Revision 18-1; Effective January 1, 2018

 

 

B—310 General Policy

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF and SNAP

After HHSC certifies an Eligibility Determination Group (EDG), the advisor uses specific procedures to maintain the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) account and resolve problems.

For information about establishing accounts, see B-200, Issuing Benefits.

 

B—330 Cancelling Benefits

Revision 04-3; Effective April 1, 2004

 

 

B—331 Cancelling Benefits in EBT Accounts

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF and SNAP

When a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) household moves out of state before the end of the month, advisors must cancel the next month's benefits.

TANF

When a TANF household moves out of state on or after the first of the month but before accessing that month's TANF benefits, the cardholder should use the Lone Star Card to access the TANF benefits at retailers in other states. See B-350, Using Benefits Out of State.

If the cardholder cannot find a retailer that accepts the Lone Star Card, HHSC may mail a benefit conversion warrant (full month's benefit amount only) to the household's new address. The advisor determines if the household accessed that month's benefits via Administrative Terminal Application (ATA) inquiry. Determine if the household accessed that month’s benefits by performing Administrative Terminal (AT) inquiry.

When the agency receives the report of the move:

  • deny the EDG, and
  • advise the individual to withdraw the balance from the EBT account.

Use the following chart to determine the correct action on the next month's benefits.

If the household is ... then ...
ineligible for the next month's benefits because the household left the state before the end of the previous month, cancel the next month's benefits.
eligible for the next month's benefit but unable to use the Lone Star Card out of state,
  • cancel the next month's benefits, and
  • reissue with a warrant to the new address.

Do not consider a benefit cancelled until you confirm it as cancelled via TIERS inquiry.

See A-2533.1, Deleting Months When TANF Benefits are Cancelled or Recouped, when cancelling benefits for an individual whose months count toward a time limit.

SNAP

HHSC cannot cancel benefits in a food account once the availability date is reached.

When the agency receives a report that the individual moved out of state, follow policy in A-740, Moves Out of Texas, and A-750, Temporary Visits Out of Texas, to determine whether to consider the move temporary or permanent. If the move is permanent, deny the EDG.

The cardholder can use the Lone Star Card to access benefits at retailers in other states. See B-350.

Use the TIERS Benefit Issuance – Maintain EBT Benefits – EBT Cancellation pages to cancel the next month’s benefits.

Do not consider a benefit cancelled until it is confirmed as cancelled via TIERS inquiry.

 

B—332 Cancelling Benefits Not Issued by EBT

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF

If an individual returns a warrant,

  • give the individual the original Form H4100, Money Receipt; and
  • send the first copy of Form H4100, the warrant, and Form H1008-A, Warrant Inquiry/EBT Benefit Conversion and Affidavit for Non-receipt of Warrant, explaining the reason for the returned warrant to Fiscal Management, Mail Code 3500.

 

B—340 Replacing Benefits

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF and SNAP

HHSC issues benefits via warrant or EBT. Staff replaces TANF warrants in certain situations and TANF or SNAP benefits issued via EBT in rare situations.

Related Policy
Destroyed Food, B-344

 

B—341 Replacement of Benefits Issued via EBT

Revision 04-3; Effective April 1, 2004

 

TANF and SNAP

EBT systems and procedures are designed to minimize loss and theft of individual benefits. As a result, HHSC is rarely liable for a replacement due to loss of benefits from an EBT account.

HHSC replaces benefits issued via EBT when lost through unauthorized use of the account only if the loss occurred:

  • after the individual reports the Lone Star Card lost or stolen;
  • because of local eligibility determination office card/PIN issuance error; or
  • because of an unlawful or other erroneous action on the part of HHSC or an HHSC contractor.

Do not replace benefits withdrawn from an account before the individual reports the Lone Star Card lost or stolen.

 

B—341.1 Procedures for Replacing EBT Benefits

Revision 18-1; Effective January 1, 2018

 

TANF and SNAP

If a person receiving EBT reports benefits are stolen or lost from the individual's EBT account, refer the person to the Lone Star help desk. The help desk staff researches the account credits and debits and works with state office staff to determine if any unauthorized use occurred. If state office staff determines a replacement is due because of unauthorized access or card issuance error, the replacement is authorized. See B-382.2, Balance Disputes, for resolution procedures.

If a loss occurs because of a card/PIN issuance error, go through regional channels to contact state office Lone Star Business Services (LSBS) by email at EBT_Operations@hhsc.state.tx.us.

