Frequently Asked Questions

My family is in need of serious financial help. Is there temporary assistance available?

South Dakota Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a temporary public assistance program administered by the Department of Social Services and the Department of Labor and Regulation. The main focus of the TANF Work Program is to help families to help themselves move from welfare to work by:

  • promoting family responsibility and accountability and
  • encouraging self-sufficiency through work.
  • More…

How do I apply for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program?

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) application process has two components:

  1. The work component is handled by employment specialists at Department of Social Services (DSS) offices in reservation areas or Department of Labor and Regulation (DRL) Career Centers.

  2. The eligibility component is handled by caseworkers at local DSS offices.

TANF is a work program. You begin the application process with an employment specialist, unless you are not required to work.
Learn more about applying for the program.

Do I have to cooperate with Child Support to receive temporary assistance?

If you are not receiving assistance, you can apply for child support services by contacting any Division of Child Support (DCS) office or by calling (605) 773-3641. You will have to fill out an application and pay a $5 fee. More…

If I am receiving temporary assistance for myself and children, what work participation requirements must I meet to continue to receive temporary assistance?

TANF participants are required to work in allowable work activities a minimum of 30 hours each week. If you have a child under six years old, your weekly minimum requirement is 20 hours. More…

How long can I receive TANF benefits?

If you are a parent receiving TANF benefits for your own children, you must submit a report every month and show proof of your earnings to your DSS benefits specialist. More…

Is there a program available that provides medical assistance to needy families?

Low-income South Dakota families with or without private health insurance may be eligible for Medical Assistance for Low-Income Families (LIF). Medical coverage may begin three months prior to applying for the program. More…