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September 7, 2021

Top 8 Tennessee Veteran Benefits

Last updated on April 1, 2024

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Your Ultimate Guide to Tennessee Veteran Benefits

There is a wealth of Tennessee veteran benefits and exemptions provided by the state to honor current and former members of the Armed Forces. With over 450,000 veteran residents in Tennessee, veterans make up over 6 percent of the state’s total population!

We’ve built this complete guide of Tennessee veteran benefits (including Tennessee disabled veteran benefits) to help Tennessee veterans find all the benefits they earned!

Tennessee veteran benefits specifically include (but are not limited to): 

  • Property tax exemptions
  • College grants and tuition assistance
  • Employment assistance
  • Vehicle sales tax exemptions
  • Recreational discounts

An excellent resource for Tennessee VA benefits is the state’s Department of Veterans’ Services, which assists veterans in securing all the benefits they rightfully earned. 

You can find your local Veterans Services Offices here.  

tennessee veteran benefits
Table of Contents


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Property Tax Exemptions for Veterans in Tennessee

Tennessee veterans benefits include property tax exemptions up to $175,000 for disabled veterans. You must have an honorable discharge and meet one of the following categories to qualify:

  • A permanent and total (P&T) VA disability rating
  • A 100 percent permanent and total (P&T) VA disability rating as a result of being a POW
  • A service-connected disability resulting from paraplegia; permanent paralysis of both legs or lower part of the body; the loss (or loss of use) of two or more limbs, or legal blindness

You must have received the disability rating by the last day of the year for which you are applying. The maximum value of the tax exemption is up to $175,000 as long as you own and live in your home. 

Surviving spouses may also apply if the service member’s death was service-connected OR resulted from being deployed away from the home base in support of combat or peace operations. 

To apply, complete form F-16 available through your county trustee’s office

Income Tax in Tennessee

Residents of Tennessee don’t pay any state income tax!

Tennessee veterans tax benefits

What Tennessee Veteran Benefits are Available for Education and Tuition?

Tennessee’s educational benefits are excellent for veterans and their families, augmenting the federal education support available to all U.S. veterans.

There are many military-friendly colleges in Tennessee. According to the VA, in 2017, 243 Tennessee schools received Post 9/11 GI bill funds for over 13,000 students totaling over $101 million. 

Resident College Tuition Rates in Tennessee

Tennessee thanks veterans and service members by offering in-state college tuition to those who have served our nation.

Veterans enrolled in college in Tennessee and eligible for VA education benefits (including GI Bill benefits) will receive in-state tuition as long as they’re living in Tennessee during their course of study.

Service members and their dependents stationed in Tennessee also qualify for resident tuition rates if they use veterans’ education benefits. 

College Credit in Tennessee for Military Training

Veteran benefits in Tennessee include academic credit toward a college degree for military education and training. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission created a portal in 2019 to translate military experience into academic credit at public colleges in Tennessee. 

Use the Tennessee Service Member Opportunity Portal to find out which colleges will award you credit for your military experience. The portal also provides information on how to get in contact with advisors at each institution for further assistance. 

Note: this portal works for all branches except for the Air Force. Air Force veterans must submit their Community College of the Air Force transcript to request college credit with each institution in Tennessee. 

Tennessee Helping Heroes Education Grant for Veterans

Tennessee veteran benefits for education include a grant of up to $2,000 per year for wartime veterans enrolled in college, both full and part-time.

To be eligible, you must be an honorably discharged active-duty veteran with wartime service. Current and former members of the Reserves and Tennessee National Guards with active military service are also eligible.

 You must also meet these requirements:

  • You’re a Tennessee resident for at least one year before applying for the grant
  • You have an Iraq or Afghanistan Campaign Medal or a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
  • You haven’t yet earned a Bachelor’s degree
  • You’re not in default on student loans and follow all state and federal laws for receiving financial assistance

If awarded, you’ll receive the grant money after you complete the semester. Full-time students will receive $1,000 per semester, and part-time students (students taking 6-11 credits) will receive $500 per semester. You can stay in the program for up to 8 full-time semesters as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward your degree and don’t fail any classes. 

Apply online by September 1 for fall enrollment. Mail your DD214 to:

Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation

312 Rosa Parks Blvd, 9th Floor

Nashville, TN 37243

The Tennessee Reconnect Grant

Tennessee veteran benefits include school programs to help veterans graduate with an associate’s degree! The Tennessee Reconnect Grant is designed to help veterans pay for the remaining balance of tuition after financial aid and GI Bill benefits have been applied.

You can use grant money from this program to pay for an associate’s degree or technical degree at a Tennessee community college or technical college.

If you attend a four-year public or private college, the grant will still provide some money but won’t cover all tuition and fees. The amount you receive is based on the average cost of community college.

