Family Independence (FI) is a time-limited program that assists families with dependent children when families cannot provide for their basic needs.
The primary focus of the program is to assist low income families meet basic needs by providing cash assistance, supportive services and training and employment opportunities. The FI Program is designed to serve both single-parent and two-parent families, as well as households with disabled adults. In many instances, these families would be eligible for SNAP benefits and Medicaid.
Low income families with dependent children may be eligible for these services. Families must be residents of South Carolina and willing to participate in the Family Independence Work Program. Applicants must assist in pursuing child support from parents absent from the household.
Click here to apply online, or complete, sign and return an application to the local Department of Social Services in the county of residence. Applications can be obtained through any county Department of Social Services office.
After eligibility determination, a case manager works with the family to develop a plan to achieve self-sufficiency within 24 months. This involves evaluating the family through interviews, assessments and screening tools.
The SC ePAY Debit Card is used to access monies deposited into an ePAY account by DSS. Benefits are deposited monthly into a debit account for eligible recipients. It can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted, including online and for bill payments. It can also be used for cash withdrawals at MasterCard Member Banks or Credit Union teller windows and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). ePAY accounts are governed by the FDIC banking regulations.
The card can be used anywhere you see the MasterCard logo with the exception of:
Using your ePAY card at any of the above locations is subject to South Carolina penalties. This includes Automated Teller Machine (ATM) withdrawals and Point-of-Sale (POS) purchase transactions.