State / Territory Benefits - South Dakota
Motor Vehicles Division
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks & Recreation Benefits
Wounded Warrior Benefits
Army National Guard Benefits
US Army Reserve Benefits
Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities
Summary: South Dakota offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including Property Tax Exemption for Veterans and their widow or widower, Compensation for State Active Duty, South Dakota Tuition for Veterans, Hunting and Fishing Cards for Disabled Veterans and Free Admission and Reduced Camping Fees for Veterans. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status.
State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility
State Tax Advantage: Retirement Income is not taxed.
Personal Income Taxes: No state personal income tax.
Property Tax Exemption for Paraplegic Veterans and Their Widow or Widower: Dwellings or parts of multiple Family dwellings which are specifically designed for use by paraplegics as wheelchair homes and which are owned and occupied by Veterans with the loss, or loss of use, of both lower extremities, or by the un-remarried widow or widower of such Veteran, are exempt from taxation.
Eligibility: The dwelling must be owned and occupied by the Veteran for one full calendar year before the exemption becomes effective. For purposes of this statute, the term "dwelling" generally means real estate in an amount not to exceed one acre upon which the building is located.
Totally Disabled Veterans: $100,000 of the full and true value of a dwelling that is owned and occupied by a Veteran who is rated permanently and totally disabled from a service connected disability (ies), or the unmarried surviving spouse of such Veteran, is exempt from taxation.
Eligibility: The dwelling must be owned and occupied by the Veteran or surviving spouse. Application for the exemption is made through the county assessor.
Sales and Property Tax Refund for Senior & Disabled Citizens: Offers eligible senior citizens and disabled individuals a once-a-year refund of sales OR property taxes.
Eligibility: To be eligible the senior or disabled citizen must be at least 66 years old on or before Jan 1 of the current year OR must be a Veteran disabled with a rating of 60% or higher. Additionally, the individual must have been a South Dakota resident for the entire previous year and meet the annual income requirements. For 2012 the income limit for a single-member household is $10,500; for a multiple member household the limit is $13,750.
Free Tuition for Veterans: Certain Veterans are eligible to take undergraduate courses at a state supported university without payment of tuition provided they are not eligible for educational payments under the GI Bill or any other federal educational program.
Eligibility: To qualify the Veteran must:
have been discharged under Honorable conditions
must be a current resident of South Dakota and qualify for in-state tuition, and
meet one of the following:
served on active duty between August 2,1990 and date to be determined, OR
received an Armed Forces Expeditionary medal, or other United States campaign, expeditionary, or service medal awarded for participation in combat operations against hostile forces outside the boundaries of the United States, OR
has a Service connected disability rated 10% or more, disabling.
Veterans have twenty (20) years from the ending date of the particular conflict during which they served and earned eligibility for this program, or six years following discharge, whichever, date is later, to use the free tuition program. Veterans who qualify because of a service connected disability have twenty (20) years from the date they were originally rated by the VA as 10%, or more, disabled.
Veterans may receive one month of free tuition for each month of 'qualifying service' with a minimum of one, up to a maximum of four academic years. Qualifying service is defined as: The amount of time served on active duty between the beginning and ending dates of the particular period of conflict or hostilities during which the Veteran earned eligibility for this program. (SDCL) 13-55-2 to 13-55-5
Free Tuition for Children of Veterans Who Die During Service: The child of a Veteran who suffered death, for any cause, while on active duty may be eligible for free tuition at a state supported school or any postsecondary technical institute. The deceased Veteran must have been a bona-fide resident of South Dakota for at least six months immediately preceding entry into active service.
Eligibility: The child must be under the age of twenty-five and a resident of South Dakota. (SDCL) 13-55-6 to 13-55-9
Free Tuition for Dependents of POW's and MIA's: The spouse or child of a Veteran who is a prisoner of war or who is listed as missing in action, may be entitled to free tuition at a state supported school or vocational school. The Veteran must have been a bona-fide resident of South Dakota at the time of entry into active service.
Eligibility: The child or spouse must be a resident of South Dakota and not eligible for equal or greater federal benefits. (SDCL) 13-55-9.1 to 13-55-9.6
Free tuition for Child or Spouse of National Guard members disabled or deceased in the line of duty: Dependents of a SD National Guard member who dies or becomes permanently disabled while on state or federal active duty may be entitled to free tuition for any course or courses of study in any state supported educational institution.
