A—1521 Registering to Vote

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

HHSC must offer individuals an opportunity to register to vote at application, redetermination and any time the individual has a change of address. The individual is provided with Form H0025, HHSC Application for Voter Registration, with each application/redetermination packet, if not already provided. Additionally, the individual will be provided with Form H0025 whenever the individual reports a change of address. System-generated application and redetermination packets contain Form H0025.

If the individual declines the opportunity to register to vote, the individual is given Form H1350, Opportunity to Register to Vote, to sign and decline to register to vote. Advisors should indicate in the Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System (TIERS), Voter Registration Information section of the Individual Demographics page, that the individual declined and document that Form H1350 was mailed to the individual. When the individual returns Form H1350, advisors are to send the form for imaging. The imaged, signed form must be retained for at least 22 months. The individual is not required to sign Form H1350 if the individual has signed the form within the last 22 months.

 

 

A—1521.1 Who Cannot Register to Vote

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

To register to vote, a person must be:

  • a U.S. citizen; and
  • at least age 17 years and 10 months.

Staff should not offer a voter registration application to an applicant or recipient if the individual states or the advisor has proof that the individual does not meet these two requirements.

 

 

A—1521.2 Staff Requirements for Voter Registration

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Staff must tell the individual the following:

  • HHSC will offer the same help and services when aiding the individual with voter registration activities as when aiding the individual with agency forms, whether HHSC provides the service in the office, outside of the office or at the individual's home.
  • The decision to register or to decline to register to vote does not affect eligibility or benefit amount, and HHSC will keep all voter registration information confidential and only use it for voter registration purposes.
  • The individual may decide whether or not to seek help from staff to fill out the voter registration application form, or the individual may fill out the application form in private.
  • The individual may return the completed application form to:
    • the Secretary of State (SOS), by mail using the postage-paid, self-addressed application form;
    • the local voter registrar, by mail or in person; or
    • the advisor.
  • The individual may ask additional voter registration questions or file a voter registration complaint by contacting the Elections Division of the Secretary of State, P.O. Box 12060, Austin, TX 78711, 1-800-252-8683.

Staff must not:

  • influence an individual's political preference or party registration;
  • display any political preference or party affiliation;
  • make any statement to discourage the individual from registering to vote;
  • make any statement to an individual or take any action for the purpose or effect to make the individual believe that a decision to register or not to register has any bearing on the availability of services or benefits; or
  • pend the EDG or delay or deny benefits if the individual fails or refuses to complete the voter registration information on any form, or fails to return Form H0025, HHSC Application for Voter Registration, or Form H1350, Opportunity to Register to Vote.

Austin Imaging Center Staff

If the individual inadvertently sends Form H0025 to the Austin processing center with other documents, Austin staff will forward Form H0025 to the correct local voter registrar within five days of receipt.

 

 

A—1521.3 Voter Registration During Interviews

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

 

All Programs

The following chart should be used by staff in addressing voter registration during the interview:

If … then …
the individual responds, "I do not wish to register," determine the reason why the individual doesn't wish to register. Ask the individual to sign Form H1350, Opportunity to Register to Vote, attesting that the individual does not wish to register to vote. Sign and mark the appropriate box in the Agency Use Only: Voter Registration Status section of Form H1350 documenting the reason the individual declined to register. Send the form for imaging.

When completing a telephone interview, mail Form H1350 to the individual. Indicate in TIERS, Voter Registration Information section of the Individual Demographics page, that the individual declined and document that Form H1350 was mailed to the individual.

When the individual refuses to sign Form H1350, mark the Client Declined box in the Agency Use Only: Voter Registration Status section of Form H1350. Send the form for imaging.

the individual is not a U.S. citizen and at least age 17 years and 10 months, TIERS will automatically mark that the individual does not meet citizenship and/or age requirements in the Valid Reason, Voter Registration Information section of the Individual Demographics screen.
the individual answered Yes to the question on the application, redetermination or change report form, "Do you wish to register to vote?" and meets citizenship and age requirements, provide the individual with Form H0025, HHSC Application for Voter Registration, to complete to register to vote. Advise the individual that the completed form can be returned directly to SOS, the local voter registrar or the local office. The local office liaison forwards to the local voter registrar. TIERS automatically sends the individual Form H0025 if the worker answers Yes to the question, “Send Voter Registration Application?” in the Voter Registration Information section of the Individual Demographics screen.

Enter the actions taken to provide the individual with the opportunity to register to vote by answering the questions in the Valid Reason, Voter Registration Information section of the Individual Demographics screen.

When interviewing an authorized representative (AR) or representative payee, ask the AR or representative payee to give the form to the individual. Enter in the Valid Reason, Voter Registration Information section of the Individual Demographics screen, Client to Mail.

the individual completes and returns Form H0025 before leaving the office, review the form for completeness. Return the form to the individual for any corrections, if necessary. When the individual has fully completed Form H0025, forward the form to the local office liaison. The local office liaison will review the form for completeness and send to the local voter registrar within five days.

Enter in the Valid Reason, Voter Registration Information section of the Individual Demographics screen, the actions taken to provide the individual with the opportunity to register to vote.

