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September 29, 2021

9 Best North Carolina Veteran Benefits

Last updated on March 1, 2024

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There are many North Carolina Veteran benefits and exemptions provided by the state to honor those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Both current and former U.S. military service members are eligible for a wide range of valuable North Carolina veteran benefits (including North Carolina Disabled Veteran benefits).

Did You Know? North Carolina has the third-largest United States military presence in the country, with over 720,000 veterans residing in the state.

North Carolina Veterans benefits include:

  • Property tax exemptions
  • Income tax exemptions for military retirees
  • Employment assistance and apprenticeship programs
  • North Carolina Veteran Dependents educational benefits and tuition assistance
  • Vehicle tax exemptions
  • NC VA benefits and NC Disabled Veteran benefits

North Carolina is one of the most military-friendly states in our country!

Table of Contents
north carolina veteran benefits

Veteran Benefits in North Carolina

An excellent resource for North Carolina veterans is the state’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA)

The DMVA operates 12 offices throughout the state to administer and oversee North Carolina veteran benefits. Make sure to compare the different types of exemptions you may qualify for as a veteran, especially when it comes to tuition-related educational options.

Property Tax Exemptions for Veterans in North Carolina

North Carolina veteran benefits include an exemption on the first $45,000 of the value of the veteran’s home if they have a permanent and total (P&T) VA disability rating, regardless of age or income. If you’re a veteran who has received specially adapted housing through the VA, you also qualify. Surviving spouses may also apply for this benefit if receiving Dependents Indemnity Compensation (DIC). 

To apply, mail your completed application to the address below and submit your NCDVA-9 to your local county tax office by June 1st of the year you are applying.

State Service Office
251 North Main Street, Room 190
Winston-Salem, NC 27155

North Carolina Veteran Benefits Include Income Tax Exemptions

North Carolina does not tax military retirement pay if you had at least five years of service as of August 12, 1989 or later.  

North Carolina taxes active duty pay, regardless of where you’re stationed, at a rate of 5.25 percent. 

nc va benefits

What Education Benefits are Available to Veterans in North Carolina?

North Carolina’s educational benefits are excellent for veterans and their families. There are many military-friendly colleges in North Carolina. According to the VA, in 2017, 260 North Carolina schools received Post 9/11 GI bill funds for over 21,000 students totaling over $125.3 million.

Resident College Tuition Rates in North Carolina

Veterans in North Carolina are eligible for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities if they enroll within three years of serving and move to North Carolina during their period of study. They must also have GI Bill benefit eligibility. North Carolina veteran benefits for resident tuition also apply to active-duty military personnel or their dependents, who are also eligible for in-state tuition if stationed in North Carolina. 

College Credit in North Carolina for Military Training

Public colleges in North Carolina award academic credit for military training and experience. The UNC system uses the Military Credit Equivalencies Database to uniformly award credit across all 16 public universities and 58 public colleges in the state. Some credit is vocational, and your experience translates into elective credits. 

To claim college credit for military training, request a transcript from your military service branch at Air University for the Air Force and Joint Services Transcript for all other branches.

North Carolina Scholarship for Children of Wartime Veterans

North Carolina veteran benefits include a free college education for children of wartime veterans who are injured or killed in combat. Eligible children may receive tuition-free education at a public college in North Carolina.

To be eligible, the service member whose dependent is applying must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Died during wartime service
  • Has a 100 percent permanent and total wartime disability
  • Was awarded the Purple Heart and has a disability rating anywhere from 20%-90 percent.
  • Was a POW or MIA

This scholarship is managed by the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

North Carolina Vietnam Veterans, Inc. Scholarship Program (NCVVI)

North Carolina veteran benefits include a non-profit scholarship for Vietnam veterans and their families. If you received the Vietnam Service Medal, you and your spouse, children, and direct descendants are eligible for a scholarship ranging from $250 to $1,500 to pay for undergraduate study at any college, community college, or trade school. 

