Did you know that there are approximately 19 million American veterans as of April 2021?
Many veterans are aware of the basic health and educational benefits of the Department of Veterans Affairs. While these benefits are substantial on their own, numerous other programs provide additional benefits to veterans and their families.
Even inside the health care and education programs, there are little-known benefits to help veterans improve their lives and alleviate the financial strain of medical care or other expenses.
South Dakota offers several veteran benefits. How well do you understand them? Below are some of the most important aspects of these South Dakota State Veteran benefits.
1. Financial Benefits For South Dakota Veterans
South Dakota offers some financial benefits to veterans over and above the primary health care and educational benefits. To be eligible, veterans and their families must be a resident of South Dakota.
Exemption on Property Tax For Paraplegic Veterans
The property is exempt from all property taxes under the terms of this scheme. A paraplegic veteran must hold the property. This is who qualifies for the benefit:
- A veteran who has lost the use of both of their lower limbs
- The widow of a veteran
- An unmarried widow of a veteran
In addition, to qualifying as above, the property must be specifically designed to accommodate wheelchair access within the house.
Property Taxes For Disabled Veterans
This program exempts qualifying property up to $100,000 of its assessed value. A disabled veteran or a surviving partner must own and occupy the property. In addition, the veteran must be 100% disabled due to a service-related incident.
Bonus For South Dakota Veterans
South Dakota offers the following benefits to members of the military who were also legal residents of the state for at least six months before their period of active duty. Veterans must have served or are currently serving on active duty during one of these periods:
- All active service from August 2, 1990, to March 3, 1991
- Only service in a hostile area is eligible for the Southwest Asia Service Medal from March 4, 1991, to December 31, 1992
- From January 1, 1993, to September 10, 2001, you required service in hostile territory to qualify for any US campaign or service medal given for combat actions against hostile forces
- From September 11, 2001, through an as-yet-undetermined date, all active duty
Those who served between August 2, 1990, and December 31, 1992, are eligible for one bonus of up to $500. After January 1, 1993, individuals who qualify may be eligible for an additional bonus of up to $500. However, unfortunately, active duty for training purposes is not eligible for a bonus.
2. Preference For Employment
Veterans are given priority. This priority is for jobs available in:
- All counties
- All local
- All school district jobs
If you meet the minimum skills for the position, you will get an invitation to interview.
The surviving spouse or partner of a veteran who died in service or from a service-related cause has the same priority as an eligible veteran, provided the spouse has the skills needed and qualifications for the job.
If a disabled veteran entitled to benefits cannot use their veteran’s priority due to their disability, the spouse may do so.
3. Education Benefits
South Dakota offers veterans many educational benefits. Let’s look at some below:
Veterans Are Eligible For Free Tuition
Honorably discharged South Dakota residents who served after August 1, 1990, are eligible for this benefit. However, to qualify for free tuition at state colleges, they must have earned a medal for combat situations such as:
- A campaign
- A special ops
- Or a service medal
They must be ineligible for the GI Bill or other federal educational benefits. You get one month of free tuition for every month of “qualifying service,” with a minimum of one and a maximum of four academic years.
Tuition Is Waived For Children Of Veterans Who Died In The Line of Duty
Children under the age of 25, who are South Dakota residents, and whose parents were killed in action or died from other reasons while on active duty, are eligible for free tuition at a state-supported school. The parent must have lived in South Dakota for at least six months before entering active duty.
National Guard Reduced Tuition
Guard members are eligible for a 50 percent tuition reduction at any state-supported college or university. This fee reduction is for up to 128 undergraduate credits or/and 32 graduate credits.
National Guard Free Tuition For Dependents
Children under the age of 25 who are South Dakota residents and whose parents died or became disabled due to National Guard duty can get free tuition at state colleges. The guard member’s partner is also eligible.
4. Recreation Benefits For South Dakota
South Dakota also offers veterans many recreational benefits. Let’s look at some below:
Hunting & Fishing Licenses For Disabled Veterans
Veterans are eligible for specific compensation for Hunting and fishing licenses. Those who receive or are:
- VA Special Monthly Compensation
- Former POWs
- Receive Social Security Disability
- Have at least 40 percent VA disability
The above can purchase a four-year hunting and fishing license in South Dakota. However, they will have to pay a minor administrative charge.
Admission To State Parks
This is a benefit that many veterans will not know of. Veterans who live in South Dakota and are eligible for VA Special Monthly Payments, ex-POWs, or VA-rated disabled receive free entrance to state parks and a 50% discount on camper or electric hookup fees.
5. Home For South Dakota Veterans
The South Dakota Veterans Home is in Hot Springs. To qualify for admittance, veterans must be mobile and able to care for themselves and their living quarters.
In the case of a married couple, unless the veteran is institutionalized, the spouse must be admitted with the veteran. One’s income determines the cost.
6. Benefits For Burial
The State of Dakota provides two benefits in respect of burial and memorial. Let’s look at them:
An Allowance For Burial
The state may pay up to $100 to help with burial and funeral costs. You must be an honorably discharged veteran or surviving partner of a veteran. The veteran’s estate or family of the deceased veteran must at the time also be lacking in funds to pay the funeral costs.
Setting Fee For A Headstone
The state will contribute $100 toward the cost of installing a government gravestone or plaque at the grave of a veteran. The veteran must have resided in the state for one year before joining active duty or one year before death.
Keep Abreast Of Your South Dakota State Veteran Benefits
Veterans and their families can use various South Dakota State Veteran benefits.
Military benefits are constantly changing. Keep up with everything from pay to health care and determine if you qualify for an increase in your Veteran Benefits.
Are you a service-disabled veteran? Then, contact us! We can connect you with the right medical benefits and how to submit a claim to the VA successfully.