Benefits Assistance

The Benefits Assistance Program helps eligible East Texans complete applications for State social service benefits to acquire the food, and other wrap-around services, they need in times of economic hardship or emergency. Programs we offer assistance for include SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Medicaid, TANF (Temporary Aid for Needy Families), CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), Healthy Texas Women and Medicare Savings Program. Additionally, the Benefits Assistance Program provides referral services for other social service agencies, such as WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children and housing, shelter and utility assistance programs.

Read more about these programs below by clicking on them.  You can also request application assistance or more information.

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

SNAPLogoSNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families and individuals so they can purchase healthy food. Households can also buy garden seeds and plants that produce food with SNAP benefits.

Who is it for?

• People who don’t have a lot of money as long as they meet program rules.
• Most adults age 18 to 49 with no children in the home can get SNAP for only 3 months in a 3-year period. The benefit period might be longer if the person works at least 20 hours a week or is in a job or training program. Some adults might not have to work to get benefits, such as those who have a disability or are pregnant.

Maximum monthly income limits

PLEASE NOTE: The following chart gives a general idea of the amount of money (income) most people or families
can get and still be in this program.

Household of 1      $2,005
Household of 2      $2,712
Household of 3      $3,419
Household of 4      $4,125
Household of 5      $4,832
For each additional person, add: $707

TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)

Helps families with children age 18 and younger pay for basic needs such as:
• Food
• Clothing
• Housing
• Utilities
• Furniture
• Transportation
• Phone
• Laundry
• Supplies for the home
• Medical supplies not paid for by Medicaid
• Other basic needs

CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) & Children’s Medicaid

CHIP and Children’s Medicaid both cover services needed to keep kids healthy, including:
• Dentist visits, cleanings, and fillings
• Eye exams and glasses
• Choice of doctors, regular checkups, and office visits
• Prescription drugs and vaccines
• Access to medical specialists and mental health care
• Hospital care and services
• Medical supplies, X-rays, and lab tests
• Treatment of special health needs
• Treatment of pre-existing conditions

To qualify, a child must be:

• Age 18 or younger*.
*Children up to age 20 can qualify for Medicaid in some cases.
• A Texas resident.
• A U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

Medicaid for Pregnant Women

Health-care benefits during pregnancy and up to 2 months after birth of the baby.
Benefits include:
• Doctor visits
• Drugs ordered by a doctor
• Labor and delivery
• Lab tests and X-rays
• Hospital care
• Glasses
• Rides to the doctor

Who is it for?

Pregnant women with little or no income.

Healthy Texas Women


This program offers women’s health and family planning services at no cost to eligible women in Texas.
Benefits include:
• Pregnancy testing
• Pelvic examinations
• Sexually transmitted infection services
• Breast and cervical cancer screenings
• Clinical breast examination
• Screening and treatment for cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure
• HIV screening
• Long-acting reversible contraceptives
• Oral contraceptive pills
• Permanent sterilization
• Other contraceptive methods such as condoms, diaphragm, vaginal spermicide, and injections
• Screening and treatment for postpartum depression

Who is it for?

Women ages 15 to 44 who have little or no money. For individuals age 15 -17, a parent or legal guardian must apply on their behalf.

Medicare Savings Program

Helps pay for all or some of the Medicare monthly payments (premiums), co-pays, and deductibles (money owed to the doctor if Medicare doesn’t cover the entire bill).

Who is it for?

A person who:
• Gets Medicare.
• Doesn’t own or isn’t paying for items over a certain value. (Items that may not be counted are homes, vehicles, limited amount of burial funds, and personal belongings.)
• Has little or no money:


Request Benefits Information & Assistance

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992.

Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: 

  1. Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 
  2. Fax: (202) 690-7442 
  3. Email:

The East Texas Food Bank is an equal opportunity provider and employer.