Find North Carolina state and local veterans’ benefits including education, employment, healthcare, tax breaks/exemptions, recreation and much more below. There are over 700,000 veterans residing in North Carolina according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veteran Education Benefits
North Carolina Scholarship for Children of Wartime Veterans
This scholarship program offers financial assistance good for eight academic semesters with an eight-year time limit to use the scholarship. Applicants must be North Carolina residents 25 or under, a “qualifying natural or adopted child”, and the dependent of “certain class categories of deceased, disabled, combat, or POW/MIA veterans”. The veteran’s qualifying service “must have occurred during a period of war” and the veteran must have been a North Carolina resident at the time active service began.
This scholarship is good only for North Carolina schools, but approved private institutions may qualify. Private school attendance will be compensated with a cash award to the applicant. Additional restrictions or requirements may apply depending on circumstances.
North Carolina Tuition Benefits For Out-Of-State GI Bill Users
Qualifying spouses and children of active duty service members may be eligible for the North Carolina in-state tuition rate without having to meet the 12 month residency requirement. This is allowed if the student is attending a state college using the GI Bill. A partial reading of a law passed in 2017 reveals, “Recipients using transferred Post‑9/11 GI Bill benefits…while the transferor is on active duty in the Armed Forces…are eligible for the in‑State tuition rate, provided the recipient’s abode is in North Carolina and the recipient provides the institution of higher education a letter of intent to establish residency in North Carolina.”
Veterans who themselves do not qualify for the in-state tuition rate because of the residency requirement are also exempt and will pay or be compensated for in-state tuition rather than at the higher non-resident tuition rate.
Veteran Employment Benefits
North Carolina Government Hiring Preference For Veterans
North Carolina government (state, city, and local) is, according to the North Carolina Veterans Services and Affairs official site, among the largest employers of veterans and their families in the entire state. With that in mind, the official site posts this quote from North Carolina state law:
“It shall be the policy of the State of North Carolina that, in appreciation for their service to this State and this country during a period of war, and in recognition of the time and advantage lost toward the pursuit of a civilian career, veterans shall be granted preference in employment with every State department, agency, and institution. ” ~NCGS 126-80, Article 13
The level of hiring preference may vary depending on the nature of the job, Civil Service exam requirements, and other factors. Consult the Human Resources department or hiring division of the North Carolina government agency you want to apply for to learn levels of hiring preference, required examinations, etc.
North Carolina “Fast Track” Professional Licensing For Veterans
Qualifying veterans and military spouses are offered credit for military experience towards state licensing for career fields ranging from molecular science to commercial truck driving. License Boards “representing several NC license occupations have been required to provide a process to recognize military training in pursuing a licensed occupation” in the state of North Carolina. The list of occupations and available licensure is quite extensive.
North Carolina Disabled Veteran Outreach
The North Carolina Department of Commerce offers veterans employment resources, career counseling, resume prep and much more via state Workforce Centers and also via assistance from Disabled Veteran Outreach specialists who work with disabled vets to provide the same services.
Veteran Housing Benefits
The N.C. Home Advantage Mortgage Program
This home buying program, while not specifically targeted at veterans, is available to any qualifying first time home buyer who needs down payment assistance. The Home Advantage Program is the work of the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency and is offered statewide via approximately 85 financial institutions.
It features “down payment assistance in the form of a zero-interest, second mortgage for up to 5 percent of the loan amount” and offers loan forgiveness for that down payment assistance available as early as 11 years into the loan.
Some may wonder why veterans should take advantage of this program rather than a VA home loan, but among the incentives for the Home Advantage program is that it may be combined “with a tax-saving Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)” that can help lower a veteran’s federal income taxes.
This benefit is income-based, but qualifying applicants can claim as much as 50% of the mortgage interest for a tax credit of up to $2000 per year.
