State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > South-carolina > Title-43 > Chapter-5

Title 43 - Social Services

CHAPTER 5.

PUBLIC AID, ASSISTANCE AND RELIEF GENERALLY

ARTICLE 1.

PUBLIC AID AND ASSISTANCE

SECTION 43-5-10. Implementation and administration of public welfare program; regulations.

The Department of Social Services shall be responsible for maintaining uniformity in the administration of public welfare throughout the State. The director shall be the only person authorized to determine and implement the policies of the department. The department shall issue regulations pursuant to Sections 1-23-10, et seq., whenever changes in federal laws and regulations supersede existing state statutes. In adopting regulations the department shall strive for clarity of language which may be readily understood by those administering aid and by those who apply for or receive aid.

SECTION 43-5-15. Applications for assistance; manner and form.

Applications for assistance under the provisions of this chapter shall be made as provided in this chapter and when no such provision has been made in accordance with the manner and form prescribed by the department.

SECTION 43-5-20. Payments to support needy child and eligible caretaker; counseling for recipient where aid not being used in best interests of child; appointment of protective payee.

(a) It is the intent of the General Assembly that all payments of aid to families with dependent children shall be utilized and managed in such manner as to support the needy child and his eligible caretaker. Such payments shall include current payments as well as any portion of past payments returned to a current or former recipient.

(b) Whenever the department has reason to believe that any payment of aid to dependent children is not being or may not be used in the best interests of the child, the department shall provide counseling to the recipient and shall provide that continued failure to so use such payments after counseling has begun may result in the appointment of a protective payee in accordance with Section 43-5-65.

SECTION 43-5-24. Provision of AFDC applicants with contraception and family planning information.

When an individual applies for assistance through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program, the Department of Social Services must provide the applicant with information on methods of contraception and family planning, excluding abortion counseling. The Department of Health and Environmental Control shall provide a brochure or some similar information packet on contraceptive methods and family planning to the Department of Social Services which the Department of Social Services can easily reproduce and distribute. Abortion must not be included in the brochure or information packet provided by the Department of Health and Environmental Control. If the applicant expresses an interest in scheduling an appointment with a local health department to obtain further information and counseling on contraceptive methods and family planning, the Department of Social Services shall assist the applicant in scheduling the appointment.

SECTION 43-5-25. Willful use of payment for purpose not in best interests of child; protective payee.

Any person, other than a needy child, who wilfully and knowingly receives or uses any part of a payment of aid to dependent children for a purpose other than in the best interest of the needy children and any eligible caretaker is deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than one year or both.

If such misuse occurs, a protective payee will be appointed in accordance with Section 43-5-65 to manage assistance funds intended for the otherwise eligible child.

SECTION 43-5-30. Overpayments and underpayments; recoupment or correction.

(a) If an overpayment or underpayment is made under the Family Independence Program, the department shall make every effort to correct payment. If the agency decides to terminate benefits to a client and payments are made pending an appeal of the agency's decision, these payments must be considered overpayment if the agency's decision is upheld.

(b) Overpayment means a financial assistance payment received which exceeds the amount for which the client was eligible. Underpayment means a financial assistance payment received which is less than the amount for which the client unit was eligible.

(c) The agency can recover an overpayment by:

(1) receiving a payment from the client or former client; or

(2) by reducing the amount of any future aid payable to the client. The adjustment in future aid shall not reduce the family's monthly income to less than ninety percent of the amount payable to a family of the same composition with no other income. If no payment is made for a month solely by reason of the recovery of an overpayment, that individual is still considered a recipient of assistance for that month for purposes of enrollment date.

(d) If an individual has received an overpayment and does not repay the agency and is no longer receiving aid so that future payments cannot be reduced, the agency shall make recovery by taking appropriate action under the laws of the State against the income or resources of the individual or family.

(e) Correction of underpayments of assistance must be made to current recipients and those who would be current recipients if the error causing the underpayment had not occurred. For the purposes of determining continued eligibility and amount of assistance, the retroactive corrective payments are not considered income or a resource in the month paid nor in the next following month.

SECTION 43-5-35. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-40. Unlawful publication or other use of records; penalty.

It is unlawful for a person to solicit, disclose, receive, make use of, authorize, knowingly permit, participate in, or acquiesce in the use of a list, name of, or any information concerning persons applying for or receiving public aid or assistance, directly or indirectly derived from the records, papers, files, or communications of the State or county departments of social services or acquired in the course of the performance of official duties, except for purposes directly connected with the administration of Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23 or of old age assistance, aid to the blind, aid to dependent children, or general relief and in accordance with the regulations of the department.

A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

SECTION 43-5-45. Notice by department of intended action.

The department shall provide timely and adequate notice in all cases of intended action to discontinue, terminate, suspend, or reduce an assistance grant except in those cases where adequate notice alone would be consistent with the requirements of state law or regulation.

"Timely notice" means notice which is mailed at least ten days before the intended change would be effective.

"Adequate notice" means notice which is mailed not later than the date of action.

Both timely and adequate notice shall include a statement of what action the agency intends to take, the reasons for the intended action, an explanation of the individual's right to request an administrative hearing on the propriety of the intended action and the circumstances under which assistance is continued if a hearing is requested.

SECTION 43-5-50. One-time grant in event assistance check lost, stolen or destroyed.

In the event that a recipient of aid to families with dependent children does not receive an assistance check, or if such check is lost, stolen, or destroyed after receipt but before it is cashed, the county office may authorize a one-time grant in the amount of the original check provided the recipient files an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, stating the facts of the loss, theft, destruction, or nonreceipt of the check and setting forth all material facts relative to its loss, theft, destruction, or nonreceipt. The affidavit shall further witness the recipient's understanding of his obligation, should the lost, stolen, destroyed, or nonreceived check come into his possession, to return such check immediately to the county office and that cashing or attempting to cash such check constitutes fraud.

SECTION 43-5-55. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-60. Assistance subject to future legislation; no claim against State.

All assistance granted under Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23 shall be deemed to be granted and to be held subject to the provisions of any amending or repealing act that may be passed and no recipient shall have any claim for compensation, or otherwise, by reason of his assistance being affected in any way by an amending or repealing act, nor shall he have any claim against the State for any failure upon the part of the General Assembly in any year to appropriate sufficient funds to pay grants previously made.

SECTION 43-5-65. Application of eligibility.

(a) As a condition of eligibility, a needy family applying for Family Independence benefits shall complete an application of eligibility containing a written declaration of information as may be required to establish eligibility and amount of aid. The application shall include blanks, wherein must be stated the names of all children, adults, or minor parents applying for or receiving aid, their birthdates and Social Security numbers; their present place of residence; their income received from employment, the absent parent, governmental social insurance or aid programs, gifts, sale of real or personal property, interest, dividends, or from any other source; and any interest in property, real or personal.

Failure to provide this information shall result in a finding of ineligibility of benefits for Family Independence benefits. The department shall provide assistance as needed to complete the application and shall ensure that all applicants or recipients have or promptly apply for and obtain a Social Security number. No assistance may be granted to Family Independence applicants or recipients until a valid Social Security number has been provided to the department for each member of the family for whom aid is sought or when numbers are not available until there is proof that application for the Social Security number has been made. The department shall assist the applicant or recipient in obtaining a Social Security number through procedures adopted in cooperation with the Social Security Administration or the applicant or recipient may apply for a Social Security number at the Social Security Administration office. For purposes of state-funded or Title IV-E Foster Care, the application for the Social Security number must be made by the state or local department. The application for eligibility also shall provide that, as a condition of eligibility for aid, each applicant or recipient shall:

(1) Assign to the State any rights to support from any other person the applicant may have in his own behalf or in behalf of any other family member for whom the applicant is applying for or receiving aid and which have accrued at the time the assignment is executed or which may accrue in the future; however, by accepting public assistance for or on behalf of a child or children, or by making application for services under Title IV-D or through placement of a child or children in state-funded foster care or under Title IV-E, except where good cause as determined by the department exists, the recipient or applicant is considered to have made an assignment to the State Department of Social Services of any rights, title, and interest to any support obligation which is owed for the child or children or for the absent parent's spouse or former spouse who is the recipient or the applicant with whom the child is living, if and to the extent that a spousal support obligation has been established and the child support obligation is being enforced pursuant to Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act. The assignment to the department is considered to have been made up to the amount of public assistance money or foster care board payments paid for or on behalf of the child or children for that period of time as the public assistance monies or foster care board payments are paid. The assignment consists of all rights and interest in any support obligation that the recipient may be owed past, present, or future by any person up to the amount of public assistance money paid to the recipient for or on behalf of the minor child or children or a child in foster care. The department is subrogated to the rights of the child or children or the person having custody of the child or children to collect and receive all support payments. The department has the right to initiate a support action in its own name or in the name of the recipient to recover payments ordered by the courts of this or any other state or to obtain a court order to initiate these payments including an action to determine the paternity of a child.

(2) Cooperate with the State in establishing the paternity of a child born out of wedlock with respect to whom aid is claimed and in obtaining support payments for the applicant and for a child with respect to whom the aid is claimed or in obtaining any other payments or property due the applicant of the child and that, if the relative with whom a child is living is found to be ineligible because of failure to comply with the requirements of items (1) and (2), aid for which the child is eligible must be provided in the form of protective payments. The department shall establish criteria in accordance with federal regulations to determine whether action to establish paternity and secure support is not in the best interest of a child.

(b) The term "protective payments" shall mean payments with respect to any dependent child which are made to another individual who, as determined in accordance with standards prescribed by the department, is interested in or concerned with the welfare of such child or relative, or are made on behalf of such child or relative directly to a person furnishing food, living accommodations, or other goods, services, or items to or for such child.

(c) Prior to determinations of eligibility, the department shall conduct a personal interview with the adult members of the family or with the caretaker relatives of the needy children.

(d) The department shall redetermine all elements of eligibility periodically but not less frequently than every twelve months. The department may require the family to complete a new application at the time of each redetermination.

(e) If the application is mailed to the family, it must be accompanied by an addressed envelope for its return. In no event may the acts of mailing to the recipient or the recipient's return of a completed application to the department be substituted in lieu of a personal interview.

(f) Each adult member of the family shall provide, under penalty of perjury the information necessary to complete the application. The applications used by the department shall contain a statement that the applicant or recipient understands that he has an obligation to report immediately to the department any changes of address, household composition, employment, loss of employment, or any other factor which may affect eligibility and that the declarations in the application are correct and complete to the best of the applicant's or recipient's knowledge or belief and are made under penalty of perjury. The statement shall clearly specify that failure to report changes in circumstances that may affect eligibility and grant amount within ten calendar days of the day on which the change becomes known to the recipient constitutes withholding of information and permits the department to recover any overpayment occasioned or caused by the withholding in accordance with Section 43-5-30. This application must be signed by the applicant or recipient of assistance or any person completing the application for an applicant or recipient unable to do so himself.

The person completing the application for an applicant or recipient unable to do so himself must sign a statement attesting to the fact that this section has been explained to the applicant and to the belief that the applicant understands.

SECTION 43-5-70. Identification and proof of residence; verification of employment, income and other information; absence from State.

The department shall require that all persons applying for assistance shall provide acceptable identification and proof of residence and the department shall by regulation specify what constitutes adequate identification and proof of residence. The department shall require that all reports of employment or income be verified by letter or direct contact with the employer of the applicant or recipient and if the verification is made by letter, a stamped self-addressed envelope shall be enclosed and request for prompt return shall be made. The department shall verify all other information related to the eligibility in any case in which there is reason to believe that the applicant has falsified, misrepresented, or omitted any material facts such as age and number of children, real and personal property, including bank accounts and insurance policies or any other resources. No person shall be eligible for aid to families with dependent children unless he is a resident of the State.

If a recipient is or will be absent from the State for a period of thirty days or longer, the department shall consider the recipient ineligible for assistance.

It is not the intent of the General Assembly in enacting this section to create any durational residence requirement.

SECTION 43-5-75. Information from banks concerning applicant or recipient of aid.

The director or his authorized agent may, after signed authorization from the applicant or recipient, request and receive from any bank or other financial institution doing business in South Carolina information with respect to the transaction with any such institution of any applicant for or recipient of any form of aid or relief under this article and it shall be the duty of the officers and employees of such institution to furnish the information within ten working days to the department pursuant to the written request of the director.

SECTIONS 43-5-85, 43-5-90. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-85, 43-5-90. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-95. Aid to eighteen-year-old full-time students who are in secondary school or other equivalent training.

Aid may be granted under the provisions of this section to or in behalf of an eligible child over the age of eighteen but not yet nineteen, if he is a full-time student in a secondary school, or in the equivalent level of vocational or technical training.

SECTIONS 43-5-100 to 43-5-115. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-100 to 43-5-115. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-100 to 43-5-115. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-100 to 43-5-115. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-120. Request for income tax return; use of information contained in return; notice to recipient; referral to authorities of violations of law.

(a) The Department of Revenue shall provide the director or his designees an abstract of the income tax return requested, or provide information concerning any item of income or expense, including support claimed to have been provided to dependent children or step-children, contained in the income tax return or disclosed by any investigation of the income or return of the applicant or recipient.

(b) The information obtained pursuant to this section shall be used or disclosed only for the purpose of enabling the department to verify or determine the eligibility of an applicant or recipient or to enable the Department of Revenue to determine whether tax fraud has been committed.

(c) The applicant or recipient whose income tax records have been requested from the Department of Revenue shall be notified by mail that such request has been made at the time of the request.

(d) Any violation or suspected violation of state or federal law determined under this section shall be referred to the appropriate state or federal law enforcement authorities.

(e) The director or his designees shall be subject to the provisions of Section 12-7-1680 of the 1976 Code regarding the confidentiality of state income tax records.

SECTION 43-5-125. "Living with" defined; verification of child's residence.

The term "living with" means that the caretaker relative and the child maintain a common place of residence. The requirement shall be considered met if a home and family setting is maintained or is being established and the caretaker relative exercises responsibility for the care and control of the child even though the child or caretaker is temporarily absent from time to time. A child is considered to be "living with" the caretaker relative even though he is under the jurisdiction of the court or is in the legal custody of an agency that does not have physical possession of the child.

Temporary absences by either the caretaker relative or the child from the home for purposes such as vacationing, visiting, hospitalization, convalescing, and school attendance shall not constitute a break in the "living with" requirement. The temporary absence may not exceed thirty days; however, the department may extend the absence, in extenuating circumstances, for up to an additional sixty days if it is determined that a longer absence would serve the best interests of the family.

SECTION 43-5-130. Consideration of income of relative claiming aid to families with dependent children.

(a) The department shall, in determining need, take into consideration any income or resources of any relative claiming aid to families with dependent children, whose needs the department determines would be considered in determining the need of a child or relative claiming such aid, as well as any expense reasonably attributed to the earning of any such income.

(b) Income, as used in subsection (a), includes any benefit in cash which is in fact currently available to the individual or is received by him as a result of current or past labor or service, or business activities.

(c) To be considered in determining eligibility for, and amount of grant, income must, in fact, be currently available to the applicant or recipient. However, the applicant or recipient shall, as a necessary condition of determining eligibility:

(1) provide all information necessary to income determination;

(2) take all actions necessary to obtain unconditionally available income. Income shall be considered unconditionally available if the applicant or recipient has only to claim or accept such income, including any type of governmental benefits, social insurance, and private pension or benefits plan.

(d) The department shall require evidence which establishes the gross and net amount of income received and the time and frequency of receipt. Documents and records in the possession of the applicant or recipient together with a written statement made under penalty of perjury that such information is correct and complete to the best of the applicant or recipient's knowledge or belief constitute adequate sources of evidence in absence of conflicts. Such documents or records shall be returned promptly to the applicant or recipient after necessary copies have been made and placed in the case records.

