Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Texas Works Handbook
Revision: 13-2
Effective: April 1, 2013

Part B — Section 200

Issuing Benefits

B—210  General Policy

Revision 05-2; Effective April 1, 2005

TANF

Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) issues Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) or warrant. The agency issues all one-time benefits via warrant.

Related Policy:
Medicaid Eligibility, A-800
Issuing OTTANF Benefits, A-2451
Issuing One-Time Grandparent Payments, A-2452

SNAP

HHSC issues all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by EBT.

B—220  Benefits

Revision 05-2; Effective April 1, 2005

B—221  Types of Benefits

Revision 11-3; Effective July 1, 2011

TANF and SNAP

There are five types of benefits:

  • initial,
  • ongoing,
  • supplemental,
  • retroactive, and
  • restored.

See Glossary for definitions of these terms.

B—222  Issuing Methods

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF

Issue benefits by Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, and Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input. If Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B or Form H1000-C cannot be used, use Form H1008, Authorization for Cancellation or Issuance of Public Assistance Warrants.

Benefits authorized via Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C are issued by EBT. Benefits authorized via Form H1008 are issued by warrant.

SNAP

Issue all SNAP benefits via EBT.

B—222.1  Form H1000-A Entries for Issuing Benefits at Certification

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF

Use the following chart to determine the Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, entries to issue benefits when certifying an application.

If the whole monthly benefit for the first month of eligibility is ... then enter the first day of the ...
  • the same as for future months, and
  • the actual benefit amount for the first month of eligibility (before any recoupment) is $10 or more,
first month of eligibility on Form H1000-A, Item 129, Grant Effective Date.

SAVERR automatically produces a prorated payment for the first month of eligibility.

different from the whole monthly benefit for the next month, next month in Item 129. Complete Section XI to produce the prorated payment for the first month of eligibility.

SNAP

The System for Applications, Verifications, Eligibility Reports and Referral (SAVERR) automatically begins producing monthly benefits for the SAVERR effective month but not for earlier months. Complete Section XI to issue or report benefits for months before the SAVERR effective month, whether prorating benefits or not.

B—222.2  Form H1008 Issuing Procedures

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF

Use Form H1008, Authorization for Cancellation or Issuance of Public Assistance Warrants, instead of Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B or Form H1000-C, to issue retroactive, restored or supplemental benefits in the following situations:

  • To order benefits for a case that is currently denied or transferred to a Medical Program.
  • To order supplemental benefits when the supplemental amount plus the original benefit amount are not the same as the current grant amount.
  • To order an annual school subsidy payment when:
    • issuing full or partial August benefits for a household addition;
    • releasing a hold; or
    • transferring a case from Medical Programs to TANF.
    Use Type Warrant Code A and document in the comments section that the supplement is an annual school subsidy payment.
  • To order retroactive or restored benefits for the same amount as the current grant when different benefit amounts for more recent months were ordered on Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, and Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input, Section XI.
  • To reissue benefits canceled by mistake.

Note: Use Form H1008, in addition to Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C, if simultaneously requesting benefits in Section XI for more than five months.

B—222.3  Issuing TANF Benefits for Retroactive Months on a Certified Application

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF

To determine how to request issuance of TANF benefits for retroactive months on a certified application, use the following chart.

If the grant amount for the retroactive months ... and the months of eligibility ... then use ...
is the same as current grant, are sequential, Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, and Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input. Make the grant effective date the first month of eligibility. No Section XI entry is required.
- have gaps, Form H1008, Authorization for Cancellation or Issuance of Public Assistance Warrants.
is different from the current grant, are sequential, or have gaps,
  • Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C, Section XI, for first five months, and
  • Form H1008 for the remainder.
varies, have gaps,
  • Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C, Section XI, for different amounts, and
  • Form H1008 for amounts equal to the current grant.
- are sequential, or have gaps,
  • Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C (Make the grant effective date retroactive to the first month that sequential benefits are equal to the current grant amount. Use Section XI for other months with different grant amounts.), and
  • Form H1008 for the remaining months with amounts equal to the current grant.

B—222.4  Mailing Addresses for Issuing Benefits

Revision 04-3; Effective April 1, 2004

TANF and Medical Programs

Issue benefits to the individual's home address, unless the individual:

  • is temporarily living at another address. (Enter the temporary address on Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, and Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input.)
  • has a post office box or general delivery address.
  • has a guardian. (Enter the guardian's address on Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C even if the guardian lives in another town.)
  • provides a good reason for a different mailing address, showing that he would suffer hardship if benefits were mailed to his address.

Do not use a local eligibility determination office address or an employee's home address as a mailing address, unless the employee is a TANF applicant or recipient.

SNAP

The individual's home address is the preferred mailing address to enter on SNAP Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C. The individual may use another mailing address, however, if he believes it is more secure or he has no home address to use.

All Programs

Notes:

  • If a individual has a post office box and street address, enter both on Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C (Items 13 and 14) unless the household resides in a shelter for battered women.

    Example:

    Item 13 — Residence Address
    Item 14 — P.O. Box
    Item 15 — City (of P.O. Box, if different than residence)
    Item 16 — State
    Item 17 — ZIP code (of P.O. Box, if different than residence)

  • The U.S. Postal Service does not forward TANF warrants or Medical Care Identification cards.

B—230  Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)

Revision 04-7; Effective October 1, 2004

TANF and SNAP

HHSC issues benefits by EBT and contracts with multiple vendors who perform EBT functions.

When an advisor certifies a household, HHSC establishes and deposits benefits in the household's EBT account(s). Staff issues a Lone Star Card to the individual or his representative. These cardholders access benefits using the card and a Personal Identification Number (PIN).

Staff uses the Generic Work Sheet (GWS) and SAVERR to send information to the EBT system. SAVERR also receives information from the EBT system. Each local eligibility determination office has an Administrative Terminal Application (ATA) to access the EBT system.

The EBT process includes:

  • establishing a primary cardholder and EBT account(s),
  • establishing a secondary cardholder, if requested,
  • issuing a Lone Star Card,
  • requesting the individual select his PIN or issuing a pre-assigned PIN,
  • replacing a card and/or PIN, if required, and
  • individual training.

B—231  Establishing the Primary Cardholder (PCH)

Revision 03-1; Effective January 1, 2003

TANF and SNAP

The PCH is the household member or EBT representative designated to have primary responsibility for security and access to the household's benefits in the EBT account. Each case has only one PCH. Staff generally establishes the case name as the PCH, even if he is a disqualified member.

Exceptions: An EBT representative is a PCH who is not the case name. Require one in the following situations:

  • If the TANF case has a protective payee or representative payee, establish this person as the PCH.
  • If a SNAP individual is a resident of a drug and alcohol (D&A) treatment/group living arrangement (GLA) facility and the D&A/GLA facility is the individual's authorized representative (AR), establish the AR as the PCH.
If the TANF and SNAP cases have ... then ...
the same case name, establish the case name as the PCH for both cases.

Note: Ensure that the name, date of birth, sex and SSN match exactly.

different case names, each case must have a different PCH.

B—231.1  When to Send a PCH Record

Revision 03-1; Effective January 1, 2003

TANF and SNAP

HHSC must send a PCH record to the EBT system on an active case, even if pending the final case action, or an application when the advisor:

  • certifies a TANF or SNAP application;
  • transfers a Medical Programs case to TANF;
  • changes a case name;
  • adds, deletes, or changes a TANF protective payee or representative payee;
  • adds, deletes, or changes the SNAP AR for a D&A/GLA facility; or
  • changes a SNAP AR type from a D&A/GLA facility to an individual (in or out of the household) when the AR name stays the same.

    Note: The case name becomes the PCH. If the advisor changes the SNAP AR type from an individual to a D&A/GLA facility, the AR becomes the PCH. See B-440, Drug and Alcohol Treatment (D&A)/Group Living Arrangement (GLA) Facilities.

Do not send a record if:

  • pending a TANF or SNAP application and delaying issuance of the Lone Star Card;
  • pending the TANF or SNAP application due to a missed appointment;
  • using a denied case number and assigning a new case name on a pending application (See B-261.2, Creating a Cardholder Record.);
  • pending an incomplete or complete review action when the household does not appear to be eligible for TP 01/61; or
  • holding Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, for advance adverse action notice before establishing a TANF protective payee. Send the new PCH record for the protective payee the same day you send Form H1000-B.

