South Carolina Military and Veterans Benefits
Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Benefits
Health and Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities
South Carolina Military Resource Locator
Summary of South Carolina Military and Veterans Benefits: South Carolina offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including income tax deduction for military retired 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.
South Carolina Military and Veterans State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility
South Carolina Military Retired Pay Income Tax: South Carolina residents may deduct a portion of their military retired pay based on certain conditions. For taxpayers who file a joint federal income tax return, their deduction is calculated separately as though they had not filed a joint return.
Taxpayers under the age of 65 may deduct $17,500 for 2020. Taxpayers must have other earned income, other than the military retired pay, to take the deduction.
Taxpayers age 65 and older may deduct $30,000 for 2020. For taxpayers age 65 and older, there are no requirements for other earned income.
South Carolina Income Tax on Military Disability Retirement Pay: Any federal tax-exempt pension or compensation provided by the VA is deducted from South Carolina income tax.
South Carolina Income Tax Exemption on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: DIC is a tax free monetary benefit paid by the VA to eligible survivors of military Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death connected from a service-related injury or disease.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
Any federal tax-exempt pension or compensation provided by the VA is deducted from South Carolina income tax.
South Carolina State Tax Exemption for Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP): A Surviving Spouse receiving military retired pay based on the military service of their deceased Spouse can apply an income deduction in the same way the deduction applied to the deceased Spouse. If the Surviving Spouse also has another retirement income, an additional retirement exclusion is allowed.
Surviving Spouses may deduct a portion of SBP, RCSBP, RSFPP payments based on certain conditions.
Surviving Spouses under the age of 65 may deduct $17,500 for 2020. Taxpayers must have other earned income, other than the military retired pay, to take the deduction.
Surviving Spouses age 65 and older may deduct $30,000 for 2020. For taxpayers age 65 and older, there are no requirements for other earned income.
South Carolina Complete Property Tax Homestead Exemption for Permanently and Totally Disabled Veterans, Prisoners of War and Medal of Honor Recipients: South Carolina provides property tax exemptions for the following Veterans and Surviving Spouses:
Veteran residents who have been rated as 100% permanently and totally disabled from a service-connected disability by the VA – qualify for a 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)
Former Prisoners of War:
Veteran residents that were former Prisoners of War – qualify for a 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)
Medal of Honor Recipient:
Veteran residents that are a Medal of Honor recipients – Qualify for a 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 National Guard and Reserve Service Members Tax Exemption for Training: Income received by National Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Reserve Service members for annual training, weekend drills, and other inactive duty training is generally exempt from South Carolina Income Tax.
Who is eligible for the South Carolina National Guard and Reserve Service Members Tax Exemption for Training? The following Service members are eligible:
National Guard or Reserve Service members may deduct all inactive duty pay from the U.S. or any state for weekend drills and other inactive duty training they attended
National Guard or Reserve Service members may deduct up to 15 days of annual training pay
Inactive duty Reserve Service members may deduct up to 14 days of annual training pay, plus up to two days of travel time listed on official orders
Full-time Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) employees may deduct up to 15 days of annual training they attended and up to 24 days of weekend drills (a maximum of 39 days) at the daily rate of pay.
South Carolina Income Tax Deduction for Retired Reserve Component Service Members: Military retired pay for service in the Reserves or National Guard is not taxed in South Carolina.
To determine the percentage of your military retired pay which is excludable, divide the length of time served in the Reserves and/or National Guard (not full time) by the length of time of total military service:
Inactive Reserve time
+ Inactive National Guard time = _______ % exclusion
Total Military time (active and Inactive)
To determine the excludable amount of your military retired pay, multiply it by the percentage of exclusion as follows:
_______ % exclusion x total taxable military retired pay, shown on federal return = excludable military retired pay.
South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program (SCNG CAP): SCNG CAP 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. Service members must be in good academic with the institution to continue to receive funding.
Who is eligible for SCNG CAP? Army and Air National Guard Service members are eligible for financial assistance. Assistance is available for the first undergraduate degree only.
