Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Texas Works Handbook
Revision: 14-4
Effective: October 1, 2014

Part B — Section 200

Issuing Benefits

B—210  General Policy

Revision 05-2; Effective April 1, 2005

TANF

Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) issues Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) or warrant. The agency issues all one-time benefits via warrant.

Related Policy:
Medicaid Eligibility, A-800
Issuing OTTANF Benefits, A-2451
Issuing One-Time Grandparent Payments, A-2452

SNAP

HHSC issues all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by EBT.

B—220  Benefits

Revision 05-2; Effective April 1, 2005

B—221  Types of Benefits

Revision 11-3; Effective July 1, 2011

TANF and SNAP

There are five types of benefits:

  • initial,
  • ongoing,
  • supplemental,
  • retroactive, and
  • restored.

See Glossary for definitions of these terms.

B—222  Issuing Methods

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

SNAP and TANF benefits are issued using the Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System (TIERS).

Benefits authorized  in TIERS via Eligibility or Benefit Issuance functional areas are issued by EBT.

B—222.1 Mailing Addresses for Issuing Benefits

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and Medical Programs


Issue benefits to the individual's physical address, unless the individual:

  • is temporarily living at another address.
  • has a post office box or general delivery address.
  • has a guardian.
  • provides a good reason for a different mailing address, showing the individual would suffer hardship if benefits were mailed to their physical address.

Do not use a local eligibility determination office address or an employee's physical address as a mailing address, unless the employee is a TANF applicant or recipient.

SNAP

The individual's physical address is the preferred mailing address to enter in TIERS. The individual may use another mailing address, however, if they believe it is more secure or they have no physical address to use.

All Programs

Notes:

  • If an individual has a post office box and physical address, enter both in TIERS, unless the household resides in a shelter for battered women.
  • The U.S. Postal Service does not forward TANF warrants or Medicaid Eligibility and Health Information Services (MEHIS) cards.

B—230  Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

HHSC issues benefits by EBT and contracts with one or more vendors who perform EBT functions.

When an advisor certifies a household, HHSC establishes and deposits benefits in the household's EBT account(s). Staff issues a Lone Star Card to the individual or their representative. These cardholders access benefits using the card and a Personal Identification Number (PIN).

Staff uses TIERS to send information to the EBT system.

The EBT process includes:

  • establishing a primary cardholder and EBT account(s),
  • establishing a secondary cardholder, if requested,
  • issuing a Lone Star Card,
  • requesting the individual select his PIN or issuing a pre-assigned PIN,
  • replacing a card and/or PIN, if required, and
  • individual training.

B—231  Establishing the Primary Cardholder (PCH)

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

The PCH is the household member or EBT representative designated to have primary responsibility for security and access to the household's benefits in the EBT account. Each case has only one PCH. Staff generally establishes the case name as the PCH, even if the individual is a disqualified member.

Exceptions: An EBT representative is a PCH who is not the case name. Require one in the following situations:

  • If the TANF EDG has a protective payee or representative payee, establish this person as the PCH.
  • If a SNAP individual is a resident of a drug and alcohol (D&A) treatment/group living arrangement (GLA) facility and the D&A/GLA facility is the individual's authorized representative (AR), establish the AR as the PCH.
If the TANF and SNAP EDGs have... then...
the same EDG name,

establish the EDG name as the PCH for both EDGs.

Note: Ensure that the name, date of bith, sex and SSN match exactly.

different EDG Names, each EDG mush have a different PCH.

B—231.1  When to Send a PCH Record

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

HHSC must send a PCH record to the EBT system on an active EDG, even if pending the final case action, or an application when the advisor:

  • certifies a TANF or SNAP application;
  • transfers a Medical Programs EDG to TANF;
  • changes an EDG name;  
  • adds, deletes, or changes a TANF protective payee or representative payee;
  • adds, deletes, or changes the SNAP AR for a D&A/GLA facility; or
  • changes a SNAP AR type from a D&A/GLA facility to an individual (in or out of the household) when the AR name stays the same.

Note: The EDG name becomes the PCH. If the advisor changes the SNAP AR type from an individual to a D&A/GLA facility, the AR becomes the PCH. See B-440, Drug and Alcohol Treatment (D&A)/Group Living Arrangement (GLA) Facilities.

Do not send a record if:

  • pending the TANF or SNAP application due to a missed appointment; or
  • pending a change or complete action when the household does not appear to be eligible for TP 01/61.

B—231.2  Establishing a PCH Record and an EBT Account

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

Send a PCH record to the EBT system to establish a benefit account in the cardholder's name. The advisor must establish the account before issuance staff can issue a Lone Star Card and PIN.

B—231.3  Sending a New PCH Record

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

There are two ways to send a new PCH record to the EBT system to establish an account.

  • Through TIERS using Real Time Interface or Batch file, or
  • Via the Administrative Terminal Action (ATA) – The advisor completes Part I of Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Action, to authorize this process only if they:
    • need to change the PCH on a denied EDG or an EDG being denied; or
    • cannot send the record through TIERS due to automation problems.

Exception: If the EBT system receives a benefit record before the PCH record, it uses the benefit record to create a PCH record. This usually occurs  on TANF and SNAP EDGs when:

  • the advisor fails to submit Form H1175, Part I, to the EBT clerk; or
  • the EBT clerk fails to enter the data from Part I of Form H1175 on the same day the advisor disposes the EDG.

Do not send another PCH record.

B—231.4  Updating the PCH Record

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

TIERS updates existing PCH records on active cases any time the advisor changes the cardholder's biographical data or address and completes the benefit issuance logical unit of work. The EBT system receives an update file sent from TIERS overnight that updates the record the next day.

Note: The advisor may initiate action to merge PCH records via the ATA when a household's TANF and SNAP PCH record information fails to match. See B-261.3.2, Merging Primary Cardholder Records.

B—232  Establishing a Secondary Cardholder

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

Establish a secondary cardholder only after HHSC certifies an application. Exception: If the advisor certifies an individual for one program and pends the other, the individual may authorize a secondary cardholder for both accounts.
The PCH may authorize:

  • a secondary cardholder for only one benefit account;
  • a different secondary cardholder for each benefit account; or
  • the same person as the secondary cardholder for both the cash account and the food account.

There are three methods of establishing a secondary cardholder:

  • the PCH requests it via the Lone Star help desk;
  • the PCH requests it from the local office issuance staff; or
  • the advisor authorizes the secondary cardholder via the ATA.

Only the PCH may authorize a secondary cardholder, except in the emergency situations described in B-232.3, Secondary Cardholders Established by the advisor.

Employees involved in certification or issuance may serve as a secondary cardholder on another household's account only if the supervisor gives written approval.

B—232.1  Secondary Cardholder Established by the Lone Star Help Desk

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

The PCH may contact the Lone Star help desk any time after certification to add, delete, or change a secondary cardholder.

When the help desk staff receives a request to add or change a secondary cardholder, they mail a Second Cardholder request form to the PCH. The PCH must complete, sign, obtain the secondary cardholder's signature, and return the form to the vendor to authorize a secondary cardholder.

