COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) UPDATES:

  • We’ve partnered with GiveDirectly to send $1,000 cash transfers to families in financial need. Learn more here.
  • Don’t miss out on your $1,200 (+ $500 per child) economic impact payment. Learn more here.
  • Some information on this site might be temporarily inaccurate due to coronavirus changes. Learn more here.
  • Food stamp offices might be closed to the public because of the coronavirus. Try calling before visiting.
The fresh guide to EBT in Ohio.

Keeping track of all the EBT information out there can be overwhelming. So, we’ve broken down all the basics in one handy guide.

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How can I check my EBT balance online?
Download the Fresh EBT app to check your balance instantly. And while you’re there, explore opportunities to save and earn money.
What's the Ohio Direction Card?

The Ohio Direction Card is Ohio’s EBT card.

EBT = electronic benefits transfer.

EBT card = a card that looks and works like a debit or credit card but is loaded with food stamps and/or cash benefits. You can use it at stores that accept EBT.

You’ll get the Ohio Direction Card once you’re approved for benefits.

Ohio’s EBT customer service number is 1-866-386-3071.

How do I apply for food stamps?
The easiest way to apply for food stamps is online.

If you’d rather apply in person, call your local office or the Ohio SNAP hotline (1-866-244-0071) to find out how.

Learn if you’re eligible for food stamps.

How do I renew my food stamps?
You’ll have to renew your food stamps before your certification period (the amount of time you’ll get food stamps) ends.

For most Ohio households, that period is 6 - 12 months. Confirm the length of your certification period with your caseworker.

You’ll get a letter in the mail when it’s time to reapply. To be safe, you could also put a note in your calendar or wherever you keep important reminders.

You can renew your benefits online with an Ohio Benefits account.

If you’d rather renew in person, call your caseworker, local office, or the Ohio SNAP hotline (1-866-244-0071) to find out how.

When will I get my food stamps?
Ohio sends out benefits from the 2nd to the 20th of every month, based on the last digit of your case number. Check the full deposit schedule to find out which day you’ll get your food stamps.
What household changes do I have to report and when?

Most households only have to report the following two changes twice a year (at the halfway point and when you recertify):

  • When someone moves in or out of your household.
  • Financial changes like income, rent, savings, or child support.

Most households need to report the following two changes no more than 10 days after they happen:

  • When your household income goes over the monthly income limit. This could be because someone starts making more money or someone with income moves in.
  • When an adult without a disability or a child (what the government calls an ABAWD) who was working or training 20 hours/week starts working or training less.

If you are moving, you should report your new address ASAP to make sure you don’t miss any important letters.

You can report changes online with an Ohio Benefits account.

How do I replace a lost or stolen EBT card?

If you can’t find your EBT card, call the Ohio EBT hotline as soon as you can: 1-866-386-3071.

If someone manages to use your card, you won’t be able to get those benefits back, so make sure you call right away!

What can I buy with EBT?

You can use food stamps to buy groceries, snacks, and seeds or plants that will produce food.

You can’t use food stamps to buy alcohol, tobacco products, vitamins, live animals, prepared foods, or any non-food household items.

WIC food packages typically include cereal, juice, eggs, milk, peanut butter, dried and canned beans, tofu, fruits and vegetables, and whole-wheat bread. WIC packages also include canned fish and cheese for breastfeeding moms, and baby food for babies.

Which stores and restaurants take EBT food stamps?
Download Fresh EBT to see nearby stores and farmer’s markets that take EBT. You don’t need an account to use the map.
Can I get any discounts with my EBT card?
Yes! Your EBT card can get you and your family discounted or free admission to museums, theme parks, zoos, aquariums, and more.
Can I get more food stamps if I’m pregnant or a new parent?

Once your child is born, your household size will increase. More household members = more benefits.

While you are pregnant, you can’t get more food stamps, but you can apply for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits.

WIC provides food and resources for pregnant women, new parents, and children up to 5 years old.

My family can’t afford other basic needs besides food.

If you have a child who’s 18 or younger, you may qualify for cash assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

TANF provides monthly cash assistance to help families with children get by during tough times.

Am I eligible for other benefits?
Check out this benefit finder tool and find out.
This information was compiled by Fresh EBT from publicly available government websites. Please check in with your local office if you have questions.