the Veteran’s service is also eligible. Submission instruction and required documentation is listed on the application. For more information please call 502-782-5734, 502-564-9203 or email kdva.tuitionwaiver@ky.gov.
Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, Tuition Waiver Application
Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, Tuition Waiver Program Summary Fact Sheet

Learn more about the Kentucky Veteran and Dependent Tuition Waiver

Kentucky National Guard Tuition Award Program: Service members in the Kentucky National Guard can receive a tuition award that will pay in-state tuition for full or part-time study at Kentucky public educational institutions.
Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, Public Educational Institutions
Who is eligible for the Kentucky National Guard Tuition Award Program? Kentucky National Guard Service members must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

  • Actively serving in the Kentucky National Guard

  • Meets all minimum standards

  • Eligible for all favorable personnel actions (not flagged)

  • Completed basic training or its equivalent.

For more information, please call 502-607-1039.
Kentucky National Guard Tuition Award Program, Online Application

Learn more about the Kentucky National Guard Tuition Award Program

Kentucky High School Diploma Program for Veterans of World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War: Kentucky school districts will issue high school diplomas to Veterans who left high school before graduating to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II (WWII), the Korean War, or the Vietnam War.
Who is eligible for a Kentucky High School Diploma Program for Veterans of WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War? Honorably discharged resident Veterans who left high school prior to graduation during the following dates are eligible:

  • WWII -December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946

  • Korean War - June 25, 1950, through January 27, 1955

  • Vietnam War - August 5, 1964, through May 7, 1975 (If serving in Vietnam prior to August 5, 1964, the period begins February 28, 1961)

Kentucky Revised Statutes 158.140 and 40.010

Veterans must submit a copy of their discharge paperwork that indicates they received an honorable discharge from service in the U.S. Armed Forces during one of the time periods listed above and the name of school district where the Veteran attended high school to:

Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs
1111 Louisville Road
Frankfort, KY 40601

Learn more about Kentucky High School Diploma Program for Veterans of World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War

Children sitting on the steps of a school Kentucky Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (MIC3): The purpose of this compact is to remove barriers to educational success imposed on Children of military Families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:

  • Facilitating the prompt 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

  • Facilitating the student placement process through which Children of military Families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content or assessment. Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic and social activities

  • Facilitating the on-time graduation of Children of military Families

  • Providing for the enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact

  • Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools and military Families under this compact

  • Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military Children

  • Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student

MIC3 Assistance Request

Points of Contact
Phone: 502-564-2611 x480 or 502-564-4970

Learn more about the Kentucky Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

Kentucky Purple Star Award for Military-Friendly Schools: The Kentucky Purple Star Award for military-friendly schools recognizes schools that show a major commitment to students and Families connected to the U.S. Armed Forces.

For a school to qualify for the Purple Star Award they must appoint a school liaison who is specially trained to handle the unique challenges experienced by military Families. This liaison will ensure that other teachers at their school are aware of special considerations that students from military Families can benefit from. Each school will also have a dedicated page on their school website featuring resources for military Families.
Kentucky Purple Star Schools
Military Child Education Coalition Purple Star School Program

Learn more about the Kentucky Purple Star Award for Military-Friendly Schools

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What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans Employment Benefits?

ARNG Leave of Absence for National Guard Service Members for Active Duty or Training: Employees who are Service members in the National Guard must be granted a leave of absence by their employer to attend required training or to serve on active duty.

After the employee is released from active duty or training, they must be returned to their former position with the same seniority, status, pay or any other rights or benefits they are eligible for. Employers are not required to provide a leave of absence with pay.
Who is eligible for a Leave of Absence for National Guard for Active Duty or Training? Service members serving in the National Guard are eligible for a leave of absence for active duty service or training.

Learn more about Leave of Absence for National Guard Service Members for Active Duty or Training

Paid Days off for Kentucky State Employees who are Military Spouses: Kentucky state employees who are the Spouse of a Service member serving in the U.S. Armed Forces can take one paid day off when the Service member deploys and one paid day off when the Service member returns from deployment. The Service member can be in an active or reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces, but the deployment must be a federal active duty deployment.

Learn more about Paid Days off for Kentucky State Employees who are Military Spouses

Soldier having uniform inspected Kentucky Retirement Credit Computed for Military Service: Former Service members and reserve component Service members who are state or local government employees and participate in a Kentucky retirement pension program can purchase service credit for their time they served in the U.S. Armed Forces. For most state or local government employees buying military service credit will increase their pension.

