While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the LIHEAP program and compiled a guide and the following answers to frequently asked questions. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing useful information on the process.
Table of Contents
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides financial assistance to low-income families. The goal of TANF is to help families become financially self-sufficient. States and U.S. Territories receive block grants from the federal government, which are used to fund each state and territory’s specific TANF program.
Learn more about the TANF program and its primary purposes here.
In South Dakota, the TANF program is known by its federal name Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). To learn more about TANF and the assistance benefits it provides, visit the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) website here.
Temporary Assistance for Families in South Dakota (TANF) provides temporary assistance to financially support families in need. The TANF program also provides eligible families with work preparation services to help them re-enter the workforce or find more stable employment.
For more information on the services the TANF program provides to participating families, review the South Dakota TANF PDF found here.
TANF and Food Assistance are both assistance programs administered by the South Dakota Department of Social Services. While Food Assistance benefits can only be used to purchase foods that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, TANF benefits are money that can be used however the participant sees fit, with some restrictions.
To learn more about the restrictions on TANF expenditures, visit the TANF card FAQ PDF here.
Both TANF and Food Assistance benefits can be given to participants on an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. However, TANF benefits can be transferred directly into a participant’s bank account or withdrawn from an approved ATM. Food Assistance benefits cannot.
Many TANF participants also qualify for Food Assistance due to the low-income requirement of both programs. For more information about Food Assistance, click here.
To apply for Food Assistance and/or TANF, visit the South Dakota Benefit Portal here.
If you have questions about TANF or Food Assistance, call the Department of Social Services at 1 (877) 999-5612.
The exact benefit amount a family will receive each month will depend on their household income, size and resources.
For example, eligible families of 4 in an independent living situation can receive a maximum of $680 per month. Families can receive these benefits for up to 60 months throughout their lifetime.
Learn more information about TANF and benefit amounts in South Dakota here.
To qualify for TANF in South Dakota, you must meet the following requirements:
Learn more about income requirements, click here and to learn more about work and training requirements, click here.
Caretakers of children who cannot be taken care of by their immediate family may also qualify for benefits under the Caretaker Relative Grant or Child-Only TANF Grant. This grant takes into consideration the situation of emergency caregivers and will only count the resources and the income of the child (if any) and not those of the caretaker.
To learn more about who can receive TANF benefits, click here.
Before you apply for Temporary Assistance for Families in South Dakota, complete the following three steps:
Learn about the TANF eligibility requirements here.
Find a list of what you need to apply on the South Dakota Department of Social Services website here.
In South Dakota, the TANF program is a work program, so the application process begins with meeting an employment specialist at a Department of Social Services (DSS) office and creating a Personal Responsibility Plan (PRP). Once your PRP is complete, you will sign a Personal Responsibility Agreement (PRA) with the department to receive TANF benefits under their rules and regulations.
To apply for TANF in person, click here to locate the DSS office closest to you.
If you have any further questions about the application process, call the South Dakota Department of Social Services at (605) 773-4678.
To help prepare with your meeting with an employment specialist, learn more about what a Personal Responsibility Plan entails here.
You can also learn more about the requirements outlined in a Personal Responsibility Agreement here.
After applying for TANF, you can check on your application status with the employment specialist in charge of your case. To contact your specialist at your local Department of Social Services office clicks here.
After applying for TANF, you will receive a notice in the mail from the Department of Social Services within 30 days of receiving your application with your determination, your benefit amount and how you will be receiving the benefits, if you are eligible.
If you have a valid bank account listed on your application, your TANF benefits will be deposited within 14 days of when you receive your determination letter. Otherwise, you will receive an EBT card in the mail within 14 days.
Once you receive your benefits, you can use them to support your family as you see fit, while following the restrictions.
Note that if you receive an EBT card, which is called the Way2Go card in South Carolina, you will only be allowed to purchase items at stores that display the Quest Logo, and you can only withdraw cash from ATMs that display the Quest Logo.
Learn more information about how to use your EBT card and how benefits will be distributed here.
You can also learn more about your Way2Go card on the FAQ page here.
If you require additional assistance or have questions about your determination call your local DSS office here.
If you do not agree with the benefit decision given to you by the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS), you can appeal your decision in person or by mail within the period specified on your determination letter.
To file an appeal for a Fair Hearing by mail or email, you will need to write a letter that includes the following information:
You must also enclose a copy of your determination letter when filing an appeal by mail or email.
After writing your request letter, you can send it by mail to the following address:
Department of Social Services
Office of Administrative Hearings
700 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501
To email your request letter, use this address: email@example.com.
You can also request a Fair Hearing by phone by calling (605) 773-6851. Remember to have all the information you would have written in your request letter on hand and be sure to have your determination letter as well.
Finally, you can appeal your decision by speaking with your employment specialist at your local DSS office here.
For more information about the Fair Hearing process, click here.
For help with obtaining Temporary Assistance for Families in South Dakota, or for any further questions about your application, call the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) at (605) 773-4678.
To send the South Dakota Department of Social Services information physically, you can fax your documents or questions to (605) 773-7183.
You can also visit or call a local DSS Office for further assistance. Find your nearest location here.
If you have any questions concerning your EBT/Way2Go hard, call (605) 773-6527.
Offices and services are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and compiled a guide and these answers to frequently asked questions. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing useful information on the process.
Our free TANF Guide is filled with helpful information about how to apply, program eligibility requirements and how to get in touch with local offices. You can view or download our free guide here.