Updated: Nov 14, 2020
Benefits for the over 700,000 veterans living in the state of Georgia
Veteran Education Benefits
High School Diplomas for Certain War Veterans
Veterans who left high school before receiving a diploma to join the service during World War II, Korea, or Vietnam can apply to receive a high school diploma. Apply to your high school.
Georgia State Veteran Employment Benefits
Georgia State Veterans Hiring Preference
Disabled veterans with at least a VA 10% disabled rating receive a ten-point preference, and other qualified war veterans get a five-point hiring preference credit.
Georgia Veterans Business Certificate of Exemption
Georgia state veterans who meet qualification requirements do not pay government occupation taxes, regulatory or administrative fees, or regulatory fees usually charged for professional or semi-professional licenses, peddler licenses, or any other licensing needed to conduct a business.
Qualifications include all the following:
● Veterans must have been discharged under honorable conditions.
● Wartime veterans must have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10%
● Peacetime veterans must have a service-connected disability rating of at least 25 %
● The individual’s income must not be liable for Georgia state income taxes.
Veteran Housing Benefits
Georgia Dream Loan- Active-duty service members qualify for up to $7,500 zero-interest loan towards a home purchase down payment.
Georgia Veterans Nursing Homes and Assisted Care Homes
There are two veterans nursing homes run by the Georgia Department of Veterans Service (GDVS) Augusta, Georgia
Qualifications for space in either of these homes:
● Military discharged (any other than Dishonorable)
● Two years of Georgia residency immediately before application OR
● Georgia residency for at least five of the past 15 years
● Wartime active duty
● U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs judges the veteran needs nursing services
The veteran must not need mechanical life support and be free of infectious disease or psychiatric problems.
The minimal fees required can be paid with V.A. Aid & Attendance benefits. Veterans who have ratings of at least 70 % service-connected disability, or who are being admitted because of a service-connected condition have the fees paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veteran Financial Benefits
Extended Deadline for State Tax Filing for Combat Deployment
Combat deployed military personnel automatically qualify for an extension for filing their state tax returns. They can file up to 180 days after the end of their combat deployment.
Disabled Veteran Homestead Tax Exemption
Disabled veterans who meet specific qualifications are entitled to a homestead tax exemption. The exemption amount will be for the greater of $32,500 and the maximum allowable amount under 38 U.S.C. 2101. (highest amount is $60,000 plus an index factor)
The exemption is available to honorably discharged Georgia veterans who are considered disabled, according to the Georgia Department of Veterans Service.
A home must be the veteran's primary residence. Surviving spouses who have not remarried and any minor children still living at home also qualify for the homestead tax exemption.
Georgia veterans are considered disabled by the Georgia Department of Veterans Services if they are:
● VA-rated 100 percent totally disabled
● Paid at the 100 percent rate because of unemployability
● Receive a statutory award from V.A. for the loss or permanent loss of use of one or both feet or hands, loss of sight in one or both eyes, or permanently impaired vision in both eyes.
Surviving spouses who have never remarried and surviving minor children also qualify.
Abatement of Income Taxes for Combat Deaths
A veteran’s estate is exempt from “all Georgia income taxes for the taxable year of death” if the service member has died in combat during military service. The taxes also are not charged "for any prior taxable year ending on or after the first day served in the combat zone."
“Ad Valorem” Tax on Motor Vehicles
The vehicle tax exemption applies to one veteran-owned vehicle that qualifies for disabled veteran license plates. The exemption can be applied to either the annual property tax or the title tax.
The exemption applies to veterans who are VA-certified as 100% permanently service-connected disabled, are Purple Heart recipients, Medal of Honor awardees, or who are entitled to receive statutory awards due to the loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands or feet, loss of sight in one or both eyes or permanently impairment of vision in both eyes.
Georgia Sales Tax Exemption for Vehicle Purchase or Modification
Qualifying disabled veterans who use a V.A. grant to buy and modify a vehicle because of disability do not pay sales tax on that vehicle.
Additional Veteran Benefits
Free Driver’s Licenses for Georgia Veterans
Georgia state driver’s licenses fees don't apply to all honorably discharged veterans who have served during a period of war or conflict. Georgia veterans must have entered service from Georgia and currently reside in Georgia.
Current or form Reserve or National Guard members may also qualify for a free Georgia driver's license depending on the state of residence and service length.
Free Georgia State Veteran ID Cards
Qualifying veterans, spouses, and surviving spouses who have not remarried can apply for a free Georgia ID Card. The same eligibility and residency requirements needed for a veteran’s driver’s license are required.
Free Georgia State Veteran License Plates
Free Georgia State veteran license plates include:
retired veteran design
disabled vets design
women veterans design
military medal award design plates and more
Veterans must have been honorably discharged to apply for these plates. Surviving spouses of qualifying deceased service members who have not remarried can also apply. Veterans can purchase a second license plate for a nominal fee.
Georgia State Veteran Burial Benefits
Two Georgia State-run Veterans Memorial Cemeteries
Those eligible for internment in these cemeteries include:
● Any veterans with a military discharge other than dishonorable
● National Guard and Reserves members drawing (or eligible to draw) retirement payments when they died
● Military members who died on active duty
● Spouses, unmarried dependents (must be under 21), and eligible life-long dependents of any veterans who qualify are also eligible. Proof of service is required. Marriage certificates are necessary for spouses to be buried with the veteran.
Georgia State Park Entrance Reduced Fees
Honorably discharged Georgia veterans who have any V.A. rated service-connected disabilities will pay 25 % less to enter any state parks, historical sites, or recreational areas.
Apply for the discount at a Georgia Department of Veterans Services field office with your military discharge paperwork.
Free Georgia State Full Privilege Sportsman Licenses for Veterans
Qualified returning veterans, Georgia reservists, and Georgia National Guard members ordered to federal duty for 90 days or longer are eligible for a "free one-year honorary full privilege sportsman's license," which entitle the holder to all state recreational hunting and fishing privileges.
Free Georgia State Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Any veteran with a VA-rated total/permanent disabilities that prevent gainful employment or are totally blind are entitled to a Georgia State hunting and fishing free of charge. Georgia residency is required.
Vets 65 or older are eligible for free lifetime senior hunting and fishing licenses.
Georgia Motor Fuel Service for Disabled Veterans
If a disabled veteran, driving a vehicle displaying Disabled Veteran license plates, enters a Georgia gas station that offers self-serve and full-service options, the station must provide full service at the self-service price. The veteran must request the full service and cannot have anyone 16 years old or older in the vehicle (unless the passenger is also disabled).