When the vendor's staff receives the completed form, they mail the secondary cardholder's Lone Star Card to the PCH who must give it to the secondary cardholder. The secondary cardholder then calls the Lone Star help desk to register the card.

If the PCH requests the deletion of a secondary cardholder, Lone Star help desk staff terminates access of the secondary card immediately.

B—232.2  Secondary Cardholder Established by Issuance Staff

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

When the advisor establishes a PCH on a certified application, the PCH may authorize a secondary cardholder.

The PCH must bring the secondary cardholder to the office, complete the Second Cardholder request form, give the form to issuance staff, and provide proof of identity. The advisor completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request. Before establishing the secondary cardholder on the ATA, issuance staff ensures the Second Cardholder request form is completed and signed by both the PCH and secondary cardholder.

The PCH may add or change a secondary cardholder using this procedure any time after certification.

B—232.3  Secondary Cardholders Established by the Advisor

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

The advisor may establish a secondary cardholder with supervisory approval in the emergency situations described in this section.

B—232.3.1  Secondary Cardholder Authorization by a Household Member Other than the PCH

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

With supervisory approval, the advisor may establish account access for a new individual if:

  • the household needs to set up a secondary cardholder; and
  • the PCH cannot complete and sign the Second Cardholder request form (due to injury, illness, etc.).

The advisor obtains a completed Second Cardholder request form signed by another responsible household member or the AR if there is no other responsible household member. The advisor and supervisor sign below the individual's signature.

The advisor completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, for issuance staff to enter the data from the Second Cardholder request form into the ATA to establish a secondary cardholder record.

B—232.3.2  Secondary Cardholder Authorization by the Advisor

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

When benefits for children remain in an EBT account and the PCH is not able or available to access them, use the following chart to determine if the advisor may establish a secondary cardholder.

Step

Action

1

Did the only household member with account access die, become incapacitated, or abandon the children?

No

Stop. Take no further action.

-

-

Yes

Go to Step 2.

2

Is there another responsible household member who may be established as the PCH?

No

Go to Step 3.

-

-

Yes

Establish the other responsible household member as the PCH.

3

Are the children in the care of another person?

No

Stop. Take no further action.

-

-

Yes

Authorize account access to the new caregiver using the procedures that follow in this section.

The advisor:

  • uses the Second Cardholder request form to authorize the new caregiver as a secondary cardholder;
  • completes the individual (PCH) information section of the form; and
  • signs at the bottom in the section marked "Your Signature." The supervisor signs under the advisor's signature.

The new caregiver completes and signs the second cardholder information section. The advisor completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, and refers the person to issuance staff.

Note: The new caregiver must make a separate application for benefits in order to continue receiving them.

B—233  Issuing a Lone Star Card

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

The advisor requests Lone Star Card issuance when:

  • a new PCH record is established on applications or active EDGs; or
  • the office establishes a secondary cardholder.

For pended applications, advisors may request Lone Star Card issuance immediately after the interview.

Exception: When the advisor interviews a PCH by phone, a request for the EBT vendor to mail the Lone Star Card and training materials to the PCH is required with some exceptions. Follow procedures in B-233.2.2, Applicants Interviewed by Phone.

Related Policy:
Applicants Interviewed by Phone, B-233.2.2
Special Certification Situations, B-240
Drug and Alcohol Treatment (D&A)/Group Living Arrangement (GLA) Facilities, B-440
Residents in Shelters for Battered Women, B-450
Prepared Meal Services, B-460

B—233.1  When to Reuse a Lone Star Card

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

When an applicant has a Lone Star Card from a previous certification in which the individual was the PCH, use that card if using the same EDG number.

Do not reuse a previously issued Lone Star Card if it was:

  • deactivated because it was reported lost or stolen;
  • issued to someone who was later removed as primary or secondary cardholder on the account; or
  • issued to someone for an EDG, which was later denied and purged, and the EBT account was closed.

Note: Use ATA inquiry to determine if the cardholder may use the Lone Star Card to access benefits for a particular EDG. Staff may use this inquiry to validate card access after verifying the individual's identity. Do not require Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request.

B—233.2  Issuing Lone Star Cards for PCHs

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

To issue a Lone Star Card, the advisor:

  • completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request; and
  • refers the PCH to issuance staff.

When issuing Lone Star Cards in the office, issuance staff must verify the identity of the person receiving the card to ensure the individual is the person listed on Form H1172. If issuing the card directly to a cardholder, issuance staff also ensures the individual signs the back of the card.

If the advisor pends the application and does not to issue the Lone Star Card, the advisor must:

  • explain to the individual that after receiving the Lone Star Card they must call the Lone Star help desk to register it; and
  • postpone sending Form H1172 to issuance staff.

If the advisor later certifies the application, the advisor must give a completed Form H1172 to issuance staff to:

  • request mail-out of a Lone Star Card and training material to the PCH; and
  • flag the cardholder record to require card registration.

Exception: When the advisor interviews a PCH by phone, the advisor is required to request the EBT vendor mail the Lone Star Card and training materials to the PCH with some exceptions. Follow procedures in B-233.2.2, Applicants Interviewed by Phone.

B—233.2.1  Applicants Interviewed in the Office

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

If the advisor interviews the PCH and certifies or pends the application at the initial interview, then the advisor must follow the procedures in B-233.2, Issuing Lone Star Cards for PCHs.

If the advisor interviews someone other than the PCH and certifies or pends the application at the initial interview, then the advisor must give a completed Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, to issuance staff to

  • request issuance of a Lone Star Card to the person being interviewed; and
  • flag the cardholder record to require card registration.

If a person leaves the office without picking up a Lone Star Card or the advisor later certifies an application for which card issuance was postponed, issuance staff takes the actions listed in the following chart.

If the PCH ... then ...
has a secure mailing address,
  • mail the Lone Star Card and training material to the PCH's address,*
  • flag the cardholder record to require card registration, and
  • annotate this procedure on Form H1172.
does not have a secure mailing address,
  • annotate the bottom of Form H1172 to indicate that a card was not issued, and
  • send Form H1172 to the Document Processing Center (DPC) in Midland for imaging.

*Exception: For expedited applications in situations that require mailing a Lone Star Card, the PCH may pick up the card in the office. If the PCH is unable to come to the office due to illness or disability, issue the:

  • AR a secondary cardholder card following special procedures in B-232.3, Secondary Cardholders Established by the Advisor, if possible; or
  • PCH's card to the AR with supervisory approval on Form H1172, documenting the need for this procedure and indicating that it requires card registration.

If the cardholder returns for the card, issuance staff:

  • must complete and sign a new Form H1172; and
  • issue the Lone Star Card following regular procedures.

Note: Do not use whiteout on Form H1172. If an error is made or a date corrected, only one line should be marked through the correction.

B—233.2.2  Applicants Interviewed by Phone

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

If the advisor interviews a household by phone, mail issuance is required except:

  • for households who are certified for expedited SNAP benefits;
  • when the card must be issued in the local office to meet timeliness standards; or
  • when the card must be issued to an authorized representative for residents of drug and alcohol treatment centers and group living arrangement facilities.

