Motor Vehicle Licensing Benefits
Health and Insurance Benefits
Park and Recreation Benefits
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities
Kentucky Military Resource Locator
Summary of Kentucky Military and Veterans Benefits: The Commonwealth of Kentucky offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans 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 State Military and Veterans Benefit Highlights and Eligibility
What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans State Tax Benefits?
Kentucky Income Tax Exemption for Military Wages: 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 are exempt from Kentucky income tax.
Kentucky Retired Military Pay Income Taxes: Kentucky allows a pension income exclusion of up to $31,110 * for all pension income that is reported as taxable and included in the federal adjusted gross income. You may be able to exclude more than $31,110. If you are retired military and receive pension income greater than $31,110, you will need to complete Kentucky Schedule P Kentucky Pension Income Exclusion.
Kentucky Pension Income Exclusion Schedule P
* ($41,110 for taxable year 2017 and earlier)
Kentucky State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retired Pay: Military Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the Armed Forces should not be included in taxable income if any of the following conditions apply:
You were entitled to receive a disability payment before September 25, 1975
You were a member of the military (active or reserves) or were under a binding written commitment to become a member on September 24, 1975
You receive disability payments for a combat-related injury. This is a personal injury or sickness that:
Resulted directly from armed conflict
Took place while you were engaged in extra-hazardous service
Took place under conditions simulating, including training exercises such as maneuvers, or
Was caused by an instrumentality of war
You would be entitled to receive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if you filed an application for it (the exclusion under this condition equals the amount you would be entitled to from the VA).
Kentucky State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (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-related injury or disease.
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 all pension income that is reported as taxable and included in the federal adjusted gross income. You may be able to exclude more than $31,110. If you are retired military and receive pension income greater than $31,110, you will need to complete Kentucky Schedule P Kentucky Pension Income Exclusion.
Kentucky Pension Income Exclusion Schedule P
* ($41,110 for taxable year 2017 and earlier)
Kentucky Property Tax Exemption for Senior Citizens and the Disabled: 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 their disability for the entire assessment period.
The homeowner must apply annually to continue to receive the exemption based upon a total disability unless:
They are a Veteran of the United States Armed Forces and have a service-connected disability;
They have been determined to be totally and permanently disabled under the rules of the Social Security Administration
They have been determined to be totally and permanently disabled under the rules of the Kentucky Retirement Systems.
The adjustment for the 2019-2020 assessment years will be $39,300. 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. The next adjustment will be effective for the 2021 and 2022 assessment years.
To apply for a homestead exemption an applicant must:
Gather any supporting documentation
Contact your local Property Value Administrator.
Kentucky Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA): The Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA) ( Public Law 111-97 ) was signed into law on November 11, 2009. This law is effective for taxable year 2009 and after. 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.
The MSRRA prohibits a Service member's Spouse from either losing or acquiring a residence or domicile for purposes of taxation because they are absent or present in any U.S. tax jurisdiction solely to be with the Service member in compliance with the Service member's military orders, if the residence or domicile is the same for the Service member and the Spouse. The MSRRA also prohibits a Spouse's income from being considered income earned in a tax jurisdiction if the Spouse is not a resident or domiciliary of such jurisdiction when the Spouse is in that jurisdiction solely to be with a Service member serving under military orders.
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 their pay. The income is not reported as taxable on the Kentucky income tax return. To assist the Kentucky Department of Revenue in identifying those returns, please check the box labeled Military Spouse. Those military Spouses that qualify under the MSRRA should file a new Form K-4 with their employer to claim an exemption from Kentucky income tax withholding. Please address any further questions to the Individual Taxpayer Assistance Section at 502-564-4581.
Extension for Filing Kentucky Income Tax Return for Members of the Armed Forces and Public Health Service Serving In Combat Zones: Members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Public Health Service of the United States government who serve in an area designated as a combat zone by presidential proclamation are not be required to file an income tax return and pay the taxes, which would otherwise become due during the period of service, until 12 months after the service is completed. Members of the National Guard or any branch of the Reserves called to active duty to serve in a combat zone are granted the same extension.
