Kentucky

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Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
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Health and Insurance Benefits
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Summary: The Commonwealth of Kentucky offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including State Tax Exemptions, State Employment Preferences, 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 Veteran Affairs Regional Administrators and field benefit representatives are strategically located throughout the state. They assist Veterans and their dependents in proof and establishment of claims to benefits which they may be entitled under federal, state, or local laws. As accredited representatives by the USDVA General Counsel, representation is also provided before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in formal and informal hearings acting as attorneys-in-fact. The Field Benefits Representatives maintain regular, established and published office hours at a designated place in each county, which they visit once a month.

 

State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility

State Taxes:

Retirement Income Taxes: Social Security, Railroad Retirement benefits, and Roth IRA proceeds are exempt. Exclusion of up to $41,110 for military, civil service, state/local government, qualified private pensions, and annuities.

Retired Military Pay : Not taxed. If retired after 1997, pay is subjected to tax on amount exceeding $41,110.00 - See Kentucky Schedule P.

Military Disability Retired Pay : Retirees who entered the military before September 24, 1975, and members receiving disability retirements based on combat injuries or who could receive disability payments from the VA are covered by laws giving disability broad exemption from federal income tax. Most military retired pay based on service-related disabilities also is free from federal income tax, but there is no guarantee of total protection.

VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation : Not subject to Federal or state taxes.

Military SBP/RCSBP/RSFPP: Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with state department of revenue office.

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Property Tax Exemption: In Kentucky, all real property is assessed by a locally elected official known as a property valuation administrator (PVA) ​

Homeowners who are least 65 years of age or who have been classified as totally disabled and meet other requirements are eligible to receive a homestead exemption. This exemption is applied against the assessed value of their home and their property tax liability is computed on the assessment remaining after deducting the exemption amount.

The homeowner must have been receiving payments pursuant to his or her disability for the entire assessment period.

The homeowner must apply annually to continue to receive the exemption based upon a total disability unless:

  1. They are a Veteran of the United States Armed Forces and have a service connected disability;

  2. They have been determined to be totally and permanently disabled under the rules of the Social Security Administration;

  3. They have been determined to be totally and permanently disabled under the rules of the Kentucky Retirement Systems.

The adjustment for the 2017 and 2018 assessment years will be $37,600. This amount is deducted from the assessed value of the applicant’s home and property taxes are computed based upon the remaining assessment. The amount of the homestead exemption is recalculated every two years to adjust for inflation.

To apply for a homestead Exemption applicants must:

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Military Pay State Income Tax Exemption: Effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2010, all military pay received by active duty members of the Armed Forces of the United States, members of reserve components of the Armed Forces of the United States, and members of the National Guard will be exempt from Kentucky income tax. KRS 141.010(10)(u) If Kentucky income tax is incorrectly withheld from a Service member's military pay in 2010 and after, the Department of Revenue will refund the tax withheld.

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The Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA): (Public Law 111-97) was signed into law on Nov. 11, 2009. This new law is effective for taxable year 2009. The MSRRA allows the same residency benefits permitted to military personnel under the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to also apply to a military A Spouse's nonmilitary service income, under certain circumstances.

Military Spouses who fall under this law should file Form 740-NP Kentucky Individual Income Tax Nonresident or Part-Year Resident Return to request a refund of the Kentucky income tax withheld from his or her pay. The income would not be reported as taxable on the Kentucky income tax return. To assist the department in identifying those returns, please write across the top of the return MILITARY SPOUSE. For questions please call 502-564-4581.

Learn more Federal Annuities Excluded from Gross Income: Provides for computation of federal annuities excludable from state income tax. By amendment in 1997, excludes all federal refund tax retirement annuities from Kentucky State Income Tax.

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Extension for Members of National Guard and Reserves Serving In Combat Zones: Members of the National Guard or any branch of the reserves called to active duty who are required by law to file an income tax return and pay income taxes to the state of Kentucky shall be allowed an extension to file the return and pay the taxes, which would otherwise become due during the period of service, if the member serves in an area designated as a combat zone by presidential proclamation. The extension will expire 12 months after the service.

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Education Benefits:

Veteran Dependent Tuition Waiver: A waiver of tuition is an education benefit provided by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in recognition of military service of certain Kentucky Veterans. The tuition waiver is provided for Children, step-Children, adopted Children, Spouses, and un-remarried Surviving Spouses. An approved tuition waiver means a student may attend any two-year, four-year or vocational technical schools that are operated and funded by the Kentucky Department of Education. List of state supported schools in Kentucky

Eligibility: You may qualify if one of the following is true of the Veteran:

  • Died on active duty.

