Government Programs in Texas


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About Texas Benefits

Texas has a wide variety of federally funded programs designed to assist low-income individuals, households and families. These federal programs provide many types of benefits and services for Texas residents who need help obtaining necessities like food, housing, healthcare, and supplemental income. All of these programs require applicants to meet certain eligibility criteria, such as having a qualifying income. Eligibility guidelines, along with application procedures and other program requirements, differ for each program. Below, you will find brief descriptions of Texas’ federally funded programs:

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Texas, sometimes known as the Texas Food Stamps program, provides monthly payments that eligible households may use to purchase approved food items at participating food retailers. Most children from households that participate in the SNAP program also participate in Free Breakfast and Lunch Programs for School Age Children in Texas, including the School Breakfast Program, the National School Lunch Program and the Summer Food Service Program in Texas. These programs allow students from low-income families to have access to healthy and nutritious meals in school.

Texas residents who need housing assistance may apply for the Section 8 housing program, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. This offers rent payment assistance that allows eligible households to rent a home of their choice on the private market.

Unemployment Insurance is a temporary cash benefit paid to Texans who have experienced a recent job loss or reduced work hours. The program enables qualifying out-of-work Texans to cover their financial obligations as they look for new or additional work.

Texas has three main healthcare programs for Texans with varying incomes and other personal circumstances. Medicaid is a federal-state assistance program that helps to provide healthcare services for children and eligible adults from low-income households. Medicaid recipients include elderly people, children, and people with disabilities. Medicare is a healthcare insurance program for Texas residents who are 65 years of age and older. Some people with disabilities who are younger than age 65 may also be eligible for Medicare benefits. Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, allows a wide range of Texas residents to find and enroll in an affordable private health insurance plan.

Very low-income families requiring money for other necessities have access to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Texas. This program provides cash assistance to Texas families that have children age 18 or younger and little to no income. Beneficiaries can use TANF payments to purchase goods and services such as clothing, housing costs, phone costs and more.