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Correspondence WIC EBT

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The following emails have been sent to the system developers in which we have email addresses. If you would like a copy of the attachments referenced in the emails, please send a request to WICEBTsupport@dshs.state.tx.us.

New Texas WIC EBT Specifications
Email sent August 12, 2008

WIC Vendor Agreement and WIC EBT Addendum
Email sent August 27, 2008

Fruits and Vegetables CVV Benefit Maximization (#1)
Email sent September 5, 2008

Notification of weekly Conference Calls
Email sent October 2, 2008

Fruits and Vegetables CVV Benefit Maximization (#2)
Email sent October 17, 2008

Notification of FAQ Posting
Email sent October 27, 2008

Fruits and Vegetables CVV Benefit Maximization (#3)
Email sent October 28, 2008

WIC CVV APL Available
Email sent November 5, 2008

GS1 Standard for Check Digit Calculation
Email sent December 3, 2008

12/22/08 and 12/29/08 CVV Conference Calls Cancelled
Email sent December 18, 2008

01/19/09 CVV Conference Call Cancellation
Email sent January 14, 2009

May 1, 2009 Test APL for CVV
Email sent January 15, 2009

Joint Authority test scripts for CVV functionality
Email sent January 16, 2009

RE: May 1, 2009 Test APL for CVV
Email sent January 21, 2009

RE: May 1, 2009 Test APL for CVV (revised 1-22-09)
Email sent January 22, 2009

WIC Food Package Revisions and ECR Configurations Vendor News Flash
Email sent February 9, 2009

02/19/09 Conference Call Cancellation
Email sent February 9, 2009

Revised joint authority test scripts for CVV functionality
Email sent February 27, 2009

In-Store Certification Process
Email sent March 12, 2009

Updated APL
Email sent March 18, 2009

Revised Texas APL Update Document
Email sent March 26, 2009

APL With Duplicate UPCs
Email sent March 26, 2009

Discount Specifications Alternative
Email sent April 30, 2009

5/25/09 Conference Call Cancellation
Email sent May 20, 2009

New Food Package Information
Email sent October 2, 2009

New Food Packages Implementation Claim Appeals
Email sent October 13, 2009

 

 

 

New Texas WIC EBT Specifications
Email sent August 12, 2008

On December 6, 2007 the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published in the Federal Register (72 FR 68966) the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC): Revisions in the WIC Food Package which becameeffective on February 4, 2008. Due to these revisions and numerous meetings with the USDA FNS, Texas grocers and EBT system developer community, Texas WIC has modified its specifications for grocer EBT systems. The central requirement of the revisions to the WIC Food Package is a new cash value voucher (CVV) amount that will allow WIC participants to purchase fruits and vegetables. 

Your organizations were sent an updated version of Texas':

  1. WIC EBT/ESD In-store Processing
  2. WIC EBT Integrated Specification

These documents were sent via overnight mail (UPS) on Friday, August 8, 2008 on a data compact disc. The disc also contained unmodified versions of other current specification documents. 

If the documents have not been received, please contact Tami Altmiller to inquire as to the details of your mailing. You may also contact us at WIC EBT Support.

These changes to the WIC EBT Systems will require new certification testing prior to implementation of the coding in stores. We will be providing you with new test scripts that will assess the capabilities of the new programming in the near future. Our Fiscal Year 2009 grocer contracts "EBT Addendum" requires all WIC stores to be able to accommodate the new Cash Value Voucher (CVV) prior to July 1, 2009. 

Please contact us via email with any questions or concerns that you may have regarding the updated documents at WIC EBT Support. An email should also be sent to this address to schedule your certification. 

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WIC Vendor Agreement and WIC EBT Addendum
Email sent August 27, 2008

Attached are the WIC Vendor Agreement and Addendum 1 to WIC Vendor Agreement — Electronic Benefits Transfer effective October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009 that include several new requirements affecting WIC EBT store application functionality. All WIC EBT grocers must be in compliance with these provisions no later than October 1, 2008 unless otherwise indicated. 

Depending on the application the following provisions will require programming changes. 

In the WIC Vendor Agreement:

Section 2. l. — Dried peas, beans and lentils will now require Least Expensive Brand (LEB) declaration and selling. If your WIC EBT application "flags" LEB items, this will require programming changes. Note that this is the first time that a sub-category item has been designated LEB instead of an entire category. 