  • Died as a direct result of a service connected disability as determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • 100% service connected disabled.

  • Totally disabled (non-service connected) with wartime service as deemed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or Department of Defense.

  • Is deceased and lived in KY at time of death and served during a wartime period.

Kentucky residency is a requirement for both the Veteran and the applicant. A deceased Veteran must have been a Kentucky resident at the time of death. Tuition Waiver Application . For additional information please call 502-595-4447 or toll free (in Kentucky) 800-928-4012. KY Statute 164.507

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Tuition Exemption for Spouse or Child of Disabled Members of the Kentucky National Guard, Reserves, Combat Veterans, Former Prisoners of War, or Members of the Armed Forces Declared Missing in Action: The Veteran must be a resident of the Commonwealth of Kentucky or married to a Kentucky resident, and was discharged under honorable conditions. The Spouse, regardless of age, and any Child, step-Child, or orphan, under the age of twenty-six (26), of a permanently and totally disabled member of the Kentucky National Guard or Reserve Component injured while on state active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, or a permanently and totally disabled war Veteran, or a one hundred percent (100%) service-connected disabled Veteran regardless of wartime service, or prisoner of war or member of the Armed Services declared missing in action shall not be required to pay any matriculation or tuition fees upon his admission to any state-supported institution of higher education or to any state-supported vocational training school for a period not in excess of forty-five (45) months in order to obtain a diploma, nor in excess of the lesser number of months required for a certificate of completion. KY Statute 164.515

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Tuition waiver for disabled Child of Veteran: The Spouse, regardless of age, and any Child, step-Child, or orphan, under the age of twenty-six (26), of a permanently and totally disabled member of the Kentucky National Guard or Reserve Component injured while on state active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, or a permanently and totally disabled war Veteran, or a one hundred percent (100%) service-connected disabled Veteran regardless of wartime service, or prisoner of war or member of the Armed Services declared missing in action shall not be required to pay any matriculation or tuition fees upon his admission to any state-supported institution of higher education or to any state-supported vocational training school for a period not in excess of forty-five (45) months in order to obtain a diploma, nor in excess of the lesser number of months required for a certificate of completion.
Eligibility: To be entitled to benefits under this section the parent or stepparent of the Child claiming benefits if living must be rated permanently and totally disabled for pension purposes or one hundred percent (100%) disabled for compensation purposes by the United States Veterans Administration or the Department of Defense.

If the Veteran is deceased, the claim to benefits is to be based on the rating held by the Veteran at the time of death or if a prisoner of war or missing in action, must have been declared as such by the Department of Defense. Members of the Kentucky National Guard must be rated permanently and totally disabled as provided in KRS Chapter 342. The parent's, stepparent's, or Spouse's service and rating must be evidenced by certification from the records of the Kentucky Department of Military Affairs, Veterans Administration Records, or the Department of Defense of the United States.

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Kentucky National Guard Tuition Award Program: Members of the Kentucky National Guard and their dependents may be eligible for up to in-state tuition for full or part-time study at any Kentucky public college.
Eligibility : Active member of the Kentucky National Guard. Must maintain all minimum standards, be eligible for all positive personnel actions and have completed basic training or its equivalent. In addition, dependents of deceased or totally disabled Kentucky Veterans may be able to take advantage of these waiver programs

Apply online at https://ky.ngb.army.mil/tuitionstudent/frmLogin.aspx ; or contact the Boone National Guard at 502-607-1039.

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Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant: A Student who is not Pell-eligible; whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001; and who, at the time of parent’s or guardian’s death, was less than 24 years old or was enrolled at least part-time at an institution of higher education, may be eligible for a grant up to $5,920 per year.

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Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: It is the purpose of this compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on Children of military Families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:

  • Facilitating the timely 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 promulgation and 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.

Primary Point of Contact:

Blaine Hedges, Executive Director, Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs
Commissioner
Address: 700 Capitol Ave, Rm 157, Frankfort, KY 40601
Email: blaine.hedges@ky.gov
Phone: 502-564-2611

Zach Morgan
Address: 700 Capitol Ave, Rm 133, Frankfort, KY 40601
Email: zach.morgan@ky.gov
Phone: 502-564-2611

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Employment Benefits:

Leave of Absence for Reserve Component Service Members to Perform Active Duty: An employee shall be granted a leave of absence by their employer for the period required to perform active duty or training in the National Guard. Upon the employee's release from a period of active duty or training, they shall be permitted to return to their former position of employment with the seniority, status, pay or any other rights or benefits they would have had if he had not been absent, except that no employer shall be required to grant an employee a leave of absence with pay. KY Statute 38.238
Eligibility: Public employees who are members of the National Guard, or the U.S. Army Reserve on leave for active duty or training.