B—231.2  Establishing a PCH Record and an EBT Account

Revision 03-1; Effective January 1, 2003

TANF and SNAP

Send a PCH record to the EBT system to establish a benefit account in the cardholder's name. The advisor must establish the account before issuance staff can report a Lone Star Card and PIN.

B—231.3  Sending a New PCH Record

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

There are two ways to send a new PCH record to the EBT system to establish an account.

  1. GWS – The GWS prompts the advisor to send a new PCH record by selecting a response of "Y" to the question on the PCH screen. GWS sends this record even when Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, or Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input, fatals due to SAVERR edits.

    The advisor may override this process by selecting a response of "N" when he chooses:

    • not to issue a Lone Star Card to a pended applicant; or
    • to send the record manually via data entry into the ATA due to erroneous data on the GWS screen.
  2. Data entry into the ATA – The advisor completes Part I of Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Action, to authorize this process only if he:
    • works the case manually;
    • works the case on GWS but overrides the automated record transmission;
    • needs to change the PCH on a denied case or a case being denied; or
    • cannot send the record via the GWS due to automation problems.

Exception: If the EBT system receives a benefit record produced by a Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B or Form H1000-C Section XI request before the PCH record, it uses the SAVERR benefit record to create a PCH record. This usually occurs on manually worked TANF and SNAP cases when:

  • the advisor fails to submit Form H1175, Part I, to the EBT clerk; or
  • the EBT clerk fails to enter the data from Part I of Form H1175 on the same day the advisor submits Form 1000-A/B/C.

Do not send another PCH record.

B—231.4  Updating the PCH Record

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

SAVERR updates existing PCH records on active cases any time the advisor changes the cardholder's biographical data or address. The EBT system uses SAVERR information from Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, and Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input, processed by 7 PM CST to update the records by 8 AM CST the next day.

Notes:

  • SAVERR hierarchy edits limit biographical data changes on TANF and SNAP individuals. When SAVERR changes the individual name, DOB, SSN, or sex on a TANF or SNAP case via the hierarchy process, it does not send the new information to the EBT system. Also, changes made by state office data control do not automatically update the EBT system. As a result, staff must follow procedures in B-261.4, Updating a Primary Cardholder Record, to update the EBT system using the ATA.
  • The advisor may also initiate action to merge PCH records via the ATA when a household's TANF and SNAP PCH record information fails to match. See B-261.3.2, Merging Primary Cardholder Records.

B—232  Establishing a Secondary Cardholder

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Establish a secondary cardholder only after HHSC certifies an application. Exception: If the advisor certifies a individual for one program and pends the other, the individual may authorize a secondary cardholder for both accounts.

The PCH may authorize:

  • a secondary cardholder for only one benefit account;
  • a different secondary cardholder for each benefit account; or
  • the same person as the secondary cardholder for both the cash account and the food account.

There are three methods of establishing a secondary cardholder:

  • the PCH requests it via the Lone Star help desk;
  • the PCH requests it from the local office issuance staff; or
  • the advisor authorizes the secondary cardholder via the ATA.

Only the PCH may authorize a secondary cardholder, except in the emergency situations described in B-232.3, Secondary Cardholders Established by the Advisor.

Employees involved in certification or issuance may serve as a secondary cardholder on another household's account only if the supervisor gives written approval.

B—232.1  Secondary Cardholder Established by the Lone Star Help Desk

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

The PCH may contact the Lone Star help desk any time after certification to add, delete, or change a secondary cardholder.

When the help desk staff receives a request to add or change a secondary cardholder, they mail a Second Cardholder request form to the PCH. The PCH must complete, sign, obtain the secondary cardholder's signature, and return the form to the vendor to authorize a secondary cardholder.

When the vendor's staff receives the completed form, they mail the secondary cardholder's Lone Star Card to the PCH who must give it to the secondary cardholder. The secondary cardholder then calls the Lone Star help desk to register the card.

If the PCH requests deletion of a secondary cardholder, Lone Star help desk staff terminates access of the secondary card immediately.

B—232.2  Secondary Cardholder Established by Issuance Staff

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

When the advisor establishes a PCH on a certified application, the PCH may authorize a secondary cardholder.

The PCH must bring the secondary cardholder with him to the office, complete the Second Cardholder request form, give the form to issuance staff, and provide proof of identity. The advisor completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request. Before establishing the secondary cardholder on the ATA, issuance staff ensures the Second Cardholder request form is completed and signed by both the PCH and secondary cardholder.

The PCH may add or change a secondary cardholder using this procedure any time after certification.

B—232.3  Secondary Cardholders Established by the Advisor

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

The advisor may establish a secondary cardholder with supervisory approval in the emergency situations described in this section.

B—232.3.1  Secondary Cardholder Authorization by a Household Member Other than the PCH

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

With supervisory approval, the advisor may establish account access for a new individual if:

  • the household needs to set up a secondary cardholder; and
  • the PCH cannot complete and sign the Second Cardholder request form (due to injury, illness, etc.).

The advisor obtains a completed Second Cardholder request form signed by another responsible household member or the AR if there is no other responsible household member. The advisor and supervisor sign below the individual's signature.

The advisor completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, for issuance staff to enter the data from the Second Cardholder request form into the ATA to establish a secondary cardholder record.

B—232.3.2  Secondary Cardholder Authorization by the Advisor

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

When benefits for children remain in an EBT account and the PCH is not able or available to access them, use the following chart to determine if the advisor may establish a secondary cardholder.

Step Action
1 Did the only household member with account access die, become incapacitated, or abandon the children? No Stop. Take no further action.
- - Yes Go to Step 2.
2 Is there another responsible household member who may be established as the PCH? No Go to Step 3.
- - Yes Establish him as the PCH.
3 Are the children in the care of another person? No Stop. Take no further action.
- - Yes Authorize account access to the new caregiver using the procedures that follow in this section.

The advisor:

  • uses the Second Cardholder request form to authorize the new caregiver as a secondary cardholder;
  • completes the individual (PCH) information section of the form; and
  • signs at the bottom in the section marked "Your Signature." The supervisor signs under the advisor's signature.

The new caregiver completes and signs the second cardholder information section. The advisor completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, and refers the person to issuance staff.

Note: The new caregiver must make a separate application for benefits in order to continue receiving them.

B—233  Issuing a Lone Star Card

Revision 11-2; Effective April 1, 2011

TANF and SNAP

The advisor requests Lone Star Card issuance when:

  • he establishes a new PCH record on applications or active cases; or
  • the office establishes a secondary cardholder.

For pended applications, advisors may request Lone Star Card issuance immediately after the interview or upon certification.

Exception: When the advisor interviews a PCH by phone, he is required to request the EBT vendor mail the Lone Star Card and training materials to the PCH with some exceptions. Follow procedures in B-233.2.2, Applicants Interviewed by Phone.

Related Policy:
Applicants Interviewed by Phone, B-233.2.2
Special Certification Situations, B-240
Drug and Alcohol Treatment (D&A)/Group Living Arrangement (GLA) Facilities, B-440
Residents in Shelters for Battered Women, B-450
Prepared Meal Services, B-460

B—233.1  When to Reuse a Lone Star Card

Revision 03-1; Effective January 1, 2003

TANF and SNAP

When an applicant has a Lone Star Card from a previous certification in which he was the PCH, use that card if using his old case number.

Do not reuse a previously issued Lone Star Card if it was:

  • issued to a pended application that was denied with no benefits issued;
  • deactivated because it was reported lost or stolen;
  • issued to someone who was later removed as primary or secondary cardholder on the account; or
  • issued to someone for a case, which was later denied and purged, and the EBT account was closed.

Use ATA inquiry to determine if the cardholder may use the Lone Star Card to access benefits for a particular case. Staff may use this inquiry to validate card access after verifying the individual's identity. Do not require Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request.

B—233.2  Issuing Lone Star Cards for PCHs

Revision 11-2; Effective April 1, 2011

TANF and SNAP

To issue a Lone Star Card, the advisor:

  • completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request; and
  • refers the PCH to issuance staff.