You can apply for the Tennessee Reconnect Grant online here. 

State Tuition Assistance for Tennessee National Guard Members

If you’re a member of the Tennessee National Guard, you may be eligible to receive tuition assistance to completely cover the cost of your undergraduate degree from a Tennessee college or university under the Tennessee STRONG Act! 

The program pays in-state tuition for up to 120 credit hours, or 8 full-time semesters, at the UT Knoxville resident tuition rate. This means you could receive up to $13,264 per year!

You can pursue either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. You don’t have to attend a public college, but keep in mind that private colleges are typically much more expensive and you will have to cover the cost difference using other funding. 

To apply for these Tennessee veteran benefits, you must be currently serving in good standing with the TN National Guard, attend a Tennessee community college or university, use Federal Tuition Assistance if available, and maintain a 2.0 GPA minimum for each semester you receive tuition assistance. 

Learn how to apply for the Tennessee STRONG Act here. 

tennessee va benefits

Hiring and Employment Benefits for Tennessee Veterans

There are a number of Tennessee veteran benefits that offer support with employment, and many resources are available to help veterans and their families find jobs and advance their careers.

Tennessee Veterans Hiring Preference

Tennessee recognizes the sacrifice of service members by offering employment preference to veterans when they apply for federal, state, county, and local government jobs in Tennessee.

Veterans with an honorable discharge will automatically be invited to compete in the first round of interviews as long as they are minimally qualified for the position. Tennessee also offers interview preference to spouses and gold star spouses. 

The qualifying veteran must be 100 percent permanent and totally (P&T) disabled or have passed away in the line of duty. The spouse must be a Tennessee resident for at least two years before applying for the job to receive preference. As long as spouses meet the minimum requirements for the position, they’re guaranteed an interview for the position.

Learn more about Tennessee veterans hiring preferences here with the Tennessee Department of Human Resources. 

Tennessee Veterans Employment Assistance

Tennessee veteran benefits include American Job Centers located throughout the state to help veterans find civilian employment after their military careers end. Services include personalized career counseling, job search assistance, training, free workshops, resume and interview help, job referrals, and on-the-job training. 

Specialty services are available to disabled veterans, homeless veterans, and service members who have separated in the last three years or have been unemployed for more than 27 consecutive weeks in the past year. 

Bring your proof of service (DD214) with you to a local Job Center near you to get employment assistance. 

Housing Benefits for Veterans in Tennessee

Veterans Homes in Tennessee

Tennessee veteran benefits include five Veterans Homes to honor veterans and their service to our nation. These homes are located in Humboldt, Murfreesboro, Clarksville, Cleveland, and Knoxville, TN.

Humboldt Veterans Home

W.D. “Bill” Manning
Tennessee State Veterans Home
2865 Main Street
Humboldt, TN 38343
(731) 784-8405

Murfreesboro Veterans Home

Tennessee State Veterans Home – Murfreesboro
345 Compton Road
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
(615) 895-8850

Clarksville Veterans Home

Brigadier General Wendell H. Gilbert
Tennessee State Veterans Home
250 Arrowood Drive
Clarksville, TN 37042
(931) 245-4700

Knoxville Veterans Home

Ben Atchley
Tennessee State Veterans Home
1 Veterans Way
Knoxville, TN 27931
(865) 862-8100

Cleveland Veterans Home

Cleveland Tennessee State Veterans Home
1940 Westland Dr. SW
Cleveland, TN 37311
423 813-3600

These homes are designed to promote a feeling of community and enhance veteran quality of life.  The homes are designed for veterans who require intermediate and skilled nursing care. Spouses and Gold Star Parents are also admitted based on space available.

To apply for residency in one of the Veterans Homes, a veteran must either be a current resident of Tennessee, born in Tennessee, have entered the military as a Tennessee resident, have Tennessee as their military Home of Record, or have an immediate family member who is a Tennessee resident and will serve as the primary caregiver.

To learn more about each home and how to apply, visit the respective homes’ website:

