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The Texas Food Stamp Program

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

This is the fifth post in our blog series about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) in each of the 50 states. We will cover the Texas food stamp program here. Just like the other posts in this series, we will cover the basics of SNAP, the specifics of the program in each state, how and where to apply for food stamps in each state, how SNAP benefits are received, and how to use this site to find stores where food stamps can be used.

Food Stamp Eligibility in Texas

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission administers the Texas food stamp program (with funding from the US Government, as in all states). The program assists low-income families and individuals with money to purchase food. The amount of cash assistance varies from state to state and depends on the number of people in your household and your household’s monthly income. Below is a table containing Texas’ maximum monthly income limits.

Family size Monthly amount
of income allowed
1 $1,605
2 $2,163
3 $2,722
4 $3,280
5 $3,838
For each additional person add: $559

Texas’s guidelines for eligibility are listed here. An online guide that estimates your eligibility for SNAP is available hereafter you click “should I apply”. Below are some guidelines that Texas uses to determine eligibility.

- 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.

Apply for Food Stamps in Texas

The application for SNAP benefits can be found onlinehereafter you click “apply for benefits”. The questionnaire will require certain information from you, which determines your eligibility and the amount of your benefits. The application requires a Social Security Number, date of birth, income information (including child support), information about assets you have (savings accounts, houses, cars, etc), how much your rent is, and whether or not you have health insurance. You can also apply in person at an HHSC benefits office. Application forms that can be printed and filled out are available here.
If you need help with your application or have any questions, you can call 211 or (877) 541-7905 and they can assist you with any application questions.

Receiving and Using SNAP Benefits in Texas

All benefits are delivered electronically, through EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer). In Texas the money is put onto a specialized type of EBT/debit card called the Lone Star Card. For more information about your Lone Star Card you can visit this list of frequently asked questions. There are guidelines on what types of food can be purchased with EBT cards - in Texas you can buy any food for human consumption or seeds and plants for use in home gardens to grow food. You cannot buy hot food that are ready to eat, food intended to be heated up in the store, food to be eaten in the store, vitamins or medicine, pet food, non-food items, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco.
Below are the monthly maximum benefits you could receive from the Texas program:

Family size Monthly SNAP amount
1 $194
2 $357
3 $511
4 $649
5 $771

Stores that Accept Food Stamps in Texas

If you are looking to find places in Texas to use SNAP benefits, you came to the right place! Just type your zip code or address into the box in the upper right of this page and select “Food Stamp Retailers” from the dropdown - you will see all the stores that accept the EBT/Lone Star Card, sorted by distance from you!