South Dakota Military and Veterans Benefits
Motor Vehicles Division
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks & Recreation Benefits
Military Resource Locator
U.S. Department of Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities
Summary of South Dakota Military and Veterans Benefits: South Dakota offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including Property Tax Exemption for Veterans and their Surviving Spouses, 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.
South Dakota State Military and Veterans Benefit Highlights and Eligibility
What are my South Dakota Military and Veterans State Tax Benefits?
South Dakota Retirement Income Taxes : South Dakota does not levy a general state income tax on individuals, so you are not required to file an individual state tax return for South Dakota.
South Dakota Retired Military Pay Taxes : South Dakota does not levy a general state income tax on individuals, so you are not required to file an individual state tax return for South Dakota.
South Dakota State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Military Disability Retired Pay : South Dakota does not levy a general state income tax on individuals, so you are not required to file an individual state tax return for South Dakota.
South Dakota State Taxes on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: South Dakota does not levy a general state income tax on individuals, so you are not required to file an individual state tax return for South Dakota.
Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) South Dakota State Tax Benefits: South Dakota does not levy a general state income tax on individuals, so you are not required to file an individual state tax return for South Dakota.
South Dakota Property Tax Exemption for Paraplegic Veterans and Their Surviving Spouse: ( SCDL §10-4-24.11 ) Exempts the property from all property taxes. Property is the house, garage and the lot upon which it sits or one acre, whichever is less.
Who is eligible for South Dakota Property Tax Exemption for Paraplegic Veterans and Their Surviving Spouse? To be eligible:
The property must be owned by a paraplegic Veteran, a Veteran with loss or loss of use of both lower extremities, or the un-remarried Surviving Spouse of such Veteran.
The property must be specifically designed for wheelchair use within the structure.
To Apply: South Dakota Application for Paraplegic Veteran Property Tax Exemptions are available online or at any county courthouse beginning in January of each year. Applications must be submitted annually to your county assessor.
South Dakota Application for Paraplegic Veteran Property Tax Exemptions
South Dakota Directors of County Assessors Directory
South Dakota Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans: ( SDCL §10-4-40 ) Exempts up to $100,000 of the assessed value for qualifying property. (The property subject to this exemption is the same property eligible for the owner-occupied classification.)
Who is eligible for South Dakota Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans? To be eligible:
The property must be owned and occupied by a disabled Veteran or an un-remarried Surviving Spouse.
The Veteran must be rated as permanently and 100% disabled as the result of a service-connected disability.
To Apply: South Dakota Application for Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemptions are available online or at any county courthouse beginning in January of each year
South Dakota Application for Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemptions
South Dakota Sales and Property Tax Refund for Senior & Disabled Citizens: ( SDCL §10-6B-1 thru 10-6B-15 ) Offers eligible senior citizens and disabled individuals a once-a-year refund of sales OR property taxes. Property is the house, garage and the lot upon which it sits or one acre, whichever is less.
Who is eligible for South Dakota Sales and Property Tax Refund for Senior & Disabled Citizens? 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 2017, the income limit for a single-member household is $12,060; for a multiple-member household the limit is $16,240. South Dakota Sales or Property Tax Refund for Senior Citizens and Citizens with Disabilities Applications are accepted from May 1 to July 1.
South Dakota Sales or Property Tax Refund for Senior Citizens and Citizens with Disabilities Application
Free Tuition at South Dakota State Supported Schools for Veterans: ( SDCL §13-55-2 thru 13-55-5 ) 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.
Who is eligible for Free Tuition at South Dakota State Supported Schools for Veterans? 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 rating of 10% or more.
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.
South Dakota Veterans Application for Free Tuition at State Supported Schools
Free Tuition at South Dakota State Supported Schools for Children of Veterans Who Die During Military Service: ( SDCL §13-55-6 to §13-55-9 ) 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.
