The United States wants to provide better conditions for its citizens, to reduce poverty and hunger, and offer healthier lifestyles for the people in need. The Government implemented the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. This is to ensure everyone eligible has access to food, and create better households.
To make the process easier for anyone, SNAP money can be accessed through an Electronic Benefits Transfer card. This is a special account that contains all your benefits.
It works like a debit card and keeps your federal support in a safe place. That way, you have access to it when you need it. Money can be withdrawn from an ATM too. You can use it for your expenses. Here we look at how to get an EBT card.
Benefits of an EBT Card
Governmental help is a great benefit for those in need. You can maintain the welfare for you and your family more efficiently without any major worries.
You can only use the Electronic Benefits Transfer card if your photo is on it. This is as the Massachusetts law requires. You don’t need a photo if you are: under 18 or over 60, blind, disabled, homeless, or getting benefits for someone else. You can click here to read more.
Any other family members may use your EBT card. They must know the secret PIN, though. A considerable benefit might be the possibility to entitle someone else to shop for you if you are in the incapacity to do so.
The list of what you can purchase varies, including meat and fish, drinks, bread and cereals, and more others. You may not buy alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, weapons, jewelry, drugs, gambling or lottery tickets.
You may use your SNAP money for rent and utilities. The EBT card can be used in the stores that show the “Quest” logo. You can either pay by a card or withdraw cash from the same place without any fee.
Fees and Rates
Some fees apply to an EBT card when you withdraw money from an ATM. If you make more than four transactions per month, you’ll incur a fee of 75 cents. If there is no urgent need for cash, try to make as few withdrawals as possible.
Keep in mind that you have to have a responsibility for your actions and be aware of your eligibility. The penalty for giving false information, selling SNAP benefits, altering the EBT card (read more about rules here), includes fines up to $250 000, you can face prison up to 20 years or both.
How to Apply
For the application of SNAP, you need to provide the Social Security number, home address, date of birth, revenues, and expenses. To speed up the process, make sure you bring all the documents mentioned here.
There are multiple options of applying: online, by mail, by fax, or in person, but the phone version is not possible.
The first step to applying for SNAP is to consider the requirements and make sure your situation is suitable for the compulsory criteria. Eligibility requires that you have low or no income, are disabled, or are unable to work. You can find a lot more on this site.
The second step will be your interview and the review of all your information provided. If you are approved, you receive the EBT card and PIN via mail in 7-10 days or, in person, and you’ll get the benefits right after you found out you are eligible.
The last step would be to enjoy your benefits and improve your lifestyle with the qualitative foods and beverages with the help received.
To find more information and criteria to obtain the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and an EBT card, you can get in touch with the Department of Transitional Assistance through the phone or online.
DTA Assistance Line
Call Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), DTA Assistance Line at (877) 382-2363.
The DTA Assistance Line is open from 8:15 A.M. to 4:45 P.M. or online.
In case of the urgency of needing food assistance within seven days, you can apply for the Emergency SNAP benefits. For more information, contact them on (877) 382-2363.
Also, make sure you check the terms and conditions. If you have any questions, contact the number above.