Can You Withdraw From EBT?

by Michael Marz

Electronic Benefit Transfer, or EBT, is a system used by every state and the District of Columbia to provides individuals with immediate access to their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and other public assistance cash benefits. State governments issue cards to benefit recipients that work just like prepaid debit cards, although you can't always withdraw cash from an EBT card.

Withdrawing Cash from EBT Card

State government public assistance benefits are paid into accounts that are linked to the EBT cards issued to recipients. You can use the EBT to make cash withdrawals, to shop and even to get cash back when shopping at certain stores. When withdrawing cash from an ATM or through a cash-back transaction, you'll need to enter the personal identification number, or PIN, that's linked to your account. When searching for a store that accepts EBT cards, look for the gray and red “Quest” logo – which means the store is set up on the Quest network to process EBT transactions.

Using EBT Card at Grocery Stores

If you receive SNAP benefits, or food stamps, your EBT card can only be used to purchase certain food items from grocery stores. Your account, however, doesn't allow you to make cash withdrawals from the balance in your SNAP account at an ATM or through a cash-back request.

About the Author

Michael Marz has worked in the financial sector since 2002, specializing in wealth and estate planning. After spending six years working for a large investment bank and an accounting firm, Marz is now self-employed as a consultant, focusing on complex estate and gift tax compliance and planning.