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How To Report Lost EBT Card

If you lost your EBT card, had it stolen, or it has become damaged, you then need to request a replacement EBT card. If lost or stolen, it is important to report it right away to limit the risk of food stamp fraud. If someone has your card, they could potentially use it to purchase food items using your SNAP benefits, or in some cases, be able to withdraw cash from the ATM. Some states may have a limit on how many times you can request a new EBT card and some states are now charging a replacement fee. To find out how to replace a EBT card, select your state below.

When food stamps enrollees realize that they have a lost EBT card, they may become anxious. EBT stands for electronic benefits transfer, and the nation’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) uses these cards to distribute funds to enrollees. As a result, beneficiaries should know how to be able to access their funds as soon as possible after they lose these tools. For these reasons, claimants must know how to get a replacement EBT card from the cardholding companies as soon as possible.

Whether beneficiaries have a lost or stolen EBT card, these situations can be stressful. Enrollees are faced with the uncertainty of not knowing where their cards are, and they generally cannot access their benefits until they have new cards. Therefore, it is important that recipients keep calm and complete the necessary steps to ensure that they can return to spending their SNAP funds with replacement cards.

How to Report Lost EBT Card Situations

There are various steps that enrollees can take to report lost EBT card situations to program officials. This process may make beneficiaries uneasy, but they must remember that this task is relatively simple to complete. While each state is responsible for managing its own food stamps program, the way that claimants can request replacement cards is usually standard throughout the country.

First, beneficiaries who want to obtain a SNAP replacement card need to contact EBT customer service representatives. Enrollees may accomplish this by calling the EBT lost card number that is associated with the card provider companies. This number is different from the one that claimants need to call when they wish to speak with their food stamps office case workers. In some states, enrollees may even notify officials that their EBT cards have been misplaced by submitting this information online. In any case, beneficiaries usually do not need to provide extensive details regarding the circumstances that led to their lost EBT card. However, enrollees may need to specify if their cards were lost or stolen.

How quickly can I get a replacement for my lost or stolen EBT card?

Usually, claimants who request a SNAP replacement card will receive their new cards soon after their card providers process their requests. However, enrollees must remember that their cards will not be immediately available to them. In some states, beneficiaries may need to wait between seven and 10 business days after they filed their requests to receive these new devices. During this waiting period, enrollees must remember that they are unlikely to be able to access their funds. While inconvenient, beneficiaries will soon receive their EBT card replacement in the mail, which they can then activate and use.

Do I need to pay to replace my lost EBT card?

Most states charge a SNAP replacement card fee to any enrollees who lost their cards or who had these devices stolen from them. However, most recipients are not required to pay these fees out of pocket. Often, the SNAP office that distributes funds will deduct the replacement costs from enrollees’ remaining totals for that month. This helps to ensure that the payment is made on time. Furthermore, this automated deduction helps enrollees because they do not have to pay in cash for the EBT card replacement. This method is usually more convenient for SNAP enrollees and most cards are cheap to replace. In many states, the cost is usually around $5.

Do I automatically lose the funds from my lost EBT card?

Once claimants contact their EBT card replacement center, they may wonder what happens to any of the funds they had remaining on their lost program cards. Whether or not enrollees can access and redeem their account balances depends on whether or not their funds were compromised before they reported their cards missing. Before an enrollee reports a lost or stolen EBT card, anyone who obtains the card and knows the user’s personal identification number (PIN) can access the user’s funds.

If a SNAP enrollee has a lost EBT card and someone attempts to use the benefits while he or she has the card, the food stamp office will likely be unable to replace any funds that are spent at that time. This is due to the fact that program officials have no way to verify that enrollees themselves were not the ones who spent their funds. To reduce the charges that perpetrators would be able to spend the enrollees’ SNAP benefits, claimants must be sure to report their lost cards to the card companies as soon as possible.

Tips for Requesting an EBT Card Replacement

While the procedures for requesting a SNAP replacement card are straightforward, there are some additional tips that claimants should keep in mind. The following tips can help to ensure that enrollees always have access to the benefits they need:

  • Never share PIN numbers with unofficial sources. In most cases, only the EBT card holding company and the SNAP office should know the enrollee’s PIN number. This helps to reduce the likelihood that thieves will be able to access account information and funds if they have a lost or stolen EBT card.
  • Have cash or emergency funds on-hand. Once enrollees report that their cards have been lost or stolen, the cards will be deactivated. This helps to ensure that unauthorized users do not spend the funds. However, beneficiaries should have emergency funds available to help support them during this time when they cannot access their EBT cards. By having their own financial support, enrollees will still be able to purchase food during the days when they are waiting to receive their replacement cards.
  • Be mindful of multiple replacements. Recipients should feel comfortable contacting their EBT card replacement center when their cards are stolen or they misplace these devices. However, enrollees need to be careful that they are not requesting too many replacement cards in a single year. While this could be an innocent situation, food stamp offices may believe that enrollees who need multiple card replacements in a short period of time are committing fraud.
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