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Retirement Credit Computed for Service: The program provides a method for computation of credit for service in the Armed Forces as it applies to State and local pension and employment benefits. In the computation of service credit, 9 months or more of service during a year shall entitle a member for 1 year of service; 6 to 9 months of service shall constitute ¾ of a year; 3 to 6 months, ½ year; less than 3 months, ¼ of a year.
Eligibility: Veterans who served in the Armed Forces (Active, Reserve component) or in forces incorporated as part of the United States Armed Forces and who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

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Examinations Ratings and Eligibility Lists: Authorizes an increase of 5 percent on any local or County Civil Service Examination for employment. KY Statute 67A.240
Eligibility: Veterans who served in the Armed Forces (Active, Reserve or National Guard component) or in forces incorporated as part of the United States Armed Forces and who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.(For employment by cities, counties, and local units)

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Employment Preference Points for Veterans, Their Spouses, Surviving Spouses, and Parents (State):: Provides 5 hiring preference points towards state employment and 10 preference points for Veterans with service-connected disabilities and certain Spouses of Veterans with service connected disabilities; surviving Spouses of certain war Veterans and parents who were dependent on a Veteran who lost his life under honorable conditions while on active duty. KY Statute 18A.150
Eligibility Individuals may qualify for Veterans’ Preference Status provided the Veteran’s Character of Service was listed as Honorable or General (Under Honorable Conditions). Veterans are not required to have served during time of war or conflict, and Reserve and National Guard Soldiers need not have been called to active duty or mobilized to receive the preference.

The following individuals may be eligible for Veterans’ Preference once the required documents are submitted to the Personnel Cabinet:

  • Veterans who served on active duty in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Navy

  • Members currently serving on active duty in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Navy

  • Current members of the National Guard or Reserve

  • Veterans of the National Guard or Reserve

  • Disabled Veterans

  • Spouse of a Disabled Veteran whose husband or wife has been declared by the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as unemployable due to a service-connected disability

  • Un-remarried Spouse of Deceased Veteran

  • Dependent Parent of a Disabled Veteran

  • Dependent Parent of a Deceased Veteran

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Veterans Hiring Preferences (Federal): By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans both 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 percent but less than 30 percent.

10-Point 30 Percent 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 percent or more.

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

  • 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 Department of Veterans Affairs 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 as described below. This type of preference is usually referred to as "derived preference" because it is based on service of a Veteran who is not able to use the preference. Both a Mother and a Spouse (including Surviving Spouse) may be entitled to preference on the basis of 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 his or her 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 Department of Veterans Affairs authorities to be 100 percent disabled and/or unemployable; or

  • Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position on the basis 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 his or her 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 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.

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Restoration of Public Employees to Position after Military Duty: Provides mandatory restoration of public employees to identical or similar positions held prior to leaving to perform military duty. The law is applicable regardless of whether the employee left voluntarily or involuntarily. KY Statute 61.373
Eligibility: Veterans who served in the Armed Forces (Active, Reserve or National Guard component) or in forces incorporated as part of the United States Armed Forces and who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

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Leave of Absence to Permit Induction in Military Service: Provides mandatory leave of absence for public employees for the purpose of being inducted in the armed forces. KY Statute 61.377
Eligibility: Any state employee that holds a position in the public service that leaves work for the purpose of being inducted or otherwise entering military service.

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Where Opportunity Knox: Where Opportunity Knox is a regional initiative to connect 10,000 transitioning Veterans and military Spouses to jobs and the Greater Louisville region by 2017. Through a network of trained Regional Veteran Connectors (RVCs) and a host of knowledgeable volunteers, Where Opportunity Knox is making the connections Veterans need to find the right civilian job and the right civilian community. Where Opportunity Knox also provides a single online source for transitioning Families to get the information they need about available jobs, schools, churches, housing, and overall quality of life in the Greater Louisville Region.
Eligibility: Any individual who served honorably on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States of America qualifies as a Veteran. This includes individuals who received an honorable, general, or under honorable conditions discharge, and members of the National Guard or Reserves who were deployed under Title 10 and received a discharge from the deployment under honorable conditions.

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Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act: Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protect civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of Reserve components. USERRA also makes major improvements in protecting 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.

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 (the previous law provided four years of active duty, plus an additional year if it was for the convenience of the Government). There are important exceptions to the five-year limit, including initial enlistments lasting more than five years, periodic National Guard and Reserve training duty, and involuntary active duty extensions and recalls, especially during a time of national emergency. USERRA clearly establishes that reemployment protection does not depend on the timing, frequency, duration, or nature of an individual's service as long as 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 convalescing 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 (the long-standing "escalator" principle), 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. The law clearly provides for alternative reemployment positions if the Service member cannot qualify for the "escalator" position. USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, he or she is deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and is 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 percent 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.
Eligibility:
Veterans, Reserve Soldiers, or National Guard members who leave a position for training or active military service.

