We know readers have various questions regarding how the Texas Food Stamps (SNAP Benefits) including how the application process works, income limits, eligibility, whether non-citizens can get benefits, how much you can get in benefits if approved, how long you can stay receive food stamps, and more. We decided to set up this Texas Food Stamps FAQs page to address the most common questions we get.
More questions will be added as and when we receive reader feedback.
Texas Food Stamps FAQs
Here are the most frequently asked questions about the Texas Food Stamps.
What are Texas Food Stamps?
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) assists low-income individuals and households to purchase nutritional food.
Eligibility for SNAP, as well as how much you will receive, is based on your household’s size and income level.
A household can be one person, a group of people, a family, or any combination of people that buy and prepare food together.
Children living with their parents are considered part of the same household until age 22.
Furthermore, many legal non-citizens are eligible for SNAP benefits.
Also, even if you can’t get SNAP benefits for yourself, other members of your household may be eligible.
The Food Stamps Program is a federal entitlement program.
This means that anyone that meets the eligibility requirements will receive benefits.
In the state of Texas, the SNAP program is managed by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)
Once approved for SNAP, your monthly benefits are provided on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, also known as the Texas Lone Star card.
The Texas Lone Star card works just like a bank debit card to buy food at most grocery stores and markets (including some Farmers Markets).
Am I Eligible for Texas SNAP Benefits?
There are three main requirements you have to meet to be eligible for SNAP benefits in Texas, as summarized below:
To get SNAP, you must meet the gross income and/or net income limits.
To be eligible for Texas SNAP a household must meet the following resources limit:
- Total household resources cannot exceed $5,000, including liquid resources and excess vehicle
- Liquid resources include cash on hand, money in checking or savings accounts, savings
certificates, and stocks or bonds.
- The fair market value of one vehicle up to $15,000 is excluded, but any value above that level is
counted towards the $5,000 total resource limit.
- $4,650 of the fair market value of a second vehicle is excluded, but any value above that level is
counted towards the $5,000 resource limit.
- Fair market value calculation does not take into account the amount of equity that the household
has in the vehicle, but the actual value of the car.
Lastly, all able-bodied adults ages 18-49 must work to get/and continue to receive SNAP benefits unless they meet exemptions.
However, if you are under the age of 18, pregnant, disabled, or elderly, you may be exempt from the work requirements.
Furthermore, Childless adults without disabilities who work less than 20 hours a week and are not in a work program can get SNAP benefits for 3 months every 3 years.
What is the Income Limit for Texas Food Stamps?
There are many factors that determine how much you will receive in SNAP benefits in Texas.
These include household size, monthly income, and if a member of your household is 60 years old or older, or has a disability.
The income limit is perhaps the most important factor.
Most households in Texas must have a total gross monthly income less than or equal to 130% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines (FPIG), to be potentially eligible for SNAP.
The Texas SNAP Income Chart provided below shows both the gross monthly income and net monthly income based on your household size.
|Texas SNAP Income Eligibility Standards for Fiscal Year 2022|
|Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022|
|Household Size||Texas SNAP Maximum Gross Monthly Income (130% of FPIG)||Maximum Net Monthly Income (100% of FPIG)||Maximum Gross Monthly Income for household with member age 60+ or disabled (165% of FPIG)|
|Each additional person||$492||$379||$625|
How much will I get in Food Stamps in Texas?
If you are approved for Texas SNAP benefits, how much you will receive depends on your household size and net income.
The table below provides the maximum monthly benefit and the estimated average monthly benefit based on household size.
The amount you receive may differ from these amounts due to your income and other factors.
A SNAP budget must be calculated for your household in order to determine your SNAP eligibility and benefit amount.
|Household Size||Maximum SNAP Benefit||Estimated Average Monthly Benefit|
|Each additional member||(+$188)|
What are the ways to Apply for Texas SNAP?
There are four ways to apply for SNAP in Texas:
- You can apply for Texas SNAP online at YourTexasBenefits.com.
- If you do not have access to a computer or mobile device, you can call 2-1-1 (or 877-541-7905) and select Option 2 to apply by phone.
- You can also apply for food stamps at a Texas Health and Human Services local office.
- Additionally, you can download a Texas food stamps application, complete it, and mail it back to a local HHSC office.
