Help for Single Mothers in SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina, SC

South Carolina, like any other state in the country, is beleaguered by the lack of financial resources among children in single-parent families. With an emphasis on financial self-sufficiency, the Palmetto State has several key programs that address the plight of its most vulnerable families.

South Carolina Earned Income Tax Credit #

South Carolina has established a state’s non-refundable Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to “piggyback” off the federal credit, which makes it the 27th state to do so.

Eligible taxpayers in South Carolina can claim a non-refundable state EITC, with a credit worth 125% of the federal credit beginning in tax year 2023.

How much is South Carolina Earned Income Credit?

  • NO. OF CHILD Maximum EIC
  • 0 $750
  • 1 $4,993
  • 2 $8,255
  • 3 or more $9,287

To receive the credit, you must:

  1. first claim the EITC on your federal income tax returns. If you are not eligible for the federal credit, you cannot claim the state credit.
  2. be a full-year resident of South Carolina.
  3. claim the credit when filing your South Carolina Individual Income Tax return online or by paper (TC-60).

The credit provides a tax break for many low-wage South Carolinians and their families, but because it’s non-refundable, those who pay little to no state income tax get little to no benefit from the credit.

South Carolina Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) #

South Carolina TANF is a time-limited program that assists very low-income families with dependent children who could not afford even basic necessities.

In South Carolina, most TANF benefits are limited to 24 months in a 10 year time period. The time limit may be extended due to hardship reasons, if specific criteria is met.

What is the income limit for TANF in South Carolina?

The income threshold for TANF in South Carolina is set at 50% of the federal poverty level. For example, a family of three earning $1,036 or less a month may qualify for TANF.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $608
  • 2 $822
  • 3 $1,036
  • 4 $1,250
  • 5 $1,464
  • 6 $1,678
  • 7 $1,893
  • 8 $2,107

How do I apply for TANF in South Carolina?

You may apply for TANF benefits in person at your local DSS county office or online through SCCES. If you are a first time user, you need to create a new account.

South Carolina SNAP #

South Carolina SNAP helps low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled with cash assistance to buy the food they need for a nutritionally adequate diet.

Eligibility is based on 130% of the federal poverty guidelines. For example, a single mother of two whose gross monthly income is $2,693 or less may qualify for benefits.

Family Size 100% 130%
1 $1,215 $1,579
2 $1,643 $2,137
3 $2,072 $2,693
4 $2,500 $3,250
5 $2,928 $3,807
6 $3,357 $4,363
7 $3,785 $4,921
8 $4,213 $5,478

Gross income limit applies to most households, except those in which at least one person is 60 years of age or older, or receives disability income.

How do I apply for food stamps in SC?

To apply for SNAP in South Carolina, you may print and fill out an application and return it to your local DSS county office or apply online with SCCES.

If you are accepted into the program, your SNAP benefits are automatically deposited to your South Carolina EBT Card on the same day of each month you are eligible.

For more information on how to apply, please call

South Carolina Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) #

South Carolina's Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program is a nutrition program for pregnant women, new and breastfeeding moms, and children up to the age of five.

It provides nutritious foods along with nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and other services at no cost to South Carolina families who qualify.

What is the income limit for WIC in South Carolina?

WIC is open to South Carolina families with a household income at or below 185% of the poverty level or those who are enrolled in SNAP, TANF or Medicaid programs.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $2,248
  • 2 $3,040
  • 3 $3,833
  • 4 $4,625
  • 5 $5,418
  • 6 $6,210
  • 7 $7,003
  • 8 $7,795

How do I apply for WIC in South Carolina?

Call 1-855-472-3432 to make an appointment, or create an account and begin the application process online using the WIC pre-application.

South Carolina Healthy Connections #

Healthy Connections is free or low cost public health insurance for low-income South Carolinians who could not otherwise afford it — including children from low-income families and pregnant women.

As South Carolina is not expanding Medicaid coverage, eligibility is limited to parents with incomes below 67% of poverty. That's about $16,660 for a family of three.

Pregnant women are covered up to 199% of poverty and may be able to receive medical care while waiting for their application to be processed.

What is the income limit for Medicaid in South Carolina?

Healthy Connections 143% 138% 199% 67%
1 $20,850 $20,120 $29,010 $9,770
2 $28,200 $27,210 $39,240 $13,210
3 $35,550 $34,310 $49,470 $16,660
4 $42,900 $41,400 $59,700 $20,100
5 $50,250 $48,490 $69,930 $23,540
6 $57,600 $55,590 $80,160 $26,990
7 $64,950 $62,680 $90,390 $30,430
8 $72,300 $69,770 $100,610 $33,880

A 5% disregard based on the federal poverty level (FPL) for the household size is applied and is reflected in the amounts shown above.

