Understanding Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Cards
What is EBT?
An Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card allows a refugee to use a debit-style card to access food stamps (CalFresh) and cash aid (CalWORKs or RCA) if applicable. There is no need for a bank account to use EBT. When a family has both food stamps and cash aid, the EBT card has two pools of money. When making a purchase, the system knows which pool to take money from (i.e. money spent on groceries will not be taken from cash benefits).
EBT cards have individual PIN codes which are 4 digits long, just like debit cards. It is important that the family does not share this PIN with anyone so no one can use their benefits if the card is lost or stolen. Changing or resetting PIN can happen over the phone or at the local DHA office.
Where to Use EBT
Only certain stores and markets accept EBT cards as payment. Look for ATMs with the QUEST logo to sidestep any charges when withdrawing from cash benefits. Avoid withdrawing more than four times a month. Visit the EBT website to locate which stores and ATMs EBT cards are accepted.
To view a list of local farmer's markets and those that accept EBT, click on this link.
In order to check the balance of either benefits, families can access their food stamp and cash aid accounts through the MyBenefits CalWIN website or mobile application or call the customer service number on the back of the EBT card.