Veteran Health Care in Tennessee

List of VA Healthcare and Vet Center Locations in Tennessee

LocationMedical Facilities for Tennessee Veteran Benefits
Arnold Air Force BaseTullahoma, Tennessee CBOC
AthensAthens VA Clinic
ChattanoogaChattanooga VA Clinic
ChattanoogaPointe Center Outpatient Clinic (Chattanooga)
ChattanoogaChattanooga Vet Center
ClarksvilleClarksville Dental Clinic
ClarksvilleClarksville VA Clinic
ClarksvilleClarksville Outstation
ColumbiaMaury County CBOC
CookevilleCookeville, Tennessee OPC
DoverDover (Stewart County), Tennessee CBOC
DyersburgDyersburg, Tennessee CBOC
GallatinGallatin VA Clinic
HarrimanHarriman Clinic
JacksonJackson, Tennessee CBOC
Johnson CityJohnson City Vet Center
KnoxvilleDowntown West VA Clinic
KnoxvilleWilliam C. Tallent Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic
KnoxvilleKnoxville Vet Center
Knoxville, TNKnox County VA Clinic
LaFolletteCampbell County VA Clinic
McMinnvilleMcMinnville, Tennessee OPC
MemphisMemphis VA Medical Center
MemphisCovington, Tennessee (North Memphis), CBOC
MemphisNonconnah Boulevard Primary Care Clinic
MemphisMemphis Vet Center
MorristownMorristown VA Clinic
Mountain HomeJames H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center
MurfreesboroTennessee Valley Healthcare System – Alvin C. York (Murfreesboro) Campus
NashvilleTennessee Valley Healthcare System
NashvilleTennessee Valley Healthcare System – Nashville Campus
NashvilleCharlotte Avenue (Nashville) VA Clinic
NashvilleWomen Veterans Healthcare Center (Nashville, TN)
NashvilleInternational Plaza CBOC
NashvilleMeharry (Nashville General)
NashvilleNashville Vet Center
NashvilleVISN 9 VA MidSouth Healthcare Network
North SavannahSavannah, Tennessee CBOC
RogersvilleRogersville VA Clinic
SeviervilleDannie A. Carr Veterans Outpatient Clinic
tennessee disabled veteran benefits

Tennessee Veterans Vehicle and Driver’s License Benefits

Tennessee Veteran Designation on Driver License or Identification (ID) Cards

For a small fee, any honorably discharged veteran can request a Veteran designation on the front of his or her Tennessee driver’s license or ID card.

The word “Veteran” printed near the top of a license allows Tennessee veterans to validate their honorable service with a government-issued ID card. 

To apply for Tennessee veteran benefits through the Division of Motor Vehicles, veterans must bring a DD214 in person to a Driver Service Center.

Vehicle Sales Tax Exemptions

Tennessee Disabled Veterans and POWs

If you’re a disabled veteran, you may be eligible for a vehicle sales tax exemption in Tennessee. You must have a 100 percent permanent and total (P&T) VA disability rating, receive an automobile grant from the VA, or be a former POW.

Service Members Stationed in Tennessee

Active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces, along with members of the National Guard and Reservists serving in a full-time capacity or in a combat zone, are also eligible for a vehicle sales tax exemption if they’re stationed in Tennessee. The exemption is valid through 90 days past the end of the active orders to a combat zone. 

The vehicle must be registered in the veteran’s or service member’s name and registered in Tennessee. This exemption only applies to motor vehicles. Bring documentation of military service (and disability, if applicable) to your local county clerk to waive sales tax.

Veteran License Plates

Tennessee veteran benefits include over 50 license plates to honor the service of eligible veterans and their family members.

Disabled veteran license plates, Medal of Honor license plates, Purple Heart license plates, and Gold Star Family license plates are free for eligible veterans or their family members, with no annual fee for the first plate.

Disabled Veteran License Plate Tennessee

To qualify for a disabled veteran license plate, Tennessee veterans must have a permanent and total (P&T) VA disability rating. 

Learn how to apply for a specialty veteran license plate here.

Veterans Benefits in Tennessee for Recreation

Free Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License for Disabled Veterans

If you’re a disabled veteran living in Tennessee with a VA disability rating of 30% or higher, you may be eligible for a free lifetime hunting and fishing license.

To qualify, you must have an honorable discharge, and your disability rating must be from wartime service. If you’re 100 percent disabled, there is no wartime service disability rating requirement. 

You can apply for free lifetime licenses by mailing your application to:

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

P.O. Box 41729

Nashville, TN 37204-1729

Fishing Discounts for Active Duty Service Members

If you’re serving on active duty and you’re home in Tennessee on leave, you don’t need to purchase a fishing license to fish in the state. If you’re stationed in Tennessee but aren’t a state resident, you can purchase a Tennessee fishing license at resident rates.

Purchase a fishing license online through the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. 

Veteran Camping Discounts at Tennessee State Parks

Tennessee honors all veterans and active duty service members by offering discounts to residents. A 25 to 50 percent discount is available year-round to active duty service members at all state park lodging and campgrounds.  Tennessee veteran benefits at state parks also include discounts on all state-run golf courses and gift shops. 

For veterans, a 50 percent discount is available at most campgrounds during the off-season, which is from December 1st to February 28th. Even better, Tennessee 100 disabled veteran benefits include this discount year-round.

On Veterans Day, all veterans are eligible for one free night of camping at any Tennessee State Park. Be ready to show proof of Tennessee residency when you check in! 

You can make camping reservations online here with the active duty or veteran discount up to one year in advance. 