Certain current state or local government employees who are reserve component Service members and take a leave of absence when they are called to federal active duty during a national emergency are eligible for free service credit for their time on active duty.

National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Service members can purchase reserve component service credit at a rate of one month of service credit for every six months served.

The cost to purchase service credit is based on:

Current Rate of Pay / Final Rate of Pay / Final Compensation x Actuarial Factor* x Years Purchased

* Actuarial Factor is an individualized multiplier, based upon a member's age, years of accrued service credit, applicable benefit factor, and eligibility for final compensation.
Who is eligible for Kentucky Retirement Credit Computed for Military Service? All service credit must have been for service in the U.S. Armed Forces for which the employee received an honorable discharge. Employees who receive military retired pay are not eligible to purchase service credit. For more information, Please contact the Kentucky Public Pension Authority.

Learn more about Kentucky Retirement Credit Computed for Military Service

Hiring Kentucky Heroes logo Kentucky State Employment Veterans’ Preference: Kentucky offers Veterans’ Preference by granting interview preference to Veterans and their eligible Family members who are applying for state and local government competitive classified positions. To receive interview preference, applicants must meet minimum requirements for the position and provide the required documentation before the advertisement closing date for the job vacancy. Interview preference only applies to candidates seeking initial appointment.
Kentucky Revised Statutes, 18A.150
Who is eligible for Kentucky State Employment Veterans’ Preference? The following applicants are eligible for Veterans’ preference:

  • Veteran who served in an active or reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces and received an Honorable or General (Under Honorable Conditions) Discharge

  • Service members currently serving in an active or reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces

  • Spouse of an eligible Veteran or current Service member

  • Unremarried Surviving Spouse of a deceased Veteran

  • Dependent parent of a disabled or deceased Veteran

Veterans are not required to have served during time of war or conflict, U.S. Armed Forces Reserve and National Guard Service members are not required to have been called to active duty or mobilized to receive preference.
Kentucky Veterans' Preference Eligibility Information
Kentucky Veterans' Preference Documentation Requirements
Kentucky Veterans’ Preference Frequently Asked Questions Webpage

Learn more about Kentucky State Employment Veterans’ Preference

ARNG Rehiring of Kentucky Public Employees to a Position after Military Service: Kentucky public employees who leave their position to voluntarily or involuntarily serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and receives an honorable discharge must be rehired to their former position, or a position of equal seniority, status, pay and any other rights or benefits.

The Service member has six months to return to their civilian job after their discharge from military during a time of war, national or state emergency. The Service member has 90 days to return to their civilian job during peace time or after hospitalization or treatment they received after discharge.

Learn more about Rehiring of Kentucky Public Employees to Position after Military Service

Federal Employment Veteran's Hiring Preferences: By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans in hiring into the Federal civil service and in retention during reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews.

5-point Hiring Preference: Five points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served:

  • During a war, or

  • During the period April 28, 1952, through July 1, 1955, or

  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976, or

  • During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992, or

  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, or

  • In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference

10-point Compensable Disability (CP) Preference: Ten points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10% but less than 30%.

10-Point 30% Compensable Disability Preference (CPS): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30% or more.

10-Point Disability Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of the following:

  • A Veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the VA but does not qualify as a CP or CPS, or

  • A Veteran who received a Purple Heart

10-Point Derived Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of Spouses, Surviving Spouses, or mothers of Veterans. Both a mother and a Spouse (including Surviving Spouse) may be entitled to preference based on the same Veteran's service if they both meet the requirements. However, neither may receive preference if the Veteran is living and is qualified for Federal employment.

Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of the Spouse of a disabled Veteran who is disqualified for a federal position along the general lines of their usual occupation because of a service-connected disability. Such a disqualification may be presumed when the Veteran is unemployed and:

  • Is rated by appropriate military or VA authorities to be 100% disabled and/or unemployable, or

  • Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position because of a disability that is service-connected in origin, or

  • Has attempted to obtain a civil service position or other position along the lines of their usual occupation and has failed to qualify because of a service-connected disability

Preference may be allowed in other circumstances but anything less than the above warrants a more careful analysis.

A campaign medal holder or Gulf War Veteran who originally enlisted after September 7, 1980, (or began active duty on or after October 14, 1982, and has not previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty) must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty. The 24-month service requirement does not apply to 10-point preference eligible Veterans separated for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or to Veterans separated for hardship or other reasons under Title 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.

