South Carolina Military and Veterans Benefits

State Taxes
Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Compensation Benefits

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Benefits

Health and Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits

Miscellaneous Benefits
South Carolina Military Resource Locator
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities
Resources

Summary of South Carolina Military and Veterans Benefits: The State of South Carolina offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including Income Tax Exemption on Retirement Pay, Property Tax Exemptions, State Employment Preferences, Education and Tuition Assistance, Vehicle Tags, as well as Hunting and Fishing license privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status. Section 25-11-10 of the SC Code provides that the Office of Veterans' Affairs shall assist all ex-service personnel, regardless of wars in which their service may have been rendered, in filing, presenting and prosecuting to final determination all claims which they have for money compensation, hospitalization, training and insurance benefits under the terms of federal legislation. These services are extended to eligible dependents, including parents, Surviving Spouses, Children and orphans of ex-service personnel.

 
South Carolina Military and Veterans State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility


  What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans State Tax Benefits?

 South Carolina National Guard and Reserve Service Members are Tax Exempt for 15 Days of Annual Training: Pay for (1) annual training period not to exceed 15 days for guard members or 14 days plus travel time for reserve members, (2) weekend drills, and (3) other inactive duty training is exempt from state tax.
Who is eligible for Tax Exemption for 15 Days of Military Training? South Carolina Air National Guard and Army National Guard or Air Force Reserve Service members are eligible to exempt 15 days of training.

Learn more about Advantage South Carolina National Guard and Reserve Service Members are Tax Exempt for 15 Days of Annual Training

South Carolina Retired Military Pay Income Tax: An individual taxpayer who has military retirement income, each year may deduct an amount of his South Carolina earned income from South Carolina taxable income equal to the amount of military retirement income that is included in South Carolina taxable income. The deductions are phased in over five years beginning in 2016. The term “retirement income” means the total of all otherwise taxable income not subject to a penalty for premature distribution received by the taxpayer or the taxpayer's Surviving Spouse in a taxable year from a qualified military retirement plan.

For purposes of a Surviving Spouse, “retirement income” also includes a retirement benefit plan and dependent indemnity compensation related to the deceased Spouse's military service. A Surviving Spouse receiving military retirement income that is attributable to the deceased Spouse shall apply this deduction in the same manner that the deduction applied to the deceased Spouse. If the Surviving Spouse also has another retirement income, an additional retirement exclusion is allowed.

In the case of married taxpayers who file a joint federal income tax return, the deduction allowed by this section shall be calculated separately as though they had not filed a joint return, so that each individual's deduction is based on the same individual's retirement income and earned income.

An individual taxpayer who is under the age of 65 who has military retirement may deduct $11,700 for 2018. Taxpayers must have other earned income, other than the military retirement, to take the deduction.

An individual taxpayer who is age 65 and older who has military retirement may deduct $24,000 for 2018. For taxpayers age 65 and older, there are no requirements for other earned income.

This is a benefit that phased in through 2020 and will ultimately allow an individual taxpayer who is under the age of 65 to claim a $17,500 exemption and an individual taxpayer who is age 65 and older to claim a $30,000 exemption.

Learn more about South Carolina Retired Military Pay Income Tax

South Carolina Income Tax on Military Disability Retired Pay: Military Disability Retirement Pay received as a pension, annuity or similar allowance for personal injury or sickness resulting from active service in the armed forces should not be included in taxable income if any of the following conditions apply:

  • You were entitled to receive a disability payment before September 25, 1975;

  • You were a member of the military (active or reserves) or were under a binding written commitment to become a member on September 24, 1975;

  • You receive disability payments for a combat-related injury. This is a personal injury or sickness that:

    • Resulted directly from armed conflict,

    • Took place while you were engaged in extra-hazardous service,

    • Took place under conditions simulating, including training exercises such as maneuvers, or

    • Was caused by an instrumentality of war.

  • You would be entitled to receive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if you filed an application for it (the exclusion under this condition equals the amount you would be entitled to from the VA).

