Texas Lawyer News: Texas Health and Human Services Commission sued!

Legal news for Texas government attorneys. Texas agency sued for failing to meet state food stamp processing requirements.

Texas government lawyers alert-Texas Health and Human Services Commission sued for delayed processing of stamp applications leaving Texans without food stamps.

Dallas, TX—The Texas Legal Services Center and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice (NCLEJ) filed a lawsuit against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). The lawsuit alleges the HHSC failed to process more than one third of food-stamp applications within the one-month waiting period as required by law, as reported by the Star-Telegram.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two women in the federal court in Austin. One plaintiff, Linda Thornberg of Irving submitted an application in June for food stamps and will not be interviewed until sometime this month to determine if she qualifies for aid from the state of Texas. The other claimant, Stacy Howard of Irving states the HHSC scheduled her interview more than 70 days after she filed for food stamps. As mandated by federal law, each state is required to reach a decision within 30 days on issuing food stamps, and 7 days in issuing emergency food stamp applications. The state of Texas allegedly has failed in the last three years to meet the federal time constraints, and failed to process nearly one third of applications in the past month.

The HHSC stated the metropolitan areas of Dallas and Houston have reportedly endured the longest waiting periods. HHSC says they have hired 700 additional workers in the past year and are planning to hire another 650 workers to help combat the application processing issue. The HHSC claims 2.8 million Texans are on the food stamp program, and which is an 11 percent increase from last year. They believe the increase is due to the economy and Hurricane Ike.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Texas lawyers practicing government law.