When issuing Lone Star Cards in the office, issuance staff verifies the identity of the person receiving the card to ensure he is the person listed on Form H1172. If issuing the card directly to a cardholder, issuance staff also ensures he signs the back of the card.

If the advisor pends the application and chooses not to issue the Lone Star Card, he:

  • explains to the individual that after receiving the Lone Star Card he must call the Lone Star help desk to register it;
  • postpones sending the PCH record; and
  • postpones sending Form H1172 to issuance staff.

If the advisor later certifies the application, he sends the PCH record and gives a completed Form H1172 to issuance staff to:

  • request mail-out of a Lone Star Card and training material to the PCH; and
  • flag the cardholder record to require card registration.

Exception: When the advisor interviews a PCH by phone, he is required to request the EBT vendor mail the Lone Star Card and training materials to the PCH with some exceptions. Follow procedures in B-233.2.2, Applicants Interviewed by Phone.

B—233.2.1  Applicants Interviewed in the Office

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

If the advisor interviews the PCH and certifies or pends the application at the initial interview, then he follows the procedures in B-233.2, Issuing Lone Star Cards for PCHs.

If the advisor interviews someone other than the PCH and certifies or pends the application at the initial interview, then he gives a completed Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, to issuance staff to

  • request issuance of a Lone Star Card to the person being interviewed; and
  • flag the cardholder record to require card registration.

If a person leaves the office without picking up his Lone Star Card or the advisor later certifies an application for which card issuance was postponed, issuance staff takes the actions listed in the following chart.

If the PCH ... then ...
has a secure mailing address,
  • mail the Lone Star Card and training material to the PCH's address,*
  • flag the cardholder record to require card registration, and
  • annotate this procedure on Form H1172.
does not have a secure mailing address,
  • annotate the bottom of Form H1172 to indicate that a card was not issued, and
  • return the form to the advisor to file in the case folder until the cardholder returns to get the card.
*Exception: For expedited applications in situations that require mailing a Lone Star Card, the PCH may pick up the card in the office. If the PCH is unable to come to the office due to illness or disability, issue the:
  • AR a secondary cardholder card following special procedures in B-232.3, Secondary Cardholders Established by the Advisor, if possible; or
  • PCH's card to the AR with supervisory approval on Form H1172, documenting the need for this procedure and indicating that it requires card registration.

If the cardholder returns for the card, issuance staff:

  • retrieve Form H1172;
  • re-date and initial Form H1172; and
  • issue the Lone Star Card following regular procedures.

B—233.2.2  Applicants Interviewed by Phone

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF and SNAP

If the advisor interviews a household by phone, mail issuance is required except:

  • for households who are certified for expedited SNAP benefits;
  • when the card must be issued in the local office to meet timeliness standards; or
  • when the card must be issued to an authorized representative for residents of drug and alcohol treatment centers and group living arrangement facilities.

If the household is interviewed by phone and is:

then:

eligible for expedited SNAP benefits,

or

interviewed on or after the 25th day after the file date for SNAP benefits,

staff must instruct the individual to go to the local office and pick up the Lone Star Card for timely access.

Note: The Lone Star Card can be mailed at the individual's request if unable to go to the local office.

determined to be eligible at the interview or pended for missing information and does not meet the above criteria,

staff must inform the individual during the interview that their Lone Star Card will be mailed to them within the next week.

denied at the interview,

staff do not request issuance of the Lone Star Card.

When pending an application, the advisor must explain the following to the person being interviewed:

  • The requested information must be provided and eligibility determined before TANF cash benefits or SNAP food benefits will be deposited into the EBT account.
  • A Lone Star card and training materials will be mailed to the PCH. Call the Lone Star Help Desk at 800-777-7328 to register the card.
  • A PIN selection is necessary to access EBT account.
  • After receiving a notice of eligibility, call the Lone Star Help Desk to check the food benefit account balance.

Notes:

  • Remember to refer to policy in B-234.3, Initial PIN Issuance Procedures for Individuals with Barriers that Prevent PIN Self-Selection.
  • It is important that the applicant understands receipt of a Lone Star Card does not mean the household is eligible for SNAP or TANF, or that SNAP food benefits or TANF cash benefits are currently available in the EBT account.

Related Policy
Initial PIN Issuance Procedures for Individuals with Barriers that Prevent PIN Self-Selection, B-234.3

B—233.2.3  Applicants Interviewed by Home Visit

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

If the advisor certifies or pends the application at the initial interview and interviews the PCH, he explains to the individual that:

  • HHSC will mail a Lone Star Card and training material; and
  • after receiving the Lone Star Card, the PCH must call the Lone Star help desk to register it.

Upon returning to the office, the advisor sends the PCH record and gives a completed Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, to issuance staff to:

  • request mail-out of a Lone Star Card and training material to the PCH; and
  • flag the cardholder record to require card registration.

The advisor may also use the EBT issuance procedure described in the following chart.

Step Action
1 Request that issuance staff performs ATA inquiry to see if HHSC previously issued a Lone Star Card and, if so, write down the PAN.
2 Use Form H1173, EBT Card Issuance and PIN Self-Selection/Issuance Log, to log out a Lone Star Card and PIN packet to deliver to the household during the home visit.
3 During the interview, ask the PCH if he still has his Lone Star Card and remembers his PIN.
4 If the PCH ... then ...
- has a Lone Star Card and remembers his PIN, compare the previously recorded PAN to ensure the card is valid. If so, the PCH may continue to use his card and PIN.
- needs an initial Lone Star Card/PIN issuance or a replacement,
  • give the PCH the Lone Star Card;
  • explain that he must select his own PIN through the Lone Star help desk Automated Voice Response (AVR) unit *; and
  • record the PAN and, if applicable, PIN control number on Form H1172 to report back to issuance staff upon returning to the office.
*Exceptions:
  • If the individual has a barrier that prevents him from selecting his own PIN, issue a pre-assigned PIN. Barriers include, but are not limited to:
    • a physical or mental disability,
    • the lack of access to a touchtone phone,
    • the unavailability of the AVR, or
    • the inability to use the AVR.

    Accept the individual's statement regarding barriers that prevent him from self-selecting a PIN.

  • Centralized Benefit Services individuals continue to receive PIN packets.

If the advisor certifies the application but interviews someone other than the PCH, he may follow either of the previous procedures and provide the explanations to the person being interviewed.

B—233.3  Issuing Lone Star Cards to EBT Representatives

Revision 08-2; Effective April 1, 2008

TANF

TANF protective payee must come to the office to be issued a Lone Star Card. Exception: If the protective payee is unable to come to the office, issuance staff may mail the Lone Star Card to the protective payee's address indicated on Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, by the advisor.

SNAP

Follow the procedures for authorized representatives in B-440, Drug and Alcohol Treatment (D&A)/Group Living Arrangement (GLA) Facilities.

B—233.4  Issuing Lone Star Cards to Secondary Cardholders

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

When establishing a secondary cardholder at the local office as explained in B-232 through B-232.3.3, issuance staff also issues a Lone Star Card to the secondary cardholder. Use Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, and the Second Cardholder request form to serve as card issuance authorization and file it in the case record under "Issuance." The secondary cardholder must come to the office and provide verification of identity to obtain the Lone Star Card.

B—233.5  Card Registration

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

Card registration is a process by which a cardholder requests account access for a new Lone Star Card. The Lone Star help desk staff normally completes this procedure and verifies the caller's identity before authorizing access.

A cardholder must register a new Lone Star Card (initial or replacement) by calling the Lone Star help desk if the card is:

  • mailed to the cardholder; or
  • given to someone other than the PCH.

Lone Star Cards issued directly to the PCH do not require registration.

B—233.5.1  Issuance Staff Procedures

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

When policy requires registration for a card HHSC issues at the local office, issuance staff places a registration sticker on the card and takes the actions in the following chart.

If ... then ...
mailing the card, provide a Lone Star Card mailer with it.
issuing the card to someone other than the PCH, explain that the PCH must call the Lone Star help desk to register his card after receiving it.