To determine eligibility please contact the South Carolina National Guard, Education Service Office at 803-299-2734 / 1560 / 0655.
SCNG CAP Application
South Carolina Education Assistance, Free Tuition for Certain Veteran's Children: South Carolina provides free tuition to the Children of certain war Veterans attending South Carolina state supported colleges and universities or post high school technical education institutions.
Who is eligible for South Carolina Education Assistance, Free Tuition for Certain Veteran's Children? For the Child of a Veteran to be eligible the Veteran must meet the following requirements:
Served During a wartime period
Received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces
Resident of South Carolina at the time of entry into service, during service and currently a resident, or
Resident of South Carolina for at least one year and currently a resident, or
If the Veteran is deceased, they were a resident for one year prior to their death.
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
Permanently and totally disabled, as determined by the VA from any cause
Medal of Honor recipient
Missing in action
Received the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat.
For questions or more information please call 803-647-2434.
SC Code 59-111-20
South Carolina Department of Veterans' Affairs, Application for Tuition Assistance for Certain Veterans' Children
In-State Tuition Rates at South Carolina Public Institutions of Higher Education for Veterans, Service Members and Dependents: Veterans, active and reserve component Service members and dependents are entitled to pay in-state tuition and fee rates regardless of how long they have lived in South Carolina. Veterans, Service members and dependents must be enrolled in a South Carolina public institution of higher education and receive education assistance under Chapter 30 , Chapter 33, or Chapter 31, Title 38, of the U. S. Code to be eligible to pay in-state tuition and fees.
For a Child dependent whose parent is on active duty outside of South Carolina, that student must be receiving education assistance under Chapter 33, Title 38, of the U. S. Code to be eligible to pay the in-state rate. Once the education assistance has been exhausted, their tuition and fees will be updated to reflect out-of-state residency unless the student has become independent and can claim South Carolina residency on their own.
Who is eligible for In-State Tuition Rates at South Carolina Public Institutions of Higher Education for Veterans, Service Members and Dependents?
A Veteran who served 90 days or longer on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces
A dependent using transferred VA education assistance
A Service member entitled to and receiving VA education assistance.
South Carolina Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (MIC3): The purpose of this compact is to remove barriers to educational success imposed on Children of military Families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:
Facilitating the prompt 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 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
Military Leave for Military Duty for South Carolina State Employees: State employees receive 15 workdays of paid military leave for training.
A state employee who serves on active duty in a combat zone and has used all available military leave is entitled to receive an additional 30 days of military leave in any one year.
In addition, an employee may use up to 45 days of annual leave and up to 90 days of sick leave in a calendar year to serve on active duty as a result of an emergency or conflict declared by the President . SC Code 8-7-90
Who is eligible for Military Leave for Military Duty for South Carolina State Employees? South Carolina National Guard and Reserve Service members that are state employees are eligible for military leave for military duty.
South Carolina State Employee Veterans Hiring Preference: South Carolina offers a Veterans hiring preference when hiring for state employment by requiring at least one qualified Veteran to be interviewed for every full time equivalent position.
Who is eligible for South Carolina State Employee Veterans Hiring Preference? To be eligible the Veteran must meet the following requirements:
Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces that served on active duty for reasons other than for training and was discharged under honorable conditions
Must meet the minimum training and experience requirements for the position.
Federal Employment Veteran's Hiring Preferences: By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans in hiring into the Federal civil service and in retention during reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews.
5-point Hiring Preference: Five points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served:
During a war, or
During the period April 28, 1952 through July 1, 1955, or
For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976, or
During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992, or
For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, or
In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference.
10-point Compensable Disability (CP) Preference: Ten points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10% but less than 30%.
10-Point 30% Compensable Disability Preference (CPS): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of a Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30% or more.
10-Point Disability Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:
A Veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the VA but does not qualify as a CP or CPS, or
A Veteran who received a Purple Heart.
