Lunch Is Served!

As of March 19, 2020, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Abbott declared all schools in Texas temporarily closed. To assist Texas families while schools are closed, meals are available for take-home at no cost to all children through participating school districts. 

Social Security, SNAP, and Medicaid – Expanded Benefits

On March 18, 2020, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to help Americans get through the Coronavirus crisis. The Families First Act provides assistance by expanding public benefits, unemployment benefits, and other assistance.

What does this mean for me?

This new law will provide paid leave, establish free coronavirus testing, support strong unemployment benefits, and expand food assistance for vulnerable children and families.

What about Social Security Benefits?

  • Social Security offices are closed to the public, but Social Security benefits will continue to be paid.
  • Social Security beneficiaries will automatically receive a COVID relief fund payment by check or direct deposit from the Department of Treasury in the coming weeks. Social Security beneficiaries do not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive their COVID relief payment.
  • Beware of scammers telling you that your Social Security benefits have been suspended or discontinued.  If you receive such a letter, it is a scam! Learn more, or report a Social Security scam, at: https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/

What about SNAP, Medicaid, and TANF Benefits?

Expanded Medicaid and CHIP Benefits

I think I (or my child) might have COVID-19.  What will Medicaid and CHIP cover?

  • Medicaid and CHIP will cover COVID-19 testing for Medicaid or CHIP clients. Your healthcare provider will work with local public health officials to determine if you should be tested for COVID-19.
  • No prior authorization is required for the COVID-19 lab test by Medicaid and CHIP health plans, or by traditional Medicaid.
  • To help families access care during the COVID-19 response, HHSC is waiving office visit co-payments for all CHIP members for services provided from March 13, 2020 through April 30, 2020.
  • Co-payments are not required for covered services delivered via telemedicine or telehealth to CHIP members.

Texans can dial 2-1-1 (option 6) for information on COVID-19 and local community resources on health care, utilities, food, housing and more. More COVID-19 information.

Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm focused on advocacy on behalf of low-income and underserved populations. Lone Star Legal Aid serves millions of people at 125% of federal poverty guidelines that reside in 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas, and 4 counties of southwest Arkansas. Lone Star Legal Aid focuses its resources on maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability; preserving housing; improving outcomes for children; establishing and sustaining family safety and stability, health and well‐being; and assisting populations with special vulnerabilities, like those who have disabilities, or who are elderly, homeless, or have limited English language skills. To learn more about Lone Star Legal Aid, visit our website at www.lonestarlegal.org.

Media contact: Clarissa Ayala, cayala@lonestarlegal.org