Eligibility: The child must be less than twenty-five years of age and a current resident of South Dakota. (SDCL) 13-55-10
Reduced Tuition for South Dakota National Guard members: National Guard members, who meet the requirements for admission, are eligible for a fifty percent (50%) reduction in undergraduate tuition charges at any state supported school for up to a maximum of four academic years OR, one program of study, approved by the state Board of Education, at any state vocational school upon payment of fifty percent (50%) of the tuition charges. The receipt of federal educational benefits does not affect eligibility for this program.
Eligibility: To qualify the National Guard member must be a resident of this state and a member of the South Dakota Army or Air Guard throughout each semester or vocational program for which he or she applies for benefits, have completed required active duty for training, attend 90% of drills and training periods and maintain a satisfactory academic grade level and provide proper notice to the institution at time of registration for the term in which benefits are sought. (SDCL) 33-6-5 to 33-6-8
Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: It is the purpose of this compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military Families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:
Facilitating the timely enrollment of children of military Families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of educational records from the previous school district or variations in entrance or age requirements.
Facilitating the student placement process through which children of military Families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content or assessment. Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs, and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic and social activities.
Facilitating the on-time graduation of children of military Families.
Providing for the promulgation and enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact.
Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools and military Families under this compact.
Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military children.
Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student.
Primary Point of Contact:
DR. Loren Scheer, Commissioner
Address: 400 Patriot Dr, Box Elder, SD 57719
Employment Assistance: State employee receives 15 days military leave per year for Federal or State active duty and can apply their active duty points toward their state retirement.
Eligibility: National Guard or reserve Service member who is a state employee on orders for Annual Training. (SDCL) 3-6-22
Unemployment Compensation: South Dakota's Department of Labor and Regulation administers the Unemployment Insurance (UI), providing temporary financial assistance for people who have lost their jobs, through no fault of their own, until they find other employment. South Dakota's unemployment insurance program is financed by employers through payroll taxes; workers do not contribute to this plan.
To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you must:
File an application for benefits.
Be totally or partially unemployed.
Have worked at a job where your employer paid unemployment insurance tax on your wages.
Lost your last job through no fault of your own.
Earned a certain amount of wages in the last 15 to 18 months.
Be registered with the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation through SDWorks or your designated state workforce agency, unless exempted.
Be able to work, available for work and actively seeking work by making personal contact with employers.
Be willing to accept suitable work when offered and apply for suitable work when directed to do so by a local South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation office. You are being directed to apply for suitable work when referred by your local South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation office. If you refuse a referral or fail to apply for a job when referred, you may be disqualified from receiving benefits.
You need to file a claim for unemployment benefits within the first week that you become totally or partially unemployed. A delay may cost you benefits. You have two options for filing a claim. No matter which option you choose, you will need some important information available before filing.
- File online 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Log in to file a claim online
- Contact the Call Center at 605.626.3179 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. (CST). See below
Tips for Using the Call Center.
Disabled Veteran Plate: For resident Veterans who were injured while serving on active duty during a time of war or while participating in a military mission involving armed conflict. The Veteran must meet one of the following criteria: is in receipt of the VA "K" award, or is service connected for the loss or loss of use of one or more extremities, or is rated totally disabled from service-connected disabilities. This plate entitles the Veteran to park in spaces reserved for the handicapped. (SDCL) 32-5-108. A $10.00 plate fee will be charged annually for the Disabled Veteran plate, no registration fee is charged.
Prisoner of War Plate: For resident Veterans who were held as a prisoner of war while serving on active duty and who received an honorable discharge. (SDCL) 32-5-109. A $10.00 plate fee will be charged annually for the POW plate, no registration fee is charged.
Pearl Harbor Survivor Plate: For resident Veterans who were serving on active duty and survived the attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and who received an honorable discharge. (SDCL) 32-5-109.1. A $10.00 plate fee will be charged annually for the Pearl Harbor plate, no registration fee is charged.
Purple Heart Plate: For resident Veterans who were awarded the Purple Heart. The applicant must submit a copy of DD Form 214, discharge papers, verifying eligibility; (SDCL) 32-5-109.2. A $10.00 plate fee will be charged annually for the Purple Heart plate, no registration fee is charged.
Congressional Medal of Honor Plate: For resident Veterans who were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. If the applicant dies, the special plates may be retained by the Veteran's Family, but may not be displayed on the vehicle beyond the expiration of the plates or renewal sticker (SDCL) 32-5-109.3. There is no fee charged for this plate.
