HKY4Vets wants to ensure veterans and military families who call the Hickory Metro and North Carolina home have access to the resources and assistance they deserve and need, whether you are looking to start a business, find a new job, continue your education, find housing or healthcare.
Our "Local Vet & Family Resources" page job does a great job of cataloging many of these resources, but the list below covers some of the specific benefits available to veterans or military family members during or after their service as a North Carolinian.
NOTE: HKY4Vets does not assist with VA-associated benefits, please contact Rebecca Young at the Catawba County Veteran Services Office for direct assistance with VA claims and benefits.
- INCOME TAXES: North Carolina's income tax is 4.75% (for all incomes) on personal wages and earnings. This is lower than Georgia, Virginia and South Carolina.
- MILITARY RETIREMENT: If you had at least five years of creditable military service as of August 12, 1989 OR you served at least 20 years, all your military retirement income is tax free in North Carolina.
- PROPERTY TAX: Honorably discharged North Caroling veterans who are 100% permanently and totally disabled by the VA are eligible for up to a $45,000 deduction in the assessed value of their home for property tax purposes.
- MOTOR VEHICLE: A motor vehicle, owned by a disabled veteran and altered to accommodate a service-connected disability, is exempt from state tax.
- IN-STATE TUITION: Veterans, dependents/survivors that meet certain conditions may qualify for North Carolina in-state tuition rates, without meeting the usual civilian residency requirements (12 months). This can mean a savings of thousands of dollars every semester. A number of UNC universities also participate in the Yellow Ribbon program, potentially covering remaining education costs.
- SCHOLARSHIPS: A 4-year scholarship program (at NC-approved schools) exists for qualifying children or certain class or category of deceased, disabled, combat or POW/MIA Veterans.
- TUITION REFUND: Reserve and National Guard personnel are eligible for a tuition refund if called to active duty or active duty personnel receive temporary or permanent reassignments out of NC.
- UNC SYSTEM: For a complete detailing of the veteran benefits offered by each public university in the UNC System, please see this detailed chart.
- LOANS/DOWN PAYMENT: The NC Housing Finance Agency offers the NC Home Advantage Mortgage, which offers up to 5% in down payment assistance. As a veteran, you may qualify for a bigger boost with the NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment that instead offers $8,000 in assistance. Or you may choose the NC Home Advantage Tax Credit, which enables qualified veterans and first-time home buyers to save up to $2,000 each year on federal taxes with a Mortgage Credit Certificate. The down payment options are 0%, deferred loans that are reduced by 20% per year at the end of years 11–15 (completely forgiven at end of year 15). In addition, the 30-year, fixed-rate NC Home Advantage Mortgage can be structured as a VA loan, enabling you to couple NCHFA's down payment help with all the advantages of the VA home loan, including no mortgage insurance premium and limitations on closing costs.
HUNTING & FISHING LICENSE: All North Carolina veterans who are 50% or more disabled may purchase a lifetime hunting-fishing license. Prices of the licenses range from $10 to $110 depending on the type of license.
DISCOUNT ADMISSIONS: Many NC State parks and attractions offer reduced admission fees for active duty military and veterans.
VETERANS STATUS: The NCDMV offers a veteran designation that can be voluntarily placed on a North Carolina Drivers License.
VETERANS LICENSE PLATE(S): The NCDMV offers specialty license plates to veterans and service members who want to display their military service - some of the specialty plates include: Afghanistan Veteran, War on Terror, Vietnam Era, & Purple Heart Recipient.
- VETERAN HIRING PREFERENCE: Preference in State Government employment is granted to veterans, their surviving spouses or the spouses of disabled veterans, without regard to age, provided they are otherwise qualified. Military leave with reemployment rights is also granted State employees.
- LICENSING LAW: NC is now offering Veterans with certain Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) credit toward several NC License occupations. License Boards representing several NC license occupations have been required to provide a process to recognize military training in pursuing a licensed occupation in NC. Military spouses may also qualify for certain occupational licenses. Upon meeting specific conditions, an occupational licensing board shall issue a license, certification, or registration to a military spouse to allow them to lawfully practice their occupation in North Carolina. For a detailed list of licensing boards, please click here.
- VETERANS HOMES: The State of North Carolina offers 4, full-service, State Veterans Homes with 449 skilled care beds. One is located adjacent to the VAMC in Fayetteville, another on the VAMC campus in Salisbury, and other locations in Kinston and Black Mountain.
- STATE VETERANS CEMETERIES: The NC Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Cemetery Program provides a final resting place for NC's veterans at no cost, and their legal dependent(s) for a nominal fee. Veterans cemeteries can be found in Black Mountain, Jacksonville, Spring Lake and Goldsboro.