You can use the scholarship to pay for tuition and fees or books and can reapply each year of study. You must reside in one of these counties to be eligible: Wake, Durham, Harnett, Johnston, Franklin, Nash, Chatham, or Granville. 

To apply, complete the application and mail by April 3 to:

North Carolina Vietnam Veterans, Inc.
7316 Ray Road
Raleigh, NC 27613

North Carolina National Guard Tuition Assistance Program (NCTAP)

If you’re a member of the North Carolina National Guard, your North Carolina veteran benefits include tuition assistance!

You must be an active drilling member in good standing with at least two years left on your contract at the end of the academic period for which you’re applying. There are also minimum academic standards you must meet while enrolled. 

Only certain schools are approved for NCTAP. You can email the Education Services Office at [email protected] to find out if your school is approved.  

NCTAP is subject to funding, so it’s a good idea to apply early for tuition assistance!

To apply for tuition assistance, register on the portal. 

north carolina veteran dependents educational benefit

Hiring and Employment Benefits for North Carolina Veterans

State Hiring Preference for Veterans

Wartime veterans and disabled veterans receive preference when applying for federal, state, county, and local government jobs in North Carolina. 

North Carolina veteran benefits include:

  • Preference for hiring as well as promotions
  • Reassignments
  • Transfers
  • Reduction-in-force situations

Spouses of disabled veterans and surviving spouses of veterans who died for service-related reasons are also eligible for preference. 

Eligible veterans and spouses are awarded ten additional preference points on examinations.  

Learn more about veteran’s preference with the state human resources manual.

Employment Services for Veterans in North Carolina

North Carolina places emphasis on attracting veterans into new careers after their service. The North Carolina Division of Workforce Solutions provides job seeker services for veterans, service members transitioning into the civilian workforce, and eligible spouses through NCWorks Career Centers. These centers are located throughout the state and offer a variety of services, including career assessments, access to training opportunities, job interview preparation, and resume and cover letter assistance. 

Find an NCWorks Career Center near you to get started. 

You can also get access to jobs 24 hours before they are publicly available by visiting NCWorks Online

Apprenticeship Opportunities in North Carolina

If you are a veteran or transitioning military member in North Carolina, you can use your GI Bill benefits to participate in ApprenticeshipNC, a program designed to provide you with structured on-the-job learning and a progressive wage scale. 

The program connects you with vetted employers to help you gain work experience, build self-esteem, and make you more marketable for future employment.

To learn more, contact the ApprenticeshipNC Military Consultant at Fort Bragg at [email protected].

Veterans Burial Benefits in North Carolina

The State of North Carolina offers a free burial plot in a North Carolina State Veterans Cemetery for eligible North Carolina veterans and their legal spouses (and dependents under certain conditions).

To qualify, you must:

  1. Be a qualified veteran:
  • Any former member of the U.S. Armed Forces whose service on active duty, other than for training, was terminated under honorable conditions.
  • A veteran who is entitled to retired pay for non-regular service (i.e., service in the Reserve Components or Army or Air National Guard) or a veteran who would have been entitled to retired pay for non-regular service, but for the fact that the person was under 60 years of age.
  1. Be a North Carolina resident
    • At the time of death, or
    • For a period of at least 10 years, or 
    • At the time you entered the Armed Forces of the United States

Financial Assistance Programs in North Carolina

North Carolina Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund (SAAF) for National Guard Members

Members of the North Carolina National Guard may be eligible for grants for emergencies. Members must show proof of military membership, completion of basic training, and be in good standing with their unit with no outstanding debt to the government. Grants provide help to cover the cost of food, shelter, utilities, and medical emergencies.

Contact the SAAF Program Officer at (919) 851-3390 Ext. 3 or [email protected]​​​ for more information.

Housing Benefits for Veterans in North Carolina

North Carolina Veterans Homes

North Carolina veteran benefits include four Veterans Homes within the state. These homes provide high-quality care to veterans to improve their quality of life through comfort and security, which encourages independence and emphasizes personal choice.