If the household is interviewed by phone and is:

then:

eligible for expedited SNAP benefits,

or

interviewed on or after the 25th day after the file date for SNAP benefits,

staff must instruct the individual to go to the local office and pick up the Lone Star Card for timely access.

Note: The Lone Star Card can be mailed at the individual's request if unable to go to the local office.

determined to be eligible at the interview or pended for missing information and does not meet the above criteria,

staff must inform the individual during the interview that their Lone Star Card will be mailed to them within the next week.

denied at the interview,

staff do not request issuance of the Lone Star Card.

When pending an application, the advisor must explain the following to the person being interviewed:

  • The requested information must be provided and eligibility determined before TANF cash benefits or SNAP food benefits will be deposited into the EBT account.
  • A Lone Star card and training materials will be mailed to the PCH. Call the Lone Star Help Desk at 800-777-7328 to register the card.
  • A PIN selection is necessary to access their EBT account.
  • After receiving a notice of eligibility, the individual should call the Lone Star Help Desk to check the food benefit account balance.

Notes:

  • Remember to refer to policy in B-234.3, Initial PIN Issuance Procedures for Individuals with Barriers that Prevent PIN Self-Selection.
  • It is important that the applicant understands receipt of a Lone Star Card does not mean the household is eligible for SNAP or TANF, or that SNAP food benefits or TANF cash benefits are currently available in the EBT account.

Related Policy
Initial PIN Issuance Procedures for Individuals with Barriers that Prevent PIN Self-Selection, B-234.3

B—233.2.3 Applicants Interviewed by Phone in a Location Different Than Interviewing Worker

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

If an advisor is conducting a phone interview for a household located in another location, issuing EBT cards to a household may require local office issuance.

Staff must continue to follow the policy in B-233.2.2, Applicants Interviewed by Phone, along with the policy below.

If a new Lone Star Card must be issued, the interviewing advisor must:

  • determine if a new card must be mailed to the household or issued in a local eligibility office following policy in B-233.2.2;
  • provide the client with the address and contact information for the local HHSC office based on the household's residential ZIP code using the office locator in the State Portal; and
  • inform the household that the PCH (or person being interviewed) must provide proof of identity in order to obtain an EBT card.

Notes:

  • The EBT System may purge the EDG after 90 days if no benefits are issued. The EBT System may purge the EDG after one year if no transactions are performed. The advisor must request a new card issuance in this situation.
  • If the household needs a replacement card, staff must follow policy in B-235, Lone Star Card Replacement.

When a new Lone Star Card must be issued from a local eligibility office, the local eligibility office issuing the EBT card must:

  • verify through TIERS inquiry that an interview was conducted by an advisor located in another location;
  • verify that the client meets one of the criteria for local office issuance, or one of the criteria in B-235, Lone Star Card Replacement;
  • verify the identity of the PCH;
  • issue the EBT card and materials following the approved local office procedures;
  • ensure the EBT card is registered to the correct EDG number;
  • send all required EBT forms to the Data Processing Center (DPC) in Midland to be imaged following procedures in the Supporting Tools section of the Eligibility Services State Processes document; and
  • continue to follow established security and reconciliation procedures.

Note: When an individual comes into the local office requesting an EBT card, EBT issuance staff may complete form H1172 but must obtain an advisor or supervisor sign-off.

B—233.2.4  Applicants Interviewed by Home Visit

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

If the advisor certifies or pends the application at the initial interview and interviews the PCH, the advisor must explain to the individual that:

  • HHSC will mail a Lone Star Card and training material; and
  • after receiving the Lone Star Card, the PCH must call the Lone Star help desk to register it.

Upon returning to the office, the advisor sends the PCH record and gives a completed Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, to issuance staff to:

  • request mail-out of a Lone Star Card and training material to the PCH; and
  • flag the cardholder record to require card registration.

The advisor may also use the EBT issuance procedure described in the following chart.

Step Action
1 Request that issuance staff performs ATA inquiry to see if HHSC previously issued a Lone Star Card and, if so, write down the PAN.
2 Use Form H1173, EBT Card Issuance and PIN Self-Selection/Issuance Log, to log out a Lone Star Card and PIN packet to deliver to the household during the home visit.
3 During the interview, ask the PCH if they still have the Lone Star Card and still remembers their PIN.
4 If the PCH has a Lone Star Card and remembers his PIN, then compare the previously recorded personal account number (PAN) to ensure the card is valid. If so, the PCH may continue to use their Lone Star Card and PIN.
5 If the PCH needs an initial Lone Star Card/PIN issuance or a replacement,
  • give the PCH the Lone Star Card;
  • explain that the individual must select a PIN through the Lone Star help desk Automated Voice Response (AVR) unit*; and
  • record the PAN and, if applicable, PIN control number on Form H1172 to report back to issuance staff upon returning to the office.

*Exceptions:

  • If the individual has a barrier that prevents them from selecting a PIN, issue a pre-assigned PIN. Barriers include, but are not limited to:
    • a physical or mental disability,
    • the lack of access to a touchtone phone,
    • the unavailability of the AVR, or
    • the inability to use the AVR.

Accept the individual's statement regarding barriers that prevents them from self-selecting a PIN.

  • Centralized Benefit Services individuals continue to receive PIN packets.

If the advisor certifies the application but interviews someone other than the PCH, the advisor may follow either of the previous procedures and provide the explanations to the person being interviewed.

B—233.3  Issuing Lone Star Cards to EBT Representatives

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF

A TANF protective payee must come to the office to be issued a Lone Star Card. Exception: If the protective payee is unable to come to the office, issuance staff may mail the Lone Star Card to the protective payee's address indicated on Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, by the advisor.

SNAP

Follow the procedures for authorized representatives in B-440, Drug and Alcohol Treatment (D&A)/Group Living Arrangement (GLA) Facilities.

B—233.4  Issuing Lone Star Cards to Secondary Cardholders

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

When establishing a secondary cardholder at the local office as explained in B-232 through B-232.3.3, issuance staff also issues a Lone Star Card to the secondary cardholder. Use Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, and the Second Cardholder request form to serve as card issuance authorization. The secondary cardholder must come to the office and provide verification of identity to obtain the Lone Star Card.

B—233.5  Card Registration

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

Card registration is a process by which a cardholder requests account access for a new Lone Star Card. The Lone Star help desk staff normally completes this procedure and verifies the caller's identity before authorizing access.

A cardholder must register a new Lone Star Card (initial or replacement) by calling the Lone Star help desk if the card is:

  • mailed to the cardholder; or
  • given to someone other than the PCH.

Lone Star Cards issued directly to the PCH do not require registration.

B—233.5.1  Issuance Staff Procedures

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

When policy requires registration for a card HHSC issues at the local office, issuance staff places a registration sticker on the card and takes the actions in the following chart.

