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Veterans Law

Georgia State Veterans Benefits

Michael Lostritto

September 7, 2023

Updated: November 20, 2023

Georgia State Veterans Benefits; benefits Georgia offers to veterans living in the state

Georgia provides a number of resources, benefits, and other forms of aid to veterans living in the state.  Continue reading to learn more about the benefits the State of Georgia offers to support its veterans.

What Housing Benefits Are Available to Georgia Veterans?

There are two veterans homes in Georgia, with locations in Augusta and Milledgeville.  These homes are designed to provide skilled nursing care to veterans who may need assistance.

To be eligible for these veterans homes, the veteran must:

  • Have resided in Georgia two years immediately preceding the date of application; OR
  • Resided in Georgia for five or more of the past 15 years; AND
  • Have served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during one of the following wartime periods:
    • World War II: December 7, 1941-December 31, 1946
    • Post World War II Period: January 1, 1947- June 26, 1950
    • Korea: June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955
    • Vietnam: July 1, 1964 – May 7, 1975
    • Persian Gulf: August 2, 1990 – present

To apply for admission to one of these homes, veterans can contact the Admission Office for either of the two homes or visit the website for the Georgia Department of Veterans Service.

These homes do charge a daily fee, however, veterans may apply for federal Aid & Attendance to help offset the fee.  Veterans who are rated at 70 percent or higher, or whose admission is due to a service-connected condition, will have their daily fee paid in full by VA.

What Financial Benefits Are Available to Georgia Veterans?

Exemption from Homestead Tax

Georgia veterans who are rated as 100 percent disabled through schedular means or through TDIU, or are receiving VA disability benefits for loss of vision or limbs, and surviving, un-remarried spouses may be exempt from property tax on their primary residence.

This exemption is available to honorably discharged Georgia veterans, as well as surviving un-remarried spouses of qualified deceased veterans, and surviving minor children of qualified deceased veterans.

To apply for this exemption, veterans, or their surviving dependent, will need to file an Application for Homestead Exemption and submit it to their county tax official.

Vehicle Tax Exemption

Disabled veterans who receive a VA grant for the special adaptation of a vehicle are exempt from paying Georgia state sales tax of the vehicle.

Veterans who are verified by VA to be 100 percent totally and permanently service-connected disabled and those receiving TDIU, as well as those who are receiving VA disability benefits for the loss of use of one or both feet or hands, loss of sight in one or both eyes or permanent impairment of vision in both eyes are exempt from either the annual property tax or the title tax on vehicles, which ever is applicable.

The exemption is only granted on one vehicle the veteran owns and which has the free Disabled Veteran license plate attached.

For more information on applying for this benefit, veterans can contact their local county tax office.

Free Drivers License

Georgia veterans who were honorably discharged can also receive a drivers license free of charge.  The veteran must be a current resident of Georgia.

Members of the National Guard with 20 or more years of service also qualify for this benefit.  Additionally, members of the Georgia National Guard, or a Reserve component, with qualifying active duty service are eligible for a free Driver’s License.

To obtain a veteran’s free drivers license, the veteran needs to submit their DD Form 214 and proof of residency, as well as the required identification documents.  This documentation can be submitted to a Georgia Department of Driver Services office.

Free Veteran License Plates

Georgia offers its veterans a variety of free license plates to choose from, such as:

  • Veteran’s License Plate— available to Georgia Veterans discharged under honorable conditions and to surviving unremarried spouses.
  • Women Veteran’s License Plate— available to female Georgia veterans discharged under honorable conditions and their surviving unremarried spouses.
  • Retired Military License Plate— available to Georgia veterans who retired from active duty and their surviving unremarried spouses.
  • Commemorative Service License Plate—available to Georgia veterans discharged under honorable conditions, GA residents on active duty, and surviving unremarried spouses.
  • Military Medal License Plate— available to Georgia veterans discharged under honorable conditions, GA residents on active duty, and surviving unremarried spouses, who have earned a qualifying medal for their service.
  • Reserve Component License Plate

