How To Check Your EBT Balance In West Virginia [Get The Facts]
Applying for EBT and SNAP benefits can be daunting. Once you’ve been accepted for these benefits, it can seem like your troubles are just starting.
How do you use EBT? What can you buy, and what can’t you buy? Where can you use your EBT card?
If any of these worries sound familiar to you, read on. While EBT and other benefits may initially seem complicated, they’re more straightforward than you might think. Of course, knowing that EBT is supposed to be easy to use isn’t much help if you’re struggling to log into your online account.
So, let’s discuss some commonly asked EBT questions – including how to get into your online account in the first place.
Table Of Contents:
- What Is EBT?
- How to Check Your EBT Balance In West Virginia
- Frequently Asked EBT Questions
- The Bottom Line
What Is EBT?
EBT, or Electronic Benefits Transfer, is an electronic account designed to receive and pay out governmentally issued cash benefits. It’s most commonly used to receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), which is also known as food stamps.
All benefits are now issued and used electronically. To use your EBT benefits, you’ll be given a plastic payment card, which you can’t use to withdraw cash. All transactions should be done electronically.
This means that aside from shopping normally in stores, you can also use your EBT card to shop online. This makes shopping much easier for the average household, especially during the recent pandemic. However, you will need to cover costs like delivery fees, tips, and other charges yourself, so you may need to have another method of payment attached.
EBT works like a debit or credit card. You swipe your card at a store checkout, enter a pin, and the transaction is complete.
However, you don’t need to worry about overdrawing on your EBT account. Once your EBT balance has run out, you won’t be able to make any more purchases, and any leftover benefits roll onto the next month. Still, you may want to keep an eye on your balance as the month progresses, in case you find yourself without food and without money halfway through the month.
What Can You Buy With EBT?
EBT and SNAP cover food items. This means that anything classed as a food item (even strange products, like coffee beans) is covered by your EBT.
Here’s what you can buy with EBT:
- Fruit and vegetables (frozen, canned, and fresh)
- Meat, poultry, fish, and seafood
- Bread, cereals, and grains
- Baking products
- Baby food
- Dairy and dairy substitutes (milk, cheese, almond, soy, or coconut milk)
- Non-alcoholic beverages (soda, juice, bottled water, etc)
- Snack foods (chips, ice cream, candy, etc)
The average EBT user has plenty of freedom when it comes to making their purchases. There’s no restriction on brand, price, and type of food. The only criteria are that the item should be officially classed as a food item.
In short, there are no regulations on where, when, and on what you spend your benefits on, presuming it’s a food item at a participating store.
What Can’t You Buy With EBT?
It stands to reason that EBT won’t cover personal items. However, some essential goods are also not covered by your benefits.
Here’s what you can’t buy with EBT:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Tobacco products
- Gambling/lottery tickets
- Pet food
- Medicine, vitamins, and supplements (some energy drinks are classed as supplements, so be careful)
- Personal items (like cosmetics, electronics, furniture, clothing, etc)
- Hot, preprepared food and drinks (fast food, rotisserie chickens, hot coffee, etc)
- Household supplies (paper goods, cleaning products, etc)
- Hygiene and grooming products (sanitary pads, tampons, soap, shampoo, etc)
Unfortunately, you’ll need to use your own money to buy essential non-food items like hygiene products and medicine.
How To Check Your EBT Balance In West Virginia
While you can review your last receipt (which will list your closing EBT balance) or call the customer service number on the back of your EBT card for an update on your benefits balance, logging into your online account is just as quick and easy.
Here’s how to check your EBT balance online:
- Step One: Start by visiting this site. This will take you to the EBT governmental cardholder page. To access your EBT card balance, click on “cardholder login” on the far left of the page.
- Step Two: Next, you’ll be presented with a login box. You’ll be prompted to enter your user ID and password. Once you’ve done that, you can access your account and view your balance, as well as other information.
- Step Three: If you’re having difficulty signing in, click on the “trouble signing in” option below the login button. You’ll be presented with several options to choose from. For example, if this is your first time using your EBT card, you’ll need to unlock your user ID. If you’ve forgotten your password, click the “forgot password” option and follow the instructions given onscreen. Then you should be able to reset your password and create a new one.
- Step Four: If you’re still struggling with logging into your EBT account, click on the “trouble signing in FAQs” option in red at the bottom of the page. This will open a downloadable booklet explaining how to log onto your account and other frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked EBT Questions
Regardless of which state you live in, EBT users all over the country have questions about their benefits. Here are some commonly asked EBT questions from West Virginia.
- What time does EBT deposit in West Virginia?
Benefits in West Virginia should deposit into your account between midnight and 8 AM of your scheduled payment day. If your payment doesn’t appear, call the customer service number on the back of your card.
- When will I receive my monthly benefits?
You’ll receive your benefits on the same day every month, and it may correspond with the last digit of your EBT card number. For example, if it ends in a 0-1, you’ll get paid on the first day of the month. If it’s a 2, you’ll get paid on the second, and so on.
The Bottom Line
Using EBT doesn’t have to be complicated. Practice and patience are all that’s needed. If you have difficulties, call the customer service number on the back of your card.