Section 2.l. — Effective August 1, 2009 new LEB items will include soy milk, tofu, whole wheat bread, tortillas (corn and wheat), and grains (brown rice and oatmeal). If your system "flags" LEB items these should be included.

In the Addendum 1 WIC Vendor Agreement — Electronic Benefits Transfer

Section 2.a — Effective July 1, 2009 WIC EBT systems must accommodate Cash Value for fruits and vegetables. 

Section 2.h — For the purposes of WIC EBT claim submission, systems must adhere to the product look-up codes (PLUs) of the International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPS). WIC CVV benefits that are fruits and vegetables labeled with IFPS compliant retailer-assigned "generic" PLU codes not found in the APL and non-IFPS compliant retailer-assigned PLU codes must be "mapped" to an IFPS compliant PLU code in the current APL file. 

If code has been implemented within the WIC EBT Application that enables the grocery stores to "flag" the LEB items and this code will require modification, please send a notification email to WIC EBT Support.

Fruits and Vegetables CVV Benefit Maximization (#1)
Email sent September 5, 2008

Updated versions of the Integrated WIC EBT Grocer Systems and WIC EBT Service Delivery In-Store Processing documents were mailed on August 8, 2008. We hope that you have received a copy of these documents and have begun reviewing them and preparing for the system modifications necessary for the implementation of the federally mandated revisions in the current WIC food packages, including cash value voucher (CVV) for fruits and vegetables.

Section 2.5 of the Integrated WIC EBT Grocer Systems document indicates one of the goals of WIC EBT is to Ensure that the WIC Participant is able to purchase their full, prescribed WIC food package, at their discretion within the valid period of issuance, and that the WIC food transaction affords the participant dignity and convenience. The updated documents mailed on August 7, 2008 did not stress the importance of the CVV benefit maximization. For CVV to meet this goal, WIC EBT Grocer Systems must maximize the amount of WIC CVV benefits redeemed during a WIC CVV purchase transaction when the total amount of WIC CVV items presented for purchase exceeds the available CVV balance. For example - if a WIC participant presents items for CVV that exceed the available value on their EBT card, WIC EBT grocer systems must present to the participant a combination of the items with a total cost closest to the available CVV balance. 

The WIC EBT Grocer System Certification (GSC) team is developing the certification scripts that will be used to test WIC EBT systems for compliance with cash value voucher requirements. In addition, the scripts will include regression testing to ensure programming changes did not affect existing system functionality. These certification scripts, EBT cards loaded with the revised food package benefits and updated Authorized Product Lists will be sent to you as soon as possible.

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Notification of weekly Conference Calls
Email sent October 2, 2008

The EBT Development Branch will conduct weekly conference calls with system developers beginning October 13, 2008, to discuss the upcoming implementation of Cash Value Voucher (CVV) for the purchase of fruits and vegetables. Participation in these conference calls is optional. However, participation is recommended as this will be a forum to discuss any questions that you many have related to CVV. The conference calls will be held on Mondays at 2:00 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST) and last approximately 1 hour. The dial in number is 866-633-3380 with the room number being *6893492*. Please feel free to send any questions that you have or any specific topics that you would like to discuss during the conference calls to WICEBTSupport@dshs.state.tx.us. These questions or topics may be addressed during the conference call (the individual or company that submitted the question or topic will remain anonymous). We ask that the questions and topics be sent a minimum of two (2) days prior to the conference call to allow time to research the question or topic.

Fruits and Vegetables CVV Benefit Maximization (#2)
Email sent October 17, 2008

Texas WIC will no longer require any form of Benefit Maximization in its Cash Value Voucher programming. 

This decision is the result of verbiage in the latest version of the WIC EBT System Implementation of WIC Cash Value Voucher (CVV) Business Rules, Technical Considerations and Requirements for Retail Electronic Cash Register and Point of Sale (ECR/POS) System document posted on USDA Food & Nutrition Service's website on October 8, 2008, concerns over store lane flow and issues voiced in the October 13, 2008 Texas EBT ECR Systems developers conference call. 

Benefit Maximization should not be included in your CVV coding efforts at this time. Benefit Maximization may be revisited after CVV has been implemented.

