It is the responsibility of the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) to administer Food Stamp benefits to approved low-income households. These benefits enable households to purchase the food they need for healthy living. If you are eligible for food assistance in Massachusetts, your benefits will be automatically deposited on an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card.
The Massachusetts EBT card is identical to a regular ATM or debit card, also known as the Bay State Access Card. Each month, food stamp benefits will be deposited on your Massachusetts EBT Card the same day. Massachusetts EBT Card benefits can be accessed to your Bay State Access Card account by 5AM the morning after they are posted.
Benefits may be used to make authorized purchases of food at eligible retail locations. Most grocery stores in Massachusetts accept the Bay State Access Card as their payment.
Massachusetts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Food stamps, also known as the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program ( SNAP), started in the late 1930’s in the United States to help people purchase and consume healthy food, grow healthier, and create a more prosperous community. The Food Stamp Plan became a nationwide welfare scheme, in 1971.
That means you have a legal right to obtain them as long as you meet SNAP ‘s rules. Eligibility for SNAP benefits depends on how many people you have in your household and how much money you receive. Houses must meet other criteria, including resource (assets) and income assessments, to get SNAP benefits.
What’s the Bay State Access Card?
The Bay State Access Card is Massachusetts’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 Bay State Access Card once you’re approved for benefits.
To apply for this incentive program, you must be a resident of the state of Massachusetts and fall into one of two groups: (1) those with a current bank balance (savings and checks combined) below $2.001, or (2) those with a current bank balance (savings and checks combined) below $3.001 who share their household with an individual or persons 60 years of age or over, or with a person with a disabiary
To qualify, you must have an annual household income that is less than or equal to the following amounts (before taxes):
Annual Household Income Limits (before taxes)
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.
Massachusetts EBT Payment Schedule
The Massachusetts EBT Card holds the food assistance benefits assigned to you each month. Your benefits will be deposited onto your EBT card according to the schedule below:
If your Social Security Number ends in
Benefits are deposited on the
1st of the month
2nd of the month
4th of the month
5th of the month
7th of the month
8th of the month
10th of the month
11th of the month
13th of the month
14th of the month
Once your benefits are deposited into your account, you can begin using them with your Massachusetts 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.
Hart’s Local Grocers
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wright’s Markets, Inc
Where can’t I use my Massachusetts EBT Card?
You cannot use your Massachusetts EBT Card at the following locations:
Smoke & Cannabis Shops
Adult Entertainment Businesses
Tattoo & Piercing Shops
Foods and Products Not Eligible for Purchase with the Massachusetts EBT Card
There are three options for checking your Bay State Access Card balance. Here they are:
Option 1 – Locate Your Last Purchase Receipt
One of the best ways to check the balance of your Massachusetts 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 card. Be sure to save all of your recent Bay State Access Card receipts to check your balance using this method.
Option 2 – Check Your Bay State Access Card Balance Via Phone
Another choice is to test your card balance by calling 1-800-997-2555 to the Massachusetts EBT Bay State Access Card Customer Service Call number. Representatives are available 24 hours a day , 7 days a week to help you get your Bay State Access Card balance back. Make sure your EBT Card number, 4-digit PIN, and Social Security Number (SSN) are ready before you call. You must provide this information in order to receive the balance information on your Bay State Access Card.
Option 3 – Check Your Bay State Access Card Balance Online
The final way to check the balance on the Massachusetts Bay State Access Card is online. The Massachusetts DTA Connect Website allows you to find out your EBT Card balance online. Click the “Sign in” button on the page once you are on the web and enter your User ID and Password. To check your EBT balance you need to sign in to your account. If this is the first time you log in, you need to build an account first. Click the “Create Your Online Account” button to create your online account, as shown in the arrow above. Be sure to fill in all of the information requested.
Massachusetts EBT Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions about the Massachusetts EBT Card.
I have seen people purchase non-food items with an EBT card. I thought SNAP was only for food?
Yes, the SNAP benefits are for food only. Some people have an EBT card for their TANF (cash help) benefits, however. You may use the TANF benefits to purchase 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?
Ask your local caseworker for establishing an Authorized Representative (AR). The AR would have a different card that holds its own account number and PIN. Additionally, the EBT system can track at any time which card is being used. The AR will be given access to all of your benefit account.
What do I do if I suspect someone has stolen benefits from my EBT Card account?
If your card gets lost , stolen or impaired, call the Massachusetts EBT Card Customer Service number immediately at 1-800-997-2555. After claiming that your card was 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 your social services agency in the county or your local caseworker in the DTA.
Can I use my Massachusetts EBT card in other counties and other states?
The Massachusetts 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. However, 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. You may use these benefits in the following months.
How much will I get on my EBT card each month?
The amount of benefits you receive on your EBT Card each month is determined by your income and household size.
How do I buy food and items with my EBT Card?
Here’s how to use your EBT Card to purchase food items:
Look for the Quest®mark on the door or the window of the store.
At check-out, swipe your EBT card.
Enter your secret PIN on the number pad, then press Enter.
Tell the cashier how much money to enter or enter the purchase amount yourself.
Remember, you can only buy eligible food itemswith your SNAP benefits.
Check your receipt to make sure that the amount on the EBT receipt is the same as your grocery receipt.
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