– Restaurants That Accepts EBT Card in California –
Have you ever wonder who takes EBT Cards? The Electronic Benefits Transfer card makes using federal benefits much easier than the old days of literal food stamps. This article outlines the fast-food restaurants that accept EBT in California.
Several fast-food chains and restaurants in California have implemented the payment method into the checkout process although some rules apply when using EBT.
What Is an EBT Card?
Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, also known as EBT cards, are the way that state agencies distribute the money that the SNAP program provides to individuals and families.
EBT cards look and act much like debit cards, except there is no link to your bank account.
EBT cards are connected to your SNAP benefits account, so when you swipe your EBT card at the grocery store to pay for your food, the funds from your SNAP benefits go into the store’s bank.
These cards can only be used to buy food from approved retailers.
What Fast Food Can You Buy with Your EBT Card?
In most states, you can only purchase food that is meant to be prepared at home. The most standard example of a fast-food restaurant where you can use your EBT card is Papa Murphy’s because you “take n’ bake” the pizzas at home.
But, as with most laws, there are exceptions. Federal law permits states to extend the SNAP to allow people who are elderly, disabled, or homeless to use their EBT cards to buy hot meals at approved restaurants.
This exception takes into consideration that many people who qualify for EBT don’t have the means to take food home and cook it, so being able to buy only unprepared foods isn’t that helpful.
Very few states have extended their programs to allow people to buy food at restaurants with EBT cards. In those that have, the extension is often called a “Restaurant Meal Program,” or RMP.
How Does EBT Work?
If you are eligible to receive benefits, an account will be established in your name and benefits will be deposited electronically in the account each month.
As a result, you will receive a plastic card, like a bank debit card for making qualified purchases with your benefits.
However, to use the card, you will need to select a secret PIN (Personal Identification Number) which will be explained to you by the local worker.
Furthermore, if you qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit, you can use your card to:
- Purchase selected any items at any of their available point-of-sale registers.
If you qualify for WV Works/Cash and Child Support Incentive benefits, certainly, you can use your card to:
- Withdraw benefits from any QUEST® ATM nationwide.
- Pay for purchases at the store.
- Get cashback with a purchase at the store.
For a homeless person to be eligible, the person/household must lack a fixed and regular nighttime residence or be living in a shelter, halfway house, or a place not designed for sleeping.
This includes those who are temporarily staying in the home of another person (90 days or less).
California Restaurant Meals Program
The California Restaurant Meals Program allows eligible homeless, disabled, and/or elderly (ages 60 and above) CalFresh benefit recipients to use their CalFresh benefits to purchase hot, prepared food from participating restaurants.
To be eligible, the elderly person/household must have only members who are 60 or older, or an elderly individual and his or her spouse.
To be eligible, the person/household must have only members who are designated disabled by a government entity, or a disabled individual and his or her spouse.
Elderly or Disabled
To be eligible for the Restaurant Meals Program, the individual/household must have only members who are age 60 or older or designated as disabled by a government entity, or an elderly or disabled individual and his or her spouse.
The Participating Restaurants Include:
- Burger King
- Carl’s Jr.
- Church’s Chicken
- Del Taco
- Domino’s Pizza
- El Pollo Loco
- Great Steaks
- Jack in the Box
- Jamba Juice
- Papa Murphy’s
- Pizza Hut
- Rally’s Hamburgers
- Taco Bell
The following California counties participate in the Restaurant Meals Program:
Alameda County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, Sacramento County, San Diego County, San Francisco County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Clara County, and Santa Cruz County.
1. Can the Government Know what I Bought with my EBT card?
The EBT system does not keep a record of what you buy.
2. Is my Personal Information in the EBT System Kept Private?
Yes. However, information about clients in the EBT system is under the same privacy rules that govern the CalFresh Program and CalWORKs.
3. What if I already have my Cash Benefits Direct Deposited, do I have to use an EBT card to Access Those Benefits?
No. If you already receive your cash benefits by direct deposit, you may continue to do so.
EBT at fast-food places is only available in California with Restaurant Meal Programs, and only for people who are EBT recipients and disabled, elderly, or homeless.
However, if you aren’t in an RMP or don’t qualify for the program, you can’t use EBT at local fast-food restaurants.
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