Food Stamps

South Carolina Food Stamp Program

Introduction

In South Carolina, the Department of Social Services handles the Food Assistance Program known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). For over 30 years, the food stamp program in South Carolina has served as a way for low-income families to have a safety net during financial hardship. Food stamp programs work to end world hunger and improve the health of low-income individuals by providing a healthy diet through cash assistance. The money that families receive each month goes towards helping children, individuals, homeless persons and families who do not have enough to cover all of their bills. South Carolina has helped more than 100,000 households, who depend on SNAP to get the food necessary for a healthy meal. This not only means that children receive the type of diet that promotes growth but that adults can also achieve a better performance at work or developing job skills to improve their situation. You do not need to be out of work to receive SNAP benefits. If you are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of low wages, part-time employment or lay-off, you can apply for SNAP benefits and find relief quickly. You can find out more about South Carolina’s food stamp program by visiting their SNAP program online.

Applying for Food Stamps

There are multiple ways to apply for cash assistance benefits and food support. You can apply online if you are able to by filling out the online application. If you would rather print the application, you can find a downloadable version located here. During this process, you must complete as many areas of the application as possible. Your application must have your name, address and signature to be processed. If you are unable to complete the entire application, you will be assisted during the follow-up interview. You must personally bring in the form, mail or fax the completed application if you do not file online. You can find a list of county DSS offices located here. After the office receives your application, a DSS worker may contact you to also set up an interview in person or over the phone. To save time and help your application, you can bring all of your paperwork with you when you apply in person. You can look at a list of necessary documents to help you by clicking here.

Receiving Food Stamps

There are various ways to be eligible for food stamps, but most of them require that you have a low income and liquid resources. In general, your eligibility is based on the number of people who live in a household and buy food and prepare meals together. Eligibility is also determined by how much money your family has left from its monthly income after certain household expenses are deducted from the total amount, this includes utilities and rent. Once you are approved, you will receive a letter that will outline your benefit amount and when you will receive this amount each month. Your funds will deposited into an Electronic Benefits Transfer card (EBT card) that you can use like a debit card at any super market or grocery store to buy approved food items. These items include dairy and meat products, but they exclude certain products, such as tobacco, alcohol, pet food, paper products and medicine.

Finding Food Service Locations

SNAP is the federal name for the food assistance programs. Every state has multiple SNAP locations. In fact, every county should have multiple locations where you can use your card. You can find specific locations near you using the SNAP retailer locator on the federal website. South Carolina Department of Social Services recommends contacting a local office to find out more information if you have problems. You can contact a local office by clicking here.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What income do you need to have in order to be eligible for food stamps in South Carolina?

Below is a list of the maximum yearly income levels allowed in order to qualify for food stamps in South Carolina. The number on the left indicates the amount of household members per yearly income.
1 $15,444
2 $20,826
3 $26,208
4 $31,590
5 $36,972
6 $42,354
7 $47,749
8 $53,157

What can I buy with SNAP Benefits?

Food stamp benefits can ONLY be used to purchase food at participating grocery stores. Some of the typical items you are NOT allowed to buy with food stamps are alcohol, tobacco, paper goods, soap, toothpaste, detergent, cleaning products and pet food.

When will I receive my SNAP benefits?

In the State of South Carolina, you can expect to have your SNAP benefits available to you the day after your application is approved. If your SNAP benefits are ongoing, your benefits should be added to your account on the same day of the month, every month.

What do I need to do to carry over the food stamps I don’t use each month?

Any SNAP benefits that are left over at the end of the month will automatically carry over to the next month. This happens automatically and nothing needs to be done on your part. However, after 12 month of inactivity, the Department of Social Services may expunge your remaining benefits.