 

A—1521.4 Voter Registration During Non-Interviews

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

The following chart should be used by staff in addressing voter registration during non-interviews:

If … then …
the individual "does not wish to register" on the application/redetermination or change report form, mail the individual a return envelope and Form H1350, Opportunity to Register to Vote, to sign attesting that the individual declined to register to vote. Enter in the Valid Reason, Voter Registration Information section of the Individual Demographics screen. If the individual returns Form H1350, sign and mark the Client Declined box in the Agency Use Only: Voter Registration Status section of Form H1350. Send the form for imaging.
the individual is not a U.S. citizen and at least age 17 years and 10 months, TIERS automatically marks that the individual does not meet citizenship and/or age requirements in the Valid Reason, Voter Registration Information section of the Individual Demographics screen.
the individual answered Yes to the question on the application/redetermination form, "Do you wish to register to vote?",
  • if the individual did not return Form H0025, HHSC Application for Voter Registration, enter in the Valid Reason, Voter Registration Information section of the Individual Demographics screen, the actions taken to provide the individual with the opportunity to register to vote.
  • when the individual returns Form H0025 to the local office, review the form for completeness. Return the form to the individual for any corrections, if necessary. Enter in the Valid Reason, Voter Registration Information section of the Individual Demographics screen, the actions taken to provide the individual with the opportunity to register to vote. Forward the fully completed Form H0025 to the local office liaison. The local office liaison reviews the form for completeness and sends to the local voter registrar within five days.
the individual answered Yes to the question, "Do you wish to register to vote?" on the change report form, Enter Yes to the question, "Send Voter Registration Application?" in the Voter Registration Information section of the Individual Demographics screen. TIERS automatically sends the individual Form H0025. This documents the actions taken to provide the individual with the opportunity to register to vote.

 

 

A—1521.5 Local Office Liaison Duties

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

The local office liaison must:

  • Maintain in stock, the office supply of Form H0025, HHSC Application for Voter Registration, and Form H1350, Opportunity to Register to Vote.
  • Maintain the local voter registrar list to provide the name and address of the local voter registrar to staff and individuals. See www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/county.shtml for information regarding the local voter registrar.
  • Review Form H0025 for completeness.
  • Send completed Form H0025 to the designated local voter registrar within five days of receipt.

 

 

A—1521.6 Documentation

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

All actions taken to provide the individual with an opportunity to register to vote must be documented at application, redetermination, and change of physical address in TIERS in the Voter Registration Information section of the Individual Demographics — Citizen page.

 

 

A—1522 Personal Responsibility Agreement

Revision 19-3; Effective July 1, 2019

TANF

Staff must inform adult caretakers and second parents that they must:

  • participate in the Choices programs unless exempt;
  • cooperate with child support requirements;
  • not voluntarily quit a job;
  • have their child(ren) screened through the Texas Health Steps program;
  • have their child(ren) immunized, unless exempt;
  • have their child(ren) attend school;
  • attend parenting skills training, if referred; and
  • not abuse drugs or alcohol.

Staff must inform payees and disqualified adults that they must:

  • cooperate with child support requirements;
  • have their child(ren) screened through the Texas Health Steps program;
  • have their child(ren) immunized, unless exempt;
  • have their child(ren) attend school; and
  • not abuse drugs or alcohol.

 

 

A—1523 Child Support Responsibilities

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and TP 08

Staff must ensure that applicants read and understand the information on Form H1712, Explanation of Child/Medical Support, Family Violence and Good Cause, and that the applicant understands that signing an application for TANF or TP 08 constitutes the assignment of rights to child and medical support.

 

 

A—1524 Earned Income Deduction

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

Staff must inform the applicant that if the individual goes to work and reports the job in a timely manner, the individual may be eligible for extra deductions.

 

 

A—1525 Voluntary Quit

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

SNAP

Staff must explain the voluntary quit policies in A-1850, Voluntary Quit, to applicants and individuals, including:

  • primary wage earner determination;
  • how to establish good cause; and
  • reapplication after voluntary quit.

 

 

A—1526 Family Violence

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and TP 08

Staff must explain to applicants and recipients that if family violence or the potential for family violence exists, HHSC may grant an exemption from the requirement to cooperate with child support, and Choices staff may grant good cause for noncompliance with Choices participation for TANF.

Related Policy

Explanation of Good Cause, A-1130
Determining Good Cause, A-1860

 

 

A—1527 The Texas Works Message

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

During the redetermination process, staff deliver the Texas Works message to TANF recipients explaining that:

  • TANF is temporary and has time limits;
  • there are alternatives and options for the recipient instead of TANF benefits;
  • a TANF recipient should consider jobs and other resources such as child support rather than continuing TANF;
  • if a TANF recipient chooses to continue receiving assistance, the recipient is requesting help finding a job; and
  • if a TANF recipient chooses not to continue receiving assistance, the recipient may still qualify for medical assistance and SNAP to support employment while working toward self-sufficiency.

Judgment must be used when deciding which messages are appropriate for a particular recipient.

 

 

A—1528 Handbooks

Revision 13-2; Effective April 1. 2013

 

 

 

 

A—1528.1 Availability of Handbooks for Client Review

Revision 13-2; Effective April 1, 2013

All Programs

A Texas Works Handbook is available for review upon request. Individuals may view an electronic version of the handbook. All sections of the handbook must be easily accessible to the individual.

 

 

A—1529 Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System

Revision 13-2; Effective April 1, 2013

All Programs

Eligibility staff must review and understand information currently available to individuals through 2-1-1 and encourage individuals to use the self-service options. Encouraging individuals to use the self-service options will help reduce workload in local offices. Individuals can get answers to basic questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the automated phone system, the IVR.

Additional information can be accessed by visiting the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, "How to Get Help" website at hhs.texas.gov/services/safety/2-1-1-disaster-assistance.

The 2-1-1 Texas Finding Help In Texas job aid describes how an individual accesses various types of information via the 2-1-1 IVR System.