100% State Benefits- South Carolina
Information for this document was gathered from various sources including: https://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-state-benefits/south-carolina-state-veterans-benefits.html
Visit the South Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs website for more detailed information: https://scdva.sc.gov/
For more information, visit: https://nasvh.org/directory/
South Carolina has 5 veterans’ homes.
Your eligibility for State Veterans Homes is based on clinical need and setting availability.
Each State establishes eligibility and admission criteria for its homes.
Talk with a VA social worker about the eligibility requirements of State Veterans Homes near you and to figure out a plan for paying for State Veterans Home care services.
Veterans Homes Locations:
VETERANS’ VICTORY HOUSE NURSING HOME in Walterboro, South Carolina
RICHARD M. CAMPBELL VETERANS NURSING HOME in Anderson, South Carolina
PALMETTO PATRIOTS HOME in Gaffney, South Carolina
E. ROY STONE, JR. VETERANS PAVILION in Columbia, South Carolina
VETERAN VILLAGE in Florence, South Carolina
Honorably discharged South Carolina resident veterans who need skilled or intermediate nursing home care are eligible for admission.
State Veterans’ Cemeteries
For more detailed information visit: https://www.cem.va.gov/find-cemetery/state.asp?STATE=SC
National Veterans Cemeteries:
|Beaufort National Cemetery
1601 Boundary St.
Beaufort, SC 29902
Burial Space: Open
|Florence National Cemetery
803 E National Cemetery Rd.
Florence, SC 29501
Burial Space: Open
State Veterans Cemeteries:
|M.J. Dolly Cooper Veterans Cemetery
140 Inway Drive
Anderson, SC 29621
VA Grant Funded: Yes
Many states have established state veterans cemeteries. Eligibility is like Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries but may include residency requirements. Even though they may have been established or improved with Government funds through VA’s Veterans Cemetery Grants Program, state veterans cemeteries are run solely by the states.
Burial is open to honorably discharged South Carolina resident veterans and their spouses. There is no charge for the veteran’s burial and a small fee for the spouse. Dependent children may be eligible for burial.
South Carolina Veterans Financial Benefits
For more information, visit the following website: https://dor.sc.gov/resources-site/media-site/Pages/SC-military-retirement-pay-now-exempt-from-state-Income-Taxes.aspx
All military retirement pay is exempt from South Carolina Individual Income Tax.
Income Tax deductions and exclusions:
- The Workforce Enhancement and Military Recognition Act, exempts all military retirement pay that is included in South Carolina taxable income from the state’s Income Tax, no matter the taxpayer’s age.
- This deduction also can be claimed by a surviving spouse receiving military retirement income from their deceased spouse.
- This exemption does not include any earned income cap.
- According to the SCDVA, military retirees can start, stop or change State Income Tax Withholding (SITW) by using myPay , filling out a DD Form 2866 Retiree Change of Address/State Tax Withholding Request, or sending a written request that includes all of the necessary information. If you choose to send a DD Form 2866 or a written request, mail it to: Defense Finance and Accounting Service, U.S. Military Retirement Pay, 8899 E 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46249-1200.
- Do not send either document to the SCDOR.
Other Income Tax exclusions:
- Any federal tax-exempt pension or compensation provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Combat pay and certain benefits not included in federal taxable income.
- Retirement income paid by the U.S. government for service in the Reserves or National Guard.
- Income received for service in the National Guard or the Reserves for customary annual training, weekend drills, and other inactive duty training is generally exempt.
- Service pay for non-resident military personnel on active duty in South Carolina who are legal residents of other states.Additional details and examples related to these deductions and other general retirement and age-65 Income Tax deductions are found in Revenue Ruling 21-13.
Property Taxes for Disabled Veterans
Visit dor.sc.gov/exempt-property to learn more about Property Tax exemptions, and for detailed information on other exemptions for veterans.
To apply for a Property Tax exemption, visit MyDORWAY and click Exempt Property Application.
Veterans deemed totally and permanently service-connected disabled qualify for:
- A tax exemption on a home and land on the same parcel, up to five acres, that is classified as owner occupied and either titled solely to the veteran or jointly with a spouse.
