South Dakota Food Stamps Application Information

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 16 percent of South Dakota residents live below the federal poverty level. However, the state organizes several programs meant to help families that are struggling financially. One such program which is also one of the largest is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP provides monthly allotments so participating individuals can afford to buy healthy food. SNAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture but administered by South Dakota's Department of Social Services.

In South Dakota, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)benefits are only issued and redeemed using Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT). This is a plastic debit card responsible for the electronic disbursement of benefits and payments to beneficiaries, providers or vendors of SNAP. This electronic technology includes government debit cards, prepaid debit cards and direct deposit. Electronic distribution ensures convenient, rapid and secure transfer of both information and payments.

However, only authorized food items may be purchased with an EBT card. Food that can be bought using the EBT card include:

  • Items that carry a nutrition facts label
  • Bread and cereals
  • Groceries
  • Meats, fish, poultry
  • Dairy products
  • Seeds and plants which produce food for you and your household
  • Group Dining - At home Senior Meals (if you are elderly)

However, there are some items that are not authorized to be purchased. Such items include:

  • Items that carry a supplement facts label
  • Alcohol, cigarettes or tobacco
  • Soaps and paper products
  • Household supplies
  • Vitamins and medicines
  • Pet food
  • Medication
  • Personal effects such as grooming items, toothpaste and cosmetics
  • Food ready to be eaten in the store, or hot foods prepared to eat immediately

Details on the EBT card can be found here:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Services website explains in details what food items can be purchased with food stamp benefits and what items cannot be purchased.

Eligibility Requirements

Before receiving SNAP benefits in South Dakota, you must meet SNAP's income limits. The requirement states that families must not exceed two sets of monthly income limits, gross and net. Gross income is the total of all income earned by the entire household, while net is the amount remaining after deductions. If your household includes any members who are disabled or over 60 years of age, you only need to meet the net income limit. Gross and net income limits are based on the recommended federal poverty guidelines. At present the gross monthly income should not exceed 130 % of the federal poverty level, and net income should not be more than 100 %.

A household cannot hold more than a certain amount of financial assets and still qualify for SNAP. Countable assets include stocks, bonds, cash at hand and in bank accounts, excess vehicles and real estate. As of now, the resource limit for SNAP is $2,000. However, this amount is raised to $3,000 for households with elderly or disabled members.

South Dakota mandates that healthy SNAP beneficiaries participate in work or school related activities in order to keep their benefits. You must participate in any one or a combination of the following activities as a condition of their SNAP eligibility:

  • Secondary Education
  • Job Search / Job Club / Job Readiness
  • Community Service
  • On-the-Job Training
  • Employment

Mandatory applicants requirements include:

  • Adults aged between 18 years and 59 years who are not receiving unemployment insurance or SSI
  • Working 30 hours or less per week
  • Must not be a parent or guardian to a child less than six years old
  • On-the-Job Training
  • Healthy

Exempted participants include:

  • Children below 18 years old
  • Adults above 60 years old

Parent/guardian of child below six years old

  • Unemployment insurance applicant or recipient
  • Persons working more than 30 hours per week at federal minimum wage
  • Caregiver of a person with disabilities
  • Persons with health issues that affects their ability to participate
  • Pregnant woman after their third month of pregnancy

South Dakota counties require non-exempt SNAP recipient's to take part in community service or engage in on-job training if they are not in already school or sufficiently employed.

Reporting Changes that Affect Eligibility

All SNAP participants must report any increase in their monthly gross income. Income brackets can be found on notices in your local agency or by calling your Benefits Specialist. The income increase must be reported by the 10th day of the month, following the month the income exceeds the maximum.

SNAP beneficiaries are required to complete a review process after every 12 months. Most recertification and report forms will be mailed to you. You may not be required to report any other changes, but they may choose to report changes such as:

  • Addition of a household member and their income
  • Increase in other household expenses, such as shelter costs, daycare costs, etc.

Food Stamps Application Instructions

The following documentation will be required during the application process and interview:

  • Proof of identity (driver's license, etc.), alien status
  • Social Security numbers for all household members
  • Proof of income - If employed -pay stubs or earning statements for the past 30 days
    If self-employed- income tax return or self-employment ledgers
  • Proof of any other income (Social Security, SSI, workmen's compensation, unemployment benefits, BIA general assistance, child support, rental income, VA benefits, interest income for last year, etc.)
  • Current bank statements for checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, credit union accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, dividends, etc.
  • Utility Bills (rent or mortgage payment, lot rent, household, real estate taxes, electricity, water/sewage/garbage, telephone, etc.)
  • Proof of dependent care expenses e.g. statement from provider, signed receipts, etc.
  • Proof of medical expenses not paid by another source e.g. health insurance, doctor bills, hospital bills, drug receipts, pharmacy statement, etc for anyone aged 60 or older, or permanently disabled
  • Proof of obligation and payment, if paying child support payments (divorce decree/administrative order, cancelled checks, clerk of courts receipt, etc.)

Walk in/Mail Application

South Dakota residents who are interested in applying for SNAP must complete an application and return it to their local Department of Social Services office. The DSS office prefers applicants to return their paperwork in person, as an interview is also part of the application process. You can opt to return the form by mail or through an authorized representative.

Online Application

Starting 2011, South Dakota stopped offering online applications. However, you can download, print, fill and mail the application form from the DSS website: