South Dakota



  • $615
    Monthly Cash Benefit
  • $434
    Monthly SNAP Benefit
  • $345
    Maximum Weekly Benefit
  • 46%
    Income Eligibility

South Dakota is among the cheapest states for families due to the state’s affordable child care costs, which are the fifth lowest in the nation.

And yet, 34.3% of single mothers in South Dakota live in poverty — slightly lower [36.5%] than the national average.

South Dakota has implemented several key programs for its most vulnerable members of the community — most notably single mothers.

What these program lead to is the development of these women into productive citizens who are capable of being financially independence.


1South Dakota Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)


TANF is a temporary public assistance program for low-income families with children under age 18. These benefits are time-limited to 60 months in a participant’s lifetime.

In South Dakota, a single mother of two may receive up to $615 but may vary based on who lives with the family, who is eligible in the household and other income available to the family.

TANF participants are required to work in allowable work activities a minimum of 30 hours each week. If you have a child under six years old, your weekly minimum requirement is 20 hours.


2South Dakota Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low income South Dakotans buy the food they need to stay healthy while they work to regain financial independence.

The amount of benefits a household receives is based on its size, income and allowable expenses. The average monthly benefit was $126 per person or $434 per household with children.

If you have further questions about eligibility or benefits under South Dakota SNAP, call 1-877-999-5612 or apply in person at any local DSS office near you.


3South Dakota Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)


The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program is a special supplemental food program for women, infants, and children up to the age of five.

It provides nutritious foods along with nutrition education, breastfeeding support and information on where to apply for free or low-cost health care or other needed services in the community.

All applicants must be income eligible and be individually determined by a health professional to be “at nutrition risk”. Households with income less than 185% of poverty guidelines are given priority consideration.


4South Dakota Medicaid Program


Medicaid is a health care program that helps pay for medical services for low-income South Dakota residents who meet the program’s eligibility requirements.

Eligible families receive FREE or low cost medical assistance including, but not limited to, regular checkups, well-child care exams, dental care, and vision care.

As South Dakota is not expanding Medicaid coverage, most low-income adults without children and some parents may not be eligible. Pregnant women who meet income limits may qualify for either limited coverage or full coverage.


5South Dakota Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)


CHIP provides FREE health insurance to South Dakota children who meet certain eligibility guidelines. It covers a full range of health care services with no premium to pay.

Services include, but not limited to, doctor visits, hospital stay, dental and vision services, prescription drugs, immunizations and other medical services.

In South Dakota, children with family incomes up to 204% of poverty, or about $41,700 for a single mother of two, are eligible for CHIP. A child born to a woman eligible for and receiving Medicaid on the date of the child’s birth is also eligible.


6South Dakota Child Care Assistance Program


South Dakota CCAP helps low-income families pay for the child care while they work, attend school, or both. Eligibility is based on the family’s gross income and household size.

The program helps pay for child care for children under age 13 (or up to age 18 for children with special needs) if the family’s income is less than 175% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Click here to apply online for CCAP

or fill out the application and mail it to:

South Dakota Department of Social Services
Division of Child Care Services
910 East Sioux Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501


7South Dakota Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)


LIEAP helps eligible low-income South Dakotans pay for home heating costs. It helps cover the costs of electricity, natural gas, propane, and fuel oil when these are used for heating a home.1

South Dakotans with a household income below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible for the program. Priority is given to households with elderly, disabled or young children.

To apply for LIEAP, visit your local Department of Social Services office to obtain an application or call 1-800-233-8503 to request an application be mailed to you. The last day to submit your application is March 31.2


If you have received a disconnect notice, you may apply for Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) any time from October 1 through March 31.


8South Dakota Unemployment Insurance


Unemployment insurance benefits provide temporary financial assistance to workers unemployed, through no fault of their own, until they find other employment.

If you’ve recently lost your job in South Dakota, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits — up to a total 26 weeks on condition that you will actively seek suitable employment each week that you are collecting benefits.

South Dakota’s weekly unemployment benefits are based on approximately 50% of your the average weekly earnings, with a maximum of $345 per week.3


Filing a claim can be done online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you wish to file your claim over the phone, please call
(605) 626-3179 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. (CST).


9South Dakota Need Based Grant Program (SDNBGP)


SDNBGP is a need-based grant program for South Dakota students that demonstrate “exceptional financial need” as determined by FAFSA. Awards vary between $500 to $2,000 per academic year.

However, not all schools participates in the program, so it’s best that you check with your school’s Financial Aid Office to see if your school offers SDNBGP.


  1. South Dakota operates a heating assistance program using LIEAP funds, but does not offer a cooling program.
  2. Applications received after March 31 will be processed for the next heating season.
  3. Source: AOL JobsSouth Dakota Unemployment Guide