If ... then ...
mailing the card, provide a Lone Star Card mailer with it.
issuing the card to someone other than the PCH, explain that the PCH must call the Lone Star help desk to register the card after receiving it.

B—233.5.2  Special Card Registration Procedures

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

Staff must register a PCH's card if the cardholder has a barrier, such as hearing impairment or language barrier which prevents the PCH from registering the card through the regular Lone Star help desk process.

To complete registration of a Lone Star Card in the local office, the PCH must come to the office, verify the PCH’s identity, and show their card to the local office EBT site coordinator or designated staff (other than the EBT clerk). The coordinator/staff then:

  • completes Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, to authorize registration; and
  • gives it to the EBT clerk to register the card via the ATA. The EBT clerk verifies that the cardholder has the same card as shown on the ATA and changes the card status to "registered."

 

B—234  Personal Identification Number (PIN) Selection and Issuance

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

In addition to the Lone Star Card, a cardholder must have a PIN to access benefits in the household's EBT account(s). The cardholder selects their PIN through the Lone Star help desk AVR unit.

Exceptions:

  • If the individual has a barrier that prevents them from selecting a PIN, issue a pre-assigned PIN. Barriers include, but are not limited to:
    • a physical or mental disability;
    • the lack of access to a touchtone phone;
    • the unavailability of the AVR; or
    • the inability to use the AVR.

Accept the individual's statement regarding barriers that prevent them from self-selecting a PIN.

  • Centralized Benefit Services individuals will continue to receive PIN packets.

Local offices are encouraged to promote individual PIN self-selection to provide increased security and convenience for the cardholder and reduce the number of PIN packets issued and replaced. If possible, the local office allows the cardholder to use an office phone to complete PIN self-selection and provides training/assistance regarding the process upon individual request.

Ensure that the cardholder selects or receives a PIN when:

  • issuing the initial Lone Star Card;
  • the PIN is compromised; or
  • the cardholder forgets the PIN.

When the advisor postpones issuing a Lone Star card on a pended application, the advisor must also postpone the PIN self-selection/issuance process.

After initial PIN selection/issuance, a cardholder may select a new PIN at any time by calling the Lone Star help desk AVR unit.

Related Policy:
Special Certification Situations, B-240
Drug and Alcohol Treatment (D&A)/Group Living Arrangement (GLA) Facilities, B-440
Residents in Shelters for Battered Women, B-450
Prepared Meal Services, B-460

B—234.1  PIN Selection and Issuance Procedures

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

The advisor:

  • explains the PIN selection process during the initial interview;
  • determines if the individual has a barrier that prevents them from using this process;
  • completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, indicating the method; and
  • refers the PCH to issuance staff.

If the advisor postpones issuing a Lone Star Card on a pended application, the advisor must postpone sending Form H1172 to issuance staff. If the advisor later certifies the application, the advisor sends the completed Form H1172 indicating the method to issuance staff.

Follow the same procedures when establishing a secondary cardholder in the local office. In addition, use the Second Cardholder request form to serve as the PIN selection/issuance authorization. Send to the Data Processing Center (DPC) in Midland to be imaged and stored in the repository. The PCH must accompany the secondary cardholder to the local office to authorize PIN selection/issuance, except in the emergency situations in B-232.2, Secondary Cardholder Established by Issuance Staff.

If a cardholder has a problem remembering a pre-assigned PIN, encourage the individual to select their own PIN. If the PCH still has a problem remembering it, issuance staff refers the cardholder to the advisor for discussion about assigning a secondary cardholder.

A new PIN is not required for a Lone Star Card replacement unless the PIN has been forgotten or compromised.

B—234.2  Initial PIN Self-Selection Procedures

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

Before a cardholder self-selects a PIN, issuance staff explains that the individual must call the Lone Star help desk from a touch-tone phone and follow the prompts. Advise the cardholder to be prepared with a four-digit PIN that can be easily remember, the cardholder's biographical data, and their Lone Star Card.

B—234.2.1  Initial PIN Self-Selection Procedures for TANF Protective and Representative Payees

Revision 12-2; Effective April 1, 2012

TANF

If a TANF protective or representative payee will self-select a PIN, the advisor:

  • makes the appropriate entries on the Issuance – Details page by indicating there is an alternate payee and subsequently adding the TANF protective or representative payee to the Alternate Payee – Summary page; and
  • completes Part I of Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, and sends Form H1175 to the EBT clerk to enter additional data to the PCH record through the ATA.

At the time of disposition, advisors must ensure TIERS has successfully included the PCH record for the TANF protective or representative payee by reviewing the Issuance – Details page and the Alternate Payee – Summary page.

Note: Because the PCH must use biographical data to access PIN selection through the Lone Star help desk AVR system, the EBT clerk must enter the additional data to the PCH record using the Form H1175/ATA process. TIERS does not collect this data on TANF protective or representative payees; therefore, TIERS cannot send this information to the EBT system.

EBT staff securely files the signed, original Form H1175.

Follow all other regular procedures for PIN self-selection.

B—234.3  Initial PIN Issuance Procedures for Clients with Barriers that Prevent PIN Self-Selection

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

When the cardholder receives a pre-assigned PIN because of a barrier that prevents the individual from self-selecting a PIN, the advisor completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, and refers the individual to issuance staff. When issuing a PIN packet in the office, issuance staff verifies the identity of the person receiving the PIN packet to ensure the individual is the person listed on Form H1172.

If interviewing someone other than the PCH, the advisor gives a completed Form H1172 to issuance staff to request mail-out of a PIN packet to the PCH's address.

If a cardholder leaves the office without picking up a PIN packet or the advisor later certifies an application for which card and PIN issuance was postponed, issuance staff takes the actions listed in the following chart.

If the PCH ... then ...
has a secure mailing address,
  • mail the PIN packet separately from the Lone Star card to the PCH's address,* and
  • annotate this procedure on Form H1172.
does not have a secure mailing address,
  • annotate the bottom of Form H1172 to indicate that a PIN packet was not issued, and
  • send Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, to the Document Processing Center (DPC) in Midland for imaging.

*Exception: For expedited applications in situations that require mailing a PIN packet, the PCH may pick up the PIN packet in the office. If the PCH is unable to come to the office due to illness or disability:

  • establish the AR as a secondary cardholder following special procedures in B-232.3, Secondary Cardholders Established by the Advisor, if possible; or
  • issue the PCH's PIN to the AR with supervisory approval on Form H1172, documenting the need for this procedure.

If the cardholder returns for the PIN packet, issuance staff:

  • must complete and sign a new Form H1172; and
  • issue the PIN packet following regular procedures.

Note: Do not use whiteout on Form H1172. Draw a single line through error and make correction.

B—234.4  PIN Security

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

Instruct individuals that they should not:

  • write their PIN on their Lone Star Card sleeve;
  • keep their PIN near their Lone Star Card; or
  • share their PIN with anyone else.

B—235  Lone Star Card Replacement

Revision 14-4; Effective October 1, 2014

TANF and SNAP

An EBT vendor or HHSC replaces a Lone Star Card when a cardholder has an open EBT account and cannot access the account because the person’s Lone Star Card was lost or stolen or does not work properly.