Gold Star Plate: For resident parents, spouse, children or siblings of a member of the Armed Forces who died in service, or as a result of service. (SDCL) 32-5-109.5. A $10.00 special plate fee will be charged for the initial plate plus the annual registration fee assessed.
Veterans Plate: Distinctive plate indicating the Veteran's branch of service (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard) and may include the period of wartime service. (SDCL) 32-5-109.4. Veterans will pay the registration fee and an initial $10.00 special plate fee.
National Guard Plate: Distinctive numbered plates available to active members of the South Dakota National Guard. Retired members of the South Dakota National Guard, with twenty (20) years or more of creditable service is entitled to make application for National Guard plates. (SDCL) 32-5-55 and 32-5-98. The Fee for an initial National Guard plate is $10.00, in addition to the registration fee. There is no additional fee for the renewal of the special plate, but the registration fee is assessed.
Active Duty Military Plate: Distinctive plate indicating the current Service member's branch of service (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard). (SDCL) 32-5-109.4. Service members will pay the regular plate fee and an initial $10.00 special plate fee.
Veteran Designation on Driver License or ID Card: Effective July 1, 2012, Veterans who have been honorably discharged from the military have the option of adding the word "Veteran" to the front of their South Dakota driver license or identification card. Veterans who wish to add the designation to their driver license or non-driver ID card may visit any South Dakota driver license office. They will need to present their DD-214, which shows their honorable discharge status from active duty, or present a certificate signed by a county or tribal Veterans service officer verifying their status. They will also need to provide the other documents required of any applicant and pay the appropriate duplicate or renewal fee.
Medical Benefits: Same as active duty
Eligibility: National Guard Service member injury or illness incurred in line-of-duty. (SDCL) 33-7-1 to 33-7-7
Workers Compensation: Workers Compensation equivalent to State employees.
Eligibility: National Guard Service member Injury occurs while serving on State Active Duty.
Injury/Death Benefits: Injury same as active duty, death in accordance with VA schedule.
Eligibility: National Guard Service member Injury/Death occurs while serving on State Active Duty. (SDCL) 33-7-7
Hunting and Fishing Cards for Disabled Veterans: For a $10 fee, eligible Veterans may receive a hunting and fishing card which is valid for four years. This card is the equivalent of the resident fishing and small game license.
Eligibility: The Veteran must be rated as totally disabled from service-connected injuries or, be in receipt of the VA " K" award or, have been held as a Prisoner of War or, be in receipt of Social Security benefits because of a total disability. Application forms are available from the Game, Fish and Parks Regional Office. The application, along with verification of eligibility, is submitted to Game, Fish and Parks, 412 West Missouri, Pierre, SD 57501. (SDCL) 41-6-10.2
Special Provisions for Handicapped Hunters: Veterans who are missing an upper limb, or are physically incapable of using an upper limb or who are confined to a wheelchair may use a crossbow to take game birds and animals once they have obtained a disabled hunter permit. A legally blind or quadriplegic, legally licensed individual who possesses a disabled hunter permit and who is physically present and participating in the hunt may claim game birds and animals taken by a designated hunter in accordance with the license or licenses possessed by the handicapped hunter.
Eligibility: Applications are obtained from the Game, Fish and Parks office in Pierre or from a game warden. (SDCL) 41-8-31
Free Admission and Reduced Camping Fees for Veterans: Certain resident Veterans may obtain free admission to any South Dakota state park and are eligible for a fifty percent discount on any camping fee or associated electrical fee. Veterans Disability Park Entrance Application
Eligibility: The Veteran must be totally disabled from service-connected disabilities or be in receipt of the VA " K" award or have been held as a Prisoner of War. Application forms may be obtained from the local park manager or through the Game, Fish and Parks office in Pierre. (SDCL) 41-17-13.4
Free Certified Copies of Veterans Records: South Dakota counties may not charge for certified copies of birth, death, marriage, adoption, divorce, and guardianship or conservatorship papers.
Eligibility: When such records are required in support of a claim against any agency of the federal or state government by, or on behalf of a Service member or Veteran, or the spouse, surviving spouse or dependents of a Service member or Veteran. (SDCL) 34-25-54
Veterans Home: Michael J. Fitzmaurice South Dakota Veterans Home located in Hot Springs has 53 beds for Nursing / Special Care and 102 beds for Independent Living.
