South Carolina is home to over 400,000 veterans, making it one of the states with the largest veteran population. They make up almost 9 percent of the state residents. Because of this high percentage, South Carolina offers a number of state benefits that can help veterans live the life they deserve.
If you are a veteran and live in South Carolina, do you know all of the benefits you may be eligible for? If you are not sure, read on to learn more about South Carolina state veteran benefits.
South Carolina State Veteran Benefits for Housing
South Carolina has three veteran homes located in Anderson, Columbia, and Walterboro. These homes offer rehabilitative and nursing care for elderly and chronically ill veterans as well as eligible family members.
The home in Columbia requires the veteran to be a resident of South Carolina for the past year, have been generally or honorably discharged from the military, and need nursing care. The facility offers 24/7 nursing and medical care, as well as rehabilitative therapy, recreational activities, and much more.
The Richard M. Campbell Veterans Nursing Home in Anderson requires the veteran to have served and to have been honorably discharged, to have lived in the state for the past year, and to need nursing care. At this veterans nursing home, you can receive medical care, nursing care, occupational, physical, speech, and restorative therapies, as well as recreational and therapeutic activities.
The Veterans Victory House has the same admission requirements as the other two homes and can offer the same type of care, including rehabilitative, medical, and social care.
Veterans Financial Benefits
South Carolina offers important financial benefits to consider. These include income tax and property taxes for disabled veterans.
South Carolina Military Retired Pay Income Tax
Veterans under 65 can deduct up to $17,500 on earned income other than military retirement pay. Veterans older than 65 can deduct $30,000 with no requirement of other income. This is a change from earlier rules, which required you to have a secondary income.
Property Tax Exemptions and Homestead Tax Deduction
Veterans with a 100 percent service-connected disability can receive a total exemption from property taxes. There is also a homestead tax deduction of up to $50,000 for veterans over 65 who are completely disabled.
These exemptions can apply to the spouse of the veteran, as well, and can transfer to a new home.
The state of South Carolina has the South Carolina State Employee Veterans Hiring Preference. This gives veterans preference when hiring for state employment. It requires at least one veteran to be interviewed for every full-time position.
To be eligible for this, you need to be a veteran who served on active duty for reasons other than training. You must have been honorably discharged and you need to meet the minimum experience and training requirements for the position. There is a similar benefit for federal employment positions.
Another benefit veterans can apply for is the Credit of State Retirement for Military Service. State employees that are called to serve in active duty or who are returning to serve can still continue with the state’s retirement program as long as they still make payments toward it.
Veteran Education Benefits
Veterans can receive some education benefits, as well, in the state of South Carolina. Free tuition for the children of certain war veterans when they attend state colleges or post high school technical education institutions. For the child to be able to apply, the veteran must have served during wartime and have been honorably discharged. They must be a resident of South Carolina when they signed up for service, during service, or have been a current resident for a year.
If the veteran is deceased, they have to have died either in action or from other causes while serving. They could have been a prisoner of war, died from a service-caused injury, be missing in action, or be a Medal of Honor or Purple Heart recipient.
South Carolina offers different recreation benefits. These include hunting and fishing licenses for disabled veterans, state park admissions, and active duty licenses.
Disabled Veterans Hunting and Fishing Licenses
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources offers veterans who are totally disabled a free hunting or fishing license. These licenses are good for three years and they authorize: freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, big game hunting, state hunting, and more.
Active Duty Hunting and Fishing Licenses
South Caroline residents who are on leave from active duty can get hunting and fishing licenses for free. Active duty non-residents can get a hunting and fishing license for resident rates.
State Park Admissions
Veterans who are disabled can enter any state park at a reduced rate. Keep in mind that certain services within the parks may have added fees.
In Anderson, there is the M.J. “Dolly” Cooper veterans cemetery, where honorably-discharged veterans who were residents of South Carolina can be buried. Their spouses and dependent children are also eligible for burial. For the veteran, there is no cost, but there is a small fee for the spouse.
Get Your Benefits
If you are a veteran who is disabled, you have the right to many benefits in South Carolina. The process of applying for them can be complex, however, and you may not know how to file for them yourself.
That is where VetLink Solutions can help. We are a team of veterans ready to help other veterans get the South Carolina state veteran benefits they deserve. Contact us right now for a free evaluation by a veteran medical benefits advisor.