What is Electronic Benefits Transfer?

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is a benefit delivery system that provides public assistance recipients with electronic access to their cash and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

How does it work?

Eligible recipients receive a Pennsylvania Access Card and select a personal identification number (PIN) to access authorized benefits. When paying for groceries, you use your EBT Access Card and enter your PIN to access your SNAP account. Your pin and account balance is verified electronically, and the retailer receives an authorization or denial. Your account is then debited for the amount of the purchase, and the retailer's account is credited. No money or food coupons change hands. The transaction and settlement processes are the same for cash transactions. You can use your EBT Access Card to obtain cash benefits through ATMs located throughout the state. In addition, you can make cash purchases and receive cash back at participating retailers.

Are there ATMs that do not charge a fee for using my EBT ACCESS card?

This list provides locations of ATMs in Pennsylvania that do not charge recipients a fee to withdrawal cash assistance using an EBT Access card. Other ATMs will inform you that a surcharge will be charged prior to completing the transaction. If you do not want to pay it, cancel the transaction and try an ATM on this list of Surcharge-Free ATMs.

Where should questions/problems about EBT be directed?

The EBT Recipient Hotline may be contacted to:

  • Find out where the EBT card can be used;
  • Check SNAP and cash assistance account balances;
  • Report that an EBT card has been lost or stolen;
  • Report that the EBT card does not work; and
  • Ask questions about using the EBT card.

The EBT Recipient Hotline is available at 1-888-EBT-PENN (1-888-328-7366). The Recipient Hotline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.