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

B—331 Cancelling Benefits in EBT Accounts

Revision 23-3; Effective July 1, 2023

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, cancel the next month's benefits.

TANF

When a TANF household moves out of state on or after the first day of the month but before that month’s benefit accessibility date, the cardholder can use the Lone Star Card to access benefits at retailers in other states. 
If the cardholder cannot find a retailer that accepts the Lone Star Card, a benefit conversion warrant (full month's benefit amount only) may be mailed to the household's new address. Perform inquiry in the EBT system to determine if the household accessed that month's benefits.

When the agency receives the report of the move:

  • deny the EDG; and
  • advise the cardholder to withdraw the balance from the EBT account.

Actions for 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 conversion warrant to the new address.

Do not consider a benefit cancelled until TIERS inquiry confirms cancellation.

Follow policy for deleting months when cancelling benefits for a person whose months count toward a time limit.

SNAP

HHSC cannot cancel benefits in a food account on or after the accessibility date.

When the agency receives a report that the person moved out of state, determine if the move is 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.

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 TIERS inquiry confirms cancellation.

Related Policy

Moves Out of Texas, A-740 
Temporary Visits Out of Texas, A-750 
Deleting Months When TANF Benefits are Cancelled or Recouped, A-2533.1 
Explanation of Cardholder Responsibilities at Interview, B-239.1 
Cancelling Benefits Not Used by EBT, B-332 
Using Benefits Out of State, B-350 
Documentation Requirements, B-390 

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 (PDF); 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 (PDF), explaining the reason for the returned warrant to Fiscal Management, Mail Code 3500.

B-340, Replacing Benefits

Revision 23-3; Effective July 1, 2023

TANF and SNAP

HHSC issues benefits by  warrant or EBT. Staff replace TANF warrants, TANF EBT benefits and SNAP EBT benefits only in certain situations.

Related Policy

Agency Replacements, B-341
One-Time Payment Replacements, B-342
Destroyed Food Replacements, B-344

B—341 Agency Replacements

Revision 23-3; Effective July 1, 2023

TANF and SNAP

HHSC designs the EBT systems  and issuance procedures to minimize loss and theft of SNAP and TANF household benefits. HHSC is required to issue agency replacement benefits only if the loss occurred:

  • after the household reports the Lone Star Card lost or stolen and HHSC or an HHSC contractor failed to cancel the household’s Lone Star Card;
  • because of an HHSC local office Lone Star Card issuance error; or
  • because of an unlawful or other erroneous action on the part of HHSC or an HHSC contractor.

Related Policy 

Documentation Requirements, B-390

B—341.1 Procedures for Issuing Agency Replacements 

Revision 23-3; Effective July 1, 2023

TANF and SNAP

If a person receiving EBT reports benefits stolen or lost from the household's EBT account, refer them to the Lone Star Help Desk. Help desk staff research the account credits and debits and work with HHS AES state office staff to determine if HHSC is liable for any loss of benefits that occurred. If state office staff determine a replacement is due because of unauthorized access or card issuance error, the replacement is authorized. 

If a loss occurs because of a card issuance error, staff contact the EBT regional coordinator who notifies the HHSC AES Lone Star Business Services (LSBS) mailbox.

Related Policy 

Balance Disputes, B-382.2
 

B—342 One-Time Payment Replacements 

Revision 23-3; Effective July 1, 2023

TANF

If a person reports a One-Time TANF or One-Time TANF for Relatives warrant (check) as lost, stolen or not received, check TIERS inquiry to see if the warrant was returned to Fiscal Management Services (FMS). The most common reason for non-receipt is a mismatched address. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will not forward TANF warrants. If necessary, update the person’s address in TIERS.

When the USPS returns the warrant to state office, FMS staff check inquiry for a new address and immediately re-mail the check, if there is a new address.

If the person does not receive the warrant by the 10th day after HHSC mailed it, request a replacement warrant by sending the appropriate form to FMS:

  • For One-Time TANF, send Form H1008-A, Warrant Inquiry/EBT Benefit Conversion and Affidavit for Non-Receipt of Warrant. If using Form H1008-A, write "OTTANF" across the top of the form.
  • For One-Time TANF for Relatives, send Form H1084, Certification for Warrants Lost, Destroyed, Stolen, or Not Received. 

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

Require the recipient to sign the Form H1008-A or H1084 in the correct space to attest to their statement that they did not receive the warrant and if they receive the first warrant, they will return it to HHS.

Staff may:

  • fax Form H1008-A or H1084 to FMS at 512-487-3400; or
  • send Form H1008-A or H1084 by email by scanning and emailing to the HHSC Warrant Issuance mailbox. 

Staff may call HHS Accounting Operations within FMS at 512-487-3435 to check on the status of the replacement request.

After receiving Form H1008-A or H1084, FMS:

  • complete TIERS inquiry to verify warrant information and status; and
  • obtain the warrant payment status from the Texas Comptroller.