We look forward to our next conference call set for 10/20/08 at 2:00 P.M. Central time and remind you to send in questions to WIC EBT Support  prior to the call if possible. 

Notification of FAQ Posting
Email sent October 27, 2008

Attached is the first "published" version of Frequently Asked Questions related to Texas WIC EBT's implementation of the USDA's New Food Packages. 

We plan on posting these and subsequent versions to our web site in the future. 

Additional questions or concerns should be sent to WIC EBT Support.

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Fruits and Vegetables CVV Benefit Maximization (#3)
Email sent October 28, 2008

There has been discussion related to benefit maximization as required by Texas. The intent of the 1st message sent on September 5, 2008, was to require shuffling ("re-ordering") and the presentation of a "best value"; combination of items to the participant that would most closely utilize their available CVV benefit. Due to concerns raised in the October 13, 2008, conference call a second email was sent to remove the shuffling ("re-ordering") requirement. Our intent was never to remove or lessen the requirement that WIC Participants be able to purchase their full, prescribed WIC food package. We understand that due to CVV benefits being issued in dollar amounts instead of units, participants may be unable to spend the exact amount of CVV benefit. However, systems should allow the participants to spend the maximum amount available without exceeding it.

Section 4.8 of the Integrated WIC EBT Grocer Systems document outlines the high-level requirements for redemption of WIC food products at the grocer. The implementation of CVV will not change these requirements. Steps 13 through 15 indicate that the system must scan a food product and verify that the food product is on the APL and verify that the card has sufficient benefits in the current benefit period (as shown by category/subcategory/quantity) to redeem the item and repeat until all of the scanning and authorizing is complete.

The following examples should help clarify our position related to benefit maximization.

1. Acceptable (per Section 4.8 of the Integrated WIC EBT Grocer Systems Document):

$3.50 CVV on card. Scan a $2.00 item which is allowed for WIC CVV. Scan another $2.00 WIC CVV item. The 2nd $2.00 item would not be allowed because it would require split tender which for Texas is not implementing at this time. Scan a $1.50 WIC CVV item and it would be allowed to be paid for with WIC CVV. The 2nd $2.00 item could be purchased with an alternate tender.

2. Unacceptable (per Section 4.8 of the Integrated WIC EBT Grocer Systems Document): 

$3.50 CVV on card. Scan a $2.00 item which is allowed for WIC CVV. Scan another $2.00 WIC CVV item. The 2nd $2.00 item would not be allowed because it would require split tender which Texas is not implementing at this time. Scan a $1.50 WIC CVV item and it would NOT be allowed because the available CVV benefit was exceeded by the 2nd $2.00. The 2nds $2.00 item and the $1.50 item could be purchased with an alternate tender. 

3. Unacceptable (per the 10.17.08 email referenced below):

$3.50 CVV on card. Scan a $1.00 WIC CVV item. Scan a $.75 WIC CVV item. Scan a $3.50 WIC CVV item. Scan a $2.00 WIC CVV item. Scan a $.50 WIC CVV item. System shuffles the WIC CVV items to come up with a combination that comes closest to $3.50 without going over and presents this to the WIC shopper as a best combination for their WIC benefits. 

Developers may send proposed algorithms to DSHS WIC for review. 

Below is text from emails previously sent on the topic of Benefit Maximization:

Message sent 10.17.08

Texas WIC will no longer require any form of Benefit Maximization in its Cash Value Voucher programming. 

This decision is the result of verbiage in the latest version of the WIC EBT System Implementation of WIC Cash Value Voucher (CVV) Business Rules, Technical Considerations and Requirements for Retail Electronic Cash Register and Point of Sale (ECR/POS) System document posted on USDA Food & Nutrition Service's website on October 8, 2008, concerns over store lane flow and issues voiced in the October 13, 2008 Texas EBT ECR Systems developers conference call. 

Benefit Maximization should not be included in your CVV coding efforts at this time. Benefit Maximization may be revisited after CVV has been implemented.

We look forward to our next conference call set for 10/20/08 at 2:00 P.M. Central time and remind you to send in questions to WIC EBT Support prior to the call if possible. 