B—233.5.2  Special Card Registration Procedures

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

Staff must register a PCH's card if the cardholder has a barrier, such as hearing impairment or language barrier which prevents the PCH from registering the card through the regular Lone Star help desk process.

To complete registration of a Lone Star card in the local office, the PCH must come to the office, verify his identity, and show his card to the local office EBT site coordinator or designated staff (other than the EBT clerk). The coordinator/staff then:

  • completes Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, to authorize registration; and
  • gives it to the EBT clerk to register the card via the ATA. The EBT clerk verifies that the cardholder has the same card as shown on the ATA and changes the card status to "registered."

B—234  Personal Identification Number (PIN) Selection and Issuance

Revision 03-1; Effective January 1, 2003

TANF and SNAP

In addition to the Lone Star Card, a cardholder must have a PIN to access benefits in the household's EBT account(s). The cardholder selects his PIN through the Lone Star help desk Automated Voice Response (AVR) unit.

Exceptions:

  • If the individual has a barrier that prevents him from selecting his own PIN, issue a pre-assigned PIN. Barriers include, but are not limited to:
    • a physical or mental disability;
    • the lack of access to a touchtone phone;
    • the unavailability of the AVR; or
    • the inability to use the AVR.
    Accept the individual's statement regarding barriers that prevent him from self-selecting a PIN.
  • Centralized Benefit Services individuals will continue to receive PIN packets.

Local offices are encouraged to promote individual PIN self-selection to provide increased security and convenience for the cardholder and reduce the number of PIN packets issued and replaced. If possible, the local office allows the cardholder to use an office phone to complete PIN self-selection and provides training/assistance regarding the process upon individual request.

Ensure that the cardholder selects or receives a PIN when:

  • issuing the initial Lone Star Card;
  • the PIN is compromised; or
  • the cardholder forgets the PIN.

When the advisor postpones issuing a Lone Star card on a pended application, he also postpones the PIN self-selection/issuance process.

After initial PIN selection/issuance, a cardholder may select a new PIN at any time by calling the Lone Star help desk AVR unit.

Related Policy:
Special Certification Situations, B-240
Drug and Alcohol Treatment (D&A)/Group Living Arrangement (GLA) Facilities, B-440
Residents in Shelters for Battered Women, B-450
Prepared Meal Services, B-460

B—234.1  PIN Selection and Issuance Procedures

Revision 03-1; Effective January 1, 2003

TANF and SNAP

The advisor:

  • explains the PIN selection process during the initial interview;
  • determines if the individual has a barrier that prevents him from using this process;
  • completes Form H1172 , EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, indicating the method; and
  • refers the PCH to issuance staff.

If the advisor postpones issuing a Lone Star Card on a pended application, he postpones sending Form H1172 to issuance staff. If the advisor later certifies the application, he sends the completed Form H1172 indicating the method to issuance staff.

Follow the same procedures when establishing a secondary cardholder in the local office. In addition, use the Second Cardholder request form to serve as the PIN selection/issuance authorization and file it in the case record under "Issuance." The PCH must accompany the secondary cardholder to the local office to authorize PIN selection/issuance, except in the emergency situations in B-232.2, Secondary Cardholder Established by Issuance Staff.

If a cardholder has a problem remembering a pre-assigned PIN, encourage him to select his own PIN. If the PCH still has a problem remembering it, issuance staff refers him to the advisor for discussion about assigning a secondary cardholder.

A new PIN is not required for a Lone Star Card replacement unless the PIN has been forgotten or compromised.

B—234.2  Initial PIN Self-Selection Procedures

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

Before a cardholder self-selects his PIN, issuance staff explains that he must call the Lone Star help desk from a touch-tone phone and follow the prompts. Advise the cardholder to be prepared with a four-digit PIN that he can easily remember, his biographical data, and his Lone Star Card.

B—234.2.1  Initial PIN Self-Selection Procedures for TANF Protective and Representative Payees

Revision 12-2; Effective April 1, 2012

TANF

If a TANF protective or representative payee will self-select a PIN, the advisor:

  • makes the appropriate entries on the Issuance – Details page by indicating there is an alternate payee and subsequently adding the TANF protective or representative payee to the Alternate Payee – Summary page; and
  • completes Part I of Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, and sends Form H1175 to the EBT clerk to enter additional data to the PCH record through the ATA.

At the time of disposition, advisors must ensure TIERS has successfully included the PCH record for the TANF protective or representative payee by reviewing the Issuance – Details page and the Alternate Payee – Summary page.

Note: Because the PCH must use biographical data to access PIN selection through the Lone Star help desk AVR system, the EBT clerk must enter the additional data to the PCH record using the Form H1175/ATA process. TIERS does not collect this data on TANF protective or representative payees; therefore, TIERS cannot send this information to the EBT system.

EBT staff securely files the signed, original Form H1175.

Follow all other regular procedures for PIN self-selection.

B—234.3  Initial PIN Issuance Procedures for Clients with Barriers that Prevent PIN Self-Selection

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

When the cardholder receives a pre-assigned PIN because he has a barrier that prevents him from self-selecting a PIN, the advisor completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, and refers him to issuance staff. When issuing a PIN packet in the office, issuance staff verifies the identity of the person receiving the PIN packet to ensure he is the person listed on Form H1172.

If interviewing someone other than the PCH, the advisor gives a completed Form H1172 to issuance staff to request mail-out of a PIN packet to the PCH's SAVERR address.

If a cardholder leaves the office without picking up his PIN packet or the advisor later certifies an application for which card and PIN issuance was postponed, issuance staff takes the actions listed in the following chart.

If the PCH ... then ...
has a secure mailing address,
  • mail the PIN packet separately from the Lone Star card to the PCH's address,* and
  • annotate this procedure on Form H1172.
does not have a secure mailing address,
  • annotate the bottom of Form H1172 to indicate that a PIN packet was not issued, and
  • return the form to the advisor to file in the case folder until the cardholder returns to get the PIN packet.
*Exception: For expedited applications in situations that require mailing a PIN packet, the PCH may pick up the PIN packet in the office. If the PCH is unable to come to the office due to illness or disability:
  • establish the AR a secondary cardholder following special procedures in B-232.3, Secondary Cardholders Established by the Advisor, if possible; or
  • issue the PCH's PIN to the AR with supervisory approval on Form H1172, documenting the need for this procedure.

If the cardholder returns for the PIN packet, issuance staff:

  • retrieve Form H1172;
  • re-date and initial it; and
  • issue the PIN packet following regular procedures.

B—234.4  PIN Security

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

Instruct individuals that they should not:

  • write their PIN on their Lone Star Card sleeve;
  • keep their PIN near their Lone Star Card; or
  • share their PIN with anyone else.

B—235  Lone Star Card Replacement

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

An EBT vendor or HHSC replaces a Lone Star Card when a cardholder has an open EBT account and cannot access the account because his Lone Star Card was lost, stolen, or does not work properly.

If a primary or secondary cardholder reports his Lone Star Card is lost, stolen, damaged, or not working, an EBT vendor mails the replacement card within five calendar days of the request to the PCH's SAVERR address. If the SAVERR address is not current, the help desk refers the individual to the local office.

In certain situations, the local office replaces Lone Star cards. The same policies and procedures for replacing cards for PCHs apply to the secondary cardholders, except that the PCH must accompany the secondary cardholder to the local office to authorize the replacement.

B—235.1  Lone Star Card Replacement Procedures

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

When a cardholder contacts the local office to request Lone Star Card replacement, determine the correct action using the following chart.

