SNAP Benefits: How Do I Replace My EBT Card?

Muncie - Circa January 2018: A Sign at a Retailer - We Accept SNAP.
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If you receive SNAP benefits, you should receive a plastic card with a magnetic strip to access your SNAP EBT account at authorized food retail outlets. Your state will either mail your EBT card or your state caseworker may hand it to you in person. Your state will also handle replacements if your EBT card is damaged, lost or stolen.

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If your EBT card was damaged, lost or stolen: call your state’s EBT customer service number and an EBT customer service representative should be able to assist you. You should be able to find the customer service number on the back of your card or on your state program’s website. You may also be able to fill out a report online, depending on the state in which you reside.

If you suspect that your card or card number has been stolen, that an unauthorized person has gained access to your PIN — or that someone has gained information about your identity that may result in your benefits being stolen — then it’s critical you take immediate action.

A lost or stolen EBT card does not have guaranteed protections under federal law concerning loss or theft of your card or funds, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Never give out personal information such as your Social Security number, EBT card number or EBT PIN, even if the caller claims to be a local agency worker or a government EBT official.

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EBT customer service will be able to deactivate your card to prevent unauthorized transactions. You must also contact your local agency worker to report the problem, and some states may have you request an EBT ARU PIN restriction. This makes it impossible to change your PIN over the phone through the EBT customer service helpline or through your online account. You may need to sign a permission form at your local agency or assistance center for this procedure to be enacted.

Once your card has been deactivated and protections put in place, you can request an EBT card replacement: it’s recommended that you select a new PIN.

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Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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