South Dakota

Assistance Programs, Local Agencies and Charities

Food  Housing  Cash Assistance  Bills  Health  Education  Employment



  • South Dakota Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)  – Monthly food stamp benefits to help low-income South Dakotans buy the food they need to stay healthy while they work to regain financial independence, Call: 877-999-5612
  • South Dakota Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)  – A public assistance work program that provides temporary assistance and economic self-sufficiency for qualifying South Dakota children and familiesCall: 800-843-6154
  • South Dakota Telephone Assistance Program (Lifeline) – Offers discounts on basic monthly service for qualified telephone customers, Call: Local telephone company
  • South Dakota Layoff Assistance Program Helps laid-off workers update work and job search skills, offers job referrals and career planningCall: 800-843-6154
  • South Dakota Medicaid  – A health insurance program that provides medical and health-related services to eligible South Dakota residents, Call: 800-452-7691
  • South Dakota Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP) Program  – Offers health care coverage to qualifying children living in South Dakota, Call: 800-452-7691
  • South Dakota Child Care Assistance Program  – Available to families who meet income guidelines and minimum work and/or school requirements, Call: 800-227-3020
  • South Dakota Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)  – Healthy foods, breastfeeding support, nutrition education, health care referrals, Call: 605-773-3361
  • South Dakota National School Lunch Program (NSLP)  Provides low-cost or free lunches to school children, Call: 605-773-3413
  • South Dakota Special Milk Program  – Offers milk to children in schools, childcare institutions, and eligible camps, Call: 605-773-3413
  • South Dakota School Breakfast Program (SBP)  Provides low-cost or free meals to school children, Call: 605-773-3413
  • South Dakota Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)  – Provides free meals and snacks to help low-income children in the summer months, Call: 605-773-3110
  • South Dakota Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)  Provides healthy meals and snacks to children and adults receiving day care, Call: 605-773-3413
  • South Dakota Head Start  – Comprehensive child development programs serving low-income children and their familiesCall: 605-224-4161
  • South Dakota Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) Helps low-income South Dakotans pay for home heating costsCall: 800-233-8503
  • South Dakota Home Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) – Designed to help low income South Dakota households overcome the high cost of energy by making their homes more energy efficient, Call: Local Agency
  • South Dakota Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)  – Designed to aid individuals known to be at risk of malnutrition due to low income and poor health conditions, Call: 605-773-3413
  • South Dakota Housing Choice Voucher Program  – Helps eligible low-income households lease privately owned rental units from participating landlords, Call: Local PHA
  • South Dakota Public Housing  – Provides safe, decent, and affordable rental units for eligible low-income residents., Call: Local PHA

Homeowners Assistance and Housing Programs

South Dakota – Making Home Affordable options

Making Home Affordable is a federal program designed to cover different homeowners’ hardships and financial situations. Under the program there are various options that can help South Dakota homeowners in hardship stay in their homes. Depending on the situation South Dakota homeowners in hardship can apply to lower their monthly payments, lower the interest rate on their home loan or even get principal reduction in some cases.

There are foreclosure alternatives and temporarily help for unemployed homeowners as well.

Here are some of the most used options under Making Home Affordable Program:

HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) approved housing counselor can be reached at: 888-995-4673  (Hearing impaired: 877-304-9709 TTY) to help you understand your options, prepare your application, and work with your mortgage company.


Food Assistance Programs, Services, and Organizations in South Dakota

South Dakota Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or the Food Stamps Program as it is known by the public, is a federal program that provides grants to the States for purpose of reducing the hunger and malnutrition in all eligible households across the nation. SNAP helps provide healthy food to qualifying low-income families with children, elderly or disabled in each State of the USA.

It is important to know that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal entitlement program funded by U.S. Government grants. Any U.S. Citizen, even some legal alien residents, will get free food assistance as long as they meet the SNAP eligibility guidelines. In other words, there is enough Supplemental Nutrition Assistance for every American that qualifies.

In South Dakota the SNAP is administered by South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS). United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides federal grants and oversees the operation of South Dakota SNAP.

According to South Dakota Department of Social Services,  “SNAP helps low-income South Dakotans buy the food they need to stay healthy while they work to regain financial independence.”


Who is Eligible for South Dakota SNAP Benefits?

The eligibility rules and benefit amounts in South Dakota are based on residency, limited income, limited liquid resources, household size, work requirement and other factors depending on the applicant case. Most eligibility rules are determined by regulations issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service.

