Texas Food Stamps (SNAP) Application Information
How to Apply for Food Stamps
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Texas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides multiple benefits to needy families living in the state of Texas. The families will be able to pay for food, utilities and transportation using SNAP income benefits.
SNAP benefits are not just limited to families but single people can also receive these benefits if they meet financial criteria. SNAP beneficiaries will receive applications to re-apply for the program at the end of their benefit period. If adults are in training or employment program, they will have a longer benefit period. Adults working more than 20 hours a week will also enjoy longer benefit period.
To receive SNAP benefits, beneficiaries should be U.S nationals, qualified alien, or a permanent resident. Only people residing in Texas are able to avail Texas SNAP benefits. Residents of other states can apply through their state SNAP.
Applicants will have to meet financial criteria before they start receiving benefits through the program. Families with low bank balance and low monthly income will be eligible to receive benefits.
SNAP benefits are provided through Lone Star Card. You will have amount loaded to your card each month. Amount of aid you receive depends on your family income and household size. Anyhow, once you have the funds in your card, you can use it just like a debit card to buy food items, clothing, or anything else that falls within the category of SNAP benefits.
You can apply online for the program or visit an HHSC benefits office near you. You can also apply through community groups that work with HHSC. You can call at 2-1-1 for any further help with application process.
The program requires applicants to meet general eligibility criteria before they can apply for the program. Here are general program requirements:
- Must be a U.S national, qualified alien, or permanent resident
- Must be residing in state of Texas to apply for SNAP benefits in Texas
- Must fall into one of the two groups defined for the purpose of SNAP benefit eligibility
- Low Income
Two main groups, for the purpose of SNAP benefits, are:
- Families with bank balance under $2,001: When computing current bank balance, applicants will be required to combine both savings and checking accounts.
- Families with bank balance under $3,001: Families falling into this group will be able to qualify for the program if they have a person with disability or person over 60 and share household income with such person or persons.
Apart from the general eligibility requirements, the program also has specific financial criteria for applicants from both the groups. For instance, a household of three will only qualify of the annual household income is below $23,803. Depending on your household size, you may have a different household income limit.
You can also check your SNAP eligibility using HHSC eligibility tool. Click 'should I apply' from the menu.
Receiving your SNAP Benefits: Lone Star Card
When you qualify for SNAP, you will be receiving benefits through Lone Star Card. This is a standard plastic card, as in the case of debit cards. The card is used just like a debit card. You will have the money in your account on due date and you can purchase food items with it, using it like a debit card.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides SNAP benefits. USDA will load your card with your monthly amount of SNAP benefits, each month. You can use this money on stores where regular debit card works.
If you qualify and receive a Lone Star Card, it is your responsibility to use it with care. No one else can use your card since it is illegal to allow someone else to use your benefits. If you are in a situation where you'll need someone else to use your card for you, you will have to ask for a second card. You can then give the second card to someone you trust. The money spent from that card will be deducted from your primary card.
In order to start using your Lone Star Card, you will have to sign at the back of your card after you receive it. You will also need to register it in order to use it. You can call 1 800 777 7328 to register your card. You will then choose a PIN for your card.
If you opt to pick up your card at HHSC benefits office instead of getting it in mail, you won't have to register it. When you are handed over the card at the office, it is registered at spot.
When you have a Lone Star Card, you've to make sure that you are using it properly to continue receiving SNAP benefits. Remember, you can buy food, clothes, furniture and supplies for house with your Lone Star Card. You can also pay your rent or mortgage and pay your utilities using the card.
You can also use your Lone Star Card to take out cash with your Lone Star Card. You can get it from a machine after entering your PIN. When entering PIN, make sure no one else can see it. It is your password for the card and it is your responsibility to keep it secure.
Food Stamps Application Instructions
You can apply for Texas SNAP benefits in more a couple of ways:
You can apply online for Texas SNAP benefits. Please use Your Texas Benefits online application to start applying for the benefits. Click 'login' and you will be able to fill out application for SNAP food benefits. If you don't have an account already, take a minute to create one.
Apply in Person
You can also apply in person for the program by visiting your nearest HHSC benefits office. You can go here to find your local office.
You can also apply in person by contacting a community group near you. Use this list of community groups
Apply by Mail
You can also apply by mail by downloading an application and sending it in. You can get an application here. You will need to mail a signed and dated copy of the form, click here to find your local office.
You can always get help with anything related to SNAP benefits by dialing 211