Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards are used to access state-issued benefits, including the
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Activation By Phone
The number to call to activate an EBT is commonly found on the back of the card. It's typically the customer service number. You'll need to follow the automated prompts and select the option "activate your EBT card." The process is similar to activating a debit card for the first time. Enter the card number and the PIN. Depending on your state, you may need to enter the last four digits of your Social Security number and billing zip code to ensure the card is in your possession.
It is possible to activate your EBT card online in most states. Many state EBT cards are serviced by the bank JP Morgan Chase. The Chase "U Card Center" allows you to activate your card online with the card number, your Social Security number, name and address. You can also activate replacement cards through the center. The process is similar for EBT cards serviced directly by the state. You can see if your state offers online EBT services by checking the list available on the USDA Food and Nutrition Services website.
Where and When to Get Assistance
If you're having problems using your card or your card was lost, damaged or stolen, contact the EBT customer service number. If you don't have access to the card, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service lists each state's SNAP information and hotline numbers. If you aren't able to activate the card or the card has a zero balance, it could mean your application isn't finished processing. SNAP applications can take 30 days to process and TANF applications take up to 45 days. Contact your caseworker or local department of social services if you can't activate your card.