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FAQs About EBT (Food Stamps) Card (FAQs)

Authored By: Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (Hammond Office) LSC Funded

FAQs About Your EBT (Food Stamps) Card

The food stamp office gave me a card to use to buy food, but I can't find it.  What do I do?  +

If your food stamp card is lost, stolen or destroyed, report it right away. You will lose any benefits taken from your account up to the moment you call the food stamp office. In Louisiana, you should call this toll-free number to report the loss: 1-888-997-1117.

The food stamp office must give back to you any benefits stolen after you reported the loss. But it has 2 business days to give you a new card. If you have trouble getting a new card or getting stolen benefits back from the food stamp office, talk with a lawyer. Most free legal services programs want to help with this kind of serious problem.

I ran out of benefits on my card before I should have.  How do I get information about my account?  +

By federal law, when you ask for it, the food stamp office must give you (in writing) a history of your account's transaction history for the past 2 months. Also, whenever you use your card, federal law requires any store to give you a receipt of your transaction. The receipt must include your balance left after your purchase.

The store I use has a check-out line that is only for using the card.  I feel bad because everyone knows I'm on food stamps when I get in that line.  Can the store treat me that way? +

A store that segregates buyers that way is doing something that is against the law. You could talk with the store's owners about it to ask them to stop doing that. You could also talk with a lawyer.

I cannot remember my PIN number so I can't use my card.  What do I do? +

Call or go by the food stamp office. If you want a new PIN number, because you think someone might be using it, you may have to wait 2 business days. But the food stamp office cannot take longer or that would be against federal law.

My mother has a hard time using the card because she doesn't speak or read English very well.   What can she do? +

The card system is used state-wide. But the food stamp office must by federal law help people who have trouble using the cards because of language problems, difficulty reading, or disability. Try talking with a supervisor at the food stamp office, to get help. If you still need help, talk with a lawyer.

Last Review and Update: Jun 03, 2009