Successful TRACS Reporting

Helpful Hints

The following is intended to provide helpful information with regard to processing 50059s, creating Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Vouchers (HUD-52670 and HUD-52670A), and sending the appropriate TRACS files to EPS. We want you to be successful every month!! If ever you have questions, we encourage you to contact the Data Analyst who reviews your information.

General Guidelines

Our number one priority each month is to match the HAP Voucher EPS creates from your TRACS files with the HAP Voucher you create in your software and submit to EPS.

IMPORTANT NOTE: A critical processing step to help ensure a match each month is for the property to print out a summary report indicating what is included in the TRACS file(s) that were created but not yet sent to EPS. Once the report is printed out, compare the information on the report to the changes on the HAP Voucher. All the changes on the HAP Voucher (AR’s, IR’s, MI’s, MO’s, etc.) should be included in the TRACS file(s) that were created. The Voucher dates for the changes must match the HAP Voucher month. If there is information missing, remake or create another TRACS file to include whatever information was missing. Reprint the summary report of the TRACS file(s) and compare it once again to the HAP Voucher. Once the TRACS files include all the correct information, send the TRACS file(s) to EPS through TRACSMail. Please DO NOT send TRACS files for a future month until you receive the Close-out fax for the current month’s Voucher.

EPS also has the option of submitting a corrected/revised Voucher for payment. We will make every effort to match Vouchers before determining if it’s necessary to submit a corrected Voucher. Corrected Vouchers are usually submitted when it is found that adjustments on the Voucher sent to us are either incorrect or missing entirely or if we were unable to get any missing certifications either by TRACS or sent via paper 50059 from the property. When a corrected HAP Voucher is created, our data analyst will make every attempt to discuss the issues with the property manager before submitting the Voucher for payment. A copy of the Voucher will be sent to the property manager as well as the Contract Administrator. The confirmation fax will include the reason(s) why a corrected Voucher was submitted as well as any actions which may need to be taken the following month to resolve any issues. It is very important to address the issues or they may affect the next month’s HAP Voucher as well.

In order to recommend payment for your HAP Vouchers in a timely manner, we kindly ask that you please respond to a Data Analyst’s request for information within two business days.

Signed paper HAP Vouchers as well as all necessary TRACS files should be received at EPS no later than the 10th of each month to ensure timely processing and recommendation of payment. By getting the required information to EPS by the 10th of each month, it gives us time to work with you to resolve any issues and recommend your HAP Voucher payment in a timely manner. Once we send you a confirmation fax stating the current Voucher has been submitted for payment, we are ready to accept the information for your next month’s Voucher.

It is important to inform EPS of any changes in management, personnel, contact information, telephone or fax numbers related to HAP Voucher processing. We want to make sure we are contacting the right people to request information or discuss any HAP Voucher issues. Please include your e-mail address if this is your preferable method of communicating with EPS.

When faxing printed certifications (50059’s) requested by EPS, they need to have all required signatures in order for us to enter the information into our system.

When EPS requests a printed 50059, please fax only the signed 50059. Other documentation (lease, lease amendment, E worksheet, etc.) does not need to be sent, unless specifically requested by EPS.

When calling EPS, please be sure to let us know the name of the property you are calling in reference to as well as the state where the property is located.

Recertifying Tenants

It is important to process the correct type of certification (50059) for tenant households. The following are guidelines based on the current version of the HUD Handbook 4350.3:

Move-in (MI): Processed when a Section 8 tenant is moving into the property.

Initial (IC): Processed when a tenant who has been living at the property is being put on Section 8 subsidy. This is also the 50059 to process when a tenant’s assistance is terminated and there is a lapse in assistance before bringing them back on at a later date. If a tenant’s assistance is terminated because they are late in recertifying, they can be brought back onto assistance as of the original scheduled effective date of the Annual Recertification. If the assistance is to be reinstated with an effective date that is later than the scheduled AR effective date, an Initial certification is necessary. The tenant’s Annual Recertification date will now be 12 months from the effective date of the Initial. E.g.: Initial effective on 10/06/02. Next AR date 10/01/03.

Annual (AR): Processed on a yearly basis for tenant households receiving Section 8 subsidy. Normally, the scheduled effective date of the Annual Recertification is the month the tenant moved into the property. (e.g.: Tenant household moves in on November 21. Each subsequent November 1 is when the Annual Recertification is due.) Note: If a tenant comes onto subsidy with an Initial, they will have a new Annual Recertification Date on the first of the month in which the Initial was done. Any Annual Recertifications which are sent with an effective date that is different than the scheduled effective date will be discussed with the property before being accepted and approved. EPS will call and make you aware of this discrepancy.

