Texas Announces SNAP Benefits Boost for Storm Victims

SNAP recipients in Texas are now eligible to collect replacement benefits following severe storms in the Lone Star State.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are issued monthly to low- and no-income households to help them buy groceries. Following a storms and tornadoes, eligible claimants in Texas can apply for replacement benefits up to the value of the goods purchased using their SNAP electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card.

Severe storms hit Texas beginning on Thursday, May 16, causing damage to property, flooding and downed trees, while leaving thousands without power. Four people are confirmed to have died as a result. According to a report by Reuters, more than 100,000 households and businesses are still without power.

“Due to recent severe weather and flooding that devastated communities across our state, impacted Texans will be able to apply for SNAP replacement benefits for food that was lost or destroyed during these devastating storms,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “Eligible Texans can apply for these benefits by dialing 2-1-1. I thank the Texas Health and Human Services Commission for working with our federal partners to ensure Texans have the resources they need to recover and move forward from these storms.”

Empty grocery basket
A file photo of a person carrying an empty grocery basket. Texans who get SNAP benefits can now apply to have the value of their lost or destroyed goods replaced.


Who Can Get Replacement SNAP?

Those living in Austin, Chambers, Colorado, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker and Waller counties are eligible to get replacement SNAP benefits if their groceries were lost or destroyed during the deadly storms.

Recipients can apply by phone, mail or fax. Those wishing to apply by phone can dial 2-1-1 and select option two. For anyone wanting to apply by post, they should download a Form H1855 (Affidavit for Nonreceipt or Destroyed SNAP Benefits) and either mail it to Texas Health and Human Services Commission, P.O. Box 149027, Austin, TX, 78714-9027, or fax it to 877-447-2839.

Applicants must specify on the form the value of the lost or destroyed groceries, as well as how much in benefits they receive per month.

When replacement SNAP benefits become available, there is usually a 10-day time limit on applying following the discovery of lost groceries. However, the U.S. Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has clarified that in this instance the time-limit has been waived.

Newsweek contacted the FNS via email outside of normal working hours for comment.

Any SNAP recipients who live outside of the specified counties but were still affected by last week’s storms can still apply for replacement benefits, but they must do this in person at a local benefits office. However, the 10-day time limit applies to anyone not in the listed areas.

If successful, claimants will receive their replacement funds on their Lone Star Cards within two days.