Learn more about Federal Employment Veteran's Hiring Preferences

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA): USERRA protects civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of reserve components. USERRA also protects Service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.

Humvee on an aircraft with soldiers seated around it Absence from Work for Military Duty: USERRA establishes the cumulative length of time that an individual may be absent from work for military duty and retain reemployment rights to five years. Exceptions to the five-year limit, include initial enlistments lasting more than five years, periodic National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Reserve training duty, and involuntary active duty extensions and recalls, especially during a time of national emergency. USERRA establishes that reemployment protection does not depend on the timing, frequency, duration, or nature of an individual's service if the basic eligibility criteria are met.

Disability Accommodation: USERRA provides protection for disabled Veterans, requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability. Service members recovering from injuries received during service or training may have up to two years from the date of completion of service to return to their jobs or apply for reemployment.

Return to Work without Loss of Seniority: USERRA provides that returning Service members are reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) be made to enable returning Service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, they are deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and are entitled to the non-seniority rights accorded other individuals on non-military leaves of absence.

Extension of Health and Pension Plans: Health and pension plan coverage for Service members is provided for by USERRA. Individuals performing military duty of more than 30 days may elect to continue employer sponsored health care for up to 24 months; however, they may be required to pay up to 102% of the full premium. For military service of less than 31 days, health care coverage is provided as if the Service member had remained employed. USERRA clarifies pension plan coverage by making explicit that all pension plans are protected.
Who is eligible for USERRA Benefits?
Veterans, U.S. Armed Forces Reserve or National Guard Service members who leave a position for training or active military service are eligible.

The Department of Labor, through the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) helps all who have claims under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees.
employees.
VETS Regional Office Locations

Learn more about Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

Kentucky Career Center, Veterans Services: Kentucky Career Centers have staff who are specifically trained to assist Veterans and Service members who are leaving the U.S. Armed Forces find suitable and sustainable civilian employment.​

Some of the services provided are:

  • Priority of service

  • Career assessments

  • Job search assistance

  • Interview preparation

  • Labor market information

  • Resume and cover letter assistance

  • Access to computers and internet service

  • Translating military experience to civilian equivalent

  • Specialized services for Veterans with disabilities through the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

Kentucky Career Centers also maintain a Resources for Veterans webpage with useful links to information for Veterans with categories ranging from employment assistance to Veteran owned business information. For questions or additional information, please email veteranservices@ky.gov.
Veterans and Service members can also check the Kentucky Career Center Directory for locations that offer Veterans services.

Learn more about the Kentucky Career Center, Veterans Services

Kentucky Hilton Honors Military Program: The Kentucky Hilton Honors Military Program helps make the career transition from service in the U.S. Armed Forces to civilian employment easier for current and former Service members. The Hilton Honors Military Program will provide hotel accommodations for required travel while looking for a new job, training for a new job, or finding housing. Those eligible can receive up to a total of 100,000 hotel points for verifiable employment-related activities.
Who is eligible for Kentucky Hilton Honors Military Program? To be eligible applicants must register at a Kentucky Career Center Office and have a Hilton Honors account to receive the points. For more information, please call 502-782-3092, email HiltonHonors@naswa.org .
Hilton Honors Military Program Fact Sheet

Learn more about the Kentucky Hilton Honors Military Program

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What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans Unemployment Compensation Benefits?

Kentucky Unemployment Insurance (UI): The Kentucky UI program provides temporary financial assistance for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. UI is a partial, short-term replacement of lost wages while workers are seeking other work and is not intended to be a permanent source of income. Benefits are not based on financial need. Employers pay all costs of the UI program.

To be eligible applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Unemployed or working less than full-time

  • Earned enough money to establish a valid claim

  • Unemployed through no fault of their own

  • Able to work, available for work, and looking for work

Applicants will need the following information to file a claim:

Personal Information:

  • Social Security Number

  • Alien Registration Number if not a U.S. citizen

  • Date of birth

  • Mailing address

  • Phone number

Employer Information (for all employers in last 18 months):

  • Company name, mailing address and phone number

  • Dates of employment

  • Reason no longer working for each employer

Other Information (if applicable):

  • ​List of other states where they were employed

  • Name and address of temporary agency

  • SF8 or SF50 for former federal government employees

  • DD214, Member copy 4 for former Service members

  • Union information

Applicants can file for UI online through the Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Claims System, (Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. EST), first time users will be required to create an account. Applicants can also file a UI claim by calling 502-875-0442, (Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., EST). For questions or assistance, please call the UI Assistance Line at 502-564-2900.
Kentucky UI Information
Kentucky UI Claimant Guide

Learn more about Kentucky Unemployment Insurance

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What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans Motor Vehicle Licensing Benefits?