You can also mail your Texas SNAP Application to:
HHSC, PO Box 149024,
Austin, TX 78714-9968
Households in which all members are either older adults (age 60 and older) or people with disabilities are eligible to participate in the Texas Simplified Application Project (TSAP).
To apply for emergency SNAP in Texas, visit an HHSC benefits office or call 2-1-1.
Can Texas College Students get Food Stamps?
Generally, Texas college students are not eligible for food stamps.
However, of those eligible, only 4 out of 10 are enrolled.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress made temporary adjustments to SNAP to remove restrictions and allow more students to qualify for benefits.
Eligibility is determined by the following:
- Student must be enrolled at least half-time in a higher education institution (college, university or trade/technical school).
- Also, Student must participate in state or federally funded work-study during the school year OR
- Student has an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 0 in the current academic year
(Any student who receives the maximum Pell Grant has an EFC of 0).
What documentation is needed for a Student SNAP Application?
To meet the eligibility requirements to apply for SNAP in Texas as a student, you will be required to provide the following documentation:
Financial aid award letter, letter from school, Student Aid Report (SAR) or unemployment documentation.
The new, temporary exemptions will be in effect until 30 days after the federal government lifts the official designation of the nationwide COVID-19 public health emergency.
Can immigrants and refugees get Texas Food Stamps?
Yes. New laws have made most legal immigrants eligible for food stamps.
Food stamps are available only to U.S. citizens and limited categories of lawfully residing immigrants.
As a general rule, almost all legal immigrants are eligible for food stamps once they have been in the U.S. for five years.
Undocumented immigrants are not, and never have been, eligible for food stamps.
What can I buy with Texas Food Stamps?
Your Texas Lone Star card works like a debit card. You can use this card to buy food at most grocery stores.
At the checkout counter, swipe the card and enter a 4-digit PIN number to use your SNAP/food stamps to buy food.
You can buy any food product available at participating grocery stores (with the exception of prepared foods).
You can locate stores that accept Texas SNAP benefits online at Snap Retailer Locator.
Additionally, you can use your SNAP benefits at participating Texas farmers’ markets and healthy corner stores.
Here’s what you can buy with Texas SNAP EBT:
- Fruits and vegetables;
- Meat, poultry, and fish;
- Dairy products;
- Breads and cereals;
- Other foods such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages; and
- Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat.
You CANNOT use Texas SNAP EBT benefits to buy:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
- Vitamins, medicines, and supplements. If an item has a Supplement Facts label, it is considered a supplement and is not eligible for SNAP purchase.
- Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from water, and animals slaughtered prior to pick-up from the store).
- Prepared Foods fit for immediate consumption
- Hot foods
- Any nonfood items such as:
– Pet foods
– Cleaning supplies, paper products, and other household supplies.
– Hygiene items, cosmetics
How to Check Texas EBT Card Balance?
To check the balance on your Texas Lone Star EBT card, you can:
- Call 800-777-7328.
- Check the receipt from your most recent purchase.
- Check your balance at the store before buying anything, if the store allows it.
Additionally, you can check your Lone Star Card balance and view recent card activity through your online account at YourTexasBenefits.com.
If you do not have an account, you can set one up by going to YourTexasBenefits.com, clicking “Log in” and then “Create a new account.”
What are the SNAP Work Requirements for Texas?
If you are between 16-59 years old, you must either work at least 30 hours a week or participate in SNAP Employment and Training, a program under the Texas Workforce Commission.
You might be exempt from the work requirement if you:
- are not physically or mentally fit to work, or participating in drug/alcohol addiction treatment program
- are responsible for care of a child under age 6 or a person with a disability
- already registered for employment services under TANF
- are a student enrolled in school, college or a work training program (some students must meet other eligibility criteria)
- have applied for or are receiving unemployment compensation
- are three to nine months pregnant
Texas Food Stamps FAQs Summary
We hope this post on Texas Food Stamps FAQs was helpful to you!
If you have more questions about your EBT or Food Stamps, please let us know in the comments section below.
Be sure to check out our other articles about Texas SNAP and Texas EBT, including:
What can I buy with the Texas Food Stamps card?
Texas Food Stamps EBT Phone Number
Where You Can Use Texas EBT card
How to use Texas SNAP on Amazon for Delivery
Get 50% OFF Amazon Prime with Texas EBT Card
What is Countable Income for Texas EBT?
How to Report Food Stamps Trafficking in Texas