The Department of Labor, through the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) provides assistance to all persons having claims under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees. VETS regional and state offices can be found here .

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Unemployment Compensation:

Unemployment Insurance: Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides short term benefits for those who are unemployed through no fault of their own.

To file a claim , you will need:

  • Your social security number

  • Your complete mailing address

  • Name, address, and phone number for each of your employers over the last 18 months.

  • The exact day you began work at each job.

  • The last day you worked at each job.

For Unemployment Insurance Information or to file a claim over the telephone, call 502-875-0442 Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. EST.

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Veterans Express: Veterans Express is a State of Kentucky program, administered under the Kentucky Career Center, which maintains a website that is a “one stop shop” for Veteran resources for gaining and maintaining employment. Some of the information and services they provide are:

  • National Career Readiness Certificate testing

  • Veteran Service Offices

  • Unemployment Compensation

  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit

  • Gold Card Initiative

  • Veterans Employment Centers

  • Access to employers

  • Assistance for wounded Veterans and Veterans with disabilities

Additionally they have links to a number of different agencies offering service to support Veterans and their Families. For more information you can email david.kuhn@ky.gov or call 502-782-3092.

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Click here to view the statewide Kentucky Veteran Representatives page to put you in touch with Jobs for Veterans Programs staff, Kentucky National Guard and Reserve units, Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs representatives and Kentucky Career Center Veterans staff.

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Motor Vehicle Licensing Benefits:

Military License Plates: The state of Kentucky has over 50 license plate designs for its eligible Service members, Veterans, retirees and Family members. Pictures of each design are available here ; click the hyperlink under each plate for a more detailed description of eligibility requirements, licensing fees and how to apply. A short description of some of these plates can be found below.

Disabled Veteran Plate: Initial cost and the cost for each time a new plate is issued is $26.00. This plate may be issued to any non-commercial vehicle having a gross weight of less than 10,000 lbs. Submit a TC96-204 application to your local County Clerk's office. This plate is available for personalization for an additional $25.00 application fee annually. This personalized plate is limited to a maximum of 4 characters.
Eligibility: Any Veteran who has been declared to be between 50% and 99% service-connected disabled by the United States Department of Veterans' Affairs and who has not received financial assistance from the Veteran's Administration toward the purchase or lease of a motor vehicle or the surviving Spouse of the former disabled Veteran who also meets the disability requirements as defined in KRS 186.162.

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No Fee Disabled Veteran Plate: This plate may be issued at no cost for any non-commercial vehicle having a gross weight of less than 10,000 lbs. Submit a TC96-217 to your local County Clerk's office. This plate is available for personalization for $25.00 additional application fee annually. This personalized plate is limited to a maximum of 4 characters.
Eligibility: Any disabled Veteran who has received financial aid from the Veteran's Administration toward the purchase or lease of a motor vehicle, or Veterans who are declared by the VA to be 100% service-connected disabled.

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Medal of Honor Plate: This plate may be issued at no cost for any non-commercial vehicle having a gross weight of less than 10,000 lbs. Submit written proof to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet that he/she is a Medal of Honor recipient. This plate is available for personalization for an additional $25.00 application fee annually. Application must be made at your local County Clerk's office. This personalized plate is limited to a maximum of 4 characters.
Eligibility: Any owner of a non-commercial motor vehicle that is a recipient of the Medal of Honor.

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Purple Heart Plate: Initial cost and cost each time a new plate issued is $26.00 with an annual renewal cost of $14.00. This plate may be issued to any non-commercial vehicle having a gross weight of less than 10,000 lbs. Submit to the County Clerk's office a copy of the recipient's Department of Defense form 214 (DD214), stating that the applicant is a recipient of a Purple Heart medal. In the case of the surviving Spouse, show proof of the former member's death. This plate is available for personalization for an additional $25.00 application fee annually. This personalized plate is limited to a maximum of 4 characters.
Eligibility: Any owner of a non-commercial motor vehicle who has received a Purple Heart medal or, if the Purple Heart recipient is deceased, the surviving Spouse of the Purple Heart recipient may retain the license plate.

