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June 15, 2020

Tennessee Veterans Benefits – The Insider’s Guide

Last updated on March 29, 2021

Hey, Veterans, this is Brian Reese from VA Claims Insider and I’m taking a deep-dive today into the Tennessee Veterans Benefits that you have earned and been awarded if you live in the Volunteer State! 

The Tennessee Department of Veterans Services (TDVS) administers a wide range of disabled veteran benefits programs in Tennessee, such as free benefits and disability claims counseling, state veteran homes, health care, education, pension, home loans and property taxes, insurance, recreational discounts, employment, and legal advice, among others.

You can visit the TDVS website to learn more about the activities, services, and benefits they can assist with if you are an in-state Veteran or family member of an Tennessee disabled veteran. You can also click below to download the State of Tennessee benefits guide for more information and links to many of the services you’ll find mentioned in this article.

>> Click here to download the FREE Tennessee Veterans Benefits Guide <<

But first, let’s jump into all the Tennessee Veterans benefits and Tennessee VA benefits that the Volunteer State has in store for you!

Tennessee veterans benefits

Overview of Tennessee Military Life

Tennessee’s veteran population ranks 14th in the states according to the most recent available data from the U.S. Census Bureau (released in July 2019):

  • Adult Population: 5.2 million (16th)
  • Veteran Population: 429,173 (14th)

Tennessee ranks in the top 15 of states for highest unemployment and the top 10 for veterans for veterans below poverty level.

  • Veteran Unemployment: 4.9% (23rd overall)
  • Veteran Poverty Rate: 7.8% (10th)

Tennessee also is in the 10 states with disabled veterans. 

  • Veterans with a Disability: 32.7% (9th)

Tennessee does happen to be one of the cheapest states to live in, with a low cost of living (ranking 7th) and average housing affordability compared to other states (housing affordability ranking: 27th). 

The cost of living helps Tennessee rank in the top 10 (6th) when it comes to an economic environment for veterans. This despite the median income of veterans being $36,183, which is one of the lower medians in the states.

Unfortunately, Tennessee ranks low for overall veteran quality of life (47th overall). Along with the lack of good jobs for veterans, the quality of life in Tennessee ranks low because of one of the lower veteran health care rankings in the nation (40th). The state has an average number of VA locations with 23 as well as 5 military bases. 

With all that said, let’s take a closer look at the Tennessee Veterans Administration benefits programs available to Tennessee veterans.

tennessee disabled veteran benefits Battle cannon overlooking the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, TN

Tennessee State VA Benefits Overview

Veterans Benefits Administration – Southeast District

Station IDFacilityAddressPhone
320Nashville Regional Office110 9th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
800-827-1000
835Chattanooga National Cemetery1200 Bailey Ave.
Chattanooga, TN 37404
423-855-6590
855Knoxville National Cemetery939 Tyson St. NW
Knoxville, TN 37917
423-979-3535
860Memphis National Cemetery3568 Townes Ave.
Memphis, TN 38122
901-386-8311
864Mountain Home National Cemetery215 Heroes Drive
Mountain Home, TN 37684
423-979-3535
865Nashville National Cemetery1420 Gallatin Rd. S
Madison, TN 37115-4619
615-860-0086

Tennessee veterans affairs Great Smoky Mountains Natl Park

Tennessee Veterans Benefits: Financial 

Property Tax Relief for Disabled Veterans

To receive tax relief as a disabled veteran, one of the following categories must be met:

  1. A service-connected disability that resulted in:
    1. Paraplegia OR
    2. Permanent paralysis of both legs and lower part of the body resulting from traumatic injury or disease to the spinal cord or brain; OR
    3. Loss, or loss of use of, two (2) or more limbs; OR
    4. Legal blindness
  2. A service-connected permanent and total disability or disabilities, as determined by the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
  3. A 100% total and permanent disability rating from being a prisoner of war.
  4. Must own and use property as primary residence.  The maximum market value on which tax relief is calculated is $175,000.

Tennessee VA Nashville, Tennessee, Country Music Capital of the World

Property Tax Relief for Surviving Spouses

Authorizes property tax relief to surviving spouses of disabled veterans who would have been eligible for relief had the veteran qualified under later amendments to the law. The tax relief is in an amount necessary to pay or reimburse such taxpayers for all or part of the local property taxes paid for a given tax year on that property that the disabled veteran owned and used as the disabled veteran’s residence. The property tax relief is extended to the surviving spouse of a disabled veteran who, at the time of the disabled veteran’s death, was eligible for disabled veterans’ property tax relief, as long as the surviving spouse:

  1. Does not remarry;
  2. Solely or jointly owns the property for which tax relief is claimed;
  3. Uses the property for which tax relief is claimed exclusively as a home.

Must own and use property as primary residence. The maximum market value on which tax relief is calculated is $100,000.

state of tennessee benefits, Tennessee National Guard providing flood assistance.

Tennessee Veterans Benefits: Housing & Healthcare

Tennessee State Veterans Homes

Tennessee offers four state veteran homes in Clarksville, Humboldt, Knoxville, and Murfreesboro. Tennessee residents or natives are eligible for admission. Spouses, surviving spouses, and Gold Star Parents may also be eligible for admission.