What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans Education Benefits?
Kentucky 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, stepchildren, 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. Private or out of state schools do not qualify for the Tuition Waiver.
Kentucky Post-Secondary Education System Public Institution Listing
Who is eligible for the Kentucky Veteran Dependent Tuition Waiver? 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
Award from Social Security Administration is not acceptable.
Tuition Waiver requires that the Veteran be a Kentucky resident. A deceased Veteran must have been a Kentucky resident at the time of death. The applicant need not be a Kentucky resident. For additional information please call 502-564-9203 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, Tuition Waiver Application
Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, Tuition Waiver Program Summary Fact Sheet
Kentucky Tuition Exemption for Spouse or Child of Permanently Disabled Members of the Kentucky National Guard, Reserves, War 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, stepchild, 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 their 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
Learn more about the Kentucky Tuition Exemption for Spouse or Child of Permanently Disabled Members of the Kentucky National Guard, Reserves, War Veterans, Former Prisoners of War, or Members of the Armed Forces Declared Missing in Action
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.
Who is eligible for the Kentucky National Guard Tuition Award Program? 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.
Contact the Boone National Guard at 502-607-1039 or your Unit Administrator for an application.
Kentucky 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 Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs along with a copy (not the original) of the Veteran's discharge papers that show they entered the service during WWII, the Korean War or the Vietnam War.
Who is eligible for a Kentucky High School Diploma Program for Veterans of World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War? 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) is eligible.
Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, Request for High School Diploma for World War II, Korean and Vietnam Veterans Application Form
Kentucky 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:
Steven P. Bullard, Commissioner
Executive Director, Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs
Address: 700 Capitol Ave, Rm 157
Frankfort, KY 40601
Secondary Point of Contact
Tracy Goff Herman
Policy Advisor, Kentucky Department of Education
Office of Special Education and Early Learning
300 Sower Blvd, 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502.564.4970 x4815
What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans Employment Benefits?
Leave of Absence for Kentucky Reserve Component Service Members to Perform Active Duty or Training: 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)
Who is eligible for a Leave of Absence for Kentucky Reserve Component Service Members to Perform Active Duty or Training? Public employees who are members of the National Guard, or the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve are eligible for a leave of absence for active duty or training.
Paid Days off for Kentucky State Employees that are 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. ( Kentucky Statute 18A.190 )
Kentucky Retirement Credit Computed for Military 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. Serving in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States during a period of national emergency while on leave from a department, provided that such leave of absence shall not exceed 5 years and that such member shall reenter the service of a department of the city within a period of 6 months following the date of honorable discharge from such service. 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. ( Kentucky Statute 95.855 )
Who is eligible for Kentucky Retirement Credit Computed for Military Service? 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.
Kentucky State Employment Preference for Veterans, Their Spouses, Surviving Spouses and Parents: Veterans’ preference is Kentucky’s way of expressing gratitude to men and women who have served, or are serving, in the United States Armed Forces. Veterans’ Preference provides Veterans, and in some instances their Family members, opportunities to receive Interview Preference to a competitive classified position. In order to receive Interview Preference, applicants with Veterans’ Preference must meet minimum requirements, and provide the required documentation on or prior to the advertisement closing date for the job vacancy. Interview preference shall only apply to candidates seeking initial appointment to the classified service.
KY Statute 18A.150
Who is eligible for Kentucky State Employment Preference for Veterans, Their Spouses, Surviving Spouses and Parents? 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, Reserve and National Guard Service members need not have been called to active duty or mobilized to receive the preference.
Service members whose Character of Service is listed as Uncharacterized, Entry Level Separation (ELS), Under Other Than Honorable Conditions, or received a Dishonorable Discharge or Bad Conduct Discharge cannot be granted the preference status.
The following individuals may receive Veterans’ Preference if they served or are a current member in the Armed Forces of the United States, Reserves, National Guard or a qualified Family member and submitted the required documents to the Personnel Cabinet:
Members currently serving in the Armed Forces
Current members of the National Guard or Reserve
Veterans of the National Guard or Reserve
Spouse of a Veteran
Spouse of a current Service member
Unmarried Spouse of Deceased Veteran
Dependent Parent of a Disabled Veteran
Dependent Parent of a Deceased Veteran
Federal Employment Veterans Hiring Preferences: 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 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 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 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 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.