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Purple Heart Motorcycle Plate: Initial cost and cost each time a new plate is issued is $26.00. The annual renewal cost is $14.00. Submit to the County Clerk's office a copy of the recipient's Department of Defense form 214 (DD214), stating that the applicant is a recipient of a Purple Heart medal. In the case of the surviving Spouse, show proof of the former member's death. This plate is available for personalization for an additional $25.00 application fee annually. This personalized plate is limited to a maximum of 4 characters.
Eligibility: Any owner of a motorcycle who has received a Purple Heart medal. If the Purple Heart recipient is deceased, the surviving Spouse of the Purple Heart recipient may retain the license plate.

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Army Veteran Plate: Initial cost and cost each time a new plate is issued is $26.00 with an annual renewal cost of $26.00. This plate may be issued to any non-commercial vehicle having a gross weight of less than 10,000 lbs. Submit to the County Clerk's office a current military "Armed Forces of the United States Geneva Convention ID card" or the Department of Defense form 214 (DD-214) that states the condition of discharge. In the case of the surviving Spouse, show proof of the recipient's death. This plate is available for personalization for an additional $25.00 application fee annually. This personalized plate is limited to a maximum of 4 characters.
Eligibility: Any owner of a non-commercial motor vehicle who either serves currently in the U.S. Army (Active duty, Reserve, National Guard) or has retired from or been discharged from in an honorable status (i.e. no dishonorable or bad conduct discharge) or a Veteran's surviving Spouse may retain the license plate.

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Army Veteran Motorcycle Plate: Initial cost and cost each time a new plate is issued is $26.00. The annual renewal cost is $26.00. Submit to the County Clerk's office a current military "Armed Forces of the United States Geneva Convention ID card" or the Department of Defense form 214 (DD-214) that states the condition of discharge. In the case of the surviving Spouse, show proof of the recipient's death. This plate is available for personalization for an additional $25.00 application fee annually. This personalized plate is limited to a maximum of 4 characters.
Eligibility: Any owner of a motorcycle who either serves currently in the U.S. Army (Active duty, reserve, National Guard) or has retired from or been discharged from in an honorable status (i.e. no dishonorable or bad conduct discharge) or a Veteran's surviving Spouse may retain the license plate.

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Veteran Designation on Kentucky Drivers Licenses and ID Cards: In 2012 Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed legislation authorizing a designation of “Veteran” on driver’s licenses held by Veterans. To obtain a license with the Veteran Designation, a Veteran must present her/his discharge document (DD-214) to the Circuit Clerk, who will verify that the Veteran is eligible for the Veteran Designation. The Veteran Designation driver’s license is thus a government-approved and –authorized identification in place of the DD-214 or other discharge document. The Commonwealth of Kentucky officially designates the Veteran Designation driver’s license as valid and sufficient identification for Veterans.

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Health and Insurance Benefits:

State Group Insurance: The Kentucky National Guard Association provides life insurance plans that offer:

  • Competitive rates

  • Claims paid in 24-48 hours

  • Coverage up to $500k

  • No war or aviation clauses

  • Personal service

  • Post separation coverage

  • Free plans to recruits

  • Available to dependents

Eligibility: Kentucky National Guard members and their eligible Family members

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Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides valuable life insurance benefits to Veterans, 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:

  • Service Member's Group Life Insurance ( SGLI )

  • Veterans Group Life Insurance ( VGLI )

  • Family Members Group Life Insurance ( FSGLI )

  • Service Members Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Projection ( TSGLI )

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

  • Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance ( VMLI )

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Health Insurance: TRICARE Reserve Select is a premium-based plan, available worldwide for Selected Reserve, (Reserve and National Guard) 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 you're not activated and covered by active duty TRICARE benefits.

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Medical Benefits: Worker's Compensation
Eligibility: Available to National Guard Service members serving on state active duty.

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Death Benefits: The Spouse of a member of the Kentucky National Guard on state active duty pursuant to KRS 38.030, or a member of a state National Guard or a Reserve component on federal active duty who names Kentucky as home of record for military purposes, whose death occurs on or after July 1, 2002, as a direct result of an act in the line of duty shall receive a lump-sum payment of eighty thousand dollars ($80,000) if there are no surviving Children, which sum shall be paid by the State Treasurer from the general expenditure fund of the State Treasury. If there are surviving Children and a surviving Spouse, the payment shall be apportioned equally among the surviving Children and the Spouse. If there is no surviving Spouse, the payment shall be made to the Children, eighteen (18) or more years of age. For surviving Children less than eighteen (18) years of age, the State Treasurer shall: (a) Pay thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000) to the surviving Children; and (b) Hold forty-five thousand dollars ($45,000) in trust divided into equal accounts at appropriate interest rates for each surviving Child until the Child reaches the age of eighteen (18) years.