SECTION 43-5-140. Annual notification of eligibility and reporting requirements; duty to report; failure to report; change in eligibility.

(a) It shall be the duty of the department to ensure that every applicant for or recipient of aid to families with dependent children be informed not less frequently than annually as to the provisions of eligibility and his responsibility for reporting all facts material to a correct determination of eligibility and amount of grant. After such information has been provided, the department shall require the recipient and caseworker to execute a formal acknowledgment, on a form prescribed for such purpose, describing what steps were taken to explain the eligibility and reporting requirements to the recipient and that such explanation was understood by the recipient.

(b) Each applicant for or recipient or payee of such aid to families with dependent children shall be responsible to report accurately and completely those facts required of him, pursuant to the explanation provided by the department.

(c) The failure of an applicant or recipient to report facts which may affect eligibility and grant determination within ten days of the date upon which the applicant or recipient became aware of such facts shall constitute a wilful withholding of such information and permit the department to recover any overpayment occasioned or caused by the wilful withholding. Such facts may include, but are not limited to, composition of household, address or any other factor which may affect eligibility, or failure or refusal to obtain unconditionally available income. If appropriate, recoupment proceedings may be initiated.

(d) When the department receives information that would result in a change in grant amount or eligibility, the department shall take action to adjust the grant or redetermine eligibility, consistent with notice requirements, within ten days of receipt of such information.

SECTION 43-5-145. Investigation of application.

Investigation of each application shall be made by the county departments as provided in Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23 or as required by the state department.

SECTION 43-5-148. Date on which assistance shall begin.

Family Independence benefits shall begin on the date of application if the benefit group met all the eligibility conditions on that date. Payments for partial months must be prorated by the ratio of the days in the month to the date of application.

SECTION 43-5-150. Appeal to State department; proceedings; further appeals.

In the event an application is denied or the amount or terms of a grant or of any withdrawal or modification thereof be deemed inadequate or unjust by the applicant or recipient, the applicant or recipient or anyone acting in his behalf may demand a review of his case before the department by filing his written request for such review with the county department not more than sixty days after notice of its action shall have been received. The county department shall, within ten days, certify its records and data on the case and such additional information as it deems relevant to the department. The department shall promptly grant to the applicant or recipient an opportunity for a fair hearing upon the questions raised by the applicant or recipient. At this hearing any party in interest may appear and present any relevant facts. The department shall produce such further evidence as it may deem necessary and shall certify its findings and decision on the case back to the county department concerned. Appeals from the decision of the department may be made to an administrative hearing examiner pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act.

SECTION 43-5-155. Appeal if application not acted upon within specified time.

If an application is not acted upon by the county department within the time limitations specified in Section 43-5-148 the applicant may appeal to the state department in the manner and form prescribed in Section 43-5-150.

SECTION 43-5-160. Review by state department on own motion or request of applicant.

The state department may also, upon its own motion or at the request of the applicant, review any decision of a county department and may consider any application upon which a decision has not been made by the county department within a reasonable time.

SECTION 43-5-165. Investigation, hearing, and decision by state department.

Upon any appeal under Section 43-5-150 or any review under Section 43-5-160, the state department may make such additional investigation as it may deem necessary and shall make such decision as to the granting of assistance and the amount of assistance to be granted the applicant as in its opinion is justified and in conformity with the provisions of Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23. As to any action taken by the state department under this section, the state department shall grant the applicant or recipient an opportunity for a fair hearing as provided under Section 43-5-150.

SECTION 43-5-170. Subpoenas, oaths and examinations of witnesses.

The department may issue subpoenas for witnesses and compel their attendance and the production of papers and writings and the director and employees designated by him may administer oaths and examine witnesses under oath.

SECTION 43-5-175. Effect of state department's decision on county department.

All decisions of the state department shall be binding upon the county department involved and shall be complied with by such county department.

SECTION 43-5-180. Charges and fees for representing applicants or recipients of assistance.

No person shall make any charge or receive any fee for representing the applicant or recipient of assistance in connection with the granting of any assistance provided for in Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23, except as to criminal proceedings and except upon appeal to the department, and then only in a reasonable amount and subject to the regulations of the department.

SECTION 43-5-185. Public officers prohibited from attempting to influence decisions regarding applications for assistance; penalty.

Any public officer not charged with the administration of Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23 who attempts to influence a decision of the county department or state department respecting the application of any person for assistance or respecting the assistance to be paid or being paid shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both, in the discretion of the court. The giving of information within the personal knowledge of such officer, in writing, shall not constitute an offense under this section.

SECTION 43-5-190. Payments to be exempt from taxes, levy or other process; payments to be inalienable and unassignable; bankruptcy.

All amounts paid or payable as assistance shall be exempt from any tax levied by the State or any subdivision thereof, shall be exempt from levy and sale, attachment or any other process whatsoever, and shall be inalienable and unassignable in advance in any form and, in case of bankruptcy, shall not pass to the trustee or other person acting on behalf of the creditors of the recipient of assistance.

SECTION 43-5-195. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-200. Endorsement when recipient dies after issuance of check.

When a recipient dies after issuance but before delivery or negotiation of his assistance check for the month in which his death occurs, endorsement of such check without recourse by the county director of social services to the "spouse or nearest living relative" of the recipient shall be sufficient authority to the drawee bank to pay such check.

SECTIONS 43-5-210, 43-5-215. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-210, 43-5-215. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-220. Obtaining support payments from absent parents; amount; proceedings.

(a) Every applicant for family independence benefits who has a child by a parent who is alive but not living in the home at the time of approval for family independence must be immediately referred to the designated child support official of the department. The department shall be responsible for taking all steps necessary to identify, locate, and obtain support payments from absent parents.

(b) The department shall establish a scale of suggested minimum contributions to assist courts in determining the amount that an absent parent should be expected to pay toward the support of a dependent child. The scale shall include consideration of gross income, shall authorize expense deductions including deductions for taxes for determining net income, shall designate other available resources to be considered and shall specify the circumstances which should be considered in reducing liability on the basis of hardship. Copies of this scale shall be made available to courts, county attorneys, circuit solicitors, and to the public. It is intended that the scale formulated pursuant to this section be optional, and that no court or support official be required to use it.

(c) In all cases in which the whereabouts of the absent parent is known, the department shall, immediately upon approval of the application for assistance, notify the absent parent of the filing of the application and of his responsibility to complete and return a written statement of his current monthly income, his total income over the past twelve months, a description of real and personal property owned by him, together with an estimate of its value, the number of dependents for whom he is providing support, the amount he is contributing regularly toward the support of all children for whom application for aid to families with dependent children has been made, his Social Security number, his itemized monthly living expenses and such other information as the department determines to be pertinent in determining his ability to support his children.

The absent parent shall complete and return such statement to the department within ten days after notification by the department. The department may request the absent parent to report for a personal interview.

If the absent parent statement is not completed within ten days after notification, the department shall cause prompt personal service to be made. If the written statement is not completed and returned within ten days after personal service, the department shall immediately refer the matter for prosecution for nonsupport.

(d) When the department has obtained sufficient information concerning the absent parent, it shall immediately determine his ability to support his children and shall obtain a court order specifying an appropriate amount of support in accordance with the scale of suggested minimum contributions as provided in subsection (b). If the absent parent is residing out of the county, but within the State, and his whereabouts are known, the department shall obtain the court order in the court of competent jurisdiction as set forth in Section 14-21-830. Court orders of support shall in all cases specify that the payment of support shall be made directly to the department as reimbursement for assistance and not to the spouse of the absent parent. The support rights assigned to the State shall constitute an obligation owed to the State by the individual responsible for providing such support. Such obligation shall be deemed for collection purposes to be collectible under all applicable state and local processes. The amount of such obligations shall be:

(1) The amount specified in a court order which covers the assigned support rights;

(2) If there is no court order, an amount determined by the State in accordance with a formula approved by subsection (b);

(3) Any amounts collected from an absent parent under the plan shall reduce, dollar for dollar, the amount of his obligation. A debt which is a child support obligation assigned to the department under this section is not released by a discharge in bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Act.

(e) Failure of the absent parent to comply with his support obligation shall be referred to the court having jurisdiction of the matter for appropriate proceedings.

(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the department from complying with the provisions of Section 402 (a) (11) of the Social Security Act.

(g) Material falsification of information on the statement provided pursuant to Subsection (d) shall constitute a misdemeanor.

(h) In the case of an individual not otherwise eligible for collection services, a fee may be imposed in accordance with federal law, regulations, and guidelines.

(i) The department may submit to the Department of Revenue for collection and set off any debt for past-due support, including health care expenses, owed to the department or owed to an individual not otherwise eligible for collection services who has made application to the department. The debt for past-due support must be at least sixty days in arrears and is in excess of twenty-five dollars as provided in Section 12-7-2240. At the time of the submission, the department shall notify the debtor that his state tax refund will be subject to a debt for past-due support. The notice shall set forth the name of the debtor, the amount of the claimed debt, the intention to set off the refund against the debt, the taxpayer's opportunity to give written notice to contest the set off within thirty days of the date of mailing of the notice, the appropriate office of the department to which the application for a hearing must be sent, and the fact that failure to apply for a hearing in writing within the thirty-day period will be considered a waiver of the opportunity to contest the set off. If the debtor makes written application to contest the set off within thirty days of notification, the department shall provide an opportunity for a hearing and is responsible for refunding any monies wrongfully collected. If no application is made, the debtor's refund must be used to set off the amount owed. From the amount transferred from the Department of Revenue, the department shall reimburse the Department of Revenue for expenses incurred in administering this program. In the case of an individual not otherwise eligible for collection services, a fee must be imposed by the department to cover all costs. The department shall request that the Department of Revenue send to the department notice of the home address, corrected social security number, or additional Social Security numbers, if more than one is used, of any taxpayer whose name is submitted to the Department of Revenue under this subsection.

(j) The department may submit to the Internal Revenue Service and the State Department of Revenue, for federal and state tax refund offsets, the name of any obligor who is delinquent in paying court-ordered child support and who qualifies for submittal under federal or state law even if the obligor is in compliance with a court order requiring periodic payments toward satisfaction of the delinquency or even if the delinquent amount has been placed in abeyance by court order.

SECTION 43-5-222. Portion of child support payments to be paid to welfare recipients; department to be reimbursed.

From the amounts collected by the South Carolina State Department of Social Services for children and the parents of such children who are currently recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), pursuant to Section 43-5-220 of the 1976 Code, the department may distribute these amounts as follows:

(1) of amounts collected which represent monthly monetary support obligations, the first seventy-five dollars of the monthly payment must be paid to the AFDC family and thereafter must be increased up to the amount of the monthly support obligation;

(2) if the amount collected is in excess of the amounts required to be distributed under item (1), the excess must be retained by the department as reimbursement for AFDC payments made to the family for which the State has not been reimbursed. Of the amount retained by the department, the department shall determine the federal government's share so that the department may reimburse the federal government, if required, to the extent of its participation in the financing of the AFDC payment.

(3) if the amount collected is in excess of the amounts required to be distributed under (1) and (2) the family must be paid the excess.

(4) payments made to the family in item (1) may not be used in determining the amount paid, if any, in AFDC or other welfare benefits.

SECTION 43-5-225. Central registry of records; assistance of other agencies; availability of records.

(a) A central registry of records shall be maintained in the department showing as far as it is known with respect to any parent who has deserted or abandoned any child receiving aid to families with dependent children:

(1) the full and true name of such parent together with any known aliases;

(2) date and place of birth;

(3) physical description;

(4) social security number;

(5) occupation and any special skills he may have;

(6) military status and Veterans Administration or military service serial number;

(7) last known address and the date thereof;

(8) number of the driver's license;

(9) any further information that may be of assistance in locating the person.

(b) To effectuate the purposes of this section, the department shall request from all departments, commissions, boards or other agencies of the State or any of its political subdivisions such assistance and data as will enable the department and other public agencies to carry out their duties to locate deserting parents and to enforce their liability for the support of their children. The department shall utilize the "Parent Locator Service" pursuant to establishment in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare by filing in accordance with Section 453(b) of the Social Security Act.

(c) Any records established pursuant to the provisions of this Section shall be available only to public welfare offices, county attorneys, circuit solicitors, probation departments, the Attorney General, central registries in other states and courts having jurisdiction in support or abandonment proceedings or action and only for the purposes for which the records have been established.

SECTION 43-5-230. Public Welfare Cooperative Support Program Fund.

There is hereby created in the office of the State Treasurer a revolving fund to be designated as the Public Welfare Cooperative Support Program Fund which shall be used by the department in carrying out such purposes as it deems necessary. All monies in the funds are hereby appropriated to the department for such purposes and shall be paid without further appropriation under requisition or voucher drawn on the State Treasurer in the usual manner.

SECTION 43-5-235. Reimbursement of local entities for costs of child support collection and paternity determination program.

To the extent permitted by federal law, the department may enter into annual agreements with county governments, clerks of court, sheriffs, and other law enforcement entities having jurisdiction in that county to reimburse and to pay federal financial participation and incentives pursuant to the terms of the agreement to the appropriate contracting entity for a portion of the cost of developing and implementing a child support collection and paternity determination program for:

(1) securing support for persons receiving state public assistance and reimbursement of medical assistance from the legally responsible spouse or parent of assistance recipients;

(2) establishing paternity of children born out of wedlock who are receiving aid to families with dependent children and to secure support for them;

(3) all children who have sought assistance in securing support whether or not they are eligible for aid to families with dependent children and regardless of the economic circumstances. To the extent permitted by federal law, a fiscal incentive and federal financial participation must be paid to the department and provided to the entity providing the service for the collection and enforcement of child support obligations. These monies must be paid to the appropriate county treasurer or county finance office on a monthly basis and deposited into a separate account for the entity providing the service for the exclusive use by this entity for all activities related to the establishment, collection, and enforcement of child support obligations for the fiscal year in which the payments are earned and may be drawn on and used only by the entity providing the service for which the account was established. Monies paid to the contracting entity pursuant to this section may not be used to replace operating funds of the budget of the entity providing the service. Funds in the special account not encumbered for child support activities revert to the general fund of the county at the end of the fiscal year in which they were earned. Each local entity shall enter into a support enforcement agreement with the department as a condition of receiving the fiscal incentive and federal financial participation. To the extent that fiscal incentives are paid to the department and are not owed under the agreement to the contracting entity, these fiscal incentives must be reinvested in the department's Child Support Enforcement Program to increase collections of support at the state and county levels in a manner consistent with the federal laws and regulations governing incentive payments.

SECTION 43-5-240. Execution of cooperative support program agreement.

Any county desiring to obtain the benefits of appropriations from the Public Welfare Support Reimbursement Fund shall secure the formal joinder of the circuit solicitor and of the court having jurisdiction of support cases in that county in a joint plan and a cooperative support program agreement with the department and the execution of a cooperative support program agreement with the department. The execution of such agreement is hereby authorized.

SECTION 43-5-245. Time and forms for submission of plans for operating program; execution of contract upon approval.

(a) The department shall prescribe the time at and the form on which the counties and judicial districts shall submit to the department annual plans for the total staff and equipment needs and annual estimates of the expenditures of the county for the staffing and operations of the child support program for the coming agreement year.

(b) Upon approval of an annual plan and the estimated expenditures for an improved program, the department shall enter into a contract pursuant to Section 43-5-235.

SECTION 43-5-255. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

ARTICLE 3.

GENERAL RELIEF

SECTION 43-5-310. General assistance to handicapped or unfortunate persons who are unable to support themselves.

