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How Do I Use My Benefits?

How do I collect my TANF benefits?

What is direct deposit?

What is an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card?

What do I do if my EBT card is lost or stolen?

Can a family member or friend use my EBT card to make withdrawals for me?


NOTE: Glossary words are highlighted. Click on any glossary word to see its definition.

How do I collect my TANF benefits?

You will receive your benefits monthly. If you have an account at a bank or other financial institution, your TANF grant will be directly deposited to your account. If you do not have an account, your grant will be paid through electronic benefits transfer (EBT).


What is direct deposit?

With direct deposit, ISD deposits your TANF cash benefits directly into your bank account. If you want direct deposit but you do not have a bank account, you must open one. You should ask your bank for details. Most banks offer a low cost Basic Banking program for this purpose.


What is an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card?

You can receive your benefits through your bank account or the electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. If you do not have a bank account, your TANF cash benefits will be deposited in an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) account. ISD will send you an EBT card through the mail.

The EBT card is a card that looks like a credit card and has your name on it. You need to choose a secret 4-digit personal identification number (PIN) that will allow you to take money out of your EBT account at automated teller machines (ATMs). The PIN you choose should be easy for you to remember without writing it down, but not something easy to guess.

If you get food assistance benefits, you will use the same EBT card for TANF and SNAP (formally known as food stamps). If you need help using the card, call 1-888-551-6773.


What do I do if my EBT card is lost or stolen?

You should call EBT Customer Service at 1-800-843-8303 right away to report the loss or theft. If someone else uses your lost or stolen EBT card before you report it, you will not be paid back for that amount. You should be very careful with your EBT card and your PIN.

You must go to the ISD office to get a replacement card. Be sure to take photo identification such as a driver's license with you.


Can a family member or friend use my EBT card to make withdrawals for me?

You can give someone else permission to use your EBT card as long as you tell the ISD who it is. You must sign a form giving the person permission to use your card as your "authorized representative." The ISD will add that person’s name to your TANF card.

If someone uses your card without your permission, the ISD will not replace your benefits. You should only give your card and your PIN to someone you trust.


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