Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

Procedures to enhance security and control of inactive Lone Star cards in local/benefit office operations are as follows.

 

4100 Ordering

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

The Electronics Benefits Transfer site coordinator or backup orders EBT supplies of Lone Star cards.

The EBT regional coordinator determines the maximum number of Lone Star cards an individual office may have on hand. The EBT site coordinator immediately updates the local/benefit office security procedures to reflect changes in the allowable bulk supply and sends a copy of the updated procedures to the EBT regional coordinator.

 

4200 Receiving

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

Follow established regional/local/benefit office procedures for accepting the orders of Lone Star cards and securing the orders if designated EBT staff are not available to perform the count.

After receipt, handle the packages of vault Lone Star cards as follows:

  • Designated EBT staff must open the packages of Lone Star cards and physically count the cards.

Note: Two people must be involved in this process unless specifically approved by the EBT regional coordinator in writing. The second party does not have to be assigned an EBT position or listed in the local/benefit office security procedures.

  • Repackage the Lone Star cards, seal with heavy tape, and mark the outside with the beginning and ending cards/numbers.
  • Sign and send a copy of the Request for Lone Star Materials order form/packing slip to the EBT regional coordinator or designee within five workdays. The second party assisting with the count must also sign the packing slip.

Option

Staff may:

  • log the personal account numbers (PAN) for the Lone Star cards using Form H1173, EBT Card Issuance and PIN Self-Selection/Issuance Log;
  • repackage in increments of 25 in separate envelopes; and
  • seal the envelopes with heavy tape.

Examine all boxes of inactive Lone Star cards for any signs of tampering.

If an inactive Lone Star card listed on the order form (request for Lone Star Materials) is not in the shipment received or any other discrepancy exists, the EBT site coordinator or backup person:

  • documents the discrepancy;
  • completes Form H1111, Card Order Discrepancy Verification; and
  • provides a copy by fax to the EBT regional coordinator.

The EBT regional coordinator:

 

4300 Storing

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

Store the bulk supply of inactive Lone Star cards in secure rooms in a locked safe, vault, file cabinet or storage room.

Allow only staff designated on the local office security plan to have access to the bulk supply. Keep keys to safes, vaults, file cabinets or storage rooms in a secure place.

 

4310 Bulk Supply Maximum

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

The EBT regional coordinator will determine the maximum number of Lone Star cards that a local/benefit office may have in bulk supply.

 

4320 Daily Supply

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

The daily supply is a limited amount of Lone Star cards from the bulk supply that is given to the EBT clerk to use during the work day. When providing the daily supply to the EBT clerk and/or anytime cards are transferred from one EBT clerk to another, account for the cards on Form H1177, Transmittal and Receipt for Controlled EBT Documents.

EBT clerks must keep the Lone Star cards in a locked file cabinet or desk drawer whenever they leave their workstations. Anytime another EBT staff person will be issuing a card from the daily supply the cards must be transferred.

Note: The EBT regional coordinator must approve any exceptions to the daily supply procedures through the process of approval for regional office procedures and/or approval of local/benefit office security procedures.

 

4400 Issuing and Accounting

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

The policy and procedures for issuing and accounting for Lone Star cards are found in:

  • Section B-200, Issuing Benefits, and Section B-300, EBT Account Maintenance, of the Texas Works Handbook;
  • Instructions to EBT-related forms in the Forms and Reports section of the Texas Works Handbook; and
  • the Health and Human Services Lone Star EBT Administrative Terminal User's Manual.

 

4410 Logs

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

To enhance accountability of Lone Star cards keep:

  • Form H1173, EBT Card Issuance and PIN Self-Selection Issuance Log, for Lone Star cards; and
  • a log or Form H1173 for returned/voided Lone Star cards/PIN packets.

 

4420 Returned and Voided Lone Star Cards and PIN Packets

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

Local/benefit offices log a returned or defective Lone Star card or compromised PIN packet on the void/return log.

The EBT site coordinator ensures:

  • the card is immediately deactivated on the EBT system and cut in half,
  • compromised PIN packets are immediately torn in half, and
  • both are disposed of before a witness.

 

4430 Mailing Lone Star Cards

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

In most cases, Lone Star cards should be mailed by the vendor using "Issue Replacement card only" and selecting the "Send by mail" check box in the EBT AT.

Note: Vendor-mailed cards do not apply to the procedures listed below.

Because mailing a Lone Star card is a risk, local/benefit offices must justify mailing in accordance with Section B-230, Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), of the Texas Works Handbook.

Local/benefit offices must secure the cards until the mail is picked up or delivered to the post office.

Log the mailed Lone Star cards on Form H1173, EBT Card Issuance and PIN Self-Selection/Issuance Log, or a regionally approved mail log, if required by regional management.

Local/benefit office mailing procedures must ensure security and accountability of mailed Lone Star cards. All PIN packets are mailed by vendor by selecting send by mail check box in the EBT AT.

 

4500 Missing or Stolen Lone Star Cards

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

If local/benefit office EBT staff find that a vault Lone Star card is missing during the accounting process, the EBT site coordinator must immediately notify the EBT regional coordinator.

The EBT regional coordinator reports any discrepancy, including any problem with the quality of the Lone Star cards, to EBT Program Operations via email.

If it is determined that Lone Star cards were stolen, follow these procedures:

  • the EBT site coordinator must immediately notify the EBT regional coordinator of any missing or stolen inactive Lone Star card that was accounted for upon receipt and stored; and
  • the EBT regional coordinator reports the loss immediately to EBT Program Operations by telephone or email.

Within 24 hours after the initial report, the EBT regional coordinator sends a follow-up memorandum to EBT Program Operations describing the incident and steps taken to prevent future occurrences. Send copies of the memo to appropriate regional management staff and, if deemed necessary, to the field investigations unit supervisor.

If the region later finds the missing or stolen Lone Star card, the EBT regional coordinator notifies appropriate regional and state office staff by memorandum.

If EBT Program Operations finds that a card has been used, EBT Program Operations deactivates the card and notifies the EBT regional coordinator, the Inspector General (IG) and Eligibility Services – Field staff.

The EBT regional coordinator explores the validity of a case record associated with the used Lone Star card. If the use is valid, the EBT regional coordinator notifies EBT Program Operations and appropriate regional management staff by memorandum.

If the EBT regional coordinator suspects criminal misconduct, the EBT regional coordinator notifies the RD regarding the fraudulent activity.