SNAP Frequently Asked Questions
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What can SNAP benefits be used for?
Texas LoneStar EBT benefits can be used to purchase any fresh produce or food products intended for human consumption. Approved foods includes snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, seafood, dairy and any packaged food not meant to be eaten in the store.
When will I receive SNAP benefits?
Texas HHSC should send you a letter explaining whether your SNAP application was approved or denied. The letter will have your case number and approved beneficiaries will receive a TX LoneStar Card in the mail within 30 days.
How long do SNAP benefits last in Texas?
SNAP benefits in Texas last for 36 weeks, unless the recipient is disabled, elderly or acting as a caretaker for a disabled or elderly household member.
Can I receive SNAP benefits while working?
You may work any number of hours and will not be disqualified if your household meets the income eligibility requirement.
Do I have to work while receiving SNAP benefits?
All able-bodied adults without dependents are required to search for work and accept any reasonable job offers.
What is the Texas SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) Program?
The SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) program is intended to provide a range of job-search assistance, such as helping recipients improve their chances of gaining employment. The program offers vocational skills and aptitude tests, as well as application, referral and resume services.
What are ABAWDs?
Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ADAWD) are required to work unless they are caretakers, pregnant, or have some other reasonable cause not to work.
What form do I need for work requirement verification?
To obtain work requirement verification, you will need the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Form H1822. This form requires you to fill in your case name, case number, SSN, start date, and hours worked per week.
If my SNAP application gets denied, can I appeal the decision?
Every applicant has the right to appeal a denial of benefits and bring their case before an impartial judge. The majority of appeals are won by SNAP applicants.
What is overpayment?
If you are overpaid benefits resulting from an administration error or from incorrectly filling out the Texas SNAP application, you may receive a benefit cancellation letter from HHSC, and be required to pay back all excess benefits. You can appeal this decision if you believe it is incorrect. However, if you intentionally entered incorrect information on your application, then the HHSC may refer your case to state officials for criminal investigation and order repayment of benefits. If found guilty of fraud, you could also lose SNAP and other benefits for a year.
What happens after the appeal?
After filing an appeal, you will receive notice of the hearing date which usually takes place through a conference call. If you would like to postpone the hearing, you have to notify Texas HHSC within a reasonable amount of time.
What happens at the SNAP appeal hearing?
During the SNAP appeal hearing, you will have the opportunity to present evidence to support your position and to challenge the evidence or reasoning used to deny your application. Be prepared to present any facts that support your case.
What happens after the SNAP appeal hearing?
You will receive a decision notice within 60 days of the hearing.
Can I pay for food bills with SNAP?
SNAP benefits are not able to cover food bills or other money owed for food by the recipient.
What does my monthly income have to be to qualify for Texas SNAP benefits?
To qualify for SNAP benefits in Texas, an individual applicant must earn a monthly income of $1,634 or less. A household with two members would have to make less than $2,203 a month to qualify for SNAP benefits, and a household size of three would have to make $2,772 or less. For each additional household member over three, add $572 to calculate the income threshold.
What is the maximum monthly SNAP benefit amount?
For a family size of one, the monthly SNAP benefit maximum is $194. For each additional household member, add $146 to calculate the monthly limit.
When are SNAP Benefit payments made available?
SNAP benefits are distributed between the 1st and the 15th of the month, depending on the randomly-assigned last digit of the case number. Recipients of TANF will receive their benefit payment within the first three days of the month.
Can I get cash back with my Texas LoneStar Card?
If you have cash benefits, you can withdraw cash from your card like a debit account. SNAP food benefits cannot be withdrawn.
Can I use my LoneStar Card for infant expenses?
Only baby food, dairy, and beverage mixes are purchasable with SNAP benefits. See the TANF program for information on obtaining non-nutritional necessities for your infant.
What deductions can I make when applying for SNAP benefits?
Quite a few deductions exist that can reduce the household’s income to below the maximum eligible amount. Most applicants are eligible to deduct 20 percent of total household earnings, as well as any medical expenses, dependent care, or child support paid to another household.
Self-employment gross income deductions for Texas SNAP eligibility are available for 1) taxes, 2) health insurance, 3) health savings, or 4) self-employment retirement accounts. Educational expenses and interest on student loans are also deductible. Other expenses that can be written off are IRA deductions, moving expenses and alimony payments. Also, child support payments are deductible if they go to another household and are in the form of cash, medical support, or third party payments. Ensure that your deductions are verifiable, since any expenses that the advisor cannot verify through automated means could be excluded.
Homeless families are allowed to take a deduction for shelter expenses. Also, households with a disabled member can deduct the total monthly medical expenses over $35. Most medical expenses are deductible.
What Medical expenses are considered deductible in relation to my SNAP benefits application?
Any of the following medical expenses are deductible:
Medical Care given by a licensed medical professional
Dental care provided by a licenses medical professional
Nursing home care
Diapers for disabled children
Lodging to obtain medical procedures
Loan repayments for medical debt
Transportation to medical service or drug store.
What if my medical expenses change every month?
Any changes to medical expenses will be verified in the certification period and applied to the calculation of benefits.
How do I calculate transportation costs?
Transportation expenses are calculated by multiplying 54 cents per mile or by calculating all individual expenses.
What are Food Stamps?
The Food Assistance Program helps people with low-income buy healthy food. A food assistance household is normally a group of people who live together and buy food and cook meals together. If your household passes the Food Assistance Program’s eligibility rules, the amount of food assistance benefits you get depends on the number of people in your household and how much money is left after certain expenses are subtracted.