If the card ... then ...
does not work, issuance staff inquire on the ATA to ensure the card is correctly connected to the account. If the card history reflects a card status of ALLOCATED, issuance staff replaces the card using the "Issue New Card and PIN" function of the ATA. Do not require Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request.
was destroyed in a household disaster as described in B-344, issuance staff replace the card only if the household needs access to its account immediately and cannot wait for a replacement by mail. Verify the disaster as explained in B-344, Destroyed Food.
is lost or stolen, refer the individual to the Lone Star help desk. Help desk staff freeze the individual's Lone Star Card and send a replacement by mail.*
*Exceptions: Issuance staff replace Lone Star Cards via the ATA for individuals, including CBS recipients, if:
  • the household is certified for a SNAP application that requires a priority issuance. The advisor refers the individual to issuance staff for an immediate replacement. To provide a written referral, the advisor may annotate in the comment section on Form H1009, TANF/Food Stamp Benefits Notice of Eligibility, "Priority Issuance - card replacement needed." The local office cannot require an appointment to replace the card in this situation.
  • the individual cannot obtain a replacement from the Lone Star help desk staff because the EBT system does not reflect the cardholder's correct biographical information or current mailing address.
  • the household does not have a secure mailing address. A local eligibility determination office is not a secure mailing address for this purpose.
  • the individual has not received a previously requested replacement from the Lone Star help desk within seven calendar days after the order date reflected on the ATA. Staff must highlight these replacements on Form H1173, EBT Card Issuance and PIN Self-Selection/Issuance Log, and report them to the regional director or designee at the end of each month.

When replacing Lone Star Cards, do not require Form H1172. Issuance staff verify the identity of the person requesting the replacement and logs the replacement on Form H1173. See Form H1173 instructions.

B—236  PIN Replacement

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

If the cardholder reports he forgot his PIN or it is compromised, refer him to the Lone Star help desk AVR to select his own PIN. If the cardholder is unable to self-select his PIN after two attempts, a help desk operator offers to:

  • provide training/assistance in the PIN self-selection process; or
  • mail a PIN packet to the PCH's address if the individual has a barrier that prevents him from self-selecting a PIN.

If the cardholder is unable to self-select his PIN because he entered incorrect biographical data, the AVR refers him to the local office for PIN replacement.

B—236.1  PIN Replacement Procedures

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

When a cardholder requests a PIN replacement, use the procedures in the following chart.

If the cardholder ... then ...
reports that his PIN is compromised,* or forgets his PIN,* refer him to the Lone Star help desk to select his PIN through the AVR.
reveals his PIN to staff, issuance staff must immediately have the individual self-select a new PIN.
*Exception: Issuance staff use the ATA to replace the PIN with a PIN packet if a individual has a barrier that prevents him from self-selecting his PIN for these situations and in each situation described under the exceptions for card replacement.

When replacing a PIN in the local office, issuance staff must verify the identity of the person requesting the replacement.

B—237  Returned Lone Star Cards and PIN Packets

Revision 01-5; Effective July 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

When Lone Star Cards or PIN packets are returned to the office, issuance staff logs the card/PIN packet as returned on Form H1173, EBT Card Issuance and PIN Self-Selection/Issuance Log. A person designated in the regional security procedures immediately destroys and disposes of the card/PIN packet before a witness. See the Security and Accountability Handbook.

If the Lone Star Card is returned ... then the local office ...
in person,
  • determines the reason for the return,
  • issues Form H4100, Money Receipt, if requested, and
  • takes the appropriate case action.
Note: Do not mail a copy of Form H4100 to Fiscal Division.
by mail, takes the appropriate case action to ensure the SAVERR address is current.

B—238  Erroneous PIN Entry

Revision 01-5; Effective July 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

If someone makes five attempts in a 24-hour period to use a Lone Star card with the wrong PIN, the system temporarily deactivates the card. This security measure helps to prevent fraudulent use of a stolen card. To reactivate the card:

  • the cardholder must call the Lone Star help desk; or
  • issuance staff reset the PIN count using the ATA.

B—239  Client EBT Training Policy

Revision 04-7; Effective October 1, 2004

TANF and SNAP

HHSC must instruct the cardholder about his rights and responsibilities related to EBT.

B—239.1  Advisor Interview Requirements for Client Training

Revision 04-5; Effective July 1, 2004

TANF and SNAP

The advisor gives the individual:

The advisor also discusses the following issuance-related items with applicants during the interview, even if the application is pended:

  • the need for a Lone Star Card and PIN as explained in B-233, Issuing a Lone Star Card, and B-234, Personal Identification Number (PIN) Selection and Issuance;
  • how and where to use the Lone Star Card, including the use of TANF and/or SNAP benefits and keeping receipts;
  • availability and procedures for designating secondary cardholders;
  • availability of initial and ongoing benefits (Circle/highlight the cardholder's specific TANF and/or SNAP availability date on Form H1184, Benefit Issuance Schedule.);
  • Lone Star Card and PIN security and responsibility for benefits in the EBT account;
  • when to contact the advisor/clerk vs. card issuance staff or EBT vendor (Point out written explanations on Form H1019, Report of Change, and on Form H1185, Welcome to Your Lone Star Card, or Form H1185-S.);
  • dormant account procedures;
  • cashing out TANF benefits before moving out of Texas and procedures for using the Lone Star Card to access TANF and/or SNAP benefits in other states as explained in B-351, Moves Out of State; and
  • to read the training pamphlet while waiting for card and/or PIN issuance and ask issuance staff if they still have questions about EBT.

B—239.1.1  TANF Client Cash-Back Fee Policy

Revision 04-7; Effective October 1, 2004

TANF

The advisor uses Form H1182, TANF Client Fee Notification Letter, to explain the TANF cash-back fee policy to the individual as follows:

  • For SNAP, there is never a fee.
  • For TANF, there is never a fee for
    • a purchase,
    • a cash withdrawal with a purchase,
    • a cash only withdrawal under $50, or
    • the first two cash-only withdrawals of $50 or more per cash account per calendar month.
  • After the second cash-only withdrawal of $50 or more in a calendar month, stores may choose to charge a fee of up to 50 cents for each additional cash only withdrawal of $50.00 or more.
  • The store subtracts the fee from the cash the cardholder requests.
  • The individual may determine if the store can charge a fee for a cash withdrawal based on the authorization number on his receipt. Use the following chart from Form H1182 to explain this policy to individuals.

    If the receipt shows ... then ...
    a six-digit authorization number, there is no fee.
    a T before the authorization number, the transaction counts as one of the two "free" withdrawals that month.
    a C before the authorization number, the store may choose to charge a fee.

B—239.2  Issuance Staff Requirements for Client Training

Revision 04-3; Effective April 1, 2004

TANF and SNAP

Issuance staff gives the PCH or person interviewed:

When the local office establishes someone as a secondary cardholder, issuance staff provides the person with all the training materials except the Second Cardholder request form.

Issuance staff also provides more detailed training if the cardholder requests it or does not understand how to use the Lone Star Card.

B—240  Special Certification Situations

Revision 04-3; Effective April 1, 2004

TANF and SNAP

Follow the procedures in this section for households with special needs.

Related Policy
Drug and Alcohol Treatment (D&A)/Group Living Arrangement (GLA) Facilities, B-440 Residents in Shelters for Battered Women, B-450
Prepared Meal Services, B-460

B—241  Applications Processed by Hospital-Based Advisors

Revision 03-1; Effective January 1, 2003

TANF and SNAP

As specified in the regional security procedures, use the following local office procedures for the EBT activities listed:

  • Lone Star Card issuance and PIN self-selection/issuance – use procedures in B-233, Issuing a Lone Star Card, and B-234, Personal Identification Number (PIN) Selection and Issuance;
  • transmittal of PAN and, if applicable, PIN control number via Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, to issuance staff for data entry; and
  • transmittal of Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, to issuance staff for ATA data entry of the PCH information on manually worked cases.

B—242  Itinerant Advisor Site

Revision 03-1; Effective January 1, 2003

TANF and SNAP

As specified in the regional security procedures, use the following local office procedures for the EBT activities listed:

  • Lone Star Card issuance and PIN self-selection/issuance – use procedures in B-233.2.3, Applicants Interviewed by Home Visit;
  • transmittal of PAN and, if applicable, PIN control number via Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, to issuance staff for data entry; and
  • transmittal of Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, to issuance staff for ATA data entry of the PCH information on manually worked cases.

B—242.1  Expedited Applications

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

If the individual is entitled to expedited SNAP benefits, the advisor:

  • issues the Lone Star Card and training material;
  • asks the individual to select a PIN through the Lone Star help desk AVR or issues a pre-assigned PIN packet if the individual has a barrier that prevents him from self-selecting a PIN;
  • obtains the individual's signature on Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, to verify:
    • the PAN number of the Lone Star Card;
    • the PIN control number, if applicable; and
    • that the PIN packet was secure and intact when received, if applicable; and
  • ensures:
    • the PCH record is created;
    • PAN is entered;
    • PCN is entered, if applicable; and
    • benefits are issued the same day.

