Updated: Dec 28, 2020
South Carolina, The Palmetto State, offers benefits to over 420,000 veterans.
Veteran Education Benefits
Tuition Assistance for Children of War Veterans
South Carolina veterans can use their Federal GI Bill benefits, but the state also offers tuition assistance for children of specific war veterans. Children of veterans qualify for free tuition if they are younger than 27 and enrolled in any undergraduate program at any state-supported school. The veteran must have been honorably discharged, served during a war-time period, and meet one of the following criteria:
● VA classified as totally and permanently disabled
● Died because of military service or from a service-connected disability
● A prisoner of war (POW) or classified as missing in action (MIA)
● Received a Congressional Medal of Honor or Purple Heart Medal
South Carolina residency requirements apply. To apply, download the Application for Tuition Assistance for Certain War Veterans Children.
SC Works Centers
Local veteran outreach specialists provide career advice, job referrals, help with resume preparation, and veteran priority placement services. South Carolina Work Centers throughout the state help veterans transition from military life into the civilian workforce,
Operation Palmetto Employment
Operation Palmetto Employment, operating statewide, helps veterans and their families find meaningful careers after military service. Services include access to training and education, job fairs, and more.
Honorably discharged veterans receive hiring preference for any state positions if they meet the position’s knowledge and skill requirements. A Veteran who retires from state employment may use up to six years of military service to increase state retirement benefits.
Veteran Housing Benefits
South Carolina Veteran Nursing Home
South Carolina has three veterans nursing homes
Easy Living Veterans Home, Lamar, South Carolina
Richard M. Campbell Veterans Nursing Home, Andersen, South Carolina
Veteran’s Victory House, Walterboro, South Carolina
Veterans who meet South Carolina residency requirements were discharged under general or honorable conditions and need skilled nursing care can apply for a bed at one of the homes.
Specially Adapted Housing Tax Exemption
Housing that has been built or adapted to allow for easier use by disabled veterans is exempt from state, county, and municipal taxes. The veteran homeowner must have lost the use of their lower extremities or suffered paralysis to one lateral half of the body because of injury to the brain’s motor centers.
Veteran Financial Benefits
Military Retirement Pay Taxes
South Carolina veterans who receive military retirement pay can deduct specified amounts from their total taxable income. Retirees who under 65 may deduct $11,700, and those 65 or older can deduct $24,000.
Veteran Property Taxes
Veterans who have been VA classified as having a 100% service-connected disability are eligible for a total property tax exemption for their homes. These veterans also qualify for a homestead tax deduction of up to $50,000 and a vehicle property tax exemption. The vehicle tax exemption transfers to a surviving spouse when the veteran dies.
Veterans with a service-connected disability receive a free state hunting and fishing licenses. A South Carolina resident who is a 100% disabled veteran enters state parks at a reduced rate. The veteran can also apply for a reduced fee “Palmetto Passport.” Some park services may require fees.
Lawyers 4 Vets
South Carolina volunteer attorneys help veterans with basic legal services, like child support issues, wills, and powers of attorney. Legal services are only available to low-income veterans.
South Carolina has one state-run veterans cemetery:
M.J. Cooper Veterans Cemetery in Anderson, South Carolina
South Carolina veterans who resided in the state when they entered military service, at the time of death, or for any five years of their lives are eligible for burial in Anderson. There is no charge for veterans buried at this cemetery but a small fee for their spouses. Dependent children may be eligible for burial as well.
There are three veteran cemeteries in the state:
Beaufort National Cemetery in Beaufort, South Carolina
Florence National Cemetery in Florence, South Carolina
Fort Jackson National Cemetery in Columbia, South Carolina
Check for national cemetery requirements.
Special License Plates
Special designation vehicle license plates are issued available for some veterans. Municipal parking metered spaces are free if a vehicle displays a designated disabled veteran, Purple Heart, or Medal of Honor license plate.