Welfare Director
Sarah Petersen

125 S. Broadway
Watertown, SD 57201

Email Email Welfare

Phone (605)882-6286

Hours of Operation 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Monday through Friday

Walk in times
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Monday through Thursday


Appointments are necessary for medical and hospital bill applicants.

Office Location
City Auditorium
Up the stairs and to the left

Codington County Welfare provides emergency assistance for indigent individuals who are county residents and meet the eligibility criteria, as outlined in the Codington County approved guidelines and state statutes.  This program is a resource of last resort which assists individuals who have no other public or private third-party coverage.

Depending upon funding and eligibility, available emergency services may include shelter, rent, utility bills, medications, emergency transportation, burials, or hospital bills. County assistance is provided only when other resources have been exhausted. We also strive to promote collaborative efforts by ensuring that all individuals and families locate alternative supportive resources that will educate, empower, and assist them in reaching their maximum potential for self sufficiency.

Economic Assistance

Economic Assistance is an emergency assistance program. Eligibility is based on state statute and county guidelines. The amount of assistance granted is established in the county guidelines. For all assistance granted a state statute requires that a lien is placed against the individual. Economic Assistance is not an on-going program, but is designed to address the immediate need.

Due to the attachment of a lien, the individual is encouraged to exhaust all other resources prior to making application with the county. The county will assist in making appropriate referrals and can act as an advocate on the individual’s behalf.

Types of assistance provided:

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Grocery
  • Emergency Transportation

Medical Assistance

The county is a resource of last resort and requires that all other resources be exhausted first. Medical Assistance is determined by a formula established in the state statutes. The individual’s availability and affordability of health care coverage will be one determining factor of eligibility. All medical services must meet the criteria of medical necessity set by state statute. The county works directly with medical providers and past and current employers in assessing eligibility. The county must approve non-emergency medical procedures prior to the services being performed. The county investigates any potential third-party payee. If the county approves financial assistance, a repayment plan will be established.

Types of assistance provided:

  • Medication
  • Hospital
  • Any other medical need that is referred by a physician

Funeral Assistance

Codington County Welfare provides financial assistance for funeral services and burials for qualified individuals.