Low Income Assistance Programs in the State of South Dakota for Single Mothers

The state of South Dakota has a population of approximately 860 000 people with a poverty rate of 14.2%. The poverty rate among children is even higher at 17.7%. There are over 115 000 single parents, families and individuals living in a state of poverty in South Dakota. Many families struggle with bills and necessities, placing a burden on their lives. Fortunately, there are many useful assistance programs in South Dakota. This guide will list and explain the assistance programs available.

Financial Assistance in South Dakota

Many single parents and families struggle to provide their families with everything needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle and are in need of assistance. There is some financial assistance available in South Dakota for needy families.

South Dakota Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

The South Dakota TANF program provides temporary financial assistance to low income families. The funds are meant to be used for basic expenses and necessities. Furthermore, this program also provides job training and preparation to help parents find better employment so they no longer need TANF benefits.

To be eligible for this program you must be of low income, and have a child under the age of 19 living in your household. To learn more and to apply, visit the South Dakota TANF webpage.

South Dakota Unemployment Insurance (UI)

The South Dakota UI program provides cash relief payments to those who have lost their job through no fault of their own. The amount you receive depends on the amount made with your previous employer. You must be actively looking for work each week you receive benefits.

To learn more and to apply, visit the South Dakota UI webpage.

Food Assistance in South Dakota

Many single parents and families struggle providing their children with adequate and healthy food. If you are struggling with food costs there are programs available that will benefit you.

South Dakota Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The South Dakota SNAP program offers food assistance benefits to low income households. The food benefits are received on a card loaded with funds called the South Dakota EBT Card. The card works just like a debit card, simply swipe the card at the checkout with your food and you are good to go. The amount you can receive for food benefits depends on income and household size.

To be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements. To learn more and to apply visit the South Dakota SNAP webpage.

South Dakota Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

The South Dakota WIC program provides provides food and nutrition assistance, nutrition education, and even health care referrals and assistance for pregnant, postpartum women and their children up to age 5. In order to be eligible you must be considered a nutrition risk by a health care professional, or require a special diet.

To be eligible for WIC you must also be of low income, meeting the income requirements. To apply you must set up an appointment with your local WIC office. You can use this South Dakota WIC locator to find the location closest to you. To learn more about WIC, visit the South Dakota WIC webpage.

South Dakota School Breakfast and Lunch Program

The South Dakota School Breakfast and Lunch Program provides free or low cost breakfasts’ and lunches to under privileged school children. Your families income and household size decide if the meals or free or reduced in price.

To be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements. To learn more visit the South Dakota School Nutrition webpage.

South Dakota Food Banks

If you and your family are faced with hunger, there are several food banks located throughout South Dakota. The food offers is free of charge and nutritious. To find a food bank in your area, check out this list of South Dakota food banks.

Medical Assistance in South Dakota

Medical costs are consistently soaring, making it essential for the low income to have health coverage. If you are of low income you can qualify for Medicaid in South Dakota.

South Dakota Medical Assistance for Low Income Families (LIF)

The South Dakota Medical Assistance for Low Income Families program is the name for the Medicaid program in South Dakota. This program provides free health care services to low income families in South Dakota. It covers the cost of a variety of health related services including:

  • doctor’s visits
  • prescription drugs
  • lab tests and X-rays ordered by doctors
  • hospital care
  • eye care
  • dental care
  • treatments
  • vaccination
  • MRI’s

The eligibility is based on your income in relation to the number of people living in your household. You must either be pregnant or have a child under the age of 19 to be eligible for this program. Depending on you and your family’s specific situation, not all services will always be covered, or some services might require you to pay a portion of the costs. To learn more about the South Dakota Medical Assistance LIF Program and to apply, visit

South Dakota Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

The South Dakota SCHIP program provides health benefits to children who do not qualify under any other health plan. SCHIP covers all the services as the LIF program including mental health care.

The income levels required to qualify are lower then the South Dakota LIF Program (Medicaid), making it easier to qualify. To learn more about the program, and to apply, check to the South Dakota Healthy Children webpage.

Child Care Assistance

Child care costs are always on the rise making it difficult for low income single parents and families to afford child care. Fortunately, there are assistance programs that help with the costs.

South Dakota Child Care Assistance Program

The South Dakota Child Care Assistance Program will help low income families pay for the costs of child care. This program will pay a portion to your child care provider with you paying the remaining portion with a co-payment.

To receive the assistance you must either be working or attending school. To learn more and to apply visit South Dakota Child Care webpage.

