Eligibility for South Carolina Food Stamps
South Carolina food stamps requirements and benefits are overseen by the Department of Social Services (DSS). Food stamps eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the first step toward acquiring benefits. The requirements for food stamps in SC must be met by all applicants who are interested in obtaining SNAP assistance for qualified food and grocery items. To qualify for food stamps benefits, applicants must meet requirements related to income, citizenship, residency and even work. In addition, SNAP eligibility in SC also requires applicants to submit required documents in support of the above criteria. To learn more about how to qualify for food stamps in South Carolina, review the following topics.
South Carolina Income Requirements for SNAP Benefits
Income-related requirements for food stamps in SC are an important eligibility factor, as the program was designed to provide food assistance to low-earning individuals and families. To determine if you are eligible for SNAP financially, first review your household size. To qualify for South Carolina food stamp benefits, you must examine the current Federal Poverty Level (FPL), as it relates to your household size. The income limits for SNAP qualifications in SC are broken down into gross monthly income and net monthly income sums. Generally, to meet the requirements for SC SNAP, a household's monthly income cannot exceed 130 percent of the FPL. However, households with disabled or elderly members can qualify for food stamps with a higher earnings figure of 165 percent of the FPL.
Although other states incorporate countable resources when determining eligibility for SNAP benefits, the DSS in South Carolina does not. Currently, there are no resource limits in place for SC SNAP applicants. This means you can have investments, money in the bank as well as stock and bond certificates in your name without affecting your income qualifications for food stamps.
If your household does not qualify for food stamps benefits in SC monetary, there are deductions you can factor in, which may help you stay below the FPL threshold necessary to be eligible for SNAP. Currently, some deductions include:
- Utility allowances related to cooling and heating costs and basic utility deductions.
- Monthly shelter expenses.
- Telephone costs.
- Dependent care expenses.
- Child support payments that are legally obligated.
- Medical expenses in excess of $35 for disabled and/or elderly household members.
Download our guide to review more information about the income requirements and allowances for SNAP in South Carolina.
South Carolina Citizenship Requirements for SNAP Benefits
Eligibility for food stamps in South Carolina also mandates all applicants to prove their legal presence in the U.S. To qualify for SC SNAP benefits, you must be able to show proof that you are either a U.S. citizen or a legal noncitizen residing in the country. Prior to applying for SNAP, make sure to gather the applicable documents that prove your citizen or noncitizen status. Qualifying documents to prove eligibility for food stamp benefits include passports, birth certificates and immigration status reports. All SNAP applicants must also be prepared to show proof of South Carolina residency to be eligible for food assistance, regardless of being citizens or noncitizens.
In addition, those who wish to qualify for SC SNAP must be able to provide valid Social Security Numbers (SSNs). An SSN is necessary when determining eligibility for SNAP, because it acts as a federal identifier prior to the distribution of benefits. South Carolina SNAP qualifications make it mandatory for all household members to provide SSNs. If someone in your household does not have a Social Security Number, make sure he or she files for one prior to requesting SNAP benefits in SC.
Other SNAP Eligibility Requirements You Must Meet in South Carolina
How to qualify for food stamps in South Carolina also means meeting work requirements for those fit to do so. Work-related SNAP qualifications do not apply to beneficiaries who are disabled or elderly. Instead, those looking to qualify for SNAP assistance who are considered Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) must engage in the work requirements enforced by the DSS. ABAWDs are beneficiaries 18 to 49 years of age without minor children in the home, who are able to commit to work for 20 hours per week and 80 hours per month total.
To be eligible for SNAP assistance in SC, food stamp recipients can enroll in the SNAP Employment & Training (E&T) program. Engaging in the SNAP E&T imitative counts toward work hour requirements for food stamp benefits, because the program provides both career-based training and job search assistance. Additionally, SNAP2Work is an internal program run by the DSS that satisfies the requirements for SNAP workers in SC and operates directly with community agencies to help food stamp beneficiaries secure work opportunities.
Applicants Who Are Not Eligible for South Carolina SNAP Benefits
Applicants may not qualify for food stamps, even if they fulfill all of the above-mentioned food stamps requirements in South Carolina. For instance, students do not qualify for SC SNAP benefits if they are enrolled in school for more than halftime. In addition, applicants who do not qualify for food stamps benefits in SC include those who have been convicted of drug-related felonies, which were committed after August 22, 1996. Workers on strike will be rejected from SNAP assistance if they were not eligible for the program the day prior to striking. To learn more about SNAP eligibility in SC, download our guide.