General assistance in the form of money payments shall be granted by the State Department to handicapped and unfortunate persons in need who are not eligible for other forms of assistance provided in Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19 and 23 and who are unable to support themselves because of physical or mental infirmity and would suffer unless so provided for. A recipient of such assistance must be unable to provide himself with the necessities of life, have insufficient means of his own for proper support and have no relative or other person able to provide and legally responsible for his maintenance or willing to provide therefor.

SECTION 43-5-320. General assistance to certain persons who are essential to welfare of others.

General assistance in the form of money payments may be made to persons who are essential to the welfare of aged, blind, or disabled persons receiving other forms of public assistance and who are unable to support themselves and would suffer unless so provided for. A recipient of such assistance must be unable to provide himself with the necessities of life, have insufficient means of his own for proper support and have no relative or other person able to provide and who is legally responsible for his maintenance or willing to provide therefor.

SECTION 43-5-330. Application for assistance.

Applications for assistance under this article shall be made to the county department of the county in which the applicant resides. The application shall be made in writing or reduced to writing in the manner and upon a form prescribed by the State Department.

SECTION 43-5-340. Investigation of application; visit to applicant's home.

Whenever the county department receives an application for assistance under this article, an investigation and record shall promptly be made of the circumstances of the applicant in order to ascertain the facts supporting the application and in order to obtain such other information as may be required by the rules of the State Department. The investigation may include a visit to the home of the applicant if deemed necessary by the caseworker or supervisor.

SECTION 43-5-350. Grant of assistance; amount.

Upon the completion of the investigation the county department shall decide whether the applicant is eligible for assistance under the provisions of this article. The amount of assistance which any such person shall receive shall be determined by the county department with due regard to the resources and necessary expenditures and the conditions existing in each case, in accordance with the rules and regulations made by the State Department and, within available annual appropriations, shall be sufficient when added to all other income and support of the applicant to provide such person with a reasonable subsistence compatible with decency and health.

ARTICLE 4.

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES AID TO DEPENDENT CHILDREN

SECTION 43-5-400. Definitions.

When used in this article and unless the specific context indicates otherwise:

(1) "Aid to dependent children or needy relative" means money payments with respect to or medical care in behalf of or any type of remedial care recognized under state law in behalf of a dependent child or dependent children, or a needy relative with whom any dependent child is living.

(2) "Dependent child" means a child under the age of eighteen years who has been deprived of parental support or care by reason of the death, continued absence from home or physical or mental incapacity of a parent and who is living with his father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, stepsister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew or niece in a place of residence maintained by one or more of such relatives as his or their own home and who, if not granted aid, is likely to become a public charge or who would otherwise be deprived of proper support, care or training or a child under the age of twenty-one years who is attending high school or college or regularly attending a course of vocational or technical training. The term "dependent child" shall also include a child:

(a) who could meet the requirements of this section except for his removal from the home of a relative, specified in this section as a result of a judicial determination to the effect that continuation therein would be contrary to the welfare of the child;

(b) whose placement and care are the responsibility of the state agency; and

(c) who has been placed in a foster family home or child care institution as a result of such determination.

(3) The term "foster family home" or "child care institution" means a foster family home or child care institution for children which is licensed by the State.

SECTION 43-5-410. Cooperation with federal government; administration of funds.

The State Department may cooperate with the Federal Government in the development of plans and policies for aid to dependent children. It shall administer all funds appropriated or made available for this purpose.

SECTION 43-5-420. Application for aid.

Any person having knowledge that any child is dependent and that the interest of such child or of the public requires that such child be granted aid may bring such fact to the attention of the county department in the county in which the dependent child has residence or to the State Department by making application for aid on such blanks as the State Department shall prescribe and supply, furnishing such information as is required thereon and is necessary for the proper administration of these purposes.

SECTION 43-5-430. Investigation and report.

The county department shall make an investigation and examination of the circumstances of such child. Such investigation and examination shall be made in accordance with rules prescribed by the State Department. A report of such investigation and examination shall be made in writing and shall become a part of the records of the county department.

SECTION 43-5-440. Grant for aid; denial of aid; appeal.

If such child is found to be in need, the county department shall grant such aid as may be necessary for the support of such child in his own home or in the home of one of his relatives as set forth in this article, in a manner compatible with decency and health. In case application for aid for a dependent child is rejected by the county department, appeal may be made to the State Department as elsewhere provided in this article.

SECTION 43-5-450. Amount of grants.

In granting aid for dependent children the amount granted shall not exceed thirty dollars per month for one child in any home, nor twenty-one dollars per month for each additional child in the same home, and shall not exceed thirty dollars per month for a needy relative with whom any dependent child is living.

Provided, the state agency shall with respect to any month disregard:

(1) all of the earned income of each dependent child receiving aid to families with dependent children who is a full-time student to part-time student who is not a full-time employee attending a school, college, or university, or a course of vocational or technical training designed to fit him for gainful employment; and

(2) in the case of earned income of a dependent child not included under item (1), a relative receiving such aid, and any other individual (living in the same home as such relative and child) whose needs are taken into account in making such determination, the first thirty dollars of the total of such earned income for such month plus one third of the remainder of such income for such month. Provided, further, that the provisions of this item shall not apply to earned income derived from participation on a project maintained under the programs established by Section 432(b)(2) and (3) of the Federal Social Security Act.

Provided, further, that within the limitations of the State appropriation the maximum amount per caretaker and per child may be increased not in excess of the amount which may hereafter be matched by the Federal Government.

SECTION 43-5-460. Estimate of amount needed per county.

Each county department shall prepare, as required by the State Department, an estimate of the amount needed for dependent children in its county. Such estimate shall set forth the number of children being aided, with the amounts of grants to each individual child and such information or data as is necessary for the State Department to estimate the probable increase or decrease during the next ensuing period. A copy of such estimates from the various county departments shall be furnished each member of the legislative delegation of the respective counties.

SECTION 43-5-470. Federal funds for aid to dependent children.

The State Treasurer shall receive and deposit in the State Treasury any Federal funds allotted to the State under Section 403 of Title IV of the Federal Social Security Act, or otherwise, for aid to dependent children. Such sums shall be kept by the State Treasurer in a dependent children's aid account.

ARTICLE 5.

SOUTH CAROLINA EMPLOYABLES PROGRAM ACT

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-580. Enforcement of support obligations of absent parents.

(a) Every applicant for Family Independence benefits who has a child or children whose parent is alive but not residing in the home must be referred to the Office of Child Support Enforcement within two working days of the furnishing of aid or the determination that an individual is a recipient of Family Independence benefits. The department is responsible for taking all steps necessary to identify, locate, and obtain support payments from absent parents.

(b) The department shall promulgate regulations which establish guidelines for minimum contributions which must be applied by the courts in determining the amount that an absent parent is expected to pay toward the support of a dependent child. Copies of the guidelines must be made available to courts, district attorneys, and to the public. The guidelines formulated pursuant to this section must be applied pursuant to the provisions of Section 63-17-470.

(c) Failure of the absent parent to comply with his support obligations must be referred to the court having jurisdiction of this matter for appropriate proceedings.

SECTION 43-5-585. Repealed by 2008 Act No. 361, Section 8, eff June 16, 2008.

SECTION 43-5-590. Powers and duties of Department of Social Services in accordance with approved child support plan.

In accordance with a child support plan approved by the federal government, the department has the power and its duty must be to:

(a) require as a condition of eligibility for assistance that the applicant or recipient:

(i) furnish his social security account number or, to the extent permitted by federal law, proof of making application for a social security account number if the applicant or recipient has no social security account number;

(ii) assign to the State the rights to support, including health care expenses, from any other person the applicant may have in his own behalf or in behalf of any other family member for whom the applicant is applying for or receiving aid and which have accrued at the time the assignment is executed or which may accrue in the future. By accepting public assistance for or on behalf of a child or children, by making application for services under Title IV-D, or through placement of a child or children in state-funded foster care or under Title IV-E, except where good cause as determined by the agency exists, the recipient or applicant is considered to have made an assignment to the State Department of Social Services of rights, title, and interest to a support obligation which is owed for the child or children or for the absent parent's spouse or former spouse who is the recipient or the applicant with whom the child is living, if and to the extent that a spousal support obligation has been established and the child and the child support obligation is being enforced pursuant to Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act. The assignment to the department is considered to have been made up to the amount of public assistance money, including Medicaid payments, or foster care board payments paid for or on behalf of the child or children for that period of time as the public assistance monies or foster care board payments are paid. The assignment consists of all rights and interest in a support obligation that the recipient may be owed past, present, or future by a person up to the amount of public assistance money, including Medicaid payments, paid to the recipient for or on behalf of the minor child or children or a child in foster care. The department is subrogated to the rights of the child or children or the person having custody of the child or children to collect and receive all support payments. The department has the right to initiate a support action in its own name or in the name of the recipient to recover payments ordered by the courts of this or any other state or to obtain a court order to initiate these payments including an action to determine the paternity of a child. The clerk of court shall execute the necessary order substituting the department and changing the payee of the support to the department upon receipt by the clerk of the notice of assignment.

(iii) cooperate with the department in establishing the paternity of a child born out of wedlock with respect to whom aid is claimed, and in obtaining support payments for such applicant and for a child with respect to whom such aid is claimed, or in obtaining any other payments or property due such applicant of such child and that, if the relative with whom a child is living is found to be ineligible because of failure to comply with the requirements of items (a) and (b), any aid for which such child is eligible will be provided in the form of protective payments. The department shall establish criteria in accordance with federal regulations to determine whether action to establish paternity and secure support is not in the best interest of a child.

(b) Provide for protective payments for any child eligible for assistance when a caretaker relative is ineligible due to the caretaker relative's failure to comply with either subitems (1) or (2) of item (a) of this section.

(c) Provide that in any case in which the child support payments are collected for a child with respect to whom an assignment has been made pursuant to subitem (ii) of item (a) of this section the payment is made to the department for distribution pursuant to item (g) of this section except for those payments made for any month in which the amount collected is sufficient to make the family ineligible for assistance. The department shall pay the amounts to the recipient consistent with federal laws and regulations. Whenever a family ceases receiving public assistance the assignment pursuant to subitem (ii) of item (a) of this section converts to a nonpublic assistance assignment. However, the nonpublic assistance recipient may submit a written request to have the assignment terminated except with respect to the amount of any unpaid support obligation that has accrued under the assignment. From this amount the department shall attempt to collect the unpaid obligation and distribute the amounts consistent with federal laws and regulations. The department may not charge fees or recover costs from support collections and shall pay all amounts collected which represent monthly support payment and arrearage owed to the family. The department shall continue to provide all appropriate IV-D services and distribute any amount

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > South-carolina > Title-43 > Chapter-5

Title 43 - Social Services

CHAPTER 5.

PUBLIC AID, ASSISTANCE AND RELIEF GENERALLY

ARTICLE 1.

PUBLIC AID AND ASSISTANCE

SECTION 43-5-10. Implementation and administration of public welfare program; regulations.

The Department of Social Services shall be responsible for maintaining uniformity in the administration of public welfare throughout the State. The director shall be the only person authorized to determine and implement the policies of the department. The department shall issue regulations pursuant to Sections 1-23-10, et seq., whenever changes in federal laws and regulations supersede existing state statutes. In adopting regulations the department shall strive for clarity of language which may be readily understood by those administering aid and by those who apply for or receive aid.

SECTION 43-5-15. Applications for assistance; manner and form.

Applications for assistance under the provisions of this chapter shall be made as provided in this chapter and when no such provision has been made in accordance with the manner and form prescribed by the department.

SECTION 43-5-20. Payments to support needy child and eligible caretaker; counseling for recipient where aid not being used in best interests of child; appointment of protective payee.

(a) It is the intent of the General Assembly that all payments of aid to families with dependent children shall be utilized and managed in such manner as to support the needy child and his eligible caretaker. Such payments shall include current payments as well as any portion of past payments returned to a current or former recipient.

(b) Whenever the department has reason to believe that any payment of aid to dependent children is not being or may not be used in the best interests of the child, the department shall provide counseling to the recipient and shall provide that continued failure to so use such payments after counseling has begun may result in the appointment of a protective payee in accordance with Section 43-5-65.

SECTION 43-5-24. Provision of AFDC applicants with contraception and family planning information.

When an individual applies for assistance through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program, the Department of Social Services must provide the applicant with information on methods of contraception and family planning, excluding abortion counseling. The Department of Health and Environmental Control shall provide a brochure or some similar information packet on contraceptive methods and family planning to the Department of Social Services which the Department of Social Services can easily reproduce and distribute. Abortion must not be included in the brochure or information packet provided by the Department of Health and Environmental Control. If the applicant expresses an interest in scheduling an appointment with a local health department to obtain further information and counseling on contraceptive methods and family planning, the Department of Social Services shall assist the applicant in scheduling the appointment.

SECTION 43-5-25. Willful use of payment for purpose not in best interests of child; protective payee.

Any person, other than a needy child, who wilfully and knowingly receives or uses any part of a payment of aid to dependent children for a purpose other than in the best interest of the needy children and any eligible caretaker is deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than one year or both.

If such misuse occurs, a protective payee will be appointed in accordance with Section 43-5-65 to manage assistance funds intended for the otherwise eligible child.

SECTION 43-5-30. Overpayments and underpayments; recoupment or correction.

(a) If an overpayment or underpayment is made under the Family Independence Program, the department shall make every effort to correct payment. If the agency decides to terminate benefits to a client and payments are made pending an appeal of the agency's decision, these payments must be considered overpayment if the agency's decision is upheld.

(b) Overpayment means a financial assistance payment received which exceeds the amount for which the client was eligible. Underpayment means a financial assistance payment received which is less than the amount for which the client unit was eligible.

(c) The agency can recover an overpayment by:

(1) receiving a payment from the client or former client; or

(2) by reducing the amount of any future aid payable to the client. The adjustment in future aid shall not reduce the family's monthly income to less than ninety percent of the amount payable to a family of the same composition with no other income. If no payment is made for a month solely by reason of the recovery of an overpayment, that individual is still considered a recipient of assistance for that month for purposes of enrollment date.

(d) If an individual has received an overpayment and does not repay the agency and is no longer receiving aid so that future payments cannot be reduced, the agency shall make recovery by taking appropriate action under the laws of the State against the income or resources of the individual or family.

(e) Correction of underpayments of assistance must be made to current recipients and those who would be current recipients if the error causing the underpayment had not occurred. For the purposes of determining continued eligibility and amount of assistance, the retroactive corrective payments are not considered income or a resource in the month paid nor in the next following month.

SECTION 43-5-35. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-40. Unlawful publication or other use of records; penalty.

It is unlawful for a person to solicit, disclose, receive, make use of, authorize, knowingly permit, participate in, or acquiesce in the use of a list, name of, or any information concerning persons applying for or receiving public aid or assistance, directly or indirectly derived from the records, papers, files, or communications of the State or county departments of social services or acquired in the course of the performance of official duties, except for purposes directly connected with the administration of Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23 or of old age assistance, aid to the blind, aid to dependent children, or general relief and in accordance with the regulations of the department.

A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

SECTION 43-5-45. Notice by department of intended action.

The department shall provide timely and adequate notice in all cases of intended action to discontinue, terminate, suspend, or reduce an assistance grant except in those cases where adequate notice alone would be consistent with the requirements of state law or regulation.

"Timely notice" means notice which is mailed at least ten days before the intended change would be effective.

"Adequate notice" means notice which is mailed not later than the date of action.

Both timely and adequate notice shall include a statement of what action the agency intends to take, the reasons for the intended action, an explanation of the individual's right to request an administrative hearing on the propriety of the intended action and the circumstances under which assistance is continued if a hearing is requested.

SECTION 43-5-50. One-time grant in event assistance check lost, stolen or destroyed.

