Gov. Abbott announce federal approval for SNAP benefits in eight disaster counties

Local News

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (Photo by Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images)

Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—Governor Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday 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 for food lost or destroyed due to Hurricane Laura in eight of the impacted counties.

The counties include, Hardin, Jefferson, Newton, Orange, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby and Tyler.

SNAP recipients in the eight impacted counties do not need to take any action to receive their replacement benefits. A percentage of the benefit allotment for August will be automatically issued to all regular SNAP households in the affected counties and placed on their Lone Star cards by September 18, according to government officials.

Individuals in these counties have until September 30 to report other food loss and request additional benefits in addition to the benefits automatically replaced.

HHSC also received approval to waive the 10 day reporting requirement in 35 additional counties so that impacted households will have until Sept. 30, 2020, to report SNAP food loss and request replacement benefits.

Impacted eligible counties in the Governor’s disaster declaration include: Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Brazoria, Camp, Cass, Chambers, Cherokee, Fort Bend, Franklin, Galveston, Gregg, Harris, Harrison, Houston, Jasper, Liberty, Marion, Matagorda, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Polk, Red River, Rusk, San Jacinto, Smith, Titus, Trinity, Upshur, Walker, Waller, Wharton, and Wood.

“I thank our federal partners for approving these replacement benefits and for their ongoing support as Texas recovers from Hurricane Laura,” said Abbott. “This will help our communities focus on rebuilding and recovering from this storm, while helping ensure that families can continue to provide healthy food for their families.” 

“This mass replacement of benefits can help communities focus on resuming their lives in the wake of this disaster,” said Wayne Salter, Texas HHS Access and Eligibility Services deputy executive commissioner. “We’re hopeful that this approval can help families have peace of mind knowing they can access healthy, nutritious foods.”

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