 Learn more about South Carolina Income Tax on Military Disability Retired Pay

South Carolina Income Tax Exemption on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

Learn more about South Carolina Income Tax Exemption on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

South Carolina State Tax Exemption for Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP): Follows the same rules in the section “South Carolina Retired Military Pay Income Tax”

Learn more about South Carolina State Tax Exemption for Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP)

South Carolina Complete Property Tax Homestead Exemption for Permanently and Totally Disabled Veterans, Prisoners of War and Medal of Honor Recipients: Provides a complete property tax exemption for the following Veterans:

  • Veteran residents 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 – Qualifies for tax exemption on:

    • Home and land up to 5 acres (Exemption passes on to Surviving Spouse if they maintain sole ownership)

    • Two private passenger vehicles owned or leased by the Veteran or with a Spouse (One vehicle exemption passes on to Surviving Spouse if they maintain sole ownership)

  • Veteran resident that was a former Prisoner of War – Qualifies for tax exemption on:

    • Home and land up to 1 acre (Exemption passes on to Surviving Spouse if they maintain sole ownership)

    • Two private passenger vehicles owned or leased by the Veteran

  • Veteran resident that was a Medal of Honor recipient – Qualifies for tax exemption on:

    • Home and land up to 1 acre (Exemption passes on to Surviving Spouse if they maintain sole ownership)

    • Two private passenger vehicles owned or leased by the Veteran (One vehicle exemption passes on to Surviving Spouse if they maintain sole ownership)

South Carolina Department of Revenue, Property Tax Exemptions for South Carolina Veterans, Medal of Honor Recipients and Prisoner of War Brochure

Learn more about the South Carolina Complete Property Tax Homestead Exemption for Permanently and Totally Disabled Veterans, Prisoners of War and Medal of Honor Recipients

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 What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans Education Benefits?

 South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program: South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program (SCNG CAP) will pay grants up to $4,500 per academic year towards a student's cost of attendance at state public and independent schools with a cap of $18,000 per Service member. A SCNG CAP recipient shall not qualify for more than one hundred thirty (130) attempted semester hours or related quarter hours from the time of initial eligibility.
Who is eligible for South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program? Army and Air National Guard Service members are eligible for assistance. Assistance is only available for the first undergraduate degree only. Only those identified as critical need and in good standing are eligible.
South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program Application

Learn more about South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program

South Carolina 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.
Who is eligible for South Carolina Education Assistance, Free Tuition for Certain Veteran's Children?
To be eligible the Child’s Veteran parent must have been a resident of this State at the time of entry into service, during service and still resides in this State or has been a resident of this State for at least one year and still resides in this State or, if the Veteran is deceased, resided in this State for one year before his death, and provided the Veteran served honorably in a branch of the military service of the United States during a war period, In addition the Child’s Veteran parent must have been one of the following:

  • Was killed in action;

  • Died from other causes while in the service;

  • Died of disease or disability resulting from service;

  • Was a prisoner of war as defined by Congress or Presidential proclamation during such war period;

  • Is permanently and totally disabled, as determined by the Veterans Administration from any cause;

  • Has been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor;

  • Is missing in action;

  • The applicant is the Child of a deceased Veteran who was a prisoner of war or permanently and totally disabled; or

  • Has been awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat.

For questions or to apply contact 803-647-2434.
SECTION 59-111-20
South Carolina Division of Veterans' Affairs, Application for Tuition Assistance for certain Veterans' Children

Learn more about South Carolina Education Assistance, Free Tuition for Certain Veteran's Children

South Carolina 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 Points of Contact:
Yolande Anderson, South Carolina Commissioner Designee
Director, Family and Community Engagement
South Carolina Department of Education
Address: 1429 Senate St, Rm 302B, Columbia, SC 29201
Email: yanderson@ed.sc.gov
Phone: 803-734-1598

Learn more about South Carolina Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

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 What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans Employment Benefits?