In the event that a recipient of aid to families with dependent children does not receive an assistance check, or if such check is lost, stolen, or destroyed after receipt but before it is cashed, the county office may authorize a one-time grant in the amount of the original check provided the recipient files an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, stating the facts of the loss, theft, destruction, or nonreceipt of the check and setting forth all material facts relative to its loss, theft, destruction, or nonreceipt. The affidavit shall further witness the recipient's understanding of his obligation, should the lost, stolen, destroyed, or nonreceived check come into his possession, to return such check immediately to the county office and that cashing or attempting to cash such check constitutes fraud.

SECTION 43-5-55. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-60. Assistance subject to future legislation; no claim against State.

All assistance granted under Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23 shall be deemed to be granted and to be held subject to the provisions of any amending or repealing act that may be passed and no recipient shall have any claim for compensation, or otherwise, by reason of his assistance being affected in any way by an amending or repealing act, nor shall he have any claim against the State for any failure upon the part of the General Assembly in any year to appropriate sufficient funds to pay grants previously made.

SECTION 43-5-65. Application of eligibility.

(a) As a condition of eligibility, a needy family applying for Family Independence benefits shall complete an application of eligibility containing a written declaration of information as may be required to establish eligibility and amount of aid. The application shall include blanks, wherein must be stated the names of all children, adults, or minor parents applying for or receiving aid, their birthdates and Social Security numbers; their present place of residence; their income received from employment, the absent parent, governmental social insurance or aid programs, gifts, sale of real or personal property, interest, dividends, or from any other source; and any interest in property, real or personal.

Failure to provide this information shall result in a finding of ineligibility of benefits for Family Independence benefits. The department shall provide assistance as needed to complete the application and shall ensure that all applicants or recipients have or promptly apply for and obtain a Social Security number. No assistance may be granted to Family Independence applicants or recipients until a valid Social Security number has been provided to the department for each member of the family for whom aid is sought or when numbers are not available until there is proof that application for the Social Security number has been made. The department shall assist the applicant or recipient in obtaining a Social Security number through procedures adopted in cooperation with the Social Security Administration or the applicant or recipient may apply for a Social Security number at the Social Security Administration office. For purposes of state-funded or Title IV-E Foster Care, the application for the Social Security number must be made by the state or local department. The application for eligibility also shall provide that, as a condition of eligibility for aid, each applicant or recipient shall:

(1) Assign to the State any rights to support from any other person the applicant may have in his own behalf or in behalf of any other family member for whom the applicant is applying for or receiving aid and which have accrued at the time the assignment is executed or which may accrue in the future; however, by accepting public assistance for or on behalf of a child or children, or by making application for services under Title IV-D or through placement of a child or children in state-funded foster care or under Title IV-E, except where good cause as determined by the department exists, the recipient or applicant is considered to have made an assignment to the State Department of Social Services of any rights, title, and interest to any support obligation which is owed for the child or children or for the absent parent's spouse or former spouse who is the recipient or the applicant with whom the child is living, if and to the extent that a spousal support obligation has been established and the child support obligation is being enforced pursuant to Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act. The assignment to the department is considered to have been made up to the amount of public assistance money or foster care board payments paid for or on behalf of the child or children for that period of time as the public assistance monies or foster care board payments are paid. The assignment consists of all rights and interest in any support obligation that the recipient may be owed past, present, or future by any person up to the amount of public assistance money paid to the recipient for or on behalf of the minor child or children or a child in foster care. The department is subrogated to the rights of the child or children or the person having custody of the child or children to collect and receive all support payments. The department has the right to initiate a support action in its own name or in the name of the recipient to recover payments ordered by the courts of this or any other state or to obtain a court order to initiate these payments including an action to determine the paternity of a child.

(2) Cooperate with the State in establishing the paternity of a child born out of wedlock with respect to whom aid is claimed and in obtaining support payments for the applicant and for a child with respect to whom the aid is claimed or in obtaining any other payments or property due the applicant of the child and that, if the relative with whom a child is living is found to be ineligible because of failure to comply with the requirements of items (1) and (2), aid for which the child is eligible must be provided in the form of protective payments. The department shall establish criteria in accordance with federal regulations to determine whether action to establish paternity and secure support is not in the best interest of a child.

(b) The term "protective payments" shall mean payments with respect to any dependent child which are made to another individual who, as determined in accordance with standards prescribed by the department, is interested in or concerned with the welfare of such child or relative, or are made on behalf of such child or relative directly to a person furnishing food, living accommodations, or other goods, services, or items to or for such child.

(c) Prior to determinations of eligibility, the department shall conduct a personal interview with the adult members of the family or with the caretaker relatives of the needy children.

(d) The department shall redetermine all elements of eligibility periodically but not less frequently than every twelve months. The department may require the family to complete a new application at the time of each redetermination.

(e) If the application is mailed to the family, it must be accompanied by an addressed envelope for its return. In no event may the acts of mailing to the recipient or the recipient's return of a completed application to the department be substituted in lieu of a personal interview.

(f) Each adult member of the family shall provide, under penalty of perjury the information necessary to complete the application. The applications used by the department shall contain a statement that the applicant or recipient understands that he has an obligation to report immediately to the department any changes of address, household composition, employment, loss of employment, or any other factor which may affect eligibility and that the declarations in the application are correct and complete to the best of the applicant's or recipient's knowledge or belief and are made under penalty of perjury. The statement shall clearly specify that failure to report changes in circumstances that may affect eligibility and grant amount within ten calendar days of the day on which the change becomes known to the recipient constitutes withholding of information and permits the department to recover any overpayment occasioned or caused by the withholding in accordance with Section 43-5-30. This application must be signed by the applicant or recipient of assistance or any person completing the application for an applicant or recipient unable to do so himself.

The person completing the application for an applicant or recipient unable to do so himself must sign a statement attesting to the fact that this section has been explained to the applicant and to the belief that the applicant understands.

SECTION 43-5-70. Identification and proof of residence; verification of employment, income and other information; absence from State.

The department shall require that all persons applying for assistance shall provide acceptable identification and proof of residence and the department shall by regulation specify what constitutes adequate identification and proof of residence. The department shall require that all reports of employment or income be verified by letter or direct contact with the employer of the applicant or recipient and if the verification is made by letter, a stamped self-addressed envelope shall be enclosed and request for prompt return shall be made. The department shall verify all other information related to the eligibility in any case in which there is reason to believe that the applicant has falsified, misrepresented, or omitted any material facts such as age and number of children, real and personal property, including bank accounts and insurance policies or any other resources. No person shall be eligible for aid to families with dependent children unless he is a resident of the State.

If a recipient is or will be absent from the State for a period of thirty days or longer, the department shall consider the recipient ineligible for assistance.

It is not the intent of the General Assembly in enacting this section to create any durational residence requirement.

SECTION 43-5-75. Information from banks concerning applicant or recipient of aid.

The director or his authorized agent may, after signed authorization from the applicant or recipient, request and receive from any bank or other financial institution doing business in South Carolina information with respect to the transaction with any such institution of any applicant for or recipient of any form of aid or relief under this article and it shall be the duty of the officers and employees of such institution to furnish the information within ten working days to the department pursuant to the written request of the director.

SECTIONS 43-5-85, 43-5-90. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-85, 43-5-90. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-95. Aid to eighteen-year-old full-time students who are in secondary school or other equivalent training.

Aid may be granted under the provisions of this section to or in behalf of an eligible child over the age of eighteen but not yet nineteen, if he is a full-time student in a secondary school, or in the equivalent level of vocational or technical training.

SECTIONS 43-5-100 to 43-5-115. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-100 to 43-5-115. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-100 to 43-5-115. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-100 to 43-5-115. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-120. Request for income tax return; use of information contained in return; notice to recipient; referral to authorities of violations of law.

(a) The Department of Revenue shall provide the director or his designees an abstract of the income tax return requested, or provide information concerning any item of income or expense, including support claimed to have been provided to dependent children or step-children, contained in the income tax return or disclosed by any investigation of the income or return of the applicant or recipient.

(b) The information obtained pursuant to this section shall be used or disclosed only for the purpose of enabling the department to verify or determine the eligibility of an applicant or recipient or to enable the Department of Revenue to determine whether tax fraud has been committed.

(c) The applicant or recipient whose income tax records have been requested from the Department of Revenue shall be notified by mail that such request has been made at the time of the request.

(d) Any violation or suspected violation of state or federal law determined under this section shall be referred to the appropriate state or federal law enforcement authorities.

(e) The director or his designees shall be subject to the provisions of Section 12-7-1680 of the 1976 Code regarding the confidentiality of state income tax records.

SECTION 43-5-125. "Living with" defined; verification of child's residence.

The term "living with" means that the caretaker relative and the child maintain a common place of residence. The requirement shall be considered met if a home and family setting is maintained or is being established and the caretaker relative exercises responsibility for the care and control of the child even though the child or caretaker is temporarily absent from time to time. A child is considered to be "living with" the caretaker relative even though he is under the jurisdiction of the court or is in the legal custody of an agency that does not have physical possession of the child.

Temporary absences by either the caretaker relative or the child from the home for purposes such as vacationing, visiting, hospitalization, convalescing, and school attendance shall not constitute a break in the "living with" requirement. The temporary absence may not exceed thirty days; however, the department may extend the absence, in extenuating circumstances, for up to an additional sixty days if it is determined that a longer absence would serve the best interests of the family.

SECTION 43-5-130. Consideration of income of relative claiming aid to families with dependent children.

(a) The department shall, in determining need, take into consideration any income or resources of any relative claiming aid to families with dependent children, whose needs the department determines would be considered in determining the need of a child or relative claiming such aid, as well as any expense reasonably attributed to the earning of any such income.

(b) Income, as used in subsection (a), includes any benefit in cash which is in fact currently available to the individual or is received by him as a result of current or past labor or service, or business activities.

(c) To be considered in determining eligibility for, and amount of grant, income must, in fact, be currently available to the applicant or recipient. However, the applicant or recipient shall, as a necessary condition of determining eligibility:

(1) provide all information necessary to income determination;

(2) take all actions necessary to obtain unconditionally available income. Income shall be considered unconditionally available if the applicant or recipient has only to claim or accept such income, including any type of governmental benefits, social insurance, and private pension or benefits plan.

(d) The department shall require evidence which establishes the gross and net amount of income received and the time and frequency of receipt. Documents and records in the possession of the applicant or recipient together with a written statement made under penalty of perjury that such information is correct and complete to the best of the applicant or recipient's knowledge or belief constitute adequate sources of evidence in absence of conflicts. Such documents or records shall be returned promptly to the applicant or recipient after necessary copies have been made and placed in the case records.

SECTION 43-5-140. Annual notification of eligibility and reporting requirements; duty to report; failure to report; change in eligibility.

(a) It shall be the duty of the department to ensure that every applicant for or recipient of aid to families with dependent children be informed not less frequently than annually as to the provisions of eligibility and his responsibility for reporting all facts material to a correct determination of eligibility and amount of grant. After such information has been provided, the department shall require the recipient and caseworker to execute a formal acknowledgment, on a form prescribed for such purpose, describing what steps were taken to explain the eligibility and reporting requirements to the recipient and that such explanation was understood by the recipient.

(b) Each applicant for or recipient or payee of such aid to families with dependent children shall be responsible to report accurately and completely those facts required of him, pursuant to the explanation provided by the department.

(c) The failure of an applicant or recipient to report facts which may affect eligibility and grant determination within ten days of the date upon which the applicant or recipient became aware of such facts shall constitute a wilful withholding of such information and permit the department to recover any overpayment occasioned or caused by the wilful withholding. Such facts may include, but are not limited to, composition of household, address or any other factor which may affect eligibility, or failure or refusal to obtain unconditionally available income. If appropriate, recoupment proceedings may be initiated.

(d) When the department receives information that would result in a change in grant amount or eligibility, the department shall take action to adjust the grant or redetermine eligibility, consistent with notice requirements, within ten days of receipt of such information.

SECTION 43-5-145. Investigation of application.

Investigation of each application shall be made by the county departments as provided in Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23 or as required by the state department.

SECTION 43-5-148. Date on which assistance shall begin.

Family Independence benefits shall begin on the date of application if the benefit group met all the eligibility conditions on that date. Payments for partial months must be prorated by the ratio of the days in the month to the date of application.

SECTION 43-5-150. Appeal to State department; proceedings; further appeals.

In the event an application is denied or the amount or terms of a grant or of any withdrawal or modification thereof be deemed inadequate or unjust by the applicant or recipient, the applicant or recipient or anyone acting in his behalf may demand a review of his case before the department by filing his written request for such review with the county department not more than sixty days after notice of its action shall have been received. The county department shall, within ten days, certify its records and data on the case and such additional information as it deems relevant to the department. The department shall promptly grant to the applicant or recipient an opportunity for a fair hearing upon the questions raised by the applicant or recipient. At this hearing any party in interest may appear and present any relevant facts. The department shall produce such further evidence as it may deem necessary and shall certify its findings and decision on the case back to the county department concerned. Appeals from the decision of the department may be made to an administrative hearing examiner pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act.

SECTION 43-5-155. Appeal if application not acted upon within specified time.

If an application is not acted upon by the county department within the time limitations specified in Section 43-5-148 the applicant may appeal to the state department in the manner and form prescribed in Section 43-5-150.

SECTION 43-5-160. Review by state department on own motion or request of applicant.

The state department may also, upon its own motion or at the request of the applicant, review any decision of a county department and may consider any application upon which a decision has not been made by the county department within a reasonable time.

SECTION 43-5-165. Investigation, hearing, and decision by state department.

Upon any appeal under Section 43-5-150 or any review under Section 43-5-160, the state department may make such additional investigation as it may deem necessary and shall make such decision as to the granting of assistance and the amount of assistance to be granted the applicant as in its opinion is justified and in conformity with the provisions of Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23. As to any action taken by the state department under this section, the state department shall grant the applicant or recipient an opportunity for a fair hearing as provided under Section 43-5-150.

SECTION 43-5-170. Subpoenas, oaths and examinations of witnesses.

The department may issue subpoenas for witnesses and compel their attendance and the production of papers and writings and the director and employees designated by him may administer oaths and examine witnesses under oath.

SECTION 43-5-175. Effect of state department's decision on county department.

All decisions of the state department shall be binding upon the county department involved and shall be complied with by such county department.

SECTION 43-5-180. Charges and fees for representing applicants or recipients of assistance.

No person shall make any charge or receive any fee for representing the applicant or recipient of assistance in connection with the granting of any assistance provided for in Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23, except as to criminal proceedings and except upon appeal to the department, and then only in a reasonable amount and subject to the regulations of the department.

SECTION 43-5-185. Public officers prohibited from attempting to influence decisions regarding applications for assistance; penalty.

Any public officer not charged with the administration of Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23 who attempts to influence a decision of the county department or state department respecting the application of any person for assistance or respecting the assistance to be paid or being paid shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both, in the discretion of the court. The giving of information within the personal knowledge of such officer, in writing, shall not constitute an offense under this section.

SECTION 43-5-190. Payments to be exempt from taxes, levy or other process; payments to be inalienable and unassignable; bankruptcy.

All amounts paid or payable as assistance shall be exempt from any tax levied by the State or any subdivision thereof, shall be exempt from levy and sale, attachment or any other process whatsoever, and shall be inalienable and unassignable in advance in any form and, in case of bankruptcy, shall not pass to the trustee or other person acting on behalf of the creditors of the recipient of assistance.

SECTION 43-5-195. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-200. Endorsement when recipient dies after issuance of check.

When a recipient dies after issuance but before delivery or negotiation of his assistance check for the month in which his death occurs, endorsement of such check without recourse by the county director of social services to the "spouse or nearest living relative" of the recipient shall be sufficient authority to the drawee bank to pay such check.

SECTIONS 43-5-210, 43-5-215. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-210, 43-5-215. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-220. Obtaining support payments from absent parents; amount; proceedings.

