How To Check Your EBT Balance In Arkansas [Learn The Facts]

Making ends meet is tricky for many families and individuals. Walking the line between paying the bills and buying tasty, nutritious food is not always easy. For some low-income Americans, EBT – Electronic Benefits Transfer – is an attractive option. 

Millions of Americans all over the US benefit from EBT and the connected SNAP benefits. Of course, these benefits come with plenty of rules to consider. 

What should you know about EBT? How can you check your balance in Arkansas? Let’s find out. 

Table of Contents:

What Is EBT? 

EBT is an umbrella term for all electronically issued benefits. Electronically issued benefits are replacing traditional paper coupons. For example, SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) have replaced old food stamps coupons. 

You’ll receive a plastic payment card, like a debit or credit card, and you use this card to pay for food groceries in stores. You can’t use your card to withdraw cash. 

You should also make sure you know exactly what you can buy with EBT – and more importantly, what you can’t buy.

What Can You Buy With EBT? 

EBT cash will cover most whole foods and groceries. It also allows for “luxury” foods, or more expensive items. Essentially, it’s up to you what you spend your EBT balance on. In theory, you could spend it all on seafood and junk food – it’s your money! 

Here’s what you can buy with EBT: 

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish and seafood
  • Dairy and non-dairy products (soy milk, almond milk, yogurt, cheese, milk, etc)
  • Cereals and grains 
  • Bread
  • Baking products (flour, sugar, etc)
  • Baby food 
  • Bakery products (pastries, pies, etc)
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Snack foods (chips, candy, soda, etc)
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EBT users have a lot of freedom in what they choose to buy. It’s up to you how you spend your benefits, although it would probably be best to choose lower-priced, more nutritious food. Any money you don’t spend at the end of the month will roll on to the next month so that you’ll get extra. 

What Can’t You Buy With EBT?

Food stamps and designed to pay for – well, food. Non-food groceries – even essential ones – aren’t covered by your EBT. 

Here’s what you can’t buy with EBT: 

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tobacco products
  • Gambling and lottery tickets 
  • Pet food 
  • Personal items (electronics, cosmetics, home decorations, etc)
  • Medicines, vitamins, and supplements
  • Hot, preprepared food (hot coffee, rotisserie chickens, restaurant food, etc)
  • Household supplies (paper goods, cleaning products)
  • Personal hygiene products (soap, shampoo, sanitary items, etc)

As you can see, some unapproved items are fairly self-explanatory – of course, you can’t use your food stamps to buy alcohol and tobacco. However, some other products are clearly necessary items. 

To buy household supplies and hygiene products, you may need to use your own money. While they are essential groceries, EBT and SNAP benefits only cover food groceries. 

However, many stores allow shoppers to make several payments on one load of shopping. This means that you can use your EBT card to pay for your food items, and your own money to pay for the non-food groceries. 

How To Check Your EBT Balance In Arkansas

You can’t overspend on your EBT account. Once your money runs out, the card will stop working, so you won’t end up overdrawn. However, this does mean that if you don’t keep an eye on your EBT balance, you might find yourself running out of money mid-month. 

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The easiest way to check your balance is to review your last receipt. Your closing EBT balance should be listed on the receipt. 

However, if you want to check other information, or you can’t find your last receipt, you’re better off checking your EBT balance online. Here’s how to do that. 

  • Step One: Start by visiting this site. You’ll be prompted to enter your user ID and password. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to log in and check your balance.
  • Step Two: If you’ve forgotten your user ID, click the “Forgotten user ID” option below the login button. You’ll be prompted to enter the last four digits of your social security number, your date of birth, and your EBT card number. After that, you’ll need to answer your security questions. Then your user ID will be emailed to you.

  • Step Three: If you’ve forgotten your password (it happens to the best of us!), click the “Forgot Password” option below the login button. You’ll need to enter the last four digits of your social security number, your date of birth, and your card number. Then you can reset your password and create a new one.

  • Step Four: If you’re still having difficulty logging in, click the “need help?” option below the login button. This will open a popup window with helpful information.

Frequently Asked EBT Questions 

Most new EBT users have a lot of questions. Practise is generally a good idea for you to get the hang of using your new card and account. Here are a few commonly asked questions about EBT in Arkansas.

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Yes, you can. The customer service hotline is 1-800-997-9999, where you can ask about your EBT balance and other questions. 

  • How do I know when my next EBT payment will arrive in Arkansas? 

Your EBT payments will arrive at the same time every month. If you’re not sure when your next payment will arrive, call the customer service number on the back of your card. 

The Bottom Line

If you can, learn to use your EBT account. It’s the best way to keep an eye on your balance. If you’re not sure whether a food item is covered by your benefits, ask a cashier or even call the customer service number. 

Using EBT doesn’t need to be complicated. After a few uses, you’ll find that using your card and checking your balance comes as second nature. Using your card in Arkansas is almost exactly the same as using it in any other state. You can use your EBT card all over America.