If a primary or secondary cardholder reports a Lone Star Card is lost, stolen, damaged or not working, an EBT vendor mails the replacement card to the PCH's TIERS address within two calendar days of the request. If the TIERS address is not current, the help desk refers the individual to 2-1-1 to update the address.

In certain situations, the local office replaces Lone Star Cards. The same policies and procedures for replacing cards for PCHs apply to the secondary cardholders, except that the PCH must accompany the secondary cardholder to the local office to authorize the replacement, as required in B-232.2, Secondary Cardholder Established by Issuance Staff.

SNAP

In an effort to reduce trafficking, the EBT vendor tracks the number of replacement cards issued in a 12-month period. After the initial card issuance to a PCH or secondary cardholder, when a household requests four replacement cards within 12 months, the EBT vendor produces a report for the print vendor. The print vendor sends the household an excessive replacement card notice. The notice advises the household that:

  • four replacement cards were issued in a 12-month period; and
  • if the household requests a fifth replacement card, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) will receive notification and may investigate the case.

The notice also provides a reminder of what constitutes trafficking.

The excessive replacement card notice directs households to contact 2-1-1 for any questions regarding the notice. Households inquiring about the notice at local offices should be reminded of appropriate EBT card use and the penalties for trafficking.

The EBT vendor produces a monthly report for OIG identifying households that request a fifth replacement card.

B—235.1  Lone Star Card Replacement Procedures

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

When a cardholder contacts the local office to request Lone Star Card replacement, determine the correct action using the following chart.

If the card ... then ...
does not work, issuance staff inquire on the ATA to ensure the card is correctly connected to the account. If the card history reflects a card status of ALLOCATED, issuance staff replaces the card using the "Issue New Card and PIN" function of the ATA. Do not require Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request.
was destroyed in a household disaster as described in B-344, Destroyed Food issuance staff replace the card only if the household needs access to its account immediately and cannot wait for a replacement by mail. Verify the disaster as explained in B-344.
is lost or stolen, refer the individual to the Lone Star help desk. Help desk staff freeze the individual's Lone Star Card and send a replacement by mail.*

*Exceptions: Issuance staff replace Lone Star Cards via the ATA for individuals, including CBS recipients, if:

  • the household is certified for a SNAP application that requires a priority issuance. The advisor refers the individual to issuance staff for an immediate replacement. To provide a written referral, the advisor may annotate in the comment section of Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, "Priority Issuance - card replacement needed." The local office cannot require an appointment to replace the card in this situation.
  • the individual cannot obtain a replacement from the Lone Star help desk staff because the EBT system does not reflect the cardholder's correct biographical information or current mailing address.
  • the household does not have a secure mailing address. A local eligibility determination office is not a secure mailing address for this purpose.
  • the individual has not received a previously requested replacement from the Lone Star help desk within seven calendar days after the order date reflected on the ATA. Staff must highlight these replacements on Form H1173, EBT Card Issuance and PIN Self-Selection/Issuance Log, and report them to the regional director or designee at the end of each month.

When replacing Lone Star Cards, do not require Form H1172. Issuance staff verifies the identity of the person requesting the replacement and logs the replacement on Form H1173. See Form H1173 instructions.

B—236  PIN Replacement

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

If the cardholder reports they forgot their PIN or it is compromised, refer the cardholder to the Lone Star help desk AVR to select a PIN. If the cardholder is unable to self-select a PIN after two attempts, a help desk operator offers to:

  • provide training/assistance in the PIN self-selection process; or
  • mail a PIN packet to the PCH's address if the individual has a barrier that prevents them from self-selecting a PIN.

If the cardholder is unable to self-select his PIN because incorrect biographical data was entered, the AVR refers the individual to the local office for PIN replacement.

B—236.1  PIN Replacement Procedures

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

When a cardholder requests a PIN replacement, use the procedures in the following chart.

If the cardholder ... then ...
reports that their PIN is compromised,* or forgets their PIN,* refer the cardholder to the Lone Star help desk to select their PIN through the AVR.
reveals their PIN to staff, issuance staff must immediately have the individual self-select a new PIN.

*Exception: Issuance staff use the ATA to replace the PIN with a PIN packet if an individual has a barrier that prevents them from self-selecting a PIN for these situations and in each situation described under the exceptions for card replacement.


When replacing a PIN in the local office, issuance staff must verify the identity of the person requesting the replacement.

B—237  Returned Lone Star Cards and PIN Packets

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

When Lone Star Cards or PIN packets are returned to the office, issuance staff logs the card/PIN packet as returned on Form H1173, EBT Card Issuance and PIN Self-Selection/Issuance Log. A person designated in the regional security procedures immediately destroys and disposes of the card/PIN packet before a witness. See the Security and Accountability Handbook.

If the Lone Star Card is returned ... then the local office ...
in person,
  • determines the reason for the return, and
  • takes the appropriate case action.
by mail, takes the appropriate case action to ensure the address is current.

B—238  Erroneous PIN Entry

Revision 01-5; Effective July 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

If someone makes five attempts in a 24-hour period to use a Lone Star card with the wrong PIN, the system temporarily deactivates the card. This security measure helps to prevent fraudulent use of a stolen card. To reactivate the card:

  • the cardholder must call the Lone Star help desk; or
  • issuance staff reset the PIN count using the ATA.

B—239  Client EBT Training Policy

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

HHSC must instruct the cardholder about their rights and responsibilities related to EBT.

B—239.1  Advisor Interview Requirements for Client Training

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

The advisor gives the individual:

The advisor also discusses the following issuance-related items with applicants during the interview, even if the application is pended:

  • the need for a Lone Star Card and PIN as explained in B-233, Issuing a Lone Star Card, and B-234, Personal Identification Number (PIN) Selection and Issuance;
  • how and where to use the Lone Star Card, including the use of TANF and/or SNAP benefits and keeping receipts;
  • availability and procedures for designating secondary cardholders;
  • availability of initial and ongoing benefits (Circle/highlight the cardholder's specific TANF and/or SNAP availability date on Form H1184, Benefit Issuance Schedule.);
  • Lone Star Card and PIN security and responsibility for benefits in the EBT account;
  • when to contact the advisor/clerk vs. card issuance staff or EBT vendor (Point out written explanations on Form H1019, Report of Change, and on Form H1185, Welcome to Your Lone Star Card, or Form H1185-S.);
  • dormant account procedures;
  • cashing out TANF benefits before moving out of Texas and procedures for using the Lone Star Card to access TANF and/or SNAP benefits in other states as explained in B-351, Moves Out of State; and
  • advising the individual to read the training pamphlet while waiting for card and/or PIN issuance and ask issuance staff if they still have questions about EBT.

