The Department of Social Services administers the South Dakota SNAP food benefits program to provide financial assistance to low income families so they have more grocery buying power. Food stamps benefits and the items they allow recipients to buy are important for the health and well-being of family members, so they can continue living a healthy and productive life while dealing with temporary financial hardship. Approved food items can be purchased using SD SNAP benefits at qualifying retailers throughout the state. The amount of benefits for food stamps program awarded to each beneficiary may vary and is based on specific characteristics of the household. Before issuing a South Dakota benefit card food stamp, a beneficiary must complete an interview with a Department of Social Services representative to confirm all details provided on the application. To learn more about the food stamp benefit card, how benefits are calculated and what items can be purchased using food stamps, review the information provided below.
Learn About Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in South Dakota
The United States Department of Agriculture determines the types of food items that can be purchased using a food stamp benefit card. South Dakota SNAP food stamps can be used to buy foods and ingredients that contribute to nourishing meals for beneficiaries. These items include dairy products, meats, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables and grains, such as breads and cereals. While the Department of Social Services encourages all program beneficiaries to focus on healthy food items, unhealthy items like candy and soft drinks are still approved items for purchase with SNAP food stamp benefits.
SD SNAP food benefits should be spent wisely by beneficiaries so they can provide food for the family throughout the month. However, luxury food items like lobster or steak are not off limits for purchase using SNAP benefit cards, so beneficiaries must make their own decisions on how benefits are spent. Additionally, food stamp SNAP benefits can be used to buy seeds or plants that will produce food used for consumption.
Items You Cannot Buy With South Dakota SNAP Benefits
SNAP food benefits cannot be used to purchase items that will not provide nutrients and healthy meals to beneficiaries. A SNAP benefit card cannot be used to purchase the following:
- Alcohol or tobacco products
- Vitamins, supplements and medicines
- Non-food items, such as household products, pet food or toiletries
- Hot food items that are pre-prepared and made for in-store consumption
A benefit card food stamp recipient should not attempt to purchase energy drinks that have supplement labels because they are considered non-food items. Gift baskets and holiday decorations also have different rules when it comes to using food stamp SNAP benefits for purchase. Gift baskets with more than 50 percent non-food items cannot be purchased with food stamps benefits in SD. Holiday decorations that are inedible, such as gourds, are considered non-food items and are also ineligible for purchase with food stamp benefits.
How Long Does It Take to Receive South Dakota SNAP Benefits After Enrollment?
Once a program applicant has completed the SNAP benefits application and submitted it to the Department of Social Services, he or she will be notified to schedule an interview with a representative. When the interview is completed and documentation such as identification and proof of income presented, the applicant will learn if he or she is eligible to receive SNAP food stamps. The letter of food stamps benefits eligibility or denial is sent to the applicant within 30 days from the date the application was submitted. If approved to receive South Dakota SNAP food benefits, the applicant will also be sent an explanation of the calculation of benefit payment amounts.
For certain SNAP food benefits applicants, expedited benefits may be available. Program applicants who fill out the application and prove they have little to no household assets, low income and high expenses may receive food stamp SNAP benefits within seven days of application submission. Expedited SNAP benefits are only awarded when the program applicant completes the interview with a Department of Social Services representative within the seven-day timeframe. To receive expedited benefits for the SD SNAP program, the applicant must also present all requested documentation, including identification and income proof, to the representative during the scheduled interview to receive payment promptly.
Learn more about food stamps benefits by downloading our guide.
South Dakota EBT Card Overview
South Dakota food stamps benefits are issued to recipients on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, which is sent in the mail with the approval letter. SNAP food stamp benefits are deposited into a beneficiary’s account monthly and are ready for automatic use with the EBT card, which works just like a bank debit card. To purchase approved food items at a qualifying retailer using food stamps from SNAP, the beneficiary will simply insert the card in the credit card machine at checkout, choose EBT as the payment type and enter his or her Personal Identification Number (PIN) on the keypad. Upon completion of the transaction, the total amount of food stamp benefits used will be deducted from the beneficiary’s account. Each month the beneficiary remains eligible for SD SNAP benefits, the benefit payment will be automatically deposited into the account. After deposit, the SNAP benefit card can be used for purchases until the monthly limit is reached.
Learn About South Dakota SNAP Benefit Amounts
The amount of South Dakota SNAP benefits paid to a beneficiary each month will differ by household. The Department of Social Services analyzes each application and verifies claims through the interview, using information provided to determine the amount of benefits for food stamps awarded each month. The factors analyzed to determine SNAP benefit payments include:
- Household income and earnings.
- Monthly expenses.
- Number of household members.
- The current costs of food and meal preparation.
Since these factors are used in SD food stamp benefit calculation, beneficiaries should report any changes that occur in the household to the Department of Social Services as soon as possible to prevent an over or under payment of benefits. If South Dakota benefits for food stamps program are overpaid due to changes in the household, the beneficiary is responsible for paying back the SNAP food stamps.