FAA5.J Benefit Replacement and EBT Cards : 04 EBT Benefit Issuance and Availability
EBT Benefit Issuance and Availability
Information on this page refers to the Nutrition Assistance program Information on this page refers to the Cash Assistance program
Regular monthly NA benefits are available on different days of the month, depending on the Primary Informant’s last name. Immediate access to benefits may be requested when benefits cannot be available to the participant by the timely approval date.
Policy
Issuance and Availability
Regular monthly NA benefits are available at staggered availability dates. Benefits are electronically transmitted to an account accessed by the participant's EBT QUEST card. CA benefits are made available on the 1st of each month.
Benefits authorized after the normal monthly issuance run are available to the participant by 5:00 a.m. on the day following authorization of the benefits (Monday through Saturday).
Immediate access to benefits may be requested when benefits cannot be available to the participant by any of the following:
Expedited NA benefits by the seventh calendar day(g)
Non-expedited NA benefits by the 30th calendar day
CA benefits by the 45th calendar day
Issuance of emergency benefits by customer service is required in certain situations. These situations include, and are not limited to, any of the following:
Expedited NA benefits are approved on the seventh calendar day.
The participant has an urgent need and any of the following occurred:
The agency’s action deauthorized the benefits
The application was processed untimely
EBT 10% Cash Assistance Out of State Usage
When more than 10% of a budgetary unit’s CA benefit is used out of state, a review of the case is completed. CA usage includes all CA purchases and withdrawals made during the prior six months.
On the second calendar day of each month, a report is generated. The report identifies cases that have more than 10% out of state (OOS) CA benefit usage in the prior six months.
CA cases identified in the report are sent a notice. The notice informs the participant that they must contact FAA to review their OOS usage. When the participant does not respond to the notice the CA closure notice is sent. The closure notice informs the participant that their CA case has been closed for failure to contact the agency.
When the participant calls the HEAplus Help Desk at (855) 432-7587, the participant is required to authenticate themselves. Once the participant authenticates, the call is routed to Research & Analysis (R&A) to discuss the reason for the CA OOS usage.
When a participant is unable to authenticate themselves, the participant is routed to the HEAplus Helpdesk or the Customer Care Center depending on the option selected. When the participant’s identity is authenticated, the call is transferred to R&A. When unable to authenticate identity, the participant is advised to go into an FAA office.
When the notice is mailed and the participant contacts FAA on or after the effective date of closure, the participant is advised of all of the following:
The participant must reapply.
The participant has the right to file an appeal.
The participant must comply by providing their reason for the OOS spending before a CA eligibility determination is completed.
Arizona Residency Change
When an EBT Primary Payee moves out of Arizona, they can use their EBT card all over the country at retailers and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) displaying the QUEST symbol. All states use EBT, and all states have banks and merchants with the ability to access EBT accounts from other states, including Arizona.
When a cardholder requests to receive the remaining NA, CA, or ST benefits, advise them that they can access their NA benefits at most food retailers, and they can access their CA benefits at any bank, retailer, or ATM that displays the QUEST symbol.
When the cardholder does not remember their EBT Personal Identification Number (PIN) or does not have an EBT card, the cardholder must call the Fidelity Information Services (FIS) Automated Response Unit (ARU) to request a new PIN or replacement card. (See EBT Customer Service 24-Hour Hotline)
The EBT card does not expire when a case is closed. The participant is entitled to use funds remaining in the account after the case is closed.
Participants are encouraged to keep their EBT cards when their NA or CA case is closed. The same card can be used when the participant becomes eligible for benefits at a later date.
When the cardholder has not accessed their NA benefits for 274 calendar days and CA benefits for 180 calendar days, from the last date of benefit activity, the EBT benefits are expunged. The cardholder loses all rights to regain those EBT benefits.
EBT Account Adjustments
An adjustment to an EBT account is completed to correct an auditable EBT transaction system error. Benefit adjustments are processed as a result of any of the following EBT account transaction system errors:
Account debited for goods not purchased
Account debited for an incorrect amount
Account not debited for goods taken
Incorrect ATM cash withdrawal amount
An EBT account adjustment may be requested by the participant or a retailer by contacting FIS ARU within one of the following time frames:
A participant must contact FIS to request a credit adjustment within 90 calendar days of the date the EBT transaction occurred.
A retailer must request a debit to the participant’s EBT account within 15 calendar days of the date the EBT transaction occurred.
EBT Account Adjustments - Processing
EBT transaction system errors are processed by the Fidelity Information Services (FIS) EBT Adjustment Research Department (ARD). FIS must respond to an adjustment request within 15 calendar days of the receipt of a request.
When an EBT adjustment request is received, the ARD completes all of the following:
Contacts the third-party processor (TPP) or financial institution that provided the groceries or cash and obtains proof of the transaction.
Validates whether a system error occurred.
Credits the participant’s EBT account when the system error is confirmed.
Sends an email to FAA EBT Support when a participant’s request for a credit adjustment has been denied.
On the day FAA EBT Support learns of a credit denial but no later than the following workday(g), FAA EBT Support sends the participant the EBT Account Adjustment Credit notice informing the participant of all of the following:
The request for an EBT account credit has been denied and the program.
The name and address of the retailer where the transaction occurred.
The date the transaction occurred.
The credit amount requested by the participant.
The PI or representative’s right to file an appeal within 15 calendar days of the date of the notice.
Each workday FAA EBT Support retrieves EBT account adjustment reports from the FIS portal. On the day the report is retrieved, but no later than the following workday, FAA EBT Support sends the participant a notice. The notice informs the PI of all of the following:
A system error occurred, and the EBT account is being debited.
The name and address of the retailer where the transaction occurred.
The date the transaction occurred.
The amount of the transaction to be debited.
The PI or representative’s right to file an appeal within 15 calendar days from the date of the notice.
When an appeal is requested within 15 calendar days from the date of the notice, the Appeals Processing Unit (APU) notifies FAA EBT Support via email. FAA EBT Support in turn notifies FIS. FIS then places a hold on the debit pending the hearing decision.
When FIS is notified of the appeal and has already debited the account, FIS credits the amount back to the account pending the hearing decision.
When a participant does not request an appeal within the 15 calendar days or a hearing decision affirms a retailer’s debit request, FIS attempts to debit the system error amount.
When insufficient benefits are remaining to cover the full amount, the debit adjustment is attempted to the household’s next future month’s benefits.
The adjustment amounts are equal to the amount of the original error transaction.
EBT Overpayment Claims
Overpayment claims are written and forwarded to the Office of Accounts Receivable and Collections (OARC) per policy and procedures.
EBT Primary Payees can pay overpayment claim balances with their cash or NA benefits. Benefits from the cash EBT account can be used to pay NA, CA, or ST overpayments, but benefits from the NA EBT account can only be used to pay NA overpayments.
EBT benefits are considered available to the cardholder once they are transferred into the EBT account and cannot be returned to prevent an overpayment.
EBT Overpayment Claims - Recoupment
The EBT Primary Payee may request recoupment for any of the following reasons, to complete any of the following appropriate EBT recoupment procedures:
To pay an NA overpayment claim balance using cash benefits
To pay an NA overpayment claim balance using Aged NA benefits ten calendar days after the notice is issued
To pay an amount greater than what is currently being recouped from an existing overpayment claim
To prevent an overpayment when the cardholder becomes ineligible in the current month after benefits have been transferred into the EBT account
Legal Authorities
last revised 09/26/2022
EBCM PIN Maintenance