 

B—342 Non-Receipt of TANF Warrants

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF

If an individual reports that a warrant was lost, stolen, or not received, check TIERS inquiry to see if the warrant was returned to Fiscal Management Services (FMS). If necessary, update the individual’s address in TIERS.

When the warrant is returned to state office, FMS staff checks inquiry for a new address and immediately re-mails the check.

 

B—342.1 Procedures for Replacing TANF Warrants

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF

Send Form H1008-A, Warrant Inquiry/EBT Benefit Conversion and Affidavit for Non-Receipt of Warrant, to FMS if:

  • the individual does not receive the warrant by the 10th day after HHSC mailed it; and
  • inquiry shows the warrant was not returned to FMS.

Exception: Send Form H1008-A immediately if it is obvious that a warrant was stolen or destroyed. Indicate under "Comments" the reason for this special processing request.

The advisor may:

  • fax Form H1008-A to FMS at 512-487-3400; or
  • send Form H1008-A via email. See the Electronic Transmittal section of Form H1008-A instructions for email addresses.

To check on the status of Form H1008-A, the advisor may call Fiscal Management at 512-487-3435.

After receiving Form H1008-A, FMS:

  • completes TIERS inquiry to verify warrant information/status; and
  • obtains the warrant payment status from the State Comptroller.

 

B—342.1.1 Warrant Not Cashed

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF

If the warrant was not returned to FMS or cashed, FMS:

  • notifies the State Comptroller to cancel the warrant;
  • receives notification from the State Comptroller when the warrant is cancelled; and
  • issues a replacement warrant. The word "Replacement" is printed in the upper right corner above the warrant number on the face of the warrant. TIERS inquiry identifies replacement warrants in Benefits Issuance under Issuance Status as “Issued” and Benefit Type as “Replacement."

If the individual reports receipt of the original warrant after the advisor sends Form H1008-A, Warrant Inquiry/EBT Benefit Conversion and Affidavit for Non-receipt of Warrant, call FMS at 512-487-3435 to discontinue the inquiry/replacement process. Instruct the individual not to cash the warrant until Fiscal Division notifies the advisor that it discontinued the replacement process.

 

B—342.1.2 Warrant Cashed

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF

If the warrant was cashed, Fiscal Division:

  • updates warrant status in TIERS; and
  • sends the advisor:
    • a cover memo with instructions;
    • a copy of the warrant;
    • Form 6059-A, Determination of the Validity of a Forgery Claim; and
    • Form 6059-B, Affidavit of Forgery.

The advisor:

  • investigates to determine if the warrant was forged and if the individual received the benefit from the warrant; and
  • completes Form 6059-A to document the determination.
If the advisor determines the warrant was ... then the advisor ...
forged,
  • completes Form 6059-B
  • requests that the individual sign the form, and
  • returns Forms 6059-A and B to FMS.
not forged, sends only Form 6059-A to FMS.

FMS:

  • requests that the State Comptroller charge the warrant back to the original cashing establishment;
  • updates the TIERS warrant history when the Comptroller notifies HHSC that the warrant was charged back;
  • prepares and submits a cancellation voucher to the State Comptroller;
  • updates the TIERS warrant history when the Comptroller notifies HHSC that warrant was cancelled; and
  • issues a replacement warrant.

 

B—343 Non-Receipt of One-Time Payments

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

 

TANF

If a household reports nonreceipt of a one-time payment, use the procedures in this section to reissue the benefits.

 

B—343.1 Reissuing Grandparent Payments

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

 

TANF

If a household reports it did not receive the one-time grandparent payment, the advisor:

  • completes Form H1084, Certification for Warrants Lost, Destroyed, Stolen, or Not Received;
  • requires the grandparent caretaker/payee to sign the certification on the form; and
  • sends it to FMS.

 

B—343.2 Reissuing OTTANF Benefits

Revision 12-1; Effective January 1, 2012

 

TANF

Use Form H1008-A, Warrant Inquiry/EBT Benefit Conversion and Affidavit for Non-Receipt of Warrant, to request reissuance of lost or stolen OTTANF warrants.

The advisor may fax Form H1008-A to FMS at 512-487-3400. Write "OTTANF" across the top of the form.

 

B—344 Destroyed Food

Revision 01-5; Effective July 1, 2001

 

SNAP

A household disaster may result from a fire, flood, tornado, accident, or other similar events that affect only that household or any number of households. Do not consider damage or destruction resulting from household neglect, such as damaged caused by pets or children, as a disaster.