B—342.1 Warrant Not Cashed

Revision 22-3; Effective July 1, 2022

TANF

If the USPS has not returned the warrant to FMS or the recipient has not cashed the warrant, FMS:

  • notifies the Texas Comptroller to cancel the warrant;
  • receives notification when the Texas Comptroller cancels the warrant; 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 person reports receipt of the original warrant after staff send the replacement request form, call FMS at 512-487-3435 to discontinue the inquiry and replacement process. Instruct the person not to cash the warrant until FMS notifies staff that they have discontinued the replacement process.

B—342.2 Warrant Cashed

Revision 22-3; Effective July 1, 2022

TANF

If someone cashed the warrant, FMS sends the staff person requesting the replacement:

  • 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.

Staff:

  • investigate to determine if someone forged the recipient’s signature to endorse and cash the warrant; or
  • investigate if the recipient received any amount of money or benefit from the cashed warrant by perhaps conspiring with others; and
  • complete Form 6059-A to document the determination.
If staff determine the signature endorsing the warrant was ...then staff ...
forged,
  • complete Form 6059-B;
  • request that the recipient signs the form; and
  • return Forms 6059-A and B to FMS.
not forged,send only Form 6059-A to FMS.

If it is not a forgery and the recipient is the one who endorsed the warrant, the process stops. The recipient is not eligible for a replacement warrant.

If the signature is a forgery:

  • FMS sends the completed packet to the Texas Comptroller’s office for a final determination. 
  • The Texas Comptroller requests money back from the original cashing establishment.
  • The Texas Comptroller notifies FMS that the cashing establishment has returned payment. 
  • FMS issues a replacement warrant.

Note: The cashing establishment has up to nine months to investigate and return the payment to the Texas Comptroller.

For issues or further instructions and information, staff may contact HHS Accounting Operations within FMS by:

B—343 Reserved for Future Use

Revision 22-3; Effective July 1, 2022

B—344 Destroyed Food Replacements

Revision 23-4; Effective Oct. 1, 2023

SNAP

Replacements may be issued when food purchased with SNAP benefits was destroyed in a household disaster. To report that food has been destroyed in a household disaster, the HOH, a responsible household member or AR must go to an HHSC local office to complete a destroyed food replacement benefit request.

A household disaster may:

  • impact one or more households; and 
  • be an event that results in food purchased with SNAP benefits being destroyed, such as: fire, flood, tornado, accident, power outage or other similar event.

A household disaster does not include damage or destruction resulting from events within the household’s control, such as:

  • pets or children;
  • utility disconnection; or
  • deferred household maintenance.

When a household reports destroyed food, verify the disaster and issue destroyed food replacement benefits unless the household:

  • failed to report the loss within 10 days of discovering the destroyed food; or
  • received a disaster benefit issuance in the same month as the replacement request.

Issue replacement benefits for the household’s reported loss up to a maximum of the household’s last monthly allotment. If the household’s last monthly allotment included restored benefits, include the full value of the restored benefit with the replacement. Do not impose a limit on the number of destroyed food replacement requests.

Related Policy 

Prudent Person Principle, A-137
Questionable Information, C-920 

B—344.1 Procedures for Issuing Destroyed Food Replacements

Revision 23-3; Effective July 1, 2023

SNAP

To issue destroyed  food replacement benefits, take the following steps:

StepAction
1

Require the head of household, responsible household member or AR to go to an HHSC local office and complete Form H1855, Affidavit for Nonreceipt or Destroyed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits, to request replacement of destroyed food.

or

Mail Form H1855 to get the person’s signature if a responsible household member or AR cannot come to the HHSC office because of:

  • age;
  • disability;
  • distance to the HHSC office; or
  • inability to appoint an AR.

Issue a replacement only when HHSC 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; 
  • receiving documentation from a community agency, such as the fire department or Red Cross; or 
  • visiting the person’s home.
3Issue a replacement benefit via TIERS – Benefit Issuance – Request Manual Issuance.

Note: Authorized staff receive a request to approve the issuance.

Related Policy

Prudent Person Principle, A-137
Questionable Information, C-920

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 19-4; Effective October 1, 2019

TANF and SNAP

Clearing Non-Border OSS Report Activity at 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 activity occurred within six months of the current interview/desk review month; and
  • the OSS activity listed in the report was not previously cleared.

The interview/desk review month is month zero.

Note: Act on any associated Medical Program(s) as appropriate.

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 information.
agency receives returned mail with no forwarding address and the household cannot be located, deny the SNAP EDG for failure to provide information 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, Reserved for Future Use

Revision 22-1; Effective January 1, 2022

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 23-1; Effective Jan. 1, 2023

TANF

HHSC expunges TANF benefits if:

  • the household does not access its cash account for one year; or
  • benefits remain in an account past their availability period.

Note: If the TANF household does not access its cash account for one year, HHSC removes the entire balance.