Kentucky Veterans Drivers License Veteran Designation on Kentucky Driver’s Licenses and ID Cards: Kentucky offers a Veteran designation on Kentucky driver’s licenses and ID Cards to honorably discharged Veterans. Veterans must apply at the nearest Kentucky Driver Licensing Regional Office. Veterans will be required to provide a copy of one of the following documents as proof of eligibility:

  • VA ID card or VA Health ID card

  • DD214

  • DD256

  • DD257

  • NGB22

  • Current military ID card

Kentucky Revised Statutes 186.416
Kentucky Driver Licensing Regional Offices

Learn more about the Veteran Designation on Kentucky Drivers Licenses and ID Cards

Kentucky Military and Veteran License Plates: Kentucky offers 50 license plate designs for motor vehicles and motorcycles to honor the service and sacrifice of eligible Service members, Veterans, retired Service members and their Family members.

Applicants can request these license plates through Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks. All license plates may be issued for non-commercial motor vehicles that have a gross weight less than 10,000 lbs. and may be personalized for an additional fee. Applicants who are unsure if they are eligible for a specific license plate can contact the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs at 800-572-6245. A short description of some of these plates can be found below.
Kentucky Circuit Court Clerk Directory

Learn more about Kentucky Military and Veteran License Plates

Disabled Vet License plate Kentucky Disabled Veteran License Plate (Fee): The Kentucky Disabled Veteran license plate (fee) is available to honorably discharged Veterans who have a service-connected disability rating from the VA between 50% and 99%. Veterans must show proof of disability percentage and that they received an honorable discharge. Both purchase and renewal fees for this plate are $26.

Learn more about the Kentucky Disabled Veteran License Plate (Fee)

Kentucky Disabled Veteran License Plate (No Fee): The Kentucky Disabled Veteran license plate (no fee) is available to honorably discharged Veterans who have a service-connected disability rating from the VA of 100% or received VA funds to purchase or modify a vehicle to accommodate their disability. Veterans must show proof of disability percentage, or that they received VA funds to purchase or specially modify a vehicle and that they received an honorable discharge. There are no purchase or renewal fees for this license plate

Learn more about the Kentucky Disabled Veteran License Plate (No Fee)

Kentucky Medal of Honor Plate Kentucky Medal of Honor License Plate: Medal of Honor recipients are eligible for the Kentucky Medal of Honor License Plate. Applicants must provide official documentation that they received the Medal of Honor. There are no purchase or renewal fees for this license plate.

Learn more about the Kentucky Medal of Honor License Plate

Kentucky Purple Heart License Plate: Veterans and Service members who are Purple Heart recipients are eligible for the Kentucky Purple Heart license plate. Current Service members must show a copy of their military ID card and official documentation that they received the Purple Heart. Veterans must provide official documentation that they received an honorable discharge and a Purple Heart. The initial purchase cost for this plate is $26 and there is a $14 fee to renew the plates.

Learn more about the Kentucky Purple Heart License Plate

Kentucky Gold star mother plate Kentucky Gold Star License Plates: Kentucky Gold Star License plates are available to immediate Family members of a Service member who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Applicants should contact the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs at 502-564-9203 or 800-572-6245 who will verify eligibility then provide the proper documentation to take to the County Clerk's Office to apply for the license plate. Purchase costs for the below plates vary from $26 to $31, renewal fee for all plates is $26.

Kentucky offers Gold Star license plates for the following Family members:

Kentucky Veteran Plate Kentucky Army Veteran License Plate: The Kentucky Army Veteran License Plate is available to honorably discharged Veterans from an active or reserve component of the U.S. Army and currently serving Soldiers. Soldiers must show their military ID card when applying. Veterans must provide official documentation that they received an honorable discharge. Both purchase and renewal fees for this plate are $26.

Learn more about the Kentucky Army Veteran License Plate

Kentucky Resident Service Members Driver’s Licensing Information? The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet offers the following driver’s licensing options for resident Service members:

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
Department of Driver Licensing
200 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY 40622​

  • Kentucky residents serving in the U.S. Armed Forces whose driver's license has expired, can renew it within 90 days of returning to Kentucky without having to take a written test or road test

Learn more about Kentucky Resident Service Members Operator’s Licensing Provisions

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What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans Health and Insurance Benefits?