Message sent on 9.5.08

Updated versions of the Integrated WIC EBT Grocer Systems and WIC EBT Service Delivery In-Store Processing documents were mailed on August 8, 2008. We hope that you have received a copy of these documents and have begun reviewing them and preparing for the system modifications necessary for the implementation of the federally mandated revisions in the current WIC food packages, including cash value voucher (CVV) for fruits and vegetables.

Section 2.5 of the Integrated WIC EBT Grocer Systems document indicates one of the goals of WIC EBT is to Ensure that the WIC Participant is able to purchase their full, prescribed WIC food package, at their discretion within the valid period of issuance, and that the WIC food transaction affords the participant dignity and convenience. The updated documents mailed on August 7, 2008 did not stress the importance of the CVV benefit maximization. For CVV to meet this goal, WIC EBT Grocer Systems must maximize the amount of WIC CVV benefits redeemed during a WIC CVV purchase transaction when the total amount of WIC CVV items presented for purchase exceeds the available CVV balance. For example - if a WIC participant presents items for CVV that exceed the available value on their EBT card, WIC EBT grocer systems must present to the participant a combination of the items with a total cost closest to the available CVV balance. 

The WIC EBT Grocer System Certification (GSC) team is developing the certification scripts that will be used to test WIC EBT systems for compliance with cash value voucher requirements. In addition, the scripts will include regression testing to ensure programming changes did not affect existing system functionality. These certification scripts, EBT cards loaded with the revised food package benefits and updated Authorized Product Lists will be sent to you as soon as possible.

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WIC CVV APL Available
Email sent November 5, 2008

Attached please find a test APL (compressed Zipped file — change the file extension as needed to import into your system) that now includes New Food Package categories and subcategories (including Cash Value Voucher 19-000 items). This APL is not the final production version of the authorized food products that will be available October 2010, but a good representative sample of items within the new food categories to enable testing to occur. You may encounter some food categories that we have included on the card that are not represented with the APL which should not affect your CVV testing. In regards to CVV, the category description is Cash Value Voucher and the Benefit Unit description is VALUE rather than the dollar symbol as previously anticipated. At this time, there is no requirement to show the dollar symbol as part of the Beginning/Ending/Utilization receipt format; however, it is NOT discouraged.

Per the EBT ESD In-Store Processing v4.0 document, the "Item Price" field, as described in the APL detail record, will always be "00000" when the price type value is "3". This is currently in alignment with the FNS document. However, our software development team has pointed out that this value represents the maximum paid per benefit unit consumed and thus they are presenting the argument that logically it should be the value of "00001" (or one cent) instead of "00000" stating that we will pay nothing per benefit unit. Regardless of which value will be used, it will remain static for the CVV category.

Our question to you: Will an Item Price value of "00001" vs. "00000" have any effect upon your system's behavior? Would you have a preference? This will be a topic of discussion for Monday's (11/10/08) conference call.

Meanwhile, new cards with CVV and other new cat/subcats are being created and shipped for those of you who have requested cards. If you have not yet made a request for CVV cards, go ahead and submit the request to the WIC EBT Support  email and your order will be placed in the queue. If you will not need them until a future date, please indicate the earliest date you would like to receive them. Please also indicate whether Test Key or Production Key; we prefer to distribute Test Key cards as a matter of security. You will receive an email message from Mike Johnson advising when and by what carrier your cards are shipped. 

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GS1 Standard for Check Digit Calculation
Email sent December 3, 2008

The calculation of the check digit for produce PLU's has been one of the topics discussed during the weekly Texas WIC CVV conference calls. A decision has been made to utilize the GS1 standard for check digit calculation. The attached document has been copied from the GS1 website and explains the method by which the check digit will be calculated. Included on the document is a link to an online check digit calculation tool. 

An updated Approved Products List (APL) utilizing this new check digit calculation method should be made available within a few weeks. Please note that the PLU indicator of 1 will NOT be included in the check digit calculation.

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12/22/08 and 12/29/08 CVV Conference Calls Cancelled
Email sent December 18, 2008

We will not hold our weekly Monday Texas WIC CVV Conference Calls for the next two weeks due to the holidays. 

We do still encourage you to send any inquiries to WIC EBT Support.

01/19/09 CVV Conference Call Cancellation
Email sent January 14, 2009

We will not hold our weekly Texas WIC CVV Conference Call on January 19th due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

We do still encourage you to send any inquiries to WIC EBT Support.

