What is EBT - Electronic Benefits Transfer

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What is EBT - Electronic Benefits Transfer?

EBT or electronic benefits transfer is a system that facilitates payment of food stamp or cash benefits to persons who have been awarded some type of assistance through a state or federal government program.

Persons who are eligible and are awarded benefits through financial assistance programs, are given a plastic debit card that is used to purchase food and goods at participating retailers such as a grocery store, retail store or other types of businesses. The EBT or electronic benefits card is used like a credit card. When you make a purchase for an eligible product, merchandise or item, just give the card to the cashier or swipe it through the credit card machine to complete and pay for your purchase.

Typical benefit programs or financial assistance programs that distribute and facilitate the awarded monies include food stamps and cash assistance programs. The food stamp program is now known as SNAP which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Cash assistance programs include such as TANF, which stands for Temporary Aid for Needy Families, and possible child support benefits. The types of programs that will utilize EBT for electronic benefit transfer of awarded assistance will depend upon the state of residency, as most state's programs will vary.

If you receive food stamps or cash assistance through an EBT card or an electronic benefits transfer card, it is important to follow the instructions sent to the benefit recipient. When you receive your EBT debit card, you should also receive instructions on what website you can go to online to get information on your monthly benefits. Follow those instructions to get access to your EBT account, and you should be able to manage your monthly transactions, check account balance and see when new dollars or value is loaded onto the card each month.



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