State Sponsored Life Insurance (SSLI) for Kentucky National Guard Service Members: SSLI offered through the National Guard Association of Kentucky to Kentucky National Guard Service members is made up of several voluntary group life policies and is designed to help meet the needs of National Guard Service members and their Families.

Key Benefits of the SSLI:

  • Competitive rates

  • Claims paid in 24-48 hours

  • Coverage up to $500k

  • No war or aviation clauses

  • Personal service

  • Post separation coverage

  • Free plans for new recruits

  • Coverage available for dependents

  • Premiums are drafted directly from military pay

Who is eligible for SSLI? Kentucky National Guard Service members and their Family members are eligible for coverage.

Learn more about State Sponsored Life Insurance for Kentucky National Guard Service Members

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The VA provides valuable life insurance benefits to Veterans, active and reserve component Service members and their Families to provide financial security given the extraordinary risks involved in military Service. The VA provides the following life insurance benefit programs:

  • Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)

  • Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI)

  • Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)

  • Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI)

  • Service-Disabled Veterans’ Life Insurance (S-DVI)

  • Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)

Learn more about U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance

TRICARE Reserve Select Health Insurance: TRICARE Reserve Select is a premium-based plan, available worldwide for Selected Reserve, (U.S. Armed Forces Reserve and National Guard Service members) and their Families who meet the following qualifications:

  • Not on active duty orders

  • Not covered under the Transitional Assistance Management Program

  • Not eligible for or enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program or currently covered under FEHB, either under their own eligibility or through a Family member

The plan provides comprehensive health care coverage when a Service member is not activated and covered by active duty TRICARE benefits.

Learn more about TRICARE Reserve Select Health Insurance

Kentucky National Guard Compensation for Illness, Injury or Death While on State Active Duty: Kentucky National Guard Service members who are injured, become ill, disabled or die while serving on state active duty are eligible for medical coverage and compensation under Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Laws.
Who is eligible for Compensation for Illness, Injury or Death While on State Active Duty? Kentucky National Guard Service members serving on state active duty are eligible.

Learn more about Kentucky National Guard Compensation for Illness, Injury or Death While on State Active Duty

Death Benefits for Kentucky Resident National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service Members: The beneficiaries of a Service member serving in the Kentucky National Guard serving on state active duty, or a Kentucky resident Service member in another state’s National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves serving on federal active duty who die in the line of duty are eligible for a lump-sum death benefit of $80,000. The death benefit is divided equally among the Surviving Spouse and Children.

Learn more about Death Benefits for Kentucky Resident National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service Members

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What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans Park and Recreation Benefits?

man flyfishing in a stream Kentucky Sportsman’s License for Disabled Veterans: Kentucky resident disabled Veterans who have a 50% or more service-connected disability rating from the VA are eligible for a three year Disabled Sportsman’s License. This license costs $12 and includes Combination Hunting and Fishing License, all Deer Permits, Spring Turkey Permit, Resident Fall Turkey Permit, Kentucky Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Permit and Trout Permit.

Veterans should contact the VA to request a letter that verifies they have a service-connected disability rating of 50% or more and includes their current address and their Social Security Number.
Request VA Benefit Letter

Veterans can apply by sending their disability documents online at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, My Profile webpage, by mail, fax or in person to:

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resource , Disability License
1 Sportsman's Lane
Frankfort, KY 40601 (in person Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST)
Fax: 502-564-9845

Learn more about Kentucky Hunting and Fishing Privileges for Disabled Veterans

Kentucky Resident Service Members Exempt from Having Hunting or Fishing Licenses While on Leave: Kentucky resident Service members who are in Kentucky on leave for three or more days are not required to have a hunting or fishing license. Service members must have their military ID and leave paperwork with them when hunting or fishing.

Learn more about Kentucky Resident Service Members Exempt from Having Hunting or Fishing Licenses While on Leave

Kentucky State Parks Kentucky State Park Benefits for Veterans, Active Duty Service Members and Former Prisoners of War (POWs): Kentucky State Parks offer several benefits for Service members and Veterans.