- A tax exemption on up to two private passenger vehicles owned or leased by a veteran or jointly with a spouse.
- Medal of Honor recipients qualify for:
- A tax exemption on a home and land up to one acre that is either titled solely to the recipient or jointly with a spouse.
- A tax exemption on up to two vehicles owned or leased by the recipient.
- Former prisoners of war (POW) from WWI, WWII, the Korean War or Vietnam War qualify for:
- The same tax exemptions granted to Medal of Honor recipients for home and land up to one acre that is classified as owner occupied and either titled solely to the former POW or jointly with a spouse.
- A tax exemption on up to two private passenger vehicles owned or leased by the former POW or jointly with a spouse.
- Surviving spouses for all three types of veterans listed above qualify for tax exemptions on the home if they inherit sole ownership from the deceased spouse.
- The surviving spouses of POWs and disabled veterans can qualify for exemptions on up to one vehicle solely owned by them.
Consult the local assessor’s office for detailed requirements regarding these exemptions.
Annual refiling is often required.
Find your local tax assessor at this link: https://www.publicrecords.onlinesearches.com/Assessor-and-Property-Tax-Records.htm
The South Carolina Military Family Relief Fund
For more information, and for a link to the application, visit the following website: https://scdva.sc.gov/military-service-member-and-family-programs#:~:text=TheSouthCarolinaMilitaryFamily,asaresultofthe
The South Carolina Military Family Relief Fund provides monetary grants to families of South Carolina National Guard members and South Carolina residents serving in the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve components who were called to active duty because of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
SCMFRF grants are intended to help families defray the costs of food, housing, utilities, medical services, and other expenses that become difficult to afford when a wage-earner has temporarily left civilian employment to be placed on active military duty.
There are 3 tiers to this grant:
- Status Based Grant – Grants a flat rate of $500.
- The Status Based Grant applicant must be a member of the South Carolina National Guard or a South Carolina resident serving in a U.S. Armed Forces Reserve component, or a family member of the Guardsman or Reservist and enrolled in DEERS.
- The service member was or is on active military duty for 30 consecutive days or more because of Sept 11, 2001.
- Orders must state one of the following:
- Operation Noble Eagle/Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom
- Executive Order #13223
- Any future operations as determined by the President or Governor of South Carolina
- Rank must be no higher than O-3 or W-2 (based upon rank at time of mobilization).NOTE: You may receive a grant once in each fiscal year and only one time for each active duty
- Need Based Grant – Grants up to $2,000 (maximum)
- Must include all rules listed in Status Based Grant.
- Must submit monthly civilian AND military pay stub to show the service member sustained a 30% or greater decrease from his or her civilian salary.
- Must submit proof of expenses or bills.
- Must submit a signed statement on what the grant will be used for.
- If a custodial parent or guardian is applying on behalf of a member’s dependent, then proof of guardianship must be provided.NOTE: No additional applications may be accepted within 180 days from receipt of any prior applications.
- Casualty Based Grant – flat rate of $1,000
- Must include all rules listed in Status Based Grant.
- The service member must submit documentation stating that they sustained a service-connected injury or illness.
- The service member’s next of kin must submit a statement that the member was KIA, MIA or is a POW.
- The requirement of 30 consecutive days or more of active military duty may be waived by the department upon receipt of written request indicating the circumstances justifying the waiver.
NOTE: Grant may be received only one time for each active-duty order.
South Carolina Veterans Employment Benefits
For more information please visit the South Carolina Department of Administration’s Veteran Hiring Toolkit.
South Carolina is making veterans a priority for employment within state agencies and institutions. Honorably discharged members of the United States Armed Forces who are given employment preference by the United States Government will be given preference for appointment and employment in every state government agency and higher education institution.
To qualify for the Veteran’s Preference, job applicants must submit the following:
- DD Form 214 /Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty
- State Application for employment to the appointing authority
In keeping with this process, hiring state agencies and institutions must interview at least one qualified Veteran for every full-time equivalent position posted.