SNAP

HHSC expunges:

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

HHSC mails Form H0599, Notice of Expungement, to households 30 days before the expungement of unused benefits. Form H0599 informs the household that unused SNAP benefits will be removed from their EBT account if they do not make a purchase using their Lone Star Card before the date listed on the notice.

B—372 Advisor Procedures for Expunged Benefits

Revision 20-4; Effective October 1, 2020

TANF and SNAP

Explain expungement policy to people who inquire about these benefits.

Except for death denials, inform people who dispute the expungement or believe it was in error that their dispute will be routed to the Regional EBT Coordinator for review. Within two business days of receiving the dispute, the Regional EBT Coordinator will inform the person of the outcome.

SNAP

Staff is responsible for expungements resulting from death denials.  

If the expungement resulted from an erroneously processed denial, restore benefits within one business day of discovering the error. Using a manual issuance in TIERS:

  • round the benefits down to the nearest dollar if the balance includes 49 cents or less; or
  • round up if it includes 50 cents or more.

Related Policy

Expungement Policy, B-371

B-380, EBT Problem Resolution

Revision 23-3; Effective July 1, 2023

TANF and SNAP

HHSC staff use the following policies to handle electronic benefit transfer (EBT) related inquiries from households and retailers.

B—381 Retailer Inquiries

Revision 23-3; Effective July 1, 2023

TANF and SNAP

Refer retailers who have EBT questions or need a manual voucher authorization to the Lone Star Retailer’s Help Desk at 877-209-5339.

Refer retailers to the SNAP Retailer Service Center 877-823-4369 or the Food and Nutrition Service website for questions about the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) retailer authorization process. 

B—382 Client Inquiries

Revision 23-3; Effective July 1, 2023

TANF and SNAP

Refer a household to the Lone Star Help Desk (800-777-7EBT or 800-777-7328) or to their Your Texas Benefits mobile app if the household contacts HHSC to request information about their EBT account and the question is not about eligibility. Households can call the Lone Star Help Desk or use their Your Texas Benefits account to manage their EBT account to:

  • request replacement Lone Star Cards and personal identification numbers (PINs);
  • view account transaction history, balances and upcoming deposits;
  • freeze and unfreeze their account for theft prevention; and
  • file a dispute with the Lone Star Help Desk because of a discrepancy with a retailer.

Note: Only the primary cardholder (PCH) can view the household’s EBT account information in their Your Texas Benefits account.

A household has 90 calendar days from the date the error occurred in an EBT transaction to file a dispute with the Lone Star Help Desk and 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 the household's eligibility for an adjustment;
  • send the household a written notice informing them of the decision; and
  • make the adjustment to the household’s EBT account, if applicable.

If the household disagrees with the vendor’s decision after receiving the written notice, they may contact the HHSC Access and Eligibility Services (AES) Lone Star Business Services (LSBS) Mailbox for a second review.

The household has the right to request a fair hearing.

Related Policy

Advisor Procedures for Expunged Benefits, B-372 
Balance Disputes, B-382.2 
Fair Hearings, B-1000.

B—382.1 Cardholder Problems Accessing Benefits

Revision 22-1; Effective January 1, 2022

TANF and SNAP

Contact the EBT site coordinator when after card issuance:

  • Benefits show in TIERS, but not in the EBT system, and both the card and PIN appear to work properly.
  • Benefits show in the EBT system with no benefit number, but the benefits do not show in TIERS.

B—382.2 Balance Disputes

Revision 23-3; Effective July 1, 2023

TANF and SNAP

If the household reports a balance dispute because of unauthorized use on their EBT account, explain they need to:

  • call the Lone Star Help Desk (800-777-7EBT or 800-777-7328) to request a replacement card and PIN; and
  • go to HHSC local office to complete an unauthorized use replacement request.

If the household reports a balance dispute because of a retailer error, determine if they contacted the Lone Star Help Desk.

  • If yes, forward the complaint to the HHSC AES LSBS Mailbox .
  • If no, refer the complaint to the Lone Star Help Desk.

Related Policy 

Client Inquiries, B-382 
 

B—382.3 Client Problems with Retailers

Revision 23-3; Effective July 1, 2023

TANF and SNAP

Forward a complaint to the HHSC AES LSBS Mailbox when a person reports any problem with a retailer, other than a balance dispute .

B—382.4 Client Problems with an EBT Vendor

Revision 23-3; Effective July 1, 2023

TANF and SNAP

Forward the complaint to the HHSC AES LSBS Mailbox when a person reports a problem with an EBT vendor or the Lone Star Help Desk .

 

 

B-390, Documentation Requirements

Revision 22-3; Effective July 1, 2023

TANF and SNAP

Document the reason for:

  • cancelling benefits; and 
  • replacing benefits.

Related Policy

Canceling Benefits in EBT Accounts, B-331
Agency Replacements, B-341
Documentation, C-940
The Texas Works Documentation Guide