How To Apply For South Carolina Food Stamps
View the information below if you are interested in applying for food stamps in South Carolina. It is important that you have all the documentation and information needed so the application process is not delayed. If you still have questions or issues about applying for food stamps, known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), then you can call the South Carolina SNAP hotline at 800-616-1309. The department that handles this program is called the South Carolina Department of Social Services.
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, formerly known as food stamp benefits, provide low-income households with nutrition assistance by increasing the households food purchasing power.
Households, individuals, seniors and the homeless may all be eligible for SNAP beneﬁts. People who are working and need help to stretch their income to purchase food may also be eligible for South Carolina SNAP beneﬁts as well as those receiving Social Security beneﬁts, child support or unemployment. DSS administers the SNAP program through DSS county ofﬁces. Eligibility caseworkers interview applicants and approve those who qualify to receive the food beneﬁt. Qualiﬁed applicants for the SNAP program begin receiving SNAP beneﬁts within 30 days of their application. Some families and individuals need expedited beneﬁts, which begin within seven days of application.
South Carolina SNAP eligibility
You must file an application to determine if you can receive SNAP benefits. If you meet any one of the following conditions, you are note eligible to receive SNAP benefits:
- Ineligible aliens
- Ineligible students
- Individuals disqualified for noncompliance with work requirements
- Individuals disqualified due to an intentional program violation
- Individuals who were convicted of a drug related felony after August 22, 1996
For a full listing of ineligible or disqualified individuals, or if you have a question regarding your SNAP eligibility or participation please contact your local county office.
Your South Carolina SNAP application should include as much information related to your household's monthly expenses and income as possible and should include information for all members of your SNAP household. Your SNAP application is considered valid as long as it includes the applicant's name, address, and the signature of a responsible household member or the household's authorized representative. The Agency will attempt to verify all information during your SNAP interview. The Agency may request additional information from the household in the event that the information you provided cannot be verified during the interview.
Apply for South Carolina food stamps
You can apply for the South Carolina SNAP program online at SCMAPP.sc.gov. If you prefer to apply in person, you can download an application (English version - Spanish version), fill it out and submit it to your local county office. You can contact them as well to get the fax number and fax in your application, or get their address and mail it in.
How do I know if I qualify for emergency SNAP benefits?
You may qualify for expedited SNAP benefits (commonly referred to as emergency SNAP benefits) if your household's gross monthly income is less than $150 and any cash you have on hand or in the bank is less than $100. Or your household’s monthly gross income plus any cash that you have on hand or in the bank is less than your rent/mortgage and utilities. Or your SNAP household contains a migrant or seasonal farm worker who is considered destitute and the household's liquid resources (money in the bank, cash on hand) do not exceed $100.
How can I check the status of my SNAP application?
Your application will be processed by DSS within 30 days of your filed application. You may check the status of your SNAP application by calling 800-616-1309. If you have your case number, be sure it is available when you call. Your case number can be found on the top right hand corner of every notice.
Do I have to look for a job to receive SNAP benefits?
SNAP recipients aged 18-49 years old, who are Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs), and who do not meet a work registration exemption must meet the work requirement by working, participating in a work program, or any combination of working or participating in a work program for 20 hours a week, averaged as 80 hours a month.
South Carolina food stamp income eligibility
In order to meet the income eligibility standards, a household's gross monthly income cannot exceed 130% of the federal poverty level (see list below). Households which contain an elderly (age 60 or older) or disabled individual are subject to a net income limit of 100% of federal poverty level.
|Household size||Gross Monthly income||Net Monthly income|
|Each additional member||$451||$347|
Am I able to make any deductions when my SNAP budget is calculated?
After determining the household's monthly income and the household is income eligible, the following deductions may be given:
- Federally mandated standard deduction which varies according to household size
- Earned income deduction in which 20% of gross earned income is disregarded for each employed SNAP household member
- Mandatory utility allowance if the household incurs a heating or cooling cost
- Monthly shelter expenses in excess of 50% of the household's income after all other deductions have been allowed. Households containing a member or members who are elderly or disabled are entitled to an unlimited excess shelter deduction
- Basic utility allowance if the household is billed for two utilities but does not incur a heating or cooling cost.
- Telephone allowance ($28 maximum)
- Dependent care expenses when it is necessary for a household to accept or continue employment, or attend training or pursue education which is expected to lead to employment. The household must pay an individual outside the household for the service
- Legally obligated child support payments to or for an individual living outside of the household
- Medical deduction in excess of $35 for SNAP household members who are elderly (age 60 or older) or disabled
Help for the disabled
Under the South Carolina Combined Application Project, if you are eligible for SSI, you are eligible to receive SNAP benefits without applying at the DSS office. You are eligible for SNAP benefits because you receive SSI. SCCAP is a program that DSS provides in conjunction with Social Security Administration. You should be eligible for SCCAP if:
- You currently receive a Supplemental Security (SSI) Check
- You live alone, or if you live with other people but are responsible for purchasing and preparing meals for yourself only
- You have no earned income
How do I apply?
- Complete a SCCAP application form
- Submit in the self-addressed envelope that will be provided for you or
- Mail it to SCCAP, South Carolina Department of Social Services, P.O. BOX 1520, Columbia, SC, 29202-1520
If you are eligible, you'll receive benefits the month following the date your application is received. You will be notified in writing. You'll receive a set amount of SNAP benefits each month (with annual cost-of-living adjustments) and may receive them as long as you continue to receive SSI and your household living arrangement remains the same. If you would like to see whether or not you're eligible for benefits and what amount they might be, you can use the calculator on the SCMAPP website.
If you use the SNAP calculator, you then acknowledge that you understand that only your local Department of Social Services can make the final decision about your South Carolina SNAP benefits, and that the results provided by the SNAP Benefit Calculator may not be representative of your official benefit assessment.
Help for the elderly
The South Carolina Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) makes it easier for elderly people to apply for and get SNAP benefits. You may be eligible for ESAP if household members:
- Are 60 years or older
- Do not have earned income
- Do not already get SNAP benefits
How do I apply?
To apply you need to complete the DSS ESAP application. Mail it to ESAP, South Carolina Department of Social Services, PO Box 100229 Columbia, SC 29202. If you are eligible, you will receive benefits beginning the date your application is received. You will be notified in writing of the decision on your case.