Military Discount: Kentucky State Parks offers a military discount for active and retired Service members. Type in discount code “USA” when booking online November through March for deals on lodge rooms and cottages. April through October select “Military Discount” from the drop down under Special Rates for 15% lodging discount. Active and retired Service members can also receive a 10% discount by choosing the “Military” customer type when booking online. Proof of service in the U.S. Armed Forces is required at check in.

Free Accommodations for Disabled Veterans: Kentucky resident Veterans, National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service members who have a 100% service-connected disability are eligible for free accommodations at Kentucky State Parks.

Those eligible can stay for a maximum of three overnight stays per calendar year, three nights maximum for each visit. Reservations made between Memorial Day through Labor Day and the month of October must start and end during the 5-day period, Sunday through Thursday. Outside of this period, stays can be for any days of the week, subject to availability. The free accommodation (room, cottage, or campsite) will apply only to that occupied by the Veteran themselves. Proof of disability must be provided at check in.

Free Camping for Former POWs: Kentucky resident former POWs are eligible for free camping at all Kentucky State Parks.

Learn more about Kentucky State Park Benefits for Veterans, Active Duty Service Members and Former Prisoners of War

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What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans Miscellaneous Benefits?

Kentucky Veterans Cemeteries insignia Kentucky Veterans Cemeteries: Kentucky has five State Veterans Cemeteries that offer a dignified final resting place to Kentucky Veterans and their eligible Family members.

Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Locations:

The cemeteries will provide a grave or columbarium space, opening and closing the grave, perpetual care of the grave site, marker or headstone and an optional concrete grave liner for casketed burials. Burial of Veterans is provided free of charge, non-Veteran burials are charged a $500 fee.
Who is eligible for burial at a Kentucky Veteran Cemetery? Eligibility requirements for the burial at a Kentucky Veterans Cemetery are the same as for VA National Cemeteries except for the addition of a Kentucky residency requirement. Exact eligibility requirements can viewed at the VA, National Cemetery Administration Eligibility webpage. The following are the general eligibility requirements:

  • Discharged from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable, or

  • Died while on active duty, or

  • Served at least 20 years in the National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserves and qualified for military retired pay (or would have qualified except death occurred before age 60), or

  • Reserve component Service members qualify if they were activated for federal service, active duty for training does not qualify as active service

  • Spouse and dependent Children (burial of Children is limited to unmarried Children under 21 years old or 23 years old if a full-time student at an approved educational institution or a Child who develops a lifelong disability prior to age 21)

  • Kentucky resident:

    • Born in Kentucky

    • Served at a military installation in Kentucky

    • Lived in Kentucky

    • Home of record is Kentucky


All Veterans are encouraged to complete the Kentucky Veterans Cemeteries Eligibility Application to establish eligibility prior to need. Documentation requirements and submission instructions are listed on the application.

Learn more about Kentucky Veteran Cemeteries

Kentucky Homeless Veterans Trust Fund: The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs has a Homeless Veterans Trust Fund that can provide financial assistance, in the form of a grant, to Veterans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Qualifying applicants must meet the income restrictions and show immediate need in the form of an eviction notice or utility disconnect, etc. For more information or to start the application process please use the online contact form at the bottom of the page at the “Learn more…” link below or call 502-782-5730.

Learn more about the Kentucky Homeless Veterans Trust Fund

Kentucky Women Veterans Program logo Kentucky Women Veterans Program: The mission of the Kentucky Women Veterans Program is to ensure that Kentucky's women Veterans have equal access to federal and state Veterans' services and benefits.

They achieve this by:

  • Performing outreach to raise awareness of eligibility for federal and state Veterans' services and benefits

  • Assess the needs of women Veterans

  • Make recommendations to improve benefits and services

  • Review programs, projects and other initiatives designed to address the needs of women Veterans

  • Incorporate women Veterans' issues in the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs’ strategic planning

  • Participate in national forums and committees for women Veterans

Who is eligible for the Kentucky Women Veterans Program? The program provides assistance to women who served in an active or reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces.

For more information please call 502-564-9203, or use the online contact form at the bottom of the page at the “Learn more…” link below.

Learn more about the Kentucky Women Veterans Program

Kentucky National Guard Service Members May Not Be Arrested Except for a Felony When on State Active Duty: Kentucky National Guard Service members on state active duty may not be arrested when going to, while at, or returning from their place of duty except for a felony.

Learn more about Kentucky National Guard Service Members May Not Be Arrested Except for a Felony When on State Active Duty

Certified Copies of Public Records for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Claims Provided Free of Charge: Certified copies of public records maintained by Kentucky officials that are required by the VA to be used to determine eligibility for benefits must be provided free of charge.

