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

The plan phases in the credit over the next six years until eligible South Carolinians may claim a credit worth up to 125% of the federal EITC in 2023.

For the 2022 tax year, eligible taxpayers can claim up to 125% of the federal credit.

The credit will provide a modest benefit to 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.

The income threshold for TANF in South Carolina is set at 50% of the federal poverty level. For example, a single mother with two children earning about $11,520 or less per year may qualify for benefits.

How do I apply for welfare in South Carolina?

You may apply for TANF benefits in person at your local county office or online through SCMAPP. If you are a first time user, you need to create a new SCMAPP 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 monthly income is $2,495 or less may qualify for benefits.

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.

How do I apply for food stamps in SC?

You can apply online for SNAP in South Carolina or you may print and fill out an application and return it to your DSS county office. For more information on how to apply, please call 1-800-616-1309.

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.

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.

How do I apply for SC Medicaid?

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.

How do I apply for CHIP in SC?

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

South Carolina Voucher Program #

Subsidized child care in South Carolina is provided through the SC Voucher Program that helps low income families afford quality child care. Families who have children with special needs may also apply.

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.

Family co-payments are based on a sliding fee scale ranging from $6 to $20 per child per week depending on family size and income. These co-payments are among the lowest in the nation.

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

If you need help finding a child care provider, you may call 1‐800‐476‐0199 to request a listing of enrolled SC Voucher Program providers in your area.

South Carolina Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) #

South Carolina’s 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 assistance is not a monthly benefit. Depending on the availability of fund in your county, you may receive assistance once per year or up to three times a year – but not every month.

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 Unemployment Insurance #

Unemployment insurance 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 #

S.C. 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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