Governor Abbott, HHSC Announce Federal Approval For Automatic SNAP Benefit Replacements For 66 Disaster Counties
Austin, TX (STL.News) Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received federal approval to automatically provide replacement benefits for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in 66 impacted counties for food lost or destroyed due to winter storm Uri, which began on Feb. 11. Those 66 counties met federal criteria for mass replacements of benefits based on the severity of storm impacts in their area.
“Thank you to our federal partners for approving these replacement benefits for Texans in need,” said Governor Abbott. “As we recover from the severe winter storm, we are ensuring that Texans affected by this storm can continue to put food on the table.”
“Many Texans continue to face serious challenges resulting from last week’s storm,” said Wayne Salter, Texas HHS Access and Eligibility Services deputy executive commissioner. “Being able to replace benefits for families across the state will help them resume their normal lives.”
Current SNAP recipients in the 66 counties receiving approval for automatic replacement benefits do not need to take any action and do not need to call 2-1-1 to receive their replacement benefits. Recipients in the affected counties will automatically receive a percentage of their February benefit allotment on their Lone Star cards by March 4.
Counties eligible to receive automatic partial replacement include: Angelina, Aransas, Bastrop, Blanco, Borden, Brazoria, Brewster, Burnet, Calhoun, Chambers, Coke, Colorado, Comanche, Cooke, Delta, Duval, Eastland, Edwards, Falls, Frio, Galveston, Garza, Gillespie, Glasscock, Goliad, Haskell, Irion, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kerr, Kinney, Knox, La Salle, Leon, Liberty, Live Oak, Llano, Loving, Lynn, Martin, Matagorda, McCulloch, Medina, Menard, Mitchell, Montgomery, Oldham, Parker, Reagan, Refugio, San Patricio, San Saba, Stephens, Sterling, Sutton, Terrell, Throckmorton, Trinity, Upton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Waller, Williamson, Young, Zapata, and Zavala.
Texans who do not live in one of the 66 eligible counties have until March 31 to report SNAP food loss and request replacement benefits. SNAP recipients in these counties must apply for replacement benefits. SNAP recipients in the 66 counties can also report other food loss and request additional benefits until March 31.
To allow people to continue social distancing and stay at home, HHSC is encouraging SNAP clients to request their replacement food benefits by calling 2-1-1 and pressing option 2. Alternately, recipients can download Form H1855 (Affidavit for Nonreceipt or Destroyed Food Stamp Benefits) on the HHSC website. To limit exposure to COVID-19, recipients are encouraged to mail or fax the completed form to HHSC instead of visiting their local offices. Completed forms should be mailed to Texas Health and Human Services Commission, PO Box 149027, Austin, TX, 78714-9027, or faxed to 1-877-447-2839. For more information, please visit hhs.texas.gov.
To check benefit amounts deposited on a card, SNAP recipients with an online account can visit YourTexasBenefits.com, or they can call the Lone Star Help Desk at 800-777-7328. Administered by HHSC, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1.6 million eligible, low-income families and individuals in Texas. Texans in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP and Medicaid, at YourTexasBenefits.com or use the Your Texas Benefits mobile app to manage their benefits.