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Governor Abbott, HHSC announce extension of emergency SNAP benefits for February 2021

SNAP
Posted at 10:42 AM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 12:28:45-05

Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will provide approximately $300 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of February as the state continues its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are grateful for this additional extension of emergency SNAP benefits for the month of February," said Governor Abbott. "We will continue to provide Texas families with the resources they need to put food on the table and provide for their loved ones."

"These emergency food benefits will provide additional support for Texans to purchase nutritious foods for their families during the ongoing pandemic," said Texas HHS Access and Eligibility Services Deputy Executive Commissioner Wayne Salter.

HHSC received federal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend the maximum, allowable amount of SNAP benefits to recipients based on family size.

The emergency February allotments are in addition to the more than $2 billion in benefits previously provided to Texans since April 2020, according to Gov. Abbott's office.

Recipients will also continue to receive a 15 percent increase in their total benefits, which will continue monthly until June 2021. This additional 15 percent increase and the emergency allotment amount should appear in recipients’ accounts by Feb. 28, Gov. Abbott's statement said.

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.

SNAP food benefits are put on to the Lone Star Card and can be used just like a credit card at any store that accepts SNAP.

According to HHS, SNAP can’t be used to:

  • Buy tobacco.
  • Buy alcoholic drinks.
  • Buy things you can't eat or drink.
  • Pay for food bills you owe.

Most adults age 18 to 49 with no children in the home can get SNAP for only 3 months in a 3-year period, according to the HHS website.

The benefit period might be longer if the person works at least 20 hours a week or is in a job or training program.

Most people age 16 to 59 must follow work rules to get SNAP benefits, though some adults might not have to work to get benefits, such as those who have a disability or are pregnant, according to HHS.

Work rules mean a person must look for a job or be in an approved work program. If the person has a job, they can’t quit without a good reason.

For more information on SNAP limits, click here.

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.