Q:

What is the procedure to replace a lost EBT card?

A:

Quick Answer

To replace a lost Electronics Benefits Transfer card, visit the state's EBT website and report the loss right away; the username and password will be required to log in to the issuing agency's site. The website of the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture contains links to each state's EBT website for convenience.

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Full Answer

States may require that cardholders call a toll-free number to report the loss; once it is reported, the card is immediately disabled and a new card issued. As of 2015, there is no law that requires states to issue a new card within a specific time frame, but states generally issue new cards within 3 to 5 days.

EBT cards are like bank debit cards and have government-funded spending limits. The benefits on them are not replaceable, which is why it is critical that the cardholder immediately report a card loss. Usually the replacement card is free; however, some states may require that the cardholder pay a small fee. For example, in Massachusetts, the Department of Transitional Services will replace an EBT card for about $5, as of 2015. It may waive the fee if the card was lost in the mail or if the recipient is the victim of domestic abuse, among other good cause exceptions.

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Related Questions

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    Where can you use an EBT card?

    A:

    While exactly where an EBT card can be used varies by location the cards are accepted at grocery stores and convenience stores. Some farmers markets' also accept EBT cards. Large retailers such as Walmart, Target, Kroger and other grocery chains are likely places that accept EBT cards.

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    How long does it take to receive an EBT card after signing up?

    A:

    After signing up for EBT, it takes up to 33 days to receive an EBT card. An application can take 30 days to be approved before the EBT card is sent out, which usually takes two or three days to reach the individual, depending on the speed of the post office.

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    What can you purchase with an EBT card?

    A:

    According to the USDA website, people use the EBT card to purchase food such as meat, breads, cereals, milk, cheese, fruits and vegetables as well as seeds and plants for growing food. Some items, such as birthday cakes and gift baskets, have slightly different requirements.

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    How can an EBT card balance be checked?

    A:

    Almost all states enable electronic benefits transfer, or EBT, cardholders to check account balances online, by phone or through grocery purchase receipts. Third-party websites EBT Card Balance and Food Stamp Balance offer a state-by-state collection of links to pages that advise visitors of the ways they can check the balance of their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, accounts. Neither of these two services is affiliated with any government agency, as noted on their websites.

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