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When there is a Presidentially declared major disaster for which individuals are eligible for assistance, the state of Texas may request authorization to issue disaster food assistance benefits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service approves a state request to operate Disaster SNAP after the state has received a Presidential disaster declaration for individual assistance and grocery stores are open and operating in your area.
Once program operations have been approved, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will set a limited period for you to file a Disaster SNAP application. If eligible, residents will receive one month’s worth of disaster food assistance benefits that are accessed using an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.
Current SNAP and new D-SNAP customers can find information about which retailers are open for business in a given disaster area by calling the Lone Star Help Desk toll-free at 1-800-777-7EBT (1-800-777-7328).
You are eligible for Disaster SNAP benefits after a disaster in Texas if you:
Are currently not receiving regular SNAP benefits (current SNAP households may be eligible for supplemental disaster benefits)
Were living in the disaster area at the time of the disaster.
Experienced at least one qualifying disaster related expense, such as:
Lost or inaccessible income
Home or business repairs
Temporary shelter expenses
Home/business protection against storm damage expenses
Cost to replace personal or household items
Personal injury, including funeral expenses
A household’s eligibility for Disaster SNAP is based on its “disaster gross income” or simply its disaster income. When a household submits a Disaster SNAP application, a caseworker will calculate the disaster income by adding total take-home pay, unearned income (such as Social Security payments) and liquid resources (such as bank accounts and cash on hand). The maximum Disaster Income Limits are set each year at the Federal level and are based on household size. Texas also adds a standard disaster-related expense deduction to the Federal limits, so you may qualify even if your income is above the Federal limits. If your disaster income is less than the maximum you may qualify for Disaster SNAP. To see the current Federal Disaster Income Limits for various household sizes visit: http://www.fns.usda.go v/snap/government/FY11_Income_Standards.htm