If a family has a very low income, they can get help from the Department of Social Services. This help is only for a short time though. Any assistance given is also accompanied by longer term support, such as referrals to One Stop job centers and educational support. However, residents who meet the qualifications may be able to enroll in the SNAP food stamps program or receive emergency utility bill assistance from LIHEAP.
The main resources for rental assistance and subsidies for the nation and counties is section 8. This program provides financial assistance to people who are at risk of becoming homeless, although there is a waiting list to receive this assistance in Horry County and throughout South Carolina. While funding is limited and the demand for a voucher is very high, the county will try to help by referring clients to public housing authorities (PHA). This may also include other agencies that offer emergency rent help or funds from the ESG program.
There are two ways that low cost health and dental care can be provided. The first way is through Medicaid and the second way is through Medicare. The two main publicly funded medical assistance programs in the state are Medicaid and Medicare. There is help available to pay for medical appointments, prescription medications, and other necessary costs. This means that they are also an option for people who have disabilities or special conditions, such as blindness.
Some components of Medicaid include coverage for pregnant women, families with dependent children, or children and infants. Another option is South Carolina’s Healthy Choice for Children, which is for families with children who are at risk of poverty. There are certain requirements that must be met in order to use these things.
Food stamps are for people who have very little money. There is also help from the Department of Social Services in Horry County for residents that are facing poverty. They can apply for help from the department.
If you are a part of SNAP and have a low income, you will be helped with buying groceries and other nutritional items. The clients will get a card that is like an EBT card and they can use it at different stores in South Carolina and other places.
There are limits to how much money you can get from SNAP, as set by the federal government. The program will not cover the cost of already prepared meals, but the EBT card can be used to purchase raw ingredients like vegetables, fruits and meats. Additionally, there may be other benefits available for purchasing food, such as WIC, Summer Food Service, and similar public benefits.
Cash assistance that is part of TANF can be used for various expenses. This is a program that provides financial assistance to low-income families in South Carolina. The assistance can be used for housing (such as rent or a security deposit), clothing, medical bills (including medications), and other needs. The program has a time limit and participants must sign up for job placement and different self-sufficiency resources.
There are some non-profits in the area that offer other types of help, called general assistance. This can depend on government programs such as the Emergency Food and Shelter Program and many others. The Department of Social Services will typically have information on government benefits available to low-income families, but the amount of money available can vary from month to month or even week to week. This type of financial assistance can be used to cover expenses like rent, food, or overdue water bills, and may come with zero percent interest.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides grants for paying utility bills. This assistance is for families with very low incomes, with a priority on those who are disabled, seniors, and have very high energy bills. The utility company may either credit the account or Horry County DSS will issue funds to the company to pay for the client’s bill.
The county also has a LIHEAP Crisis or Emergency Assistance program. If you are about to be disconnected from your power company, this will help. The main advantage of this option is that the application process is simpler and faster, so Social Services will issue government funds more quickly.
Some financial assistance for child care may be available through the state of South Carolina and Horry County. If you are a parent with a low income and are working or in job training, you may be eligible for these programs. The company will pay for some of the daycare costs for the child, as long as the parent continues to work or stay in school.
This is a public assistance program that has a limited amount of time and is always in high demand, so there is a waiting list. The Horry County Department of Social Services will usually log the applicant on it, and then they will be contacted if/when funds or additional vouchers become available.
For more information on any of these services, please call the DSS office based in Fayetteville at (843) 915-4700.