How To Check Your EBT Balance In Alabama [Get The Facts]

Millions of American households use EBT to make ends meet. EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) is a way of providing additional nutrition for their families. 

While EBT is used in just about every state in America, each state may have slightly different rules. If you’re new to using EBT, you might have some questions. 

First of all, what is EBT, and what can it buy? What can’t you buy with EBT? How can you check your EBT balance? We’ll discuss the answers to these questions and more in this article. 

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Table of Contents:

What Is EBT? 

EBT refers to any kind of cash benefit given out electronically. For example, EBT is mostly used to receive SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), which has replaced traditional food stamps coupons. 

Your monthly benefits will be paid into an online EBT account, and you’ll be given a plastic card to pay for household groceries. You use this card as a debit or credit card, either in stores or online. 

However, you can’t use your EBT card to withdraw cash from an ATM or to request cashback. 

This is because EBT is designed to pay for a household’s food groceries. Even non-essential food groceries aren’t covered by your EBT and SNAP benefits. 

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Trying to buy non-approved items will make your EBT card decline. Even if the payment somehow goes through (or a cashier agrees to sell you an unapproved item, like alcohol) you will have to repay the money for the item later. 

Persistently trying to buy unapproved items can get your EBT account frozen, or your benefits suspended. However, most stores do accept EBT cards, and you can also use your EBT card to shop online. 

Here’s what you can buy with EBT: 

  • Fruit and vegetables 
  • Meat and poultry 
  • Fish and seafood
  • Dairy products, like yogurt, cheese, and milk 
  • Some energy/nutrition drinks, like ensure or other popular drinks
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Nuts, beans, and legumes
  • Bread, grains, and cereals
  • Seeds, to grow plants for food at home
  • Baking ingredients
  • Snack foods, like ice cream, candy, and chips

 Since EBT is designed to provide food and ingredients for families to make meals at home. So, most food ingredients are covered by EBT payments. However, not all foods are approved, as you’ll find out next. 

Here’s what you can’t buy with EBT:

  • Hot food, preprepared and designed to be eaten immediately (for example, rotisserie chickens and some pre-cooked seafood)
  • Restaurant food and fast food
  • Pet food
  • Medicines, vitamins, and supplements (some nutritional smoothies and energy drinks fall under the “supplements” category)
  • Electronics
  • Furniture or home decor items
  • Clothes or cosmetics
  • Household supplies (like cleaning products and paper goods
  • Hygiene and grooming products (like soap, shampoo, and sanitary pads)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tobacco products
  • Gambling/lottery tickets

As you can see, some items which are not covered by EBT payments are still essential. For example, you will still need to buy medicines, household supplies, and hygiene and grooming products.

In many large stores, all of these products are sold together. However, some stores allow customers to make multiple payments on one load of shopping. This means that you can use your EBT card to buy your food groceries, and you own money to buy non-food groceries. 

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Frequently Asked EBT Questions

If you’re moving to another state or traveling between states, it’s good to get familiar with that state’s EBT rules. Here are a  few commonly asked questions about EBT use in Alabama. 

  • Who qualifies for P EBT in Alabama?

P EBT, or Pandemic EBT, is designed to replace the free or reduced-price school meals that eligible children would have received at school. 

Due to the pandemic and nationwide school closures, many children have had to go without their free or reduced-price school meals. 

  • Can I use grocery delivery services with EBT?

Yes, you can use some – but not all – grocery delivery services with EBT. However, you will need to have another valid form of payment – like a debit or credit card – registered on the site before you buy. 

This is because although your EBT card will cover the cost of your food groceries, it won’t cover extra costs like the delivery fee, tips, or any other charges. 

Checking Your EBT Balance (Alabama)

It’s important to keep an eye on your EBT balance, to avoid running out of money before the end of the month. 

The easiest way to check your EBT balance is to review your last receipt. However, if you can’t find your last receipt, checking your balance online is very easy. 

  • Step One: First, you’ll need to visit this site. It will take you straight to the Alabama EBT login page. You’ll be prompted to enter your user ID and password, then you can view your balance and check your account.

  • Step Two: If you’ve forgotten your user ID, click the “Forgotten User ID”. Then you’ll need to enter your zip code, date of birth, and EBT card number.

  • Step Three: If you forget your password, you can reset it by clicking the “Forgotten Password” option below the login box. You’ll need to enter some details, like your zip code, date of birth, and EBT card number. Then you can reset your password and enter a new one.
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  • Step Four: If you have other issues with logging in, you’ll see a list of frequently asked questions to the right of the login box. For example, you can click on the “What do I do if my card is lost, stolen, or damaged?” option, and view the instructions to deal with that problem.

The Bottom Line

While logging into your EBT account is generally the same in different states, there can be some differences. If you’re moving to another state or traveling, you might want to research the rules for using EBT in your destination state. 

Using EBT is simple and quick, allowing you to get access to your funds wherever you are.

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