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Park and Recreation Benefits:

Hunting and Fishing Privileges: Authorizes Veterans to purchase a $5.00 license to hunt and fish. The license allows you to hunt and fish and covers the following state permits: deer, turkey, migratory bird, waterfowl, and trout. Every 3 years, you must provide updated paperwork to receive a new card.
Eligibility: Veterans with 50% or more service-connected disability.

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Exempt from Having Sport Hunting or Fishing Licenses: Kentucky resident Service members on furlough of more than three days, carrying proper identification and papers showing furlough status.

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Kentucky State Parks Veterans Lodging Guidelines: Free accommodations are available for a maximum of three overnight stays / calendar year, three nights max for each visit, subject to availability at a Kentucky State Park. During the period Memorial Day - Labor Day, and the month of October, stays must start / end during the 5-day Sunday - Thursday period. 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.
Eligibility: Benefit is only for Veterans who are 100% disabled as a direct result of a service-connected incident and is a current Kentucky resident. Benefit extends to Kentucky National Guard or Reserve members disabled under the same circumstance. 100% disability is determined by the U.S. Veterans Administration or Department of Defense. National Guard disability is determined as provided in KRS Chapter 342. Those eligible must have a letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Camping - Kentucky former POWs: Free camping at all Kentucky State Parks
Eligibility:
Kentucky Veterans with a Prisoner of War (POW) card issued by Kentucky Department of Parks.

Lodging and Camping Discounts: Current and retired military personnel, with proof of service, are entitled to a 10% discount of lodging or camping in Kentucky State Parks.

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Miscellaneous Benefits:

Kentucky State Veteran Cemeteries: The state of Kentucky will furnish a grave or columbarium space, opening and closing the grave, providing the interment site with perpetual care, supply a suitable marker or headstone and furnish an optional concrete grave liner for casketed burials. Burial in a state Veteran's cemetery ( Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West, Hopkinsville , Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central, Radcliff , Kentucky Veterans Cemetery North, Williamstown , Kentucky Veterans Cemetery South East, Hyden and Kentucky Veterans Cemetery North East, Greenup County ) is based on military service.
Eligibility: The military service requirement for burial in Kentucky State Veterans Cemeteries must be in accordance with the eligibility standards as set by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration; at a minimum, one must meet one of the following:

  • Veteran was discharged from active duty under other than dishonorable conditions

  • Veteran died while on active duty

  • Veteran served at least 20 years in the National Guard or Reserves and qualified for military retirement pay (or would have qualified, except death occurred before age 60)

Kentucky Veterans Cemeteries eligibility application . For Complete eligibility requirements see the National Cemetery Administration eligibility requirements .

Spouses and dependent Children of Veterans who were eligible for burial may also be interred in State Veterans cemeteries.

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Homeless Veterans Program: In 2015, the Commonwealth of Kentucky declared its intention to end Veteran homelessness by the end of the year. Great efforts were made toward achieving this goal. There are still many homeless Veterans living in shelters, with relatives, and even on the streets, but by partnering with other organizations such as the Unites States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA), USACares, and numerous other non-profit organizations the Commonwealth of Kentucky has reached the point of being able to assist newly identified homeless Veterans. There are now programs to help prevent a Veteran from losing their utilities, being evicted or going hungry. There are also many programs to help Veterans to become housed if they are homeless.
Eligibility : Eligibility varies by supporting agencies.

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Women Veterans Program: The mission of the Kentucky Women Veterans Program shall be to ensure that Kentucky's women Veterans have equitable access to federal and state Veterans' services and benefits. The goals are to:

  • Perform outreach to improve women Veterans' awareness of eligibility for federal and state Veterans' services and benefits;

  • Assess the needs of women Veterans with respect to improve the Women Veterans Program;

  • Make recommendations to the Commissioner to improve benefits and services;

  • Review programs, research projects, and other initiatives designed to address or meet the needs of Kentucky's women Veterans;

  • Incorporate women Veterans' issues in the Department's strategic planning; and

  • Participate in National forums and committees for women Veterans.

Eligibility: The program provides assistance to women who served in the Armed Forces (Active, Reserve or National Guard) or in forces incorporated as part of the United States Armed Forces and who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

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Immunity for Acts Done in Pursuance of Duty -- Immunity from Arrest on Civil Process: No officer, warrant officer, or enlisted man of the Kentucky National Guard or Kentucky active militia shall be arrested, except in case of a felony, while going to, remaining at, or returning from a place where he is ordered to attend for state active duty.

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Certified Copies of Records to be Furnished Veterans Administration without Charge: Copies of any public records required by the Veterans Administration to be used in determining the eligibility of a person to participate in benefits made available by the Veterans Administration will be provided without charge.

