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Filling out the application form

Citizenship

Do I need to send a copy of my child's birth certificate with the application?

If your child was born in Texas, you do not need to send a copy of the child’s birth certificate. We can find a copy of the certificate in our system. If the child was born in another state or another country, you will need to send a copy of the child’s birth certificate along with the other items we need to prove your income and expenses.

You can send items we need, like copies of birth certificates, to:

HHSC
P.O. Box 14200
Midland, TX 79711-4200

Or fax the items to 1-855-671-6038.

Can I send something other than my child’s birth certificate to prove that he or she is a U.S. citizen?

You do not need to prove your child's citizenship if the child was born in Texas. We can look up Texas birth certificates in our system. If your child was not born in Texas, you must include with your application a copy of one of the following for the child:

  • U.S. birth certificate
  • U.S. passport
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Hospital record of birth (front and back)

My child is not a U.S. citizen but is a legal permanent resident. Can we apply for CHIP/Children’s Medicaid for him?

Yes. You will need to send with your application a copy of one of the following for the child:

  • Front and back of Permanent Resident Card (I-551)
  • Arrival/Departure Form (I-94) from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Income

My brother-in-law and father-in-law live with us. They are both adults and both work. Do we need to list them on the application?

No, you do not need to list them. You do not need to list their income. You only need to list the parents, stepparents, and children age 18 and younger and their incomes on the CHIP/Children’s Medicaid application.

My 16 year-old’s friend is living with us. Should we include him on the application as a member of our household?

No, you should not list the names of children living with you who are not yours.

When we’re filling out the application, do we put gross income or net income?

The application asks for your family’s gross income. This is the money you are paid before taxes and deductions.

Do I need to include child support as part of my monthly income?

Yes, child support payments you get count as income when we look at whether your children can get CHIP or Children’s Medicaid. You need to send us proof of child support payments, such as a copy of the child support check or a copy of the court order, when you send in the application.

I get food stamps and TANF. Do I report that on my application? What documents of proof do I send?

SNAP food benefits (food stamps) are not considered income for this application. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is considered income. You can send us a copy of the letter that shows the amount of TANF benefits and the length of time you will be getting TANF.

My husband and I own a small business. How do we give you proof of our income?

If you are self-employed, your proof can be a copy of your most recent IRS tax return including Schedule C or the Schedule C-EZ. If you send the Schedule C-EZ, you should also send documents that prove the business deductions you claimed on the form. We will use that information when we look at expenses we can deduct when we are calculating your income.

Do the income guidelines include overtime pay? My husband gets some overtime pay, but not all the time.

If the paycheck stub you send us as proof of income shows overtime, we will use that in our calculations to find out if your children qualify for CHIP or Children’s Medicaid. It will help if you send us a paycheck stub you got in the last 60 days that shows how much you usually make.

Expenses

We pay for child care. Will you deduct these costs from our income?

Yes. You need to send us proof of these expenses, such as a copy of a cancelled check or a signed and dated statement from the child care center that shows how much you pay each week or month. Send these copies with your finished CHIP/Children’s Medicaid application. We can deduct up to $200/month in child care expenses for a child age 1 year and younger and up to $175/month in child care expenses for a child age 2 and older.

I pay alimony and child support to my first wife. How do I show proof of these expenses?

You can send us a copy of the divorce decree or the court order that shows the amounts of these payments. You can also show us copies of cancelled checks.

Assets

How much money can a family have in the bank, an IRA account, etc. and still qualify for CHIP or Children’s Medicaid?

If the amount of money your family makes each year is below 150% of the federal poverty level (less than $35,325 for a family of four), we will not look at the things you own (your assets) when we are deciding whether your children qualify for CHIP or Children’s Medicaid. If the money you make is above 150% of the federal poverty level, the dollar limit for the things you own is $10,000. That includes bank accounts, cash, extra cars, etc. Your home and your main car are not counted as asset for this purpose. Neither are certain financial accounts like retirement accounts and college savings plans recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If you have questions about this, call 2-1-1. When you call, pick a language and then, press 2.

The application asks us about our cars. We use our cars for work. What are the rules on this?

For most households, the main car or truck is not counted as an asset. Other cars and trucks might not be counted if they are used primarily for making money.

Help with the application

Is there someone who can help me fill out the application?

Yes. We work with community groups in many parts of Texas. These groups help families fill out application forms for programs like CHIP, Medicaid, food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and other services.

You can also call 2-1-1 for help. When you call, pick a language and then, press 2.

After you send in the application

I sent in my CHIP/Children’s Medicaid application, but I haven’t heard anything yet. Did you get my application?

Call us at 2-1-1. When you call, pick a language and then, press 2. We can tell you where we are with your application. You also can check online to see what's happening with your application. Go to YourTexasBenefits.com and follow these steps:

  1. Click on "View my case."
  2. Log into your account or set up an account.
  3. After you log in, the "Case facts" page will open.
  4. Click on the "Learn more" link.

How long does it take to find out if my children can get CHIP or Children’s Medicaid?

Our staff has up to 45 days to work on your application. Once we have finished, we will send you a letter to let you know if your children qualify or not. If they do qualify, we’ll mail you a new member packet that will tell you which program – CHIP or Children’s Medicaid – they qualify for. That new member packet will have instructions for how to get your children signed up with a health plan.

If you’d like to get an update about your application, please call us at 2-1-1. When you call, pick a language and then, press 2. 

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