North Carolina State Veterans Benefits

North Carolina offers scholarships, hiring preferences, and tax exemptions to veterans living in the state.

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The North Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs offers a variety of benefits to resident veterans, in addition to benefits available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Educational Benefits

Scholarships for Children of Veterans

Children of certain veterans are eligible for a four-year scholarship at a North Carolina approved school. Eligibility requires that the veteran parent be deceased, disabled, POW or MIA, or a combat veteran. The veteran must have met the qualifying criteria during wartime.

A child applying for the scholarship must:

  • be under age 25
  • a natural child of the veteran, or, adopted prior to the age of 15
  • have been born in North Carolina, and
  • have been a resident of North Carolina since birth, and a current resident.

In addition, one of the following must be true:

  • The parent veteran was a resident of North Carolina at the time of entry into the qualifying period of service, or
  • The child was born in North Carolina and has lived exclusively in North Carolina since birth.

Scholarship Classes

There are different classes of scholarships that provide different benefits based on the status of the parent veteran. All of the scholarships can be awarded for four academic years as long as the scholarship is fully used within eight years.

Class I-A. The Class I-A scholarship provides tuition, room and board allowances, and fee exemptions in community, public and technical colleges or institutions, or $4,500 per towards each academic year in a junior or private college. Eligible children have a veteran parent who died during wartime service or as a consequence of service-connected disabilities incurred during wartime service. There is no limit to the number of class I-A scholarships that can be awarded each year.

Class I-B. The Class I-B scholarship provides tuition and fee exemptions in community, public, and technical colleges and institutions, or $1,500 per academic year in a junior or private college. Eligible children have a veteran parent who is receiving 100% service-connected disability compensation for disabilities incurred during wartime, or who was receiving such compensation at the time of death. There is no limit to the number of class I-B scholarships that can be awarded each year.

Class II. The Class II scholarship provides tuition, room and board allowances, and fee exemptions in community, public and technical colleges or institutions, or $4,500 per towards each academic year in a junior or private college. Eligible children have a veteran parent who is rated at least 20% but less than 100% disabled as a result of medical conditions incurred during wartime or during a period of service when a Purple Heart was awarded to the veteran. No more than 100 Class II scholarships are awarded each year.

Class III. The Class III scholarship provides tuition, room and board allowances, and fee exemptions in community, public and technical colleges or institutions, or $4,500 per towards each academic year in a junior or private college. For a child to qualify, the veteran parent must:

  • be receiving a VA pension for total and permanent disability (or have been receiving it at the time of death)
  • be a war veteran who was honorably discharged, is deceased, and who does not qualify the child for the scholarship under any other class, or
  • have served in a combat zone or waters next to a combat zone, have received a campaign medal or badge, and does not qualify the child for a scholarship under any other class.

Up to 100 Class III scholarships can be awarded each year.

Class IV. The Class IV scholarship provides tuition, room and board allowances, and fee exemptions in community, public and technical colleges or institutions, or $4,500 per towards each academic year in a junior or private college. For a child to qualify for this scholarship, the veteran parent must have been a prisoner of war (POW) or missing in action (MIA).

For further information, including how to apply for a scholarship, talk to your local Veteran Service Officer (VSO).

In-State Tuition Rate for Service Members

Any active service member currently residing in North Carolina is eligible for in-state tuition rates even if they do not technically qualify as a North Carolina resident. In-state tuition rates will only apply while the service member is on active duty in the state.

State Hiring Preference for Veterans

North Carolina grants hiring preference to veterans, spouses of disabled veterans, and surviving spouses.

Eligibility requires that the veteran received an other than honorable discharge and :

  • served during a period of war
  • has a service-connected disability incurred during peacetime
  • died as a result of active duty or from service-connected disabilities, or
  • died on active duty during a period of war.

To receive veterans preference, you need to submit a DD-214 or discharge papers along with a State Application for Employment to the appointing agency. The agency will be responsible for determining eligibility for the preference.

For jobs where numerically scored examinations are used to rank candidates, 10 points will be added to a veteran's civil exam score for initial jobs, job transfers, promotions or reassignments.

For jobs that don't require exams, preference allows for credit to be given for each month and year of military training and duty that is reasonably related to the position being applied for. This is called military service credit. A veteran who meets qualification requirements and has an additional number of years (but less than four) of related military experience beyond minimal requirements will receive credit for up to four years of military service that is not related functionally to the position being applied for (but this will not apply for spouses).

The state also allows for military experience to count towards the educational requirements of professional licenses.

Property Tax Exemption

North Carolina exempts the first $45,000 of the value of a veteran’s home from property taxes if the veteran was honorably discharged and:

  • is totally and permanently disabled due to a service-connected injury or illness, or
  • is getting veterans benefits for specially adapted housing.

To apply, contact your County Tax Office.

Income Tax Cancellation

Certain veterans who owed income tax prior to entry into service can have the tax canceled and abated. To be eligible, a veteran must be receiving service-connected disability compensation from the VA. For a surviving spouse to be eligible for the cancellation, the veteran must have been killed while in service.

Additional Benefits for Veterans

Visit the North Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs website to receive information about other available benefits, such as eligibility for the North Carolina Veterans Home and the state cemetery, lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, and specially designated license plates.

For information about federal benefits, see Nolo's section on VA benefits.

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