How to Check Your EBT Balance: 9 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (2024)

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1Finding Your Current Balance

2Using the Card

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Last Updated: May 24, 2023References

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In the United States, if you qualify for food stamps or cash assistance (TANF; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), you will receive an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card. Your funds will be loaded onto the card, which you can use like a debit card. To check the balance, you can either call, go online, or look at your most recent receipt.

Part 1

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Finding Your Current Balance

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  1. 1

    Call a helpline. Each state should have a telephone number you can call to check your balance. Search online for “your state” and “EBT balance.” You can also call this number to change your PIN, if necessary.[1]

    • The helpline should run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    • If you lost your card, you may order a replacement by calling this number.
  2. 2

    Check online. Your state may also have a website you can use to check the balance. About 20 states use the following website: https://www.connectebt.com/. If your state doesn’t, then search online to find your state’s individual website.

    • You’ll probably need to create a username and password before you can log into your account.

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  3. 3

    Look at your last receipt. The receipt should tell you how much money you still have in your account. Find the receipt and check.[2]

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Part 2

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Using the Card

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  1. 1

    Find a store which accepts your EBT card. Many stores advertise that they accept EBT, so look for a sign on the door. If you don’t see anything, then stop in and check before shopping.[3]

    • Some businesses are prohibited from accepting EBT cards. These include liquor or wine stores, casinos, and off-track betting facilities.
  2. 2

    Buy appropriate items. You can only buy certain foods if you’re using SNAP food stamp benefits. If the food item doesn’t qualify, you’ll need to use your cash. Learn the rules before shopping:[4]

    • You can buy food for household consumption, such as fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, breads, and cereals. However, you can’t buy foods that will be eaten in stores.
    • You cannot buy non-food items such as soap, paper products, cleaning supplies, or pet food.
    • You also cannot buy alcohol or cigarettes.
  3. 3

    Swipe your card.[5] Your card works like a credit or debit card, so swipe it where you would swipe a debit card. In some stores, you may need to hand the card to a clerk to swipe.

  4. 4

    Enter your PIN. Every card should have a four-digit number, called your PIN. If you can’t remember it, then call the toll-free helpline to change the number. After swiping the card, enter your PIN. Only you should enter it, not the clerk.[6]

  5. 5

    Request cash back. If you receive TANF cash assistance, then some stores will let you get cash back with a purchase.[7] After entering your PIN, you’ll be asked if you want cash back and the amount.

  6. 6

    Keep your receipt. The transaction should be approved provided you have enough money on the card. Check the receipt to make sure you were charged the right amount and keep your receipts in case you need to return an item.[8]

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  • Question

    How do I see if my snap benefits are on my card now?

    How to Check Your EBT Balance: 9 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (14)

    Community Answer

    Call the phone number on the back of your EBT card and listen to the options on the pre-recorded message. There should be an option to check your balance. You will then have to enter your card number, after which you will be told your balance.

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  • Question

    Can I take cash out from my EBT card?

    How to Check Your EBT Balance: 9 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (15)

    Community Answer

    Only if you have TAFDC benefits and SNAP benefits on your card.

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    Thank you for your feedback.
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      About This Article

      How to Check Your EBT Balance: 9 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (24)

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      wikiHow Staff

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      This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff. Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. This article has been viewed 111,118 times.

      197 votes - 36%

      Co-authors: 1

      Updated: May 24, 2023

      Views:111,118

      Categories: Food Assistance Programs

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      How to Check Your EBT Balance: 9 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (2024)

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