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SD WIA Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for services under the Workforce Investment Act are somewhat different for youth and adults.

Individuals may also be eligible for WIA services if they qualify for the Dislocated Worker Program.

NOTE: The criteria listed below are generally accurate, but for a detailed determination of your eligibility you should visit a Career Center.

Youth Eligibility

To be eligible for WIA youth services, individuals must:

      Be not less than 14 years old and not more than 21 years old; and

      Have one or more of the following barriers:

1. Deficient in basic literacy skills; or
2. A school dropout; or
3. Homeless, runaway, or a foster child; or
4. Pregnant or parenting; or
5. An offender; or
6. Require additional assistance to complete an educational program or to secure or hold employment.

      And be "Low Income" (that is, meet the criteria of the WIA Low Income Guidelines listed below). (Up to 5% may be over-income if they have substantial barriers to employment.)

Adult Eligibility

To be eligible for WIA adult services, individuals must be 18 years of age or older.

First priority is given to recipients of public assistance and other "Low Income" individuals (that is, adults who meet the WIA Low Income Guidelines).

Second priority is given those who are not "Low Income" but who have one or more substantial barrier to employment. Such barriers may include: offender status, deficiency in basic skills, homeless, disability, single parent, language or cultural barriers.

Underemployed: Other adults who may be considered as underemployed may also be considered for services under WIA. (In 2004 the underemployed wage = $8.51 per hour.)

WIA Low Income Guidelines

NOTE: Individuals with disabilities are considered families of one (1) in applying the Low Income Guidelines. Here we provide the guidelines, however, as they apply more generally.

Individuals are considered "Low Income" if they:

      Are in a family that receives cash assistance through a government program based on need such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or General Assistance; or

      Are eligible for Food Stamps (or have been eligible in the past 6 months; or

      Are homeless;

      Are in government sponsored foster care; or

      Have annual gross income that does not exceed the current Lower Living Standard Income Level (LLSIL) Guidelines limits. Income is determined by looking at income for the 6 months prior to making application and multiplying by two (2).

Comprehensive information about the Income Level Guidelines is available in the Lower Living Standard Income Level (LLSIL) Guidelines - Overview topic.

NOTE: Exclude unemployment benefits, child support payments, public assistance, and old age and survivors insurance benefits, but do include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Dislocated Worker Program

To receive WIA services under the Dislocated Worker Program individuals must be eligible adults who:

      Have been laid off and are unlikely to be able to return to a previous industry or occupation; or

      Have received termination notice as a result of a permanent plant closure; or

      Were self-employed but are unemployed because of general economic conditions in the community; or

      Are displace homemakers who are no longer supported by another family member's income.


Draft Handbook made available by Career Learning Center of the Black Hills.

Back to:

Workforce Investment Act

SD Department of Labor - Overview

Career Centers - Overview

Welcome and Introduction to the South Dakota Benefits Information System

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