The pandemic has caused more than a year of turmoil and trauma for everyone, but especially low-income families. While finances have been scant, thanks to EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards it’s still possible to put food on the table even amid these trying times.
A popular question that often comes up regarding EBT cards is, “How do I find my EBT card number online?” Perhaps due to unforeseen circumstances, you’ve misplaced your EBT card but you still want to use your card number to make purchases. What does that entail?
Let’s dive into whether securing your EBT card number online is possible, what to do if you lose your EBT card, and how to check your account balance.
So… can I get my EBT card number online?
The short answer is no. Even if you log into your EBT account for your respective state, you usually don’t have access to your full EBT card number. However, you can view your case number. If you think about it, tracking down your card number is akin to looking up your debit card or credit card numbers online. For safety and security reasons, it’s best not to have an internet cache wherein your private information is exposed.
Not to mention, you still need a physical copy of your card in order to make in-store purchases. Granted, you can buy food online i.e. on Amazon, Walmart and others, but you must have a copy of your EBT card in order to punch in the number. If you could simply make purchases without your card, then it would be exponentially easier for people to steal that information from you.
That being said, if you’re seeking online access to your EBT card number because your physical card was lost or stolen, there is a way to remedy that.
Can I use my EBT card if I don’t have it with me?
If you have already used your EBT card to shop online through providers like Amazon or Instacart, then you may be able to continue using that card even if you don’t have it with you. However, those systems still will not show your full EBT card number for security reasons. They’ll usually only show the last several digits, just like they would with an ordinary debit or credit card.
Another thing that might help is using an app like Providers, which can be used to track your EBT balance. The app will show your balance, deposits and other important information about your EBT, WIC and debit accounts. However, this app usually won’t show your entire EBT card number either.
With EBT thefts on the rise, it’s important to keep your EBT card number secure. Some users have found it helpful to take a picture of the card or store the written number with other important documents (like birth certificates), but that does put your information at risk if you are hacked or if your information is stolen. Either way, those steps need to be taken before the card is lost or it isn’t much help anyway.
What do I do if I lose my EBT card?
If you’re searching for your number online because you lost your card or it was stolen, there’s a solution. Call customer service for your respective state as soon as possible. Once you call, you won’t need to enter your EBT card number. You can simply report your card as lost or stolen. Your card, wherever it is, will be disabled so nobody can hijack it. You should be able to request a new card on your state’s EBT portal.
At this point, knowing your EBT card number wouldn’t help you much anyway because that number will change when the new card is issued. That is important, because it helps keep your account safe from theft. Stolen EBT benefits usually can’t be replaced.
Now, in some places, you can receive a same-day replacement EBT card. However, you’ll be required to visit an EBT facility in person. If you make a replacement request over the phone, then it should take between 7 and 10 business days to receive said replacement.
How can I check my EBT card balance?
If you’re trying to search your EBT card number online because you wish to check your account balance, there’s also a way to do that. There are a myriad of methods at your disposal. You can take a peek at the bottom of the receipt you get from the store. Typically, that will reveal your balance.
In addition, you can look at your balance on your state’s portal EBT account, which will require your username and password. You can call your EBT card customer service number for more information as well. Click here to get a breakdown by state in terms of checking your EBT card balance.
While you may not be able to find your full EBT card number online, there are still ways to secure a new card if yours is lost or stolen as well as recover your account balance. The best thing to do if you need to have your card number on retainer is to write it down and stow it away in a safe place.