New way to apply for SC Child Care assistance
Applying for child care financial assistance in South Carolina just became easier for families as the Department of Social Services (DSS) is excited to launch the SC Voucher online application portal. This online service now allows families to apply for child care financial assistance online on DSS’ SC Child Care website.
The portal provides several benefits for families. Along with applying for the program online, individuals can securely upload supporting documents such as pay statements, school and training verifications, and proof of disability income. After applying, individuals can log into the portal 24/7 to track the status of their application. They will also receive email notifications when their application has been submitted and approved, or when more information is needed.
“DSS is meeting our customers and clients where they are, when they need assistance and working to cut red tape and processing times. The new portal is a simpler, more streamlined process of applying for child care financial assistance that eliminates the task of emailing a completed application to SC Voucher and waiting for a phone call or letter in the mail for the next steps,” says DSS State Director Michael Leach.
“Families can gain a sense of relief knowing that everything pertaining to their SC Voucher application can be accessed through the portal at the client’s convenience.” “We are so excited about the deployment of the SC Voucher Program benefits portal,” says SC Voucher Program Manager Christi Jeffcoat. “This is an exciting step forward for our clients and staff and will improve the efficiency of the SC Voucher Program application process tremendously.”
Instructions on how to apply for the SC Voucher program are found at https://benefitsportal.dss.sc.gov
The portal applies to new clients looking for child care assistance. SC Voucher payments are made directly to child care providers on behalf of eligible children, so parents can work or attend school or training. In response to the COVID-19 health emergency, the program increased its income limit in 2020 to 300% of the poverty level so more families could be approved. Currently, more than 36,000 children are receiving quality child care because of the SC Voucher program.
SC Voucher payments are only accepted by programs participating in ABC Quality, South Carolina’s rating and improvement system for child care and early education. Currently, there are 1,218 child care programs enrolled in ABC Quality.