The South Dakota Veteran's Dependents or Survivors Application for Free Tuition is available at the schools' financial aid office, Veterans representative, registrars' offices or downloaded online.
Who is eligible for Free Tuition at South Dakota State Supported Schools for Children of Veterans Who Die during Military Service? The Child must be under the age of twenty-five and a resident of South Dakota and whose mother or father was killed in action or died of other causes while on active duty to be eligible for free tuition.
South Dakota Veteran's Dependents or Survivors Application for Free Tuition
Free Tuition at South Dakota State Supported Schools for Dependents of Prisoners of War and Service Members Declared Missing in Action: ( SDCL §13-55-9.2 to SDCL § 13-55-9.6 ) 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, provided they are not eligible for equal or greater federal benefits. The Veteran must have been a bona-fide resident of South Dakota at the time of entry into active service. The Application for Free Tuition is available at the schools' financial aids, Veterans representative or registrars offices or, they can be obtained from the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs.
Who is eligible for Free Tuition at South Dakota State Supported Schools for Dependents of Prisoners of War and Service Members Declared Missing in Action? The Child or Spouse must be a resident of South Dakota and not eligible for equal or greater federal benefits.
South Dakota Veteran's Dependents or Survivors Application for Free Tuition
Free Tuition at South Dakota State Supported Schools for Children or Spouse of a South Dakota National Guard Members Disabled or Deceased in the Line of Duty: ( SDCL §13-55-10 ) 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.
Who is eligible for Free tuition at South Dakota State Supported Schools for Children or Spouse of a South Dakota National Guard Members Disabled or Deceased in the Line of Duty? For Spouses, the Service member to whom he/she was married must either be totally or permanently disabled, died in the line of duty during service, or died from a service-connected disability or injury. The Child must be less than twenty-five years of age and a current resident of South Dakota, with the same criteria relating to the Service member as the Spouse.
South Dakota Veteran's Dependents or Survivors Application for Free Tuition
Reduced Tuition for South Dakota National Guard Members: ( SDCL §33-6-5 thru 33-6-8.1 ) 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 128 credits and graduate programs up to 32 credits. 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.
*Note: Members of the SD National Guard who are not residents of the state of South Dakota are treated as state residents for the purposes of tuition. ( SDCL §33-6-8.1 )
Who is eligible for Reduced Tuition for South Dakota National Guard Members? 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
Provide proper notice to the institution at time of registration for the term in which benefits are sought.
South Dakota Resident Status for Tuition Purposes for Veterans and their Dependents: ( SDCL § 13-53-29.1 & 29.2 ) Service members, Veterans, and dependents residing in South Dakota but who are residents of another state for tax purposes may take college courses at the resident tuition rate provided:
Veterans meet state definition as outlined in 33A-2-1 and 33A-2-2. If the Veteran establishes a South Dakota residence, then Spouses and Children are also immediately eligible.
The student receives tuition assistance under the GI Bill (Ch 30 or 33, Title 38, US Code).
Any person actively serving in the U.S. Armed Forces who is stationed in South Dakota. Spouses and Children are also eligible under this provision.
Honorary South Dakota High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans: ( SDCL §33A-2-34 ) provides for honorary high school diplomas for Veterans who served during certain wartime periods. As stated in the law, the school district selected by the Veteran shall award the diploma to the Veteran.
Who is eligible for Honorary South Dakota High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans ? Eligible Veterans include anyone who served on active duty at any time during the periods: December 7, 1941 to September 2, 1945; June 25, 1950 to July 31, 1953; or February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975.
South Dakota Veterans Upward Bound Program: The Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program provides qualified Veterans with help in improving their educational skills before attending a college, university, or technical school. VUB provides:
Academic refresher classes.
Tutoring (individual and group).
College curriculum information.
Preparation for college, university or technical school entrance.
Help preparing for the GED.
In addition, the program offers career services such as:
Career interest inventories.
Follow-up information on specific job outlooks.
Help finding training opportunities.
