Wondering how to check a food stamp balance online? Paper vouchers for food stamps are a thing of the past. With the modern EBT account, you can check your balance online so it's easy to monitor exactly how much you've spent and what benefits you have left.
Who can check balances online?
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is the modern version of the traditional food stamp program. SNAP benefits are administered by the state, although they're federally funded, and the specifics to check your benefits vary from state to state. Approximately 40 of the 50 states offer the ability to check your EBT balance online. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service has an online listing of SNAP Web sites by state; you can check there to find out whether or not your state offers online access, and you can follow the link to your state's site.
Create your account.
Once you've figured out your state-specific Web site to check your food stamp balance online, you need to create an online account to access the site. On your state's EBT access page, you might see a link that says "Click here to register." If you don't have an online account already, click the link, and provide the requested information to create an account.
Make sure you select a username and password that you can remember, as you'll need that information to access your account in the future. Write it down if you don't think you can remember it. Not all states require you to register for access; some states simply require your EBT information. If your state doesn't require an account, you can skip this step.
Login with card number and pin.
Some states don't require you to create an account at all, but instead grant you online access using only your card number and pin. If your state gives you an option to login with a card number and pin, all you have to do is go to your state's Web site, type your card number in the appropriate field, enter your pin number when requested and click the Submit or Login button.
Alternately, some states give you the option of logging in either with a username and password or EBT card number and pin number, so if you don't want the hassle of remembering a username and password, you can simply login with your card number and pin every single time.
Login using your username and password.
If your state doesn't give you the option of logging in with a card number and pin, you can login with your username and password once you've created an account. Simply go to your state-specific Web site, and enter your username and password information in the respective boxes. Click the Submit or Login button, and you'll go to the page with your account balance information.
Check transactions and account information.
In addition to checking your balance online, some states also give you the option of viewing your EBT transaction history online. The Account Summary page typically gives you your balance information, while Account Activity or Account History shows you a list of where you've used your EBT card, when you used it and how much you spent. This can be a useful tool to track expenses and analyze your habits to prepare for future months.
The process of applying for food stamps isn't difficult, but you will need to provide certain information to receive assistance sooner rather than later.
Curious how to qualify for food stamps? While there are many exceptions to food stamp rules, you can use basic knowledge and a handy worksheet to determine whether or not you might qualify.