South Dakota Head Start Program

The South Dakota Head Start Program provides child care and assist young children from the ages of 0-5 to enhance the social and behavioural skills in preparation for school. In order to be eligible for this program you must be of low income, meeting the low income requirements. Check out the South Dakota Head Start website to learn more and to apply.

Housing and Rental Assistance Programs in South Dakota

Housing and rental costs are on the rise making it difficult for low income families to keep up with their housing or rent payments. Fortunately, there are numerous assistance programs available.

South Dakota Low Income Public Housing Program

The South Dakota Low Income Public Housing Program provides low income residents with greatly reduced rent payments in housing arrangements owned by the Public Housing Agencies. Most of the time you will be placed in an apartment, however it can sometimes involve condos. Basically, the housing authorities receive funding from the state, who then use the funds to provide low income residents with very low rent payments in safe and sanitary living conditions. To be eligible you must be of low income, usually ranging between 50% – 80% of the average income in the area you live, however this is just a guideline.

To apply you must get in contact with your local Housing Agency. You can use this list of South Dakota Housing Agencies to find the agency nearest you. An appointment will be made where you will discuss your income and current situation. To learn more and to apply, visit the South Dakota Housing Program webpage.

South Dakota Housing Choice Voucher Program

The South Dakota Housing Choice Voucher program is somewhat similar to the above program, however with this program you receive reduced rent payments in housing of your own choice. Unlike the Low Income Public Housing Program, this program actually allows you to choose your own living place anywhere you want. It can be difficult locating a well priced apartment that is large enough in size, so this program enables you to afford high quality, affordable apartments. Once you have chosen your home, the Housing Agency provides a ‘voucher’ to your landlord which covers a portion of your rent payments. You will only pay a portion of your total rent payment, usually covering approximately 30-40% of the total rent cost depending on your income.

To be eligible for this program you must also be considered low income or very low income. You must get in contact with your local Housing Agency and set up an appointment to discuss your finances and to apply.

South Dakota Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)

The South Dakota LIEAP program provides financial assistance to low income South Dakota Households to help pay for their heating bills. LIEAP will make the payments directly to your energy supplier. The maximum amount that will be paid is 70% of the heating cost. Your income and household size determine the amount that is paid.

In order to qualify you must be of low income, meeting the income requirements. To learn more and to apply, visit the South Dakota LIEAP webpage.

South Dakota Affordable Apartment Search

You can use thisuseful affordable apartment search tool to help you locate well priced apartments in your area of South Dakota.

South Dakota Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

The South Dakota WAP program helps to make households more energy efficient, thus resulting in lower heating and cooling bills. The program will perform a variety of services such as checking windows for air leaks, adding insulation, repairing heating units and more.

To be eligible you must meet the low income requirements. To learn more and to apply, visit the South Dakota WAP webpage

South Dakota First Time Home Buyer Programs

The South Dakota Housing Development Authority offers programs designed for those looking to purchase their first home. The programs offer down payment and closing cost assistance, and help lock down the best mortgage rates. To learn more and find out how to apply to a first time home buyer program in your area visit the South Dakota Housing Development First Time Home Buyer website.

Transportation Assistance in South Dakota

Transportation costs can be expensive, especially for those who do not own a vehicle as taxi fares can be quite expensive. There are cheaper alternatives to taxis, and you can even receive free medical transportation if enrolled in Medicaid.

Title XIX Non Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)

The Title XIX NEMT program provides rides to an from any doctors appointments, tests etc if you are enrolled in Medicaid. With these program you will be reimbursed for any medical costs as well as lodging and meals if you have to travel 150 miles outside your location. To learn more visit the South Dakota NEMT webpage.

Uber/Lyft

Uber and Lyft are two intuitive driving services that work like a taxi service, however ordinary people drive you where you need to go in their own vehicles. These services are cheaper then taking taxi’s saving you good money over time. Check out uber.com and lyft.com to learn more.

Legal Assistance in South Dakota

Legal costs are very expensive making it very hard for the low income to receive any legal help that they might need. Fortunately, you can find free/discounted legal assistance in South Dakota.

South Dakota Plains Legal Services

The South Dakota Plains Legal Service provides legal assistance to low income residents of South Dakota. This service will offer legal assistance in many areas such as family law, consumer/finance law, health, housing and more. To learn more and to apply visit the South Dakota Plains Legal Services website.

South Dakota offers many beneficial assistance programs to help the low income residents of South Dakota. If you are of low income do not hesitate to apply for any of the programs you feel will best assist you.

Links and Resources

South Dakota Benefits Page

South Dakota Housing and Rental Assistance Resource

SouthDakota.Gov

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