Help defining choices and planning.
Information on money for college or technical school.
Help completing financial aid applications.
VUB is available at no cost to the participants. All supplies, instructional materials, career, financial aid and academic services are provided without charge.
Veterans can attend the following schools to receive Veterans Upward Bound assistance: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, the University Center in Rapid City including Black Hills State University and National American University; and Western Dakota Technical Institute. Also, Veterans Upward Bound serves Veterans attending online and other programs offered in the Black Hills region.
For more information, contact:
Veterans Upward Bound Program Advisor
501 E. St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD 57701
Who is eligible for the South Dakota Veterans Upward Bound Program ? To be eligible, you must:
Be low income and/or first generation military Veterans.
Have served 181 or more days in the active military service and received other than a dishonorable discharge, or
Have been discharged because of a service-connected disability, or
Have been a member of a reserve component called to active military duty for a period of more than 30 days, or
Have been a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces who served on active duty in support of a contingency operation on or after September 11, 2001.
South Dakota 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:
Alan Kerr, Commissioner
Superintendent, Douglas School District
Address: 400 Patriot Dr, Box Elder, SD 57719
Sheryl Cronan, Military Family Education Liaison
Ellsworth Air Force Base
Military Training Leave for South Dakota State Employees: State employees receive 15 days military leave per calendar year for Federal or State active duty. If necessary employees may use up to an additional 40 hours of accumulated sick leave or personal leave.
Who is eligible for Military Training Leave for South Dakota State Employees? National Guard or reserve Service members who are a permanent state employee on orders for training are eligible for military leave.
Credited Service for South Dakota Retirement System (SDRS): State employees receive credited service for time spent on authorized military leave of absence for their initial tour of duty. Credited service is the period of time you work for an SDRS-participating employer and is a consideration for your eligibility for benefits and the amount of benefits. Employees may earn credited service provided that:
Are employed before the leave
Return to public service within one year of discharge, and
Remain employed for at least one year after returning.
Credited service represents complete or partial years of employment (you receive one fourth of a year of credited service for each calendar quarter in which you make contributions to the SDRS), as well as years of employment credited to you by retirement systems before consolidation into SDRS.
Who is eligible for Credited Service for South Dakota Retirement System (SDRS)? State employees that are National Guard or Army Reserve Service members that take an authorized leave of absence when called to active service are eligible for credited service.
South Dakota State Employment Wage Compensation Adjustment during Active-Duty Service: ( SDCL §3-8-14 ) Any employee of the state of South Dakota who is also member of the South Dakota National Guard or any other Reserve component, is ordered into active duty under Title 10 or Title 32, after January 1, 2002, for other than training purposes, the employee shall receive the difference between their state salary or wage rate and their military salary and allowances from the state for the duration of their service. The difference in pay will be paid on no less than a quarterly basis.
South Dakota State Employment Veterans’ Hiring Preference: ( SDCL §3-3-1 thru 3-3-8 ) South Dakota defines a Veteran eligible to receive preference in public employment as:
A citizen of the United States,
A resident of South Dakota, and
Served the full obligation for active duty, reserve, or National Guard service in the military, or received an early discharge for a medical condition, hardship, reduction-in-force, or at the convenience of the military ( SDCL §33A-2-1 ).
Eligible Veterans receive preference for appointment, employment, and promotion at all levels of government, including state, county, and city. At the state level (executive branch), eligible applicants are automatically added to the interview list after the top qualified persons have been determined. They may not be disqualified by their age, loss of a limb, or by any other physical impairment which is not incapacitating. However, they must have the qualifications to perform duties of the job for which they are applying. A Veteran disabled due to a service-connected cause is given preference over a non-disabled Veteran.
Unmarried Spouse of a deceased Veteran: The unmarried Surviving Spouse of a deceased Veteran who died while in service, or died later from a service-connected cause, is entitled to the same preference as an eligible Veteran provided the Spouse has the necessary skills and qualifications for the job to which he/she is applying.
