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Welfare Fraud TipLine

Welfare Fraud TipLine 1-800-932-0582

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  • 17,798 complaints received
  • 4,973 Field Investigations
  • $16,837,332 saved
  • November 1, 2013 - October 31, 2014

    Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)

    What is Electronic Benefits Transfer?

    Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is a benefit delivery system that provides public assistance recipients with electronic access to their cash and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

    How does EBT work?

    Eligible recipients receive a Pennsylvania Access Card and select a personal identification number (PIN) to access authorized benefits. When paying for groceries, the recipient swipes his or her EBT Access Card through a Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal and enters the PIN to access the SNAP account. Then the pin and account balance are verified electronically, and the retailer receives an authorization or denial. The recipient's account is then debited for the amount of the purchase, and the retailer's account is credited. No money or food coupons change hands. The transaction and settlement processes are the same for cash transactions. Recipients are able to use their EBT Access Card to obtain cash benefits through ATMs located throughout the state. In addition, recipients are able to make cash purchases and receive cash back through POS terminals at participating retailers.

    Where should questions or problems about EBT be directed?

    The EBT Recipient Hotline may be contacted to:

    • Find out where the EBT card can be used;
    • Check SNAP and cash assistance account balances;
    • Report that an EBT card has been lost or stolen;
    • Report that the EBT card does not work; and
    • Ask questions about using the EBT card.

    The EBT Recipient Hotline may be called at 1-888-EBT-PENN (1-888-328-7366). The Recipient Hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.