Eligibility: Veterans who served in the Armed Forces (Active, Reserve or National Guard) or in forces incorporated as part of the United States Armed Forces and who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

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Exemption from Tolls: National Guard Service members do not pay toll charges going to or returning from any parade, encampment, drill or meeting they are required to attend if they are in uniform or present a written order signed by an officer of the Kentucky National Guard.
Eligibility: Available Only to National Guard Service members.

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Burial Honors: Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA) helps implement and assist Veterans Service Organizations with Burial honors Programs.
Eligibility: Any Veterans Service Organization seeking a stipend for providing honors should call the Burial Honors Program Coordinator at 888-724-7683. Interment in a state Veteran's cemetery is based on military service. The eligibility criteria are the same criteria for burial in VA national cemeteries. KDVA staff will direct requests for interment to staff at the cemetery where burial is sought.

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Korean War Missing DNA Project: KDVA is assisting the DoD POW/MIA office in locating Family members of missing Kentuckians who bodies have not been returned from the Korean War. DNA samples are being obtained from Family member in an effort to help identify returned remains.

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High School Diploma Program for Veterans of World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War: House Bill 45, 113 and 60 authorize school districts to issue high school diplomas to Veterans whose high school education was interrupted by the global conflict. Complete the Application form and send it to KDVA along with a copy (not the original) of the Veteran's discharge papers that show he/she entered the service during WWII, the Korean War or the Vietnam War.
Eligibility: Any honorably discharged Veteran who was enrolled in, but did not complete, high school prior and served in the Armed Forces of the United States during World War II (7 DEC 41 - 31 DEC 46), during the Korean Conflict (25 JUN 50 - 27 JUL 53) or Vietnam War (5 AUG 64 - 7 MAY 75. If serving in Vietnam prior to 5 AUG 64, the period begins 28 FEB 61)

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Republic of Korea War Service Medal (ROKWSM): On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Korean War, the Republic of Korea is providing the Republic of Korea War Service Medal (ROKWSM) to pay tribute to the Korean War Veterans for their historic endeavors to preserve freedom of the ROK. Click here for application.
Eligibility: For the Republic of Korea War Service Medal Service members must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the period 25 June 1950 to 27 July 1953. For the Korean War Medallion and Certificate, service must have occurred during the period of 25 June 1950 and 31 January 1955.

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Kentucky Medal for Freedom: The Kentucky Department of Veterans affairs will issue a medal to honor Kentuckians killed in the service of our nation.
Eligibility: One medal will be issued to the primary next of kin of a Kentuckian 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

Medal for Freedom nomination form

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Paid Days off for Military Spouses: Any state employee who is the Spouse of a member of the United States Armed Forces, including a member of a state National Guard or a Reserve component on federal active duty, shall receive, at the discretion of the state employee, one (1) day off, with pay, from work when the member is deployed and one (1) day off, with pay, from work when the Service member returns from deployment.

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Kentucky Veteran Centers: The Commonwealth of Kentucky is committed to providing long-term care facilities for Kentucky's Veterans, offering a broad range of versatile nursing care.

All Kentucky Veteran Centers have a compassionate and professional staff committed to providing thoughtful, quality care. These facilities are also fully prepared to provide care for dementia and Alzheimer residents. Additionally, each of the homes is outfitted with state of the art equipment. Physical therapy and recreational activities are available to help the residents achieve their ultimate functioning abilities.
Eligibility: The basic eligibility requirements are:

  • Be a Veteran

  • Be disabled by reason of disease, wounds, age, or otherwise is in need of nursing care

  • Be a Kentucky resident as of the date of admission to a Kentucky Veteran Center

  • Have a military discharge that is not of a dishonorable nature

Kentucky Veterans Centers Brochure

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Military Installations in Kentucky

Please see the Kentucky Resource Locator for additional information

Active Duty

Army
Fort Campbell
Fort Knox

National Guard
Kentucky Army National Guard
Kentucky Air National Guard

123rd Airlift Wing

United States Army Reserve (USAR)
81st Readiness Division

Veterans Health Administration in Kentucky:

Veterans Health Administration
VA Health Care System
Lexington: Lexington VA Medical Center , Cooper Division, 1101 Veterans Dr, 859-233-4511, Leestown Division, 2250 Leestown Rd, 859-233-4511

VA Medical Center
Lexington: Lexington VAMC: Cooper Division , 1101 Veterans Dr, 859-233-4511
Lexington: Lexington VAMC: Leestown Division , 2250 Leestown Rd, / 859-233-4511
Louisville: Robley Rex VA Medical Center , 800 Zorn Ave, 502-287-4000 / 800-376-8387

