The Department of Social Services (DSS) is rolling out significant South Carolina SNAP changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) starting September 1. These South Carolina SNAP changes will primarily target recipients between the ages of 18 and 50 who are categorized as able-bodied adults without dependents.
South Carolina SNAP Changes
The key amendment of South Carolina SNAP changes revolves around employment requirements, a published article reported. Those in this age group who do not work or volunteer for at least 20 hours per week may find their SNAP benefits at risk.
According to DSS, approximately 29,000 people in South Carolina fall into this category and will undergo screening beginning on September 1.
To be more precise, an able-bodied individual without dependents must commit to working 20 hours a week or a total of 80 hours a month to continue receiving SNAP benefits.
Failure to meet these requirements could result in benefits being limited to three months, and individuals will be prohibited from applying for SNAP assistance for 36 months within a three-month period.
Negative Impacts of South Carolina SNAP Changes
Advocates for those with low incomes have expressed concerns about the potential negative impact of the South Carolina SNAP changes, particularly in rural areas and economically disadvantaged counties.
Sue Berkowitz of S.C. Appleseed Legal Justice has criticized South Carolina SNAP changes, stating, “We should be making it easier because starving someone isn’t going to make a job easier to come by. It’s just gonna make them starve.”
However, DSS has stated that there will be exemptions to these new rules of South Carolina SNAP changes, including veterans, pregnant women, and others. The complete list of exemptions encompasses:
- People are medically certified as physically or mentally unfit for employment
- Recipients living in a SNAP household with a minor
- Pregnant women
- Homeless individuals
- Recipients who are 24 or younger and aged out of foster care
These South Carolina SNAP changes will extend to people ages 51 and 52 starting October 1.