10-Point Derived Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of Spouses, Surviving Spouses, or mothers of Veterans Both a Mother and a Spouse (including Surviving Spouse) may be entitled to preference based on the same Veteran's service if they both meet the requirements. However, neither may receive preference if the Veteran is living and is qualified for Federal employment.
Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of the Spouse of a disabled Veteran who is disqualified for a federal position along the general lines of their usual occupation because of a service-connected disability. Such a disqualification may be presumed when the Veteran is unemployed and
Is rated by appropriate military or VA authorities to be 100% disabled and/or unemployable, or
Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position because of a disability that is service-connected in origin, or
Has attempted to obtain a civil service position or other position along the lines of their usual occupation and has failed to qualify because of a service-connected disability.
Preference may be allowed in other circumstances but anything less than the above warrants a more careful analysis.
A campaign medal holder or Gulf War Veteran who originally enlisted after September 7, 1980, (or began active duty on or after October 14, 1982, and has not previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty) must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty. The 24-month service requirement does not apply to 10-point preference eligible Veterans separated for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or to Veterans separated for hardship or other reasons under Title 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.
South Carolina Public Employees Receive Credit in State Retirement System for Military Service: An active member of the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS) may purchase up to six years of service credit for any period of service in the U.S. Armed Forces. They are not eligible to purchase service credit if they already have service credit in SCRS, Police Officer Retirement System or the General Assembly Retirement System.
The cost calculation is based in part on the employee’s current age and service credit, as well as their career highest annual pay at the time PEBA receives the service purchase request.
The cost, which is determined by PEBA’s independent actuary, will not be less than 16% of their career highest annual pay for each year purchased. The Service members must have received a discharge under conditions other than dishonorable. Service members may decide in advance to continue contributing to the retirement account when on active duty military leave or may make the contributions after returning from military.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA): USERRA protects civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of reserve components. USERRA also protects Service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.
Absence from Work for Military Duty: USERRA establishes the cumulative length of time that an individual may be absent from work for military duty and retain reemployment rights to five years. Exceptions to the five-year limit, include initial enlistments lasting more than five years, periodic National Guard and Reserve training duty, and involuntary active duty extensions and recalls, especially during a time of national emergency. USERRA establishes that reemployment protection does not depend on the timing, frequency, duration, or nature of an individual's service as long as the basic eligibility criteria are met.
Disability Accommodation: USERRA provides protection for disabled Veterans, requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability. Service members recovering from injuries received during service or training may have up to two years from the date of completion of service to return to their jobs or apply for reemployment.
Return to Work without Loss of Seniority: USERRA provides that returning Service members are reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) be made to enable returning Service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, they are deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and are entitled to the non-seniority rights accorded other individuals on non-military leaves of absence.
Extension of Health and Pension Plans: Health and pension plan coverage for Service members is provided for by USERRA. Individuals performing military duty of more than 30 days may elect to continue employer sponsored health care for up to 24 months; however, they may be required to pay up to 102% of the full premium. For military service of less than 31 days, health care coverage is provided as if the Service member had remained employed. USERRA clarifies pension plan coverage by making explicit that all pension plans are protected.
Who is eligible for Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act? Veterans, Reservists, or National Guard members who leave a position for training or active military service are eligible.
The Department of Labor, through the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) provides assistance to all having claims under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees.
VETS Regional Office Locations
What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans Unemployment Insurance Benefits?
South Carolina Unemployment Insurance (UI): South Carolina's Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) administers UI, providing temporary assistance and partial wage replacement to unemployed South Carolina workers.
UI is money paid to workers who have become unemployed through no fault of their own. The program, funded by employer paid taxes, helping to maintain the economic stability in community by safeguarding the income and purchasing power of the unemployed worker. The first step is to submit an initial claim for DEW to determine eligibility. Filing a claim is the only way to determine eligibility. You will need the following information to file a claim:
Your Social Security number
Your work history for the past 18 months including:
Employers' business names
Employers' phone numbers and
Your salary for each employer
If you are not a U.S. citizen, your alien registration number and documentation
If you served in the military in the past 18 months, DD214 Form (Member 4 copy).