Learn more about Certified Copies of Public Records for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Claims Provided Free of Charge

Exemption from Tolls for Kentucky National Guard Service Members: Kentucky National Guard Service members are not required to pay tolls going to or returning from their place of duty. Service members must be in uniform or have a written order signed by an officer in the Kentucky National Guard.

Learn more about Exemption from Tolls for Kentucky National Guard Service Members

Kentucky Medal of Freedom Kentucky Medal for Freedom: The Kentucky Department of Veterans affairs will issue a medal to honor Kentuckians killed while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Who is eligible for the Kentucky Medal for Freedom? One medal will be issued to the primary next of kin of a Kentucky resident who was killed in a combat related incident since January 1, 1991, in the following order of precedence:

  • Surviving Spouse

  • Children

  • Parents (unless legal custody was granted to another person)

  • Blood or adoptive relative granted custody

  • Sibling in order of age (oldest first)

  • Grandparents

  • Other relative

  • Close friend or associate

For more information please call 502-782-5731
Kentucky Medal for Freedom Nomination Form
Kentucky Medal for Freedom Fact Sheet

KDVA Benefits Representatives

Learn more about the Kentucky Medal for Freedom

Kentucky Veterans Centers: Kentucky has four long-term nursing facilities to care for Kentucky Veterans. The Kentucky Veteran Centers located throughout the state have compassionate and professional staff who are committed to providing thoughtful, quality care. Each of the homes has state-of-the-art equipment and can care for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents.

Some of the Service offered at Kentucky Veterans Centers are:

  • 24/7 skilled nursing care

  • Rehabilitation services (physical, occupational and speech)

  • Secured areas for residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s

  • Therapeutic Recreational Activities

  • Transportation to VA for medical services

  • Physician on staff

  • Nurse Practitioner services

Veterans who have a 70% or higher disability rating receive a full per diem from the VA with no out-of-pocket costs.

Kentucky Veterans Centers:

Who is eligible for care at a Kentucky Veterans Center? Veterans must meet the following requirements to be eligible for admission:

  • Veteran who received a discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces under conditions other than dishonorable

  • Kentucky resident at the time of application

  • Disabled due to disease, wounds, age, or otherwise needs nursing care

  • Veteran’s medical needs must be able to be met by the Veterans Center

Kentucky Veterans Centers Eligibility Information

Learn more about Kentucky Veterans Centers

Homegrown Heros logo Kentucky Homegrown by Heroes Program: The Homegrown By Heroes marketing initiative offers farmers and agricultural producers located in Kentucky, who are current Service members or Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, the opportunity to use the Homegrown By Heroes logo on their agribusiness signage and agriculture products. This distinctive logo will identify their business as locally owned by a Service member or Veteran.
Who is eligible for the Kentucky Homegrown by Heroes Program? Farmers, agriculture producers, agribusiness owners, etc., are eligible to be a member of the Homegrown by Heroes program if they meet the following requirements:

Kentucky Homegrown Heroes Program Eligibility Requirements

Learn more about the Kentucky Homegrown by Heroes Program

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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in Kentucky

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in Kentucky: The VA has numerous resources available for Veterans and Family members. Please see the local location listing for your nearest facility.

 Nelson National Cemetery Learn more about U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in Kentucky

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Cemeteries in Kentucky: The VA National Cemetery Administration maintains eight national cemeteries in Kentucky. Please see the local location listing for the nearest cemetery.

Learn more about U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Cemeteries in Kentucky

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Military Installations in Kentucky

Please see the Kentucky Military Resource Locator for additional information

Active Duty

Army
Fort Campbell
Fort Knox
Blue Grass Army Depot

National Guard
Kentucky National Guard

Kentucky Army National Guard

Kentucky Air National Guard
123rd Airlift Wing

U.S. Army Reserve (USAR)
81st Readiness Division


Resources

Kentucky General Assembly

Kentucky Revised Statutes

Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs

Army National Guard Benefits

Air National Guard Benefits

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Facility Directory Kentucky

Kentucky Military License Plates

Kentucky Career Center, Veterans Services

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

FEDSHIREVETS, Veterans Preference

U.S. Department of Labor, Veteran's Employment and Career Transition Advisor

Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission, Kentucky

Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, State Veterans Employment Initiatives

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Document Review Date: 19 October 2022