Eligibility: Honorable discharge from qualifying military service as defined by SD codified law. Resident of South Dakota for one year, immediately prior to date of application. Spouses or surviving spouses may qualify.
Burial Allowance for Veterans, Spouses, or Widows: A payment of up to $100 may be paid by the state to help defray the burial and funeral expenses of any honorably discharged Veteran or the spouse, widow or widower of a Veteran when the estate, or immediate Family, of the deceased is lacking in funds to pay the expenses.
Eligibility: The Veteran must have been a citizen of the United States for one year preceding entrance into military service or one year preceding the death. This payment cannot be made to another unit of government. The surviving spouse, or relatives, must furnish an affidavit that sufficient funds are not available for payment of the expenses. Affidavit and a copy of the funeral bill must be submitted to the Pierre office within one year from the date of the burial. (SDCL) 33-19-2 and 33-19-3
Headstone Setting Fee: The state will pay $100 towards the cost of setting a government headstone or marker at the grave of a Veteran.
Eligibility: The Veteran was a resident of this state for one year preceding entrance into the military service or one year preceding death. Application for Veterans Headstone Setting Fee must be submitted to the Pierre Office within one year from the date of setting of the headstone or marker. (SDCL) 33-19-5
Military Installations and Veterans Affairs Facilities in South Dakota
No active duty Army installations are located in South Dakota.
Ellsworth Air Force Base: http://www.ellsworth.af.mil/
Full service military installation providing DEERs enrollment and Military ID cards. Additional services include a Base Exchange, Commissary, Medical and Dental Facilities, Teen and Youth Activities and Employment Assistance.
South Dakota National Guard Joint Headquarters: https://sdguard.ngb.army.mil/default.aspx
South Dakota Army National Guard: https://sdguard.ngb.army.mil/army.aspx
South Dakota Air National Guard: https://sdguard.ngb.army.mil/air.aspx
Veterans Health Administration
VA Health Care System
Sioux Falls: Sioux Falls VA Health Care System, 2501 W. 22nd St, 605-336-3230
VA Medical Centers
Fort Meade: VA Black Hills Health Care System - Fort Meade Campus, 113 Comanche Rd, 605-347-2511 / 800-743-1070
Hot Springs: VA Black Hills Health Care System - Hot Springs Campus, 500 North 5th St,
605-745-2000 / 800-764-5370
Community Based Outpatient Clinics
Aberdeen: Aberdeen VA Clinic, 2301 8th Ave. NE, Suite 225, 605-229-3500 / Fax: 605-229-3505
Eagle Butte: Eagle Butte VA Clinic, Prairie Community Health, 8000 Highway 212, 605-964-8000
Eagle Butte: Faith VA Clinic, Prairie Community Health, 8000 Highway 212, 605-967-2644
Eagle Butte: Isabel Community Based Outpatient Clinic, Prairie Community Health, 8000 Highway 212, 605-466-2120
McLaughlin: McLaughlin VA Clinic, Veterans Industries, Sales Barn Rd, P.O. Box 519, 605-347-2511 x7161
Mission: Mission CBOC, Horizon Health Care, Inc. 153 Main St, 605-856-2295
Pierre: Pierre VA Clinic, Linn Medical Clinic, 1601 North Harrison, Suite 6, 605-945-1710
Pine Ridge: Pine Ridge VA Clinic, Next to IHS Hospital, 605-867-2393 x 4033
Rapid City: Rapid City VA Clinic, 3625 5th St, 605-718-1095
Wagner: Wagner CBOC, 400 West Hwy 46, 605-384-2340 / Fax: 605-384-2345
Watertown: Watertown CBOC, 917 - 29th St SE, 605-884-2420 / Fax: 605-884-2425
Winner: Winner VA Clinic, 1436 East 10th St, 605-842-2443
Martin: Pine Ridge Vet Center Outstation, P.O. Box 910 105 E. Hwy 18, 605-685-1300 / 877-927-8387 / Fax: 605-685-1406
Rapid City: Rapid City Vet Center, 621 6th St, Suite 101, 605-348-0077 / 877-927-8387 / Fax: 605-348-0878
Sioux Falls: Sioux Falls Vet Center, 3200 W 49th St, 605-330-4552 / 877-927-8387 / Fax: 605-330-4554
Veterans Benefits Administration
Sioux Falls: Sioux Falls Regional Office, 2501 W 22nd St, 800-827-1000 / Fax: 605-333-5316
Document Review Date: 26 July 2013