Initial claims are filed online through the South Carolina, MyBenefits portal. If you need further assistance call the DEW toll-free number at 866-831-1724.
South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, How to File Your Claim Factsheet
South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, Applying for Benefits Webpage
South Carolina Operation Palmetto Employment: South Carolina Operation Palmetto Employment is a statewide initiative supported by the South Carolina National Guard, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, and other business and state agency partners. Operation Palmetto Employment is a commitment to help Service members, Family members and Veterans find meaningful civilian careers by:
Accurately identifying South Carolina's military community
Streamlining the employment process
Leveraging military expertise
Ensure cooperation between providers and employers.
Who is eligible for South Carolina Operation Palmetto Employment Services? Unemployed Service members, Family members or Veterans are eligible for assistance.
Operation Palmetto Employment Home Page
SC Works Centers, Veteran Services: SC Works centers across South Carolina have staff, many of which are Veterans or Service members, who are specifically trained to assist Service member and Veteran jobseekers find civilian employment.
Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) representatives provide intensive case management services to targeted Veterans with emphasis in meeting the employment needs of Veterans who are economically or educationally disadvantaged.
Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVER) conduct employer outreach to help Veterans gain employment and provide individualized job development services to Veterans. They market job-seeking Veteran’s highly valuable skills and experience, and serve as advocates for Veterans with businesses, industries and other community-based organizations.
Through the support and assistance from our LVERs and DVOPs, Veterans are able to receive priority employment services, which includes group and individual career coaching, job referrals, resume preparation and job training programs and services.
Veterans not only receive priority service in SC Works Centers, but also through SC Works Online Services (SCWOS). For the first 24 hours that a job is listed on SCWOS, only jobseekers that have identified themselves as a member of the military community can view and apply for the position.
SC Works Centers Directory
SC Works Online Services (SCWOS)
What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Benefits?
'Veteran' Designation on South Carolina Driver’s Licenses and Identification (ID) cards: The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles offers a "VETERAN" designation on driver’s licenses, ID cards and beginner’s permits for Veterans who served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Who is eligible for the 'Veteran' Designation on South Carolina Driver’s Licenses and ID Cards? All Service members with an honorable discharge are eligible.
Applicants must present one of the documents listed below:
DD214 that lists the characterization of service as ‘Honorable’ or ‘General Under Honorable Conditions’ (If you were discharged before 1950, you must provide a Certificate of Discharge or Enlisted Separation Papers)
National Guard Report of Separation and Record of Service (NGB Form 22) that must show:
Characterization of service of ‘Honorable’ or ‘General Under Honorable Conditions’ and
At least twenty years of qualifying military service in the National Guard
Letter from a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces stating eligibility for retired pay at age sixty for twenty-years of service.
Veteran ID Card issued by the VA.
A Veterans Health ID Card is not acceptable .
There is no fee for adding the Veterans designation to licenses or permits. Those interested must visit a South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles location with appropriate documentation of Veteran status.
South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles Office Directory
South Carolina Military Commercial Driver’s Skills Test Waivers: The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles allows qualified military Service members to waive the commercial skills test and/or knowledge tests when applying for a commercial driver's license (CDL). Someone who already holds a CDL cannot use this program to upgrade their CDL. You must follow any federal regulations before receiving your CDL.
Qualifications for Waiver of Skills test: Applicants that have experience operating a military commercial motor vehicle (CMV) as a Service member, may apply for a waiver of the skills test.
Active duty military or left active duty military within the last 12 months
Operated a military commercial motor vehicle (CMV)
Hold a valid SC license
Did not hold another driver's license within the last two years.
Even Exchange Waiver, (Waiver of Knowledge and Skills tests): Applicants that meet all the previous qualifications and have one of the following Military Occupational Specialty Codes can exchange their CMV training and experience for a South Carolina CDL without having to take knowledge and skills tests by applying for an even exchange waiver:
Army: 88M, 14T, 92F
Air Force: 2T1, F0, 3E2
Marine Corps: 3531
Must have operated the same type of military CMV for the class license for 3,000 miles or more for two years prior to their application, or their military discharge date
Must still pass any other knowledge tests and follow any federal regulations.