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

tennessee veterans benefits

Tennessee Veterans Benefits: Employment

Tennessee State Employment

The following employment benefits are available in Tennessee:

  • Veterans preference in State employment
  • Credit for military service in State employment
  • Reemployment rights of public employees

Tennessee Disabled Veteran Benefits: Education Benefits

Tennessee Veteran Dependent Education Benefits

This program covers the full cost of college at Tennessee state colleges for survivors of veterans killed in action or died as a result of injuries suffered in war. Children must be under the age of 23.

bridge swinging bridge chattanooga tennessee Swinging bridge in one of Tennessee’s great national parks.

Tennessee Veterans Benefits: Recreational Discounts, Licenses & Passes

FREE DAY

In order to honor the veterans of this state and encourage the use of natural parks across Tennessee, the Department of Environment and Conservation shall designate one (1) day per year during which access to and use of all state parks, including, but not limited to, campgrounds and golf courses, shall be free of charge for all veterans. Each veteran shall be required to show proof of veteran status, prior to being granted free admission to any state park.

GOLF GREENS 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.

CAMPING

On Veterans Day of each year, Tennessee resident veterans will be granted one night camping free of charge.

TENNESSEE STATE PARKS

Veterans Day has been designated as Free State Park Day for Tennessee veterans, including complimentary greens fees and one night of camping. Tennessee State Parks offers this special discount to veterans annually.

A 50% discount off of camping fees will be extended to all Tennessee resident veterans with a 100% total service-connected disability. Premium campsites are excluded.

TENNESSEE DISABLED VETERAN BENEFITS: HUNTING & FISHING LICENSE

Tennessee veterans benefits authorizes issuance of a sport fishing and hunting license with a one-time $10 fee to residents of Tennessee who are 100% permanent and totally disabled from service connected cause, or by reason of service in any war are 30% or more disabled.

tennessee disabled veteran benefits, River boat on the Tennessee river

Tennessee Veterans Benefits: Vehicle Licenses, Plates & Privileges

Veteran Driver License

Authorizing honorably discharged veterans to have language or a symbol indicating their military service placed on their driver license.

County Motor Vehicle Privilege Tax

Any disabled veteran who has a VA 100 percent permanent and total disability benefits rating, or any former prisoner-of-war as determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, shall be exempt from the motor vehicle privilege tax upon submission of evidence of such disability to the officer in the county charged with the responsibility for collecting such tax. 

Free Disabled Decal for Disabled Veteran Drivers

Veteran motorists previously defined as disabled drivers according to
TCA Section 55-21-102, may apply and receive a free disabled driver decal which may be added to the existing specialty plate.

Commercial Driver License Program for Service Members & Veterans

Road skills test may be waived for qualified military personnel applying for a Tennessee Commercial Driver License (CDL).  Applicants, however, are required to pass the applicable CDL knowledge test.

Tennessee Military License Plates

There are more than 20 Veteran related specialty plates offered in the State of Tennessee.

To find out more about all specialty plates and how to obtain them, please visit the Tennessee Department of Revenue website.

 state of tennessee benefits,

Tennessee VA Healthcare Facilities

Veterans Health Administration – VISN Offices
Station IDFacilityAddressPhone
10N9VISN 9: VA MidSouth Healthcare Network1801 West End Ave., Suite 600  
Nashville, TN 37203
615-695-2200
    
Veterans Health Administration – VISN 9: VA MidSouth Healthcare Network
Station IDFacilityAddressPhone
626Tennessee Valley Healthcare System1310 24th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
615-327-4751
621James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical CenterCorner of Lamont Street and Veterans Way
Mountain Home, TN 37684
423-926-1171
614Memphis VA Medical Center1030 Jefferson Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104
901-523-8990
626A4Tennessee Valley Healthcare System – Alvin C. York (Murfreesboro) Campus3400 Lebanon Pike
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
615-867-6000
626Tennessee Valley Healthcare System – Nashville Campus1310 24th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212-2637
615-327-4751
626Charlotte Avenue (Nashville) VA Clinic1919 Charlotte Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203
615-873-8000
626GFChattanooga VA Clinic6098 Debra Rd Suite 5200 Bldg 6200  
Chattanooga, TN 37411
423-893-6500
626GHCookeville, Tennessee OPC851 S. Willow Avenue Suite 108  
Cookeville, TN 38501
931-284-4060
621QEDowntown West VA Clinic1521 Downtown West Blvd
Knoxville, TN 37919
865-545-4592
621QDKnox County VA Clinic1557 Downtown West Blvd
Knoxville, TN, TN 37919
865-545-4592
626GNMcMinnville, Tennessee OPC1014 S. Chancery Street
McMinnville, TN 37110
931-474-7700
626GOPointe Center Outpatient Clinic (Chattanooga)1208 Pointe Center Drive
Chattanooga, TN 37421
423-893-6500
626Women Veterans Healthcare Center (Nashville, TN)1919 Charlotte Avenue, Suite 300  
Nashville, TN 37203
615-327-4751
6301Athens VA Clinic1320 Decatur Pike  
Athens, TN 37303
423-746-1410
621Campbell County VA Clinic130 Independence Lane, 3rd Floor  
LaFollette, TN 37766
423-563-7666
626Clarksville Dental Clinic2291 Dalton Drive, Suite F.
Clarksville, TN 37043
 
