Frequently Asked Questions

What is SNAP?

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), formerly known as Food Stamp benefits, provide low-income households with nutrition assistance by increasing the household's food purchasing power.

What is an EBT card?

EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) 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, please visit the DSS Benefits Portal.

To apply in person or by mail/fax, please contact any DSS 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 liquid resources (money in the bank; cash on hand) do not exceed $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 receive SNAP benefits?

You must file an application to determine if you can receive SNAP benefits. However, if you meet any one of the following conditions, you are NOT eligible to receive SNAP benefits: ineligible non-citizens, 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 any DSS 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 https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items.

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 https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items.

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 contains 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 interview by contacting any DSS 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. Please have your case number available when you call. 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 www.connectebt.com 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.

What is the ABAWD work requirement?

SNAP recipients aged 18-49 years old, who are Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs) and who do not meet an exception to the ABAWD work requirement, 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, or participating in and complying with a workfare program.

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 be done?

The Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) is a simplified version of SNAP and is designed for South Carolinians who are aged 60 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 1-888-898-0055.

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

For assistance, DSS can make referrals to other agencies. Please contact any DSS office for additional information.

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

If you would like to see whether or not you are potentially eligible for SNAP benefits, please access "Am I Eligible" on the DSS Benefits Portal.

How do I apply?

Who can be included in my SNAP case?

  • 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 United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 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 SNAP benefits?

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

  • Disqualified for failure to comply with work requirements;
  • Disqualified for an Intentional Program Violation (IPV) by 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;
  • Disqualified for failure to provide a Social Security number;
  • Ineligible 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 USCIS documents and, therefore, they cannot be verified through SAVE.);
  • Ineligible because of a drug-related conviction after August 22, 1996;
  • Fleeing felons;
  • Residents of institutions;
  • Students attending an institution of higher education at least half time, unless they meet certain exceptions;
  • An ineligible ABAWD (Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents) due to time limits; OR
  • Disqualified due to failure without good cause to cooperate with TANF work requirements.

Am I allowed to have resources?

The maximum allowable resources, including both liquid and non-liquid assets, of all members of the household cannot exceed $2250 for the household. For households including one or more disabled members or members age 60 or over, such resources cannot exceed $3500.

Is there a limit to how long I can receive 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 the ABAWD work requirement or an exception or are engaged in 80 hours of work activity per month.

What kind of income allows me to receive SNAP 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 - $1383
    • Net Monthly income - $1064
  • Household size- 2
    • Gross Monthly income - $1868
    • Net Monthly income - $1437
  • Household size- 3
    • Gross Monthly income - $2353
    • Net Monthly income - $1810
  • Household size- 4
    • Gross Monthly income - $2839
    • Net Monthly income - $2184
  • Household size- 5
    • Gross Monthly income - $3324
    • Net Monthly income - $2557
  • Household size- 6
    • Gross Monthly income - $3809
    • Net Monthly income - $2930
  • Household size- 7
    • Gross Monthly income - $4295
    • Net Monthly income - $3304
  • Household size- 8
    • Gross Monthly income - $4780
    • Net Monthly income - $3677
  • Each additional member
    • Gross Monthly income - $486
    • Net Monthly income - $374

What deductions are allowed when my SNAP budget is calculated?

The following expense deductions are allowed if the household is under the federal income guidelines:
  • Child Support Deduction
  • Dependent Care Deduction
  • Earned Income Deduction
  • Medical Deduction in excess of $35 for SNAP household members who are elderly (age 60 or older) or disabled
  • Shelter Costs Deduction
  • Utility Allowance
  • Standard Deduction

 

How do I file a complaint of discrimination?

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027), found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, 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

email: program.intake@usda.gov

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 www.scvotes.org or by visiting any DSS county office for assistance.


Child Welfare Services Transformation

Best Outcomes for Children and Families

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.