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, they are 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.
Who is eligible for USERRA benefits? Veterans, Reservists, or National Guard 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), provides assistance to all persons having claims under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees.
VETS Regional Office Locations
Restoration of Kentucky Public Employees to Position after Military Duty: Any public employee who leaves a position after June 16, 1966, voluntarily or involuntarily, in order to perform military duty and who is relieved or discharged from such duty under conditions other than dishonorable and who has not been absent from public employment due to military duty in time of war or national or state emergency for a period of time longer than the duration of the war or national or state emergency plus 6 months or in time of peace for a period of time not longer than 6 years and makes application for reemployment within 90 days after he is relieved from military duty or from hospitalization or treatment continuing after discharge for a period of not more than 1 year, shall be permitted to return to their former position of employment, or a position with equivalent seniority, status, pay and any other rights or benefits that would have been bestowed if they had not been absent.
Who is eligible for Restoration of Kentucky Public Employees to Position after Military Duty? 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.
What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans Unemployment Compensation Benefits?
Kentucky Unemployment Insurance: Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides short term benefits for those who are unemployed through no fault of their own.
You can apply by calling 502-875-0442, Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., EST or you may use the internet Claims System, which is available Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. EST.
To file a claim, you will need:
Social security OR alien registration number
Date of birth
Complete mailing address
Employer Information (For the last 18 months):
Business/company mailing address
Business/company phone number
Dates of employment
The reason you are no longer working for EACH employer
Other Information You May Need:
If you worked in other states: List of states in which you worked
If you worked for a Temporary Agency: Name/Address of Temporary Agency
If you worked for the Federal Government: Agency Name; Component name; Copy of your Standard Form (SF8, SF50)
If you were in the US Military: Copy of your DD214 Member 4
If you worked through a skilled trade union: Name of contractor
If you are unable to complete your initial unemployment claim using the Internet, please call our Call Center at 502-875-0442. If you are unable to complete your bi-weekly continued unemployment claim (benefit payment) using the Internet, call the Voice Response Unit at 877-369-5984 or 877-3MY-KYUI (toll free). If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the UI Assistance line at 502-564-2900.
Kentucky Career Center, 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:
finding a job
trainings you need
specialized services for Veterans with disabilities (through our Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and our Office for the Blind)
Veteran-specific programs such as the Gold Card Initiative that helps post September 11, 2001 vets with skills assessment, career counseling and job search assistance
services to employers who want to hire Veterans
Their offices have local Veterans employment representatives and disabled Veteran outreach program specialists trained specifically to assist Veterans with their employment and training needs.
These dedicated Veterans service staff members work with other Kentucky Career Center staff members, the Veterans' Employment and Training Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs and various other organizations in providing Veterans with priority services designed to improve employability and career options.
Additionally, they have links to a number of different agencies offering service to support Veterans and their Families. For more information you can email email@example.com or call 502-782-3092.
Please go to the Kentucky Veterans Representatives Directory 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.
Kentucky Career Center Office Directory
What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans Motor Vehicle Licensing Benefits?
Veteran Designation on Kentucky Drivers Licenses and Identification 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 their discharge document (DD214) to the Circuit Clerk, who will verify that the Veteran is eligible for the Veteran Designation. The Veteran-Designated Kentucky Driver’s License is available to honorably discharged Veterans. It is available at your Circuit Clerk’s office at no charge when you renew your Driver’s License, or for a small fee between renewals. ( KRS 186.416 )
Kentucky Military and Veteran License Plates: The state of Kentucky offers 53 license plate designs for automobiles and motorcycles to honor the service and sacrifice of eligible Service members, Veterans, retirees and Family members. A short description of some of these plates can be found below.
Kentucky Disabled Veteran License Plate: This plate may be issued to any non-commercial motor vehicle having a gross weight of less than 10,000 lbs. $5.00 of the initial and renewal cost goes to the Veteran's Trust Fund. This plate is available for personalization with an additional $26.00 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.