Spouse of a Disabled Veteran: If a disabled eligible Veteran is unable to exercise his/her right to a Veteran employment preference due to disability, the Veteran's Spouse is entitled to the same preference, provided the Spouse has the necessary skills and qualifications for the job to which he/she is applying.
Federal Employment Veterans Hiring Preferences: By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans both 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 percent but less than 30 percent.
10-Point 30 Percent 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 percent 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 Department of Veterans Affairs 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 as described below. This type of preference is usually referred to as "derived preference" because it is based on service of a Veteran who is not able to use the preference. Both a Mother and a Spouse (including Surviving Spouse) may be entitled to preference on the basis of 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 his or her 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 Department of Veterans Affairs authorities to be 100 percent disabled and/or unemployable; or
Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position on the basis 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 his or her 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 10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act: Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protect civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of Reserve components. USERRA also makes major improvements in protecting 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 (the previous law provided four years of active duty, plus an additional year if it was for the convenience of the Government). There are important exceptions to the five-year limit, including 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 clearly 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 convalescing 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 (the long-standing "escalator" principle), 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. The law clearly provides for alternative reemployment positions if the Service member cannot qualify for the "escalator" position. USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, he or she is deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and is 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 percent 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 USERRA benefits? 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 persons having claims under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees.
VETS Regional Office Locations
South Dakota Unemployment Insurance: ( SDCL Title 61 ) 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:
You are able and available to accept work;
You are actively seeking work, unless we’ve told you otherwise;
You are registered with your states designated workforce agency; and
You will need the following information to file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits.
Social Security Number
Driver’s license number or other state identification number
Your employment history for the last 18 months, including:
Each employer’s name, address and phone number
Dates of employment (month and year)
Reason you are no longer working for the employer
The name and local number of your union hall, if you obtain work through the union.
Your Alien Registration Number if you are not a U.S. Citizen.
Your SF-8 and SF-50 forms if you are a federal employee.
Your DD214 if you served in the military.
If you worked for Non-South Dakota employers you must have an accurate mailing address and telephone number for them.
You have participated in all re-employment activities as directed by your local South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation office
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 can file online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation online portal
You can file by telephone Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. (CST) by contacting the Claims Call Center at 605-626-3179. Speech and hearing impaired applicants can call the Relay Service of South Dakota at 800-877-1113. The Call Center is closed on all South Dakota State Holidays .
If you worked in a state other than South Dakota and now live in South Dakota, an interstate claim can be filed against the state where you worked and earned wages during the last 18-month period. Filing information, including telephone numbers to call can be obtained by contacting Customer Service at 605-626-2452. The state where you worked will make all determinations on your eligibility according to its laws and regulations.
South Dakota's Department of Labor and Regulation, Unemployment Insurance Handbook
South Dakota State Veterans' Employment Assistance: Every South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) local office is staffed with a trained Employment Representative who can provide job-seeking Veterans with different services and assistance, including:
Intensive services and employment assistance for disabled Veterans. If you have a military disability, you may also qualify for vocational rehabilitation services.
In-person orientation sessions introducing South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation services and procedures. Job-search information, help writing a resume and cover letters, help preparing for interviews.
Eligibility determinations for special programs and services that employ and train Veterans.
Information on how to apply for federal, state, county and city employment. Employment information for newly separated or transitioning Service members.
Assistance with cross-matching your military skills to civilian employment.
Direct referrals to job openings.
Who is eligible for South Dakota State Veterans' Employment Assistance? The following are eligible for service:
Veteran : To receive specialized services you must have served on active duty for:
More than 180 days and have been discharged or released without a dishonorable discharge, or
At least one day and have been discharged or released because of a service-related disability, or
At least one day and have been called to active duty under Title 10 during a period of war, or
At least one day in a campaign for which a campaign badge is authorized.
