Money Assistance South Dakota

With 14.2 percent of state residents considered to be living in poverty, South Dakota ranks at number 23 for poverty levels across the country. An estimated 18.6 percent of children are living at or below the national poverty level in South Dakota, according to Poverty USA. Unemployment and low-paying jobs contribute to the poverty level, making it difficult for many families to pay for their basic necessities. Fortunately, South Dakota has plenty of resources available for families and individuals who are struggling to make ends meet.

Assistance with Utilities: Low-income families in South Dakota may qualify for assistance with their heating bill through their Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP). The program helps families weatherize their home to lower monthly bills and may even offer financial assistance to help reduce the cost. To qualify, a family of four must make less than $10,434 in a three-month period. If you are facing an emergency situation (broken heater or immediate threat of shut off) you may qualify for help through the Energy Crisis Intervention Program.

Food Assistance: South Dakota residents can apply for assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. This program provides income-based stipends on a monthly basis to help offset the cost of food for low-income families. You can apply for the program through the Economic Assistance website. In addition, pregnant women or women with small children can apply for benefits through the Women, Infant, and Children program. The program provides checks that can be used to purchase approved foods.

Rent and Mortgage: If you are concerned about foreclosure or eviction from your home, you can apply for emergency assistance with your rent through the Department of Human Services. The Department of Housing and Urban Development also offers some emergency assistance. Low-income families may also qualify for Section 8 Housing through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. These units offer lower rent for qualified families.

Low Income Loans: One issue for low income earners or those with minimal discretionary income is qualifying for unsecure loans. Many feel that expensive payday loans and the like are their only option for obtaining cash. This is far from the truth and it’s a matter of knowing what’s actually available. Learn about responsibly lending options in our low interest low income loans section.

Medical Assistance: South Dakota residents may qualify for medical assistance through the state Medicaid program. The program provides free health insurance coverage to qualified individuals and families. If your family doesn’t qualify for Medicaid based on your finances, you may still be able to get low-cost insurance for your children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Educational Assistance: Students from low-income families may qualify for free college money through the Federal Pell Grant Program. The program provides a stipend for college students attend full-time. In addition, parents with small children may qualify for help through the Head Start program which offers free, early-education options for at risk children. If you are willing to serve your country for 6 years, you could get your entire college education paid for through the South Dakota National Guard education program. Students must agree to serve in the National Guard while attending school, plus an additional two years following graduation.

Community Action Centers: Residents can get more help through various community action centers throughout South Dakota including the Western South Dakota Community Action Center. The action centers offer easy access to public assistance, free classes and job preparation resources. Community Action centers can be found in most communities throughout the state.

Charities: According to Wallet Hub, South Dakota ranked as the second most giving state in the country, second only to Utah! This is great news if you are in need of assistance as there are plenty of resources available. You can search for specific charities here.


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