Eligible Veterans must meet the minimum training and experience requirements for the position and must be capable of performing the duties assigned to the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
If there are no qualified Veteran applicants for the position or if no Veteran applicants met the training and experience requirements for the position, the requirement to interview a Veteran does not apply and the state agency or institution is under no further obligation under this preference.
Credit of State Retirement for Military Service
State employees called to, or returning to, active duty may continue with the state’s retirement program if they continue to make payments as normal. State employees can buy credit toward state retirement based on their military time.
An active member of one of the retirement systems administered by the South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority may also establish up to six years of service credit for any period of military service for which he or she does not already have service credit in one of the correlated defined benefit plans.
Visit the Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) website and log into Member Access to request a cost estimate.
Special License Plates
For more information, visit the following website: https://www.scdmvonline.com/Vehicle-Owners/Registration/License-Plates/Military-Plates
Upon establishing proof of eligibility, the S.C. Department of Public Safety may issue special motor vehicle license plates to the following:
- National Guard
- National Guard Retirees
- Purple Heart Recipients
- Disabled Veterans
- U.S. Armed Forces Retirees
- Ex-Prisoners of War
- Medal of Honor Recipients
- Pearl Harbor Survivors
- Pearl Harbor Survivors
- Marine Corps League
Contact the DMV to inquire about more specialty plates.
*Certain registration fees may apply.
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) has centralized the application process for obtaining a military plate. Applications for military plates will only be processed by mail at SCDMV Headquarters in Blythewood.
Customers who visit branch offices on and after April 18, 2022 to obtain a military license plate will receive an Application for Military License Plate (MV-37) and further instructions to complete the application by mail. Customers will need to mail the completed MV-37 application along with a copy of his or her DD-214, any other required paperwork, and applicable fees to SCDMV Headquarters. Once the paperwork and payment are received, the SCDMV will process the application, and the appropriate plate will be sent to the customer by mail.
Metered Parking Privilege
Visit the following website for more information: https://www.scdmvonline.com/Vehicle-Owners/Registration/License-Plates/Military-Plates
A new parking privilege has been added to certain license plates that will allow free parking in metered areas in SC. These benefits do not apply to military license plates issued before May 6, 2022.
The design printed in the top right section of the license plate will indicate that the plate is eligible for free metered parking in SC.
The Application for Military Plates (SCDMV Form MV-37) lists the requirements, benefits, and fees for each military license plate.
Permanent military plates are no longer issued. Permanent military plate holders are not required to surrender their current permanent plates and are grandfathered under the new requirements.
Permanent military license plates can be temporarily transferred to newly purchased vehicles at dealerships who sell to customers with this plate. Read the Dealer Connection for more information.
Applying for a Military License Plate
If you’re interested in applying for a military plate, you must mail all the following:
- Completed Application for Military Plates (SCDMV Form MV-37)
- For all military license plates labeled “Wheelchair,” you must include the Application for Placard and/or License Plate for People who have a Disability (Form RG-007A). Having a license plate that shows you’re a disabled veteran is not the same as having a license plate with a wheelchair that allows for parking privileges in parking spaces with handicap symbols.
- Official military documentation
- Other required documents (if listed on the SCDMV Form MV-37 under the plate requirements)
- Applicable fees
Mail the completed documents, along with payment (if applicable) in the form of a check or money order, to the address below:
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0038
State Educational Benefits
South Carolina offers a wide variety of Educational Benefits to resident veterans and their dependents.
State Educational Benefits can be used in conjunction with the National Educational Benefits (DEA)
South Carolina Free Tuition for Children of Certain Veterans
For more information, visit the following website: https://scdva.sc.gov/education
Tuition is free at state institutions for qualifying children of South Carolina veterans.
This program provides a tuition waiver for qualified children of certain military veterans applying to or enrolled at the following:
- South Carolina state supported college.
- University or post high school technical education school
- Acceptance into a dual enrollment/early college credit program prior to graduating high school. Qualifying veterans and students must meet certain residency requirements.
All children who are twenty-six years of age or younger and qualify may receive these benefits.
