Tips for EBT card use

Are the funds on your card? Where can you use your card for Food stamps and where can you spend the Cash Aid portion?

LADPSS has a simple primer for knowing where and how to use your card. this is from their web page http://www.ladpss.org/dpss/ebt/ebt_terms.cfm

EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer)
EBT is the way you will receive your cash and Food Stamp benefits. If you receive Cash Aid from CalWorks, Refugee Cash Assistance, General Relief or the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants, you can sign up for Direct Deposit and have your cash benefits directly deposited into your bank/credit union account. For more information about Direct Deposit or how to get a bank account, call DPSS toll-free at 1-877-328-9677.
 
 POS (Point-of-Sale) Device
 
POS Machine
A POS device reads your EBT (Golden State Advantage) card and allows you and your designated cardholders to buy food with Food Stamp benefits, and food or non-food items with cash benefits. Some retailers may also allow cardholders to get cash at a POS device.
 
 ATM (Automated Teller Machine)
ATM Machine
An ATM is a cash machine found at banks, check cashers, stores and many other places that allows you and your designated cardholders to get your cash benefits.
   
 PIN (Personal Identification Number)
Four Digit PIN Code
A PIN is a four-digit secret code that must be used when you and your designated cardholders use their EBT (Golden State Advantage) card. The PIN is used for identification purposes and protects you and the cardholders you designate from unauthorized use when the EBT card is lost or stolen. ATMs and POS devices will not work unless the PIN is entered. It is important to learn and remember your PIN. DO NOT WRITE YOUR PIN ON YOUR EBT (Golden State Advantage) CARD.
 
 Quest Mark
Quest Logo
The Quest Mark® is the mark you will find on store doors, check-out lanes and ATM and POS devices that tell you that your card can be used at that store or machine. There are special pictures on the Quest® Mark that tell you what benefits can be used. Look for the Quest® Mark and these pictures on the store door before shopping.
   
 Quest Mark–Cash Only
Quest Logo -- Cash Only
The EBT (Golden State Advantage) card may be used for cash benefits only.
 
 Quest Mark–Food Stamps Only
Quest Logo -- Food Stamps Only
The EBT (Golden State Advantage) card may be used for Food Stamp benefits only.
 
 Quest Mark–Food Stamps and Cash
Quest Logo -- Food Stamps and Cash Benefits
The EBT (Golden State Advantage) card may be used for Food Stamp and cash benefits.
 
 Surcharge
A surcharge is a service fee that some stores, check cashers, credit unions, and banks MAY charge cardholders each time the EBT (Golden State Advantage) card is used at an ATM or POS device to get cash benefits. Before you use your EBT (Golden State Advantage) card, LOOK FOR A WARNING telling you about this surcharge on the ATM screen, or on a sign near the POS device in stores. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY THIS FEE. YOU CAN CHOOSE ANOTHER LOCATION. Check around for places where you can get cash without having to pay this surcharge.
 
 Transaction
A Transaction is:
Getting cash at a ATM.
Getting cash at a POS device.
Buying food with Food Stamp benefits.
Buying anything with cash benefits.
 
 Transaction Fee:
A fee may be charged for cash-only withdrawals (getting cash at a POS without making a purchase). The first four (4) cash-only withdrawals are free. After the fourth (4th) cash-only withdrawal, there will be an $.85 charge when you withdraw cash from an ATM.
For additional information, call the toll-free Customer Service Center (1-877-328-9677 or the TTY at 1-800-735-2929) to find out about fees.
You WILL NEVER BE CHARGED a Transaction Fee when you get cash back AT THE SAME TIME you buy something.
Checking your cash account balance at an ATM or a POS device.
Note: Not all POS devices give your cash account balance.
 
 Balance Inquiry
Balance Inquiry is finding out how much you have left to spend from your cash and/or Food Stamp accounts.
The best way to know your balances is to KEEP YOUR LAST RECEIPT.
If you lose your last receipt and need to know your balance:
 
call the toll-free Customer Service Center (1-877-328-9677 or the TTY at 1-800-735-2929) on the back of your card; or
 
check your Food Stamp account balance at a POS device; and/or
 
check your cash balance at an ATM.
Note: Checking your cash balance at an ATM will cost $.25.
Know your balance before you shop!
 
 

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