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Hurricane Rita Disaster Food Stamp Policy

USDA –  FNS  (U.S. Department of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Services) approved disaster policy for Texas and Louisiana residents who were living in counties or parishes declared federal disaster areas due to Hurricane Rita.

What counties and parishes are designated as federal disaster areas

Texas Counties: Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange, and Tyler.

Louisiana Parishes:  Beauregard
Several parishes in Louisiana affected by Hurricane Rita were also declared disaster areas for Hurricane Katrina (i.e. Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Vermillion). Applicants from these parishes qualify under rules for Hurricane Katrina for applications filed through the end of October.

How do you apply for benefits?

Apply at any Texas HHSC  (Health and Human Services Commission) office.  Texas residents applying in Louisiana will have eligibility determined under Louisiana disaster policy.

How long is the disaster policy in effect

The streamlined policy is in effect for households that apply from September 28, 2005 through the close of business on October 31, 2005.

How long is the eligibility period

The certification period will be for three months.

What about September benefits that were already issued

Texas will automatically replace 20% of the Texas household’s September allotment.  Texas will not certify Louisiana residents who are currently certified for benefits.

What eligibility requirements apply


·         Proof of identity and residence in a disaster area before evacuation

·         Liquid resources

·         Income and expenses that can be anticipated

Report changes within 40 days

From a press release:

Special Food Stamp Assistance Now Available for Families Affected by Rita

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission received rapid approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to allow the state to provide disaster food stamp assistance to individuals and families displaced by Hurricane Rita.

The USDA-approved waiver applies to food stamp applicants in nine Texas counties and one Louisiana parish declared a disaster area as a result of Hurricane Rita. The program allows HHSC to act quickly to provide families with assistance by waiving certain eligibility requirements. Eligible families can receive assistance for up to 90 days.

Residents of Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newtown, Orange and Tyler counties, as well as Beauregard parish, can apply for disaster food stamps through any Texas Health and Human Services Commission field office.  To find the nearest office, evacuees should call 2-1-1 or 1-888-312-4567.

Hurricane Rita Resources

Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Texas Online

Office of the Governor

Department of Aging and Disability Services

Department of State Health Services

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