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Your Lone Star Card

    The Texas Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system uses the Lone Star Card (a magnetic-stripe plastic debit card) to provide access to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) food benefits and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefits. The Lone Star Card is used in the same way any other debit card is used. When you pay for approved food or TANF items, you swipe your Lone Star Card through an electronic device (i.e. a Point of Sale device), enter your unique personal identification number (PIN), and the amount of the purchase is automatically subtracted from your benefit account.

    If you apply and are eligible for TANF and/or food benefits, you will receive a Lone Star Card from your local Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) office or by mail. For more information on how to use your EBT Lone Star Card, visit "Lone Star Card - FAQs" on this website or view the "Welcome to Your Lone Star Card" (en espanol) brochure.

    To see if you might be eligible for benefits or to locate an HHSC office in your area, visit the "Your Texas Benefits" website. The “Your Texas Benefits” website provides easy and secure online access to Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) benefits, including food (SNAP), TANF (cash), Medicaid, children's health insurance, nursing home care and other services for people who are elderly or have disabilities.

    As the state adds more Texas programs to the Lone Star Card, it will evolve into an electronic service delivery system, through which many different kinds of services can be accessed by Texas citizens. HHSC's Medicaid program and the Department of State Health Services' Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program are currently piloting a "smart card" version of the Lone Star Card in which a microprocessor and memory chip that can store and process information, is embedded in the card.


Updated:  Friday, June 5, 2009

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