Discharged or released from active duty by reason of a sole survivorship.
AND be identified as experiencing a Significant Barrier to Employment (SBE)
Disabled Veteran : You must be:
A Veteran who is entitled to compensation (or would be entitled if you were not getting military retired pay), or
A person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-related disability.
Special Disabled Veteran : You must be:
A Veteran who is entitled to compensation (or would be entitled if you were not getting military retired pay) for a disability rated at 30 percent or more, or
A person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-related disability.
Eligible Person : You must be the current or Surviving Spouse of:
A Veteran who died of a service-connected disability, OR
Any active duty member of the Armed Forces who, at the time of application for assistance, has been listed for 90 or more days as:
Missing in action, or
Captured in the line of duty by a hostile force, or
Forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power.
A Veteran who has a total and permanent service-connected disability, OR
A Veteran who died having a total permanent disability resulting from a service-related disability.
Veterans receive priority of service at DLR local offices and are given priority in DLR training programs.
South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation Office Directory
U.S. Department of Labor Gold Card Services for Post 9/11 Era Veterans: The U.S. Department of Labor Gold Card for Post 9/11 Era Veterans provides unemployed post-9/11 era Veterans with the intensive and follow-up services they need to succeed in today's job market. The Gold Card initiative is a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS).
An eligible Veteran can present the Gold Card at his/her South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation local office to receive enhanced intensive services including up to six months of follow-up. The enhanced in-person services available for Gold Card holders at local offices may include:
Job readiness assessment, including interviews and testing;
Development of an Individual Development Plan (IDP);
Career guidance through group or individual counseling that helps Veterans in making training and career decisions;
Provision of labor market, occupational, and skills transferability information that inform educational, training, and occupational decisions;
Referral to job banks, job portals, and job openings;
Referral to employers and registered apprenticeship sponsors;
Referral to training by WIA-funded or third party service providers; and
Monthly follow-up by an assigned case manager for up to six months.
Veteran Designation on South Dakota Driver License or ID Card: ( SDCL §32-12-17.15 ) 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’s License or Identification Card. In addition to the required documents , Veterans need to present one of the following:
DD-214 form to show honorable discharge status from active duty
Certificate signed by a county or tribal Veteran's service officer verifying their status
DD Form 2 (Retired)
DD Form 2A (Reserve Retired)
If you’re unable to obtain any of these required documents contact your local county or tribal Veteran service officer for assistance.
South Dakota Driver License Extension for Service Members and their Dependents: ( SDCL §32-12-45 ) South Dakota extends the term of driver licenses for members of the Armed Forces and their dependents. The license remains valid and in full force as long as the individual’s service continues and they (or their dependents) remain absent from South Dakota. The license is valid for up to 90 days following their return to the state or honorable separation.
South Dakota Veteran and Military License Plates: The South Dakota Department of Revenue offers 28 distinctive license plate designs to honor the service and sacrifice of Service members, Veterans, Native American Veterans, Retirees and eligible Family members. These license plates are broken down into three categories:
A short description of some of these is listed below.
South Dakota Disabled Veteran License Plate: Before a person can receive a disabled Veteran plate, he or she must be an owner of a motor vehicle or motorcycle and a resident Veteran who is either:
A recipient of a Veterans' Administration K Award; or
A recipient of an automobile under Public Law 187; or
A recipient of a statutory benefit for loss or loss of use of one or more extremities; or
A recipient of a Veteran's allotment for total disability which is a service connected injury.
In addition, the injury must have been incurred in active duty during a time of war or while participating in a military mission involving armed conflict.
Disabled Veteran plates are available for passenger vehicles and motorcycles. A $10.00 plate fee will be charged annually for the Disabled Veteran plate, no registration fee is charged. It will be necessary to complete a South Dakota Military License Application (MV-4000) .
