Can I use my EBT card in another state?

The Electronic Benefit Transfer Card (EBT) is a mechanism that uses the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for deliver different benefits to people who have been considered eligible for them. One of the most frequently asked questions by users is can I use my EBT card in another state?

As you may already know, this card works in a similar way to the usual debit cards. But, if the need arises to use it in another state, you probably don’t know what to do.

The immediate answer to this question is: yes, you can use the EBT card in other states. Below we explain all the details.

Can I use my EBT card in another state?

You have the right to use your SNAP through the EBT card in all 50 states of the Union. SNAP is a federal program that is “interoperable” between states, which makes it very versatile and adapts to the different situations in which the beneficiary may find himself.

The legal basis for the interoperability of the SNAP program is established in the “Electronic Code of Federal Regulations” (e-CFR) Title 7. Agriculture Subtitle B. Regulations of the Department of Agriculture Chapter II. FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Subchapter C. FOOD STAMP AND FOOD DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM Part 274. ISSUANCE AND USE OF PROGRAM BENEFITS.

Point 10 specifically indicates: “(10) Interoperability. State agencies must adopt uniform standards to facilitate interoperability and portability across the country. Interoperability means that the EBT system must allow benefits issued in the form of an EBT card to be redeemed in any State.

The term “portability” means that the EBT system must allow benefits issued in the form of an EBT card to be used in any state by a household to purchase food at a retail food store or retail food establishment. approved under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008.”

Reasons to use the EBT card in another state

Some SNAP recipients live near state lines and shop in border states, this usually happens between states like New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York.

One of the reasons why a person decides to shop in the closest border state may be because the grocery store is closer to home. This occurs especially when it comes to big chain stores that have better prices or deals.

Visits to family and friends is another of the frequent reasons why a beneficiary uses his card in another state, different from his residence.

The DTA (Department of Transitional Assistance)

One of the main concerns of SNAP recipients when using the EBT card outside of their state is the reaction of the DTA (Department of Transitional Assistance). Keep in mind that this department should not assume that you have abandoned your habitual residence to shop in another state and therefore threaten to close your SNAP case.

In any case, in case you receive a letter from the DTA warning that you must fail your residency because you used your SNAP out of state, remember that interoperability is a figure protected by federal law and allows you to do so. However, if you find yourself in this situation, seek professional advice from a lawyer.

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