Head of Household (HOH)

Created on: 
Nov 15 2019

Online Processing

See ACES screens and online pages for an example of pages or screens used in this chapter.

Who is the Head of Household (HOH)?

The person entered during screening on the Applicant page is always the HOH.

If there is another person in the household who wants benefits issued in their name, such as a caregiver, enter the other person as an authorized representative. See Authorized Representative/Protective Payee

When should I change the Head of Household (HOH) on an Assistance Unit (AU)?

Change the HOH when the HOH leaves the household or is deceased and the remaining household members are still eligible to receive benefits.

Only change the HOH in the ongoing month.

Changing the HOH in historical months does not transfer the benefits already issued to the new HOH.

 What happens to Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) benefits if I change the Head of Household (HOH)?

When the HOH is changed for the ongoing month, the ongoing month’s benefits issue to the new HOH. An EBT card should be issued under the new HOH’s name. For information on EBT card issuances, see the EBT Manual.

When the HOH is changed on an Assistance Unit (AU) with issuance method Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), the issuance method changes to EBT.

  • Edit 1977 – HOH/AREP CHANGE WILL RESULT IN EFTR DELETION generates.
  • The new HOH must enroll in EFT if they wish to change the issuance method from EBT to EFT.
Example: The HOH John is receiving food assistance with his girlfriend and their 4 kids. He is incarcerated for an unknown amount of time. The assistance has already issued to John for the current month. The girlfriend needs access to the assistance issued to the family but does not have John’ s EBT card. In this situation, take the following steps:
  1. Issue an Alternate Cardholder EBT card for John's case to the girlfriend.
  2. To change the HOH in the ongoing month complete the steps in How do I change the HOH on an AU?
  • This way, the girlfriend can use the alternate card to access the benefits already issued and then in the ongoing month, the benefits will be issued to her as the HOH.
  • After the girlfriend is changed to the HOH, an EBT card needs to be issued under her own name for her case.
  1. Once the HOH has been changed, take the actions to code John as being incarcerated to remove him from the assistance unit.

What happens to Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) benefits when the Head of Household (HOH) is unavailable?

Sometimes when the Assistance Unit (AU) is not active in the ongoing month and the HOH is unable to or unavailable to access the benefits, there may be a need for other household member to have access to the EBT benefits issued to the HOH. Workers need to make the determination if it is appropriate to issue an alternate card to another member of the household or caregiver of the children in the household.

Example: The HOH is a single mother of two children receiving both TANF and FS. She was in a car accident and passed away. The cash and food AUs are closed for the ongoing month since the HOH is deceased. The court ordered caregiver for the children would like to access the remaining balance of assistance to be used to care for the children. In this situation, it may be appropriate to issue an Alternate Cardholder EBT card for the cash and FS AU. This way the court ordered caregiver can use the remaining balance of assistance to care for the children.

Online Processing

Note: If more than one change needs to be taken, process the change of the HOH first.

How do I change the Head of Household (HOH) on an Assistance Unit (AU)?

To change the HOH in the ongoing month, take the following steps:

  1. On the Household Composition page, click the Change Head of Household link.
  2. From the Change Head of Household popup box, select a new HOH from the New Head of Household, drop down menu.
  • Select the Assistance Unit (s) that apply to the newly selected HOH then click on the Apply Changes button. The dialog box closes.
    • To cancel this action click the Cancel button
  •    Update the relationship codes for all other household members as they now relate to the new HOH and update the verification valid value codes.
  1. On the Eligibility Details page, click Confirm Benefits
  2. On the Eligibility page, click Commit Changes.

On the Eligibility page:

  • The relationship codes should now show the desired HOH as Self /Head of Household (SE).
  • If eligibility is correct, click the Confirm button.

Letter 010-01 (General – No Change in Benefits) automatically generates.

The benefits for the ongoing month will now be issued to the new HOH. An Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card should be issued under the new HOH’s name. For information on EBT card issuances, see the EBT Manual.

NOTE: Incorrect processing can result in corrupt data. If you do not get the expected results, cancel out of your case and call ITS Customer Support at (360) 664-4560, Option 1 for assistance.

How do I change a Head of Household (HOH) from a recipient to a non-member or a non-member to a recipient?

In these situations, establish a new Assistance Unit (AU). 

Example: If a non-needy caretaker relative on a TANF AU applies for assistance for themselves and is now a needy relative, a new AU needs to be screened.

How can I tell if a case has had a Head of Household (HOH) change?

The update takes place automatically when a HOH change happens in ACES 3G. The change appears on the Narrative page in ACES.online, and automatically updates when a narrative exists for the current HOH. The following displays:

  • 02/27/09 (USERID) OLD HOH, CLID ID# 9999999.

Click on the CLIENT ID link to see the other HOH's narrative page.

When is a Head of Household (HOH) change not allowed on an Assistance Unit (AU)?

A change in HOH is not allowed when an AU is Pending, in the Mid-Certification Reporting (MCR) month or in an Eligibility Review month.

 

See ACES screens and online pages for an example of pages or screens used in this chapter.