Who is eligible for the Kentucky Disabled Veteran License Plate? Any Veteran who has been declared to be between 50% and 99% service-connected disabled by the United States Department of Veterans' Affairs. If unsure of eligibility, contact the Kentucky Department of Veterans' Affairs 502-564-9203 or 1-800-572-6245.
Kentucky No Fee Disabled Veteran License Plate: This plate may be issued at no cost for any non-commercial vehicle having a gross weight of less than 10,000 lbs. Application must be made at 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.
Who is eligible for the Kentucky No Fee Disabled Veteran License Plate? 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 is eligible.
Kentucky Medal of Honor License 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 they are 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.
Who is eligible for the Kentucky Medal of Honor License Plate? Any owner of a non-commercial motor vehicle that is a recipient of the Medal of Honor is eligible.
Kentucky Purple Heart License 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. Surviving Spouses, may retain this license plate. 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.
Who is eligible for the Kentucky Purple Heart License Plate? Any owner of a non-commercial motor vehicle who has received a Purple Heart medal is eligible. If the Purple Heart recipient is deceased, the Surviving Spouse of the Purple Heart recipient may retain the license plate.
Kentucky Gold Star Mother License Plate: Initial cost and cost each time a new plate 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. The individual should contact the Kentucky Department of Veterans' Affairs who will determine the individual's eligibility then provide the individual with the proper documentation to take to the County Clerk's Office to apply for the plate.
Who is eligible for the Kentucky Gold Star Mother License Plate? Any owner of a non-commercial motor vehicle required to be registered for use on Kentucky highways who is a member or associate member of the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc is eligible.
Note: There are also Gold Star Daughter, Father, Sibling, Son and Spouse license plates available
Kentucky Army Veteran License 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 (DD214) that states the condition of discharge. Surviving Spouses may retain this license plate. 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.
Who is eligible for the Kentucky Army Veteran License Plate? 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) are eligible. A Veteran’s Surviving Spouse may retain the license plate.
Kentucky Resident Service Members Operator’s Licensing Provisions? The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet offers several licensing options for resident Service members. These include:
Kentucky residents currently serving in the United States military who are stationed or assigned to a base or other location outside the boundaries of the Commonwealth may renew a Class D operator's license by mail. Contact the Circuit Court Clerk's office in the Kentucky county of residence for an application and instructions.
If a Kentucky resident has been serving in the United States military and has allowed their operator's license to expire, they shall, within 90 days of returning to the Commonwealth, be permitted to renew their license without having to take a written test or road test.
A Kentucky resident serving in the United States military who does not renew their expired license within 90 days of returning to the Commonwealth shall be required to comply with all procedures of renewing a license that has expired.
What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans Health and Insurance Benefits?
Kentucky National Guard State-Sponsored Life Insurance (SSLI): The Kentucky National Guard Association provides life insurance plans that offer:
Claims paid in 24-48 hours
Coverage up to $500k
No war or aviation clauses
Post separation coverage
Free plans to recruits
Available to dependents
Premiums are drafted directly from your military pay.
Who is eligible for Kentucky National Guard State-Sponsored Life Insurance (SSLI)? Kentucky National Guard members and their Family members are eligible for coverage.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (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:
Service Member's Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
Family Members Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
Traumatic Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance ( TSGLI)
Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI)
Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)
TRICARE Reserve Select 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 are not activated and covered by active duty TRICARE benefits.
Kentucky National Guard Compensation for Illness, Injury or Death While on State Active Duty: The Kentucky Department of Military Affairs shall accept the provisions of the State of Kentucky’s Worker’s Compensation Laws, KRS Chapter 342, for the benefit of members of the Kentucky National Guard while members are on state active duty. ( KRS 38.235 )
Who is eligible for Kentucky National Guard Compensation for Illness, Injury or Death While on State Active Duty? Available to National Guard Service members serving on state active duty.
Death Benefits for Kentucky Resident National Guard or Reserve Service Members: The Spouse of a member of the Kentucky National Guard on state active duty, 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. ( KRS 61.315 )
What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans Park and Recreation Benefits?
