Q:

What is the procedure to replace a lost EBT card?

A:

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.

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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