Helpful Services for Low-income Families in Texas


The state of Texas is dedicated to assisting families with financial need so that they are better able to provide for their families. For this reason, Texas offers a variety of state subsidized programs that exist to help Texas residents on the basis of financial need.

Texas Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program

The Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) is a state program that provides reduced utility bills for households with low-income. CEAP also provides energy education and utility assistance during natural disasters.

If you receive financial assistance from a government program, such as the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), you are likely eligible for CEAP.

Texas Head Start

Head Start is a program provided by the federal government that provides an environment conducive to families with small children. Head Start aims to improve the cognitive skills and literacy of children through support and education. In the state of Texas, Early Head Start is also available. Early Head Start is for pregnant women, small children, and infants who live in low-income households.

A financial need must be proven in order to benefit from Head Start. Children who are homeless, living in foster homes, or living in a household receiving TANF are automatically eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start.

Texas Medicaid

Texas Medicaid is a program funded by both the state of Texas and the federal government to give medical coverage to individuals on the basis of financial need. Medicaid aims to provide preventative education to its beneficiaries as well as medical insurance coverage.

To be eligible for Medicaid, financial and medical needs must be established. You must also be a caregiver, a parent or legal guardian of a child under 19, have a disability, or be pregnant to receive Medicaid in Texas.

Texas School Breakfast and Lunch Program

The School Breakfast and Lunch Program in Texas provides free or reduced lunch and breakfast to children based on financial need. This program’s goal is to make sure children from low-income households are able to receive two nutritious meals on a daily basis.

Children in low-income households attending high school or under may be qualified to receive free or reduced lunch. Children in juvenile detention centers, boarding schools, or child care institutions may also be eligible.

Texas Special Milk Program

In Texas, the Special Milk Program (SMP) provides free milk to children in low-income households. SMP is reserved for low-income children who are not participating in other school lunch programs, such as the School Breakfast and Lunch Program.

Texas children attending school, summer camp, or other child care facilities may be eligible for SMP if a financial need is established.

Texas Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a state funded effort to provide formula for infants and nutritious food for children and pregnant women in low-income households. WIC also gives free nutrition education to growing families who are eligible.

WIC only gives benefits to pregnant women, small children, and infants, though other family members may take advantage of the education opportunities WIC provides. WIC is only given to applicants from low-income households.

Texas Summer Food Service

In Texas, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a program for children from low-income households to provide them with nutritious food during the summer. Programs like the School Breakfast and Lunch Program only cover meals when school is in session. SFSP provides meals to children during the summer, when they no longer have access to nutritional meals.

The only requirement for SFSP is that the child lives in an area where at least 50 percent of children qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Texas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Food Stamps, gives food vouchers to families with low-income. SNAP benefits extend to most local grocery stores and allows the beneficiary to buy the food they choose with a monthly allowance.

To qualify for SNAP, a reasonable financial need must be established.

Texas Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

In Texas, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federal program that provides medical care and financial assistance to families based on income. TANF provides both Medicaid and a monthly allowance to its beneficiaries.

To be eligible for this program, you must be pregnant or the parent or legal guardian of a child under the age of 19. You must also provide documentation demonstrating financial need.

Texas Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance is a program provided by the federal government to assist individuals who have become unemployed. Unemployment insurance provides its beneficiaries with a weekly check for up to 26 weeks.

If a Texas resident is unemployed through no fault of their own and currently seeking full time work, he or she may be eligible for unemployment insurance.

Texas Weatherization Assistance Program

The Texas Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) helps weatherize the homes of the elderly and disabled based on low-income. WAP provides weatherization services including insulation, caulking, and preparing windows for storms.

For a disabled or elderly Texas resident to qualify for WAP, proof of financial need must be provided.

TexCare Children’s Health Insurance Program

The Children’s Health Insurance Program provides medical care for children living in low-income households. CHIP protects children who are living in households that are not covered by health insurance. This program provides dental, vision, emergency care, and annual check up benefits to children who are enrolled.

To be eligible for CHIP, the child must be a Texas resident, under 19 years of age, not receiving any medical insurance benefits, and living in a low-income household.