Food stamps are part of the U.S. government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, run by the Department of Agriculture. SNAP benefits are applied to an Electronic Benefits Card that works much like a bank card. Forty-two states and territories provide online access to card information, including the card balance. To check your balance, visit the website for your state's program and enter your card information.
Your State's Online Access
A list of each state that provides online access to EBT accounts and the relevant website is on the USDA's website. Only 42 states and territories are on this list; the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin are not. If you live in a state that does not provide online access, you can use alternative methods to check your balance. These include checking your store receipt after each purchase or calling a special phone number.
Your User Account
To access your online EBT account for the first time you have to create a user ID and password. Visit your state's EBT website and click on "create user account." The page that appears asks you to enter personal information to set up your account. This may include your Social Security number, date of birth and EBT number. The system requires this information of the primary account holder. If someone else is the primary SNAP account holder, enter that person's information.
Your User ID and Password
Choose a user ID and password that you can remember. Your state's website has restrictions on the length of your password -- for example, the number of digits. You can change your password at a later time, but your user ID may have to stay the same, so be sure it is something you can easily recall. If you forget your user ID or password, you can use the website to reset your information by clicking "forgotten user ID/reset password."
Your Food Stamp Balance
Log in to your state's EBT website with your user ID and password to view your balance. The EBT website should have additional information, which can vary by state. In Pennsylvania, for example, the site also provides your transaction history. Review these transactions to determine whether an error has been made or to track your SNAP spending. Your balance for other programs, such as temporary assistance for needy families, may also be accessible through the EBT website.
- United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service: EBT -- Online EBT SNAP Accounts
- Pennsylvania Electronic Benefit Transfer: EBT
- Government of Indiana: Family and Social Services Administration -- Electronic Benefits Transfer
- United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service: EBT Customer Service Information
- Texas Health and Human Services Commission: Lone Star EBT -- How Can I Check My Balance?
- Pennsylvania Electronic Benefit Transfer: Pennsylvania EBT -- Create a New Account