Benefits in my Backyard: South Carolina

Jonathan Kaupanger
April 20, 2018 - 12:12 pm



More than 400k veterans call South Carolina home. Women vets seem to like living in the Palmetto State as the number is just a little higher than the national average and unemployment for veterans in SC is lower than the national average.

South Carolina is the 11th smallest state in the Union and the smallest of the Deep South. You could fit 21 South Carolina’s into one Alaska. South Carolina is also home to a lot of "firsts:" the first free public library in 1698, the first public museum in 1773 and the first golf club was started by Scottish settlers in Charleston on September 29, 1786.

If you are planning to retire or just move to South Carolina, you need to know about a few interesting laws first.  By law any man, over the age of 16, who proposes to a women must marry her or he’s guilty of a misdemeanor and can be fined and imprisoned for up to a year. On the flip side of that, it’s perfectly legal to beat your wife on the court house steps, but only on Sundays. Horses in Fountain Inn must wear pants at all times! If you like to imbibe spirits on the Furman University campus in Greenville you better be close to retiring because the drinking age there is 60 years old.


The state will tax retirement income, but veterans or their surviving spouse are allowed an exemption of $3,000 until age 65. For those 65 and older, $10k of retirement pay is exempt from tax. Call (803) 898-5709 for more info.

  • Homestead Exemption. Anyone who is permanently and totally disabled by the VA are eligible for an exemption in the amount set by the General Assembly.  This also applies to persons over age 65. Contact your county and municipal tax office for more info.
  • Property Tax Exemption. Veterans rated by VA with a 100 percent; service-connected disability; their surviving spouse; POW’s; or Medal of Honor recipients may be exempt from tax on their primary residence. Contact your county and municipal tax office for more info.
  • Active duty pay. Anyone stationed in South Carolina is not subject to income tax on their service pay. Income earned by spouses of service personnel is subject to state income tax. Contact the Department of Revenue for more info.


  • Tuition Assistance for Certain War Veterans Children. There is free tuition to state supported colleges and universities for children of war veterans if the veteran:
    • was killed in action
    • died from other causes while in the service
    • was a POW
    • permanently and totally disabled
    • awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor
    • missing in action
    • Purple Heart recipient.


  • Veterans with an honorable discharge receive preference points when testing for open and open non-promotional examinations for state jobs.
  • Veterans Services. Representatives are trained to help provide intensive, priority employment services to all veterans.
  • Hire A Veteran




Cemetery and Burial

  • Veterans residing in the state are eligible to receive certain end of live benefits. Learn more about eligibility here.
  • Eligibility Determination Form. Pre-needs determination is intended to simplify and assist the veteran’s next-of-kin at the time of death. This does not reserve a plot or niche at the cemetery. There is no cost for this.

Links or Resources