Benefits in my Backyard: Kentucky

Jonathan Kaupanger
April 20, 2018 - 12:36 pm



Just over 300,000 veterans and their families live in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  95 percent of the world’s bourbon is made in Kentucky.  Maybe that's why there's a law in the state saying a person is considered sober until they can’t hold onto the ground anymore. In 1964, Congress declared bourbon to be “America’s Native Spirit.”  That means to be called bourbon, it needs to be made in the U.S.  But everyone in the Bluegrass State knows what they really meant is that to be called bourbon, it needs to be made in Kentucky.


Kentucky exempts military retirement pay from taxation if you retired in 1997 or before. If you retired after 1997, your pay is subject to state tax if it exceeds $41,110.

  • Property Tax Exemption for Service-Connected Total Disabled Veteran provides a homestead exemption on an annual basis.
  • Tax Credit for Membership in Guard gives an additional $20 credit if the taxpayer is a member of the KY National Guard at the close of the calendar year.
  • State Income Tax Exemption Death on Line of Duty excludes all income from all sources for active duty and reserve members killed in the line of duty.


  • Benefits are available for veterans who want to attend colleges and universities in Kentucky.  For more information, contact the Veterans Benefits Field Representative in your county.
  • Campus Outreach to Kentucky Veterans.  Most state colleges and universities have special programs and staff to help veterans get financial assistance.  Ask your school counselor about the veterans outreach program.


  • Veterans receive preference points when testing for open and open non-promotional examinations for state jobs.
    • 10 points: veterans with written proof of a service-connected disability, applies to spouse of veteran with service-connected disability
    • 5 points: veterans with honorable discharge
  • Kentucky Veterans Employment, Training and Support.  Provides resources and support to help vets become employed.  Contact Kelli for more information. 




  • Veterans’ Centers.  Kentucky runs four state veterans centers offering long-term care. Residents are charged a monthly fee based on their ability to pay.  You’ll need an other than dishonorable discharge and be a current resident of the state.  Watch a video about Kentucky’s Veterans Centers here.  

Cemetery and Burial

  • Veterans residing in the state are eligible to receive certain end-of-life benefits. There are four state run veterans’ cemeteries and a fifth will open soon. The individual must be a Kentucky veteran to be eligible for burial in one of these cemeteries.
  • Eligibility Determination Form.  Pre-needs determination is intended to simplify and assist the veteran’s next-of-kin at the time of death.  This does not reserve a plot or niche at the cemetery.  There is no cost for this.

Links or Resources