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Why Didn’t My EBT Card Refill? [4 Reasons]

Why Didn’t My EBT Card Refill? [4 Reasons]

I remember the panic I felt as I demanded, “Why didn’t my EBT card refill?!” As a young mom with little income, I counted on those food stamps to keep my family fed. When the day came and the money didn’t show up, I was so worried.


Have you ever felt that way?

It turns out, there are several common reasons why your food stamps may not arrive when you expect them.


“Why didn’t my EBT card refill?”

If you’re wondering where your EBT benefits are, we’ve found four reasons why your food stamps or EBT cash benefits may not have arrived when expected.

The schedule may have been adjusted.

Although many states send their benefits payments on the first of each month, other states do things differently. Some states determine their schedules based on your birthday, last name, case number, application date, Social Security Number, or another factor. For our most recent food stamp schedule, click here.


If your payments were due to be sent out on a Sunday, they will often be disbursed the following Monday. Holidays can also affect the distribution schedule.

You may have missed a re-certification deadline.

Every few months, you will need to re-certify, or resubmit paperwork to prove that you are still eligible for benefits. If you miss a deadline for paperwork or a phone interview, your benefits may stop.

The re-certification varies, depending on your circumstances. The length of time is usually 6-12 months. Some people, may have to re-certify more frequently. With the ESAP program, seniors and disabled adults may only need to re-certify once every two years!

It’s important to always check your mail and open anything you receive from the food stamps office. This will help you ensure that you do not miss any deadlines.

If the answer to “Why didn’t my EBT card refill?” is that you missed a deadline, you will need to contact your local agency as soon as possible in order to complete your re-certification. If you complete your re-certification within 30 days of the date it was due, your case may be reopened with minimal difficulty.

You haven’t used your benefits in a while.

Although it is much less common, sometimes benefits will be stopped because someone has not used their card in a long time (usually an entire year) or the card has accrued an unusually high balance. You will receive a letter from the agency before your benefits are stopped for this reason, however.

Your account has been closed.

In some cases, your account may have been closed unexpectedly. This may happen if you fail to comply with terms of the program, such as an ABAWD work requirement, or if you are suspected of fraud. If this happens, you should receive a letter in the mail notifying you about the closure.


woman at grocery store wonders why didn't my ebt card refill

Make sure to stay in contact with the office to ensure your benefits don’t get interrupted.

When you’re counting on food stamps to feed your family, any interruption in benefits can be very alarming. The best way to avoid asking, “Why didn’t my EBT card refill?” is to ensure that you remain in contact with the office and in compliance with the program at all times.

Read and respond to all letters ASAP.

It is important to always read and respond to mail from the food stamps office. If you do not understand the letter that is sent to you, you can contact the office for clarification and even ask for an interpreter if you need one.

If you need to re-certify, comply with a requirement, or respond to an accusation of fraud, it is important to do so as soon as possible. Delaying your response could put you at risk of missing a critical deadline, which could cause you to miss a food stamps disbursement.

Even if you aren’t notified about the need to re-certify, you can always check in with the office to ensure that you are not due to check in. That way, you’ll never be surprised and left wondering “Why didn’t my EBT card refill?”

Always notify the office of changes within 10 days.

You are always required to notify the food stamps office of any major changes that happen in your life.

This includes, but is not limited to:


  • Income changes (usually changes of more than $50-$100 per month)
  • Employment changes (you start or stop a job)
  • Location changes (new addresses)
  • Expense changes (rent, mortgage, utility cost or child support expense adjustments)
  • Household changes (divorce, separation, newborn baby, someone moved in or out)

You will need to report these changes quickly (usually within 10 days). If you do not report these changes in a timely fashion, you could potentially get into trouble. It may even be the reason why you’re wondering “Why didn’t my EBT card refill?” right now.

You could be ordered to repay any extra payments you received, and you could be charged with a crime. Besides, sometimes reporting these changes could create an increase in the amount of food stamps you receive!

Do you have more questions like “Why didn’t my EBT card refill?”

We write extensively about food stamps topics. If you have more food stamps questions, be sure to check out these helpful posts!

I hope this helps! If you have any additional questions, please leave a comment below!


Have too much month at the end of your money? Me too - and that's how Low Income Relief got started. I have over 20 years of professional research and writing experience. Over the years, I've worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. My work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today,,, Legal Beagle, The Daily Herald (Provo, Utah), The Chronicle (Centralia, WA) and others. At Low Income Relief, I use my professional research and reporting experience to help low income families save money and make ends meet. It's been my full-time job since 2016, and it's truly an honor to serve you.

Amanda Avila

Wednesday 5th of January 2022

Hi my name is Amanda Avila and I was supposed to get my food stamps today on the 5th and I havent received them, is there a problem with the system or what? Because I'm confused why I haven't got them yet! I would appreciate it if you email me back!

Thank you


Wednesday 5th of January 2022

Information on this should be in the article above. Chat with Lira, she might be able to help! I hope this helps


Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

Why does online ebt account shows deposited regular amount for Dec 21, 2021 but balance on this date says $0.02 including phone call to check balance? Is the ebt system down in Georgia? This is crazy right before Christmas.

Mildred Gray 12/01/2021

Monday 13th of December 2021

I Haven't received My FoodStamps


Saturday 11th of December 2021

I live in Maine and December SNAP benefits have not been loaded onto my daughters card. I have done every type of search, to my knowledge, but I have not found any answers for this particular issue. Any chance you might have some information for me and or any suggestions on how I can find out for myself? Thank you in advance


Monday 13th of December 2021

Information on this should be in the article above. Chat with Lira, she might be able to help!

Kimberly ahuna

Monday 6th of December 2021

Due to this whole covid I have had the hardest time getting thru to my local office here in Hilo Hawaii and now I didn't receive my food stamps but I received my cash ....this has never happen to anyone I know ...before if I didnt turn in something or report they would just end my case but that's not the case. I can't seem to get through anyone in the offices and I spent what lil cash I get on food ....what do I do what can I do ....I can't goto the office cause it's closed to the public...I'm about to explode with frustration please help


Monday 13th of December 2021

Information on this should be in the article above. Chat with Lira, she might be able to help!