May 1, 2009 Test APL for CVV
Email sent January 15, 2009

Attached is the first of three (3) test Authorized Product Lists (APL) revised to include changes resulting from revisions in the WIC food packages. This 1st APL includes changes to be effective May 1, 2009 and a representative set of new Universal Product Codes (UPCs) and Product Look-Up Codes (PLUs).

A second test APL will be created and released that reflects changes to be effective October 1, 2009 and a third test APL will be created and released that reflects changes to be effective January 1, 2010. We do not currently have an expected release date for the second and third APL. Status updates will be provided during the weekly CVV conference calls.

Attached is a table that summarizes the APL changes and when they will be effective. The APL is attached as a compressed zipped file. The file extension may need to be changed to import to your system.

Please send any questions or concerns regarding the test APL to WIC EBT Support.

Joint Authority test scripts for CVV functionality
Email sent January 16, 2009

Attached is the draft version of joint Authority test scripts and the State specific scripts to be used in the Lab certification testing required due to the revisions in the WIC food packages. They look much like the scripts we currently use but you will notice CVV requirements inserted within most tests.

Keep in mind that these scripts may be modified as we begin to use them. 

Please send any questions or concerns regarding the scripts to WIC EBT Support.

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RE: May 1, 2009 Test APL for CVV
Email sent January 21, 2009

We have discovered that the Test APL sent to you on January 15, 2009 includes several discrepancies. We are working with DSHS WIC IT to generate a corrected version and will send it to you ASAP. 

We regret any inconvenience this may have caused you.

RE: May 1, 2009 Test APL for CVV (revised 1-22-09)
Email sent January 22, 2009

Attached is an updated version of the first of three (3) test Authorized Product Lists (APL) revised to include changes resulting from revisions in the WIC food packages. This 1st APL includes changes to be effective May 1, 2009 and a representative set of new Universal Product Codes (UPCs) and Product Look-Up Codes (PLUs). This updated version (1-22-09 version) includes modifications to remove several duplicated items in category 15 (Special Milk).

WIC Food Package Revisions and ECR Configurations Vendor News Flash
Email sent February 9, 2009

WIC Food Package Revisions and ECR Configurations

WIC food packages are changing on October 1, 2009, to include the following:

  1. Adding whole grains;
  2. Adding soy milk and tofu;
  3. Adding infant fruits, vegetables and meats;
  4. Adding canned fish;
  5. Adding fruits and vegetables;
  6. Reducing whole milk, juice, eggs, cheese, and baby formula. 

More information on the specific changes in the food packages will be provided to you in the near future. The addition of fruits and vegetables will require that your WIC enabled electronic cash register (ECR) system transact cash value for fruit and vegetable benefits beginning October 1, 2009.

The State shipped updated technical specification documents to the ECR developers in August 2008 and began conducting weekly conference calls with the ECR developers in October 2008. Frequently asked questions (FAQs) resulting from these calls are posted on DSHS' website and can be found online at the following address: 

http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/wichd/ebt/new_food_package.shtm

Failure to accommodate the revisions in the WIC food packages (specifically fruit and vegetable transactions) on October 1, 2009, could result in your store no longer being able to participate in the WIC Program. Please contact your ECR system provider or internal ECR developer to ensure the necessary changes will be incorporated into your ECR system prior to the October 1, 2009, implementation date of cash value.

Should you have questions regarding the impact of the new food packages on your WIC EBT ECR system or would like to request a copy of the updated system specification documents, please contact John Hannemann at 1 (800) 252-9629, ext 4566 or email WIC EBT Support.

02/19/09 Conference Call Cancellation
Email sent February 9, 2009

We will not hold our weekly Texas WIC CVV Conference Call on February 16th due to the Presidents' Day holiday. 

We do still encourage you to send any inquiries to WIC EBT Support.

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Revised joint authority test scripts for CVV functionality
Email sent February 27, 2009

Attached is the updated version of the joint authority test script and the State specific scripts to be used in the Lab Certification testing required due to the revisions in the WIC food packages. The changes are noted on the last page of the joint script document.

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In-Store Certification Process
Email sent March 12, 2009

The attached In-Store Certification (formerly Level III Certification) process has been approved by USDA to be used by Texas WIC EBT for revisions in the WIC food packages (CVV) system changes.

