The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federally regulated food assistance program, that was once known as a food stamp program. Today, the SNAP program in Texas accounts for helping thousands get the nutrition and healthy food necessary for a brighter future. In a household, SNAP benefits are awarded to a single person or family who meets the program's requirements, which focus mainly on income and household size. With the help of SNAP benefits, families are able to make smarter choices about paying bills and buying groceries to prepare healthy meals together. Texas Health and Human Services Commission oversees the SNAP food benefits program and sends a renewal notice to a family receiving SNAP before the end of each benefit period. These benefit periods will last for 6 months but also can be short as 1 month, or as long as 3 years, depending on your situation. Benefits range depending on different factors, such as if you are a single individual, or if you are in a job training program, or if you are a family of four with an unemployed parent. You can read more about Texas SNAP Program by visiting the HHSC webpage.
Applying for Food Stamps
You should consult the SNAP Benefits Estimator to determine if you will qualify for aid before applying. The estimator will walk you through the process and help you define answers about income and household size. You can apply online for SNAP benefits using the YourTexasBenefits.com webpage. Simply click "Apply for Benefits" to start an application. On the application, you need to provide some information about yourself such as your contact details and signature. You will also need to provide information about your income and household. You will need the social security numbers of those living with you. All of those receiving aid must be U.S. citizens residing in Texas. You can also contact a local office to apply directly or to receive a form in the mail. You can search for an office in your county by clicking here.
Receiving Food Stamps
To receive benefits, you must be eligible. Income and household size are the main factors in determining your eligibility. You can always use the pre-screening estimator tool to find out if you meet the basic requirements. That tool is located here. Only those in low financial situations will likely be eligible for aid. A family with resources worth $100 or less and a monthly income of less than $150 is eligible for immediate aid, within 7 days of applying. You can find out more about these eligibility rules by visiting the Food Stamp Program website. There are also maximum monthly SNAP payments depending on your household's size. For example, for a family of 8, you may receive $1,202 monthly. Once you are an approved, you will receive a Lone Star Card, which is an EBT card that allows you to use your benefits like a debit card at grocery stores and super markets. You can purchase food items at these stores, with a few limitations. You cannot purchase alcohol or tobacco products. You may also not purchase hot meals that are for immediate consumption.
Finding Food Service Locations
SNAP is the federal name for the food assistance programs. Every state has multiple SNAP locations. In fact, every county should have multiple locations where you can use your card. You can find specific locations near you using the SNAP retailer locator on the federal website. You may contact HHSC directly by dialing 211 on a touch tone phone, or you can find a local office by conducting a county search.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What income do you need to have in order to be eligible for food stamps in Texas?
Below is the maximum amount of income allowed each month in order to qualify for food stamps in Texas as it corresponds to your family size.
What is TANF?
TANF is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Although they are handled by the same department, this is a separate program from food stamps/SNAP.
What can I do if I need help with my benefits?
The easiest thing to do if you need help with filling out your or you have questions regarding your benefits is to call 2-1-1. You can also dial 1-877-541-7905. Once you select your prefered language, you can press “2” to talk to a staff member monday through Friday, 8am - 6pm.