Frequently Asked Questions

What are SNAP benefits?

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.

What is an EBT card?

EBT is the method South Carolina uses to issue SNAP benefits.

How do I apply for SNAP benefits?

You may apply for SNAP benefits online, in person, or by mail or fax To apply online visit .

To apply in person or by mail/fax, please contact your county office.

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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.

Can I get SNAP benefits?

You must file an application to determine if you can receive SNAP benefits. If you meet any one of the following conditions, you are NOT eligible to receive SNAP benefits: ineligible aliens, ineligible students, individuals disqualified for noncompliance with work requirements, individuals disqualified due to an intentional program violation, and 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.

What can I buy with SNAP benefits?

Households can purchase food such as breads and cereals, non-alcoholic beverages, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products and more with SNAP benefits. For a full listing of SNAP eligible foods visit

What cannot be purchased with SNAP benefits?

Households CANNOT purchase any alcoholic beverages, cigarettes or tobacco with SNAP benefits. In addition, households cannot purchase any non-food items, hot foods or food to be consumed in the store with SNAP benefits. For a full listing of SNAP ineligible foods and violations please visit

What information needs to be submitted with my application and/or during my interview?

Your 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.

Can I request a face-to-face interview?

Yes, you may request a face-to-face by contacting your local county office either by phone or in person.

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 1-800-616-1309. 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.

When are my SNAP benefits available?

If you have filed a new SNAP application, your SNAP benefits will be available the day following your case approval. If you have an ongoing SNAP case, your SNAP benefits are deposited on the same day of the month, every month, between the 1st and 19th. Your SNAP benefit availability is based on the last digit of your case number: 1=11th, 2=2nd, 3=13th, 4=4th, 5=15th, 6=6th, 7=17th, 8=8th, 9=19th, 0=10th. If you have been receiving SNAP benefits prior to September 01, 2012 without an interruption in your SNAP benefits, your SNAP benefits will be available in correspondence with the last digit of your case number. For example: If your case number ends in 1, your benefits will be available on the 1st day of each month. If your case number ends in 2, your benefits will be available on the 2nd of each month. If your case number ends in 0, your benefits will be available on the 10th day of each month. You may set up a text alert via to inform you when your benefits are available.

How do I order a replacement EBT card?

You may order a replacement EBT card by contacting 1-800-554-5268. If you request five or more EBT cards during a 12 month period, you will be subject to a benefit integrity review.

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.

What happens to my SNAP benefits if I don’t spend all of the benefits in a month?

Your SNAP benefits remaining on your EBT card at the end of the month will carry over (roll over) to the following month. After 12 months of account inactivity, DSS will begin expunging the remaining SNAP benefits.

What should I do if I think someone is misusing their SNAP benefits?

To report suspected fraud (misuse of SNAP benefits), call 1-800-616-1309. You may report fraud anonymously.

My elderly/disabled parent/neighbor needs help with food. What can I do?

The Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) is a simplified version of SNAP and is designed for South Carolinians who are aged 61 years or older without earned income. The South Carolina Application Project (SCCAP) is a simplified version of SNAP and is designed for SSI eligible individuals without earned income and who either live alone or purchase and prepare meals separately if living with others. For more information on ESAP or SCCAP call 1-800-898-0055.

Do you have any resources that can help me with food, electricity, rental payments, etc.?

DSS can refer you to the local Food Bank if your household is in need of food immediately. For assistance please visit your local county office.

How do I know if I am potentially eligible for to receive benefits?

You may use the online benefit calculator to determine if you may be eligible to receive SNAP benefits. The calculator is located at by clicking on “Am I Eligible?” and following the instructions provided on the screen. The calculator provides an estimate of the benefits you might receive based on income and expenses but does not consider all of the SNAP rules related to each household’s circumstances. The FINAL SNAP eligibility determination and actual benefit amount must be made by the appropriate DSS employee.

How do I apply?

Snap Household Composition

A SNAP Household may consist of an individual or a group of individuals who purchase food and prepare meals together.
Each eligible SNAP household member must be a United States citizen or meet non-citizen requirements.
A non-citizen is required to provide their INS documentation and the Agency must verify the validity of the provided documents through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program.
The SAVE Program is a service that helps federal, state, and local benefit-issuing agencies, institutions, and licensing agencies determine the immigration status of benefit applicants so only those entitled to benefits receive them.

Who is prohibited from receiving benefits?

Some individuals are prohibited from receiving SNAP benefits. These include:

  • Failure to comply with work requirements, OR
  • Intentionally making false statements, withholding information or committing an act that violates the Food and Nutrition Act, SNAP regulations or state law for the purpose of using, acquiring, presenting, transferring, receiving, possessing, or trafficking of SNAP benefits or authorization cards used as part of an automated benefit delivery system.
  • Failure to provide a Social Security Number.
  • Non-Citizens who do not meet non-citizen requirements (undocumented aliens and unaccompanied minor children are not Qualified Non-Citizens because they have not been issued the required INS documents and, therefore, they cannot be verified through SAVE).
  • Individuals who were convicted of a drug related felon after 08/22/1996.
  • Fleeing felons.
  • Residents of institutions.
  • Students (18-49) attending an institution of higher education at least half time, unless they meet certain exceptions.

Am I allowed to have resources?

There is no resource limit for SNAP in South Carolina.

Is there a limit to how long I can get SNAP benefits?

SNAP benefits are limited to a maximum of 3 months in a 36 month period for individuals aged 18 – 49, who are able bodied and do not have dependents, unless they meet an exemption or are engaged in 80 hours of work activity per month.

What kind of income allows me to get benefits?

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- 1
    • Gross Monthly income - $1307
    • Net Monthly income - $1005
  • Household size- 2
    • Gross Monthly income - $1760
    • Net Monthly income - $1354
  • Household size- 3
    • Gross Monthly income - $2213
    • Net Monthly income - $1702
  • Household size- 4
    • Gross Monthly income - $2665
    • Net Monthly income - $2050
  • Household size- 5
    • Gross Monthly income - $3118
    • Net Monthly income - $2399
  • Household size- 6
    • Gross Monthly income - $3571
    • Net Monthly income - $2747
  • Household size- 7
    • Gross Monthly income - $4024
    • Net Monthly income - $3095
  • Household size- 8
    • Gross Monthly income - $4477
    • Net Monthly income - $3444
  • Each additional member
    • Gross Monthly income - $453
    • Net Monthly income - $349

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

I would like to file a complaint.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard or hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027), found online at, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866)632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D. C. 20250-9410

Fax: (202) 690-7442


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

You may also file a complaint of discrimination by contacting DSS in writing: DSS Office of Civil Rights, P. O. Box 1520 Columbia, S.C. 29202-1520 or by calling toll free: 1-800-311-7220 or locally: (803) 898-8080 or TTY: (800) 311-7219.

What are my rights if I do not agree with the decision on my case?

You have the right to request a fair hearing. You may request a fair hearing related to SNAP case actions which have occurred within the past 90 days if you dispute your current level of SNAP benefits. To request a fair hearing call toll free: 1-800-311-7220 or locally: (803) 898-8080 or TTY: (800) 311-7219.

How can I register to vote?

You can register to vote by visiting or by visiting any local DSS county office for assistance.

Do you have a complaint regarding services being provided to a child by a state agency? Please submit your complaint by phone (1-800-206-1957) or an electronic submission form here with the South Carolina Department of Children's Advocacy.