If the applicants license was suspended, revoked, cancelled, or disqualified at any point over the past two years, they are not eligible for either of the waivers.
To Apply: To apply the Service member’s commanding officer must complete and sign the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, CDL Waiver Application for Military Personnel (SCDMV Form DL-408A). Applicants must submit the application and a copy of their Active Duty / reserve component Military ID or Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD214, WD-AGO, DD256, or NGB22). Applications and documentation may be submitted by mail, fax or email.
SCDMV, CDL Help Desk
PO Box 1498, Blythewood
Extension of South Carolina Driver’s Licenses for Military Personnel and their Dependents: The driver’s license of Service members and their dependents that are stationed outside South Carolina until 90 days remain valid until 90 days after discharge.
This rule only applies if their license expired during one of the following:
Serving outside of the state
Serving outside the state and it expired within 90 days of the start of that service
After discharge Service members and dependents must renew their license at a South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle Branch Office, applicants must bring documentation of their discharge. If more than 90 days after discharge, they must take the knowledge and road tests.
South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Branch Office Directory
Renewal of South Carolina Driver’s License Online or by Mail if Stationed Outside of South Carolina: Active duty Service members and their dependents who are stationed outside of South Carolina may renew their driver's license online or by mail.
To renew online go to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle, Driver's License Renewal Page.
To renew your license by mail, submit all the following documents:
South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Mail-In Renewal Application (SCDMV Form DL-63) Provide current address where the license is to be mailed to.
Current color photograph (from the top of head to shoulders) with no face or head covering
Military orders showing continuous active duty outside of SC
Check made out to the SCDMV, for $25
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0035
South Carolina Military and Veteran License Plates: The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles offers 33 distinctive license plate designs to honor the service and sacrifice of Service members, Veterans, retired Service members and eligible Family members. Each license plate has specific eligibility and documentation requirements.
South Carolina Medal of Honor License Plate: Recipients of the Medal of Honor are eligible for one free South Carolina Medal of Honor license plate. Recipients must submit a completed South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Application for Military License Plate Form MV-37 and a letter from the VA certifying that they are a recipient of the Medal of Honor.
Applicants can request their branch of service, either Army, Navy, or Air Force. Vehicles that have a Medal of Honor license plates are exempt from the payment of municipal parking meter fees. SC Code 56-3-1855
South Carolina Purple Heart License Plate: South Carolina Residents that are recipients of the Purple Heart are eligible for the South Carolina Purple Heart license plates. Applicants must complete the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Application for Military License Plate Form MV-37, and provide a copy of their DD214, Purple Heart Citation, or a letter from the VA certifying that they are a recipient of the Purple Heart.
Applicants can receive two license plates for free. They may get a third plate for $30 plus the regular registration fee. This plate is available by mail only. The Purple Heart license plate allows free parking at municipal parking meters. SC Code 56-5-2585
South Carolina Veteran License Plate: The South Carolina Veteran license plate is available to South Carolina residents who have served in the active or reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces. To apply for the plate, applicants must provide a copy of their DD214, indicating they were honorably discharged, and a completed South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Application for Military License Plate Form MV-37.
Only four plates within the Veteran plate class to include Veteran, Veteran Motorcycle and Veteran Wheelchair may be issued to vehicles registered in the applicant’s name. The cost for this plate is the regular registration fee. No additional fees are required.
South Carolina Disabled Veteran License Plate: The South Carolina Disabled Veteran Handicapped license plate is a free and permanent license plate, available to disabled wartime Veterans that are certified by the VA and eligible for compensation for:
Loss of use of one or both legs or arms,
Has a permanent impairment of vision in both eyes to a degree as to constitute virtual blindness, or
Classified as totally and permanently disabled due to service-connected disabilities
Veterans must submit a completed South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Application for Military License Plate Form MV-37) and a letter or other documentation from the VA certifying their disability. In addition, Veterans must submit a completed South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Disabled Placard and License Plate Application Form RG-007A and provide a prescription order from a licensed physician.
