PUBLIC BENEFITS: ELIGIBILITY/ENROLLMENT DELIVERY


The center focuses on health care access, immigrants' access to services, food and nutrition, the state's eligibility and enrollment system, and TANF.

Recent Eligibility/Enrollment Delivery Publications

Statement on HHSC Earning $6.2 Million in Incentives for Accuracy in SNAP Payments (06/16/2011)

Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack awarded performance bonuses to the states with the best payment accuracy rates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) in fiscal 2010. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) earned $6.2 million in payment incentives for its performance in two categories: best payment accuracy and most improved payment accuracy. Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) Senior Policy Analyst Celia Cole released the following statement.

“CPPP applauds HHSC Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs for his leadership, and HHSC’s frontline staff for their hard work in achieving this recognition. At 97.87 percent, Texas’ payment accuracy rate was above the national average of 96.19 percent. (Payment accuracy is measured by the amount of benefits issued accurately as a share of total benefits issued.) And at 4.77 percent, Texas’ tops the nation in most improved accuracy rate."

Testimony on Eliminating Finger Imaging for Food Stamps (03/23/2011)

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.

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