The number of South Carolinians receiving public assistance continues to decrease. 

In June 2016, 765,549 South Carolina residents received SNAP benefits; the lowest since 2009.  After peaking in December 2012 at over 879,000, the number of SNAP recipients has fallen 13 percent.

On average, 45 percent of SNAP recipients are children under the age of 18.  Approximately 27 percent of adult SNAP recipients are age 55 or older (15 percent of total SNAP population). 

The income limit for SNAP is approximately 130 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).  For example, a family of three whose income is $26,124 per year ($2,177 per month) or less may qualify for benefits.  A single person who earns $15,312 per year ($1,276/month) or less may qualify for SNAP.

The average monthly SNAP benefit in South Carolina is $261.

How does DSS help?

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 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.