B—242.2  Card/PIN Replacements

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

If a individual served by an itinerant advisor contacts the local office and qualifies for a replacement card and/or PIN from the local office, the individual has two options for local office replacement:

  • the individual may travel to the nearest eligibility determination office to get the replacement, or
  • the individual can have the advisor bring a replacement during the next visit to the itinerant site. The advisor records the replacement on Form H1173, EBT Card Issuance and PIN Self-Selection/Issuance Log, with an "R" code on the left margin. The EBT clerk must data enter the replacement PAN and/or PCN into the ATA upon the advisor's return to the office.

Note: The individual may also choose to obtain the replacement card via the Lone Star help desk and/or self-select a PIN through the help desk AVR.

B—243  CBS Cases

Revision 04-3; Effective April 1, 2004

SNAP

Follow procedures in this section for Centralized Benefit Services (CBS) cases.

Related Policy:
Centralized Benefit Services Section, B-475

B—243.1  Form H1000-B Changes

Revision 13-2; Effective April 1, 2013

SNAP

Local office staff must not attempt to:

  • issue benefits on a CBS case;
  • make other changes to a CBS case on Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action; or
  • make changes to the biographical data of a CBS individual.

Edits prevent the advisor from pulling a CBS case that is active or on hold into the GWS. Refer those individuals to CBS (2-1-1), or contact CBS by calling (512)-832-8330 to have the case transferred to the field if it no longer meets CBS criteria.

B—243.2  Initial Lone Star Card and PIN Issuance for New PCHs

Revision 10-4; Effective October 1, 2010

SNAP

CBS makes a change on a SNAP case, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, requiring a new PCH record when a household:

  • is assigned a new case name; or
  • moves in or out of a D&A treatment center or GLA that serves as an AR.

When CBS sends a new Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Combined Application Project (SNAP-CAP) PCH record to the EBT system, the EBT vendor responsible for card issuance automatically mails the new cardholder a Lone Star Card, PIN, and training material.

CBS staff also have the capability to send a request through the ATA, which authorizes the EBT vendor to mail a Lone Star Card and EBT training materials (and PIN packet, if desired) to a new PCH.

B—243.3  Lone Star Card Replacement

Revision 04-3; Effective April 1, 2004

SNAP

When a CBS case cardholder requests a Lone Star Card replacement, he must call the Lone Star help desk to request a replacement by mail.

Exception: CBS individuals may obtain replacement Lone Star Cards in the local office if they meet those replacement criteria. See B-235.1, Lone Star Card Replacement Procedures.

B—243.4  PIN Replacement

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

SNAP

When a CBS case cardholder requests a PIN replacement, he must call the Lone Star help desk AVR to select his PIN.

Exception: CBS individuals may obtain PIN replacements in the local office if they meet those replacement criteria. See B-235.1, Lone Star Card Replacement Procedures, and B-236.1, PIN Replacement Procedures.

If the cardholder is unable to self-select his PIN after two attempts, a help desk operator offers to:

  • provide training/assistance in the PIN self-selection process; or
  • mail a PIN packet to the PCH's address if the individual has a barrier that prevents him from self-selecting a PIN.

B—244  Homeless

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

If the office permits homeless individuals to use the local eligibility determination office as their mailing address, the office must follow their regional security procedures to process EBT-related mail. Staff must also advise these individuals to come to the local office if they require a Lone Star Card or PIN replacement.

SNAP

Homeless individuals may use SNAP benefits to purchase prepared meals. For procedures, refer to B-463, Prepared Meals for Homeless.

B—245  SNAP Applications Filed with SSA

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

SNAP

The advisor must follow procedures for phone interviews. See B-233.2.2, Applicants Interviewed by Phone.

B—250  EBT Benefit Issuance

Revision 05-4; Effective August 1, 2005

TANF and SNAP

HHSC credits benefits to the cash or food account by sending a benefit record to the EBT system. This section describes the availability of those benefits for use by the cardholder.

B—251  Monthly Benefit Issuance Schedule

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

HHSC sends the SAVERR file of benefit records for monthly issuances to the EBT system after cutoff each month.

TANF

TANF monthly benefits issued via EBT are available on a staggered basis over the first three days of the month, based on the last number in the case number, as follows:

Last digit of TANF case number Day
0, 1, 2, 3 1
4, 5, 6 2
7, 8, 9 3

SNAP

SNAP monthly benefits are available on a staggered basis over the first fifteen days of the month, based on the last number in the case number, as follows:

Last digit of the SNAP case number Day
0 1
1 3
2 5
3 6
4 7
5 9
6 11
7 12
8 13
9 15

B—252  Benefit Issuance on Applications

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Provide benefits according to the timeliness standards in B-112, Deadlines. Benefit issuances for certified applications are available immediately upon being credited to the account. Benefits requested after cutoff for the next month are available on the first day of the next month, except for SNAP-combined allotments.

SNAP

The advisor may issue EBT SNAP benefits very quickly in situations that meet the HHSC criteria for a priority issuance. Request priority issuances only for SNAP benefits in three situations:

  • expedited applications,
  • regular applications certified on or after the 25th day, and
  • benefits ordered by a hearing officer decision that requires a priority issuance to meet timeliness requirements.

The system credits benefits to the individual's account within one hour.

B—253  Methods for Sending Benefit Records

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

There are three ways to send a benefit record to the EBT system. TANF benefit records are sent only from SAVERR. SNAP benefit records are normally sent only from SAVERR, but priority issuances may also be sent by the GWS SAVERR switch process or manual ATA entry.

  1. SAVERR — This is the primary method of sending TANF and SNAP benefit records to the EBT system to credit a benefit to the individual's account. After Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, or Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input, processes, SAVERR creates and sends a benefit record to the EBT system.
  2. GWS SAVERR switch process — When SAVERR is not available, the LSA sets a special "SAVERR switch" on the LAN. When the advisor works a SNAP case on GWS and the SAVERR switch is set, GWS automatically sends SNAP priority issuances to the EBT system.
  3. Manual ATA entry — Use this process only to issue priority SNAP benefits when
    • SAVERR is unavailable and the advisor works the SNAP case manually, or
    • the advisor cannot send a priority issuance timely on Form H1000-B because SAVERR processed another Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B or Form H1000-C on the case earlier in the day.
    This process updates the EBT system immediately.

B—254  When SAVERR is Available

Revision 05-4; Effective August 1, 2005

TANF and SNAP

When the advisor certifies an application, the EBT system credits:

  • SNAP priority issuances to the individual's account within one hour after Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B or Form H1000-C processes; and
  • TANF benefits and SNAP benefits that are not priority issuances to the individual's account by 8 a.m. CST the day after Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B or Form H1000-C processes.

B—254.1  Priority Issuances During End-of-Month Processing

Revision 05-4; Effective August 1, 2005

SNAP

Advisors process SNAP priority issuances on SAVERR when the regular SAVERR plucker process is down during end-of-month processing after cutoff each month.

When the pluckers are down, SAVERR still processes any SNAP benefits authorized in Section XI of Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, and Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input, with Item 179 code E and priority issuance codes E, H, or 2 in Item 180. SAVERR sends the priority issuance benefit record, even if the NOA has not processed.

If an NOA is later submitted

  • electronically but has not "passed," the NOA status changes automatically to "passed" when Form H1000-A status changes from NP or QS to UP.
  • manually, SAVERR returns a fatal error indicating that a case with that case number already exists. Local DIU staff must delete the fataled NOA from the batch.

SAVERR is not updated after cutoff until end-of-month processing is completed and the pluckers are up. Therefore, SAVERR inquiry does not show issuances posted to the EBT system while the pluckers are down. However, the issuances are available and may be viewed on ATA inquiry.

B—255  When SAVERR is Not Available

Revision 05-4; Effective August 1, 2005

SNAP

This section explains the procedures for issuing benefits when SAVERR is not available.

