Apply For South Carolina TANF Benefits

Learn how to apply for South Carolina TANF. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, called South Carolina Family Independence Program, may help you become self-supportive while receiving monthly cash benefits to meet your everyday needs such as rent, utilities, clothes, transportation, or additional expenses.

Sometimes you may not be eligible to receive TANF for yourself, but a child or children in your household may. The TANF program is administered by the Department of Social Services. In most cases, in order to qualify for TANF you must meet both types of eligibility, categorical and financial.

Additionally, to qualify for TANF there are work requirements. The SC TANF program requires most adults be employed or participate in certain work-related activities, which you will be assigned for a certain number of hours on a weekly basis in order to continue receiving TANF benefits.

The total number of hours needed to fulfill your work activity requirement depends on your family composition. Qualified state residents are required to produce information including household income, age, citizenship and resources.

Only household members who are eligible for South Carolina TANF can receive welfare benefits. For more information about applying for SC TANF benefits, view the information below. If you still have questions or issues, then contact TANF South Carolina.

South Carolina TANF eligibility

You may use the online benefit calculator to determine if you may be eligible to receive TANF 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 TANF rules related to each household's circumstances.

The final TANF eligibility determination and actual benefit amount must be made by the appropriate DSS employee. In order to qualify to receive SC TANF benefits, you must be:

  • A citizen of the US or meet certain alien status requirements
  • Low income South Carolina families with a dependent child, to whom they are related, living in the household
  • Individuals that agree to pursue child support from parent(s) absent from the home

Apply for South Carolina TANF

You can apply for the SC TANF program online, in person, or by mail or fax. To apply online, go to To apply in person, visit your local county office. To view locations, find a county office near you.

To download a copy of the TANF application, click here. If you want to mail or fax your form in, then contact the county office you plan to apply at and get the information you need.

TANF time limit

In SC, most TANF benefits are limited to 24 months in a 10-year time period. The federal time limit on TANF benefits is limited to 60 months. The time limit may be extended due to hardship reasons, if specific criteria is met.

What can I purchase with TANF benefits?

The use of TANF cash benefits cannot be limited or restricted by policy. Recipients of TANF benefits have the right to make decisions for their families. However, if DSS determines that benefits are not used in the best interest of the children then a protective payee may be considered.

I was denied TANF benefits. What can I do?

State and local agencies are responsible for establishing the eligibility criteria and procedures that apply in their programs, not the Federal government. If you disagree with a decision regarding welfare benefits, you have the right to file an appeal. For more information about your state's appeals procedures, contact the SC TANF office.