How to report my lost EBT card?

You lost your EBT card and you don’t know if it was lost or stolen and you’re wondering how to report my lost EBT card? Don’t worry, we’ll help you report it.

Lost EBT card

The EBT card is an essential means to be able to enjoy food assistance and that is why here we tell you what to do if yours is lost. All SNAP recipients will receive one at some point after they’ve been declared a beneficiary, at least in those states that already work with electronic benefit cards, which is most (if not all) of them.

Like any other electronic benefits card, the SNAP EBT card will be similar to a bank debit card. There, the amount of economic assistance that has been approved by the local office for your family will be transferred, something that is also known as food stamps.

Some EBT cards, in addition to being used to buy food and products admitted by the program, give users certain benefits. For example, Arizona, Florida, and California EBT cards provide free or low-cost access to recreational activities, such as a visit to the museum or the zoo. Others eliminate fees for withdrawing cash at some ATMs, etc.

Now, being a plastic card, the EBT card is not exempt from theft, robbery or loss. Even the card’s chip or magnetic stripe could be damaged, preventing you from enjoying food assistance in a timely manner.

What to do if I lose my EBT card? Act Fast! And it is that, SNAP is not responsible for the benefits that you have lost if your card falls into the wrong hands.

How to report my lost EBT card?

Let’s start with a recommendation: keep your PIN secure

Losing your EBT card, leaving it somewhere and not remembering which one it was, or being the victim of theft is, unpleasant as it is, something that can happen at any time. But – thankfully – your benefits should be safe if you call your state’s customer service number or the issuing bank to report the card lost or stolen.

In the meantime, you can protect the amount you have left on your card for food assistance by choosing a secure PIN from the start:

  • Don’t create a PIN with your date of birth, last four digits of your driver’s license or Social Security number, your child’s birthday, etc.. In case of theft, the thief will have access to a lot of personal data and could guess your password.
  • Do not use sequences of numbers, such as 1234, 0987, 0123 and the like. These keys will not keep your card safe from unauthorized use. Try to choose a password that is easy to remember, but not easy to guess.
  • Do not use the last four digits of your telephone number and do not write down the code on the back or front of the card, on your mobile phone, among others. Why? Because whoever finds your wallet or the person who stole your card could easily get it.
  • Do not share your PIN with anyone. If you do, change the password immediately so they can’t use your EBT card without your consent.

My EBT card was lost or stolen: what do I do?

If you have a lost or stolen EBT card, the first thing you should do is notify your state office immediately or, better yet, call the number on the back of the card directly. For this, it is important that you write down this direct line in a safe place.

Tip: If you’ve already lost your card and don’t have the number handy, look for your EBT card delivery letter. Possibly the customer service number is there. You can also go directly to the mobile application of your card -if you have one- or call your local office. In any case, we will leave you the phone numbers of various states in a table at the end of this guide.

When calling to report your card as lost or stolen, don’t worry! This phone line is operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; so you can make your case as soon as you notice your SNAP EBT card lost or stolen.

Depending on your state, you may receive a replacement card in the mail. Communication with your new EBT card It should reach you between 2 and 5 business days., although there are some states in which the term could reach between 7 and 10 days, also business days.

Note: If you prefer, you can go directly to your local SNAP office to pick up your card. However, it is important that you contact them before doing so because not all states have this service available. Generally, in order to obtain your replacement EBT card on-site, you will need to present a photo ID.

Procedure to report your lost or stolen EBT card by phone

If your EBT card was lost or stolen and you choose to complete the procedure by phone, you just have to follow a couple of steps to make the report and request the issuance of a new card:

  1. Dial the customer service phone number for your state or the number on the back of your card.
  2. The system will ask you to enter the EBT card number. Don’t do it, even if you have it, since only then can you report the lost or stolen EBT card.
  3. After asking you 2-3 times to enter the card number, the system will prompt you to report a lost or stolen EBT card. Press 1 to confirm.
  4. After completing this procedure, the EBT card will be automatically deactivated. Thus, no one can use it without your consent.

Note: If after making the report you find your EBT card lost, you will not be able to use it! Unfortunately, there is no way to request card reactivation. You will have to wait for the new plastic to arrive at your home.

Can I order a replacement for my lost or stolen EBT card online?

Of course, as long as your status is enabled for it. Many of the US states work with the ConnectEBT portal. If this is your case, go to the page, log in with your User ID and password, and go to the card replacement section.

Note: Connect EBT works only with certain states across the country, specifically Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia. Missouri and California, for example, work with the ebtEDGE portal. The mobile app, if available, will also allow you to report your lost EBT card.

