Tennessee State Veteran Benefits


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


Tennessee will pay to educate the dependents of its eligible veterans who were killed in the line of duty or as a result from injuries received during conflict. The program pays all tuition costs at a state institution of high learning for children under 23, and spouses of said deceased veterans. Dependents of service members officially listed as a POW or MIA during an armed conflict also potentially qualify. 


State Employment

Tennessee provides these employment benefits:

  • Veterans looking to work for the State receive hiring preference
  • Veterans can obtain retirement credit for military service when they work for the State
  • Veterans enjoy certain reemployment rights when they work as public employees

Commercial Driver License

Veterans who hold a valid military commercial driver’s license can obtain their first Tennessee commercial driver’s license without having to perform the normal, required skills test. The state will waive the skills portion of the exam but not the knowledge portion.


Tennessee treats eligible disabled veterans and their eligible surviving spouses a little differently when it comes to property tax relief.  First for the Veteran, eligibility requires the Veteran be or have one of the following:

  • A service-connected disability resulting in a permanent and total disability
  • Being 100% disabled due to having been a POW
  • A service-connected disability that resulted in loss of or paralysis in legs, loss or loss of use of two limbs or more or legal blindness

The veteran or surviving spouse must live in the property as their primary residence. For the spouse, he or she has the property tax relief the Veteran had, provided the spouse does not remarry. However, the maximum market tax value of the Veteran residence can be up to $175,000, but for the surviving spouse the cap is $100K. 


Disabled Veteran Hunting & Fishing License

For a fee of $10 paid just once, Tennessee will give hunting and fishing licenses for no charge to disabled veterans who are either 100% permanent and total, or who have a 30% disability due war service. 

Camping in State Parks

Veterans who are Tennessee residents receive discounted rates for activities at state parks, but the amount of discount and availability is at the discretion of the commissioner. Camping discounts are more clear: Resident Veterans get to camp at the same rates that seniors pay during November 1 to March 31 which is the ‘off-season.’  

Free Day

On Veterans Day, Tennessee waives the normal fees charged to Veterans for camping and golfing at state campgrounds and golf courses. Veterans can stay or play for free on Veterans Day.


The Volunteer State offers four veteran homes in Clarksville, Humboldt, Knoxville, and Murfreesboro that provide skilled and intermediate care. Eligibility for admission relies on the Veteran being one of the following:

  • Born in Tennessee
  • Entered the military from Tennessee
  • DD214 or military record lists the state as the home of record
  • Veteran applicant is a current resident of Tennessee OR
  • Has an immediate family member who is a resident and would serve as the primary care provider

In addition, Gold Star Parents or the eligible Veteran’s spouse may be accepted if space is available.

Fees vary by type of room and level of care needed. The VA provides per diem for Vets who need nursing home care and pay for basic care in full when the Veteran’s VA rated, service-connected disabilities are 70% or more.


Tennessee has five state veterans’ cemeteries, two in Knoxville, and one in Memphis, in Nashville and in Parkers Crossroads. One of the Knoxville cemeteries, the Lyon View Pike property, is not accepting new internments. The family incurs no charge to bury an eligible Veteran; there is a fee for his or her spouse and/or eligible dependent children.

To be eligible, one condition must apply:

  • Have active duty military service and separated before July 7, 1980 with an ‘other than dishonorable’ discharge
  • Service member died on active duty
  • Commissioned officers who entered the service after October 17, 1981 and left with an ‘other than dishonorable’ discharge
  • Enlisted veterans whose first tour of duty falls after July 7, 1980 must have served 24 months or the full enlistment period, whichever is shorter
  • Enlisted veterans whose first tour of duty falls after July 7, 1980 and was released on a hardship discharge, released due to a service-connected disability or has a compensable service-connected disability


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