Reapplying to receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Texas, formerly known as food stamps, involves the same procedures as your initial processing. You are required to complete an application and provide supporting documentation that verifies requirements including income and resources. Your caseworker then will make the determination as to whether you remain qualified for benefits. If so, your food stamp case will continue as usual, with changes to your benefit amount if warranted.
You will receive a renewal notification and blank application by mail during the month before your last month of your SNAP benefits. You must complete the application by the 15th day of the last month of your current benefit period to ensure there is no lapse in benefits. For example, if your benefit period ends in June, then you will receive your application in May, and you will need to submit your application by June 15 to ensure timely processing of your case. Once that's done, you will receive notification of your interview, usually within 13 days of the last day of the month of your benefits, depending on when you turned in your application. If you turn your application in late, your caseworker has 30 days to complete your case from the file date, and thus you might have to wait longer for your new round of benefits.
Your caseworker will revisit all required elements of your case, including household composition, income, resources and how you manage your finances. Much like your initial interview, you must provide proof of income and resources, usually through pay stubs and bank statements. Each case is unique, and your worker may request alternative forms of verification depending on your situation. As a general rule, caseworkers must verify two pay periods of work beginning 45 days from the file date to the date of the interview.
You also can submit your application online through www.yourtexasbenefits.com. Create an account and then follow the steps provided on the site, which will lead you to the process. You also will have the opportunity to upload your supporting documents if you have electronic copies of them. If not, you can mail your documentation to the address on your renewal notification. Click on the "View My Case" tab. From there, click to renew your benefits. You also can check the status of your application online.
Reapplying After Denial
If you are denied SNAP benefits, you can reapply anytime. However, if your case is denied for failure to provide information, you might have to provide that information before your case can continue. If you're denied because you do not meet a certain criteria, be prepared to show proof that your circumstances have changed.
Different timeframes govern when information must be verified. For example, if you are denied for having too high an income, and you lose your job and then reapply, you must provide proof of your job loss has occurred within the application month or two months prior to your file date.
The SNAP program contains numerous policies and procedures to accurately determine benefits, and many situations arise that can make your case a special case. Contact your local Health and Human Services Office or dial 211 to get more comprehensive answers about your individual situation. You also can find all regulations pertaining to SNAP in the Texas Health and Human Services Texas Works Handbook.
Michelle Dwyer is a U.S. Army veteran writing fiction and nonfiction since 2003. She specializes in business, careers, leadership, military affairs and organizational change and behavior. Dwyer received an MBA from Tarleton State University/Texas A&M Central Texas and an MFA in creative writing from National University in La Jolla, Calif.