Is there a cost to replace a lost or stolen EBT card?

Usually not. At least not in case of theft or damage to the chip due to malfunction. However it is not always so. In Massachusetts, for example, a replacement EBT card costs $5 to be deducted from your benefits; this in case you lose the card. The only way not to have to pay this fee is if you have a good reason not to have it with you.

Note: In some states in the United States, customers requesting more than four replacement cards in the course of a year must appear in person at the office. Why? Because it is possible that it will open the way to an investigation of fraud and scams.

Remember: When your replacement EBT card is delivered to you, all the economic benefits you had accumulated will be automatically reloaded on it.

What do I do if my replacement EBT card does not arrive?

If you have already waited for the maximum time to receive your replacement EBT card – which is 7-10 business days from the day you make the report – you should contact the office. The most common reason that beneficiaries do not receive their card is because they changed their address and did not update it before requesting the new plastic issuance.

In this case, you’ll have to wait for the replacement EBT card that was sent to your old address to be returned to the sender, and right then, you will be forwarded to your new address.

Precisely for this reason it is important that keep your data updated in the SNAP program. Changes of address or phone number should be reported immediately.

Can I use my benefits while I wait for my replacement card?

Unfortunately not. To be able to buy in physical stores, you will need the plastic and you do not have it. You will also not be able to make purchases online because when you report your card as stolen or lost, the issuer will immediately block it.

This lock is as a security measure, that is, it is for your convenience. Otherwise, the office would not be able to ensure that your remaining benefits for that particular month are kept out of the reach of unauthorized persons.

Tips to take care of your card and keep it ready

Damage to the EBT card would also require a replacement. After all, if your card isn’t working right, you won’t be able to access food assistance. To prevent damage to the plastic and extend the life of your EBT card, we recommend that you:

  • Do not fold the EBT card or use it for DIY, crafts, opening a door without a key, etc.
  • Keep your EBT card clean and free of dust or debris. You can use one of those wet wipes that they sell for cleaning electronic devices or a clean cloth slightly moistened with alcohol.
  • Try that the magnetic strip of your card does not have contact with other cards or surfaces. This will prevent scratches from forming on the band.
  • Do not put your EBT card on or near certain devices, such as televisions, microwaves, computers, and stereos.
  • Take care that your EBT card is in a cool place and do not let sunlight directly hit it.

Phone numbers to report a lost, damaged, or stolen EBT card

Ideally, as soon as you receive your EBT card, write down the phone number of the customer service center in a safe place, as in an agenda that you leave at home. However, if you don’t have this number handy, you may be able to find it on the letter that came with your first card.

If you can’t find this correspondence either, don’t lose your cool! You can visit the official website for your state’s EBT card or find the number for reports of lost or stolen cards in the following table:

Condition Phone number
Alabama 1-800-997-8888
Alaska 1-800-997-8111
Arizona 1-888-997-9333
Arkansas 1-800-997-9999
California 1-877-328-9677
Colorado 1-888-328-2656
Connecticut 1-888-328-2666
Delaware 1-800-526-9099
Florida 1-888-356-3281
Georgia 1-888-421-3281
Hawaii 1-800-843-8303
Idaho 1-888-432-4328
Illinois 1-800-678-5465
Indiana 1-877-768-5098
Iowa 1-800-359-5802
Kentucky 1-888-979-9949
Louisiana 1-888-997-1117
Maine 1-800-477-7428
Maryland 1-800-997-2222
Massachusetts 1-800-997-2555
Michigan 1-888-678-8914
Minnesota 1-888-997-2227
Mississippi 1-866-512-5087
Missouri 1-800-997-7777
Mountain 1-866-850-1556
Nebraska 1-877-247-6328
Nevada 1-866-281-2443
New Hampshire 1-888-997-9777
New Jersey 1-800-997-3333
New Mexico 1-800-843-8303
New York 1-888-328-6399
North Carolina 1-888-622-7328
North Dakota 1-800-630-4655
Ohio 1-866-386-3071
Oklahoma 1-888-328-6551
Oregon 1-855-328-6715
Pennsylvania 1-888-328-7366
Rhode Island 1-888-979-9939
South Carolina 1-800-554-5268
South Dakota 1-800-604-5099
Tennessee 1-888-997-9444
Texas 1-800-777-7328
Utah 1-800-997-4444
Vermont 1-800-914-8605
Virginia 1-866-281-2448
Washington 1-888-328-9271
West Virginia 1-866-545-6502
Wisconsin 1-877-415-5164
Wyoming 1-877-290-9401

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