South Dakota

South Dakota


South Dakota offers various benefits for veterans. On this page, you’ll find a concise overview of each of these benefits.

South Dakota State Veterans Home

The South Dakota Veterans Home, nestled in Hot Springs, requires veterans seeking admission to have an honorable discharge and residency in South Dakota, or be the spouse or widow of a qualifying veteran. They must also be ambulatory and capable of self-care and maintaining their living space. In cases of a married couple, the spouse must accompany the veteran unless the veteran is institutionalized. Costs are determined based on income.

South Dakota Veteran Financial Benefits

Property Tax Exemption

Veterans who are permanently and totally disabled, or those who have lost or lost the use of both lower extremities, are granted an exemption from property tax on their home. This benefit extends to their un-remarried surviving spouses as well.

South Dakota Veterans Bonus

South Dakota provides a bonus of up to $500 for current or former military personnel who were legal residents of the state for at least six months prior to their active duty period and meet specific criteria during one or more of the following periods:

South Dakota Veterans Employment Preference

Veterans are granted employment preference for all state, county, local, and school district positions. If you meet at least the minimum qualifications for the job, you are guaranteed an interview.

The unmarried surviving spouse of a veteran who passed away in service or from a service-connected cause is entitled to the same preference as an eligible veteran, provided they possess the requisite skills and qualifications for the position.

If a disabled eligible veteran cannot utilize their veteran’s preference due to disability, their spouse may avail of it instead.

South Dakota Veteran Education Benefits

Free Tuition for Veterans

South Dakota residents who were honorably discharged and served after August 1, 1990, and were awarded a campaign, expeditionary, or service medal for combat operations, qualify for tuition-free enrollment at state colleges. They must not qualify for the GI Bill or other federal education benefits.

For every month of qualifying service, they receive one month of tuition-free education, with a minimum of one academic year and a maximum of four academic years.

Free Tuition for Children of Veterans Who Died on Duty

Residents of South Dakota under the age of 25, whose parent was killed in action or passed away during active duty, are entitled to free tuition at a state-supported school. The parent must have been a resident of South Dakota for at least six months prior to entering active duty.

Reduced Tuition for South Dakota National Guard

Members of the Guard qualify for a 50% reduction in undergraduate tuition fees at any state-supported school, with a maximum limit of 128 undergraduate credits and 32 graduate credits.

Free Tuition for Dependents of National Guard Members

Residents of South Dakota under the age of 25, whose parent passed away or became totally disabled due to their National Guard duty, qualify for free tuition at state colleges. Additionally, the spouse or surviving spouse of the Guard member is also eligible for this benefit.

South Dakota State Recreation Benefits

Disabled Veteran Hunting and Fishing Licenses

South Dakota resident veterans who qualify for VA Special Monthly Compensation, are former Prisoners of War (POWs), receive Social Security Disability benefits, or have a minimum of 40% VA disability rating are eligible for a four-year hunting and fishing license for a nominal administrative fee.

Active-Duty Hunting and Fishing License

South Dakota residents who are on active duty outside the state and return home on leave are permitted to hunt and fish without needing a license. However, they must still purchase a migratory bird stamp.

State Park Admission

South Dakota resident veterans who qualify for VA Special Monthly Compensation, are former Prisoners of War (POWs), or have a VA disability rating of total disability receive complimentary admission to state parks. Additionally, they enjoy a 50% discount on camping or electric hookup fees.

Burial and Memorial Benefits

Burial Allowance

The state offers a payment of up to $100 to assist with covering burial and funeral costs for any honorably discharged veteran, or for the spouse or surviving spouse of a veteran, in cases where the estate or immediate family lacks sufficient funds to cover these expenses.

Headstone Setting Fee

The state provides $100 towards the expense of installing a government headstone or marker at the grave of a veteran who was a resident for at least one year before entering military service or one year prior to their passing.

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