South Carolina State Veteran Benefits


We endeavor to keep this information current, but it is subject to change without notice.


Some children may receive tuition benefits at South Carolina’s state-funded, post-high schools free of charge. Both student and veteran have residency requirements in addition to other stipulations they must meet. There are limits to benefits as well. The dependent children of resident veterans who meet additional criteria are eligible. The qualifying veteran must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Died while serving our country
  • Died as a result of injuries or disabilities received while serving our country
  • Were awarded the Purple Heart or the Medal of Honor, OR
  • Are rated by the VA to be 100% permanently and totally disabled


Veterans Preference

The Palmetto State gives a hiring preference to Veterans looking for jobs in the state and public sector.

State Retirement Credit for Military Service

If you are a State worker when you enter active duty or are called up to serve, you can continue paying into the state’s retirement system (or buy back into your state retirement fund) up to six years, based on time spent in the military.  


Income Tax 

South Carolina exempts the first $11,700 of military retirement pay from taxes, unless the veteran is 65 or older. For veterans in this age bracket, the state allows a $24,000 exemption. The State does tax active duty pay, but drill pay for Reserve and National Guard is not taxable. The State also does not tax federal monies paid as a pension, disability pay from the military or VA compensation.

Property Taxes

Some disabled are eligible for a homestead tax deduction and a total exemption of property tax on their homes if they have been rated by the VA to be permanently and totally disabled. This benefit can potentially transfer both to a new home and/or to a surviving spouse. 

Specially Adapted Housing Tax Exemption

Veterans who are paralyzed in the lower half of their bodies or who have lateral half paralysis can receive a tax exemption at the city, county and state levels for their adaptive residences.

Municipal Parking Fees

South Carolina offers specialized license plates to distinguish Veterans who served in certain campaigns or endured certain circumstances (i.e., Pearl Harbor Survivors or Ex-Prisoners of War). Along these lines, the State has exempted certain Veterans from paying municipal parking fees when the license plates of their vehicles show them to be a Disabled Veteran, or a Purple Heart or Medal of Honor recipient.


Hunting & Fishing Licenses

Disabled South Carolina veterans are eligible for a three-year combo hunting & fishing license at no charge. Must meet residency rules by being domiciled in the State for at least 365 days at time of application.

South Carolina military residents stationed elsewhere but home on leave can hunt & fish without a license, but they must have a copy of their leave and earnings statement showing proof of residency. Privileges extend to freshwater and saltwater fishing and certain hunting only. Permits required for big game, migratory birds and waterfowl, etc.

Active duty stationed in South Carolina for at least 30 days qualify to pay resident rates when applying for hunting & fishing licenses.

State Parks

The state offers the Palmetto Passport at half-price to 100% disabled veterans, the legally blind, active State National Guard members and other residents who are 65 or older. A disabled veteran having this annual pass secures free entrance to state parks for themselves and for the others in their vehicle. Pass must be purchased in person and does not guarantee admission depending on park occupancy. Additional use fees may apply.


Veterans’ homes in Anderson, Columbia, and Walterboro provide long-term skilled nursing care and/or dementia management for Veterans who have been residents of South Carolina for at least a year, hold ‘other than dishonorable’ discharges and who need this high level of medical oversight. Each home can provide additional information on eligibility, fees and the admissions process.


The M.J. “Dolly” Cooper veterans’ cemetery in Anderson followings Department of Veterans Affairs’ national guidelines to determine eligibility of immediate family members. Veteran pays nothing to be interred; dependents pay $300. 

Burial is open to honorably discharged veterans and their spouses, who meet residency requirements of either:

  • Entering the military from South Carolina, showing as home of record
  • Can show proof of residency in the State for at least five years


You can find more information regarding these benefits and other programs at the South Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs website.