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South Carolina Veterans & Disabled Veterans Benefits

south carolina veterans' benefits

The following are the South Carolina veterans’ benefits programs for education, healthcare, housing and employment for 2018-2019.

South Carolina Veterans Benefits Programs

Education Benefits for Veterans In South Carolina

In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, there are veterans benefits programs provided by the states.  The following are the South Carolina veterans’ benefits programs for education in 2018 and 2019.

South Carolina Free Tuition For Children of Certain Veterans

Free tuition at state schools for children of SC veterans who died in service, as a result of their service, is permanently and totally disabled, was awarded the Purple Heart or the Medal of Honor.

South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program (SCNG CAP)

The SCNG College Assistance Program will pay 100% of college tuition and fees at state supported institutions up to $4,500 per year, with a lifetime cap of $18,000 per service-member.

RELATED: National Guard Tuition Assistance

Find colleges in South Carolina with our School Finder.  Use the filters to sort schools by state.

Housing Benefits for Veterans in South Carolina

Property Tax

Veterans who have been declared permanently and totally disabled by the Social Security Administration, US Department of Veterans Affairs, or other state or federal agencies are eligible for a full homestead exemption. They will need to have been diagnosed with paraplegia, hemiplegia or quadriplegia, Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS.) There is also a homestead exemption available for all persons over 65 and/or totally and permanently disabled. Surviving spouses can also qualify.

Health Care Benefits For Veterans in South Carolina

South Carolina Nursing Homes

There are three South Carolina Nursing Homes. The C.M. Tucker Nursing Care Center in Columbia, the Richard Michael Campbell Veterans Nursing Home in Anderson, and the Veterans’ Victory House in Walterboro. In order to go to one of these facilities, a veteran must have separated from the US Armed Forces under general or honorable conditions and qualify as a South Carolina resident. They will also need skilled or intermediate nursing home care.

Employment Benefits for Veterans in South Carolina

South Carolina Operation Palmetto Employment

The Governor of South Carolina, with the South Carolina National Guard and the Department of Employment and Workforce, formed a statewide military employment initiative that is aimed at reducing the unemployment rate in the South Carolina military community. There is a network of counselors provides comprehensive statewide Veterans’ job placement services that include resume preparation, mock interviewing, education, and training, and job fairs and other related services. Unemployed service members as well as veterans and family members can qualify.

Veterans Hiring Preference

There is veterans hiring preference in South Carolina. It will be granted to eligible members for employment or an appointment in public departments or public works that are operating on a merit system. Veterans need to be honorably discharged from the US Armed Forces and must have the skills and knowledge required for the position involved.

Credit In State Retirement System For Military

If someone is an active member of one of the retirement systems administered by the South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority, they may also establish up to six years of service credit in one of the correlated defined benefit plans.

Military Retirement Deduction Under The Age of 65

There is a deduction for taxpayers under 65. They must have other earned income besides military retirement pay. The deduction will be $17,500 per taxpayer for 2020, $14,600 for 2019. If they are a taxpayer and only have military retirement income, they would only be eligible for the retirement deduction of $3,000.

Military Retirement Deduction Over The Age of 65

If the veteran is over the age of 65, with military retirement pay, they can deduct $30,000 for 2020, and $27,000 for 2019. There is no requirement for additional earned income.

CDL Skills Test Waiver

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles allows qualified military service members to waive the commercial skills test in order to earn their CDL (commercial driver licence.) The waiver will allow them to apply for a South Carolina driver licence without having to take the skills test. Applicants will still need to pass all the required knowledge tests and comply with mandatory federal regulations. Active military personnel and those within 12 months of seperation of military service who have also served in a military position using a military commercial motor vehicle qualify. They will also need a valid South Carolina driver’s license and can not have had more than one other driver licence within the past two years and can’t have a suspended, revoked, cancelled, or disqualified licence during the previous two years. Their commanding officer must also sign the waiver.

Other Veterans’ Benefits in South Carolina

The South Carolina Military Family Relief Fund

This relief fund was set up in 2004. The fund provides monetary grants to families of South Carolina National Guard Members and South Carolina residents that are serving in the US Armed Forces reserve components who were called to active duty as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The grant is so that families can have help with the costs of food, housing, utilities, medical services, and other expenses that can be difficult to pay when a member of the household has to leave civilian employment to be placed on active duty. The service member will need to be a resident of South Carolina, and was or on active duty military for 30 consecutive days or more as a result of September 11, 2001. Rank needs to not be higher than O-3 or W-2 and they can only receive a grant one time in each fiscal year and only one time for each active duty order. The grants are $2,000 maximum.


For more information regarding South Carolina veterans’ benefits, please visit – South Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs

Related state military and veteran information:



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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.