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Food stamp application backlog to be cleared by April

Here’s a little bit of good news.

Texas’ food stamp application backlog is now expected to be cleared by the end of April, Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs told lawmakers today.

[…]

The commission had projected it would clear the backlog by February. That didn’t happen. Though the backlog disappeared in the Tyler, Beaumont, Austin, El Paso and Edinburg areas, there were still 16,000 applications in February for which decisions were past due, Suehs said. About 90 percent of that backlog was in the Houston and Dallas areas.

Suehs now expects the Lubbock, Abilene and San Antonio regions to clear the backlog by the end of March, he told members of a joint Senate-House panel overseeing the state’s system for enrolling Texans in programs such as food stamps and Medicaid. And he expects the Dallas and Houston areas to be back on track by the end of April.

Getting food banks involved has helped, as you might expect. The problem was shameful and inexcusable, the resolution has taken far too long, but at least it’s imminent. That’s a good thing.

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