Kentucky State Veteran Benefits


We endeavor to keep this information current, but it is subject to change without notice.


Kentucky waives tuition for children, stepchildren, adopted children, spouses, and certain veterans’ surviving spouses who have not remarried. There is a resident requirement for both the student and the Veteran. The Veteran must have been a Kentucky resident at the time of death (if deceased) and meet other criteria. He or she must have:

  • Died on active duty, OR
  • Expired from service-connected injuries, OR
  • Been rated by the VA as 100% disabled

Once approved, a student in the Kentucky Tuition Waiver Program may attend any institution of higher learning or vocational/technical school that is operated and funded under the auspices of the Kentucky Department of Education. 


The Kentucky point system for giving certain veterans and possibly their spouses or non-remarried surviving spouses preference in the state hiring system can be complex in terms of eligibility. This is only a summary. Kentucky awards 5 extra points to the examination score of applicants who:

  • Served during a war or during certain dates of conflict, OR
  • Served for more than 180 days in a row during certain dates of Operation Iraqi Freedom, OR
  • Served in any expedition for which a campaign or Armed Forces Expeditionary medal was authorized
  • The Veteran must have completed 24 months of continuous service or for the full period assigned if called to active duty

Kentucky does not require 24 months continuous service if a disabled Veteran, who through disability or injury that occurred during service or that was worsened in the line of duty, qualifies for 10 preference points. The Veteran may even have been separated for hardship or for other points covered under military code. 


Income Tax

The Bluegrass does not tax military income and treats military retirement pay differently depending on date of retirement. If the veteran retired before January 1, 1998, his or her military retirement pay is not taxable. If a veteran retired from the military after December 31, 1997, his or her retirement pay is partially taxable. 

Property Tax for Disabled Veterans

Kentucky veterans who are 100% totally disabled according to the VA may have their personal residences taxed at a lower rate. They are eligible to receive a $37,600 deduction adjustment on the assessed value of their property, for tax purposes only.


Hunting, Trapping, or Fishing Licenses

  • Kentucky residents who are in the military and come home to Kentucky on leave do not need to purchase a fishing license. They can fish for free during their leave
  • Disabled veterans who are Kentucky residents and have a service-connected disability rated at 50 percent or more can purchase hunting, fishing or trapping licenses at a discount

Kentucky State Parks

Veterans who are residents of Kentucky and who have been determined by the VA or the DOD to be 100% disabled do not need to pay fees to camp overnight at any state park in Kentucky. 


Kentucky operates four Veterans Homes providing long-term care.

  • Carl M Brashear Veterans Center – Radcliff
  • Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center – Hazard
  • Thompson-Hood Veterans Center – Wilmore
  • Western Kentucky Veterans Center – Hanson

Each facility provides certain amenities to the Veteran beyond basic nursing care. Cost for care in one of Kentucky’s Veteran Homes depends on the Veteran’s ability to pay. Veteran admission criteria include:

  • Requires nursing care due to disability, disease, injury/wounds or age
  • Be a Kentucky resident by date of admission
  • Have an ‘other-than-dishonorable’ military discharge

NOTE:  A veteran is not eligible for admission if he or she is addicted to drugs, is an acute alcoholic, has been determined to be severely mentally ill or dangerous. In essence, a Veteran is not eligible for admittance if he or she has needs (including being dependent on a ventilator) that cannot be cared for or met by staff.


Kentucky has five Veterans Cemeteries throughout the commonwealth. A Veteran is eligible for internment in Hopkinsville, Hyden, Fort Knox, Williamstown, or Greenup County, if he or she was Kentucky resident or if he or she was stationed in Kentucky during military service. Burial is free.



You can find more information regarding these benefits and other programs at the Kentucky Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ website.