2000, Definitions and Acronyms

Revision 23-1; Effective Jan. 31, 2023

2100 Definitions

Revision 23-1; Effective Jan. 31, 2023

Governing laws, regulations, and plans include terms with meanings related to disaster situations and disaster assistance programs. The following terms are of special significance to HHSC employees.

Appeal Authority — State official(s) who makes appeal decisions.

Assistance from Other Means — Assistance, including monetary or in-kind contributions, from other governmental programs, insurance, volunteer or charitable organizations, or from any source other than those of the individual or family. It does not include expendable items.

Automated Construction Estimating (ACE) — Automated disaster inspection and verification process. Verifiers use a GRID Palm-pad to record disaster-related damage to the applicant's property.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — Federal agency responsible for coordinating agencies to provide the unifying core for the vast national network of organizations and institutions involved in efforts to secure our nation. FEMA is part of this agency that coordinates the federal response to local, regional and national disasters.

Dependent — An individual who is normally claimed as such on the federal tax return of another, according to the Internal Revenue Code. It may also mean the minor children of a couple not living together even if the children live in the residence with the parent who does not actually claim them on the tax return.

Disaster Assistance Payment Program (DAPP 2.0) — Data from the FEMA system is transferred to DAPP 2.0. DAPP 2.0 updates and maintains the file and creates payment transactions, which are sent to the HHSC system. The DAPP 2.0 is maintained by HHSC Information Technology. Its primary function is to create a payment file to submit to the state comptroller for printing of disaster assistance checks.

Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) — A one-stop, information-gathering center for disaster victims seeking information about their application for disaster assistance. Services at the center are administered cooperatively by state and federal disaster assistance agencies.

Disaster District Emergency Management Committee (DDC) — Group made up of representatives from state agencies, local governments and locally organized volunteer groups that work with the ranking TDEM officer as disaster-area counterparts to the Emergency Management Council.

Duplication of Benefits (DOB) — Grants, gifts, loans, insurance settlements and cash received from other sources designated for the same purpose as Other Needs Assistance (ONA) grant awards are considered a duplication of benefit. Section 312 of the law prohibits duplication of benefits by disaster relief programs. FEMA provides information about benefits provided by disaster relief organizations and insurance for each person who registers for assistance.

Expendable Items — Include items such as linens, clothes and basic kitchenware (pots, pans, utensils, dinnerware, flatware, small kitchen appliances).

Family — Social unit living together and composed of:

  • legally married individuals, or those couples living together as if they were married, and their dependents;
  • a single person and his or her dependents; or
  • persons who jointly own the residence, and their dependents.

Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households Program (IHP) — Financial Assistance program created by Public Law 106-390, the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, Section 206. IHP combines FEMA's Disaster Housing Program and the state-administered Individual and Family Grant Program under one new program.

Federal Award Coordinating Officer (FACO) — State official assigned management responsibility for the IHP program. In Texas, the FACO is the Emergency Services Program (ESP) director.

Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) — Person designated by the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate federal assistance activities in any emergency or major disaster.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) — Federal agency responsible for coordinating responses to disasters among other federal, state, local and volunteer agencies.

Flood Hazard Area — Area shown on a national Federal Insurance Administration map as an area prone to flooding. These areas are designated Zone A, 100-year floodplain, or Zone V, coastal high-hazard area.

Floodplain Administrator (FA) — County or city official responsible for administering the community's floodplain ordinances or codes.

Housing Assistance (HA) — Federal program that assists applicants displaced from their pre-disaster primary residences.

Individual — Person who is not a member of a family as "family" is defined in this section.

Joint Field Office (JFO) — Temporary location in the disaster area where the federal coordinating officer and representatives of various disaster relief agencies coordinate relief and recovery efforts.

Major Disaster — Hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high or wind-driven water, tsunami (tidal wave), earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, drought, fire, explosion or other catastrophe is considered a major disaster.

National Eligibility Criteria — Standards which are prescribed by FEMA regulations and which state and federal governments must apply when determining eligibility for grants.

National Emergency Management Information System (NEMIS) — FEMA's computer system.

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) — A federal program enabling individuals to purchase flood insurance.

National Processing Service Center (NPSC) — FEMA offices in Denton, Texas; Hyattsville, Maryland or Winchester, Virginia, that administer inspection services and provide central database maintenance and operations for disaster assistance applications.