When the individual reports that food purchased with SNAP benefits was destroyed in a household disaster, issue a replacement unless

  • the individual failed to report the loss within 10 days of the food being destroyed; or
  • the individual was issued an allotment under special Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)-approved disaster-issuance procedures in the same month as the replacement request.

There is no limit on the number of replacements for destroyed food.

 

B—344.1 Procedures for Replacing Destroyed Food

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

SNAP

To issue a replacement for destroyed food, take the following steps:

Step Action
1 Require the head of household, spouse, or responsible household member to sign Form H1855, Affidavit for Nonreceipt of/Destroyed Food Stamp Benefits. The advisor may mail Form H1855 to the individual for signature if no responsible household member can come to the office because of
  • age or disability, or
  • distance (that is, the individual lives more than 30 miles from the office) and the individual is unable to appoint an authorized representative to bring the form to the office.
Issue a replacement only when the local office receives the completed and signed Form H1855 within 10 days of the request for replacement.
2 Verify the disaster and date by contacting a collateral source, such as the fire department or Red Cross, or by visiting the individual's home.
3 Issue a replacement benefit via TIERS – Benefit Issuance – Request Manual Issuance.

Note: Authorized staff receive an alert to approve the issuance.

 

B—350 Using Benefits Out of State

Revision 18-1; Effective January 1, 2018

 

TANF

Texans who leave the state should be able to use the Lone Star Card to access TANF benefits at retailers in other states.

People from other states may use EBT cards to access TANF benefits at retailers in Texas. When local office staff receive inquiries, advise the cardholder to try the card at stores that accept EBT cards in Texas. If it does not work, advise the person to contact the help desk of the state that issued the card.

SNAP

Texans who leave the state can use the Lone Star Card to access SNAP benefits at retailers in other states.

People from other states may use their EBT cards to access SNAP benefits at retailers in Texas. When local office staff receive inquiries, advise the cardholder to try the card at stores in Texas that accept SNAP benefits. If it does not work, advise the person to contact the help desk of the state that issued the card.

 

B—351 Moves Out of State

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF

If the household reports a move or temporary absence from Texas, follow the policy in A-740, Moves Out of Texas, and A-750, Temporary Visits Out of Texas, to determine whether to consider the move temporary or permanent.

The cardholder should be able to use the Lone Star Card to access benefits at retailers in other states. Advise the individual of the following:

  • Withdraw any amount of benefits remaining in the cash account before leaving.
  • Take your Lone Star Card.

Note: If the individual reports that the individual does not have a Lone Star Card, advise the individual to contact the Lone Star Help Desk.

  • In order to use cash benefits that were not accessible before the move, try the card at stores that accept EBT in other states. Ask if the store charges a fee and the amount of the fee. Verify and accept any fees before completing the cash withdrawal.
  • Call the Lone Star Help Desk at 1-800-777-7EBT (1-800-777-7328) if your Lone Star Card does not work. The Lone Star Help Desk assists the cardholder in finding an out-of-state retailer that accepts the Lone Star Card. Note: If the cardholder cannot find a retailer that accepts the Lone Star Card and moved out of state on or after the first of the month but before accessing that month's TANF benefits, HHSC may mail a benefit conversion warrant (full month's benefit amount only) to the household's new address. The Lone Star Help Desk will advise these cardholders to contact the local eligibility determination office. See B-331, Cancelling Benefits in EBT Accounts.

SNAP

If the household reports a move or temporary absence from Texas, follow the policy in A-740 and A-750 to determine whether to consider the move temporary or permanent.

The cardholder can use the Lone Star Card to access benefits at retailers in other states. Advise the individual of the following:

  • Take your Lone Star Card.

Note: If the individual reports that the individual does not have a Lone Star Card, advise the individual to contact the Lone Star Help Desk.

  • In order to use SNAP benefits, try the card at stores that accept SNAP in other states.
  • Call the Lone Star Help Desk at 1-800-777-7EBT (1-800-777-7328) if your Lone Star Card does not work. The Lone Star Help Desk assists the cardholder in finding an out-of-state retailer that accepts the Lone Star Card.

 

B—352 Households Shopping Out of State

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF and SNAP

Cardholders can use the Lone Star Card out of state. As a result, some households may continue to use benefits without reporting an out-of-state move. Households receiving benefits in Texas who shop out of state consistently, without shopping in Texas, may no longer meet residency requirements. See A-740, Moves Out of Texas, and A-750, Temporary Visits Out of Texas.