The federal law allows States some flexibility when using the federal grants to implement SNAP on State level. State agencies can adapt some of the food assistance program rules in order to meet the needs of the low‐income local population.

South Dakota SNAP is designed for individuals and families with limited income resources, who compose a household, purchase and prepare their meals together for home consumption.

For the purpose of the SNAP, certain people must be included in one household account even if they purchase and prepare meals separately. Husbands and wives of any household member, their children under age 22 when living together, plus children younger than 18 who are dependents of an adult household member are all considered as a part of one household formation.

Anyone with limited income and resources may apply for food stamps but, in general, to qualify for South Dakota SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits you must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:

  • State of South Dakota Resident – U.S. Citizen or a legal resident with SNAP eligible non-citizen status;
  • Work Requirement – unless exempted, each household member between 16-59 years old must work, participate in employment and training program, or be registered to work;
  • Resource Test – have countable household assets limited to $2,250 or less ($3,250 or less for households containing a member who is disabled or 60 years of age or older);
  • Income Test – Income limits eligibility depends on the household size and composition. Households with no elderly or disabled individuals must meet both gross and net income limits. Households with elderly or disabled individuals must meet only the net income limits. Gross income includes wages, salaries, commissions, dividends, child support, self-employment income, unemployment compensation, social security benefits and other. See the table with South Dakota food stamp income limits per household size below.
Oct. 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2016 USDA FNS SNAP Max Income
Household SizeGross Monthly Income Limits
(130% of poverty)
Net Monthly Income Limits
(100% of poverty)
Each additional member+$451+$347

Source: USDA, SNAP Income Eligibility Standards


Quick Eligibility Check

Use this Pre-Screening Tool to find out if you may be eligible to get South Dakota SNAP benefits (Food Stamps).

The screening allows interested in getting South Dakota food stamps to provide some basic information and find out if they are potentially eligible for benefits.

If you use this Pre-Screening Tool you will be notified immediately on the screen if you qualify after completing the questionnaire.

This is a pre-screening information, and you still have to make an application at your local South Dakota DSS office.

The Department of Social Services is the agency in South Dakota that can make final determination regarding your SNAP application in this State and grant you benefits.


What is Maximum Dollar Amount of South Dakota SNAP Food Stamp Benefits?

If approved, the South Dakota SNAP benefit amounts depend on the household size and its monthly net income. USDA has maximum food stamp benefit limits per month per household. Check below what are the maximum food assistance amounts an South Dakota household can get per month. The SNAP allowed benefits per month are called allotments.

Oct. 1, 2015 - Sept. 30, 2016 USDA Max SNAP Allotments
Household SizeMaximum Food Assistance Monthly Allotment
Each additional member$146

Source: USDA, SNAP Maximum Allotments


How to Apply for SNAP Food Stamps in South Dakota?

To apply for SNAP benefits in South Dakota download and print the Economic Assistance Application form offered by the SD Department of Social Services.

The same application form can be used to apply for Medical Assistance and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program which offers cash benefits to qualifying families.

More than one assistance program in an application is common practice by a lot of the States, since most of the people in need of food stamps are likely to be in need of cash and other assistance and services.

Applicants for SNAP in State of South Dakota have the right to file an application in person, through an authorized representative, by fax, by mail, or online. The SNAP application may be submitted to any local South Dakota DSS office.

If you do not have all the information that is needed to complete the SNAP application, provide as much as you can – but you must include your name, address, social security number, and your signature for the DSS office to accept it. All required information and its verification can be provided later at the interview or upon request.

If you are eligible, your SNAP Benefits will start from the date the DSS receives your application. However, if you provide more information, it will help DSS determine your eligibility more quickly.

The application process includes an SNAP eligibility interview and information verification. After you have submitted your application, the DSS office will contact you to set up an interview and verify the information on your application. If you are elderly, disabled individual, or unable to go to the office due to a hardship, call the DSS to request your SNAP eligibility interview conducted over the phone.

At the interview, you will meet with a DSS worker who will go over the information on your application and verify the required supporting documentation and proofs. You will also receive information from the worker or other staff about job requirements/opportunities and your responsibilities.

Within 30 days of the interview, if eligible, you will receive a notice stating how much food assistance benefit and for how long your household is eligible for before a review of the case is due, along with reporting requirements.

The SNAP benefit amount depends on the household size and its net income – that is all countable income minus all allowable deductions.