South Dakota Purple Heart License Plate: Any resident Veteran owner of a motor vehicle or motorcycle, who has received the Purple Heart medal may apply to the Secretary of Revenue and Regulation for special motor vehicle license plates. If the applicant dies the plates must be surrendered to the county treasurer's office. The applicant must submit a copy of DD Form 214, discharge papers, verifying eligibility. A $10.00 plate fee will be charged annually for the Purple Heart plate, no registration fee is charged. A $5 mailing fee is also assessed. It will be necessary to complete a South Dakota Military License Plate Application (MV-4000) .
South Dakota Medal of Honor License Plate: Any resident Veteran owner of a motor vehicle who has received the Medal of Honor may apply to the Secretary of Revenue and Regulation for special license plates. If the applicant no longer qualifies for the plates or dies, the special plates may not be displayed on the vehicle beyond the expiration of the plates or renewal stickers. There is no fee charged for this plate. A $5 mailing fee is assessed. It will be necessary to complete a South Dakota Military License Plate Application (MV-4000) .
South Dakota Veterans License Plate: Any resident Veteran owner of a motor vehicle or motorcycle, who has a valid SD driver's license and who signs an affidavit attesting that he/she is an honorably discharged Veteran having served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the U.S. Applicants will choose the emblem and the indicator below the emblem. If no indicator is chosen the branch of service will be printed below the emblem. Veterans will pay the registration fee and an initial $10.00 special plate fee. Veteran must complete a South Dakota Application for Veteran and Active Duty Military Member License Plates and Affidavit .
South Dakota Gold Star License Plate: A resident owner of a motor vehicle who is a parent, a Spouse, a sibling, or a Child of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who died while in service to this country or who died as a result of the service. If applicant dies, the plates may be retained by the plate owner's Family, but may not be displayed on the vehicle beyond the expiration date of the plates or stickers. Upon initial application, applicant pays the registration fee, plus a $10 special license plate fee; annually only the registration fee is assessed. A $5 mailing fee is also assessed. Applicant must complete a South Dakota Military License Plate Application form (MV-4000) and submit for verification purposes a copy of the Department of Defense Report of Casualty (DD Form 1300) or death notice, or verification from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that the Service member's death was service-related.
South Dakota National Guard Medical Coverage for Injury, Illness covered under Workers’ Compensation Laws during State Active Duty : ( SDCL §33-7-7 ) Any member of the National Guard who is temporarily injured or who becomes temporarily ill while serving on state active duty shall receive medical care at the expense of the state until cleared to return to the member's regular employment by a medical review board appointed by the adjutant general. The injured or ill member shall remain on state active duty and shall receive full pay and allowances until released by the board.
Who is eligible for South Dakota National Guard Medical Coverage for Injury, Illness covered under Workers’ Compensation Laws during State Active Duty? National Guard Service member whose injury or illness incurred in line-of-duty is eligible for coverage.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (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:
Service Member's Group Life Insurance ( SGLI )
Veterans Group Life Insurance ( VGLI )
Family Members Group Life Insurance ( FSGLI )
Service Members Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Projection ( 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.
Reduced Fee South Dakota Hunting and Fishing Cards for Disabled Veterans and former Prisoner of War: ( SDCL §41-6-10.2 ) 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.
Who is eligible for Reduced Fee South Dakota Hunting and Fishing Cards for Disabled Veterans and former Prisoner of War? Applicants must be a resident of South Dakota and meet at least one of the following conditions:
A copy of a letter from the VA indicating they have received the K Award or they receive a Veterans allotment for a 40% or greater disability which is deemed a service-connected injury and will meet eligibility as established in state law SDCL 41-6-10, OR,
A copy of a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating that they are receiving a 40% Social Security disability and verification that they have served on active duty in the Armed Forces or as a member of the Armed Forces reserve or national guard, OR,
A copy of the discharge papers verifying the Prisoner of War status.
The application and verification papers, along with the $10.00 fee, must be submitted to: South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, ATTN: Disability License, 20641 SD Hwy 1806, Ft. Pierre, SD 57532.