(a) Every applicant for family independence benefits who has a child by a parent who is alive but not living in the home at the time of approval for family independence must be immediately referred to the designated child support official of the department. The department shall be responsible for taking all steps necessary to identify, locate, and obtain support payments from absent parents.

(b) The department shall establish a scale of suggested minimum contributions to assist courts in determining the amount that an absent parent should be expected to pay toward the support of a dependent child. The scale shall include consideration of gross income, shall authorize expense deductions including deductions for taxes for determining net income, shall designate other available resources to be considered and shall specify the circumstances which should be considered in reducing liability on the basis of hardship. Copies of this scale shall be made available to courts, county attorneys, circuit solicitors, and to the public. It is intended that the scale formulated pursuant to this section be optional, and that no court or support official be required to use it.

(c) In all cases in which the whereabouts of the absent parent is known, the department shall, immediately upon approval of the application for assistance, notify the absent parent of the filing of the application and of his responsibility to complete and return a written statement of his current monthly income, his total income over the past twelve months, a description of real and personal property owned by him, together with an estimate of its value, the number of dependents for whom he is providing support, the amount he is contributing regularly toward the support of all children for whom application for aid to families with dependent children has been made, his Social Security number, his itemized monthly living expenses and such other information as the department determines to be pertinent in determining his ability to support his children.

The absent parent shall complete and return such statement to the department within ten days after notification by the department. The department may request the absent parent to report for a personal interview.

If the absent parent statement is not completed within ten days after notification, the department shall cause prompt personal service to be made. If the written statement is not completed and returned within ten days after personal service, the department shall immediately refer the matter for prosecution for nonsupport.

(d) When the department has obtained sufficient information concerning the absent parent, it shall immediately determine his ability to support his children and shall obtain a court order specifying an appropriate amount of support in accordance with the scale of suggested minimum contributions as provided in subsection (b). If the absent parent is residing out of the county, but within the State, and his whereabouts are known, the department shall obtain the court order in the court of competent jurisdiction as set forth in Section 14-21-830. Court orders of support shall in all cases specify that the payment of support shall be made directly to the department as reimbursement for assistance and not to the spouse of the absent parent. The support rights assigned to the State shall constitute an obligation owed to the State by the individual responsible for providing such support. Such obligation shall be deemed for collection purposes to be collectible under all applicable state and local processes. The amount of such obligations shall be:

(1) The amount specified in a court order which covers the assigned support rights;

(2) If there is no court order, an amount determined by the State in accordance with a formula approved by subsection (b);

(3) Any amounts collected from an absent parent under the plan shall reduce, dollar for dollar, the amount of his obligation. A debt which is a child support obligation assigned to the department under this section is not released by a discharge in bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Act.

(e) Failure of the absent parent to comply with his support obligation shall be referred to the court having jurisdiction of the matter for appropriate proceedings.

(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the department from complying with the provisions of Section 402 (a) (11) of the Social Security Act.

(g) Material falsification of information on the statement provided pursuant to Subsection (d) shall constitute a misdemeanor.

(h) In the case of an individual not otherwise eligible for collection services, a fee may be imposed in accordance with federal law, regulations, and guidelines.

(i) The department may submit to the Department of Revenue for collection and set off any debt for past-due support, including health care expenses, owed to the department or owed to an individual not otherwise eligible for collection services who has made application to the department. The debt for past-due support must be at least sixty days in arrears and is in excess of twenty-five dollars as provided in Section 12-7-2240. At the time of the submission, the department shall notify the debtor that his state tax refund will be subject to a debt for past-due support. The notice shall set forth the name of the debtor, the amount of the claimed debt, the intention to set off the refund against the debt, the taxpayer's opportunity to give written notice to contest the set off within thirty days of the date of mailing of the notice, the appropriate office of the department to which the application for a hearing must be sent, and the fact that failure to apply for a hearing in writing within the thirty-day period will be considered a waiver of the opportunity to contest the set off. If the debtor makes written application to contest the set off within thirty days of notification, the department shall provide an opportunity for a hearing and is responsible for refunding any monies wrongfully collected. If no application is made, the debtor's refund must be used to set off the amount owed. From the amount transferred from the Department of Revenue, the department shall reimburse the Department of Revenue for expenses incurred in administering this program. In the case of an individual not otherwise eligible for collection services, a fee must be imposed by the department to cover all costs. The department shall request that the Department of Revenue send to the department notice of the home address, corrected social security number, or additional Social Security numbers, if more than one is used, of any taxpayer whose name is submitted to the Department of Revenue under this subsection.

(j) The department may submit to the Internal Revenue Service and the State Department of Revenue, for federal and state tax refund offsets, the name of any obligor who is delinquent in paying court-ordered child support and who qualifies for submittal under federal or state law even if the obligor is in compliance with a court order requiring periodic payments toward satisfaction of the delinquency or even if the delinquent amount has been placed in abeyance by court order.

SECTION 43-5-222. Portion of child support payments to be paid to welfare recipients; department to be reimbursed.

From the amounts collected by the South Carolina State Department of Social Services for children and the parents of such children who are currently recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), pursuant to Section 43-5-220 of the 1976 Code, the department may distribute these amounts as follows:

(1) of amounts collected which represent monthly monetary support obligations, the first seventy-five dollars of the monthly payment must be paid to the AFDC family and thereafter must be increased up to the amount of the monthly support obligation;

(2) if the amount collected is in excess of the amounts required to be distributed under item (1), the excess must be retained by the department as reimbursement for AFDC payments made to the family for which the State has not been reimbursed. Of the amount retained by the department, the department shall determine the federal government's share so that the department may reimburse the federal government, if required, to the extent of its participation in the financing of the AFDC payment.

(3) if the amount collected is in excess of the amounts required to be distributed under (1) and (2) the family must be paid the excess.

(4) payments made to the family in item (1) may not be used in determining the amount paid, if any, in AFDC or other welfare benefits.

SECTION 43-5-225. Central registry of records; assistance of other agencies; availability of records.

(a) A central registry of records shall be maintained in the department showing as far as it is known with respect to any parent who has deserted or abandoned any child receiving aid to families with dependent children:

(1) the full and true name of such parent together with any known aliases;

(2) date and place of birth;

(3) physical description;

(4) social security number;

(5) occupation and any special skills he may have;

(6) military status and Veterans Administration or military service serial number;

(7) last known address and the date thereof;

(8) number of the driver's license;

(9) any further information that may be of assistance in locating the person.

(b) To effectuate the purposes of this section, the department shall request from all departments, commissions, boards or other agencies of the State or any of its political subdivisions such assistance and data as will enable the department and other public agencies to carry out their duties to locate deserting parents and to enforce their liability for the support of their children. The department shall utilize the "Parent Locator Service" pursuant to establishment in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare by filing in accordance with Section 453(b) of the Social Security Act.

(c) Any records established pursuant to the provisions of this Section shall be available only to public welfare offices, county attorneys, circuit solicitors, probation departments, the Attorney General, central registries in other states and courts having jurisdiction in support or abandonment proceedings or action and only for the purposes for which the records have been established.

SECTION 43-5-230. Public Welfare Cooperative Support Program Fund.

There is hereby created in the office of the State Treasurer a revolving fund to be designated as the Public Welfare Cooperative Support Program Fund which shall be used by the department in carrying out such purposes as it deems necessary. All monies in the funds are hereby appropriated to the department for such purposes and shall be paid without further appropriation under requisition or voucher drawn on the State Treasurer in the usual manner.

SECTION 43-5-235. Reimbursement of local entities for costs of child support collection and paternity determination program.

To the extent permitted by federal law, the department may enter into annual agreements with county governments, clerks of court, sheriffs, and other law enforcement entities having jurisdiction in that county to reimburse and to pay federal financial participation and incentives pursuant to the terms of the agreement to the appropriate contracting entity for a portion of the cost of developing and implementing a child support collection and paternity determination program for:

(1) securing support for persons receiving state public assistance and reimbursement of medical assistance from the legally responsible spouse or parent of assistance recipients;

(2) establishing paternity of children born out of wedlock who are receiving aid to families with dependent children and to secure support for them;

(3) all children who have sought assistance in securing support whether or not they are eligible for aid to families with dependent children and regardless of the economic circumstances. To the extent permitted by federal law, a fiscal incentive and federal financial participation must be paid to the department and provided to the entity providing the service for the collection and enforcement of child support obligations. These monies must be paid to the appropriate county treasurer or county finance office on a monthly basis and deposited into a separate account for the entity providing the service for the exclusive use by this entity for all activities related to the establishment, collection, and enforcement of child support obligations for the fiscal year in which the payments are earned and may be drawn on and used only by the entity providing the service for which the account was established. Monies paid to the contracting entity pursuant to this section may not be used to replace operating funds of the budget of the entity providing the service. Funds in the special account not encumbered for child support activities revert to the general fund of the county at the end of the fiscal year in which they were earned. Each local entity shall enter into a support enforcement agreement with the department as a condition of receiving the fiscal incentive and federal financial participation. To the extent that fiscal incentives are paid to the department and are not owed under the agreement to the contracting entity, these fiscal incentives must be reinvested in the department's Child Support Enforcement Program to increase collections of support at the state and county levels in a manner consistent with the federal laws and regulations governing incentive payments.

SECTION 43-5-240. Execution of cooperative support program agreement.

Any county desiring to obtain the benefits of appropriations from the Public Welfare Support Reimbursement Fund shall secure the formal joinder of the circuit solicitor and of the court having jurisdiction of support cases in that county in a joint plan and a cooperative support program agreement with the department and the execution of a cooperative support program agreement with the department. The execution of such agreement is hereby authorized.

SECTION 43-5-245. Time and forms for submission of plans for operating program; execution of contract upon approval.

(a) The department shall prescribe the time at and the form on which the counties and judicial districts shall submit to the department annual plans for the total staff and equipment needs and annual estimates of the expenditures of the county for the staffing and operations of the child support program for the coming agreement year.

(b) Upon approval of an annual plan and the estimated expenditures for an improved program, the department shall enter into a contract pursuant to Section 43-5-235.

SECTION 43-5-255. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

ARTICLE 3.

GENERAL RELIEF

SECTION 43-5-310. General assistance to handicapped or unfortunate persons who are unable to support themselves.

General assistance in the form of money payments shall be granted by the State Department to handicapped and unfortunate persons in need who are not eligible for other forms of assistance provided in Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19 and 23 and who are unable to support themselves because of physical or mental infirmity and would suffer unless so provided for. A recipient of such assistance must be unable to provide himself with the necessities of life, have insufficient means of his own for proper support and have no relative or other person able to provide and legally responsible for his maintenance or willing to provide therefor.

SECTION 43-5-320. General assistance to certain persons who are essential to welfare of others.

General assistance in the form of money payments may be made to persons who are essential to the welfare of aged, blind, or disabled persons receiving other forms of public assistance and who are unable to support themselves and would suffer unless so provided for. A recipient of such assistance must be unable to provide himself with the necessities of life, have insufficient means of his own for proper support and have no relative or other person able to provide and who is legally responsible for his maintenance or willing to provide therefor.

SECTION 43-5-330. Application for assistance.

Applications for assistance under this article shall be made to the county department of the county in which the applicant resides. The application shall be made in writing or reduced to writing in the manner and upon a form prescribed by the State Department.

SECTION 43-5-340. Investigation of application; visit to applicant's home.

Whenever the county department receives an application for assistance under this article, an investigation and record shall promptly be made of the circumstances of the applicant in order to ascertain the facts supporting the application and in order to obtain such other information as may be required by the rules of the State Department. The investigation may include a visit to the home of the applicant if deemed necessary by the caseworker or supervisor.

SECTION 43-5-350. Grant of assistance; amount.

Upon the completion of the investigation the county department shall decide whether the applicant is eligible for assistance under the provisions of this article. The amount of assistance which any such person shall receive shall be determined by the county department with due regard to the resources and necessary expenditures and the conditions existing in each case, in accordance with the rules and regulations made by the State Department and, within available annual appropriations, shall be sufficient when added to all other income and support of the applicant to provide such person with a reasonable subsistence compatible with decency and health.

ARTICLE 4.

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES AID TO DEPENDENT CHILDREN

SECTION 43-5-400. Definitions.

When used in this article and unless the specific context indicates otherwise:

(1) "Aid to dependent children or needy relative" means money payments with respect to or medical care in behalf of or any type of remedial care recognized under state law in behalf of a dependent child or dependent children, or a needy relative with whom any dependent child is living.

(2) "Dependent child" means a child under the age of eighteen years who has been deprived of parental support or care by reason of the death, continued absence from home or physical or mental incapacity of a parent and who is living with his father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, stepsister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew or niece in a place of residence maintained by one or more of such relatives as his or their own home and who, if not granted aid, is likely to become a public charge or who would otherwise be deprived of proper support, care or training or a child under the age of twenty-one years who is attending high school or college or regularly attending a course of vocational or technical training. The term "dependent child" shall also include a child:

(a) who could meet the requirements of this section except for his removal from the home of a relative, specified in this section as a result of a judicial determination to the effect that continuation therein would be contrary to the welfare of the child;

(b) whose placement and care are the responsibility of the state agency; and

(c) who has been placed in a foster family home or child care institution as a result of such determination.

(3) The term "foster family home" or "child care institution" means a foster family home or child care institution for children which is licensed by the State.

SECTION 43-5-410. Cooperation with federal government; administration of funds.

The State Department may cooperate with the Federal Government in the development of plans and policies for aid to dependent children. It shall administer all funds appropriated or made available for this purpose.

SECTION 43-5-420. Application for aid.

Any person having knowledge that any child is dependent and that the interest of such child or of the public requires that such child be granted aid may bring such fact to the attention of the county department in the county in which the dependent child has residence or to the State Department by making application for aid on such blanks as the State Department shall prescribe and supply, furnishing such information as is required thereon and is necessary for the proper administration of these purposes.

SECTION 43-5-430. Investigation and report.

The county department shall make an investigation and examination of the circumstances of such child. Such investigation and examination shall be made in accordance with rules prescribed by the State Department. A report of such investigation and examination shall be made in writing and shall become a part of the records of the county department.

SECTION 43-5-440. Grant for aid; denial of aid; appeal.

If such child is found to be in need, the county department shall grant such aid as may be necessary for the support of such child in his own home or in the home of one of his relatives as set forth in this article, in a manner compatible with decency and health. In case application for aid for a dependent child is rejected by the county department, appeal may be made to the State Department as elsewhere provided in this article.

SECTION 43-5-450. Amount of grants.

In granting aid for dependent children the amount granted shall not exceed thirty dollars per month for one child in any home, nor twenty-one dollars per month for each additional child in the same home, and shall not exceed thirty dollars per month for a needy relative with whom any dependent child is living.

Provided, the state agency shall with respect to any month disregard:

(1) all of the earned income of each dependent child receiving aid to families with dependent children who is a full-time student to part-time student who is not a full-time employee attending a school, college, or university, or a course of vocational or technical training designed to fit him for gainful employment; and

(2) in the case of earned income of a dependent child not included under item (1), a relative receiving such aid, and any other individual (living in the same home as such relative and child) whose needs are taken into account in making such determination, the first thirty dollars of the total of such earned income for such month plus one third of the remainder of such income for such month. Provided, further, that the provisions of this item shall not apply to earned income derived from participation on a project maintained under the programs established by Section 432(b)(2) and (3) of the Federal Social Security Act.

Provided, further, that within the limitations of the State appropriation the maximum amount per caretaker and per child may be increased not in excess of the amount which may hereafter be matched by the Federal Government.

SECTION 43-5-460. Estimate of amount needed per county.

