SNAP debit cards, often known as EBTs, are accepted in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. However, because an EBT is a debit card, you must protect it.
If your card is lost or stolen, someone else may be able to use your benefits. Here are some tips on how to keep your SNAP benefits safe, as well as what to do if your card goes missing.
How to Keep Your EBT Card Safe
Your EBT card is secured with a PIN code that should only be known by you. Because this PIN code has the ability to open all of the card’s benefits, you should take extra precautions to ensure that no one learns it.
If you believe someone knows your PIN or if you unintentionally shared it with a third party, you should immediately update your PIN by calling your state’s EBT customer care line.
Keep an eye on your EBT card just like you would any of your other debit cards. Never leave it unattended in your car or anyplace else out of your physical control while you are outside, and never leave it lying around your house. To put it another way, treat your EBT card as if it were cash.
What to Do If Your Credit Card Is Stolen or Lost
If your EBT card is lost or stolen, you may lose your SNAP benefits. That is why it is critical to respond quickly if you suspect your card has been missing.
While each state’s process may change slightly, these are the steps you should follow if you believe your California EBT card has been lost or stolen, according to the California Department of Social Services:
- Call customer support at 877-328-9677 immediately away.
- Allow two-card number prompts to pass before entering your EBT card number.
- You’ll be prompted to report your card as stolen or lost.
- Your EBT card is disabled once you’ve been reported, and you’ll be advised how to acquire a new one.
- If your EBT card is damaged and cannot be read at a retail or ATM location, you should seek a new card as quickly as possible.
Your benefits may not be restored if an unauthorized individual with your PIN number steals them. This is why notifying your state as soon as feasible is vital.
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SNAP benefits are likely a lifeline for you and your family if you get them. Your main objective should be to keep those benefits protected.
Keep your personal information, including your PIN code, to yourself, and never leave your EBT card unattended. If your card is lost or stolen, the sooner you report it, the more likely your benefits will be protected.