Cuts to welfare payments to be partially restored

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s welfare recipients will see a slight increase in their payments starting in April.

Department of Social Services director Lillian Koller said Wednesday fewer households on welfare means her agency can partially restore cuts put in place by her predecessor two years ago.

About 15,500 households are currently receiving welfare payments. That’s nearly 5,300 fewer than in January 2011.

Koller attributes that to the agency’s focus on helping clients find jobs.

Welfare payments will rise by 10 percent April 1. That restores half of the cuts that took effect Feb. 1, 2011.

The increase means just $27 a month extra for a family of four, bringing the payment to $297.

To qualify for welfare in South Carolina, a family of four must earn less than $960 a month.

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