Each county department shall prepare, as required by the State Department, an estimate of the amount needed for dependent children in its county. Such estimate shall set forth the number of children being aided, with the amounts of grants to each individual child and such information or data as is necessary for the State Department to estimate the probable increase or decrease during the next ensuing period. A copy of such estimates from the various county departments shall be furnished each member of the legislative delegation of the respective counties.

SECTION 43-5-470. Federal funds for aid to dependent children.

The State Treasurer shall receive and deposit in the State Treasury any Federal funds allotted to the State under Section 403 of Title IV of the Federal Social Security Act, or otherwise, for aid to dependent children. Such sums shall be kept by the State Treasurer in a dependent children's aid account.

ARTICLE 5.

SOUTH CAROLINA EMPLOYABLES PROGRAM ACT

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-580. Enforcement of support obligations of absent parents.

(a) Every applicant for Family Independence benefits who has a child or children whose parent is alive but not residing in the home must be referred to the Office of Child Support Enforcement within two working days of the furnishing of aid or the determination that an individual is a recipient of Family Independence benefits. The department is responsible for taking all steps necessary to identify, locate, and obtain support payments from absent parents.

(b) The department shall promulgate regulations which establish guidelines for minimum contributions which must be applied by the courts in determining the amount that an absent parent is expected to pay toward the support of a dependent child. Copies of the guidelines must be made available to courts, district attorneys, and to the public. The guidelines formulated pursuant to this section must be applied pursuant to the provisions of Section 63-17-470.

(c) Failure of the absent parent to comply with his support obligations must be referred to the court having jurisdiction of this matter for appropriate proceedings.

SECTION 43-5-585. Repealed by 2008 Act No. 361, Section 8, eff June 16, 2008.

SECTION 43-5-590. Powers and duties of Department of Social Services in accordance with approved child support plan.

In accordance with a child support plan approved by the federal government, the department has the power and its duty must be to:

(a) require as a condition of eligibility for assistance that the applicant or recipient:

(i) furnish his social security account number or, to the extent permitted by federal law, proof of making application for a social security account number if the applicant or recipient has no social security account number;

(ii) assign to the State the rights to support, including health care expenses, from any other person the applicant may have in his own behalf or in behalf of any other family member for whom the applicant is applying for or receiving aid and which have accrued at the time the assignment is executed or which may accrue in the future. By accepting public assistance for or on behalf of a child or children, by making application for services under Title IV-D, or through placement of a child or children in state-funded foster care or under Title IV-E, except where good cause as determined by the agency exists, the recipient or applicant is considered to have made an assignment to the State Department of Social Services of rights, title, and interest to a support obligation which is owed for the child or children or for the absent parent's spouse or former spouse who is the recipient or the applicant with whom the child is living, if and to the extent that a spousal support obligation has been established and the child and the child support obligation is being enforced pursuant to Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act. The assignment to the department is considered to have been made up to the amount of public assistance money, including Medicaid payments, or foster care board payments paid for or on behalf of the child or children for that period of time as the public assistance monies or foster care board payments are paid. The assignment consists of all rights and interest in a support obligation that the recipient may be owed past, present, or future by a person up to the amount of public assistance money, including Medicaid payments, paid to the recipient for or on behalf of the minor child or children or a child in foster care. The department is subrogated to the rights of the child or children or the person having custody of the child or children to collect and receive all support payments. The department has the right to initiate a support action in its own name or in the name of the recipient to recover payments ordered by the courts of this or any other state or to obtain a court order to initiate these payments including an action to determine the paternity of a child. The clerk of court shall execute the necessary order substituting the department and changing the payee of the support to the department upon receipt by the clerk of the notice of assignment.

(iii) cooperate with the department in establishing the paternity of a child born out of wedlock with respect to whom aid is claimed, and in obtaining support payments for such applicant and for a child with respect to whom such aid is claimed, or in obtaining any other payments or property due such applicant of such child and that, if the relative with whom a child is living is found to be ineligible because of failure to comply with the requirements of items (a) and (b), any aid for which such child is eligible will be provided in the form of protective payments. The department shall establish criteria in accordance with federal regulations to determine whether action to establish paternity and secure support is not in the best interest of a child.

(b) Provide for protective payments for any child eligible for assistance when a caretaker relative is ineligible due to the caretaker relative's failure to comply with either subitems (1) or (2) of item (a) of this section.

(c) Provide that in any case in which the child support payments are collected for a child with respect to whom an assignment has been made pursuant to subitem (ii) of item (a) of this section the payment is made to the department for distribution pursuant to item (g) of this section except for those payments made for any month in which the amount collected is sufficient to make the family ineligible for assistance. The department shall pay the amounts to the recipient consistent with federal laws and regulations. Whenever a family ceases receiving public assistance the assignment pursuant to subitem (ii) of item (a) of this section converts to a nonpublic assistance assignment. However, the nonpublic assistance recipient may submit a written request to have the assignment terminated except with respect to the amount of any unpaid support obligation that has accrued under the assignment. From this amount the department shall attempt to collect the unpaid obligation and distribute the amounts consistent with federal laws and regulations. The department may not charge fees or recover costs from support collections and shall pay all amounts collected which represent monthly support payment and arrearage owed to the family. The department shall continue to provide all appropriate IV-D services and distribute any amount


State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > South-carolina > Title-43 > Chapter-5

Title 43 - Social Services

CHAPTER 5.

PUBLIC AID, ASSISTANCE AND RELIEF GENERALLY

ARTICLE 1.

PUBLIC AID AND ASSISTANCE

SECTION 43-5-10. Implementation and administration of public welfare program; regulations.

The Department of Social Services shall be responsible for maintaining uniformity in the administration of public welfare throughout the State. The director shall be the only person authorized to determine and implement the policies of the department. The department shall issue regulations pursuant to Sections 1-23-10, et seq., whenever changes in federal laws and regulations supersede existing state statutes. In adopting regulations the department shall strive for clarity of language which may be readily understood by those administering aid and by those who apply for or receive aid.

SECTION 43-5-15. Applications for assistance; manner and form.

Applications for assistance under the provisions of this chapter shall be made as provided in this chapter and when no such provision has been made in accordance with the manner and form prescribed by the department.

SECTION 43-5-20. Payments to support needy child and eligible caretaker; counseling for recipient where aid not being used in best interests of child; appointment of protective payee.

(a) It is the intent of the General Assembly that all payments of aid to families with dependent children shall be utilized and managed in such manner as to support the needy child and his eligible caretaker. Such payments shall include current payments as well as any portion of past payments returned to a current or former recipient.

(b) Whenever the department has reason to believe that any payment of aid to dependent children is not being or may not be used in the best interests of the child, the department shall provide counseling to the recipient and shall provide that continued failure to so use such payments after counseling has begun may result in the appointment of a protective payee in accordance with Section 43-5-65.

SECTION 43-5-24. Provision of AFDC applicants with contraception and family planning information.

When an individual applies for assistance through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program, the Department of Social Services must provide the applicant with information on methods of contraception and family planning, excluding abortion counseling. The Department of Health and Environmental Control shall provide a brochure or some similar information packet on contraceptive methods and family planning to the Department of Social Services which the Department of Social Services can easily reproduce and distribute. Abortion must not be included in the brochure or information packet provided by the Department of Health and Environmental Control. If the applicant expresses an interest in scheduling an appointment with a local health department to obtain further information and counseling on contraceptive methods and family planning, the Department of Social Services shall assist the applicant in scheduling the appointment.

SECTION 43-5-25. Willful use of payment for purpose not in best interests of child; protective payee.

Any person, other than a needy child, who wilfully and knowingly receives or uses any part of a payment of aid to dependent children for a purpose other than in the best interest of the needy children and any eligible caretaker is deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than one year or both.

If such misuse occurs, a protective payee will be appointed in accordance with Section 43-5-65 to manage assistance funds intended for the otherwise eligible child.

SECTION 43-5-30. Overpayments and underpayments; recoupment or correction.

(a) If an overpayment or underpayment is made under the Family Independence Program, the department shall make every effort to correct payment. If the agency decides to terminate benefits to a client and payments are made pending an appeal of the agency's decision, these payments must be considered overpayment if the agency's decision is upheld.

(b) Overpayment means a financial assistance payment received which exceeds the amount for which the client was eligible. Underpayment means a financial assistance payment received which is less than the amount for which the client unit was eligible.

(c) The agency can recover an overpayment by:

(1) receiving a payment from the client or former client; or

(2) by reducing the amount of any future aid payable to the client. The adjustment in future aid shall not reduce the family's monthly income to less than ninety percent of the amount payable to a family of the same composition with no other income. If no payment is made for a month solely by reason of the recovery of an overpayment, that individual is still considered a recipient of assistance for that month for purposes of enrollment date.

(d) If an individual has received an overpayment and does not repay the agency and is no longer receiving aid so that future payments cannot be reduced, the agency shall make recovery by taking appropriate action under the laws of the State against the income or resources of the individual or family.

(e) Correction of underpayments of assistance must be made to current recipients and those who would be current recipients if the error causing the underpayment had not occurred. For the purposes of determining continued eligibility and amount of assistance, the retroactive corrective payments are not considered income or a resource in the month paid nor in the next following month.

SECTION 43-5-35. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-40. Unlawful publication or other use of records; penalty.

It is unlawful for a person to solicit, disclose, receive, make use of, authorize, knowingly permit, participate in, or acquiesce in the use of a list, name of, or any information concerning persons applying for or receiving public aid or assistance, directly or indirectly derived from the records, papers, files, or communications of the State or county departments of social services or acquired in the course of the performance of official duties, except for purposes directly connected with the administration of Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23 or of old age assistance, aid to the blind, aid to dependent children, or general relief and in accordance with the regulations of the department.

A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

SECTION 43-5-45. Notice by department of intended action.

The department shall provide timely and adequate notice in all cases of intended action to discontinue, terminate, suspend, or reduce an assistance grant except in those cases where adequate notice alone would be consistent with the requirements of state law or regulation.

"Timely notice" means notice which is mailed at least ten days before the intended change would be effective.

"Adequate notice" means notice which is mailed not later than the date of action.

Both timely and adequate notice shall include a statement of what action the agency intends to take, the reasons for the intended action, an explanation of the individual's right to request an administrative hearing on the propriety of the intended action and the circumstances under which assistance is continued if a hearing is requested.

SECTION 43-5-50. One-time grant in event assistance check lost, stolen or destroyed.

In the event that a recipient of aid to families with dependent children does not receive an assistance check, or if such check is lost, stolen, or destroyed after receipt but before it is cashed, the county office may authorize a one-time grant in the amount of the original check provided the recipient files an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, stating the facts of the loss, theft, destruction, or nonreceipt of the check and setting forth all material facts relative to its loss, theft, destruction, or nonreceipt. The affidavit shall further witness the recipient's understanding of his obligation, should the lost, stolen, destroyed, or nonreceived check come into his possession, to return such check immediately to the county office and that cashing or attempting to cash such check constitutes fraud.

SECTION 43-5-55. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-60. Assistance subject to future legislation; no claim against State.

All assistance granted under Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23 shall be deemed to be granted and to be held subject to the provisions of any amending or repealing act that may be passed and no recipient shall have any claim for compensation, or otherwise, by reason of his assistance being affected in any way by an amending or repealing act, nor shall he have any claim against the State for any failure upon the part of the General Assembly in any year to appropriate sufficient funds to pay grants previously made.

SECTION 43-5-65. Application of eligibility.

(a) As a condition of eligibility, a needy family applying for Family Independence benefits shall complete an application of eligibility containing a written declaration of information as may be required to establish eligibility and amount of aid. The application shall include blanks, wherein must be stated the names of all children, adults, or minor parents applying for or receiving aid, their birthdates and Social Security numbers; their present place of residence; their income received from employment, the absent parent, governmental social insurance or aid programs, gifts, sale of real or personal property, interest, dividends, or from any other source; and any interest in property, real or personal.

Failure to provide this information shall result in a finding of ineligibility of benefits for Family Independence benefits. The department shall provide assistance as needed to complete the application and shall ensure that all applicants or recipients have or promptly apply for and obtain a Social Security number. No assistance may be granted to Family Independence applicants or recipients until a valid Social Security number has been provided to the department for each member of the family for whom aid is sought or when numbers are not available until there is proof that application for the Social Security number has been made. The department shall assist the applicant or recipient in obtaining a Social Security number through procedures adopted in cooperation with the Social Security Administration or the applicant or recipient may apply for a Social Security number at the Social Security Administration office. For purposes of state-funded or Title IV-E Foster Care, the application for the Social Security number must be made by the state or local department. The application for eligibility also shall provide that, as a condition of eligibility for aid, each applicant or recipient shall:

(1) Assign to the State any rights to support from any other person the applicant may have in his own behalf or in behalf of any other family member for whom the applicant is applying for or receiving aid and which have accrued at the time the assignment is executed or which may accrue in the future; however, by accepting public assistance for or on behalf of a child or children, or by making application for services under Title IV-D or through placement of a child or children in state-funded foster care or under Title IV-E, except where good cause as determined by the department exists, the recipient or applicant is considered to have made an assignment to the State Department of Social Services of any rights, title, and interest to any support obligation which is owed for the child or children or for the absent parent's spouse or former spouse who is the recipient or the applicant with whom the child is living, if and to the extent that a spousal support obligation has been established and the child support obligation is being enforced pursuant to Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act. The assignment to the department is considered to have been made up to the amount of public assistance money or foster care board payments paid for or on behalf of the child or children for that period of time as the public assistance monies or foster care board payments are paid. The assignment consists of all rights and interest in any support obligation that the recipient may be owed past, present, or future by any person up to the amount of public assistance money paid to the recipient for or on behalf of the minor child or children or a child in foster care. The department is subrogated to the rights of the child or children or the person having custody of the child or children to collect and receive all support payments. The department has the right to initiate a support action in its own name or in the name of the recipient to recover payments ordered by the courts of this or any other state or to obtain a court order to initiate these payments including an action to determine the paternity of a child.

(2) Cooperate with the State in establishing the paternity of a child born out of wedlock with respect to whom aid is claimed and in obtaining support payments for the applicant and for a child with respect to whom the aid is claimed or in obtaining any other payments or property due the applicant of the child and that, if the relative with whom a child is living is found to be ineligible because of failure to comply with the requirements of items (1) and (2), aid for which the child is eligible must be provided in the form of protective payments. The department shall establish criteria in accordance with federal regulations to determine whether action to establish paternity and secure support is not in the best interest of a child.

(b) The term "protective payments" shall mean payments with respect to any dependent child which are made to another individual who, as determined in accordance with standards prescribed by the department, is interested in or concerned with the welfare of such child or relative, or are made on behalf of such child or relative directly to a person furnishing food, living accommodations, or other goods, services, or items to or for such child.

(c) Prior to determinations of eligibility, the department shall conduct a personal interview with the adult members of the family or with the caretaker relatives of the needy children.

(d) The department shall redetermine all elements of eligibility periodically but not less frequently than every twelve months. The department may require the family to complete a new application at the time of each redetermination.

(e) If the application is mailed to the family, it must be accompanied by an addressed envelope for its return. In no event may the acts of mailing to the recipient or the recipient's return of a completed application to the department be substituted in lieu of a personal interview.

(f) Each adult member of the family shall provide, under penalty of perjury the information necessary to complete the application. The applications used by the department shall contain a statement that the applicant or recipient understands that he has an obligation to report immediately to the department any changes of address, household composition, employment, loss of employment, or any other factor which may affect eligibility and that the declarations in the application are correct and complete to the best of the applicant's or recipient's knowledge or belief and are made under penalty of perjury. The statement shall clearly specify that failure to report changes in circumstances that may affect eligibility and grant amount within ten calendar days of the day on which the change becomes known to the recipient constitutes withholding of information and permits the department to recover any overpayment occasioned or caused by the withholding in accordance with Section 43-5-30. This application must be signed by the applicant or recipient of assistance or any person completing the application for an applicant or recipient unable to do so himself.

