Benefits

Veterans' Reemployment Rights

The Federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), enacted in October 1994, provides reemployment protection and other benefits for veterans and employees who perform military service. It clarifies the rights and responsibilities of National Guard and Reserve members, as well as their civilian employers. USERRA was significantly updated in 1996 and 1998 and applies almost universally to all employers, regardless of the size of their business.

Contact the US Department of Labor at 1.866.487.2365, or the US Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR) at 1.800.336.4590, or visit them on the web at www.esgr.mil.

Credit of State Retirement for Military Service

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.

Go to www.retirement.sc.gov and log into Member Access to request a cost estimate.

Admissions Tax Exemption

Provides for the exemption of admissions taxes to athletic contests in which junior American Legion athletic teams are participants unless the proceeds are given to individual players in the form of salary or otherwise.

For more information, call 803.612.1171.

Income Tax Exemption on Retirement Pay

Any person retired from the uniformed services or their surviving spouse, shall be allowed an exemption from the S.C. State Income Tax of $3,000 until age 65. At age 65 $10,000 of retirement pay is exempt.

For more information, call 803.898.5709.

Property Taxes - Homestead Exemption

All persons who have been declared permanently and totally disabled by the Social Security Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, other state or federal agencies, are eligible for a homestead exemption in an amount set by the General Assembly. This also applies to persons over age 65.

For more information, contact your county and municipal tax offices.

Free Hunting and Fishing Licenses

Provides for free hunting/fishing license to veterans who are totally disabled. License must be applied for directly from SC Department of Natural Resources showing proof of disability.

For more information, call SCDNR at 803.734.3838, or visit them on the web at www.dnr.sc.gov.

State Parks Benefit for Totally Disabled Persons

Provides that any South Carolina resident who is a permanently and totally 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 “Palmetto Passport.” Certain services may require an additional fee.

For more information, call South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism at 803.734.0156, or visit them on the web at www.southcarolinaparks.com.

Special License Plates

Upon establishing proof of eligibility to entitlement, the S.C. Department of Public Safety, 803.737.4000, 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
  • Normandy Invasion Survivors
  • Marine Corps League

Contact the DMV to inquire about more specialty plates.

* Certain registration fees may apply.

For more information, visit the Department of Motor Vehicles on the web at SCDMV Online, or call 803.896.5000.

Property Tax Exemption

Provides that the dwelling house in which a veteran resides who has been rated as one hundred percent permanently and totally disabled from a service-connected disability by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, an Ex-POW, or a Medal of Honor recipient may be tax exempt. The tax exemption applies to the surviving spouse and may be transferred when purchasing another dwelling.

For more information, contact your county and municipal tax offices. The Department of Revenue can be found on the web at www.sctax.org, or call 803.898.5482.

Specially Adapted Housing

Provides for the exemption of state, county, and municipal taxes 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.

For more information, contact your county and municipal tax offices. The Department of Revenue can be found on the web at www.sctax.org, or call 803.898.5482.

Tax Exemption for Compensation, Pension, Disability Retirement Pay and VA Payments

Provides that federal tax exempt moneys received from pension or compensation provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or disability pay from the Armed Forces will not be included in SC tax.

For more information, call 1.800.827.1000.

Presentation of the State Flag to Families of Deceased Members of the South Carolina National Guard

Provides that the State Adjutant General’s Office shall present to the family of each deceased member of the South Carolina National Guard a flag of the State of South Carolina, appropriate for use as a burial flag, upon application of a member of the family of the deceased.

For more information, call 803.734.0200.

Recording of Discharges

A certified copy of the recorded discharge may be obtained upon request. Any person desiring a certified copy of any discharge or certificate of lost discharge, may apply to the County Clerk of Court or the County Veterans Affairs Officer in which the discharge or certificate of lost discharge is registered and shall be furnished a certified copy.

Fees for furnishing a certified copy of discharge or DD Form 214 may be established by each county, but may not exceed fifty cents.

Parking Fee Exemption

Provides for an exemption of municipal parking meter fees when a veteran’s vehicle bears a disabled veteran (“V” tag), Purple Heart or Medal of Honor license plate.

For more information, contact your county and municipal government offices.

Marriage, Birth, Death and Divorce Verification

Provides for the verification of marriage, birth, death, and divorce records without cost when such is required by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the S.C. Division of Veterans Affairs, the County Veterans Affairs Offices, or any out of state Veterans Affairs entities.

For more information, call 803.734.0200.

State Veterans Nursing Homes

There are three facilities in South Carolina:

  • E. Roy Stone Veterans Pavilion - Columbia, SC
    803.737.5441 and 803.737.5282
  • Richard Michael Campbell Home - Anderson, SC
    864.261.6734
  • Veterans' Victory House - Walterboro, SC
    843.538.3000

Additional information can be found on the web at www.state.sc.us/dmh/dir_facilities.htm#CMT.

Free Tuition / Education Assistance (Free tuition for certain veteran's children)

Provides for free tuition to the children of certain war veterans attending South Carolina state supported colleges and universities as well as state supported post high school technical education institutions. Certain residency requirements apply. For questions or to apply contact 803.647.2434.

Click here to download the Application for Tuition Assistance for Certain War Veterans Children.

Active Duty Pay Relevant to the SC Department of Revenue & Taxation

Non-resident armed services personnel, who are legal residents of other States, stationed within South Carolina by virtue of military orders are not subject to South Carolina income tax on their service pay. They are, however, subject to tax on any other income earned in South Carolina by spouses of service personnel.

For more information, visit the Department of Revenue on the web at www.sctax.org/default.htm, or call 803.898.5709 or 803.898.5712.

South Carolina Military Family Relief Fund

The South Carolina Military Family Relief Fund (SCMFRF), signed into law in 2004 by Governor Mark Sanford, 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 as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Related Links


Federal Benefits Guide


For more information regarding all benefits due you or your dependents, contact your local county veterans affairs officer, or call 803.734.0200 for an office located near you.