– Pennsylvania EBT Card Balance –
Looking to find the balance on your Pennsylvania EBT Card? We will provide you with the three methods to get your current balance of the Pennsylvania EBT cards.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Pennsylvania, formerly known as the food stamps program, offers monthly cash assistance benefits to help low-income individuals and families buy nutritious food.
Monthly cash assistance benefits are intended to increase the purchasing power of low-income Pennsylvania households at supermarkets and grocery stores.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) for Pennsylvania is responsible for providing SNAP benefits to licensed households. Every month, on the same day, benefits are provided on a plastic debit card called an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.
The Pennsylvania EBT card, also known as the ACCESS card, can be used to purchase eligible food items at the point of sale ( POS) terminals at approved grocery stores.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture ( USDA) establishes the list of food products available for the food assistance program. Keep reading below to see the balance on your Pennsylvania EBT Card.
Definition of Terms/Acronyms
- What’s the ACCESS card? The ACCESS card is Pennsylvania’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 ACCESS card once you’re approved for benefits. Pennsylvania’s EBT customer service number is 1-888-328-7366.
List of Eligible Food Stamp Items
If you are currently receiving Food Stamps in Pennsylvania, then you must know that there are certain foods that you are allowed to buy with your Pennsylvania EBT card. See the list of eligible food stamp items you can buy with the EBT card at an approved EBT store location.
- Loaves of bread
- Dairy products
- Meats, fish, poultry
- bakery items
- Seeds and plants that produce food
- Soft drinks
- Energy drinks (It must have a nutrition label)
- Snack crackers
- Ice cream
- Live seafood, such as lobster, fish, and shellfish.
Items you CANNOT buy with your Pennsylvania ACCESS Card EBT card.
- Alcoholic beverages
- Tobacco products
- Hot food
- Pet foods
- Medicines and vitamins
- Paper products
- Household supplies
Stores That Accept EBT Card Online for Delivery
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has started a pilot program (Online Purchasing Pilot).
This program allows selected grocery stores to start accepting EBT cards online from EBT cardholders for grocery shopping, and as well deliver your foods to your doorstep.
EBT cardholders can now be able to purchase food online for delivery from the below-approved grocery stores.
- Hart’s Local Grocers
- Dash’s Market
- Wright’s Markets, Inc
- Hy-Vee, Inc.
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
How To Check Pennsylvania EBT Card Balance
Pennsylvania EBT cardholders have three options for checking their Pa ACCESS Card balance. Just read through to see the options available.
1. Checking Your Balance Via Phone
As an EBT cardholder, you can easily check your card balance by calling the Pennsylvania ACCESS Card Customer hotline at 1-888-EBT-PENN (1-888-328-7366).
Before you place the call, ensure you have your ACCESS EBT Card number and PIN ready, as you will be required to provide this information in order to know your ACCESS Card balance.
2. How To Check Your Pa ACCESS Card Balance Online
It’s easy to check your Pennsylvania EBT Card balance is online. But in order to check your Pennsylvania ACCESS Card balance online, you must create your Pennsylvania Connect EBT account.
Once you log in with your User ID and password at the website https://www.connectebt.com/paebtclient/index.jsp then you will be able to know your balance and as well view your transaction history.
If you are yet to create an account, click on the “Create User Account” link. Then you will be guided with instructions on how to create an account for online access to your Pennsylvania EBT ACCESS Card.
3. Checking Your Last Transaction Receipt
This is yet another easy way to check your Pennsylvania EBT Card balance. You can view your balance by checking your most recent purchase receipt or ATM receipt (for TANF recipients). Your current balance on your card is located at the bottom of your last purchased receipt.
So, ensure you keep your recent Pennsylvania ACCESS Card receipts if you want to quickly check your balance. Whichever method you choose, you can use it to know your current balance on your Pennsylvania EBT Card at any point in time.