If South Dakota DSS finds you eligible for SNAP benefits, you will be entitled to receive food stamps from the date your signed application was received.

South Dakota SNAP applicants also have the option to apply for SNAP benefits online using DSS web portal – the South Dakota State Online Application System that enables users to apply for SNAP and other State programs and services.


South Dakota SNAP Food Stamps Approval, Rules, Proofs Required

Department of Social Services office worker has to interview you and verify provided information before determining if the household is eligible for SNAP benefits. South Dakota DSS lists examples of information and proofs you may be asked to provide at the interview:

  • Proof of identity (driver’s license, etc.), alien status
  • Social Security numbers for all household members
  • If employed, proof of income (wage stubs, earning statements, etc.) for the past 30 days
  • If self-employed, proof of income (income tax return, self-employment ledgers, etc.)
  • Proof of all other income (Social Security, SSI, workmen’s compensation, unemployment benefits, BIA general assistance, child support, rental income, VA benefits, interest income for last year, etc.)
  • Information about checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, credit union accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, dividends, etc.
  • Proof of shelter costs (rent or mortgage payment, lot rent, household, real estate taxes, utility bills – heat, electricity, water/sewage/garbage, telephone, etc.)
  • Proof of dependent care expenses (statement from provider, signed receipts, etc.)
  • If anyone is age 60 or older, or permanently disabled, proof of medical expenses not paid by another source (health insurance, doctor bills, hospital bills, drug receipts, pharmacy statement, etc.)
  • If paying child support payments, proof of obligation and payment (divorce decree/administrative order, cancelled checks, clerk of courts receipt, etc.)

The law limits the SNAP benefits to 3 months in a 3-year period for all able-bodied adults between the ages of 18-50 without dependents, who are not working or participating in a work program for at least 20 hours each week.

As part of the SNAP federal grant assistance requirements, each State has to offer employment and training (E&T) program to its SNAP benefits recipients. Participants in such programs, where available, can get adult education, vocational training, job skills training for specific jobs, and work experience via short-term unpaid work assignments. The main goal of the work requirement is to help the food stamp recipients get jobs, reduce or eliminate their dependency on the government benefits.

In South Dakota if you are getting SNAP benefits and are able to work, you must register with the Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) for Employment and Training (E&T) Program. SNAP recipients are expected to do job search or participate in Job Search Assistance Program (JSAP) and other activities offered by the E&T Program.

Applicants waiting for SNAP benefits approval in South Dakota should get a response within 30 days from the date they submitted their application to the local DSS office. Households getting food stamps benefits must report any changes of their household situation in a period of time determined by the DSS office in order to assure their participation in the Food Assistance Program.


 Approved! When and How Do I Get the SNAP (Food Stamps) Benefits?

Approved for South Dakota SNAP benefits applicants get an Electronic Benefit Card (EBT) card. The EBT card can be used like a debit card at any South Dakota food stamps approved grocery stores and farmers markets.

Food assistance benefits are deposited into an EBT account of the beneficiary each month following the Benefit Issuance Schedule.

Benefits are made available on the 10th day of every month.

If you have any question regarding your EBT Account or EBT Card call South Dakota EBT Customer Service: 800-604-5099


How and Where to Use the Food Stamp Benefits?

South Dakota SNAP benefits are provided via the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system. The monetary benefits of the South Dakota SNAP are transferred into the accounts of qualified beneficiaries and are accessible through South Dakota EBT Cards. Households and individuals can use their EBT cards and spend the benefits like cash at any South Dakota grocery stores and farmers’ markets that are authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to accept SNAP (food stamp) benefits.

Check this list of South Dakota SNAP participating stores that are authorized to take EBT cards for purchasing of SNAP eligible food items. Eligible food items are any food to be eaten at home by people, including baby food, non-alcoholic beverages, and seasonings. Seeds and plants to grow food for your own family’s consumption are also allowed to be purchased with food stamp benefits. You cannot buy non-grocery items with food stamp benefits, such as cleaning products, pet food, paper products, alcohol, or tobacco.

I Need SNAP Assistance Now. It is an Emergency!

Some households may get Expedited Services – that is getting Food Assistance Benefits within 7 calendar days if your household has less than $150 in monthly gross income and liquid resources (cash, checking or savings accounts) of $100 or less; or your rent/mortgage and utilities are more than your household’s combined monthly income and liquid resources; or a member of your household is a migrant or seasonal farm worker. Call 1-877-999-5612 for more information on South Dakota Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).