- Was a resident of South Carolina either:
- t the time of entry into service, during service and still resides in this State, or
- Has been a resident of this State for at least one year and still resides in this State or,
- If the veteran is deceased, resided in this State for one year before his death, and provided the veteran served honorably in a branch of the military during a war period
- (1) Was killed in action; or
- (2) Died from other causes while in the service; or
- (3) Died of disease or disability resulting from service; or
- (4) Was a prisoner of war, or
- (5) Is permanently and totally disabled, or
- (6) Has been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, or
- (7) Is missing in action
- Was a resident of South Carolina either:
- The Applicant:
- Is the child of a deceased veteran who qualified under items (4) and (5); or has been awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat.
Residency – Please note that both the Student and the Veteran (if living) must have established residency in South Carolina for at least the twelve continuous months immediately prior to the date of receipt of the application and still be a current resident of South Carolina.
Effective Date for Benefit- The effective date of this benefit is the date of receipt of the Free Tuition Application.
Link to online application: https://appengine.egov.com/apps/sc/scdva/tuitionassistance
Please call (803) 647-2434 for any questions regarding the program.
Please note the following for an easier application process:
- Do not mail or fax paper applications.
- Do not submit duplicate applications; doing so hinders processing time.
- Once applications are submitted, applicants will receive an automated response immediately.
- Applicants will not receive status updates during processing.
- Approval letters will be emailed (to institution of choice), and denial letters will be sent to students electronically via email.
- Processing times may vary based on the volume of applications received.
South Carolina Veterans Recreation Benefits
Disabled Veterans Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Visit the following website for more information: https://www.dnr.sc.gov/disabled.html
South Carolina resident veterans who are totally disabled can get a free hunting and fishing license.
The license is valid for Freshwater Fishing, Saltwater Fishing, State Hunting, Big Game, Wildlife Management Areas, and the Migratory Waterfowl Permit.
There is also a disability license that is valid for Freshwater and Saltwater Fishing only.
A Disability License is valid for 3 years from the date of issue.
If you are paraplegic or quadriplegic and include a statement from your doctor you will be issued a Lifetime Disability License.
Deer Tags: 3 Year Disability License holders will automatically receive the free base set of deer tags each year. Lifetime Disability License holders must request tags one time. After the initial request they will continue to receive tags each year.
Turkey Tags: 3 Year Disability License holders must request their turkey tags each year. Lifetime Disability License holders must request tags one time. After the initial request they will continue to receive tags each year.
Active-Duty Hunting and Fishing Licenses
For more information, visit the following website:
Military personnel and their dependents stationed in SC for thirty days or longer, or who are domiciled in this state, are eligible for resident privileges. Valid military identification must be presented when applying.
Active duty or military personnel who are residents of SC stationed outside of the state and home on leave, may upon presentation of their earnings and leave statement (which must declare SC as their home state), be allowed to fish and hunt throughout the state without
purchasing a hunting, freshwater fishing, or saltwater fishing license. Permits are required to hunt big game, migratory birds, migratory waterfowl, and hunt on WMA lands. Tags are required to hunt antlerless deer and turkey, use nongame fish devices or for taking shrimp over bait.
State Park Admission for Disabled Veterans
Visit the following website for more information: https://southcarolinaparks.com/park-passports
The ALL Park Passport is available for purchase at half price for, South Carolina senior citizens (age 65 and older), legally blind and 100 percent disabled residents of South Carolina and active members of the South Carolina National Guard. It can be purchased by citizens who show proof of eligibility at any South Carolina state park or at the State House Gift Shop located in the South Carolina State House at:
South Carolina State House
State House Gift Shop
1100 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Provided the qualifying person is present, all persons occupying a vehicle displaying these passes will be admitted to state parks without additional charge of admission. A park employee may request identification of the passport holder at the time the passport is presented.
These passports cannot be purchased online at half price. You may purchase it at any South Carolina State Park office or by calling 803-734-0156
If you call to purchase, you MUST be able to provide a copy of your driver’s license or other documentation requested.
Please note: While park passports are good for entry to the parks, they do not guarantee entry to the parks if they are full.