 

B—353 Out-of-State Shopping (OSS) Reports

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF and SNAP

State office produces a Non-Border OSS Report and a Border OSS Report monthly. Both reports list Lone Star Card usage for households that:

  • shopped out of state in the last 60 days;
  • did not shop in Texas during that period; and
  • have active EDGs.

The Border OSS Report lists households with Lone Star Card usage in states that border Texas (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico). The Non-Border OSS Report lists households with Lone Star Card use in states that do not border Texas.

State office sends the Non-Border OSS report to Eligibility Operations each month for appropriate action as a potential change in Texas residence. This data also is included in a combined Data Broker report if the OSS occurred in the prior 12 months.

The Border OSS Report is not sent to Eligibility Operations each month for clearance. The data is included in a combined Data Broker report if the OSS occurred in the prior 12 months. EDGs that appear on the Border OSS Report must be cleared at a complete action after a household submits an application or redetermination.

 

B—353.1 Advisor Action on OSS Report Activity

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF and SNAP

Clearing Non-Border OSS Report Activity as a Change Action

Send the household Form H1020, Request for Information or Action, requesting verification of the household's address.

Exception: Clearing Non-Border OSS activity as a change action is not required when the household's most recent OSS activity occurred in the:

  • month prior to the periodic review month or in the periodic review month of the household's TANF Eligibility Determination Group (EDG); or
  • next to last benefit month or last benefit month of the household's SNAP EDG.

Clearing Non-Border OSS Report Activity at a Complete Action

The household must provide verification of the household's address when:

  • the most recent OSS occurred within six months of the current interview/desk review month and
  • the OSS occurrence listed in the report was not previously cleared.

The interview/desk review month is month zero.

Note: Take action on any associated Medical Program EDG.

After a household has been asked to provide verification of the household's address, take the following action.

If the ... then ...
household provides verification of the household’s address, determine continued eligibility for all programs based on residency requirements.
household does not provide verification of the household’s address, deny the SNAP EDG and any associated TANF/Medical Program EDGs for failure to provide verification.
agency receives returned mail with no forwarding address and the household cannot be located, deny the SNAP EDG and any associated TANF/Medical Program EDGs for unable to locate.

Clearing Border OSS Report Activity

The requirement to clear the Border OSS Report only applies at a complete action. This report must be cleared at a complete action when a household submits an application or redetermination and the OSS activity in the report makes the household’s address questionable.

Example: A household living in Texas near the Arkansas border and shopping in Arkansas may not be questionable. A household living in Austin and shopping in Arkansas would be questionable.

When a household’s address is questionable, follow the policy outlined above for clearing a Non-Border OSS Report Activity at a Complete Action. If necessary, send the household Form H1020, Request for Information or Action, requesting verification of the household's address.

 

B—354 Card Replacements for Cardholders Who Are Out of State

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF and SNAP

If a Texas individual who is out of state reports that the individual’s Lone Star Card was lost or stolen, advise the individual to contact the Lone Star Help Desk at 1-800-777-7EBT (1-800-777-7328).

 

B—360 Dormant Accounts

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

 

 

B—361 Dormant Account Policy

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF and SNAP

The EBT system changes an account status to dormant when a cardholder does not access the account for a specified period depending on:

  • the type of benefits; and
  • if applicable, the monthly benefit amount.

The EBT system notifies TIERS when changing the account status to dormant. TIERS does not place the EDG in suspense status if the EBT account becomes dormant.

The cardholder has access to the EBT account after it is dormant.

TANF

The EBT system changes an account status to dormant when a cardholder does not access the account for three months.

SNAP

The EBT system changes an account status to dormant if a cardholder does not access the account for:

  • three months; or
  • six months, when the household received an issuance of less than $20 for the previous calendar month.

 

B—362 Advisor Action on Dormant Accounts

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF and SNAP

Advisors take no action on EBT accounts that become dormant.

Exception: For Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Combined Application Project (SNAP-CAP) EDGs, if the advisor verifies the EBT account is dormant, the advisor must attempt to contact the individual to determine if the individual is having trouble accessing the benefits. Advisors mail Form H1030, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Lone Star Card Assistance.

If the individual fails to contact the advisor by the due date on Form H1030, the advisor must attempt to contact the individual by telephone. If the individual does not respond to either Form H1030 or to telephone calls, advisors take no further action. Advisors must document all attempts to contact the individual.

Related Policy
Shortening Certification Periods as a Result of a Change, B-638

 

B—370 Expunged Benefits

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF and SNAP

Expungement is a process in which HHSC removes unused TANF or SNAP benefits from an EBT account and returns them to the state or federal government.

