Look for a new splash of color and design in HHSC benefits offices this summer, as well as in the offices of community organizations that help connect Texans in need with state benefits. HHSC is launching a new campaign to help people learn how to apply for state benefits and update their cases online.
The new outreach materials — brochures, posters and other items — feature a SNAP food benefits theme infused with computer-oriented technology. The materials let people know they can “Apply for SNAP food benefits. And more. Now online.”
“We want Texans to know that we’ve got a new, convenient way for them to apply for benefits any time, day or night,” HHSC Communications Director Stephanie Goodman said. “More and more of our clients have Internet access through work, family or friends. When we make it easier for those clients to apply online, it helps us become more efficient and better use our state staff to provide extra help to those who may need it.”
The YourTexasBenefits.com website has been up and running for more than a year but there were limitations on who could use it to apply online. Now, after upgrades and testing, the website is ready for prime time. Anyone applying for SNAP, TANF or Medicaid can do so online. By setting up an account, a person applying can check the status of their online application and, if approved, they can manage their case through the website, too.
Those who do not have a computer can still apply by filling out a paper application, and HHSC is working to make that process more convenient, too. HHSC’s new Community Partner Program is recruiting community health and social services organizations across the state to serve as navigators to help people learn how to apply and manage their cases (see Community Partner Program helps connect Texans to online tools).
The new outreach materials will help those local organizations start a conversation with the people they serve about applying online.
“Most of the people who come to our offices are there to apply for SNAP food benefits,” Goodman said. “The blending of the SNAP theme and the technology references lets you know that you can apply for benefits, get information about your benefits or report a change in your case from any computer with Internet access.”
Community-based organizations will be able to order many of the materials. Once the materials are ready, HHSC will post instructions on how to order them on its website.