The person completing the application for an applicant or recipient unable to do so himself must sign a statement attesting to the fact that this section has been explained to the applicant and to the belief that the applicant understands.

SECTION 43-5-70. Identification and proof of residence; verification of employment, income and other information; absence from State.

The department shall require that all persons applying for assistance shall provide acceptable identification and proof of residence and the department shall by regulation specify what constitutes adequate identification and proof of residence. The department shall require that all reports of employment or income be verified by letter or direct contact with the employer of the applicant or recipient and if the verification is made by letter, a stamped self-addressed envelope shall be enclosed and request for prompt return shall be made. The department shall verify all other information related to the eligibility in any case in which there is reason to believe that the applicant has falsified, misrepresented, or omitted any material facts such as age and number of children, real and personal property, including bank accounts and insurance policies or any other resources. No person shall be eligible for aid to families with dependent children unless he is a resident of the State.

If a recipient is or will be absent from the State for a period of thirty days or longer, the department shall consider the recipient ineligible for assistance.

It is not the intent of the General Assembly in enacting this section to create any durational residence requirement.

SECTION 43-5-75. Information from banks concerning applicant or recipient of aid.

The director or his authorized agent may, after signed authorization from the applicant or recipient, request and receive from any bank or other financial institution doing business in South Carolina information with respect to the transaction with any such institution of any applicant for or recipient of any form of aid or relief under this article and it shall be the duty of the officers and employees of such institution to furnish the information within ten working days to the department pursuant to the written request of the director.

SECTIONS 43-5-85, 43-5-90. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-85, 43-5-90. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-95. Aid to eighteen-year-old full-time students who are in secondary school or other equivalent training.

Aid may be granted under the provisions of this section to or in behalf of an eligible child over the age of eighteen but not yet nineteen, if he is a full-time student in a secondary school, or in the equivalent level of vocational or technical training.

SECTIONS 43-5-100 to 43-5-115. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-100 to 43-5-115. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-100 to 43-5-115. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-100 to 43-5-115. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-120. Request for income tax return; use of information contained in return; notice to recipient; referral to authorities of violations of law.

(a) The Department of Revenue shall provide the director or his designees an abstract of the income tax return requested, or provide information concerning any item of income or expense, including support claimed to have been provided to dependent children or step-children, contained in the income tax return or disclosed by any investigation of the income or return of the applicant or recipient.

(b) The information obtained pursuant to this section shall be used or disclosed only for the purpose of enabling the department to verify or determine the eligibility of an applicant or recipient or to enable the Department of Revenue to determine whether tax fraud has been committed.

(c) The applicant or recipient whose income tax records have been requested from the Department of Revenue shall be notified by mail that such request has been made at the time of the request.

(d) Any violation or suspected violation of state or federal law determined under this section shall be referred to the appropriate state or federal law enforcement authorities.

(e) The director or his designees shall be subject to the provisions of Section 12-7-1680 of the 1976 Code regarding the confidentiality of state income tax records.

SECTION 43-5-125. "Living with" defined; verification of child's residence.

The term "living with" means that the caretaker relative and the child maintain a common place of residence. The requirement shall be considered met if a home and family setting is maintained or is being established and the caretaker relative exercises responsibility for the care and control of the child even though the child or caretaker is temporarily absent from time to time. A child is considered to be "living with" the caretaker relative even though he is under the jurisdiction of the court or is in the legal custody of an agency that does not have physical possession of the child.

Temporary absences by either the caretaker relative or the child from the home for purposes such as vacationing, visiting, hospitalization, convalescing, and school attendance shall not constitute a break in the "living with" requirement. The temporary absence may not exceed thirty days; however, the department may extend the absence, in extenuating circumstances, for up to an additional sixty days if it is determined that a longer absence would serve the best interests of the family.

SECTION 43-5-130. Consideration of income of relative claiming aid to families with dependent children.

(a) The department shall, in determining need, take into consideration any income or resources of any relative claiming aid to families with dependent children, whose needs the department determines would be considered in determining the need of a child or relative claiming such aid, as well as any expense reasonably attributed to the earning of any such income.

(b) Income, as used in subsection (a), includes any benefit in cash which is in fact currently available to the individual or is received by him as a result of current or past labor or service, or business activities.

(c) To be considered in determining eligibility for, and amount of grant, income must, in fact, be currently available to the applicant or recipient. However, the applicant or recipient shall, as a necessary condition of determining eligibility:

(1) provide all information necessary to income determination;

(2) take all actions necessary to obtain unconditionally available income. Income shall be considered unconditionally available if the applicant or recipient has only to claim or accept such income, including any type of governmental benefits, social insurance, and private pension or benefits plan.

(d) The department shall require evidence which establishes the gross and net amount of income received and the time and frequency of receipt. Documents and records in the possession of the applicant or recipient together with a written statement made under penalty of perjury that such information is correct and complete to the best of the applicant or recipient's knowledge or belief constitute adequate sources of evidence in absence of conflicts. Such documents or records shall be returned promptly to the applicant or recipient after necessary copies have been made and placed in the case records.

SECTION 43-5-140. Annual notification of eligibility and reporting requirements; duty to report; failure to report; change in eligibility.

(a) It shall be the duty of the department to ensure that every applicant for or recipient of aid to families with dependent children be informed not less frequently than annually as to the provisions of eligibility and his responsibility for reporting all facts material to a correct determination of eligibility and amount of grant. After such information has been provided, the department shall require the recipient and caseworker to execute a formal acknowledgment, on a form prescribed for such purpose, describing what steps were taken to explain the eligibility and reporting requirements to the recipient and that such explanation was understood by the recipient.

(b) Each applicant for or recipient or payee of such aid to families with dependent children shall be responsible to report accurately and completely those facts required of him, pursuant to the explanation provided by the department.

(c) The failure of an applicant or recipient to report facts which may affect eligibility and grant determination within ten days of the date upon which the applicant or recipient became aware of such facts shall constitute a wilful withholding of such information and permit the department to recover any overpayment occasioned or caused by the wilful withholding. Such facts may include, but are not limited to, composition of household, address or any other factor which may affect eligibility, or failure or refusal to obtain unconditionally available income. If appropriate, recoupment proceedings may be initiated.

(d) When the department receives information that would result in a change in grant amount or eligibility, the department shall take action to adjust the grant or redetermine eligibility, consistent with notice requirements, within ten days of receipt of such information.

SECTION 43-5-145. Investigation of application.

Investigation of each application shall be made by the county departments as provided in Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23 or as required by the state department.

SECTION 43-5-148. Date on which assistance shall begin.

Family Independence benefits shall begin on the date of application if the benefit group met all the eligibility conditions on that date. Payments for partial months must be prorated by the ratio of the days in the month to the date of application.

SECTION 43-5-150. Appeal to State department; proceedings; further appeals.

In the event an application is denied or the amount or terms of a grant or of any withdrawal or modification thereof be deemed inadequate or unjust by the applicant or recipient, the applicant or recipient or anyone acting in his behalf may demand a review of his case before the department by filing his written request for such review with the county department not more than sixty days after notice of its action shall have been received. The county department shall, within ten days, certify its records and data on the case and such additional information as it deems relevant to the department. The department shall promptly grant to the applicant or recipient an opportunity for a fair hearing upon the questions raised by the applicant or recipient. At this hearing any party in interest may appear and present any relevant facts. The department shall produce such further evidence as it may deem necessary and shall certify its findings and decision on the case back to the county department concerned. Appeals from the decision of the department may be made to an administrative hearing examiner pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act.

SECTION 43-5-155. Appeal if application not acted upon within specified time.

If an application is not acted upon by the county department within the time limitations specified in Section 43-5-148 the applicant may appeal to the state department in the manner and form prescribed in Section 43-5-150.

SECTION 43-5-160. Review by state department on own motion or request of applicant.

The state department may also, upon its own motion or at the request of the applicant, review any decision of a county department and may consider any application upon which a decision has not been made by the county department within a reasonable time.

SECTION 43-5-165. Investigation, hearing, and decision by state department.

Upon any appeal under Section 43-5-150 or any review under Section 43-5-160, the state department may make such additional investigation as it may deem necessary and shall make such decision as to the granting of assistance and the amount of assistance to be granted the applicant as in its opinion is justified and in conformity with the provisions of Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23. As to any action taken by the state department under this section, the state department shall grant the applicant or recipient an opportunity for a fair hearing as provided under Section 43-5-150.

SECTION 43-5-170. Subpoenas, oaths and examinations of witnesses.

The department may issue subpoenas for witnesses and compel their attendance and the production of papers and writings and the director and employees designated by him may administer oaths and examine witnesses under oath.

SECTION 43-5-175. Effect of state department's decision on county department.

All decisions of the state department shall be binding upon the county department involved and shall be complied with by such county department.

SECTION 43-5-180. Charges and fees for representing applicants or recipients of assistance.

No person shall make any charge or receive any fee for representing the applicant or recipient of assistance in connection with the granting of any assistance provided for in Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23, except as to criminal proceedings and except upon appeal to the department, and then only in a reasonable amount and subject to the regulations of the department.

SECTION 43-5-185. Public officers prohibited from attempting to influence decisions regarding applications for assistance; penalty.

Any public officer not charged with the administration of Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19, and 23 who attempts to influence a decision of the county department or state department respecting the application of any person for assistance or respecting the assistance to be paid or being paid shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both, in the discretion of the court. The giving of information within the personal knowledge of such officer, in writing, shall not constitute an offense under this section.

SECTION 43-5-190. Payments to be exempt from taxes, levy or other process; payments to be inalienable and unassignable; bankruptcy.

All amounts paid or payable as assistance shall be exempt from any tax levied by the State or any subdivision thereof, shall be exempt from levy and sale, attachment or any other process whatsoever, and shall be inalienable and unassignable in advance in any form and, in case of bankruptcy, shall not pass to the trustee or other person acting on behalf of the creditors of the recipient of assistance.

SECTION 43-5-195. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-200. Endorsement when recipient dies after issuance of check.

When a recipient dies after issuance but before delivery or negotiation of his assistance check for the month in which his death occurs, endorsement of such check without recourse by the county director of social services to the "spouse or nearest living relative" of the recipient shall be sufficient authority to the drawee bank to pay such check.

SECTIONS 43-5-210, 43-5-215. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-210, 43-5-215. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-220. Obtaining support payments from absent parents; amount; proceedings.

(a) Every applicant for family independence benefits who has a child by a parent who is alive but not living in the home at the time of approval for family independence must be immediately referred to the designated child support official of the department. The department shall be responsible for taking all steps necessary to identify, locate, and obtain support payments from absent parents.

(b) The department shall establish a scale of suggested minimum contributions to assist courts in determining the amount that an absent parent should be expected to pay toward the support of a dependent child. The scale shall include consideration of gross income, shall authorize expense deductions including deductions for taxes for determining net income, shall designate other available resources to be considered and shall specify the circumstances which should be considered in reducing liability on the basis of hardship. Copies of this scale shall be made available to courts, county attorneys, circuit solicitors, and to the public. It is intended that the scale formulated pursuant to this section be optional, and that no court or support official be required to use it.

(c) In all cases in which the whereabouts of the absent parent is known, the department shall, immediately upon approval of the application for assistance, notify the absent parent of the filing of the application and of his responsibility to complete and return a written statement of his current monthly income, his total income over the past twelve months, a description of real and personal property owned by him, together with an estimate of its value, the number of dependents for whom he is providing support, the amount he is contributing regularly toward the support of all children for whom application for aid to families with dependent children has been made, his Social Security number, his itemized monthly living expenses and such other information as the department determines to be pertinent in determining his ability to support his children.

The absent parent shall complete and return such statement to the department within ten days after notification by the department. The department may request the absent parent to report for a personal interview.

If the absent parent statement is not completed within ten days after notification, the department shall cause prompt personal service to be made. If the written statement is not completed and returned within ten days after personal service, the department shall immediately refer the matter for prosecution for nonsupport.

(d) When the department has obtained sufficient information concerning the absent parent, it shall immediately determine his ability to support his children and shall obtain a court order specifying an appropriate amount of support in accordance with the scale of suggested minimum contributions as provided in subsection (b). If the absent parent is residing out of the county, but within the State, and his whereabouts are known, the department shall obtain the court order in the court of competent jurisdiction as set forth in Section 14-21-830. Court orders of support shall in all cases specify that the payment of support shall be made directly to the department as reimbursement for assistance and not to the spouse of the absent parent. The support rights assigned to the State shall constitute an obligation owed to the State by the individual responsible for providing such support. Such obligation shall be deemed for collection purposes to be collectible under all applicable state and local processes. The amount of such obligations shall be:

(1) The amount specified in a court order which covers the assigned support rights;

(2) If there is no court order, an amount determined by the State in accordance with a formula approved by subsection (b);

(3) Any amounts collected from an absent parent under the plan shall reduce, dollar for dollar, the amount of his obligation. A debt which is a child support obligation assigned to the department under this section is not released by a discharge in bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Act.

(e) Failure of the absent parent to comply with his support obligation shall be referred to the court having jurisdiction of the matter for appropriate proceedings.

(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve the department from complying with the provisions of Section 402 (a) (11) of the Social Security Act.

(g) Material falsification of information on the statement provided pursuant to Subsection (d) shall constitute a misdemeanor.

(h) In the case of an individual not otherwise eligible for collection services, a fee may be imposed in accordance with federal law, regulations, and guidelines.

(i) The department may submit to the Department of Revenue for collection and set off any debt for past-due support, including health care expenses, owed to the department or owed to an individual not otherwise eligible for collection services who has made application to the department. The debt for past-due support must be at least sixty days in arrears and is in excess of twenty-five dollars as provided in Section 12-7-2240. At the time of the submission, the department shall notify the debtor that his state tax refund will be subject to a debt for past-due support. The notice shall set forth the name of the debtor, the amount of the claimed debt, the intention to set off the refund against the debt, the taxpayer's opportunity to give written notice to contest the set off within thirty days of the date of mailing of the notice, the appropriate office of the department to which the application for a hearing must be sent, and the fact that failure to apply for a hearing in writing within the thirty-day period will be considered a waiver of the opportunity to contest the set off. If the debtor makes written application to contest the set off within thirty days of notification, the department shall provide an opportunity for a hearing and is responsible for refunding any monies wrongfully collected. If no application is made, the debtor's refund must be used to set off the amount owed. From the amount transferred from the Department of Revenue, the department shall reimburse the Department of Revenue for expenses incurred in administering this program. In the case of an individual not otherwise eligible for collection services, a fee must be imposed by the department to cover all costs. The department shall request that the Department of Revenue send to the department notice of the home address, corrected social security number, or additional Social Security numbers, if more than one is used, of any taxpayer whose name is submitted to the Department of Revenue under this subsection.

(j) The department may submit to the Internal Revenue Service and the State Department of Revenue, for federal and state tax refund offsets, the name of any obligor who is delinquent in paying court-ordered child support and who qualifies for submittal under federal or state law even if the obligor is in compliance with a court order requiring periodic payments toward satisfaction of the delinquency or even if the delinquent amount has been placed in abeyance by court order.

SECTION 43-5-222. Portion of child support payments to be paid to welfare recipients; department to be reimbursed.

From the amounts collected by the South Carolina State Department of Social Services for children and the parents of such children who are currently recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), pursuant to Section 43-5-220 of the 1976 Code, the department may distribute these amounts as follows:

(1) of amounts collected which represent monthly monetary support obligations, the first seventy-five dollars of the monthly payment must be paid to the AFDC family and thereafter must be increased up to the amount of the monthly support obligation;

(2) if the amount collected is in excess of the amounts required to be distributed under item (1), the excess must be retained by the department as reimbursement for AFDC payments made to the family for which the State has not been reimbursed. Of the amount retained by the department, the department shall determine the federal government's share so that the department may reimburse the federal government, if required, to the extent of its participation in the financing of the AFDC payment.

