AUSTIN – Texas Health and Human Services Commission today announced it received federal approval to replace stolen Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for recipients who were victims of fraud. Texas has experienced increased reports of scams, including skimming and cloning — tactics scammers use to obtain Lone Star Card numbers and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to gain access to SNAP benefits.
“These benefit replacements will help those affected by fraud get their funds replaced so they have access to the food they need,” said HHS Access and Eligibility Services Deputy Executive Commissioner Wayne Salter. “We’re doing all we can to help our customers detect and prevent fraud, and this is just another step in ensuring we’re helping those who have been scammed.”
HHSC received approval this month from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to move forward with replacing stolen benefits.
SNAP recipients who are victims of fraud should request a new Lone Star Card and PIN. To request replacement benefits, SNAP recipients must visit a local HHSC office and fill out Form H1854, Affidavit for Unauthorized Use of EBT Benefits. If individuals are unable to visit a local office due to factors such as age, disability, distance, or inability to appoint an authorized representative, they can call their local HHSC office to have the form mailed to them. Once the claim is reviewed, HHSC will inform the individuals by mail within two weeks if they are eligible for replacement benefits.
If eligible for replacement benefits, the total replacement amount cannot exceed the amount of the stolen benefits or the amount equal to two months of the household’s SNAP benefits, whichever is less. Most eligible SNAP households will receive replacement benefits issued to their new Lone Star Cards within 10 days of completing Form H1854.
SNAP recipients can request replacements of stolen benefits twice in each federal fiscal year (FFY). FFY 2023 is from Oct. 1, 2022-Sept. 30, 2023, and FFY 2024 is from Oct. 1, 2023-Sept. 30, 2024. Recipients who believe their SNAP benefits were stolen between Oct. 1, 2022, and May 30, 2023, have until Aug. 29, 2023, to request a benefit replacement. Beginning May 31, 2023, SNAP recipients must report stolen SNAP benefits within 30 days of suspected fraud to request a benefit replacement.
Customers can learn more about requesting replacement benefits on our SNAP Fraud Benefit Replacement page. Customers can also learn more about how to prevent and detect fraud on the EBT fraud web page. If you suspect fraud associated with any of your benefits, report it to the HHSC Office of Inspector General (800-436-6184) and local law enforcement. Those affected by Lone Star Card fraud should take immediate action by calling the Lone Star Help Desk (800-777-7328). If clients need assistance with food, they should contact a local food bank or food pantry. To find help in your area, call 2-1-1 and after selecting a language choose option 1, or visit 211Texas.org.