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

The weekly shop is often more stressful than enjoyable. The stress is compounded for low-income Americans, trying to balance buying nutritious food with keeping to a strict budget. 

EBT and SNAP benefits go a long way towards helping low-income families make ends meet. While these benefits are lifesavers for many families, there are rules and regulations for using EBT. 

So, what is EBT? What can you spend it on, and how can you check your balance

Let’s find out. 

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Table of Contents:

What Is EBT? 

EBT, or Electronic Benefits Transfer, is an electronic account set up to receive governmental benefits like SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, replacing traditional food stamps coupons). 

Your benefits will be paid into the account monthly, and you can make purchases with a plastic payment card. You can’t overspend on your EBT account, since once you’ve run out of money, you won’t be able to make any more purchases. However, any leftover benefits will add on to the next month’s worth of benefits. 

You can’t use your EBT card to get cash, either via cashback or through an ATM. This is because EBT is designed to pay for a household’s nutritional needs, and only food groceries are approved for EBT purchases. 

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You can use your EBT card for online purchases, but you’ll need to have another method of payment attached to your account, like a debit or credit card. This is because while your EBT balance will cover your food groceries, it won’t cover other charges, like delivery fees and tips. 

So, what should you spend your EBT balance on? More importantly, is there anything you can’t spend your EBT balance on? Let’s find out. 

Here’s what you can buy with EBT: 

  • Fruit and vegetables (frozen, canned, or fresh)
  • Meat, poultry, fish, and seafood
  • Frozen food (such as ready meals, frozen pizzas, etc)
  • Bread, cereals, and grains
  • Dairy products (cheese, milk, etc)
  • Non-dairy products (almond milk, etc)
  • Baking ingredients (sugar, flour, etc)
  • Baby food and formula 
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Snack foods (ice cream, chips, candy, etc)

As you can see, there are plenty of foods that are covered by your EBT balance, including “luxury” foods, like soda, candy, and other snacks. In short, you have plenty of choices as to what to buy with your EBT balance. What you spend your balance on is completely up to you.

Here’s what you can’t buy with EBT:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tobacco products
  • Gambling/lottery tickets
  • Pet food/live animals
  • Hot, preprepared food (hot coffee, rotisserie chickens, etc)
  • Electronics
  • Clothes, cosmetics, or other personal items
  • Household supplies (paper goods, cleaning products, etc)
  • Hygiene and grooming products (soap, shampoo, sanitary pads, etc)

Some unapproved items are fairly obvious, such as alcohol or tobacco. However, household supplies and hygiene products are clearly essential goods. 

Most stores allow customers to make multiple payments on one load of shopping. So, you can use your EBT card to pay for your food groceries, and use your own money to pay for other essential goods. 

Frequently Asked EBT Questions

EBT can be used in all fifty states. However, each state has slightly different rules when it comes to things like logging into your online account or where you can use your card. So, if you’re planning to move to a different state or to travel, it may be a good idea to do some research as to where you can use your EBT card

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The simplest way to check your balance in any state is to review your latest EBT purchase receipt. Alternatively, you may be able to use an ATM to view your balance. If you want to check your balance over the phone, call the customer service number at 1-866-512-5087 or 1-877-906-0085(TTY).

  • How long does it take to get approved for food stamps in Mississippi?

It takes less than 30 days to get approved for food stamps in Mississippi. However, some low-income families may qualify for faster approval.

How to Check Your EBT Balance (Mississippi)

The simplest way to check your balance is to review your latest EBT receipt. However, most users prefer to check their online accounts. This makes it easy to view your balance, as well as other information on your benefits. 

  • Step One: Start by visiting this site. This will take you directly to the EBT login page. You’ll be prompted to enter your user ID and password. Then you can log into your account and view your balance as well as other information.

  • Step Two: If you forget your password, click the “forgot user ID/password” option below the login box. You’ll be prompted to add some details, like your social security number, date of birth, card number, and more. Then you’ll be able to reset your password and create a new one.

  • Step Three: If you’ve forgotten your user ID, or need to create a new account, click the “create user account” option below the login box. You’ll be prompted to enter some details, such as the last four digits of your social security number, date of birth, and EBT card number. Then you’ll need to enter and confirm a password, and your account is all set up.
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  • Step Four: If you still have trouble signing into your account, click the “help” option below the login button. This will open a pop-up box that details how to log in and some helpful tips for using your EBT account.

The Bottom Line

Not everyone feels comfortable using the internet. However, accessing your online EBT account is simple and easy, and allows you to view other information as well as your balance. 

Like with most things, practice makes perfect. After you’ve logged onto your online account once or twice, you’ll find the process easy and helpful. 

Of course, if you have any concerns about your EBT, call the customer service number on the back of your card.

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