TANF For Single Mothers In South Carolina

Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Lori Pace

South Carolina’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is designed to provide temporary assistance to families in need, helping them meet their basic needs and work towards a more stable future. The program is funded by both state and federal governments and is administered by the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

While TANF is not a long-term solution to poverty, it can provide much-needed support to families as they work toward family stability and financial independence. In this article, we will explore the basics of South Carolina TANF, including who qualifies for assistance, work-related requirements for recipients, the application process, and the cash payment structure.

Understanding South Carolina Family Independence

If you’re struggling to make ends meet in South Carolina, understanding the ins and outs of the Family Independence (FI) program can be a game-changer for you and your family. The Family Independence program, also known as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), provides cash assistance to low-income families needing financial assistance.

The program aims to help eligible families become self-sufficient by providing the necessary resources to meet their basic needs. To be eligible for the Family Independence program, families must meet income guidelines based on the federal poverty level.

In addition to cash assistance, the program also provides subsidized childcare assistance, health coverage, and other supportive services. However, eligibility requirements may vary depending on the family’s situation and needs. The Family Independence program is an excellent resource for struggling families in South Carolina.

Qualifying for South Carolina TANF

Meeting the eligibility requirements for assistance through South Carolina TANF can be challenging for some low-income households. To qualify, families must meet specific criteria, including income, family composition, and citizenship status. The program is designed to provide temporary financial assistance to eligible needy families, but not all families will qualify.

To be eligible for South Carolina TANF, families with a child under the age of 18 who are living with them must be US citizens or qualified immigrants. At the same time, applicants must be legal residents of South Carolina. Pregnant women are also eligible to apply for FI benefits.

Qualifying For South Carolina Tanf

In addition, families must have income below the federal poverty level, which varies based on family size. The program also considers childcare costs, food assistance, and healthcare coverage when determining eligibility. Under-employed or unemployed South Carolinians are also encouraged to apply to help them achieve continuous employment.

Work-Related Requirements for TANF Recipients In South Carolina

You must fulfill work-related requirements as part of the condition of eligibility for the South Carolina TANF program. The federal time limit for receiving cash assistance is 60 months, but this can be extended if you meet specific eligibility criteria, such as participating in work-related activities. These activities include job readiness assistance, employment training, and job search assistance.

If deemed eligible for TANF, you must maintain a certain employment status to continue receiving benefits. This can include working at least 30 hours per week or participating in work-related activities for several hours each week.

Work Related Requirements For Tanf Recipients In South Carolina

These requirements are in place to encourage recipients to gain employment counseling, employment skills training, and other employment preparation activities which can help them secure long-term employment stability and become self-sufficient.

Application for South Carolina TANF

Ready to apply for assistance? Here’s how to start the process. South Carolina TANF is available to low-income individuals with children, and the first step to getting it is to fill out an application form or electronic submission form for online applications.

You can download the form from the Department of Social Services website or pick it up at your local county office. To ensure you have all the information you need to complete the application, gather important documents such as proof of income, medical expenses, and household size.

Having this information on hand will help you fill out the form accurately and quickly. Once you’ve completed the application, you can submit it to your county office.

Once your application is received, the assigned eligibility worker or county staff will contact you and schedule an in-person interview to verify your eligibility for benefits.

South Carolina TANF Cash Payment

If a family is determined to be eligible, they may receive temporary assistance cash benefits for up to 60 months time period, depending on their circumstances. The maximum benefit for a family of three in South Carolina is currently $296 per month.

If you qualify for the TANF welfare program, you’ll receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer or EBT card. It works like a debit card which you can use to withdraw your cash assistance. At the same time,  you can also use it to purchase food and other essentials for your family. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How does South Carolina TANF differ from other state TANF programs?

Compared to other state TANF programs, South Carolina’s TANF family assistance program may differ in terms of eligibility criteria, benefit amounts, and duration of assistance. Factors like the state budget, demographics, and local economy can influence program variations.

Are there any special benefits or resources available to TANF recipients in South Carolina?

As a TANF recipient in South Carolina, you may be eligible for additional benefits such as SNAP, Medicaid, childcare assistance, and job training programs. These resources can help you achieve self-sufficiency and improve your financial stability.

What happens if a TANF recipient in South Carolina does not meet the work-related requirements?

If you don’t meet the work-related requirements for TANF, your benefits may be reduced or terminated. You may also be required to participate in employment and training activities or face penalties.

Can someone who is not a U.S. citizen receive South Carolina TANF?

Non-U.S. citizens may be eligible for TANF benefits if they meet the state’s residency and income requirements. However, they must also meet federal eligibility criteria, such as having lawful immigration status.

How long does it typically take for an application for South Carolina TANF to be processed?

Typically, the processing time for TANF applications varies by state and case complexity. On average, it may take up to 30 days to receive a decision on eligibility determination. Factors such as incomplete or inaccurate information may cause delays.


By now, you should have a good understanding of what TANF is, how it works in South Carolina, and how to apply for it. Keep in mind that qualifying for TANF is just the first step.

Once approved, you must meet work-related requirements to continue receiving benefits. However, with the right mindset and resources, you can use TANF as a stepping stone to achieve financial independence and improve your quality of life.

Remember to stay informed, seek resources and support, and never give up on your goals. Good luck!

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!