SNAP helps households by providing them with healthy, nutritious food to put on the table. Food stamps are available to low-income households that meet the federal income eligibility rules. If the food stamp benefits are accepted for Montana Food Assistance, they will be deposited electronically on a Montana EBT Card. Learn how to check your Montana EBT card balance below.
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) is responsible for administering Montana Food Stamp benefits. Also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ( SNAP), the food stamps program.
The Montana Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card is similar to a standard ATM or debit card. Each month, food stamp benefits will be deposited on your EBT Card the same day.
Benefits can be accessed from your EBT Card account by 8AM the morning after they are posted.
Benefits may be used to make approved food purchases at qualifying retail locations. Most Montana grocery stores accept the Montana Food Stamps Voucher, even farmer’s markets.
The markets of some farmers even enable you to double your EBT cash, giving you even more for your monthly benefits.
This Post Will Cover:
- Montana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- What’s the Montana Access Card?
- Eligibility Criteria
- Montana EBT Payment Schedule
- Stores That Take EBT Online for Delivery
- Where can’t I use my Montana EBT Card?
- Foods and Products Not Eligible for Purchase with the Montana EBT Card
- How to Check your Montana EBT Card Balance
- Montana EBT Frequently Asked Questions
Montana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Congress passed the Food Stamp (now SNAP) Act of 1977 in order to provide qualifying families an opportunity to obtain a more nutritious diet by supplementing their food budget.
Income, income, and household size determine the amount of SNAP assistance a household receives. The system is also funded by the U.S. Agriculture agency and Montana state.
Montana residents who are eligible to receive benefits generally include: People who live together and buy food and prepare meals together are grouped as SNAP’s “household.
” Husbands and wives and children under the age of 22 are to be treated as one family, together with their actual, adoptive or stepparents.
Household members who wish to be included must be U.S. citizens or legal aliens. Household members who wish to be included must supply or register for a social security number.
The income and resource guidelines listed in this summary need to be met. Able-minded members of the household between the ages of 16 and 59 must register for work and may be required to participate in a Food Stamp Employment and Training Program unless a specific exemption is met.
There are additional eligibility criteria so you need to work with your local County Public Assistance Office to determine if you are eligible to receive benefits.
Note that you’ll need an interview to confirm your eligibility in addition to completing an application for benefits.
What’s the Montana Access Card?
- The Montana Access Card is Montana’s EBT card.
- EBT = electronic benefits transfer.
- EBT card = a card that looks and works like a debit or credit card but is loaded with food stamps and/or cash benefits. You can use it at stores that accept EBT.
- You’ll get the Montana Access Card once you’re approved for benefits.
To apply for this incentive program, you must be a resident of the state of Montana and fall into one of two groups:
(1) those with a current bank balance (savings and checks combined) of less than $2,001, or
(2) those with a current bank balance (savings and checks combined) of less than $3,001 who share their household with an individual or persons 60 years of age or over, or with a person with a disability.
To qualify, you must have an annual household income that is less than or equal to the following sums (before taxes):
|Annual Household Income Limits (before taxes)|
|Household Size*||Maximum Income Level (Per Year)|
*For households with more than eight people, add $8,840 per additional person. Always check with the appropriate managing agency to ensure the most accurate guidelines.
Montana EBT Payment Schedule
|If your Case Number ends in||Benefits are deposited on the|
|0 or 1||2nd of the month|
|2 or 3||3rd of the month|
|4 or 5||4th of the month|
|6 or 7||5th of the month|
|8 or 9||6th of the month|
Once your benefits are deposited into your account, you can begin using them with your Montana EBT card to purchase eligible food items.
Stores that Take EBT Online for Delivery
As you may know, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has started a pilot program (Online Purchasing Pilot) to allow select grocery stores to start accepting EBT cards online for grocery shopping, including delivery to your doorstep.
The grocery stores listed below have been approved for the pilot that will offer the ability for EBT cardholders to buy food online for delivery.
- Dash’s Market
- Hart’s Local Grocers
- Hy-Vee, Inc.