Note: You can use your EBT card outside of your state of residence at any store or ATM that accepts EBT cards. But ensure to report any address change to your local county public assistance office.
Also, if lost your card, it’s been stolen, or you suspect that someone else knows your PIN, the customer service number at the back of your EBT card immediately, to have your EBT card canceled or to change your PIN.
Pennsylvania EBT Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions about the Pennsylvania ACCESS Card.
Can I purchase non-food items with SNAP benefits?
No. The SNAP advantages are for food only. Some people have an EBT card for their TANF (cash help) benefits, however. You can use the TANF advantages to buy food and non-food products. Contact your local government Service Assistance office for clarification on eligibility for TANF.
Can I have someone else help me shop using my EBT account?
Yes, but you must ask your county food stamps caseworker to establish an Authorized Representative (AR) to do so. The AR will have a separate card with its own account number as well as PIN. The EBT system will monitor, at any time, which card is used. The AR will be given access to all of your benefit account.
Can I use my EBT card in other counties or states?
Your EBT card can operate at any store or ATM in the United States that accepts EBT Cards, as well as the District of Columbia, the United States. And Guam and the Virgin Islands. There are no rules against using your EBT card outside your home state. Nevertheless, you are expected to inform your local county public assistance office of any change of address.
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, and you may use these benefits in the following months.
What do I do if I suspect someone has stolen benefits from my EBT account?
If your card is stolen or you think someone knows your PIN, you should immediately call the customer service number at the back of your EBT card to have your EBT card canceled or to change your PIN. If you believe your benefits have been stolen, contact your caseworker or county office for assistance. You should also file a police report.
How do I report a store or person that I think is misusing food or cash benefits (committing fraud)?
Misusing benefits on purpose is a federal crime. If you misuse benefits, your benefits can be taken away. To report a store or person misusing benefits, click here.
What items am I allowed to purchase with my EBT card?
For information on items that you are allowed to purchase with EBT food benefits, click here. Cash aid may be used to purchase anything that can be legally purchased with currency (cash).
How do I buy food and items with my ACCESS Card?
Here’s how to use your Pennsylvania EBT ACCESS Card to purchase food items:
- Swipe your card in the store’s payment machine.
- Then select “EBT”.
- Next, enter your PIN.
- Remember to keep the receipt – it shows the updated amount left on your card.
How do I renew my Pennsylvania EBT benefits?
You can renew your assistance benefits online by logging into your Pennsylvania COMPASS Account. If you do not have a COMPASS account, you can create one.
How do I renew my food stamps?
Before your certification period (the amount of time you will get food stamps) ends, you will need to renew your food stamps. For most households without the elderly (60 +) or persons with disabilities in Pennsylvania, that period is 12 months. For most older (60 +) or disabled households in Pennsylvania, the time is 24 months. When it’s time to reapply you should get a letter in the mail. You might also put a note in your calendar to be safe, or wherever you keep important reminders. You can renew the benefits online or via the myCOMPASS PA app. If you would rather renew in person, call your caseworker, local office or the SNAP hotline in Pennsylvania (1-800-692-7462) to find out how.
How do I replace a lost or stolen EBT card?
If you can’t find your EBT card, call the Pennsylvania EBT hotline as soon as you can: 1-888-328-7366. If someone manages to use your card, you won’t be able to get those benefits back, so make sure you call right away!
Can I get any discounts with my EBT card?
Yes! Your EBT card can get you and your family discounted or free admission to museums, theme parks, zoos, aquariums, and more.
Can I get more food stamps if I’m pregnant or a new parent?
Once your child is born, your household size will increase. More household members = more benefits. While you are pregnant, you can’t get more food stamps, but you can apply for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits. WIC provides food and resources for pregnant women, new parents, and children up to 5 years old.
We hope this article has been helpful to you! Please let us know in the comments section below if you have any additional questions about the Pennsylvania EBT card or need help finding your EBT balance. If this article has been considered helpful, please share it with us using the “Share this” icon.