 

B—371 Expungement Policy

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF

HHSC expunges TANF benefits if:

  • the household does not access its cash account for one year (The entire balance is removed.); or
  • benefits remain in an active or dormant account past their availability period.

The availability period is two fiscal years after the benefit was issued. HHSC expunges these benefits at the end of each fiscal year (August 31).

SNAP

HHSC expunges:

  • SNAP benefits remaining from a particular month's issuance when the:
    • household does not access the account for one year; and
    • benefit was issued more than one year before the expungement file is processed; or
  • the entire food account when the advisor denies a one-person household because of death.

 

B—372 Advisor Procedures for Expunged Benefits

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

 

TANF and SNAP

The advisor explains expungement policy to individuals who inquire about these benefits. Except for death denials, refer individuals who dispute the expungement or believe it was in error to the Lone Star help desk at 1-800-777-7EBT (1-800-777-7328).

SNAP

The advisor is responsible for expungements resulting from death denials. If the advisor causes the expungement by processing a denial erroneously, the advisor restores benefits (rounding down to the nearest dollar if the balance includes 49 cents or less, and rounding up if it includes 50 cents to 99 cents) using a manual issuance in TIERS.

 

B—380 EBT Problem Resolution

Revision 04-7; Effective October 1, 2004

 

TANF and SNAP

The local office uses the following procedures to handle EBT-related inquiries from retailers and individuals.

 

B—381 Retailer Inquiries

Revision 18-1; Effective January 1, 2018

 

TANF and SNAP

Refer retailers who:

  • have EBT questions to the vendors' retailer Help Desks;
  • need a manual voucher authorization to the Lone Star Retailer’s Help Desk at 877-209-5339; or
  • have questions about U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) FNS authorization to the USDA Dallas office at 877-823-4369 or to the USDA website at FNS.USDA.gov/snap/retailers/merchants.htm.

 

B—382 Client Inquiries

Revision 14-2; Effective April 1, 2014

 

TANF and SNAP

If an individual contacts the local office to question an account balance, the advisor resolves the question if it relates to eligibility. If the question does not relate to eligibility, refer the individual to the Lone Star Help Desk (1-800-777-7EBT). Individuals may also call the help desk for questions, such as expunged benefits and discrepancies with retailers.

A household has 90 calendar days from the date the error occurred in an EBT transaction to request an adjustment. The EBT vendor reviews the request and notifies the household of the vendor’s determination. Within 10 business days the EBT vendor must:

  • investigate the dispute;
  • determine eligibility for an adjustment; and
  • if applicable, deposit the adjustment into the household’s account.

After receiving written notice of the EBT vendor’s decision, if the individual disagrees with the decision, the individual may contact LSBS for a second review.

The household retains the right to a fair hearing.

See B-382.2, Balance Disputes, for the account balance dispute process, and B-1000, Fair Hearings.

 

B—382.1 Client Problems Accessing Benefits

Revision 18-1; Effective January 1, 2018

 

TANF and SNAP

Contact the local office site coordinator for situations such as:

  • The benefits show in TIERS, but not on the ATA, and both the card and PIN appear to work.
  • The benefits show in the ATA with no benefit number, but do not show in TIERS.

 

B—382.2 Balance Disputes

Revision 18-1; Effective January 1, 2018

 

TANF and SNAP

If the individual reports an account balance dispute to the local eligibility determination office, determine if the individual contacted the Lone Star Help Desk.

If ... then ...
yes, forward the complaint to Lone Star Business Services by email at EBT_Operations@hhsc.state.tx.us.
no, refer the individual to the Lone Star Help Desk at 800-777-7EBT.

 

B—382.3 Client Problems with Retailers

Revision 18-1; Effective January 1, 2018

 

TANF and SNAP

When a person reports any problem with a retailer, other than an account balance dispute, forward it to the Lone Star Business Services by email at EBT_Operations@hhsc.state.tx.us.

 

B—382.4 Client Problems with an EBT Vendor

Revision 18-1; Effective January 1, 2018

 

TANF and SNAP

When a person reports a problem with an EBT vendor, forward it to the Lone Star Business Services by email at EBT_Operations@hhsc.state.tx.us.

 

B—390 Documentation Requirements

Revision 11-2; Effective April 1, 2011

 

TANF and SNAP

Document the reason for:

  • cancelling benefits (see B-331, Cancelling Benefits in EBT Accounts); and
  • replacing benefits (see B-341.1, Procedures for Replacing EBT Benefits).

Related Policy
Documentation, C-940
The Texas Works Documentation Guide