The Texas Health and Human Services Department distributes SNAP food benefits and temporary help in the form of cash to needy families via the Lone Star Card. It is a plastic card that works like a regular debit card to pay for groceries. Continue reading to learn more about the advantages it offers.
Once a month, SNAP benefits are deposited into your account. The final number in your SNAP Eligibility Determination Group number indicates the day of the month you will receive benefits. Every month, this is the same day.
Your EDG number can be found on the TF0001 form that was mailed to you proclaiming your eligibility for SNAP benefits. If you cannot locate this number, please call 800-777-7328 for assistance.
Once a month, TANF funds are also loaded into the card. The last number in your TANF Eligibility Determination Group number indicates the day you will begin receiving payments.
The schedules for SNAP and TANF assistance payments are available on the Texas Health and Human Services website’s Lone Star FAQ page. If you haven’t applied yet, you can do so through the Your Texas Benefits website.
You can use your Lone Star Card SNAP benefits to purchase groceries such as fruits and vegetables, dairy goods, packaged meals, and poultry and meat. You can also use the card to buy seeds for your own garden.
However, you cannot use the card to purchase alcohol or tobacco goods, hot foods, or ready-to-eat foods in the store. Non-food home items including soap, paper products, health and beauty products, pet feeds, and refundable container deposits are also not eligible for Lone Star Card purchases.
Using your Lone Star Card to purchase eligible items costs nothing. Here’s how to go about making your purchases:
- At the register, swipe your card.
- As your payment option, select “EBT.”
- Enter your PIN here. You must fill it out yourself. You cannot have the cashier perform it for you, and you should never reveal your PIN to anyone.
- Save your receipt. It displays the remaining balance on your card.
Benefits stored on your card are valid for a year, so everything you don’t utilize one month is carried over to the next. The following perks are simply applied to your current balance.