Grand Strand Chapter of the

     Military Officers Association of America

south carolina veteran benefits

Your Ultimate Guide to 2024 Veteran Benefits in South Carolina

South Carolina veteran benefits offer a wide range of exemptions and opportunities for current and former Armed Forces members. With over 350,000 veteran residents in South Carolina, veterans make up 7 percent of the state’s population! 

South Carolina veteran benefits include (but are not limited to) property exemptions, tuition assistance, an extensive employment assistance program, financial assistance for service members in need, vehicle sales tax exemptions, and recreation discounts to its veteran population. 

Property Tax Exemptions for Veterans in South Carolina

South Carolina veteran benefits include several different exemptions under the South Carolina Complete Property Tax Homestead Exemption. 

Disabled Veterans

Veterans with a 100 percent permanent and total (P&T) VA disability rating are eligible for a complete property tax exemption for a home and up to five acres of land. 

Former Prisoners of War and Medal of Honor Recipients

Former Prisoners of War and Medal of Honor recipients are eligible for a complete property tax exemption for a home and up to one acre of land.

Surviving spouses can also maintain this property tax exemption if they inherit and maintain sole ownership of the home.

South Carolina Veteran Benefits for Education  

South Carolina veteran benefits for education are excellent. These opportunities for veterans and their families augment the federal education support available to all U.S. veterans.

There are many military-friendly colleges in South Carolina. According to the VA, in 2017, 146 South Carolina schools received Post 9/11 GI bill funds totaling over $80 million for over 11,000 students. 

Resident College Tuition Rates in South Carolina

In-state tuition rates are available at any public college or university in South Carolina for active-duty military personnel or members of the National Guard (or their spouses or dependent children). Veterans eligible for VA education benefits (or their spouse or dependent children) are

also eligible for resident tuition. 

Additionally, if veterans enroll within three years of leaving active duty service, they also qualify for in-state tuition. Qualifying students must move to and remain in South Carolina during their course of study.

College Credit in South Carolina for Military Training

South Carolina veteran benefits allow veterans to apply their time in service toward a degree, converting their military training and experience into college credits. Most universities and community colleges in South Carolina use the American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations to award academic credit toward a degree for education and training received in the military. Each school reviews and assigns credits differently, but you can check potential credit at ACENET.

To claim college credit for military training, request a transcript from your military service branch. Army, Navy, Marines, Space Force, and Coast Guard members should request a Joint Services Transcript. Air Force members should request a Community College of the Air Force transcript. 

South Carolina National Guard College Tuition Assistance

Serving in the South Carolina National Guard could earn you up to $4,500 per year towards your tuition and fees at a state-supported school. You must be a South Carolina National Guard member in good standing with your unit. You can use this benefit for four years, but only towards your first undergraduate degree. 

To apply, contact the South Carolina National Guard Education Office at (803) 299-2734.

Free College Tuition for Children of Veterans

South Carolina honors the service and sacrifice of veterans by providing free college tuition to the children of veterans. To be eligible, veterans must have wartime service and an honorable discharge. Veterans must also be current residents for at least one year (or have been residents when they entered into service). 

Eligible veterans include those who meet any of the following criteria:

  • has a permanent and total (P&T) VA disability rating
  • received the Medal of Honor or Purple Heart
  • was MIA, KIA, or POW
  • died of disease or disability due to service

Children age 26 or younger qualify for these benefits.

Hiring and Employment Benefits for South Carolina Veterans

Several South Carolina veteran benefits offer support with employment, and many resources are available to help veterans and their families find jobs and advance their careers.

South Carolina Veterans’ Employment Preference

South Carolina veterans and disabled veterans receive preference when applying for federal, state, county, and local government jobs. 

South Carolina offers interview preference to veterans. The state requires that at least one qualified veteran is interviewed for each job. Veterans must have an honorable discharge to receive preference, and meet minimum training and qualification requirements. 

South Carolina Operation Palmetto Employment Services

South Carolina helps veterans find meaningful civilian careers through Operation Palmetto. The Department of Employment and Workforce program helps veterans receive priority for hiring through an online job portal. Veterans receive job preference on the portal and get early application access to jobs. 

