Request replacement of your EBT card
If by chance you have lost your EBT card, or if it was stolen, then it is important that you report it right away to get it replaced and deactivated. If you do not do this, you risk having someone else use your SNAP benefits. Another reason to call to replace your EBT card is when the card no longer works. For example if the magnetic strip on the back is damaged or can no longer read at the terminal at your grocery store.
There are steps that may differ state by state, to find out how to request a new EBT card, select your state below. Please be aware that some states may charge you to send you a new EBT card. Make sure you ask before doing so. We recommend you keep your card in a safe place and do not let anyone else borrow it.
It can be an anxious situation when you realize you have lost your EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card. The countries SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) uses these cards to disburse funds each month to people who are enrolled.
So, it is important that people using the benefits know how to access their funds ASAP after they lose this tool. Because of this, they also need to know the process of requesting a replacement EBT card from the cardholding companies right away.
Not knowing what has happened to your lost or stolen EBT card can be very stressful, especially because you cannot access your benefits without the card. You also do not know if someone found your card and is currently using it to spend your funds on items for themselves.
It's important that if it has been lost or stolen that you keep calm and follow the necessary steps to report it right away so the welfare office can deactivate your EBT card right away, preventing someone from using your benefits without your permission.
Reporting your lost EBT Card
There are steps you must take to report your EBT card lost or stolen to program officials. Each state is responsible for managing the food stamp program in their state, so the process to request a replacement card can vary. the first step to obtain a new SNAP replacement card is for the beneficiary to contact the EBT customer service representative.
They can do this by calling the EBT lost card number associated with the provider of your card. The number is different than the food stamps office case worker. In some states you are able to request a new card online. In most cases you do not need to provide an extensive list of details regarding the situation that led to your EBT card being lost or stolen.
How long does it take to get a replacement for a lost or stolen EBT card?
Usually you should receive your new card soon after you have made the request, since you cannot use your SNAP benefits until you get your replacement EBT card. Though you need to realize you cannot get your new card right away as they will have to send it to you through the mail. In some states it may take between 7 to 10 business days after you filed your request to receive a new device.
During this waiting period, you will not be able to access your funds. Though this may cause issues for you in the short term, it is a secure way to keep people from unauthorize access of your SNAP benefits. Once you receive your replacement EBT card, you will need to activate it and set up a new PIN to use at checkout.
Does it cost money to replace my EBT card?
Some states do charge a SNAP replacement card fee to a recipient who lost their card or had the device stolen. Though in most cases you are not required to pay this fee out of pocket. Usually they will just deduct the fee from the current food stamps balance on your EBT card. This helps ensure that the payment is made and on time.
This deduction from your balance also ensures that the enrollee doesn’t have to come out of pocket and pay in cash for the EBT card replacement. By doing this, it is more convenient to you and the fee is usually pretty cheap when replacing a card. The fee for most states is no more than 5 bucks.
Do I lose the funds on the EBT card that was lost or stolen?
Once you have submitted your request to receive a replacement EBT card, you may ask what happens to the funds on the lost program card they are replacing. The funds are stored centrally your account, so the funds will still be there under your new EBT card. However, prior to you reporting your lost or stolen EBT card, anyone who had your card and knows your PIN (Personal Identification Number) will be able to access your funds.
This is why it is important for you to report it right away, as the SNAP agent will then be able to deactivate your lost or stolen card. Once deactivated, no one will be able to use the old card, securing your benefits until your replacement card arrives.
However, if someone ends up using your lost or stolen EBT card before the food stamp office could deactivate it, then more than likely they will not be able to replace those funds spent. This is due to the fact program officials would have no way of verifying who use the funds during this time, either the enrollee or the person who found the card and used it.
Some tips when requesting a new EBT card replacement
Though the process to request a new SNAP replacement card can be easy and straight forward, there are some tips you can use to help ensure you always have access to the benefits you need:
- First, never share your PIN number with unofficial sources
- Try to have cash or emergency funds on hand, in case you cannot access your EBT funds for a few days while waiting for your new card
- Keep track on how many times you request a new card. Requesting an EBT replacement card too many times in a short amount of time can throw up a red flag and may require the food stamp office to investigate