(3) if the amount collected is in excess of the amounts required to be distributed under (1) and (2) the family must be paid the excess.

(4) payments made to the family in item (1) may not be used in determining the amount paid, if any, in AFDC or other welfare benefits.

SECTION 43-5-225. Central registry of records; assistance of other agencies; availability of records.

(a) A central registry of records shall be maintained in the department showing as far as it is known with respect to any parent who has deserted or abandoned any child receiving aid to families with dependent children:

(1) the full and true name of such parent together with any known aliases;

(2) date and place of birth;

(3) physical description;

(4) social security number;

(5) occupation and any special skills he may have;

(6) military status and Veterans Administration or military service serial number;

(7) last known address and the date thereof;

(8) number of the driver's license;

(9) any further information that may be of assistance in locating the person.

(b) To effectuate the purposes of this section, the department shall request from all departments, commissions, boards or other agencies of the State or any of its political subdivisions such assistance and data as will enable the department and other public agencies to carry out their duties to locate deserting parents and to enforce their liability for the support of their children. The department shall utilize the "Parent Locator Service" pursuant to establishment in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare by filing in accordance with Section 453(b) of the Social Security Act.

(c) Any records established pursuant to the provisions of this Section shall be available only to public welfare offices, county attorneys, circuit solicitors, probation departments, the Attorney General, central registries in other states and courts having jurisdiction in support or abandonment proceedings or action and only for the purposes for which the records have been established.

SECTION 43-5-230. Public Welfare Cooperative Support Program Fund.

There is hereby created in the office of the State Treasurer a revolving fund to be designated as the Public Welfare Cooperative Support Program Fund which shall be used by the department in carrying out such purposes as it deems necessary. All monies in the funds are hereby appropriated to the department for such purposes and shall be paid without further appropriation under requisition or voucher drawn on the State Treasurer in the usual manner.

SECTION 43-5-235. Reimbursement of local entities for costs of child support collection and paternity determination program.

To the extent permitted by federal law, the department may enter into annual agreements with county governments, clerks of court, sheriffs, and other law enforcement entities having jurisdiction in that county to reimburse and to pay federal financial participation and incentives pursuant to the terms of the agreement to the appropriate contracting entity for a portion of the cost of developing and implementing a child support collection and paternity determination program for:

(1) securing support for persons receiving state public assistance and reimbursement of medical assistance from the legally responsible spouse or parent of assistance recipients;

(2) establishing paternity of children born out of wedlock who are receiving aid to families with dependent children and to secure support for them;

(3) all children who have sought assistance in securing support whether or not they are eligible for aid to families with dependent children and regardless of the economic circumstances. To the extent permitted by federal law, a fiscal incentive and federal financial participation must be paid to the department and provided to the entity providing the service for the collection and enforcement of child support obligations. These monies must be paid to the appropriate county treasurer or county finance office on a monthly basis and deposited into a separate account for the entity providing the service for the exclusive use by this entity for all activities related to the establishment, collection, and enforcement of child support obligations for the fiscal year in which the payments are earned and may be drawn on and used only by the entity providing the service for which the account was established. Monies paid to the contracting entity pursuant to this section may not be used to replace operating funds of the budget of the entity providing the service. Funds in the special account not encumbered for child support activities revert to the general fund of the county at the end of the fiscal year in which they were earned. Each local entity shall enter into a support enforcement agreement with the department as a condition of receiving the fiscal incentive and federal financial participation. To the extent that fiscal incentives are paid to the department and are not owed under the agreement to the contracting entity, these fiscal incentives must be reinvested in the department's Child Support Enforcement Program to increase collections of support at the state and county levels in a manner consistent with the federal laws and regulations governing incentive payments.

SECTION 43-5-240. Execution of cooperative support program agreement.

Any county desiring to obtain the benefits of appropriations from the Public Welfare Support Reimbursement Fund shall secure the formal joinder of the circuit solicitor and of the court having jurisdiction of support cases in that county in a joint plan and a cooperative support program agreement with the department and the execution of a cooperative support program agreement with the department. The execution of such agreement is hereby authorized.

SECTION 43-5-245. Time and forms for submission of plans for operating program; execution of contract upon approval.

(a) The department shall prescribe the time at and the form on which the counties and judicial districts shall submit to the department annual plans for the total staff and equipment needs and annual estimates of the expenditures of the county for the staffing and operations of the child support program for the coming agreement year.

(b) Upon approval of an annual plan and the estimated expenditures for an improved program, the department shall enter into a contract pursuant to Section 43-5-235.

SECTION 43-5-255. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 7, eff June 11, 1997.

ARTICLE 3.

GENERAL RELIEF

SECTION 43-5-310. General assistance to handicapped or unfortunate persons who are unable to support themselves.

General assistance in the form of money payments shall be granted by the State Department to handicapped and unfortunate persons in need who are not eligible for other forms of assistance provided in Chapters 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19 and 23 and who are unable to support themselves because of physical or mental infirmity and would suffer unless so provided for. A recipient of such assistance must be unable to provide himself with the necessities of life, have insufficient means of his own for proper support and have no relative or other person able to provide and legally responsible for his maintenance or willing to provide therefor.

SECTION 43-5-320. General assistance to certain persons who are essential to welfare of others.

General assistance in the form of money payments may be made to persons who are essential to the welfare of aged, blind, or disabled persons receiving other forms of public assistance and who are unable to support themselves and would suffer unless so provided for. A recipient of such assistance must be unable to provide himself with the necessities of life, have insufficient means of his own for proper support and have no relative or other person able to provide and who is legally responsible for his maintenance or willing to provide therefor.

SECTION 43-5-330. Application for assistance.

Applications for assistance under this article shall be made to the county department of the county in which the applicant resides. The application shall be made in writing or reduced to writing in the manner and upon a form prescribed by the State Department.

SECTION 43-5-340. Investigation of application; visit to applicant's home.

Whenever the county department receives an application for assistance under this article, an investigation and record shall promptly be made of the circumstances of the applicant in order to ascertain the facts supporting the application and in order to obtain such other information as may be required by the rules of the State Department. The investigation may include a visit to the home of the applicant if deemed necessary by the caseworker or supervisor.

SECTION 43-5-350. Grant of assistance; amount.

Upon the completion of the investigation the county department shall decide whether the applicant is eligible for assistance under the provisions of this article. The amount of assistance which any such person shall receive shall be determined by the county department with due regard to the resources and necessary expenditures and the conditions existing in each case, in accordance with the rules and regulations made by the State Department and, within available annual appropriations, shall be sufficient when added to all other income and support of the applicant to provide such person with a reasonable subsistence compatible with decency and health.

ARTICLE 4.

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES AID TO DEPENDENT CHILDREN

SECTION 43-5-400. Definitions.

When used in this article and unless the specific context indicates otherwise:

(1) "Aid to dependent children or needy relative" means money payments with respect to or medical care in behalf of or any type of remedial care recognized under state law in behalf of a dependent child or dependent children, or a needy relative with whom any dependent child is living.

(2) "Dependent child" means a child under the age of eighteen years who has been deprived of parental support or care by reason of the death, continued absence from home or physical or mental incapacity of a parent and who is living with his father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, stepsister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew or niece in a place of residence maintained by one or more of such relatives as his or their own home and who, if not granted aid, is likely to become a public charge or who would otherwise be deprived of proper support, care or training or a child under the age of twenty-one years who is attending high school or college or regularly attending a course of vocational or technical training. The term "dependent child" shall also include a child:

(a) who could meet the requirements of this section except for his removal from the home of a relative, specified in this section as a result of a judicial determination to the effect that continuation therein would be contrary to the welfare of the child;

(b) whose placement and care are the responsibility of the state agency; and

(c) who has been placed in a foster family home or child care institution as a result of such determination.

(3) The term "foster family home" or "child care institution" means a foster family home or child care institution for children which is licensed by the State.

SECTION 43-5-410. Cooperation with federal government; administration of funds.

The State Department may cooperate with the Federal Government in the development of plans and policies for aid to dependent children. It shall administer all funds appropriated or made available for this purpose.

SECTION 43-5-420. Application for aid.

Any person having knowledge that any child is dependent and that the interest of such child or of the public requires that such child be granted aid may bring such fact to the attention of the county department in the county in which the dependent child has residence or to the State Department by making application for aid on such blanks as the State Department shall prescribe and supply, furnishing such information as is required thereon and is necessary for the proper administration of these purposes.

SECTION 43-5-430. Investigation and report.

The county department shall make an investigation and examination of the circumstances of such child. Such investigation and examination shall be made in accordance with rules prescribed by the State Department. A report of such investigation and examination shall be made in writing and shall become a part of the records of the county department.

SECTION 43-5-440. Grant for aid; denial of aid; appeal.

If such child is found to be in need, the county department shall grant such aid as may be necessary for the support of such child in his own home or in the home of one of his relatives as set forth in this article, in a manner compatible with decency and health. In case application for aid for a dependent child is rejected by the county department, appeal may be made to the State Department as elsewhere provided in this article.

SECTION 43-5-450. Amount of grants.

In granting aid for dependent children the amount granted shall not exceed thirty dollars per month for one child in any home, nor twenty-one dollars per month for each additional child in the same home, and shall not exceed thirty dollars per month for a needy relative with whom any dependent child is living.

Provided, the state agency shall with respect to any month disregard:

(1) all of the earned income of each dependent child receiving aid to families with dependent children who is a full-time student to part-time student who is not a full-time employee attending a school, college, or university, or a course of vocational or technical training designed to fit him for gainful employment; and

(2) in the case of earned income of a dependent child not included under item (1), a relative receiving such aid, and any other individual (living in the same home as such relative and child) whose needs are taken into account in making such determination, the first thirty dollars of the total of such earned income for such month plus one third of the remainder of such income for such month. Provided, further, that the provisions of this item shall not apply to earned income derived from participation on a project maintained under the programs established by Section 432(b)(2) and (3) of the Federal Social Security Act.

Provided, further, that within the limitations of the State appropriation the maximum amount per caretaker and per child may be increased not in excess of the amount which may hereafter be matched by the Federal Government.

SECTION 43-5-460. Estimate of amount needed per county.

Each county department shall prepare, as required by the State Department, an estimate of the amount needed for dependent children in its county. Such estimate shall set forth the number of children being aided, with the amounts of grants to each individual child and such information or data as is necessary for the State Department to estimate the probable increase or decrease during the next ensuing period. A copy of such estimates from the various county departments shall be furnished each member of the legislative delegation of the respective counties.

SECTION 43-5-470. Federal funds for aid to dependent children.

The State Treasurer shall receive and deposit in the State Treasury any Federal funds allotted to the State under Section 403 of Title IV of the Federal Social Security Act, or otherwise, for aid to dependent children. Such sums shall be kept by the State Treasurer in a dependent children's aid account.

ARTICLE 5.

SOUTH CAROLINA EMPLOYABLES PROGRAM ACT

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTIONS 43-5-510 to 43-5-570. Repealed by 1997 Act No. 133, Section 16, eff June 11, 1997.

SECTION 43-5-580. Enforcement of support obligations of absent parents.

(a) Every applicant for Family Independence benefits who has a child or children whose parent is alive but not residing in the home must be referred to the Office of Child Support Enforcement within two working days of the furnishing of aid or the determination that an individual is a recipient of Family Independence benefits. The department is responsible for taking all steps necessary to identify, locate, and obtain support payments from absent parents.

(b) The department shall promulgate regulations which establish guidelines for minimum contributions which must be applied by the courts in determining the amount that an absent parent is expected to pay toward the support of a dependent child. Copies of the guidelines must be made available to courts, district attorneys, and to the public. The guidelines formulated pursuant to this section must be applied pursuant to the provisions of Section 63-17-470.

(c) Failure of the absent parent to comply with his support obligations must be referred to the court having jurisdiction of this matter for appropriate proceedings.

SECTION 43-5-585. Repealed by 2008 Act No. 361, Section 8, eff June 16, 2008.

SECTION 43-5-590. Powers and duties of Department of Social Services in accordance with approved child support plan.

In accordance with a child support plan approved by the federal government, the department has the power and its duty must be to:

(a) require as a condition of eligibility for assistance that the applicant or recipient:

(i) furnish his social security account number or, to the extent permitted by federal law, proof of making application for a social security account number if the applicant or recipient has no social security account number;

(ii) assign to the State the rights to support, including health care expenses, from any other person the applicant may have in his own behalf or in behalf of any other family member for whom the applicant is applying for or receiving aid and which have accrued at the time the assignment is executed or which may accrue in the future. By accepting public assistance for or on behalf of a child or children, by making application for services under Title IV-D, or through placement of a child or children in state-funded foster care or under Title IV-E, except where good cause as determined by the agency exists, the recipient or applicant is considered to have made an assignment to the State Department of Social Services of rights, title, and interest to a support obligation which is owed for the child or children or for the absent parent's spouse or former spouse who is the recipient or the applicant with whom the child is living, if and to the extent that a spousal support obligation has been established and the child and the child support obligation is being enforced pursuant to Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act. The assignment to the department is considered to have been made up to the amount of public assistance money, including Medicaid payments, or foster care board payments paid for or on behalf of the child or children for that period of time as the public assistance monies or foster care board payments are paid. The assignment consists of all rights and interest in a support obligation that the recipient may be owed past, present, or future by a person up to the amount of public assistance money, including Medicaid payments, paid to the recipient for or on behalf of the minor child or children or a child in foster care. The department is subrogated to the rights of the child or children or the person having custody of the child or children to collect and receive all support payments. The department has the right to initiate a support action in its own name or in the name of the recipient to recover payments ordered by the courts of this or any other state or to obtain a court order to initiate these payments including an action to determine the paternity of a child. The clerk of court shall execute the necessary order substituting the department and changing the payee of the support to the department upon receipt by the clerk of the notice of assignment.

(iii) cooperate with the department in establishing the paternity of a child born out of wedlock with respect to whom aid is claimed, and in obtaining support payments for such applicant and for a child with respect to whom such aid is claimed, or in obtaining any other payments or property due such applicant of such child and that, if the relative with whom a child is living is found to be ineligible because of failure to comply with the requirements of items (a) and (b), any aid for which such child is eligible will be provided in the form of protective payments. The department shall establish criteria in accordance with federal regulations to determine whether action to establish paternity and secure support is not in the best interest of a child.

(b) Provide for protective payments for any child eligible for assistance when a caretaker relative is ineligible due to the caretaker relative's failure to comply with either subitems (1) or (2) of item (a) of this section.

(c) Provide that in any case in which the child support payments are collected for a child with respect to whom an assignment has been made pursuant to subitem (ii) of item (a) of this section the payment is made to the department for distribution pursuant to item (g) of this section except for those payments made for any month in which the amount collected is sufficient to make the family ineligible for assistance. The department shall pay the amounts to the recipient consistent with federal laws and regulations. Whenever a family ceases receiving public assistance the assignment pursuant to subitem (ii) of item (a) of this section converts to a nonpublic assistance assignment. However, the nonpublic assistance recipient may submit a written request to have the assignment terminated except with respect to the amount of any unpaid support obligation that has accrued under the assignment. From this amount the department shall attempt to collect the unpaid obligation and distribute the amounts consistent with federal laws and regulations. The department may not charge fees or recover costs from support collections and shall pay all amounts collected which represent monthly support payment and arrearage owed to the family. The department shall continue to provide all appropriate IV-D services and distribute any amount

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