A-1550, Issuance and Use of Benefits

Revision 04-1; Effective January 1, 2004

A—1551 Interview Staff Responsibilities

Revision 22-2; Effective April 1, 2022


Staff should inform the person about:

  • how HHSC issues TANF and SNAP benefits;
  • how the person uses those benefits; and
  • the person's responsibilities.

Related Policy

Explanation of Cardholder Responsibilities at Interview, B-239.1

A—1552 EBT Issuance Staff Responsibilities

Revision 22-2; Effective April 1, 2022


EBT issuance staff are responsible for explaining Lone Star Card rules and guidelines to the person when issuing a Lone Star Card.

Related Policy

Issuance Staff Requirements for Client Training, B-239.2

A—1553 Use of TANF Benefits

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015


Staff should explain that TANF benefits can only be used to purchase goods and services essential or necessary for the welfare of the family. This includes food, clothing, housing, utilities, furniture, transportation, telephone, laundry, medical supplies not paid by Medicaid, and incidentals such as household equipment, supplies, and recreation for children. Staff must advise recipients that failure to use the benefits as required may result in HHSC establishing a protective payee (as explained in A-222, Who Is Not Included).

A—1554 Use of SNAP Benefits

Revision 20-4; Effective October 1, 2020


Staff must explain the following rules regarding use of SNAP benefits:

  • SNAP benefits may be used to purchase food items and garden seeds at retailers approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This includes approved online retailers. They may not be used for hot, ready-to-eat foods or food marketed to be heated in the store (except as listed in B-400, Special Households);
  • SNAP benefits may not be used to pay online fees of any type, such as shipping, delivery, service or convenience fees;
  • SNAP benefits may not be used to pay off charge accounts;
  • Change is not given on EBT food account purchases; and
  • Sales tax may not be charged on any item purchased with SNAP benefits.

A—1555 Use of One-Time Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (OTTANF) Benefits

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015


Staff should ensure that OTTANF applicants understand that OTTANF benefits are intended as emergency cash assistance for families who do not currently receive TANF but who are otherwise eligible. In addition to meeting TANF requirements, the household must meet one of the four crisis criteria explained in A-2440, Determining Crisis Criteria (OTTANF).

HHSC issues a $1,000 payment with the intent that it will:

  • resolve a short-term crisis,
  • keep the household connected to the workforce, and
  • serve as a diversion from ongoing TANF.

Staff shall explain the 12-month ineligibility period and obtain original signatures on Form H1072, One Time Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (OTTANF) Acknowledgement.