Developers should contact New Mexico and Wyoming for information related to their In-Store Certification process and steps.

Updated APL
Email sent March 18, 2009

It has been brought to our attention that the test Authorized Product List (APL) sent on January 22, 2009, contained several Price Look-Up (PLU) codes with incorrect check digits. Attached is an updated version of the test APL in which the PLU check digits (in Category 19) have been corrected. 

Please use this version to replace the version sent January 22, 2009.

Revised Texas APL Update Document
Email sent March 26, 2009

We were notified in our conference call on March 23 that the Texas APL Update document sent on March 13 contained an error in the second table. The fresh banana example erroneously included "end date" in the 1:00 A.M. APL Contents. The attached document has been revised with the correct language, "effective date".

APL With Duplicate UPCs
Email sent March 26, 2009

As requested in the March 16, 2009 conference call, a copy of the APL that will be used to test a duplicate row scenario during the Lab Certifications (formerly Level II Certifications) is attached.

A copy of the script that will be used to test a duplicate row scenario (Appendix A Texas.doc) is also attached.

Discount Specifications Alternative
Email sent April 30, 2009

At the request of several national grocers (including members of Texas Retailer's Association), FNS and offline WIC states (including Texas) have agreed to allow for flexibility in the specified utilization and reporting requirements related to discounts. This will apply to WIC eligible items including CVV items. 

As an alternative for discounted items (including loyalty discounts, volume discounts and "buy-one-get-one-reduced" offers), the net price (shelf price minus discount) may be decremented from the card and recorded as the WIC Claim Price in the addenda record with no discount recorded in the claim detail record. This alternative allows for optimal CVV benefit utilization. Please note: if this alternative is used and the reduced price of the WIC item is tied to the qualifying purchase of a non-WIC item, the store has no recourse to recover the discount if the non-WIC item is voided from the transaction after WIC has been tendered.

The original specification requires the full shelf-price to be decremented and reported as WIC Claim Price in the addenda record with the Discount Amount shown in the Claim Detail record. Since full price is deducted from the card, this alternative, although still a valid option, may not allow for optimal CVV benefit use. Modified Texas system specifications will be forthcoming.

Developers and grocers who have already certified their POS applications may contact the Texas WIC-EBT Development Branch WIC EBT Support  to discuss this alternative and certification requirements if there is a desire to change discount functionality in their respective POS systems.

5/25/09 Conference Call Cancellation
Email sent May 20, 2009

The Texas WIC CVV Conference Call scheduled for May 25th has been cancelled due to the Memorial Day holiday. Please be advised that the EBT website has been updated to reflect changes to the Revisions in the WIC Food Packages FAQ page, Correspondence page and the EBT Document Library FAQ page. Questions or concerns regarding the updates should be sent to WICEBTSupport @dshs.state.tx.us. We look forward to our next conference call on 6/1/09 at 2:00 P.M. Central time.

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New Food Package Information
Email sent October 2, 2009

Grocers and Developers:

With the New Food Packages implementation you may experience a larger volume of questions from your customers. The questions may pertain to one of the seven (7) areas listed below:

1. WIC participants that had benefits loaded on their card between July 1, 2009 and September 30, 2009 received food items identified in the three documents found via the following link:

http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/wichd/nut/broch-nut.shtm

Questions received over the next few days may be from WIC participants regarding changes to their food packages issued prior to October 1, 2009. WIC participants that had benefits loaded to their card between July 1, 2009 and September 30, 2009 received a copy of the attached flyer indicating upcoming changes that would effect their September, October, November and December 2009 benefits. This flyer should help address questions you may receive related to fresh carrots, 16oz infant cereal, whole milk and frozen juice. Please feel free to refer the WIC participants to the flyer or have them call the WIC participant helpdesk toll free at 1-800-942-3678.