North Carolina Veterans’ Assisted Care Homes And Nursing Homes
The State of North Carolina operates full-service assisted care/nursing homes for veterans who are honorably discharged, have a reference from a physician and a qualifying need, and have been a North Carolina resident for 24 months prior to application time.
There are four locations:
- Black Mountain
You can take a virtual tour of any of these facilities at the NC4Vets.com official site.
Housing Resources For Homeless Veterans In North Carolina
The State of North Carolina advertises resources to help veterans avoid homelessness. The state official site urges veterans in danger of or currently experiencing homelessness to contact National Call Center for Homeless Veterans (1-877-4AID-VET) but the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs also provides a list of resources for “immediate service for homeless veterans” in North Carolina from a variety of providers.
These resources are often private or charitable organizations and include substance abuse programs, resources for women veterans, and programs for those with medical issues.
Veteran Financial Benefits
Retirement Income Tax Breaks for Veterans
Qualifying service members with at least five years of “creditable service” as of August 12, 1989 may be exempt from state income tax on military retirement pay. This is not automatic, and must be claimed as part of a typical tax filing or amended return.
According to the North Carolina Department of Revenue, “A retiree entitled to exclude retirement benefits in arriving at North Carolina taxable income should claim a deduction on Form D-400 Schedule S, Part B – Deductions from Federal Adjusted Gross Income, Line 10, for the amount of excludable retirement benefits included in federal adjusted gross income.”
North Carolina Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exclusion
North Carolina residents who are honorably discharged veterans with qualifying VA-rated disabilities or service-connected medical issues may be eligible for a property tax break for primary residences. Unmarried surviving spouses of honorably discharged veterans may also apply.
Applicants must submit proof of service, VA disability award letters, and evidence of benefits received in order to apply for an assessment reduction of $45,000 under the program. There are no income or age restrictions to apply.
Additional Veteran Benefits
Legal Assistance For Veteran Claims
The North Carolina Central University School of Law provides legal advice for vets through its’ Veterans Law Clinic. This is a “supervised service” operated by law students designed to help veterans file VA claims and appeals all the way up to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims.
The program is offered statewide via a variety of UNC Campuses throughout the state. Claims assistance is available for many stages of the legal process including judicial review. Not all cases are eligible for this assistance, but a determination process can be started by calling 919-530-6605.
North Carolina State Veteran Cemeteries
There are six state-run Veteran Cemeteries in the state of North Carolina. They are:
- Black Mountain
- Spring Lake
- Salisbury National Veterans Cemetery
These cemeteries offer burial benefits to qualifying veterans, spouses, and (in some cases) military dependents. Residency, discharge, and other requirements may vary depending on the facility. Salisbury is the only National Cemetery in North Carolina, and may have different regulations than the others in the list.
Driver License, ID Cards, and License Plates For Veterans
The State of North Carolina offers free or reduced-cost license plates for qualifying veterans. Plates for disabled veterans are at no cost. Military discharge paperwork is required to apply; for disabled veterans your most recent VA award letter is also required.
Military members who are North Carolina Residents but are out of state because of military service commitments may renew their North Carolina drivers’ licenses by mail. Early renewal and “veteran” designation are also possible; all military-related drivers’ license exceptions, discounts, exemptions, etc. are handled on a case-by-case basis by the DMV and will require supporting documentation (DD Form 214, VA award letters, etc.).
North Carolina Recreational Licenses For Veterans
North Carolina does not require military members who are NC residents but serving out-of-state to purchase hunting of fishing licenses when they are home on leave for 30 days or less. This requires the service member to carry a military ID card while fishing or hunting AND “the official document issued by their service unit confirming that they are on authorized leave from their duty station outside of North Carolina”.
Non-resident military members stationed in North Carolina are eligible for a discounted rate for such licenses. There are also lifetime hunting and fishing licenses offered at a discount for disabled veterans who are 50% or more disabled as determined by the VA; proof of service and VA award letters may be required to apply.
North Carolina Links to Veterans Services
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