There’s a ton of EBT information out there, and keeping track of it all can be overwhelming. Our goal at Fresh EBT is to make it easier to manage your EBT benefits, so we’re breaking down all the basics in one handy guide.
If you have a question that we haven’t answered here, let us know.
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The ACCESS card is Pennsylvania’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 ACCESS card once you’re approved for benefits.
Pennsylvania’s EBT customer service number is 1-888-328-7366.
For most Pennsylvania households without elderly (60+) or disabled people, that period is 12 months. For most Pennsylvania households with elderly (60+) or disabled people, that period is 24 months.
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.
If you’d rather renew in person, call your caseworker, local office, or the Pennsylvania SNAP hotline (1-800-692-7462) to find out how.
You should report changes in your household size and anything that impacts your financial situation, such as income, rent, savings, or child support.
You should also report if 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.
Some households have to report all changes no more than 10 days after they happen. Others only have to report some changes in this timeframe, and the rest when they submit an interim report or when they reapply.
If you can’t find your EBT card, call the Pennsylvania EBT hotline as soon as you can: 1-888-328-7366.
If someone manages to use your card, you may not be able to get those benefits back, so make sure you call right away!
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.
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.
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.