Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is an electronic system that allows recipients of certain government benefits to receive and spend funds via an EBT card. With its help, one can access benefits from their state welfare department. This facility is truly helpful for low-income individuals to make their healthier life more affordable. That is why most people in Colorado have an EBT card to facilitate cash and food benefits.
Want to be an authorized retailer to offer EBT card benefits? That is why you want to know the ins and outs of EBT ATMs! In this blog, we have brought out everything that you should know before installing this ATM. So, keep scrolling down!
What Is EBT?
EBT is the state agency’s method that distributes SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits to families and individuals. The card looks like a debit card and a credit card. This facility aims to remove the stigma of nutrition assistance by eliminating conspicuous food stamps.
An individual can receive SNAP benefits through an EBT card if they meet the program’s criteria. Once the card is issued, the state agency will deposit SNAP benefit dollars into your account that is linked to your EBT card. Then, as a beneficiary, you can use the card to withdraw cash and facilitate food benefits offered by SNAP-authorized retailers.
One can use this card at any eligible retailer in any state. To accept SNAP benefits, retailers have to apply to FNS (Food and Nutrition Service). If they meet the criteria, they can become an authorized retailer and buy or rent an ATM. And that is what will allow them to process EBT cards.
Why Should an Individual Apply for an EBT Card?
Food stamps are one of the notable benefits of the EBT program. The federal Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program provides almost $126 per person as a state food stamp benefit and average monthly benefit. With this facility, your state will also distribute cash through their general assistance program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to refugees. And the money you withdraw will come from your account.
If you are eligible under SNAP, you can also use your EBT card at a grocery store to buy food. Once you enter your PIN, the checkout terminal will read your card first and update your account after cash withdrawal. Like a debit card, you can check your balance at an ATM.
What Is the ATM Process?
The EBT card issued by your state comes with an embedded chip or a magnetic strip. It’s encoded with the four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) that ensures security. However, just like a debit or credit card, insert your EBT card into the machine and select the ‘withdrawal-from-checking’ option. Once you enter the dollar amount, the ATM will dispense cash and print a receipt.
Many retailers offer cash benefits without buying in their stores. The rules of customer service point and the retail line determine where and how much amount the EBT cardholder can withdraw from their cash account. This authorization process guarantees them that the account of the cardholder has a sufficient balance to cover the withdrawal amount.
What Are the Card Restrictions?
Once an individual qualifies for this benefit, the state will create an account and issue an EBT card. Then the state will set the rules on how the beneficiaries use their EBT card. For example, many states allow cardholders to use their EBT card twice per month for free without any charge. And after these two free ones, the beneficiary has to pay a surcharge, which will be deducted from their benefitted account.
What Is Surcharge?
A surcharge is a service fee that banks and some stores may charge cardholders after withdrawing cash through the EBT card. Hence, before using it, one should pay attention to the notice regarding it shown on the ATM screen or a sign near the POS machine. As a beneficiary, one should check with their local public assistance office to know where they can get their cash without paying a surcharge.
How Would You Check the Balance?
The Best way to know the balance to spend on your cash benefit and food stamp is to keep your last receipt. But if you have lost it, but want to know your balance, call the Customer Service number given on the back of the card. One can also check their balance at ATMs or POS machines. If you use ATM, you may have to pay a charge.
What Would Happen If the POS Machine Is Not Working?
If you want to buy eligible food items, but the POS machine is not working, the cashier will fill up a paper voucher. The cashier will note your EBT card number and the amount you have decided to spend. Then the cashier will check whether your account has a sufficient balance to make a purchase. If there is enough in your account, you will have to sign the voucher and be given a copy. Keep it carefully so you can spend from your balance.
What Does It Happen If the Card Is Lost, Stolen, and Damaged?
If your card has become damaged, you can get it replaced. But you may have to pay the replacement fee. If the cardholder receives cash assistance and FNS benefits, the replacement fee will be deducted from the FNS allotment. If there is no sufficient fund in the FNS EBT account or the recipient doesn’t get FNS benefits, the amount will be deducted from the program account. Otherwise, the EBT system will issue the card and cover the funds at the next benefit issuance.
If the card is lost or stolen, One needs to call Customer Service. They will lock on the card and tell the beneficiary how to get a new one.
I Hope, you have got relevant information about EBT ATMs in this blog. So, what keeps you waiting? If you want to buy an ATM to offer SNAP benefits in Colorado, contact us immediately! From free installation to ATM processing and maintenance, our professionals have the expertise in everything. Keep reading other blogs for more updates!