Interim (IR): Processed to certify any change in a tenant’s household composition or financial status that must be reported in accordance with the HUD 4350.3. Normally, an Interim 50059 is effective on the first of a month.

Gross Rent (GR) change: Processed to report changes in tenant’s contract rent and/or utility allowance. Note: If a tenant has an Annual or Interim with the same effective date as the Gross Rent Change, create and send the Annual or Interim with the new contract rent and/or utility allowance. Please do not send Gross Rent Changes for those tenants. The updated information will be included in the Annual or Interim. If you must process a retroactive Gross Rent change, please make sure you recalculate any certifications with an effective date after the effective date of the Gross Rent change. Recalculating these certifications will provide EPS the information that we require to prove the accuracy of the adjustments. Many times, the properties shortchange themselves on collecting the proper amount of subsidy for which they are eligible.

Unit Transfer (UT): Processed to report a tenant household’s transfer to a different unit with no changes in their financial information. Does not change the effective date of the next scheduled Annual Recertification.

Interim/Xfer or Annual/Xfer: Processed to report a tenant household’s transfer to a different unit and it coincides with new financial information, family composition or the scheduled effective date of the tenant’s Annual Recertification. Note: If transferring to a unit under a different Section 8 contract within the property, a Move-out and Initial certification must be done, otherwise TRACS will reject the unit Xfer.

Correction 50059: Processed to correct information on a 50059 that has already been reported to TRACS. Please remember that a Correction 50059 must have the same effective date and action type (AR, IR, etc.) as the 50059 you originally submitted to TRACS. A Correction 50059 must have a different HAP Voucher reported date than the original 50059. Make sure you recalculate any other 50059s that are affected by the new information listed on the Correction 50059. Please do not run a replacement 50059 when a correction 50059 is needed. A replacement 50059 will create errors on the adjustment section of the HAP Voucher.

If your software allows it, we recommend printing certifications (50059’s) in a condensed 1 page format. Faxing a condensed 1 page 50059 rather than one which is 3 or 4 pages long saves you time and makes it much easier for the Data Analyst to review the pertinent information on the 50059.

Be sure to print all Unit Transfer and Gross Rent certifications and keep a paper copy in the tenant’s file.

REMINDER: Make sure the correct HAP Voucher dates/Reported dates are assigned to 50059s and MO’s as they are processed. If you know which Voucher the 50059 is intended to be reported on, make every effort to assign the correct Voucher date either automatically or manually in your software.

Move-ins and Move-outs should be processed and reported on a HAP Voucher once they have actually happened, not ahead of time.

Be sure to keep a tenant’s applicable Status Codes (Full-time student, Handicapped, Disabled) up to date as well as their Eligibility Codes. Some tenants may still have Eligibility Codes of “PV” (Pending Verification) which need to be updated, most likely to “EC” (Eligible Citizen).

Obtain Social Security numbers (SSN) from tenants whenever applicable. Let EPS know of any changes.

Fill in the Security Deposit information for all tenants so that future recertifications you submit to EPS will accurately update our data and the TRACS database. This information is now required when creating a TRACS file in the new V2.0.1.B format.

Rent Schedules (form HUD-92458) and Gross Rent Changes

Check contract rents for each unit size periodically, verifying compliance with the form HUD-92458. EPS cannot approve a Gross Rent change on your HAP Voucher unless we have a signed copy of the 92458 and an approval letter from your state Contract Administrator.

If possible, report Gross Rent Changes on the HAP Voucher which coincides with the date the change is taking place. This negates the need for any retroactive adjustments and the chance for incorrect adjustments. For instance, a Gross Rent change effective 11/01/02 but reported on the December 2002 HAP Voucher will require an adjustment for each affected tenant for the month of November. Reporting the 11/01/02 Gross Rent change on the November 2002 HAP Voucher would not generate any Gross Rent adjustments, just changes to the Assistance Payment for the tenant households.

If a retroactive Gross Rent Change is done, be sure to closely review each adjustment on the HAP Voucher. Make sure they are calculated correctly, reflecting the correct time period and amount. Before you process the Gross Rent Change in your computer, make sure you make a backup of your data. In case you make a mistake on the new contract rent amount, utility allowance and/or effective date of the Gross Rent Change, you can restore the backup of the data and redo the Gross Rent Change with the correct information.

When a retroactive Gross Rent Change is done and there are certifications already reported to HUD that are effective AFTER the effective date of the Gross Rent Change, you will need to process Correction 50059s for those certifications. Your software should make you aware that there may be some 50059s that require Correction 50059s to be done so the accurate Assistance Payment is reflected on the HAP Voucher.