Outpatient Clinic
Hopkinsville: Hopkinsville, Kentucky OPC , 1002 South Virginia Dr, 270-885-2106 / Fax: 270-885-2043

Community Based Outpatient Clinic
Bellevue: Bellevue Community Based Outpatient Clinic , 103 Landmark Dr, Suite 300, 859-392-3840
Berea: VA Clinic Berea , 209 Pauline Dr, 859-986-1259
Bowling Green: Bowling Green CBOC , 600 US 31 West Bypass, Suite 12, 270-782-0120 / Fax: 270-842-7290
Carrollton: VA Healthcare Center, Carrollton , 1911 US Highway 227, 502-287-6060
Clarkson: VA Healthcare Center, Grayson , 619 Elizabethtown Rd, 866-653-8232
Florence: Florence Community Based Outpatient Clinic , 7310 Turfway Rd, 859-282-4480
Ft Knox: VA Healthcare Center, Fort Knox Kentucky , 851 Ireland Loop, 502-624-9396
Hanson: Hanson Community Based Outpatient Clinic , 926 Veterans Dr, 270-322-8019 / Fax: 270-322-8957
Hazard: VA Clinic Hazard , 210 Black Gold Blvd, 606-436-2350
Louisville: VA Healthcare Center Dupont , 4010 Dupont Circle, 502-287-6986
Louisville: VA Healthcare Center Newburg , 3430 Newburg Rd, 502-287-6223
Louisville: VA Healthcare Center Shively , 3934 North Dixie Highway, Suite 210, 502-287-6000
Mayfield: Mayfield Community Based Outpatient Clinic , 1253 Paris Rd, Suite A, 270-247-2455 / Fax: 270-247-7915
Morehead: VA Clinic Morehead , 333 Beacon Hill Rd, 606-784-3004
Owensboro: Owensboro Community Based Outpatient Clinic , 3400 New Hartford Rd, 270-684-5034
Paducah: Paducah Community Based Outpatient Clinic , 2620 Perkins Creek Dr, 270-444-8465 / Fax: 270-443-7734
Prestonsburg: Prestonsburg VA Clinic , 5230 KY Rt. 321, 606-886-1970
Somerset: VA Clinic Somerset , 163 Tower Circle, 606-676-0786

Vet Center - 877-927-8387
Lexington: Lexington Vet Center , 1500 Leestown Rd, Suite 104, 859-253-0717 / Fax: 859-281-0082
Louisville: Louisville Vet Center , 1347 S. Third St, 502-287-6710 / Fax: 502-625-7082

Veterans Benefits Administration
Regional Benefit Office
Louisville: Louisville Regional Office , 321 West Main Street, Suite 390, 1-800-827-1000

Intake Site (Pre-Discharge Claims Assistance)
Fort Campbell: Fort Campbell , Lee Soldier & Family Support Center
Fort Knox: Fort Knox , Soldier for Life: Transition Assistance Program, Spearhead Division Rd, Bldg 1109-C, Room 126, 502-624-5222 / 2227 / Fax: 502-624-4812

National Cemetery Administration
National Cemetery
Danville: Danville National Cemetery , 277 North First St, 859-885-5727 / Fax: 859-887-4860
Lebanon: Lebanon National Cemetery , 20 Highway 208, 270-692-3390 / Fax: 270-692-0018
Lexington: Lexington National Cemetery , 833 West Main St, 859-885-5727 / Fax: 859-887-4860
Louisville: Cave Hill National Cemetery , 701 Baxter Ave, 502-893-3852 / Fax: 502-893-6612
Louisville: Zachary Taylor National Cemetery , 4701 Brownsboro Rd, 502-893-3852 / Fax: 502-893-6612
Nancy: Mill Springs National Cemetery , 9044 West Highway 80, 859-885-5727 / Fax: 859-887-4860
Nicholasville: Camp Nelson National Cemetery , 6980 Danville Rd, 859-885-5727 / Fax: 859-887-4860
Southgate: Evergreen Cemetery Soldiers' Lot , 25 South Alexandria Pike, 859-885-5727 / Fax: 859-887-4860

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Resources

Kentucky Revised Statutes - http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/index.aspx

https://veterans.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/state.asp?State=KY&dnum=ALL

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statutes/statute.aspx?id=5924

https://kcc.ky.gov/veterans/Pages/default.aspx

https://drive.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.retirementliving.com/taxes-kansas-new-mexico#KENTUCKY

https://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx

https://webapps.dol.gov/elaws/vets/realifelines/menu.htm

http://www.mic3.net/kentucky.html

https://veterans.ky.gov/employmentinfo/state/Pages/default.aspx

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Document Review Date: 16 February 2018
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