South Carolina Veterans BenefitsUpdated: November 4, 2022
Find South Carolina veterans benefits including education, tax deductions, veteran’s homes, financial assistance and more below. The Palmetto State has more than 420,000 veterans who can access these great benefits.
Veteran Education Benefits
Tuition assistance for children of war veterans
In addition to Federal GI Bill benefits, South Carolina offers tuition assistance for children of certain war veterans. Children of veterans are eligible for free tuition if they are 26 or younger and enrolled in an undergraduate program at a state-supported school. The veteran must have been honorably discharged after serving during a war-time period and meet the following criteria for the child to receive free tuition:
- Deemed totally and permanently disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Died during military service.
- Died from a service-connected disability.
- Was a prisoner of war (POW) or is missing in action (MIA).
- Congressional Medal of Honor or Purple Heart recipient.
Certain residency requirements apply. For questions or to apply contact 803-647-2434 or download the Application for Tuition Assistance for Certain War Veterans Children.
S.C. Works Centers
To assist veterans transitioning into the civilian workforce, local veteran outreach specialists are trained to provide career coaching, job referrals, resume preparation and priority placement services.
Operation Palmetto Employment
Operation Palmetto Employment is a statewide initiative supported by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce to help military members, veterans and their families find meaningful careers after military service. This includes access to education, training, job fairs and more.
Veterans who have received an honorable discharge from military service will receive a hiring preference for state positions, provided they meet the knowledge and skill requirements for the position. In addition, veterans who retire from state employment may use up to six years toward an increase in state retirement benefits.
Veteran Housing Benefits
South Carolina Veteran Nursing Home
Veterans meeting residency requirements who were discharged under general or honorable conditions and require skilled nursing care are eligible for admission to one of three veteran nursing homes in South Carolina.
Specially Adapted Housing
State, county and municipal taxes are exempt on the residence of veterans who have lost the use of their lower extremities or who have paralysis of one lateral half of the body resulting from injury to the motor centers of the brain.
Veteran Financial Benefits
Military Retirement Pay Taxes
South Carolina veterans receiving military-retirement pay are permitted to deduct certain amounts from their total taxable income. Retirees younger than 65 years old may deduct $11,700, while those 65 and older can deduct $24,000.
Veteran Property Taxes
Veterans with a 100% service-connected disability are eligible for a total exemption of property tax on their homes, as well as a homestead tax deduction of up to $50,000.
Vehicle property taxes are also exempt for disabled veterans, and will be extended to their surviving spouse in the event of the veteran’s death.
Admissions Tax Exemption
Admissions taxes to athletic contests are tax exempt where junior American Legion athletic teams are participants, unless the proceeds are given to individual players in the form of salary or otherwise.
Veterans with a service-connected disability are eligible to receive a free state hunting and fishing license. Any South Carolina resident who is a 100% disabled veteran may enter any state park at a reduced rate upon presentation of supporting disability documentation. The veteran may also apply for a reduced fee of “Palmetto Passport.” Certain services may require an additional fee.
Lawyers 4 Vets
Volunteer attorneys in South Carolina assist veterans with basic legal services, such as child support issues, powers of attorney, wills and other legal matters. These services are reserved for low-income veterans. For more information, call 877-289-6000.
Veterans who resided in South Carolina at the time of death, at the time of entry into service or for any period of five years or more are eligible to be buried in a South Carolina State Cemetery. Additionally, there is one veteran’s cemetery in Anderson, called the M.J. Cooper veterans cemetery.
There is no charge for veterans to be buried at this cemetery, and only a small fee for their spouse. Some dependent children may be eligible for burial as well.
Special License Plates
Special motor vehicle license plates are issued to certain veterans.
Parking Fee Exemption
Municipal parking meter fees are free when a veteran’s vehicle bears a disabled veteran (“V” tag), Purple Heart or Medal of Honor license plate.