Additionally, disabled veterans can receive a free disabled veteran plate from the State of Georgia.  This benefit is available to:

  • Honorably discharged Georgia veterans who are considered disabled by:
    • A 100 percent VA rating
    • A VA rated disability that is less than 100 percent disabled but paid at the 100 percent rating due to unemployability (TDIU)
    • A VA rating for:
      • Loss or permanent loss of use of one or both feet
      • Loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands
      • Loss of sight in one or both eyes
      • Permanent impairment of both eyes
    • Surviving un-remarried spouses of qualified deceased veterans
    • Surviving minor children of qualified deceased veterans

What Employment Benefits Are Available to Georgia Veterans?

Veterans Employment Preference

The State of Georgia offers a degree of preference to veterans in certain employment decisions, as a way to recognize their service.  Veterans’ employment preferences are given to veterans defined as:

  • Any individual who was honorably discharged; AND
  • Served on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States during a time of armed conflict; OR
  • Served as a member of the National Guard of Armed Forces Reserve on active duty for any length of time during any portion of the time the Armed Forces of the United States were engaged in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom; OR
  • Served as a member of the National Guard or Armed Forces Reserve on active duty for any length of time during any portion of the time the Armed Forces of the United States were engaged in Operation Desert Shield or Operation Desert Storm and whose service occurred in an area of imminent danger such as
    • The Persian Gulf
    • The Red Sea
    • Gulf of Oman
    • the portion of the Arabian Sea that lies north of 10 degrees north latitude and west of 68 degrees east longitude;
    • the Gulf of Aden; and,
    • the total land area of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Business Certificate of Exemption

Georgia veterans who have been honorably discharged are eligible for a certificate granting exemption from any occupation tax, administrative fee, or regulatory fee imposed by local governments for peddling, conducting business, or practicing a profession or semi-profession for a period of ten years.

To be eligible for this certificate, the veteran needs to have a service-connected disability rating of 10 percent or more.

What Recreational Benefits Are Available to Georgia Veterans?

Hunting and Fishing Licenses

Veterans who are Georgia residents are eligible for a One Time Veterans License for hunting and fishing.  The license is valid for one year from the date of issue and may only be issued once.

The license is a “full privilege sportsman’s license,” which includes all state paid recreational hunting and fishing privileges.  In some instances, some additional no-cost state licenses may be required.

After the One Time Veterans License expires, veterans have the option to apply for a discounted full privilege veterans lifetimes license.

Veterans who were honorably discharged and are a resident of Georgia may purchase a Georgia Adult Lifetime Sportsman’s License at a 20 percent discount.  This is eligible for veterans aged between 16 and 49.

For veterans over the age of 49, an Older Adult Lifetime License is available.  At age 60, veterans may purchase a Senior Discount Lifetime License.

Veterans who are permanently and totally disabled, as determined by VA, are eligible for a 3-year disability sportsman’s license at a discounted rate.

Reduced State Park Admission Fees

Active military members and veterans can receive a 25 percent discount on annual park passes.  Discounted passes must be purchases in person and are valid for 12 months.  To receive this benefit, the veteran must have a service-connected disability and have been honorably discharged.

What Burial Benefits Are Available to Georgia Veterans?

Veterans and their family members have the option to be buried in either of the two Georgia State Veterans Memorial Cemeteries, located in Milledgeville or Glennville.  To be eligible for these burial benefits, the veteran must meet the same requirements as those outlined to be buried in a VA cemetery and the veteran must have received an other-than-dishonorable discharge.

About the Author

Bio photo of Michael Lostritto

Michael joined CCK in September of 2016 as an Attorney, was named Supervising Attorney in 2021, and now serves as a Managing Attorney. His practice focuses on the representation of disabled veterans before the Department of Veterans Affairs and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

See more about Michael