Help for Single Mothers in South Carolina

Last Updated on February 1, 2024 by Lori Pace

South Carolina is no different than any other US state when it comes to the lack of money needed to help provide care for the majority of children living with single mothers. Many families with average incomes have fallen into poverty due to the economic hardships that are affecting millions of people. 

This is why it’s not surprising that single mothers and children end up bearing the brunt of the unfavorable economy. Recent statistics show that 40 percent of South Carolina residents are considered poor. This is a clear indication of the difficulties that these people face. The state government designed several programs to help the families affected by these conditions. 

Earned Income Tax Credit

South Carolina created its own non-refundable income tax credit (EITC), which acts as a “piggybank” of cash obtained from federal government credits. South Carolina is the 27th state to adopt the non-refundable income tax credit program. The program is designed so that eligible individuals will receive 0.2083% of the EITC over a 6-year period until they become eligible for a payment equal to 125% of the Federal Government EITC. 

This program will provide a modest financial advantage to low-income families and low-income individuals in the state. However, because it is not refundable, people who pay less state income tax should receive little, if anything, from the program. Visit the website South Carolina earned income tax credit to apply.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

This program has a limited time limit. This program is to help low-income families or single mothers with children who cannot afford to pay for their basic needs in the state of South Carolina. For this program to be eligible, the interested individual must meet a 50% federal poverty threshold. 

Though there has been a similar program called the Family Independence Program which was specially designed to assist single parents who have two children and families who have disabled adults. Estimates show that the TANF participants, who are the majority of those who applied to the Family Independence Program, make up two-thirds. 

Applicants must be actively involved in a job search for at least two consecutive weeks to qualify for the program. Exceptions are those over 60 or disabled. The program is expected to provide 24 months of benefits in 10 years for those who qualify. However, the period can be extended if the hardships are severe enough. For more information, interested parties can visit the portal.

Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The South Carolina version is called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The program provides cash assistance for low-income families and disabled people to purchase food, as well as nutritional edibles, to supplement their diet. Participants must meet 130% of the EPL guidelines to be eligible. 

To submit an online application for the program, visit SCMAPP and fill out an application form. Call 1-800-616-1309 for more information on this program. Note that the benefits of the SNAP are automatically transferred onto the South Carolina EBT Card on the same date each month they become eligible.

Health Connection

Health Connection Program provides low or no-cost healthcare to low-income families so they can afford to pay for their public health insurance. Children from low-income families and pregnant women are eligible for this program. This program does not extend to adults who are not disabled due to limited funds. However, families with incomes less than 62% FPL can also qualify for the program. 

Pregnant women are required to earn 194% of the FPL income guideline. To submit an application for this program, interested applicants may visit the South Carolina Health Connection online platform or call (888)549-0820.

Healthy Connections Kids

This program is specifically for children who are under 19 and live in South Carolina. This program is for children who do not qualify for Medicaid and those who don’t have insurance. Healthy Connections Kids provides free Medicaid coverage to children whose families earn less than 208% of the poverty guidelines. This program does not cover adults. Visit the South Carolina Healthy Connections Kids platform to learn more and register your child.

Voucher Program 

The SC Voucher Program, which helps families with low income afford quality childcare in South Carolina, provides subsidized child care. Families with children with special requirements may also be eligible. Families who qualify can select their own provider. The program reimburses childcare providers a certain amount depending on the quality of their services.

The sliding scale for family co-payments is based on the size of your family and your income. It ranges from $6 per child to $20 per week. These co-payments rank among the lowest in any state. You can call 1-800-476-0199 for a list of providers enrolled in the SC Voucher Program.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)

South Carolina’s LIHEAP helps eligible low-income South Carolina households to pay for home heating and cooling costs by direct payment to their gas or electricity utility companies.

They give priority to those with the highest energy consumption, whether they are elderly, disabled or have families. Seniors eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), can get an extra 20% off their gas and/or electric bills.

LIHEAP is not a benefit that you receive every month. You may only receive LIHEAP assistance up to three or four times per year, depending on the amount of money available in your county. You will need to go to your local office to apply for LIHEAP. Bring along copies of recent utility bills when you apply.

Unemployment Insurance 

Unemployment Insurance provides temporary financial aid to workers who have lost their jobs without fault. The maximum compensation per week in South Carolina is $326. The state offers up to 20 weeks’ worth of unemployment benefits for eligible claimants.

You must search for work every week you apply for benefits. You must continue to be eligible for benefits if you conduct at least 2 (2) verifiable job searches each week. Fill out the initial claims online via MyBenefits. To receive payment, you will need to register for work within two weeks after submitting your claim.

Need-Based Grant 

The S.C. need-based grant provides financial assistance to South Carolina’s most vulnerable students. Students who are eligible can receive up to $2,500 per year if they enroll full-time, or up to $1250 if they enroll part-time.

The Free Federal Student Aid Application (FAFSA) for South Carolina Need-Based Grant to consider you. This should be done as soon as possible — ideally by the 1st of January of each academic calendar year.

Bottom Line About Help For Single Mothers In South Carolina

There is an extensive variety to choose from when it comes to asking for assistance. The federal government and nonprofits work hard to support the community they are in, the best that they can. To learn more about other assistance offered to help single mothers in the state of South Carolina, visit these articles:

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!