Veterans are authorized only two license plates of either the South Carolina Disabled Veteran Handicapped vehicle license plate or motorcycle license plate. An unremarried Surviving Spouse of an eligible disabled Veteran may keep or request the license plate. However, the Surviving Spouse must also be certified as disabled by a licensed physician. This plate allows free parking at municipal parking meters and allows parking in designated handicapped (wheelchair) parking spaces. SC Code 56-5-2585
Gold Star Family License Plate: The South Carolina Gold Star Family license plate is available to immediate Family members (parent, Spouse, sibling or Child) of fallen Service members. Applicants must ensure they check the appropriate box in the Affidavit of Relationship on the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Application for Military License Plate Form MV-37. When applying for the plate, applicants must provide a DD2064, Certificate of Death (Overseas), or a DD1300 Report of Casualty. Each qualifying Family member may receive, a maximum of two plates for vehicles registered in their name. There is no fee for this plate. Applicants may request a personalized version of the plate that contains letters or numbers or both and the “&” symbol. Text is limited to six characters including spaces and will be granted based on availability.
What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans Health and Insurance Benefits?
South Carolina National Guard Coverage under Workers’ Compensation Laws for Injury, Illness, Disability or Death While on State Active Duty: South Carolina National Guard Service members receive compensation the same as a state employee when they are on state active duty and covered under South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Laws for medical care, disability and death benefits.
Who is eligible for South Carolina National Guard Coverage under Workers’ Compensation Laws for Injury, Illness, Disability or Death While on State Active Duty? National Guard Service member injured, disabled or killed in the line of duty on state active duty.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The VA provides valuable life insurance benefits to Veterans, active and reserve component Service members and their Families to provide financial security given the extraordinary risks involved in military Service. The VA provides the following life insurance benefit programs:
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI)
Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)
Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI)
Service-Disabled Veterans’ Life Insurance (S-DVI)
Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)
TRICARE Reserve Select Health Insurance: TRICARE Reserve Select is a premium-based plan, available worldwide for Selected Reserve, (Reserve and National Guard) and their Families who meet the following qualifications:
Not on active duty orders
Not covered under the Transitional Assistance Management Program
Not eligible for or enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program or currently covered under FEHB, either under their own eligibility or through a Family member.
The plan provides comprehensive health care coverage when you're not activated and covered by active duty TRICARE benefits.
What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans Parks and Recreation Benefits?
South Carolina Reduced Fee State Park Passes for Disabled Residents and South Carolina National Guard: The “ALL Park Passport” or “SELECT Park Passport” are available for purchase at half price for, senior citizens (age 65 and older), legally blind or 100% disabled residents and active members of the South Carolina National Guard.
All Park Passport: The All Park Passport is $49.50 and provides unlimited entry to all South Carolina state parks for everyone in the pass holder's vehicle. The hangtag pass is valid for one year from the date of purchase and can be transferred from one vehicle to another.
The All Park Passport also comes with the following value-added benefits:
Free admission to regularly scheduled historic home tours at Redcliffe, Rose Hill and Hampton plantations (maximum four people per visit)
Free admission to the historic lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park (maximum four people per visit)
Free admission to the historic Atalaya castle at Huntington Beach State Park (maximum four people per visit)
Free weekend admission to the Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival held every September at Huntington Beach State Park (maximum four people)
Select Park Passport: The SELECT Park Passport is $37.50 and provides unlimited free entry for everyone in the vehicle to 35 South Carolina State Parks. No other benefits are included with the SELECT Park Passport. The hangtag pass is valid for one year from the date of purchase and can be transferred from one vehicle to another.
Parks NOT included with the SELECT Park Passport are the Hunting Island State Park, Huntington Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach State Park, Edisto Beach State Park, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Devils Fork State Park, Table Rock State Park, Sesquicentennial State Park, Paris Mountain State Park, Givhans Ferry State Park, Jones Gap State Park and Landsford Canal State Park.
