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

For low-income American families, EBT and SNAP benefits are real lifesavers. These benefits allow individuals and families to pay for extra food. 

If you’re eligible for EBT, you may have some questions. What can you buy with EBT? More importantly, what can’t you buy? How can you check your online EBT balance

In this article, we’ll discuss some commonly asked questions about EBT, as well as going through a step-by-step guide to logging onto your EBT online account

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Table of Contents

What Is EBT? 

EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) is a way of referring to all electronically delivered benefits. EBT is most commonly used to receive and access SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), but it can also be used to receive other benefits, like FA (Family Assistance) and P EBT (Pandemic EBT, a special benefit which we’ll discuss later). 

To use your EBT balance, you’ll be given a plastic card, like a credit or debit card. You can’t use this card to withdraw cash from an ATM or to receive cashback. 

EBT is designed to pay for food-based groceries. Other benefits, such as Medicaid, may pay for medicines and other similar necessities, but you can’t use EBT to pay for vitamins, medicines, or supplements. 

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It’s important to only use your EBT balance to pay for approved items. If you try and buy even one unapproved item, your card will be declined until you remove the item in question. 

What you can buy with EBT: 

  • Fruit and vegetables 
  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish and seafood (although some pre-cooked seafood may not be approved)
  • Dairy products
  • Snack foods (chips, ice cream, etc)
  • Nuts, grains, and cereals 
  • Bread

What you can’t buy with EBT: 

  • Household supplies
  • Paper goods
  • Cleaning products
  • Hygiene and grooming products (including sanitary items)
  • Clothes and furniture
  • Pet food
  • Vitamins, supplements, and medicines 
  • Hot food
  • Prepared food or restaurant food
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Lottery tickets or gambling 
  • Tobacco products

As you can see, not all unapproved items are unnecessary. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to buy non-food grocery items for your home with your EBT balance. 

A transfer with an unapproved item is likely to be declined, and if you keep trying to buy unapproved items, you could have your benefits suspended. 

Frequently Asked EBT Questions

For many EBT users, the threat of losing their benefits is a very serious threat. After all, many families rely on their EBT money to survive. 

EBT is used in every state, but the rules may vary slightly. So, let’s discuss a few commonly asked questions about EBT use in Michigan. 

  • What is the monthly income limit for food stamps in Michigan?

For a household of one person, the monthly income limit to qualify for food stamps is $1 518. If you earn more than this, you won’t be eligible for food stamps. 

For a household of four, the monthly income limit is $3 138. The income limit varies depending on the household’s size and other considerations. If you have questions about your eligibility for SNAP benefits in Michigan, check out this website

  • When does EBT deposit in Michigan?

In Michigan, EBT money is sent out between the 3rd and the 21st of each month. When your money is deposited will depend on your user ID number. 

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For example, if your ID ends in a 0, your money will be deposited on the 3rd of each month. If your ID ends in a 1, you’ll get your benefits on the 5th. If your ID ends in a 2, you can expect your money to be deposited on the 7th of each month. 

If you have more concerns about when your monthly benefits will be deposited, call the customer service number on the back of your EBT card.

  • Will P EBT be extended in Michigan?

Currently, P EBT (which are essentially additional SNAP benefits for eligible children and students) has been extended into September 2021. 

Checking Your Michigan EBT Balance

You can’t overspend your EBT balance. Your EBT balance doesn’t work like a debit or credit card – if the money isn’t in your account, you won’t be able to pay.

While this means you won’t run the risk of overspending by accident, it does mean that you’ll need to keep a close eye on your EBT balance. 

The simplest way to check your EBT balance is to check your last receipt, as your closing balance total should be recorded on your receipt. Alternatively, you can call the customer service number on the back of your EBT card

However, if you want to check your EBT account online, logging in should be a straightforward process. 

  • Step One: Start by visiting this site. This will take you directly to the EBT login page for Michigan EBT users. You’ll be prompted to enter your user ID and password. After that, you should be able to easily access your EBT account and view your balance.
  • Step Two (Additional Help): If you’re having difficulty logging into your account, click the “Help” button below the login box. A popup box will appear, going over how to log in and what information you’ll need. Alternatively, you can click on the questions to the right of the login box, which list some issues users commonly have this logging in. 
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  • Step Three (Forgot user ID/reset password/create a new user account): You may need to create a new user ID or reset your password. If that happens, click the “Create User Account” button below the login box. You’ll then be prompted to enter some details, such as your EBT card number, your date of birth, ZIP code, and more. If you’re still not able to log into your account, call the customer service number listed on the original login page.

The Bottom Line

It’s not unusual to have some worries about using your EBT benefits for the first time. Don’t worry, practice makes perfect! Even if you aren’t entirely comfortable with logging into your EBT online account, you can always call the customer service number on the back of your card. 

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