South Dakota Special Provisions for Handicapped Hunters: ( SDCL §41-8-31 ) Individuals 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.
Who is eligible for South Dakota Special Provisions for Handicapped Hunters? A legally blind or quadriplegic, legally licensed individual who possesses a disabled hunter permit. Applications are obtained from the Game, Fish and Parks office in Pierre or from a game warden.
South Dakota General Hunting and Fishing License not required for Active Service Members Stationed outside South Dakota: ( SDLC 41-6-16.2 ) Residents who are serving on Active Duty and stationed at a location outside of the state may fish and hunt small game without payment of a fee or the applicable hunting and fishing license. If the resident is hunting migratory birds, the federal migratory bird stamp and the migratory bird certification permit must be purchased. This section does not apply to any person who is serving on active duty for training as a member of the Armed Forces reserve or National Guard.
Lifetime Free Admission and Reduced Camping Fees at South Dakota State Parks for Resident Veterans: ( SDCL §41-17-13.4 ) 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.
Who is eligible for Lifetime Free Admission and Reduced Camping Fees at South Dakota State Parks? 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 or online.
South Dakota Veterans Bonus: South Dakota is paying a bonus to members of the Armed Forces who were legal residents of the state for no less than six months immediately preceding their period of active duty and who served on active duty during one or more of the following periods.
August 2, 1990 to March 3, 1991 - All active service counts for payment.
March 4, 1991 to December 31, 1992 - Only service in a hostile area qualifying for the Southwest Asia Service Medal counts for payment.
January 1, 1993 to September 10, 2001 - Only service in a hostile area qualifying for any United States campaign or service medal awarded for combat operations against hostile forces counts for payment.
September 11, 2001 to a date to be determined - All active service counts for payment.
Veterans with qualifying service from August 2, 1990 to December 31, 1992 (Desert Storm) may receive one bonus of up to $500. Veterans with qualifying service after January 1, 1993 may receive another bonus of up to $500.
Active duty for training is not allowed for bonus purposes.
Applicants living outside of South Dakota may obtain an application by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . If you do not have email you may request an application and instructions by writing SD Veterans Bonus, 425 E. Capitol, Pierre, SD 57501 or by calling 605-773-7251.
Applicants living in South Dakota may apply through the nearest South Dakota County or Tribal Veterans Service Officer.
South Dakota County or Tribal Veterans Service Officer Directory
SDDVA Bonus Application
Free Certified Copies of South Dakota Resident Veterans Records: ( SDCL §34-25-54 ) South Dakota counties may not charge for certified copies of birth, death, marriage, adoption, divorce, and guardianship or conservatorship papers when such records are required in support of a claim against any agency of the federal or state government.
Who is eligible for Free Certified Copies of South Dakota Resident Veterans Records? A resident Service member or Veteran, or the Spouse, Surviving Spouse or dependents of a Service member or Veteran are eligible for free certified copies of official records.
South Dakota State Veterans Home: ( SDCL §33-4 ) The Michael J. Fitzmaurice South Dakota Veterans Home located in Hot Springs is a 133,000-square-foot stacked two-story building with a lower level walkout main entrance. The 100-bed facility is used to serve South Dakota Veterans and contains 76 skilled nursing beds and 24 non-skilled living beds. The living spaces are broken into eight neighborhoods housed in eight wings. Each neighborhood includes a living room, dining room and kitchen area that provide a home-like environment to the 12-13 occupants housed in each neighborhood. The design incorporates residential type furnishings and finishes, and warm, welcoming colors to give the spaces a more comforting feel.
Who is eligible for care at the South Dakota State Veterans Home? To be eligible for admission, the applicant must be an honorably discharged Veteran whose period of service qualifies them for Veteran benefits or the Spouse, or Surviving Spouse of such a Veteran.
