South Dakota Military and Veterans Benefits

State Taxes
Education Benefits

Employment Benefits

Unemployment Compensation

Department of Public Safety Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Parks & Recreation Benefits
South Dakota Military Resource Locator
Miscellaneous Benefits
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities
Resources

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 at South Dakota State Parks 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.

Learn more about South Dakota Income Taxes

South Dakota Property Tax Exemption for Paraplegic Veterans and Their Surviving Spouse: ( SDCL §10-4-24.11 SCDL §10-4-24.10 ) 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

Learn more about South Dakota Property Tax Exemption for Paraplegic Veterans and Their Surviving Spouse

South Dakota Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans: ( SDCL §10-4-40 ) Exempts up to $150,000 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 Applications 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

Learn more about South Dakota Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans

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 2018, the income limit for a single-member household is $12,490; for a multiple-member household the limit is $16,910. 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

Learn more about South Dakota Sales and Property Tax Refund for Senior & Disabled Citizens

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What are my South Dakota Military and Veteran Education Benefits?

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.

The benefits to which a Veteran is entitled under § 13-55-2 may be used by the Veteran at any period after the date specified in § 33A-2-2 as the end of the qualifying period during which the Veteran served, at any period after the end of the period of eligibility for any of the awards specified in subdivision 33A-2-2(7) for which the Veteran qualifies, or at any period after the date the Veteran was rated by the Veterans Administration as ten percent 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

Learn more about Free Tuition at South Dakota State Supported Schools for Veterans

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

Learn more about Free Tuition at South Dakota State Supported Schools for Children of Veterans Who Die during Military Service

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

Learn more about Free Tuition at South Dakota State Supported Schools for Dependents of Prisoners of War and Service Members Declared Missing in Action

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 active duty federal active duty or any authorized training duty, is entitled to tuition without cost and is entitled to attend any course or courses of study in any state educational institution under the control and management of the Board of Regents.
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

Learn more about 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

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 South Dakota 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 Air National Guard or the Army National 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.

Learn more about Reduced Tuition for South Dakota National Guard Members

South Dakota Resident Status for Tuition Purposes for Veterans and their Dependents: ( SDCL § 13-53-29.1 & 29.2 ) Service members, Veterans, and their 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.

Learn more about South Dakota Resident Status for Tuition Purposes for Veterans and their Dependents

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. 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.

Learn more about Honorary South Dakota High School Diplomas for Wartime Veterans

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).

  • Study skills.

  • 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.

  • Career exploration.

  • 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:

Mike Nau
Veterans Upward Bound Program Advisor
501 E. St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD 57701
605-390-0746
Email: naum@wncc.edu

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.

Learn more about the South Dakota Veterans Upward Bound Program

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
Email: alan.kerr@k12.sd.us
Phone: 605-923-0000

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

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What are my South Dakota Military and Veteran Employment Benefits?

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.

Learn more about Military Training Leave for South Dakota State Employees

Credited Military 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 Military Service for South Dakota Retirement System (SDRS)? State employees that are National Guard or Reserve Service members that take an authorized leave of absence when called to active service are eligible for credited service.

Learn more about Credited Military Service for South Dakota Retirement System (SDRS)

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.

Learn more about South Dakota State Employment Wage Compensation Adjustment during Active-Duty Service

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:

  • Honorably discharged,

  • 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.

Learn more about South Dakota State Employment Veterans’ Hiring Preference

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.

Learn more about Federal Employment Veterans Hiring Preferences

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.