B—239.1.1  TANF Client Cash-Back Fee Policy

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF

The advisor uses Form H1182, TANF Client Fee Notification Letter, to explain the TANF cash-back fee policy to the individual as follows:

  • For SNAP, there is never a fee.
  • For TANF, there is never a fee for
    • a purchase,
    • a cash withdrawal with a purchase,
    • a cash only withdrawal under $50, or
    • the first two cash-only withdrawals of $50 or more per cash account per calendar month.
  • After the second cash-only withdrawal of $50 or more in a calendar month, stores may choose to charge a fee of up to 50 cents for each additional cash only withdrawal of $50 or more.
  • The store subtracts the fee from the cash the cardholder requests.
  • The individual may determine if the store can charge a fee for a cash withdrawal based on the authorization number on the receipt. Use the following chart from Form H1182 to explain this policy to individual.
If the receipt shows ... then ...
a six-digit authorization number, there is no fee.
a T before the authorization number, the transaction counts as one of the two "free" withdrawals that month.
a C before the authorization number, the store may choose to charge a fee.


B—239.2  Issuance Staff Requirements for Client Training

Revision 04-3; Effective April 1, 2004

TANF and SNAP

Issuance staff gives the PCH or person interviewed:

When the local office establishes someone as a secondary cardholder, issuance staff provides the person with all the training materials except the Second Cardholder request form.

Issuance staff also provides more detailed training if the cardholder requests it or does not understand how to use the Lone Star Card.

B—240  Special Certification Situations

Revision 04-3; Effective April 1, 2004

TANF and SNAP

Follow the procedures in this section for households with special needs.

Related Policy
Drug and Alcohol Treatment (D&A)/Group Living Arrangement (GLA) Facilities, B-440 Residents in Shelters for Battered Women, B-450
Prepared Meal Services, B-460

B—241  Applications Processed by Hospital-Based Advisors

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

As specified in the regional security procedures, use the following local office procedures for the EBT activities listed:

  • Lone Star Card issuance and PIN self-selection/issuance – use procedures in B-233, Issuing a Lone Star Card, and B-234, Personal Identification Number (PIN) Selection and Issuance; and
  • transmittal of PAN and, if applicable, PIN control number via Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, to issuance staff for data entry.

B—242  Itinerant Advisor Site

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

As specified in the regional security procedures, use the following local office procedures for the EBT activities listed:

  • Lone Star Card issuance and PIN self-selection/issuance – use procedures in B-233.2.3, Applicants Interviewed by Home Visit; and
  • transmittal of PAN and, if applicable, PIN control number via Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, to issuance staff for data entry.

B—242.1  Expedited Applications

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

If the individual is entitled to expedited SNAP benefits, staff:

  • issues the Lone Star Card and training material;
  • asks the individual to select a PIN through the Lone Star help desk AVR or issues a pre-assigned PIN packet if the individual has a barrier that prevents the individual from self-selecting a PIN;
  • obtains the individual's signature on Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, to verify:
    • the PAN number of the Lone Star Card;
    • the PIN control number, if applicable; and
    • that the PIN packet was secure and intact when received, if applicable; and
  • ensures:
    • the PCH record is created;
    • PAN is entered;
    • PCN is entered, if applicable; and
    • benefits are issued the same day.

B—242.2  Card/PIN Replacements

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

If an individual served by an itinerant advisor contacts the local office and qualifies for a replacement card and/or PIN from the local office, the individual has two options for local office replacement:

  • the individual may travel to the nearest eligibility determination office to get the replacement, or
  • the individual can have the advisor bring a replacement during the next visit to the itinerant site. EBT staff records the replacement on Form H1173, EBT Card Issuance and PIN Self-Selection/Issuance Log, with an "R" code on the left margin. The EBT clerk must data enter the replacement PAN and/or PCN into the ATA upon the advisor's return to the office.

Note: The individual may also choose to obtain the replacement card via the Lone Star help desk and/or self-select a PIN through the help desk AVR.

B—243  CBS Cases

Revision 04-3; Effective April 1, 2004

SNAP

Follow procedures in this section for Centralized Benefit Services (CBS) cases.

Related Policy:
Centralized Benefit Services Section, B-475

B—243.1 CBS Case Changes

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

Local office staff must not attempt to:

  • issue benefits on a CBS case;
  • make other changes to a CBS case; or
  • make changes to the biographical data of a CBS individual.

When regional staff dispose a case when a SNAP-SSI or SNAP-CAP EDG is present, TIERS will not allow the advisor to dispose the CBS EDG. A task is generated for CBS staff to dispose the CBS EDG on the same day. If the client has lost SSI benefits, the EDG would no longer be considered SNAP-SSI or SNAP-CAP, and can be disposed by non-CBS staff.

B—243.2  Initial Lone Star Card and PIN Issuance for New PCHs

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

CBS makes a change on a SNAP EDG requiring a new PCH record when a household:

  • is assigned a new EDG name; or
  • moves in or out of a D&A treatment center or GLA that serves as an AR.

When CBS sends a new Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Combined Application Project (SNAP-CAP) PCH record to the EBT system, the EBT vendor responsible for card issuance automatically mails the new cardholder a Lone Star Card, PIN, and training material.

CBS staff also have the capability to send a request through the ATA, which authorizes the EBT vendor to mail a Lone Star Card and EBT training materials (and PIN packet, if desired) to a new PCH.

B—243.3  Lone Star Card Replacement

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

When a CBS case cardholder requests a Lone Star Card replacement, the individual must call the Lone Star help desk to request a replacement by mail.

Exception: CBS individuals may obtain replacement Lone Star Cards in the local office if they meet those replacement criteria. See B-235.1, Lone Star Card Replacement Procedures.

B—243.4  PIN Replacement

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

When a CBS case cardholder requests a PIN replacement, the individual must call the Lone Star help desk AVR to select his PIN.

Exception: CBS individuals may obtain PIN replacements in the local office if they meet those replacement criteria. See B-235.1, Lone Star Card Replacement Procedures, and B-236.1, PIN Replacement Procedures.

If the cardholder is unable to self-select a PIN after two attempts, a help desk operator offers to:

  • provide training/assistance in the PIN self-selection process; or
  • mail a PIN packet to the PCH's address if the individual has a barrier that prevents the individual from self-selecting a PIN.

B—244  Homeless

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

If the office permits homeless individuals to use the local eligibility determination office as their mailing address, the office must follow their regional security procedures to process EBT-related mail. Staff must also advise these individuals to come to the local office if they require a Lone Star Card or PIN replacement.

SNAP

Homeless individuals may use SNAP benefits to purchase prepared meals. For procedures, refer to B-463, Prepared Meals for Homeless.

B—245 SNAP Applications Filed with the Social Security Administration (SSA)

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

The advisor must follow procedures for phone interviews. See B-233.2.2, Applicants Interviewed by Phone.

B—250  EBT Benefit Issuance

Revision 05-4; Effective August 1, 2005

TANF and SNAP

HHSC credits benefits to the cash or food account by sending a benefit record to the EBT system. This section describes the availability of those benefits for use by the cardholder.

B—251  Monthly Benefit Issuance Schedule

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

HHSC sends the files of benefit records for monthly issuances to the EBT system after cutoff each month.