Print the Gross Rent Change certifications for each tenant and keep them on file. (Unless the Total Tenant Payment or Tenant Rent changes, no tenant signature is required)

Creating/Submitting Vouchers

Please do not arbitrarily change unit numbers without contacting EPS first. It could create TRACS errors.

Please do not send printed 50059s unless they are specifically requested by an EPS data analyst.

Please be sure to sign and date the HAP Voucher (form HUD-52670 and form HUD-52670A) and please make sure it indicates the correct telephone number as well.

Review each adjustment on the HAP Voucher to ensure that the time period for each adjustment and the amount of each adjustment is correct.

If a Corrected HAP Voucher was submitted by EPS for the previous month, keep a copy of the revised HAP Voucher on hand when preparing the next month’s HAP Voucher. Refer to it closely to make sure changes which were already reported aren’t being reported again. Also make sure that any certifications which couldn’t be included on a previous revised Voucher (we didn’t receive the TRACS file, etc.) are given the correct Voucher date/Reported date and show up on the next HAP Voucher.

Thoroughly review the Voucher to make sure it includes everything which needs to be reported. If anything is incorrect or missing, contact your software’s tech support, if necessary, to get the errors corrected before submitting your Voucher to EPS. Submitting Vouchers with errors will cause delays in your HAP payments.

Once your monthly HAP Voucher has been submitted to EPS, please do not send a revised Voucher unless one is specifically requested by one of our Data Analysts.

The Total Number of Units on the HAP Voucher (Item 7A, HUD Form 52670) need to match the number of units in the Section 8 contract.

For a property that is entirely Section 8, Items 7B+7C+7D need to equal Item 7A on the HUD Form 52670.

Item 7B (Number Receiving Subsidy) needs to match the number in Item 11 of the form HUD-52670. If you find these items don’t match on your Voucher, please call your software’s tech support to find out how to correct the issue before submitting your Voucher.

When submitting Special Claims on a HAP Voucher, please attach the necessary documentation with your printed Voucher. Each set of Special Claims should be accompanied by an approval letter from your state Contract Administrator and an approved form HUD 52670-A Part 2.

Creating/Sending TRACS files

Each month, EPS requires the following information in order to begin the review of your HAP Voucher. We need to receive your printed HAP Voucher and the HAP Voucher TRACS file, along with any applicable Tenant Data TRACS files. If there were no tenant changes in a particular month, there would be no Tenant Data TRACS file required.

The new TRACS V2.0.1.B standard requires EPS to create a HAP Voucher TRACS file, based on the information we have received from you. Then, after EPS receives approval from the state Contract Administrator, we transmit your TRACS files to HUD. Therefore it is especially important that every change being reported on the HAP Voucher to be sent to us in TRACS files. This should avoid the necessity for EPS to create and submit a revised Voucher.

All tenant certifications should be sent through the TRACS system unless a faxed copy of the 50059(s) is requested by an EPS Data Analyst.

Be sure to include any applicable Move-outs, Terminations, Unit Transfers, Gross Rent changes, UnitAdd changes, etc., in your TRACS files. These changes often get overlooked when TRACS files are created and must be requested by a Data Analyst. If they are overlooked, it may cause delays in your HAP payments.

When a final HAP Voucher is created for the month and the decision is made to submit the Voucher to EPS, it is very important to immediately create the necessary TRACS files, review them, verify their accuracy and send them to EPS before any other processing is done on your software. This eliminates the possibility of EPS receiving information that is not pertinent to the HAP Voucher that is currently being reviewed.

Only certifications for Section 8 tenants should be sent to EPS by TRACS. The new 2.0.1.B. standard requires software vendors to provide their users with the ability to send 50059s for Section 236 tenants or BMIR tenants directly to HUD. Please contact your software tech support so they may assist you in setting up the appropriate destinations for your TRACS files.

In your TRACSMail messages, you will receive a message from EPS, usually within 1 or 2 business days from when you sent the TRACS files, confirming that EPS has received your TRACS files. If you do not get a receipt from EPS within 3 business days, call EPS to find out if the TRACS files have arrived.

The HUD Handbook 4350.3 is in the process of being changed. HUD will let everyone know, via their web sites when the new version of the Handbook will take effect and how we can obtain a printed copy.

We are hopeful that some of these suggestions will ensure our collaborative success each month. Remember…

Our number one priority each month is to match the HAP voucher EPS creates from your TRACS files with the HAP Voucher you create in your software.