Kentucky Hunting and Fishing Privileges for Disabled Veterans: Authorizes Veterans to purchase a $12.00 license to hunt and fish. The license Includes Combination Hunting and Fishing License, Resident Deer Permit, Spring Turkey Permit, Resident Fall Turkey Permit, Kentucky Migratory Bird/Waterfowl Permit, Trout Permit plus additional deer permits. Every 3 years, you must provide updated paperwork to receive a new card.
Who is eligible for Kentucky Hunting and Fishing Privileges for Disabled Veterans? Kentucky Resident Veterans with 50% or more service-connected disability are eligible for discounted licenses. Contact your local U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs office and request a letter that verifies you are at least 50% disabled as a result of a service-connected disability. It should also have your current address and your social security number.
The disability authorization card is good for 3 years. Every 3 years. Those who already have a disability authorization card through the Veteran’s Administration, Railroad Retirement Board or Office of Personnel Management may call 1-800-310-1873 to get a new card.
To send disability paperwork to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife:
KDFWR Disability License
#1 Sportsman's Lane
Frankfort, KY 40601
Kentucky Resident Service Members Exempt from Having Sport Hunting or Fishing Licenses While on Leave: Kentucky resident Service members on furlough of more than three days, carrying proper identification and papers showing furlough status do not have to have sport hunting or fishing licenses.
Kentucky State Parks Veterans, Active Military and Former Prisoners of War (POW) Benefits: 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.
This benefit is only for Veterans who are 100% disabled as a direct result of a service-connected incident and are current Kentucky residents. 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.
Free Camping for Former POWs: Kentucky former POWs are eligible for free camping at all Kentucky State Parks.
Lodging and Camping Discounts for Active Military and Veterans: Current and retired military personnel, with proof of service, are entitled to a 10% discount on lodging or camping in Kentucky State Parks.
What are my Kentucky Military and Veterans Miscellaneous Benefits?
Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, Field Operations: The Kentucky Department of Veteran Affairs Field Operations Branch consists of Veterans Benefits Field Representatives (VBFR) stationed at Field Offices strategically located throughout the state to assist Veterans in every county of the Commonwealth. Veterans Benefits Field Representatives are also located within each nursing home as well as at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West in Hopkinsville. Contact and service information for each VBFR at the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Representative Directory .
The Regional Administrators and VBFRs are the heart of the field operation. These dedicated men and women, most of whom are Veterans themselves, are certified by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs to provide counseling, advice and assistance to Kentucky’s Veterans. Each VBFR and Regional Administrator receives the professional training in Veterans’ benefits required to competently assist Veterans, their Families and survivors to obtain the benefits and services they have earned.
Kentucky State Veteran Cemeteries: The State of Kentucky currently has five State Veterans 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 is based on military service.
Who is eligible for interment at a Kentucky State Veteran Cemeteries? 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)
According to Kentucky law, the individual must be a Kentucky Veteran for burial at one of the state Veteran cemeteries. Examples include: born in Kentucky, served at one of the U.S. military installations in Kentucky, lived in Kentucky or home of record in Kentucky
National Cemetery Administration Eligibility Requirements
Spouses and dependent Children of Veterans who are eligible for burial may also be interred in State Veterans cemeteries.
Kentucky Veterans Cemeteries Eligibility Application
Kentucky 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.
Kentucky 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.
Who is eligible for the Kentucky Women Veterans Program? 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.
Immunity for Acts Done in Pursuance of Duty -- Immunity from Arrest on Civil Process for Kentucky National Guard Service Members: 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. ( KRS 38.480 )
Certified Copies of Records of Kentucky Veterans to be Furnished to the Applicant or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 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. ( KRS 388.330 )
Exemption from Tolls for Kentucky National Guard Service Members: 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. ( KRS 38.430 )
Korean War Missing Kentucky Service Members DNA Project: The Kentucky Department of Veterans affairs is assisting the Department of Defense Prisoner of War/ Missing in Action 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 members in an effort to help identify returned remains.
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.