2. WIC participants that had benefits loaded on their card on October 1, 2009 or thereafter, will receive the new WIC food items identified in the Texas WIC Shopping Guide Effective October 1, 2009 found via the following link: 

http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/wichd/WICCatalog/PDF_Links/WIC34-Texas-WIC-Shopping-Guide-brochure.pdf (7,165K, PDF)

To hear a text accessible version of WIC 34 Texas WIC Shopping Guide brochure, click this link: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/wichd/WICCatalog/PDF_Links/WIC34-Texas-WIC-Shopping-Guide-brochure-acc.pdf

Questions may be received from WIC participants or grocery stores wanting to know what the Texas WIC approved food items are beginning October 1, 2009. This information can be found by viewing the Texas WIC Shopping Guide Effective October 1, 2009 or the Texas WIC Approved Foods List Effective October 1, 2009 (revised September 30, 2009). A copy of the Texas WIC Approved Foods List is attached.

3. Questions from WIC participants or WIC EBT stores related to why any item is or is not included on the Texas WIC Shopping Guide or the Texas WIC Approved Foods List should be directed to the WIC participant helpdesk at 1-800-942-3678.

4. When questions are received related to produce not scanning as a WIC authorized item, please confirm that the item's Price Look-Up (PLU) code or Universal Product Code (UPC) is included on the current Authorized Product List (APL) and that the item is authorized. If the item is not included on the APL, the product's PLU or UPC will need to be mapped to an authorized PLU on the APL. A Vendor Flash regarding mapping sent September 11, 2009 to all stores may be viewed at the following link:

http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/wichd/vo/ProduceMappingVNF9-11-09accessible.pdf (22K, PDF)

5. WIC participants with general questions should be referred to the WIC participant helpdesk at 1-800-942-3678

6. Grocers with general questions about the current Authorized Product List (APL) should be referred to the WIC vendor helpdesk at 1 (800) 252-9629.

7. Technical system questions should still be sent to WIC EBT Support.

Please feel free to forward a copy of this email to applicable WIC EBT stores.

Your continued support of Texas WIC EBT is appreciated. 

John Hannemann EBT Development Branch Manager
Texas Department of State Health Services Nutrition Services WIC
4616 West Howard Lane Suite 840 Austin TX 78728
Office (512) 341-4400 Cell (512) 413-5976
Technical Support: WIC EBT Support

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New Food Packages Implementation Claim Appeals
Email sent October 13, 2009

The following document was drafted and distributed by FIRS.

FOOD ISSUANCE AND REDEMPTION SERVICES UNIT (FIRS)
IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW WIC FOOD PACKAGES
EBT CLAIMS APPEAL PROCEDURE WAIVER
OCTOBER 12, 2009

The systemic changes related to the new WIC food package required to be made by all EBT software/system providers and vendors' internal IT shops were complex and were made under a strict deadline for completion and certification to be operational not later than October 1, 2009. Because of the compressed time period allotted and the complexity of system changes required, system errors should be expected even though each system was re-certified.

In recognition that the changes to the WIC food package implemented October 1, 2009 are the single largest change in the food authorized by the WIC Program in over 30-years and also the single largest change to the Texas EBT system since it commenced pilot in July 2004, the program will temporarily relax its vendor claims appeals procedure for the following period:

  1. For the claims process month of September 2009, representing the 1-month run up period to new food package implementation wherein EBT system providers and vendors' internal Information Technology (IT) shops were implementing software modifications to meet published requirements/changes deadlines.
  2. For the claims process months of October through December 2009 representing the first 3-months of phased-in implementation for the new WIC food packages. During this period, many vendors could experience claims processing reductions resulting from the unintended consequences of having made system changes to EBT software. Due to the implementation plan adopted by the Texas WIC Program that brings clients onto the program incrementally over a several month period, system abnormalities may not show up until the second or third month of operation of the new food package.

During the periods outlined above, the FIRS Unit will accept vendors' written explanation of the unusual circumstances that caused the reductions to their claims and process payment for their claims as an Account Level Adjustment.

  1. Per §246.12(k)(5), if the total value of transactions/claims submitted for appeal at one time exceeds $500.00, the state agency must obtain approval of the FNS Regional Office before executing payment.
  2. During the 4-month claims appeals waiver procedure, vendor outlets may submit multiple appeals and will not be held to the 1 claim limitation each 12-month period. None of the appeals during the 4-month period will be counted toward the 12-month rule.
  3. Appeals for late claims submission are included in the 4-month alternative procedure from normal claims appeals procedures if the vendor indicates that the claims were submitted late as a result of system changes made during the changes to software attributable to the new food package.

 

 

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Last updated December 29, 2010