Food Stamps Schedule: South Carolina Payment Dates for December and Where To Get SNAP Discounts

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South Carolina residents who qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will receive their payments on the normal monthly schedule in December. As usual, payments will be distributed in two separate batches, depending on when you first started receiving benefits.

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SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program that provides food-purchasing assistance to low-income households. Although it is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the program is administered at the state level. In South Carolina, it is run by the Department of Social Services (DSS), which deposits monthly benefits onto South Carolina Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards.

To apply for SNAP online in the Palmetto State, visit the DSS Benefits Portal. To apply in person, by mail or fax, contact any DSS county office. To check whether you are potentially eligible for SNAP benefits, select “Am I Eligible” on the DSS Benefits Portal.

EBT cards can be used at most grocery stores and certain other retail locations. You can use SNAP benefits to purchase the following food items:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, poultry and fish
  • Dairy products
  • Breads and cereals
  • Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat.
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Among the items you can’t buy with SNAP benefits are alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, vitamins, medicines, supplements, live animals, pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products and cosmetics. In South Carolina, you also can’t use your EBT card to buy hot meals prepared at the point of sale because it is not among the states that participate in SNAP’s Restaurant Meals Program.

How To Score EBT Discounts

SNAP benefits in South Carolina and elsewhere also come with perks that go beyond purchasing food — including discounts on certain products and services. Here’s a quick look at money-saving opportunities your EBT card provides:

  • Amazon Prime discount: Recipients of SNAP and SNAP EBT Cash benefits (or Medicaid benefits) can qualify to save 50% off their Prime memberships. To see if you qualify, visit amazon.com/prime/qualify.
  • Museum discounts: Those receiving SNAP benefits can get free or reduced admission to more than 850 museum and arts groups throughout the U.S., including through the Museums for All program. According to the Food Stamps Now website, museums in South Carolina that offer free or discounted admission for SNAP recipients include the Upcountry History Museum at Furman University; the Carolina Music Museum in Greenville; The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, which has branches in Greenville and Spartanburg; the EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia; The Sandbox Interactive Children’s Museum in Hilton Head; and the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry in Charleston.
  • Farmer’s markets: You can also use your SNAP EBT card at participating farmers’ markets to purchase fresh produce. The USDA’s Food Nutrition Service provides a monthly list of the names and locations of markets across the country that are currently authorized to accept SNAP benefits.
  • Lifeline Program: If you are a SNAP recipient and your income is below a certain level, you might qualify for free or low-cost landline or cell phone service through the Federal Lifeline Program. You might also get discounted internet service. Consult with your provider to see if it offers the program.

See: How Food Stamps and TANF Differ — And Can You Qualify for Both?
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If you filed a new SNAP application, benefits are available the day following your case approval. For an ongoing SNAP case, benefits are sent out on the same day every month — between the 1st and the 19th. The day you receive your SNAP benefits depends on the last digit of your case number.

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Accordingly, South Carolina has two different SNAP schedules. If you started receiving benefits after Sept. 1, 2012, this is when to expect your December 2022 deposit:

Case # ends in:Benefits available:
1Dec. 11th
2Dec. 2nd
3Dec. 13th
4Dec. 4th
5Dec. 15th
6Dec. 6th
7Dec. 17th
8Dec. 8th
9Dec. 19th
0Dec. 10th

If you started receiving SNAP benefits continuously before Sept. 1, 2012, here is the schedule for December 2022:

Case # ends in:Benefits available:
1Dec. 1st
2Dec. 2nd
3Dec. 3rd
4Dec. 4th
5Dec. 5th
6Dec. 6th
7Dec. 7th
8Dec. 8th
9Dec. 9th
0Dec. 10th

All SNAP recipients, including those signed up for benefits in North Carolina, have received a financial boost thanks to a major cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for fiscal year 2023. The new COLA kicked off on Oct. 1, 2022, and upping the maximum monthly benefit by 12.5%.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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