EBT, or Electronic Benefit Transfers, is a governmentally issued benefit system that helps millions of American families. It’s available in every state in America – although not every state has the same rules.
If you’re a new EBT user, you might have a few questions about how to use your benefits. First of all, what is EBT, and what can you spend it on? How can you check your balance?
In this article, we’ll discuss these questions and much more.
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Table of Contents:
- What is EBT?
- Frequently Asked EBT Questions
- Checking Your EBT Balance in Georgia
- The Bottom Line
- Need Burial Insurance?
What Is EBT?
EBT is an umbrella term for all electronically issued benefits. It’s most often used for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), which has replaced the old-fashioned food stamp coupons.
To use your EBT balance, you’ll be given a plastic card like a credit or debit card. While your benefits are technically cash, you won’t be able to use your card to withdraw money.
This is because EBT and SNAP benefits are only to be used for household groceries, like food. You can’t use an ATM to take out cash with your EBT card.
It’s important to know what you can and can’t buy with EBT. If you try to buy unapproved items, your card will be declined. If you keep trying to buy unapproved items, you could end up with your benefits suspended.
Here’s what you can buy with EBT:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Meat, poultry, fish, and other seafood
- Bread and grains
- Snack foods (like chips, ice cream, and some energy drinks)
- Non-alcoholic beverages
- Nuts and seeds (including seeds to grow food at home)
Here’s what you can’t buy with EBT:
- Pet food
- Household supplies (like paper goods and cleaning products)
- Hygiene and grooming products
- Vitamins, supplements, and medicines (some energy drinks fall under the “supplements” category, so be careful!)
- Tobacco products
- Hot, prepared food (like rotisserie chickens)
Simply put, most food groceries are approved by EBT. Unfortunately, other necessary household supplies (like laundry and cleaning products, sanitary items, and more) aren’t covered by EBT.
Food designed to be eaten immediately (like hot food from a food court) isn’t covered by EBT. This is because your EBT is designed to provide an individual or family with the ingredients to make filling, nutritious meals at home.
Some states make exceptions for disabled EBT users, or those who can’t cook food for themselves at home, and allow these users to buy prepared food or restaurant food. However, these exceptions are few and far between – the average EBT user won’t be able to buy this kind of food.
Frequently Asked EBT Questions
Every state uses EBT, but different states may have slightly different rules. New EBT users may have questions about to use their benefits, and where they can use their benefits. Let’s discuss a few commonly asked questions about EBT in Georgia.
- Can you buy hot food with EBT in Georgia?
EBT is designed for families to buy food to take home and prepare, so premade food or hot food isn’t covered by your benefits money.
Hot food, fast food, and restaurant foods aren’t approved by EBT. For information on what you can and can’t buy with your EBT card, check out this website.
- How do I check the status of my replacement EBT card in Georgia?
You may have problems with your EBT card. If you think there’s a problem with your card, or you suspect it’s been stolen, contact customer service as soon as possible, at 1-888-421-3281. If your card has been lost or stolen, it will be deactivated immediately.
A replacement card will be sent out immediately, but you won’t be able to access your benefits until the replacement arrives. It should take between 4 and 9 business days for your new card to arrive. In the meantime, you should be able to track your card through the USPS postal service tracking information.
- Will restaurants accept EBT in Georgia?
Restaurant food and food court items aren’t covered by EBT. You will need to visit stores to buy ingredients and food that can be prepared at home.
Checking Your EBT Balance In Georgia
One of the easiest ways to check your EBT balance (Georgia) is to review your last receipt. The closing balance on your card should be recorded on the receipt. Alternatively, you can call the customer service number on the back of your EBT card.
However, you might also prefer logging into your online EBT account. Not only can you review your balance, but you can also check out important information and request help on certain issues.
- Step One: First of all, you’ll need to visit this site. This will take you straight to the login page for EBT users in Georgia. You’ll be prompted to enter your user ID and password. Once you’ve logged in, you can view your balance.
- Step Two (Forgotten Password?): If you’ve forgotten your password, don’t worry. Simply click the “Forgotten Password” option below the login box. You’ll be prompted to enter certain information, such as your card number, zip code, and date of birth. Then you’ll be able to reset your password and create a new one.
- Step Three (Forgotten User ID?): If you’ve forgotten your user ID, click the “Forgot User ID” option below the login box. Just like the password reset, you’ll be taken to another login box where you’ll enter your card number, date of birth, and zip code. Next, you’ll need to enter the answers to some security questions, which you should have chosen during your original account setup.
- Step Four (Creating a new account?): For users who are logging in to the online portal for the first time, you’ll need to create a new user account. For this, you’ll need your user ID, card number, date of birth, and zip code. Follow the instructions given onscreen to set up your new account.
The Bottom Line
Checking your EBT balance may seem tricky at first, but after a few tries, you’ll feel much more comfortable!
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