You can take virtual tours of each of the four homes located throughout the state in Black Mountain, Fayetteville, Kinston, and Salisbury

Criteria for admission include:

  • Honorable discharge with service other than training
  • North Carolina residency for at least 24 months at the time of application
  • A medical need for nursing home placement

Veterans have first priority. Spouses, surviving spouses, and Gold Star Parents of eligible veterans are also eligible based on availability. 

Qualifying veterans may also receive a VA daily stipend to offset their cost of care. Contact a Veterans Service Officer to learn more about eligibility and admission.

Veteran Homeless Prevention in North Carolina

North Carolina veteran benefits include state programs to help end veteran homelessness. These programs address everything from helping currently struggling homeowners to providing immediate assistance to help veterans find a home. 

You can learn more about the immediate housing services for homeless veterans in North Carolina here. 

Veteran Health Care in North Carolina

List of VA Healthcare and Vet Center Locations in North Carolina

LocationMedical Facilities for North Carolina Veteran Benefits
AshevilleAsheville VA Medical Center
CharlotteCharlotte CBOC
CharlotteCharlotte Health Care Center
CharlotteCharlotte Vet Center
DurhamDurham VA Medical Center
DurhamDurham Clinic
DurhamHillandale Road Outpatient Clinics 1 & II
DurhamVISN 6 VA Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network
Elizabeth CityAlbemarle Primary OPC
FayettevilleFayetteville VA Medical Center
FayettevilleFayetteville Dialysis Clinic
FayettevilleFayetteville Health Care Center
FayettevilleFayetteville Rehabilitation Clinic
FayettevilleFayetteville, NC Vet Center
FayettevilleFayetteville (NC) Vet Center
FranklinFranklin CBOC
GoldsboroGoldsboro Community Based Outpatient Clinic
GreensboroGreensboro Vet Center
GreenvilleGreenville Health Care Center
GreenvilleGreenville, NC Vet Center
HamletHamlet CBOC
HickoryHickory CBOC
JacksonvilleJacksonville CBOC
JacksonvilleJacksonville, NC Vet Center
JacksonvilleJacksonville Vet Center
KernersvilleKernersville Health Care Center
Morehead CityMorehead City CBOC
PembrokeRobeson County CBOC
RaleighBlind Rehabilitation Outpatient Clinic
RaleighBrier Creek Dialysis Clinic
RaleighRaleigh CBOC
RaleighRaleigh II CBOC
RaleighRaleigh III CBOC
RaleighRaleigh III Clinic
RaleighRaleigh Vet Center
RutherfordtonRutherford County CBOC
SalisburySalisbury – W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center
SanfordSanford CBOC
SpindaleSpindale Outstation
SupplyBrunswick County
WilmingtonWilmington HCC

North Carolina Veterans Vehicle and Driver’s License Benefits

North Carolina Military Service Designation on Driver’s License

An additional North Carolina veteran benefit is the option to request a “Veteran” designation at no additional cost on the front of a North Carolina driver’s license or ID card at renewal.

The “Veteran” printed on the lower right hand of the license allows honorably discharged North Carolina veterans to validate their honorable service with a government-issued ID card.

To apply for the designation, veterans must provide proof of residency and service with a DD214 at the local NCDMV driver’s license office

Free License Plates for Some Veterans in North Carolina

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles offers veterans a variety of military license plates to honor their service. 

North Carolina veteran benefits include a free license plate if you’re a veteran with one of the following awards or statuses: 

  • Disabled veteran
  • Former POW
  • Bronze Star recipient
  • Distinguished Service Cross recipient
  • Legion of Valor recipient
  • Medal of Honor recipient
  • Silver Star recipient

Honorably discharged disabled veterans with a 100 percent disability rating are eligible for a special free license plate through the DMV that also gives veterans the ability to park in handicapped spaces with unlimited parking time in most parking zones. 