National Teleregistration Center (NTC) — FEMA sites in Denton, Texas, Hyattsville, Maryland, or Winchester, Virginia that takes applications for assistance from disaster victims over a toll-free phone line.

Necessary Expense — Cost of a serious need (see "serious need" as defined in this section).

Other Needs Assistance Program (ONA) — Financial assistance program created under Public Law 106-390, the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, Section 206, to award grants to eligible people who incur necessary expenses or who have serious needs due to a disaster. These grants are not intended to repay individuals or families for all disaster losses or to allow purchase of items or services that are nonessential, luxury or decorative.

Owner-occupied — Residence that is occupied by the legal owner; or a person who does not hold formal title to the residence but is responsible for payment of taxes, maintenance of the residence, and pays no rent; or a person who has lifetime occupancy rights in the residence with formal title vested in another.

Primary Residence — Dwelling where the victim lives during most of the calendar year.

Sanctioned Communities — Communities that the NFIP designates as having flood-hazard areas, but which do not participate in NFIP.

Serious Need — Requirement for an item or service essential to an individual or family to prevent, mitigate or overcome a disaster-related hardship, injury or adverse condition.

Small Business Administration (SBA) — Federal agency mandated by Congress to provide financial assistance to victims of disasters. The SBA disaster loan program loans money at a lower-than-usual interest rate to qualifying small businesses, individuals and families to assist them in recovering from a disaster.

State Administrative Plan (SAP) — Document that describes the policies, organization and procedures for implementing the Other Needs Assistance provision of the Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households Program (IHP). It is updated annually and submitted for approval to the state coordinating officer (SCO) and federal coordinating officer (FCO).

Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly the Emergency Food Stamp Program) — Through the Lone Star Card Program, the Issuance Services Unit coordinates with the HHSC Office of Family Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the HHSC Office of Eligibility Services to determine the need for and implementation of the SNAP Program in disaster situations.

State Coordinating Officer (SCO) — Person appointed by the director of the TDEM to coordinate state and local disaster assistance efforts with those of federal government agencies. As the representative of the director of TDEM, the state coordinating officer exercises powers granted to the governor by the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, and delegated by the governor to TDEM.

Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) — A comprehensive all-hazard emergency management program for the state; assists cities, counties and state agencies in planning and implementing their emergency management programs.

Texas Identification Numbers (TIN) — Assigned numbers for applicants that are based on each applicant's Social Security number or a unique assigned number for applicants without a Social Security number. A list of unique TIN numbers is requested by ONA from HHSC Fiscal Management, which receives numbers from the Comptroller’s Office. TIN numbers are used to track and process all payments made to an applicant.


2200 Acronyms

Revision 23-1; Effective Jan. 31, 2023


ACE — Automated Construction Estimating System

ARC — American Red Cross

ARTS — Accounts Receivable Tracking System

CPI — Consumer Price Index

DAPP — Disaster Assistance Payment Program

DHS — Department of Homeland Security

DRC — Disaster Recovery Center

DSHS MHSA — Department of State Health Services Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division

EFT — Electronic Funds Transfer

ERM – Emergency and Risk Management

ESF — Emergency Support Function

ESP — Emergency Services Program

FACO — Federal Award Coordinating Officer

FCO — Federal Coordinating Officer

FEMA — Federal Emergency Management Agency


FMS — Fiscal Management Services


GFIP — Group Flood Insurance Policy

HA — Housing Assistance

HHSAS — Health and Human Services Accounting System

HHSC — Health and Human Services Commission

IA — Individual Assistance

IFGP — Individual and Family Grant Program

IHP — Individuals and Households Program

IRS — Internal Revenue Service

IT — Information Technology

NEMIS — National Emergency Management Information System

NFIP — National Flood Insurance Program

NPSC — National Processing Service Center

NTC — National Teleregistration Center

OES — Office of Eligibility Services

OFS — Office of Family Services

OGC — Office of General Counsel

OIG — Office of Inspector General

ONA — Other Needs Assistance

RDAC — Regional Disaster Assistance Coordinator

RDAS — Regional Directors of Administrative Services

SBA — Small Business Administration

SCO — State Coordinating Officer

SSS – System Support Services

SFHA — Special Flood Hazard Areas

SOC — State Operations Center

TDEM — Texas Division of Emergency Management

TEMC – Texas Emergency Management Council

TDI — Texas Department of Insurance

TIN — Texas Identification Number

TINS — Texas Identification Number System

TWC — Texas Workforce Commission

VID — Vendor Identification

VOAD – Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster