Do you need help applying for or managing public benefits such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families? Some faith and community-based organizations are now working with the Texas Health and Human Services to assist individuals with this process. Under the Community Partners Program, local groups can receive the training and certification needed for their staff and volunteers to help Texans navigate the application process and services.
Depending on an organization’s abilities, it can provide services at one of three partnership levels:
- Level 1: Self Service. Organizations only provide access to a computer for people to use in applying for HHSC benefit programs at www.yourtexasbenefits.com.
- Level 2: Assistance Site. Trained employees and volunteers help people apply for benefits online, as well as providing computer access.
- Level 3: Case Assistance. Organizations provide computers, assist with applications and also help clients manage their benefits online.
This Community Partners Program was created under House Bill 2610 passed in 2011 by the Texas Legislature. It was pilot tested at a few sites starting in January 2012, with 36 organizations participating and 141 trained and certified staff by mid-September. HHSC staff estimated that 51 additional organizations will join the program in October when it goes statewide, with more joining later.
Find Community Partners at the Community Partner Program website.