You can apply for these license plates by submitting your completed application, DD214, and VA rating letter, if applicable, to the Division of Veterans Affairs at:

North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
4001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4001

North Carolina Disabled Veteran Vehicle Tax Exemption

If you’re a disabled veteran in North Carolina and have received a motor vehicle with the assistance of the VA that’s altered with special equipment to accommodate your disability, you may be exempt from paying the 3 percent sales tax on that vehicle.

Contact your local Veterans Service Center for more information. 

100 va disability benefits nc

North Carolina Veteran Benefits for Recreation

Discounted Lifetime Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Disabled Veterans 

North Carolina veteran benefits include recreational discounts for North Carolina disabled veterans with a 50% VA disability rating (or higher). 

There are several different types of lifetime combination licenses available to veterans who are residents of North Carolina:

  • Combination Hunting and Fishing License – $11
  • This license permits veterans to hunt and fish on game lands and fish in joint waters and Public Mountain Trout Waters. 
  • Sportsman Hunting and Inland Fishing License – $106 (This license covers every permit in the Combination license and also adds in big game hunting and hunting for waterfowl.)
  • Unified Sportsman/Coastal Recreational Fishing License – $117 (This is the most inclusive license, covering every permit in the Sportsman license and adding fishing in coastal waters.)

You can purchase these licenses from the Wildlife Resources Commission.

Hunting and Fishing Licenses at Resident Prices

All active-duty military members and their dependents may purchase short-term and annual hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses at resident prices regardless of where they’re stationed. The dependents of service members stationed in North Carolina may also purchase licenses at resident prices. 

Purchase licenses online here. 

north carolina disabled veteran benefits

State of NC Veterans Benefits (FAQs)

Are there special property tax exemptions for North Carolina veterans?

Yes, North Carolina disabled veterans with a 100% VA disability rating (or those receiving specially adapted housing through the VA) may receive a property tax exemption in North Carolina up to $45,000, which reduces the taxable value of a veteran’s home. In order to qualify, the veteran must have P&T status and apply by June 1st to claim the exemption for that year. Surviving spouses of eligible veterans may also apply for this benefit. 

Are there income tax benefits for North Carolina veterans?

North Carolina veterans do not pay state income tax on military retirement if they served for at least five years as of August 12, 1989, or later.

Does North Carolina award college credit for military training?

Yes, North Carolina colleges consider military training and experience and award credit and credentialing appropriately.   

Does North Carolina offer any tuition assistance to veterans?

Yes, Vietnam veterans and family members can receive a college scholarship worth up to $1,500 annually. The North Carolina National Guard also provides tuition assistance for members in good standing to be used at approved colleges and universities. 

North Carolina also awards scholarships for children of wartime veterans. If you are a child of a veteran who has a 100 percent P&T wartime disability, received the Purple Heart with a disability rating of 20 percent or higher, or was POW/MIA/KIA, you may be eligible for free education at a public North Carolina college.

Do North Carolina veterans receive preferential treatment when seeking employment?  

North Carolina veterans with an honorable discharge receive an additional 10 preference points added credit to the North Carolina civil service exam for North Carolina jobs, promotions, reassignments, transfers, and reduction-in-force situations. 

Does North Carolina offer employment counseling and assistance to veterans seeking employment? 

North Carolina operates NCWords Career Centers across the state to help veterans find gainful civilian employment. These centers provide access to training opportunities and help prepare veterans for the job search. The state also runs an apprenticeship program to match veterans with employers to gain work experience. 

Does North Carolina offer any special financial assistance to veterans and their families? 

The North Carolina National Guard helps members in need cover the cost of food, shelter, and utilities. Contact the Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund (SAAF) program officer for additional information. 

Are there special North Carolina veteran benefits offering reduced recreational fees?

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission offers a variety of discounted hunting and fishing licenses to North Carolina Disabled veterans with a 50% VA disability rating or higher. Active-duty military are also eligible to purchase licenses at resident rates regardless of where they’re stationed. Dependents of active-duty military stationed in North Carolina also qualify for resident license rates. 


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