South Dakota is located in the midwestern region of the United States. With a population of approximately 900,000 people, it is one of the least populous states in the country. It is true that South Dakota has a lower cost of living than many other states in the US but many residents still struggle with financial insecurity and need assistance to meet their basic needs.
Fortunately, several programs and grants are available to help low-income individuals, seniors and families in South Dakota.
In this article, low-income people, veterans and seniors residing in South Dakota can find a comprehensive overview of the various programs and grants available to them. This guide provides a roadmap to navigate the different options available to those facing financial difficulties or in need of assistance to make ends meet. Let’s dive in and explore the different types of assistance programs available in South Dakota
Financial and Cash Assistance
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federal program that provides financial assistance to low-income families with children. Eligible families may receive cash assistance as well as job training and education assistance. A child under the age of 18 must be cared for by the applicant, and the applicant must meet certain income and asset requirements. For more information, visit the South Dakota Department of Social Services website: https://dss.sd.gov/economicassistance/tanf.aspx.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides assistance with home heating and cooling costs to eligible low-income households. The service is available once per year and is based on income, household size and other factors. Find out more information at https://dss.sd.gov/economicassistance/liheap.aspx.
Housing and Rent Assistance
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program assists low-income families, elderly and disabled individuals in obtaining affordable housing. The program provides rental assistance to eligible participants, who are free to choose any housing that meets the program’s requirements. For further information and to apply, please go to https://www.hud.gov/states/south_dakota/renting.
Medicaid is a federal and state-funded health insurance program that provides free or low-cost healthcare to eligible low-income individuals, families, children, veterans and people with disabilities. The program covers a wide range of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital care, prescription drugs and more. Eligibility for Medicaid is based on income, household size and other factors. To apply for Medicaid, please go to https://dss.sd.gov/medicaid/.
South Dakota State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) offers financial assistance to health professionals who agree to work in underserved areas of South Dakota. The program helps repay educational loans in exchange for a commitment to work for a certain period of time in a designated area. South Dakota State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) is open to a wide range of health professionals, including physicians, dentists and mental health professionals. To learn more about the program and how to apply, visit https://doh.sd.gov/providers/ruralhealth/recruitment/SLRP.
Utility Bill Assistance
Xcel Energy is a utility company that provides electricity and natural gas services to customers in eight states, including South Dakota. Their Energy Assistance Program and Cold Weather Rule help low-income customers pay their bills. Additionally, they have implemented initiatives to promote renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions. Customers can access their account information and make payments online through Xcel Energy’s website. https://my.xcelenergy.com/s/
Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is a federally funded program that offers financial assistance to low-income households to help them with their energy bills. The program provides one-time payments to eligible families, which are based on income, household size and other factors. These elements and the quantity of cash are available influence how much support is provided. Find out more information at https://dss.sd.gov/economicassistance/energyassistance/lowincome.aspx.
Food and Nutrition Assistance
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program that helps low-income individuals and families in South Dakota with their nutritional needs. Those who qualify are given an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that may be used at participating stores to buy approved food products. Eligibility for SNAP is based on income, household size and other factors. To apply for SNAP in South Dakota, please visit https://dss.sd.gov/economicassistance/snap/.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides healthy foods, nutrition education and support services to pregnant women, new mothers and young children who are at nutritional risk. Eligibility for WIC is based on income, residency and nutritional risk. Recipients get a WIC EBT card that may be used at participating stores to buy nutritious items. To see more information, please follow the link https://doh.sd.gov/family/wic/.
Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) offers funding to support transportation services that help low-income individuals, veterans and seniors access employment opportunities. The program supports a variety of transportation services, such as vanpools, buses and other forms of public transportation. Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) is administered by the South Dakota Department of Transportation and interested individuals can contact their local transit provider to learn more about available services. Find out more information at https://www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/grant-programs/job-access-and-reverse-commute-program-5316.
Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) is a program offered by the South Dakota Department of Social Services to eligible low-income persons who require transportation to medical appointments. The program provides free or low-cost transportation to and from medical appointments that are covered by Medicaid. Eligible individuals include Medicaid recipients, pregnant women, children and individuals with disabilities. Low-income persons must first be registered in Medicaid and have a medical visit booked before applying for NEMT. To obtain NEMT, contact the South Dakota Department of Social Services or the transportation provider directly. To see more information, please follow the link https://dss.sd.gov/medicaid/recipients/title19transportation.aspx.
Education and Training Assistance
South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship provides financial assistance to eligible high school graduates in South Dakota who plan to attend a college or university in the state. The scholarship is awarded based on academic achievement, leadership skills and other factors. To learn more about the Opportunity Scholarship and how to apply, please visit https://sdos.sdbor.edu/Pages/default.aspx.
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) offers job training and employment services to low-income individuals in South Dakota. Services include skills assessments, job search assistance, on-the-job training and more. Eligibility is based on income, unemployment status and other factors. See the details at https://dlr.sd.gov/workforce_services/wioa/default.aspx.