Program DescriptionThe South Carolina Family Independence (FI) program provides time-limited assistance to needy families with dependent children when families cannot provide for their basic needs. The FI Program is designed to serve both single-parent and two-parent families, as well as households with disabled adults. The FI program provides parents or caretaker relatives with job preparation, work, and support services to enable them to leave the program and become self-reliant. It is the policy of the state of South Carolina that personal responsibility and parental responsibility must exist if citizens are to attain independence. The welfare system is based upon a reciprocal agreement between welfare recipients and taxpayers because it is to the benefit of the citizens of the state to transition recipients from welfare to work. The state will temporarily support needy parents by providing cash assistance if they will undertake appropriate steps to attain employment and self-reliance. Family Independence assists families to become economically independent, provides tools to achieve and maintain self-reliance, and deters abuse of the system through fair and meaningful sanctions.
General Program RequirementsLow income families with dependent children under the age of 18 and related to a caretaker within a specified degree, may be eligible for these services. Families must be residents of South Carolina, a U.S. citizen or qualified alien and must assist in pursuing child support from parents absent from the household. You must be willing to seek employment by participating in the up-front work program called JUMMP (Jobs Upfront Mean More Pay) prior to approval of the FI stipend. You must be willing to participate in the FI Work Program after the eligibility determination and continue to take steps to become self-reliant.
Your Next StepsThe following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.
Application ProcessTo apply for this program, please contact the local administering agency near you.
Applicants can either, apply online or complete, sign and return an application to the local Department of Social Services (DSS) office in the county of residence. Applications can be obtained from any county office or from the resource library on the DSS homepage; Form 3800.
Program Contact Information
For more information, please visit the South Carolina Family Independence program website or call 1-800-616-1309.