Testimony on Eliminating Finger Imaging for Food Stamps

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Celia Cole /(512) 320-0222 x110

March 23, 2011

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When finger imaging was first implemented, the eligibility determination process for food stamps was paper-based. At that time, there was no way for the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to electronically verify an applicant’s identify to prevent that person from applying for benefits more than once. HHSC has since deployed the TIERS system and introduced electronic third-party verification using sources such as Data Broker and other electronic interfaces. This technology provides HHSC with more cost-effective tools to verify applicant information and confirm identify.

Celia Cole provided testimony to the House Committee on Human Services on HB 710, explaining that the finger imaging requirement for food stamps both undermines HHSC’s efforts to develop more efficient eligibility and enrollment processes, and costs the state of Texas millions in crucial taxpayer dollars.