TANF

TANF monthly benefits issued via EBT are available on a staggered basis over the first three days of the month, based on the last number in the EDG number, as follows:

Last digit of TANF EDG number Day
0, 1, 2, 3 1
4, 5, 6 2
7, 8, 9 3

SNAP

SNAP monthly benefits are available on a staggered basis over the first 15 days of the month, based on the last number in the EDG number, as follows:

Last digit of the SNAP EDG number Day
0 1
1 3
2 5
3 6
4 7
5 9
6 11
7 12
8 13
9 15

B—252  Benefit Issuance on Applications

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Provide benefits according to the timeliness standards in B-112, Deadlines. Benefit issuances for certified applications are available immediately upon being credited to the account. Benefits requested after cutoff for the next month are available on the first day of the next month, except for SNAP-combined allotments.

SNAP

The advisor may issue EBT SNAP benefits very quickly in situations that meet the HHSC criteria for a priority issuance. Request priority issuances only for SNAP benefits in three situations:

  • expedited applications,
  • regular applications certified on or after the 25th day, and
  • benefits ordered by a hearing officer decision that requires a priority issuance to meet timeliness requirements.

The system credits benefits to the individual's account within one hour.

B—253  Methods for Sending Benefit Records

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

There are two ways to send a benefit record to the EBT system. TANF benefit records are sent only from TIERS. SNAP benefit records are normally sent only from TIERS, but priority issuances may also be sent by manual ATA entry.

  1. TIERS — This is the primary method of sending TANF and SNAP benefit records to the EBT system to credit a benefit to the individual's account.
    • Real time interface – credits the account right away, or
    • Overnight batch file – credits the account by the next day. 
  1. Manual ATA entry — Use this process only to issue priority SNAP benefits when TIERS is unavailable.

Note: Manual ATA entry must have supervisor approval.

TANF and SNAP

When the advisor certifies an application, the EBT system credits:

  • SNAP priority issuances to the individual's account within one hour after EDG disposition; and
  • TANF benefits and SNAP benefits that are not priority issuances to the individual's account by 8 a.m. CST the day after EDG is disposed.

B—254 Benefit Issuance When TIERS is Unavailable

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

There are two different types of “TIERS unavailable” cases.

  • TIERS Down – TIERS is completely unavailable and the application/case cannot be accessed.
  • TIERS Read-Only – TIERS is in read-only mode and workers can access TIERS.

When TIERS is Down or is Read-Only, staff must:

  • perform interview,
  • manually complete essential information on appropriate handbook forms,
  • provide client with manual notice, and
  • enter information into TIERS Data Collection pages once TIERS becomes available.

B—254.1  Priority Issuances

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

When TIERS is Down or is Read-Only, staff must:

  • obtain the individual's signature on Form H1855, Affidavit for Nonreceipt or Destroyed Food Stamp Benefits,
  • complete Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, for ATA entry,
  • receive approval by supervisor and EBT regional coordinator, and
  • send all case-related information and forms to the Data Processing Center for imaging.

When TIERS becomes available (fully operational), staff must complete data entry of case materials in TIERS and follow the normal flow for missing information received after an interview.

Staff designated in the regional security procedures must reconcile ATA benefit record entries.

B—255 Priority Issuances Using the ATA

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

To send the benefit record via ATA data entry, the advisor

  • obtains the individual's signature on Form H1855, Affidavit for Nonreceipt or Destroyed Food Stamp Benefits,
  • completes Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, for ATA entry, and
  • receives approval by supervisor and EBT regional coordinator.

Staff designated in the regional security procedures must reconcile ATA benefit record entries.

B—256  Discrepancies on Benefit Records Sent via the ATA

Revision 14-2; Effective April 1, 2014

SNAP

When there is a discrepancy between the benefit records in TIERS and the EBT system, use the following chart to determine how actions are processed in TIERS and the EBT system.

If the benefit amount reported to TIERS is ... then ...
more than the amount authorized on the ATA,
the EBT system updates the household's benefit account to reflect the amount reported in TIERS.
less than the amount authorized on the ATA,
the TF-07E-01 EBT Reconciliation Exception Report is produced and sent to the EBT regional coordinators for distribution.

Related Policy
TF-07E-01, EBT Reconciliation Exception, B-262.5
Advisor Action on TF-07E-01, B-262.5.1

B—260  Administrative Terminal Application (ATA)

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

The ATA allows direct access to the EBT system through a web-based program. Designated staff, other than the EBT clerk, must complete Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, or Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, to authorize action on the ATA.

B—261  ATA Functions

Revision 02-1; Effective January 1, 2002

TANF and SNAP

Designated staff uses the ATA to perform authorized functions. There are multiple functions that can be performed using the ATA; therefore, there are multiple levels of access secured by individual sign-on IDs.

B—261.1  Issuing a Lone Star Card and PIN or Enabling PIN Self-Selection

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

Designated local office staff uses the ATA to issue Lone Star Cards and/or PINs or enable PIN self-selection when

  • establishing a new PCH,
  • replacing a Lone Star Card and/or PIN, or
  • establishing a secondary cardholder in the local office.

The advisor completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, Part I, to

  • request issuance of a Lone Star Card, and/or
  • indicate that the cardholder will select their PIN, or
  • request issuance of a PIN.

B—261.2  Creating a Cardholder Record

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

Designated staff uses the ATA to create a secondary cardholder record in the local office.

The advisor completes Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, Part I, to establish a new cardholder record via the ATA.

B—261.3  Splitting and Merging Primary Cardholder Records

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

Designated local office staff uses the ATA to split and/or merge PCH records.

B—261.3.1 Splitting Primary Cardholder Records

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

Designated staff uses the ATA to split primary cardholder records when EBT accounts are incorrectly linked.

This usually occurs when the advisor fails to correctly reassign a denied TANF EDG number. As a result, the EBT system links the food account to a cash account with a denied EDG number.

The advisor completes Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, Part IV, to request that designated staff separate the incorrectly linked accounts.

B—261.3.2  Merging Primary Cardholder Records

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

Designated local office staff uses the ATA to merge PCH records when the EBT system cannot link them because of discrepancies in the cardholder's biographical data.

This occurs when the advisor does not correctly match EDG name, DOB, sex, or SSN on a individual's TANF and SNAP EDG. As a result, the EBT system cannot merge the two PCH records into one record with a link to both accounts and the cardholder needs a Lone Star card for each account.

If the individual wants to use one card to access both accounts, the advisor completes Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, Part V, to authorize the merge. Before doing so, the advisor must update TIERS to make the cardholder data identical on the TANF and SNAP EDGs. When the cardholder has one card for the cash account and another for the food account before the merge, the ATA user indicates which card the individual wants to use. After completing the merge, the EBT system automatically disables the card not chosen and it must be destroyed.

Note: Do not attempt a merge if the individual has any outstanding manual voucher purchases that must be reconciled by the EBT vendor. If the ATA displays the message, "NEED TO SETTLE OUTSTANDING VOICE AUTHORIZATION," notify the EBT site coordinator.