Golf Green Fees

On Veteran’s Day of each year, greens fees for 18 holes of golf will be waived for Tennessee resident veterans. All other golf-related fees, such as carts, driving range, etc., will still apply.

Veteran Burial Benefits in Tennessee

Active Duty

If you served on active duty in the US Armed Forces and were discharged or released before September 7, 1980, under conditions other than dishonorable, you could be eligible for a free burial plot in Tennessee Veterans Cemeteries.

Other eligibility requirements include:

  • Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who died while on active duty. 
  • Any person who served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States who entered active duty as an enlisted person after September 7, 1980, and officers commissioned who entered active duty after October 17, 1981
  • Your discharge or separation from active military service was under “other than dishonorable'” conditions. 
  • A person whose first tour of duty began on or after the dates listed above is eligible if he or she completed a continuous period of active duty of at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty, whichever is shorter or was released because of a hardship discharge, or has a compensable service-connected disability or was released because of a service-connected disability.

Reserves and National Guard

If you’re a member of the Reserves in Tennessee or the Tennessee National Guard, then you could be eligible for free burial services if you meet the following criteria:

  • Reserve & National Guard members who are in receipt of compensation or pension from the VA
  • Reserve & National Guard members who completed twenty or more years of reserve or guard service and are entitled to retirement pay.
  • Reserve & National Guard members are also eligible for burial under these 5 categories.
    • Dies under honorable conditions while undergoing active duty for training.
    • If called to active duty, completes the full period for which called up.
    • Dies under honorable conditions while performing full-time Active Guard Reserve (AGR) service.
    • Completed at least 24 months of active service.
    • Discharged due to service-connected disability while on active duty.


All veterans are entitled to a white, upright marble headstone at government expense when buried in a Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery.  A temporary grave marker is used to identify the grave site until the permanent headstone is delivered in approximately three to four months.
Contact the State Veteran Cemeteries for more information.

tennessee 100 disabled veteran benefits

Tennessee Veteran Benefits Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are there special property tax exemptions for Tennessee veterans?

Yes, eligible veterans receive a property tax exemption of up to $175,000. Permanent and total (P&T) disabled veterans are eligible, as well as those who have a service-connected disability resulting from paraplegia; permanent paralysis of both legs or lower part of the body; the loss (or loss of use) of two or more limbs; or legal blindness. Surviving spouses of eligible veterans may also apply for this benefit. 

Are there income tax benefits for Tennessee veterans?

Tennessee does not levy a state income tax. 

Does Tennessee award college credit for military training?

Yes, Tennessee colleges consider military training and experience and award credit and credentialing appropriately through the Tennessee Service Member Opportunity Portal or the member’s Community College of the Air Force transcript. 

Does Tennessee offer any tuition assistance to veterans?

Yes, Tennessee offers grants of up to $2,000 annually to wartime resident veterans enrolled in college full-time or $1,000 for part-time enrollment. The Tennessee Reconnect Grant also helps pay for veterans to complete an associate’s degree or technical degree at a community or technical college. Members of the Tennessee National Guard are also eligible for in-state tuition assistance for up to 120 credit hours, making this benefit worth over $13,000 per year! 

Do Tennessee veterans receive preferential treatment when seeking employment?  

Tennessee veterans with an honorable discharge will automatically receive an invite to the first round of interviews for a position if they meet the minimum qualification requirements. Spouses of Tennessee 100% P&T veterans or those who passed away in the line of duty receive the same interview preference. 

Do Tennessee veterans benefits include employment counseling and assistance to veterans seeking employment? 

Yes, American Job Centers across the state help veterans transition into civilian employment by offering career counseling, job search assistance, training, and resume and interview preparation. 

Are there any DMV benefits for veterans in Tennessee?

Yes, Tennessee disabled veterans with a 100% P&T rating and active duty service members in Tennessee who purchase and register a motor vehicle in Tennessee are exempt from paying state sales tax. This includes National Guard members and Reservists serving full-time or 90 days after their return from service in combat operations. 

Are there special Tennessee veteran benefits offering reduced recreational fees?

Tennessee offers a free lifetime hunting and fishing license to honorably discharged wartime veterans with a VA disability rating of 30 percent or higher. Tennessee residents home on leave don’t need to purchase a fishing license. There’s also a 25 to 50 percent discount for active duty veterans and 100 percent disabled veterans at Tennessee State Parks.  All veterans can camp for free on Veterans Day. 


Regardless of what state you live in, it’s important that you pursue the monthly compensation payments due to you for disabilities connected to your military service.

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About VA Claims Insider

VA Claims Insider is an education-based coaching/consulting company. We’re here for disabled veterans exploring eligibility for increased VA disability benefits and who wish to learn more about that process. We also connect veterans with independent medical professionals in our referral network for medical examinations, disability evaluations, and credible independent medical opinions and nexus statements (medical nexus letters) for a wide range of disability conditions.

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