SC Works Centers

Veteran service officers at SC Works Centers are equipped with the knowledge to help transitioning military members and veterans find civilian employment. Veterans receive priority service in the centers, which provide individual career coaching, job referrals, resume preparation, and job training programs and services.

South Carolina Military Family Relief Fund (SCMFRF)

South Carolina veteran benefits include a program to help South Carolina National Guard members and Reservists when emergencies happen. Members who have been called to active service can get help with unforeseen emergency expenses when they receive less pay (30 percent or greater) while serving than they would have on their civilian job.

A few examples of emergency expenses the fund covers include:

  • Preventing veteran homelessness by covering housing and utilities
  • Illness of a veteran or family member that results in hardship
  • Food

The fund will approve up to $2,000 for any condition that puts a veteran at risk of not having basic necessities.

To qualify, service members must have been called to active duty for 30 days or more due to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

If there is no financial need, service members can still apply for the status-based grant, which provides members a flat rate of $500. Additionally, service members or next of kin can request a casualty-based grant of $1,000 for those who sustained a service-connected injury or KIA/MIA or POW members. 

You can only receive the grant once per fiscal year and only once per set of active duty orders. You must also have a rank no higher than O-3 or W-2. 

Housing Benefits for Veterans in South Carolina

Veterans Homes in South Carolina

South Carolina veteran benefits include three Veterans Nursing Homes within the state. These homes (located in Columbia, Anderson, and Walterboro) offer long-term care for veterans in need. The homes are only for veterans and their spouses who require skilled and intermediate nursing care. Memory care may also be available for veterans with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Residents have access to many services, including:

  • Medical care, including memory care
  • Nursing care
  • Rehabilitative therapy
  • Pharmacy services
  • Recreational activities
  • Social services
  • Dietary services
  • Transportation 

To be eligible, veterans must have an honorable discharge and must be South Carolina residents for at least one year. 

South Carolina Veterans Vehicle and Driver’s License Benefits

South Carolina Veteran Designation on Driver License or Identification (ID) Cards

For a small fee, any honorably discharged veteran can request a Veteran designation on the front of a South Carolina driver’s license or ID card.

The word “Veteran” printed on the center of a license allows South Carolina veterans to validate their honorable service with a government-issued ID card. 

Free License Plate for Disabled Veterans

South Carolina disabled veteran benefits include a free and permanent license plate for: 

  • disabled wartime veterans with a P&T rating
  • veterans who are blind  
  • veterans who have lost the use of one or both arms or legs

Veterans can get up to two plates. This plate gives you free parking at city meters, but you cannot park in handicapped parking with this plate. 

Veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart, Medal of Honor, Bronze Star, or Palmetto Cross don’t have to pay vehicle registration fees; the same goes for former POWs, Korean War veterans, and Gold Star families.

You can apply for a disabled veteran plate or other military plates through the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles

SC Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0038

Vehicle Tax Exemptions in South Carolina

Veterans with a 100 percent P&T VA disability rating are exempt from paying sales tax on up to two vehicles whether purchased or leased. This also applies to former POWs and Medal of Honor recipients.

Additionally, unremarried surviving spouses of eligible disabled veterans or former POWs are exempt from paying sales tax on one vehicle. Claims for exemptions must be received within two years from the date taxes were paid. 

Government Services Division
PO Box 125
Columbia, SC 29214-0720

South Carolina State Park Discounts for Veterans

If you’re a 100-percent disabled veteran or a South Carolina National Guard member, you can purchase South Carolina state park passes at a 50-percent discount.

All Park Passport

This annual park passport provides free state park entry for everyone in the pass holder’s vehicle. Holders also receive free admission to many historic sites around South Carolina. 

SELECT Park Passport

The SELECT Park Passport provides free entry for everyone in the pass holder’s vehicle to 35 South Carolina State Parks.

Official seal of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs


Veterans Administration Benefits:





Mesothelioma Guide for Veterans  

This organization guides patients through the complex medical system and provides them with free resources on treatment options, specialists, and support groups. Moreover, the website features up to date medical information, including recruiting clinical trials for those interested in experimental treatment.

If you wish additional information, please click on the following link.  

MOAA Grand Strand Chapter is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Mailing Address:  Grand Strand Chapter MOAA,  P.O. Box 15842,  Surfside Beach, SC. 29587

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