B—261.4  Updating a Primary Cardholder Record

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

When data on the PCH record needs to be updated on the EBT system, issuance staff use the ATA to update it if the cardholder's EDG is no longer active in TIERS.

The advisor completes Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, Part III, to authorize the PCH record update via the ATA.

B—261.5  Creating a SNAP Benefit Record

Revision 01-7; Effective October 1, 2001

SNAP

HHSC strictly limits the use of the ATA for SNAP benefit authorization to system downtime that prevents the timely issuance of priority SNAP benefits, or as specified in the regional security procedures.

Advisors must complete Form H1175 , Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, Part II, to authorize benefit data entry into the ATA following established sign-off procedures.

Designated staff completes ATA data entry only after receipt of Form H1175.

B—261.6  Performing ATA Inquiry

Revision 01-7; Effective October 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Designated local office staff uses the ATA to perform benefit record inquiry or validate that a particular Lone Star Card is active. The advisor completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, Part I, to request validation of a previously issued Lone Star Card.

Designated regional staff uses the ATA to perform transaction history inquiry.

B—261.7  Changing an EDG Number

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

TANF and SNAP

Designated Lone Star Business Services (LSBS) staff in state office uses the ATA to change the EDG number when the local office establishes an EBT account with the wrong EDG number on the EBT system.

Designated local office staff notify the EBT regional coordinator to request the EDG number change. Follow regional and local office procedures to forward a written request to designated LSBS staff.

B—261.8  Requiring Card Registration or Registering a Lone Star Card

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

This section explains when designated local office staff uses the ATA to require card registration or register a Lone Star Card.

B—261.8.1  Requiring Card Registration

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Designated local office staff uses the ATA to require card registration when

  • issuing a card to someone other than the PCH, or
  • mailing a card.

B—261.8.2  Registering a Lone Star Card

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Designated local office staff uses the ATA to register a Lone Star card if using the special procedures for a PCH with a barrier that prevents him from registering his card through the regular Lone Star help desk process.

If ... then ...
  • issuing a card to someone other than the PCH, or
  • mailing a card,
the advisor completes Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, Part I, indicating that card registration is required.
using the special procedures for a PCH with a barrier that prevents him from registering his card through the regular help desk process, the local office EBT site coordinator or designated staff, other than the EBT clerk, completes Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, Part VII, to authorize registration.

B—261.9  Reactivating a Lone Star Card

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Lone Star help desk staff or designated local office staff uses the ATA to reset the PIN count and reactivate a card that was deactivated because the cardholder entered the wrong PIN five times in a 24-hour period.

B—262  Reconciliation

Revision 01-7; Effective October 1, 2001

This section provides general information about reconciliation. For details, see the Security and Accountability Handbook.

B—262.1  Reconciling ATA Benefit Records to Forms H1175

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

Each day EBT staff designated in the regional security procedures prints the local Administrative Terminal Report. This report contains a list of benefit records manually entered on the ATA, sorted by ATA user. A designated individual(s) must check these entries against Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, on a daily basis to ensure accuracy.

B—262.2 Reconciling Benefit Records

Revision 14-2; Effective April 1, 2014

SNAP

Each day EBT staff use the list of benefit issuances on the Administrative Terminal Report to reconcile the ATA benefit record entries with Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, within five days to correspond to the benefit records sent via the ATA, state office sends exception reports (TF-07E-01/TG-37E-1) to field offices to clear within established time frames. Regional monitoring and tracking procedures apply.

To avoid exception reports, EBT staff must ensure that advisors report issuances via TIERS within three working days.

B—262.3  Reconciling ATA Card Issuances to Form H1172

Revision 01-7; Effective October 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

Each day, designated staff uses the list of card issuances on the Administrative Terminal Report to reconcile cards issued with Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request.

If the office has problems reconciling these, staff report the problem to the supervisor and to the regional EBT security staff, if necessary, to complete reconciliation.

B—262.4 TF-36, More Than One SNAP Benefit Authorized

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

After all issuances for a benefit month have been reconciled, state office produces TF-36 and sends copies to the Fiscal Division and the regional director.

B—262.4.1 Advisor Action on TF-36

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

Review each SNAP EDG listed on the report to determine how the duplicate issuance occurred (individual error, suspected fraud, coding error), and if applicable, whether the household correctly completed Form H1855, Affidavit for Non-receipt or Destroyed Food Stamp Benefits, before the duplicate issuance.

If there is an overpayment and ... then ...
a signed Form H1855, submit Form H4834, Individual or Recipient Provider Fraud Referral/Status Report, with the original Form H1855 to the regional Office of Program Integrity, Claims Investigation.
no signed Form H1855, initiate a nonfraud recovery. Refer to B-720, How to File Claims.

After each multiple issuance is reviewed, report individual case findings and recovery actions to the regional TF-36 coordinator.

B—262.5  TF-07E-01, EBT Reconciliation Exception

Revision 14-2; Effective April 1, 2014

SNAP

When an ATA issuance cannot be reconciled with the TIERS database, state office generates and sends a TF-07E-01 to the supervisor of the employee who processed the last case action. This report serves as the clearance document to report case findings and actions taken.

B—262.5.1  Advisor Action on TF-07E-01

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

Check the case record to determine

  • the reason for the reconciliation exception, and
  • if the amount of benefits provided to the household is correct.
If the amount of benefits is incorrect because of an ... then ...
overpayment, initiate recovery. See B-720, How to File Claims.
underpayment, restore benefits. See B-800, Restored Benefits.

B—263  Security

Revision 01-3; Effective April 1, 2001

TANF and SNAP

HHSC allows only authorized staff with special permissions to enter data onto the ATA. Staff are designated by office and they must ensure that information entered remains confidential.

HHSC controls the level of access by the sign-on ID of the individual user. Designated employees have authorizations that allow updates to all or part of the system. Other users have inquiry access only.

Refer to the Security and Accountability Handbook for additional information on security.

B—270  Management of Automation Processes

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

The EBT regional coordinator for each region reviews information for each user on a monthly basis and provides verification to Lone Star Business Services by the 15th of each month.

B—280  EBT Material Inventory/Distribution

Revision 04-7; Effective October 1, 2004

B—281  Vendor-Produced Material

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

An EBT vendor provides supplies of most EBT-related materials, including:

  • Lone Star Cards;
  • PIN packets;
  • Lone Star Card registration stickers;
  • Lone Star Card mailers;
  • Lone Star Card sleeves;
  • Secondary cardholder request forms;
  • EBT vendor envelopes; and
  • Request for Lone Star materials forms.

To order vendor-produced items, designated local office staff completes a serially numbered request for Lone Star materials and sends it to:

  • the EBT regional coordinator if ordering secure items; or
  • authorized regional staff if ordering non-security items.

The EBT regional coordinator or authorized regional staff faxes the order to the vendor. Refer to the Security and Accountability Handbook for specific requirements for security and accountability Lone Star Cards and PIN packets.

B—282  HHSC-Produced Training Material

Revision 04-7; Effective October 1, 2004

The HHSC-produced training materials include

Field staff orders these materials through the regular regional procedures for ordering forms.