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
- Wright’s Markets, Inc
Where Can’t I Use my Montana EBT Card?
You cannot use your Montana EBT Card at the following locations:
- Poker Rooms
- Card Rooms
- Smoke & Cannabis Shops
- Adult Entertainment Businesses
- Tattoo & Piercing Shops
- Spa/Massage Salons
- Bingo Halls
- Bail Bonds
- Gun/Ammo Stores
- Cruise Ships
- Psychic Readers
Foods and Products not Eligible for Purchase with the Montana EBT Card
- Hot foods from deli/foods to be eaten in store
- Vitamins or medication
- Pet food
- Paper or cleaning products
- Alcohol/tobacco products.
For a full list of approved food items, see the Food Stamps Eligible Food List here.
How to Check your Montana EBT Card Balance
There are three options for checking your Montana EBT Card balance. Here they are:
Option 1 – Locate Your Last Purchase Receipt
One of the easiest ways to check the balance of your Montana EBT card is to find the most recent purchase receipt or ATM receipt (only for TANF receivers).
You’ll find the current balance at the bottom of the receipt on your account. Be sure to save all of your recent EBT Card receipts to check your balance using this method.
Option 2 – Check Your Card Balance via Phone
Another choice is to test your card balance by calling 1-866-850-1556 to the Montana EBT Card Customer Service Call number.
The automated voice system is available 24 hours a day , 7 days a week to get back your Card balance. Make sure your EBT Card number, 4-digit PIN, and Social Security Number (SSN) are ready before you dial.
Type your sixteen (16) digit EBT card number after you call and you can hear your new food assistance or cash account balance(s). To receive the information about your EBT card balance, you must provide this information.
Option 3 – Check Your Montana EBT Card Balance Online
The last way to check your balance on your Montana EBT Card is online. The Montana My Bnft website helps you to find out your EBT Card balance online.
Once you are on the site, enter your username and password on the left-hand side of the page in the login section.
After that, to log into your Montana EBT account and check your EBT balance, you must enter your Username and Password.
Montana EBT Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions about the Montana EBT Card.
What do I do if I suspect someone has stolen benefits from my EBT Card account?
If your card is misplaced, stolen or disabled, contact Montana EBT Card Customer Service Contact 1-866-850-1556 immediately. After indicating that your card has been lost, stolen or destroyed, a new card will be mailed to you. Replacement cards are to be received within three to five business days. You can also contact the caseworker at your local county DPHHS.
I have seen people purchase non-food items with an EBT card. I thought SNAP was only for food?
Yeah, the SNAP advantages are for food only. Some people do have an EBT card for their cash support benefits, however. You may use the advantages of cash assistance to purchase food and non-food products. Contact your local government benefit assistance office for information on the qualifications for cash assistance.
Can I have someone else help me shop using my EBT account?
Ask your local caseworker on Montana Food Stamps to establish an Authorized Representative (AR) for your EBT account. The AR will have a separate card that includes its own account number and PIN. Additionally, the EBT device will monitor at any time which card is being used. The AR will be given access to all of your benefit account.
Can I use my Montana EBT card in other counties and other states?
Your Montana EBT card can operate at any store or ATM in the United States that accepts EBT cards, as well as the District of Columbia, USA. And Guam and the Virgin Islands. Furthermore, there are no rules against using your EBT card outside of your home state. Nevertheless, you are required to notify your local county public assistance office of any change of address.
How much will I get on my EBT card each month?
The amount of benefits you receive on your EBT Card each month will be dependent on your income and household size.
If I don’t use all of the benefits I received this month, will these benefits still be available to me next month?
Yes, benefits that are not used in the month issued will stay in the EBT account. You may use these benefits in the following months.
Can I go to a bank teller and withdraw money from my EBT account?
No, you may only withdraw money from an ATM or through a cash-back/cash-only withdrawal at a participating store. Additionally, bank tellers do not have information or access to EBT accounts.
Are there any fees for using my Montana EBT Card?
There is never a charge for using your card to buy food. However, any Bank surcharges (if any) for using cash machines will be taken from your account.
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