FI (Family Independence) TANF benefits in South Carolina.

How to get Family Independence (FI) TANF in South Carolina 

South Carolina will assist needy families with financial resources for a temporary time so that families can avoid dire economic hardship in their lives. It offers a program called "Family Independence" (FI) which operates similar to the general welfare TANF offered in many other states. The benefit is designed to assist families for a temporary time with cash money to allow the recipients to grasp a more secure financial foundation in their lives. This will allow families with small children in poverty to be able to pay their bills, avoid foreclosures, repossessions, and engage in the local economy around them. The South Carolina TANF program (FI) helps all recipients with finding employment.

Unlike popular rumored beliefs, the South Carolina Family Independence program has very strict criteria that the recipients must all meet. They must be citizens of the United States, have small children, be in the care of a disabled or elderly person, and sometimes must be free from felony convictions. There is often a time limit placed on families without children however, as the benefit is designed to be for a temporary time only, and not intended to support people forever.

Apply for Family Independence in South Carolina

The application process for FI in South Carolina is very detailed, but with the proper preparation any applicant can easily complete a paper or online application form. The applicant should gather birth certificates, pay stubs, bills, a bank statement, and mortgage information prior to completing the application to assist them during the application questions. There will be detailed questions asked about the citizenship of each person in the home, income levels, and information about any source of income from each person in the home.

The applicant must make sure to complete all information accurately and legibly on the South Carolina paper application form so that the DSS agent can be able to transfer the information into their computer systems. Please remember that the cash benefits are awarded based on a scale that measures income levels against the ages and the amount of people in the home. Sometimes an applicant will purposely falsify information in order to get a greater amount of FI benefits. This is actually a crime and can result in the applicant being banned from the FI benefits for life. On occasion, it has resulted in the prosecution of the person committing the fraud. Common errors and simple mistakes are not treated as gratuitous falsification on the application. Often they just delay the application processing time.

South Carolina Family Independence Interview

When the Family Independence application is completed, the applicant will submit it to a South Carolina DSS (Department of Social Services) office. The agents will review the application and check if the applicant falls within the financial range to be approved for the benefits. If so, the agent will assign an interview time for the applicant. At this interview, the applicant will need to bring identification and various other bills and income information to verify the information presented in the application. Usually the questions asked by the agent are in review of the application, but sometimes they may need more emphasis on certain answers. The applicant should answer all questions truthfully and to the best of their ability.

Once approved, the recipient will receive and EBT card in the mail from the DSS. This card will allow the recipient of the South Carolina TANF Family Independence program to make debit transactions, cash withdraws, and to pay bills as if it were a debit card. The benefits will be reloaded on an assigned date by the DSS on a monthly basis. If the recipient exhausts their benefits prior to the date of reloading, they will have to wait until the assigned date for their benefits to be refreshed.

Please remember that there are many people applying for Family Independence in South Carolina at this time. There may be long lines at the DSS office. It can be a frustrating process to apply for the TANF benefits, so please allow patience and plenty of time to get everything correctly in order. The Family Independence program is funded by the United States government and regulated through the South Carolina DSS.

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