There are two processes for SNAP priority issuances that may be used when the normal SAVERR process is unavailable: one for cases worked on GWS (SAVERR switch) and another for cases worked manually.

B—255.1  SAVERR Switch (Cases Worked on GWS)

Revision 01-7; Effective October 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

If SAVERR is available statewide but not available in the local office, the LSA follows regional reporting procedures.

When SAVERR is not available statewide, state office sends a broadcast to notify local offices. The local office LSA sets the SAVERR switch from "SAVERR available" to "SAVERR unavailable." Only the LSA or designated staff may access this option from the CSS menu (choice "R. EBT Support"). After the SAVERR switch is set, the LSA notifies all advisors on the LAN.

When state office MIS notifies the LSA that SAVERR is again available, the LSA sets the SAVERR switch back to "SAVERR available" and notifies the local office staff to resume normal procedures.

Each night the system automatically resets the SAVERR switch setting to "SAVERR available" if the LSA has not reset it before then.

B—255.1.1  Priority Issuances When the SAVERR Switch Is Set to Unavailable

Revision 08-2; Effective April 1, 2008

SNAP

For cases worked on the GWS, SAVERR switch process automatically sends benefit records for SNAP priority issuances directly from GWS to the EBT system when the H1000-A/B screen status is "complete."

When the SAVERR switch is set to "Unavailable," the advisor must send the electronic Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, or Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input, for SNAP cases with priority issuances. GWS creates and sends the benefit record for two types of priority issuances:

  • expedited (Code E in Item 180); or
  • benefits that need immediate processing to meet timeliness requirements (Code 2 in Item 180).

GWS resets the H1000-A/B screen to "DY." When SAVERR becomes available, the worker must resend Form H1000-A and Form H1000-B.

B—255.1.2  Regular Issuances When the SAVERR Switch is Set to Unavailable

Revision 08-2; Effective April 1, 2008

TANF and SNAP

The advisor uses the following procedures for TANF cases and SNAP cases, without priority issuances worked on the GWS, when SAVERR switch is set to "Unavailable."

  • Set the GWS case disposition screen to "Ready."
  • Set the H1000-A/B screen to "Delayed."
  • Reset the H1000-A/B screen to "Complete" and send the electronic Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, and Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input, when SAVERR becomes available.

SAVERR sends the benefit record when Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C are processed.

B—255.2  Cases Worked Manually

Revision 08-2; Effective April 1, 2008

TANF and SNAP

If the advisor works a TANF or SNAP application manually, or sets the GWS H1000-A/B screen to "Manual," SAVERR sends the benefit record after Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, and Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input, are processed. This includes cases worked manually due to local area network problems that would prevent timely issuance of priority benefits via electronic Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C.

SNAP

To determine the procedures for issuing priority benefits on cases worked manually, if the on-site data entry is available, issue priority benefits by processing Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C with Section XI priority issuance codes.

If the on-site data entry is not available,

  • follow the local office contingency plan to deliver Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C to a backup data entry site for same day data entry; or
  • issue benefits on the ATA.

B—256  Priority Issuances Using the ATA

Revision 05-4; Effective August 1, 2005

SNAP

To send the benefit record via ATA data entry, the advisor

  • obtains the individual's signature on Form H1855, Affidavit for Nonreceipt or Destroyed Food Stamp Benefits,
  • completes Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, for ATA entry, and
  • completes Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, and Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input, with the appropriate Section XI entries and processes it within five days of the ATA transaction.

Staff designated in the regional security procedures must reconcile ATA benefit record entries and SAVERR entries. See B-262.2, Reconciling Benefit Records to Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C.

B—257  Discrepancies on Benefit Records Sent via the ATA

Revision 05-4; Effective August 1, 2005

SNAP

When there is a discrepancy between the benefit records on SAVERR and the EBT system, use the following chart to determine the action.

If the benefit amount reported to SAVERR is ... then ...
more than the amount authorized on the ATA, the EBT system updates the household's benefit account to reflect the amount reported on SAVERR.
less than the amount authorized on the ATA, SAVERR Data Integrity in state office produces an RF-07E-1, EBT Reconciliation Exception Report, and sends it to the advisor.* See B-262.5.1, Advisor Action on RF-07E-01.
*SAVERR generates an RF-07E-1 or RF-37E-1 if the advisor fails to process Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C within five days after sending the benefit via the ATA.

B—260  Administrative Terminal Application (ATA)

Revision 05-4; Effective August 1, 2005

TANF and SNAP

The ATA allows direct access to the EBT system. Each office has this software program on one or more terminals to support the EBT issuance process. Designated staff, other than the EBT clerk, must complete Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, or Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, to authorize action on the ATA.

B—261  ATA Functions

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

Designated staff uses the ATA to perform authorized functions. There are multiple functions that can be performed using the ATA; therefore, there are multiple levels of access secured by individual sign-on IDs.

B—261.1  Issuing a Lone Star Card and PIN or Enabling PIN Self-Selection

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

Designated local office staff uses the ATA to issue Lone Star Cards and/or PINs or enable PIN self-selection when

  • establishing a new PCH,
  • replacing a Lone Star Card and/or PIN, or
  • establishing a secondary cardholder in the local office.

The advisor completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, Part I, to

  • request issuance of a Lone Star Card, and/or
  • indicate that the cardholder will select his PIN, or
  • request issuance of a PIN.

B—261.2  Creating a Cardholder Record

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

Designated staff uses the ATA to create a

  • PCH record when the case is worked manually, or
  • secondary cardholder record in the local office.

The advisor completes Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, Part I, to establish a new cardholder record via the ATA.

B—261.3  Splitting and Merging Primary Cardholder Records

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

Designated local office staff uses the ATA to split and/or merge PCH records.

B—261.3.1  Splitting Primary Cardholder Records

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Designated staff uses the ATA to split primary cardholder records when EBT accounts are incorrectly linked.

This usually occurs when the advisor fails to correctly reassign a denied TANF case number. As a result, the EBT system links the food account to a cash account with a denied case number.

The advisor completes Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, Part IV, to request that designated staff separate the incorrectly linked accounts.

B—261.3.2  Merging Primary Cardholder Records

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Designated local office staff uses the ATA to merge PCH records when the EBT system cannot link them because of discrepancies in the cardholder's biographical data.

This occurs when the advisor does not correctly match case name, DOB, sex, or SSN on a individual's TANF and SNAP case. As a result, the EBT system cannot merge the two PCH records into one record with a link to both accounts and the cardholder needs a Lone Star card for each account.

If the individual wants to use one card to access both accounts, the advisor completes Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, Part V, to authorize the merge. Before doing so, the advisor must submit Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, to make the cardholder data identical on the TANF and SNAP cases. When the cardholder has one card for the cash account and another for the food account before the merge, the ATA user indicates which card the individual wants to use. After completing the merge, the EBT system automatically disables the card not chosen and it must be destroyed.

Note: Do not attempt a merge if the individual has any outstanding manual voucher purchases that must be reconciled by the EBT vendor. If the ATA displays the message, "NEED TO SETTLE OUTSTANDING VOICE AUTHORIZATION," notify the EBT site coordinator.

B—261.4  Updating a Primary Cardholder Record

Revision 01-7; Effective October 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

When data on the PCH record needs to be updated on the EBT system, issuance staff use the ATA to update it if

  • the cardholder's case is no longer active on SAVERR, or
  • SAVERR hierarchy edits do not allow the advisor to update the TANF or SNAP case by using a TANF or SNAP Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, because the individual received Medicaid. The advisor must make the changes on the Medical Programs case for the SAVERR hierarchy to change it on the TANF and/or SNAP case(s). See C-815, Hierarchy of Client Identification Data.

The advisor completes Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, Part III, to authorize the PCH record update via the ATA.

B—261.5  Creating a SNAP Benefit Record

Revision 01-7; Effective October 1, 2001

SNAP

HHSC strictly limits the use of the ATA for SNAP benefit authorization to system downtime that prevents the timely issuance of priority SNAP benefits, or as specified in the regional security procedures.

Advisors must complete Form H1175 , Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, Part II, to authorize benefit data entry into the ATA following established sign-off procedures.

Designated staff completes ATA data entry only after receipt of Form H1175.