Who is eligible for the Republic of Korea War Service Medal (ROKWSM)? For the Republic of Korea War Service Medal, Service members must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces who served in Korea and adjacent waters during the period 25 June 1950 to 27 July 1953.
Republic of Korea, Korean War Service Medal, Request Form
Kentucky Medal for Freedom: The Kentucky Department of Veterans affairs will issue a medal to honor Kentuckians killed in the service of our nation.
Who is eligible for the Kentucky Medal for Freedom? 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:
Parents (unless legal custody was granted to another person)
Blood or adoptive relative granted custody
Sibling in order of age (oldest first)
Close friend or associate
Kentucky Veterans 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. There are currently 4 Kentucky Veterans Centers, they are:
Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center (EKVC) – Application Inquiry
Located in the beautiful mountains of Southeastern Kentucky, the Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center is a 120 bed long-term care facility providing skilled nursing care and rehabilitation for Kentucky Veterans. The facility is comprised of 3 nursing units. They have a 30-bed secured unit. There are also two nursing units upstairs for skilled/intermediate care that are 45 beds each.
Thomson-Hood Veterans Center (THVC) – Application Inquiry
Thomson-Hood Veterans center is a 285 bed skilled nursing facility located on 60 beautiful acres in Wilmore Kentucky, approximately 15 miles south of Lexington. The facility provides skilled nursing care and rehabilitation to Veterans.
Western Kentucky Veterans Center (WKVC) – Application Inquiry
Situated on 33 acres of beautiful farmland 5 miles north of Madisonville, the 156-bed facility provides long-term skilled nursing and rehabilitation for Kentucky's Veterans. The campus includes three Community Living Concept households that are home to 12 Veterans each. Each household has a country style kitchen/dining area along with a comfortable great room. Each household has its own separate entrance and enclosed porch and patio area for Veterans and their visitors enjoyment.
Radcliff Veterans Center (RVC) - Application Inquiry
Radcliff Veterans Center is a 120 bed skilled nursing facility built using the Community Living Concept design. The campus is home to four neighborhood buildings and a community support building. Each neighborhood is further broken down into three households. These spacious households are home to ten Veterans who will enjoy their own private suite and bathroom. Each household has a country style kitchen/dining area along with a relaxing great room. Each household has its own separate entrance and enclosed porch and patio area for Veterans and their visitors enjoyment. The facility offers skilled nursing care and rehabilitation.
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.
Who is eligible for care at the Kentucky Veterans Centers? The basic eligibility requirements are:
Veteran with an other than dishonorable discharge
Resident of the Commonwealth of Kentucky (proof of residency)
Must meet Level of Care requirement
Veteran’s medical needs can be met
No Veteran will be denied admission based on the grounds of race, color, handicap, age, gender, religion, national origin or HIV status.
Kentucky Homegrown by Heroes Program : The Homegrown By Heroes marketing initiative will afford farmers and/or agricultural producers located within the Commonwealth of Kentucky and who have served in any of the branches of the United States Military (U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard) the ability to use the Homegrown By Heroes logo on their agribusiness signage and/or agriculture products. This distinctive logo will serve as identification to prospective consumers that the products were locally grown or raised by a Veteran. From the grocery shelf to the farmers' market to on-line retail, this label will hopefully serve as an extra incentive to consumers when making a purchase decision.
Who is eligible for the Kentucky Homegrown by Heroes Program? Farmers, agriculture producers, agribusiness owners, and the like, are eligible to be a member of the Homegrown by Heroes program if:
They have served or are currently serving in any of the branches of the United States Military
Their farm or business is located within the Commonwealth of Kentucky
They grow, raise or value add a Kentucky agriculture product, as defined in KRS Chapter 246.010 (5)
They are a current member of the Kentucky Proud program.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 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.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Cemeteries in Kentucky: The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) National Cemetery Administration maintains eight national cemeteries in Kentucky. Please see the local location listing for the nearest cemetery.
Military Installations in Kentucky
Please see the Kentucky Military Resource Locator for additional information
Kentucky Army National Guard
United States Army Reserve (USAR)
81st Readiness Division