The pass can be purchased at any South Carolina state park, at the South Carolina State Park Service central ofﬁce in Columbia, at the State House Gift Shop located in the South Carolina State House or by calling 803-734-0156. Applicants must be able to provide documentation proving eligibility.
The central office is located at:
South Carolina State Parks
1205 Pendleton Street
Columbia, SC 29201
The person eligible for the passport must be in the vehicle when entering the park. A park employee may request ID of the passport holder at the time the passport is presented.
Free South Carolina Hunting and Fishing Privileges for Disabled Resident Veterans: The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources offers free Disability Combination licenses and Disability Fishing licenses to Veterans who are disabled. These licenses are good for three years.
Disability Combination licenses authorizes:
Big Game Hunting
Wildlife Management Area Permit
Migratory Waterfowl Permit (State Permit)
The Disability Fishing Licenses authorizes:
Who is eligible for Free South Carolina Hunting and Fishing Privileges for Disabled Resident Veterans? Resident Veterans with a 1% or more disability percentage are eligible. License must be applied for directly from SC Department of Natural Resources. Applicants must Include a copy of their unexpired state ID card and a current copy of your disability certification from one of the following programs that declares you disabled.
Social Security Administration
South Carolina Retirement System
Railroad Retirement Board
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
Federal Civil Service
Mail application and documentation to:
SCDNR License Office
PO Box 11710
Columbia SC 29211-1710
SCDNR Phone: 803-734-3833
South Carolina Resident Hunting and Fishing License Privileges for Nonresident Military personnel and their Dependents: Service members and their dependents stationed in South Carolina for thirty days or longer, or live in South Carolina, are eligible for resident hunting and fishing privileges. Valid military ID must be presented when applying.
Hunting and Fishing License Exemptions for Active Duty Service Members Stationed outside South Carolina and are Home on Leave: Resident Active duty Service members that are stationed outside of South Carolina and home on leave, may fish and hunt without purchasing a hunting, freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing license.
Permits are still required to hunt big game, migratory birds, migratory waterfowl and hunt on Wildlife Management Area land. Tags are required to hunt antlerless deer and turkey, use nongame fish devices or for taking shrimp over bait. Service members must carry their Leave and Earnings Statement (that declares South Carolina as their home state) and military ID when hunting or fishing.
What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans Miscellaneous Benefits?
South Carolina National Guard Veteran Advisors: South Carolina National Guard (SCNG) Veteran Advisors provides assistance to all Veterans, Service members, and Family Members regarding all benefits and entitlements they are eligible for, by coordinating with regional partners to maximize local resources and minimize delays in services. The advisors assist in the following areas:
VA Claims and/or Compensation
Medical Issues or Documents
Behavioral Health Concerns
Financial Issues and Advice
Housing Assistance, VA Home Loans
Records: Separation, Medical, or Awards
Health and Wellness
Unit Leadership Assistance
Or any other matters associated with military service.
Please click the “Learn more about South Carolina National Guard Veteran Advisors” link below for a directory of regional advisors.
Lawyers 4 Vets Program, Free Legal Assistance for Veterans: Lawyers 4 Vets is a free legal clinic to assist Veterans with the legal issues. The clinic will connect lower-income Veterans with local attorneys who will provide one-on-one free legal advice or representation.
The clinic is held on the third Thursday of each month from 9:00 am-12:00 pm at the Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia.
Lawyers 4 Vets will assist Veterans with:
South Carolina Child support orders and modifications
Expungement of SC criminal records, and/or pardon applications
Simple will and/or healthcare power of attorney (available for Veterans and their Spouse)
Counties that are included in the service areas for outreach are Anderson, Florence Greenwood, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, and York.
Lawyers 4 Vets Program Flyer
Presentation of The State Flag to Families of Deceased Members of the South Carolina National Guard: The South Carolina Adjutant General's Office will present to the Family of a deceased member of the South Carolina National Guard a flag of the State of South Carolina, appropriate for use as a burial flag. For more information, call 803-299-4200.
