The SNAP food benefits program, formerly food stamps, helps those with limited income purchase nutritional food. Once approved, the recipient’s monthly benefit amount is loaded onto his Lone Star Card, which he then uses to pay for his purchases in a manner similar to a credit or debit card. For those who meet the qualifications, it may be possible to receive emergency or expedited approval for SNAP benefits.
If the family has a monthly income below $150 and less than $100 in resources, The agency can expedite SNAP benefits speed the approval process for those whose total monthly income and resources do not exceed the previous month’s expenses for utilities and housing. If a seasonal or migrant farm worker is a member of a family with very low income and less than $100 in resources, the family qualifies for expedited benefits.
Where to Apply
Those who need expedited benefits should apply with the nearest Health and Human Services Commission office. A list of offices is available on the HHSC website or by calling 211.
Maximum SNAP Benefits
The amount an applicant receives depends on income and family size. As examples, the most that one person can receive is $200 per month. A family of two can receive no more than $367, a family of three receives a maximum of $526 and a family of four can receive no more than $668 per month. The maximum monthly SNAP benefit for a family of five is $793, $952 for a family of six, $1,052 for a family of seven and $1,202 for a family of eight. If the family size is greater than eight, add $150 for each additional person to the benefit amount for an eight-person household.
In the event of a disaster, such as a flood or tornado that affects a large number of people, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service works with the state and volunteer organizations to feed those in the afflicted area. In most cases, the President must first declare the affected location as a disaster area. If such a disaster occurs, FNS authorizes the state to operate a program to set up temporary facilities to issue emergency food benefits. This is the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or D-SNAP. Qualified applicants are those living in the disaster area who suffer damage to their homes, expenses related to the disaster, a disruption in their source of income, the loss of food or an inability to access resources. Under D-SNAP, eligible applicants receive one month’s benefits with less documentation than under normal conditions. The precise locations and application process depend on the nature of the disaster.