C—931 Household Responsibility for Providing Verification

Revision 19-1; Effective January 1, 2019

All Programs

Households or the independent child's representative have the primary responsibility for providing documented or collateral evidence needed for proof of their circumstances. Households do not need to designate a collateral source if that source is named on the application form or during the interview or application processing. The advisor may assist the household in designating a collateral contact by suggesting a source that may be reliable.

If documented evidence is not available or not sufficient, the household must:

  • designate an alternate source of verification; or
  • permit a prescheduled home visit.

Exception: Law enforcement have the primary responsibility for providing verification that a person is a fleeing felon, a probation violator or a parole violator. Households are not responsible for providing proof of their fugitive status.

C—932 Advisor Responsibility for Verifying Information

Revision 20-4; Effective October 1, 2020

All Programs

When verifying information, follow these guidelines:

  • Photocopy and send for imaging all paper documents a person provides as verification. If the household indicates that a document is verification for more than one case, send for imaging for each case.
  • Do not reverify eligibility factors previously verified and not subject to change, if the previous verification is available in the electronic case record. (Examples: relationship, birth or citizenship proof, and deprivation due to death.)
  • Do not request additional information or documentation from households unless such information is not available electronically or the information obtained electronically is not consistent with the information on the application.
  • Do not ask a person to provide additional proof if:
    • verification is available through the Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System (TIERS) inquiry, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) inquiry, the Birth Verification System (BVS), Child Support inquiry, or other automated systems that are acceptable verification sources and accessible to staff, or if the person indicates that verification is readily available in the electronic case record; and
    • the information is sufficient to establish current eligibility.
  • Do not verify income information by using 1-900 telephone numbers. Accessing these numbers results in a substantial charge ($2 - $20 per call) to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).
  • Accept any reasonable evidence provided by the household whether it is provided in person, by mail, fax, other electronic device or via an authorized representative. Verification should be reliable and sufficient to prove a person’s statement.
  • Determine what types of verification are readily available to the household and request that verification first if it is anticipated to be sufficient proof. If preferred sources of verification are not readily available, alternate sources of proof must be accepted if they are reliable and provide sufficient proof. Sources of documentary proof and collateral sources are listed at the end of the applicable section of the Texas Works Handbook.
  • Do not disclose any information the household provides when contacting a third party for verification. Do not disclose that the household has applied for any specific program or suggest the household is suspected of any wrong doing.

    Note: If the collateral source asks why the information is necessary, inform the collateral source that HHSC is required to verify eligibility for assistance. If the collateral source asks for specific information regarding the person, inform the collateral source of the person's confidentiality rights.
  • Evaluate the documented evidence or collateral source the household provides and determine if it is reliable and sufficient to determine eligibility and benefit amount. If a source of verification is unreliable:
    • designate another collateral source;
    • ask the household to designate another collateral source; or
    • schedule a home visit. Do not conduct a home visit solely because the household meets error-prone criteria.

      Note: HHSC may also designate a collateral source if the person fails to provide one.
  • Contact the designated collateral source unless the person claims it will result in negative consequences, such as eviction or loss of job.
  • Offer reasonable assistance in obtaining verification if the person has difficulty in obtaining the required verification. Also, offer assistance if discrepancies exist in the documentary information the person provides or if they request assistance in clearing the discrepant information.
  • Accept collateral sources or documents from the household that are reliable and provide sufficient proof. Do not deny or delay benefits if this requirement is met, or if:
    • a collateral source refuses to provide verification; and
    • there is no reasonable alternate verification available.
  • There may be unusual circumstances in which a person's statement must be accepted as proof if:
    • there is a reasonable explanation why documentary evidence or a collateral source is not available; and
    • the person's statement does not contradict other statements or other information received by staff.

      Exception: For verification of relationship, follow procedures in A-522, Legal Parent-Child Relationship, and A-540, Documentation Requirements.
  • If a person can cooperate but clearly indicates orally or in writing that they refuse to take action necessary to complete the certification process, deny the EDG. This also applies to evaluations such as audits, quality control or investigations. See A-1324.18, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), for action required on a SNAP EDG when the associated TANF EDG is denied due to any of these reasons.
  • Have the person sign Form H0003, Agreement to Release Your Facts, for collateral sources that will not release information without the person's written consent.
    Note: Do not request signatures on blank forms for future use.
  • For people born in Puerto Rico, HHSC can submit a birth verification request by mail, fax or email to the Department of Healthcare Demographic Registry Office of Puerto Rico. Include in the request the person's name as it appears on the birth certificate (including both last names if more than one last name), the person's date of birth and place of birth.

    To submit a request by:

    • email, send the request to Registrodemografico@salud.gov.pr. In the request, indicate the government email address to which the response should be sent.
    • fax, make the request on official letterhead and fax it to the attention of Validation Office at 787-767-8605 or 787-766-1299. Indicate in the fax the government fax number to which the response should be sent.
    • regular mail, make the request on official letterhead and mail it to the attention of Validation Office, Demographic Registry Office of Puerto Rico, Department of Health, P.O. Box 11854, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00910. Indicate in the letter the full mailing address to which the response should be sent.

    Within two business days, the Registry Office will verify the person's submitted demographic information or will advise that the submitted information is inconsistent with the information in the Registry Office.

Document collateral sources that are designated orally by the individual or by HHSC.

Exception: Do not pend for, or attempt to obtain, the verification of fugitive status for fleeing felons or probation or parole violators from the household. Law enforcement provides verification of fugitive status to HHSC when they are actively seeking to apprehend people.

Medical Programs except Emergency Medicaid

Assist a person in obtaining documentary evidence of citizenship. Identify if they cannot to provide documentary evidence of citizenship in a timely manner because of incapacity of mind or body or the lack of a representative to assist. Assisting a person consists of referrals to appropriate entities that can help them. Follow A-358.1, Citizenship, when assisting a person with providing documentary evidence of citizenship and identity.

Related Policy

Citizenship, A-358.1
Legal Parent-Child Relationship, A-522
Documentation Requirements, A-540
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), A-1324.18