South Carolina Military Family Relief Fund (SCMFRF): SCMFRF Provides monetary grants to Families of South Carolina National Guard Service members and South Carolina residents serving in the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve who were called to active duty as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Grants are based on need, status and service-connected injury or illness.
SCMFRF grants are to help Families pay for the costs of food, housing, utilities, medical services, and other expenses that become difficult as a result of active military duty.
Status Based Grants are $500
Casualty-Based Grants are $1,000
Needs Based Grants are for up to $2,000.
Individuals may receive a grant only one time in each fiscal year and only one time for each active duty order.
South Carolina Military Family Relief Fund Application
South Carolina Military Family Relief Fund Brochure
Recording of Discharges and Certified Copies for South Carolina Veterans: South Carolina County Clerks will record official military discharge document free of charge and will provide certified copies for not more than 50 cents.
Marriage, Birth, Death and Divorce Verification when such is required by Official State and Federal Agencies: The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will issue certified copies of marriage, birth, death, and divorce records free when they are required for applying for Veterans benefits.
South Carolina State Veterans Nursing Homes: South Carolina has three state Veteran’s nursing homes for Veterans who need skilled or intermediate care.
The homes are:
E. Roy Stone Veterans Pavilion
(co-located with the C. M. Tucker Nursing Care Center)
2200 Harden Street, Columbia, SC 29203
Richard Michael Campbell Veterans Nursing Home
4605 Belton Highway, Anderson, SC 29621
Veterans' Victory House
2461 Sidneys Road, Walterboro, SC 29488
Who is eligible for care at the South Carolina State Veterans Nursing Homes? Admission to the South Carolina Veterans Nursing Homes is limited to Veterans who have been separated from the U.S. Armed Forces under general or honorable conditions, a South Carolina resident for at least one year and need long term nursing care.
For more information, or to apply for admission, contact the local South Carolina, County Veterans’ Affairs Office or the nursing home directly.
South Carolina, County Veterans' Affairs Officer Directory
South Carolina M.J. “Dolly” Cooper State Veterans Cemetery: The M.J. “Dolly” Cooper Veterans Cemetery, located on 57 acres, near Anderson South Carolina, offers a dignified final resting place for South Carolina Veterans, their Spouses and eligible Children.
The cemetery offers:
Grave opening and closing
Columbarium for cremated remains
Scattering garden for cremations
In-ground garden for cremations
Who is eligible for Burial at the South Carolina M.J. “Dolly” Cooper State Veterans Cemetery? Generally speaking eligibility requirements mirror the VA, National Cemetery Administration Burial Eligibility Requirements. To qualify for burial in the South Carolina Veterans Cemetery, the applicant must be a Veteran or an eligible member of the immediate Family of a Veteran who meets the following requirements:
Honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces
Resident of South Carolina
When entering the U.S. Armed Forces (Home of Record), or
When the Veteran died, or
For five years (can be waived by the South Carolina Department of Veterans’ Affairs)
Veteran’s Spouse (a copy of the marriage certificate must be provided)
Unmarried, dependent Children under the age of 21 or adult Children who are mentally or physically incapable of self-support may be eligible for burial.
Veterans will be buried free of charge, $300 will be charged for the burial of Family members.
Veterans are encouraged to pre-certify to avoid delays at their time of need.
M.J. “Dolly” Cooper Veterans Cemetery Eligibility Pre-Certification Application
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in South Carolina
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in South Carolina: The VA has numerous resources available for Veterans and Family members. Please see the local location listing for your nearest facility.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Cemeteries in South Carolina: The VA National Cemetery Administration maintains three national cemeteries in South Carolina. Please see the local location listing for the nearest cemetery.
Military Installations in South Carolina
Please see the South Carolina Military Resource Locator for additional information
Shaw Air Force Base
Joint Base Charleston
South Carolina Army National Guard
U.S. Army Reserve (USAR)
81st Readiness Division