B—261.6  Performing ATA Inquiry

Revision 01-7; Effective October 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Designated local office staff uses the ATA to perform benefit record inquiry or validate that a particular Lone Star Card is active. The advisor completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, Part I, to request validation of a previously issued Lone Star Card.

Designated regional staff uses the ATA to perform transaction history inquiry.

B—261.7  Changing a Case Number

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Designated Lone Star Technology Department (LSTD) staff in state office uses the ATA to change the case number when the local office establishes an EBT account with the wrong case number on the EBT system.

Designated local office staff completes Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, Part VI, to request the case number change. Follow regional and local office procedures to forward a written request to designated LSTD staff.

B—261.8  Requiring Card Registration or Registering a Lone Star Card

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

This section explains when designated local office staff uses the ATA to require card registration or register a Lone Star Card.

B—261.8.1  Requiring Card Registration

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Designated local office staff uses the ATA to require card registration when

  • issuing a card to someone other than the PCH, or
  • mailing a card.

B—261.8.2  Registering a Lone Star Card

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Designated local office staff uses the ATA to register a Lone Star card if using the special procedures for a PCH with a barrier that prevents him from registering his card through the regular Lone Star help desk process.

If ... then ...
  • issuing a card to someone other than the PCH, or
  • mailing a card,
the advisor completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, Part I, indicating that card registration is required.
using the special procedures for a PCH with a barrier that prevents him from registering his card through the regular help desk process, the local office EBT site coordinator or designated staff, other than the EBT clerk, completes Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, Part VII, to authorize registration.

B—261.9  Reactivating a Lone Star Card

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Lone Star help desk staff or designated local office staff uses the ATA to reset the PIN count and reactivate a card that was deactivated because the cardholder entered the wrong PIN five times in a 24-hour period.

B—262  Reconciliation

Revision 01-7; Effective October 1, 2001

This section provides general information about reconciliation. For details, see the Security and Accountability Handbook.

B—262.1  Reconciling ATA Benefit Records to Forms H1175

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

SNAP

Each day staff designated in the regional security procedures prints the local Administrative Terminal Report. This report contains a list of benefit records manually entered on the ATA, sorted by ATA user. A designated individual(s) must check these entries against Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, on a daily basis to ensure accuracy.

If the entries ... then ...
match, take no further action.
do not match,
  • determine the reason for the discrepancy, and
  • report it to the supervisor through the appropriate channels.

B—262.2  Reconciling Benefit Records to Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

SNAP

Each day staff use the list of benefit issuances on the Administrative Terminal Report to reconcile the ATA benefit record entries with Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, and SAVERR entries on Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, and Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input. If Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C do not process within five days to correspond to the benefit records sent via the ATA, state office sends exception reports (RF-07E-1/RF-37E-1) to field offices to clear within established time frames. Regional monitoring and tracking procedures apply.

To avoid exception reports, staff must ensure that advisors report issuances on Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C within three working days.

B—262.3  Reconciling ATA Card Issuances to Form H1172

Revision 01-7; Effective October 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Each day, designated staff uses the list of card issuances on the Administrative Terminal Report to reconcile cards issued with Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request.

If the office has problems reconciling these, staff report the problem to the supervisor and to the regional EBT security staff, if necessary, to complete reconciliation.

B—262.4  RF-36, More Than One SNAP Benefit Authorized

Revision 01-7; Effective October 1, 2001

SNAP

After all issuances for a benefit month have been reconciled, state office produces RF-36 and sends copies to the Lone Star Technology Department, Fiscal Division, and the regional director.

B—262.4.1  Advisor Action on RF-36

Revision 01-7; Effective October 1, 2001

SNAP

Review each SNAP case listed on the report to determine how the duplicate issuance occurred (individual error, suspected fraud, coding error), and if applicable, whether the household correctly completed Form H1855, Affidavit for Nonreceipt or Destroyed Food Stamp Benefits, before the duplicate issuance.

If there is an overpayment and ... then ...
a signed Form H1855, submit Form H4834, Individual or Recipient Provider Fraud Referral/Status Report, with the original Form H1855 to the regional Office of Program Integrity, Claims Investigation.
no signed Form H1855, initiate a nonfraud recovery. Refer to B-720, How to File Claims.

After each multiple issuance is reviewed, report individual case findings and recovery actions to the regional RF-36 coordinator.

B—262.5  RF-07E-1, EBT Reconciliation Exception

Revision 01-7; Effective October 1, 2001

SNAP

When an ATA issuance cannot be reconciled with the SAVERR database, state office generates and sends an RF-07E-1 to the supervisor of the case record BJN. This report serves as the clearance document to report case findings and actions taken.

B—262.5.1  Advisor Action on RF-07E-01

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

SNAP

Check the case record to determine

  • the reason for the reconciliation exception, and
  • if the amount of benefits provided to the household is correct.
If the amount of benefits is incorrect because of an ... then ...
overpayment, initiate recovery. See B-720, How to File Claims.
underpayment, restore benefits. See B-800, Restored Benefits.

B—263  Security

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

HHSC allows only authorized staff with special permissions to enter data onto the ATA. Staff are designated by office and they must ensure that information entered remains confidential.

HHSC controls the level of access by the sign-on ID of the individual user. Designated employees have authorizations that allow updates to all or part of the system. Other users have inquiry access only.

Refer to the Security and Accountability Handbook for additional information on security.

B—270  Management of Automation Processes

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

B—271  Works-In-Progress (WIP) Management

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

When Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, or Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input, processes, SAVERR sends a benefit record to an EBT vendor who posts the benefits to the individual's account.

An UP status on GWS is one indicator that Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C processed correctly and that GWS received the status update. In some cases, a form may process on SAVERR; however, GWS may not receive the status update.

B—271.1  Monitoring

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Continually monitor WIPs to ensure that individuals can access benefits. Place special emphasis on checking the Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, or Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input, status of SNAP priority benefits.

B—271.2  WIP Status Codes

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Use the following chart to determine the correct action based on the WIP status code.

If the case has a status of ... then ...
FE, take immediate action to determine why Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, or Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input, fataled and make corrections through GWS or online error correction.
QS, check the WIP for a change in QS status. If the case does not automatically update, then do a 1000-A/B/C status check.
NP, check until a status of UP, FE, or TF is obtained.
TF, check the Show Detail screen for the TF error message, and perform SAVERR inquiry to see if SAVERR has updated with the change requested on GWS.
- If SAVERR has ... then set the GWS 1000-A/B Wrap-up screen to ...
- updated, MN.
- not updated, "complete" and retransmit Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C.

Caution: Verify benefit amounts on all retransmissions.


B—272  Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C Error Correction

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

In order for benefits to be issued timely, immediately correct Form H1000-A, Notice of Application, Form H1000-B, Record of Case Action, and Form H1000-C, Secondary Client Input, with fatal errors (FE) or transmission failures (TF).

SNAP

To ensure priority benefits are issued timely, correct any fatal errors and retransmit Form H1000-A, Form H1000-B and Form H1000-C through GWS or manual entry into a new batch/location.

Caution: Cases corrected via online error correction do not receive priority benefits.

B—280  EBT Material Inventory/Distribution

Revision 04-7; Effective October 1, 2004

B—281  Vendor-Produced Material

Revision 04-7; Effective October 1, 2004

TANF and SNAP

An EBT vendor provides supplies of most EBT-related materials, including:

  • Lone Star Cards;
  • PIN packets;
  • Lone Star Card registration stickers;
  • Lone Star Card mailers;
  • Lone Star Card sleeves;
  • Secondary cardholder request forms;
  • EBT vendor envelopes; and
  • Request for Lone Star materials forms.

To order vendor-produced items, designated local office staff completes a serially numbered request for Lone Star materials and sends it to:

  • the regional security officer (RSO) if ordering secure items; or
  • authorized regional staff if ordering non-security items.

The RSO or authorized regional staff faxes the order to the vendor. Refer to the Security and Accountability Handbook for specific requirements for security and accountability Lone Star Cards and PIN packets.

B—282  HHSC-Produced Training Material

Revision 04-7; Effective October 1, 2004

The HHSC-produced training materials include

Field staff orders these materials through the regular regional procedures for ordering forms.