In addition, they must:
Be ambulatory and able to take care of self and living quarters, not be addicted to drugs or alcohol and not be mentally ill
Have been a resident of South Dakota at any time in the five years immediately preceding application
Be incapacitated from earning a livelihood
Have had a complete physical exam not more than 60 days prior to making application
In the case of a married couple, the Spouse of the Veteran must be admitted with the Veteran, unless the Veteran is institutionalized, in order to be able to reside at the Home.
To make application please contact your local County or Tribal Veterans Service Officer.
South Dakota County or Tribal Veterans Service Officer Directory
South Dakota Burial Allowance for Veterans, Spouses, or Surviving Spouses: ( SDCL §33A-5-2 ) 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, Surviving Spouse of a Veteran when the estate, or immediate Family, of the deceased is lacking in funds to pay the expenses.
Who is eligible for South Dakota Burial Allowance for Veterans, Spouses, or Surviving Spouses? 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.
South Dakota Veterans Headstone Setting Fee Reimbursement: ( SDCL §33A-5-4 ) The state will pay $100 towards the cost of setting a government headstone or marker at the grave of a Veteran.
Who is eligible for the South Dakota Veterans Headstone Setting Fee Reimbursement: 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.
Military Installations in South Dakota
Please see the South Dakota Military Resource Locator for additional information.
Active Duty :
No active duty Army installations are located in South Dakota.
Ellsworth Air Force Base
National Guard :
Veterans Health Administration
VA Health Care System
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
VA Medical Center
Sioux Falls: Royal C. Johnson Veterans Memorial Medical Center , 2501 W. 22nd St, 605-336-3230
Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC)
Aberdeen: Aberdeen VA CBOC , 2301 8th Ave NE, Suite 225, 605-229-3500 / Fax: 605-229-3505
McLaughlin: McLaughlin VA Clinic , Veterans Industries, Sales Barn Rd, P.O. Box 519, 605-823-4574
Mission: Mission CBOC , Horizon Health Care, Inc. 153 Main St, 605-856-2295 / Fax: 605-854-2755
Pierre: Pierre CBOC , Linn Medical Clinic, 1601 North Harrison, Suite 6, 605-945-1710 / Fax: 605-945-1741
Pine Ridge: Pine Ridge VA Clinic , Next to Dialysis Building across from Indian Health Service (IHS) Hospital, 605-867-2393 x 4033
Rapid City: Rapid City CBOC , 3625 5th St, 605-718-1095
Watertown: Watertown CBOC , 917 29th St SE, 605-884-2420 / Fax: 605-884-2425
Winner: Winner CBOC , 600 West 2nd Street, 605-842-2443 / Fax: 605-842-1650
Vet Center - 877-WAR-VETS (877-927-8387)
Martin: Martin Outstation , P.O. Box 910, 105 E. Hwy 18, 605-685-1300 / Fax: 605-685-1406
Rapid City: Rapid City Vet Center , 621 6th St, Suite 101, 605-348-0077 / Fax: 605-348-0878
Sioux Falls: Sioux Falls Vet Center , 3200 W 49th St, 605-330-4552 / Fax: 605-330-4554
Wagner: Wagner Outreach Clinic , 400 West Hwy 46, 605-384-2340 / Fax: 605-384-2345
Veterans Benefits Administration
Regional Benefit Office
Sioux Falls: Sioux Falls Regional Benefit Office , 2501 W 22nd St, 800-827-1000 / Fax: 605-333-5316
National Cemetery Administration
Hot Springs: Hot Springs National Cemetery , VA Medical Center, 605-647-3830 / Fax: 605-720-7298
Sturgis: Black Hills National Cemetery , 20901 Pleasant Valley Dr, 605-347-3830 / Fax: 605-347-0269
Sturgis: Fort Meade National Cemetery , Old Stone Rd, 605-347-3830 / Fax: 605-720-7298
South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs
Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building
425 E. Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Toll Free in SD: 1-877-579-0015