626GEClarksville VA Clinic782 Weatherly Dr.
Clarksville, TN 37043
931-645-3552
614GECovington, Tennessee (North Memphis), CBOC3461 Austin Peay Highway
Memphis, TN 38127
901-261-4500
621Dannie A. Carr Veterans Outpatient Clinic1124 Blanton Dr
Sevierville, TN 37862
865-286-6950
626GADover (Stewart County), Tennessee CBOC1406 Donelson Pkwy
Dover, TN 37058
931-232-5138
614GIDyersburg, Tennessee CBOC1067 Vendall Road
Dyersburg, TN 38024
731-287-7289
626GPGallatin VA Clinic419 Steam Plant Road
Gallatin, TN 37066
 
626Harriman Clinic2305 North Gateway Ave., Suite 2  
Harriman, TN 37748
865-882-2010
626QCInternational Plaza CBOC2 International Plaza, Suite 300  
Nashville, TN 37217
615-367-5928
614GGJackson, Tennessee CBOC180 Old Hickory Blvd
Jackson, TN 38305
731-661-2750
626Maury County CBOC833 Nashville Highway
Columbia, TN 38401
931-981-6930
626Meharry (Nashville General)1810 Albion Street
Nashville, TN 37208
615-873-6700
621GEMorristown VA Clinic925 E. Morris Boulevard
Morristown, TN 37813
423-586-9100
614GFNonconnah Boulevard Primary Care Clinic1689 Nonconnah Boulevard
Memphis, TN 38132
901-271-4900
621GARogersville VA Clinic401 Scenic Drive
Rogersville, TN 37857
423-235-1471
614GDSavannah, Tennessee CBOC70 Harbert Drive
North Savannah, TN 38372
731-727-8390
626GGTullahoma, Tennessee CBOC225 Von Karman Rd
Arnold Air Force Base, TN 37389
931-454-6134
621William C. Tallent Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic8033 Ray Mears Blvd.
Knoxville, TN 37919
865-545-4592
0722VChattanooga Vet Center1300 Premier Drive, Suite 180  
Chattanooga, TN 37421
423-855-6570
7241OSClarksville Outstation435 Madison St.
Clarksville, TN 37040
 
0701Johnson City Vet Center2203 McKinley Road, Suite 254  
Johnson City, TN 37604
423-928-8387
0720Knoxville Vet Center1645 Downtown West Blvd #28  
Knoxville, TN 37919
865-633-0000
0719VMemphis Vet Center1407 Union Ave., Suite 410
Memphis, TN 38104
901-522-3950
0724VNashville Vet Center1420 Donelson Pike Suite A-5  
Nashville, TN 37217
615-366-1220

tennessee veterans benefits

Tennessee Veterans Benefits: Conclusion

Tennessee is a beautiful state with lots of culture and history in cities like Memphis and Nashville. Unfortunately suffers from the problem that many states in the South and Midwest have encountered over the past decade, which is the loss of many middle class jobs. 

They take the care of their vets seriously, and by the population numbers it’s clear that many veterans enjoy living there, as Tennessee’s population of veterans ranks higher than its general population among the 50 states. However Tennessee has not been able to provide the kind of health coverage most veterans hope for. 

Compared to other states, Tennessee has a moderate amount of benefits for its veterans. It also does not have the strongest quality of life, despite being one of the cheapest states to live in.

Thankfully, Tennessee partly makes up for that by being one of the best states for stretching the value of your dollar. 

If you are already in Tennessee and are looking to make the most of your Tennessee veteran benefits, you will want to visit the state portal for veterans at https://www.tn.gov/veteran/

There you will find access to many of Tennessee’s benefit programs, as well as more information regarding each benefit available. 

For a complete list of VA hospitals, treatment centers, and other resources in Tennessee, you can also review Tennessee VA facilities here: VA Facilities Directory by State.

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About the Author

Brian Reese
Brian Reese

Brian Reese

Founder & CEO

Brian Reese is VA disability expert, former Air Force captain, and founder of VA Claims Insider – “The Most Trusted Name in Education-Based Resources for Veterans.”

His frustration with the 8-step VA disability claims process led him to create “VA Claims Insider,” which provides U.S. military veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned for successfully submitting or re-submitting a winning VA disability compensation claim.

Brian is also the CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, which is the world’s largest free searchable database for all things related to DoD disability and VA disability claims and has served more than 4,600,000 military members and veterans since its founding in 2013.

His eBook, the “9 Secrets Strategies for Winning Your VA Disability Claim” has been downloaded more than 300,000 times in the past three years and is the #1 rated free VA disability claims guide for veterans.

He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

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