How do I apply for Medicaid in South Carolina?

South Carolinians can apply for Medicaid online, in person, or through the mail. Call (888) 549-0820 or visit to submit your application online.

South Carolina Healthy Connections Kids #

Healthy Connections Kids is a health insurance program for children up to age 19 in South Carolina who are not eligible for Medicaid and who are uninsured.

It provides free health care to children in families with income below 213% of the poverty guidelines. The program does not provide any coverage for the adults.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $31,060
  • 2 $42,000
  • 3 $52,950
  • 4 $63,900
  • 5 $74,850
  • 6 $85,800
  • 7 $96,740
  • 8 $107,690

A 5% disregard based on the federal poverty level (FPL) for the household size is applied and is reflected in the amounts shown above.

How do I apply for Healthy Connections Kids in SC?

Application for Healthy Connections Kids can also be done via or call (888) 549-0820 to find out if your child qualifies for CHIP.

South Carolina Child Care Scholarship Program #

Subsidized child care in South Carolina is provided through the Child Care Scholarship Program that helps low income families afford quality child care. The newest scholarship offering is known as COVID-300.

Eligible families can choose their own child care provider. The program will reimburse child care providers up to a certain amount based on their quality level.

The scholarship amount the family is eligible for can vary, but will be determined by factors
including the provider’s tuition rate, their ABC Quality level and the child’s age.

What is the income limit for child care assistance in South Carolina?

A family is considered “income eligible” when their gross monthly income is at or below 300% of the federal poverty level. For a family of three, that's about $6,215 a month.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 2 $4,930
  • 3 $6,215
  • 4 $7,500
  • 5 $8,785
  • 6 $10,070
  • 7 $11,355
  • 8 $12,640

How do I apply for child care assistance in South Carolina?

Child care scholarship eligibility requirements and online applications are available in the DSS Benefits Portal.

If you need help finding available child care, please contact the South Carolina Child Care Resource & Referral Network at (888) 335-1002.

Child Care Operations Center
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Closed on state holidays
(800) 476-0199

South Carolina Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) #

South Carolina LIHEAP assists eligible low-income households in South Carolina in meeting the costs of home heating and cooling by making direct payments to their gas or electric utility companies.

Priority is given those who may be elderly, disabled, have families with children, and/or have the highest energy consumption.

Seniors who qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is eligible for an additional 20% off their electric and/or gas bills.

LIHEAP is not provided on a monthly basis. Depending on the availability of fund in your county, you may receive assistance once a year or up to three times a year, with a maximum amount of $850 per household in a 12-month period.

How do I apply for LIHEAP in SC?

In order to apply for LIHEAP, you will have to visit your local county office in person. When applying, be sure to bring along recent copies of your utility bills with you.

South Carolina Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) #

South Carolina LIHWAP is a temporary emergency program designed to help low-income households and families who have fallen behind on their water and wastewater bills.

Households eligible for LIHWAP benefits will have a one-time credit of up to $1,000 applied to their water utilities account.

Priority is given to households facing the threat of disconnection, or those that have already been disconnected.

How do I get help paying my water bill in SC?

South Carolina’s LIHWAP is administered by Community Action Agencies (CAAs) currently accepting LIHWAP applications and determine benefit eligibility.

Application must be done in person through the local agency that administers the program in your county.

South Carolina Unemployment Insurance #

South Carolina Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides temporary financial assistance to eligible workers who lost their job through no fault of their own.

In South Carolina, the maximum weekly compensation amount is $326. Eligible claimants may receive up to 20 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits through the state.

As a condition of eligibility, you must actively search for work each week that you claim benefits. To remain eligible for benefits, you must conduct at least two (2) verifiable job searches per week.

How do I file for unemployment in South Carolina?

Initial claims are filed online through MyBenefits. Within two weeks of submitting your initial claim, you must register for work on SC Works Online Services to receive your payment.

South Carolina Need-Based Grant #

South Carolina Need-based Grant provides financial aid to South Carolina’s neediest students. Eligible student may receive up to $3,500 annually if enrolled full-time or up to $1,750 annually if enrolled part-time.

In order to qualify for consideration for a South Carolina Need-based Grant, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form — preferably as early as January 1st of each academic year.

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