California citizens who receive public benefits can make purchases using an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card, called the Golden State Advantage Card. Consumers can access their funds outside of the state, as well. You can check your balance by checking your latest receipt generated when you made a purchase with your EBT card, by phone or by logging into an account you set up that is tied to your card.
Knowing your balance will help you keep track of your spending and help you avoid trying to make purchases that won’t go through.
Read More: How to Sign Up For EBT
Check Your Last Receipt
Each time you use your Golden State Advantage EBT card, the system updates your balance and puts it on the receipt of your purchase. If you’re given a choice of getting a receipt or not receiving one, choose to get a receipt so you have your balance handy if you need it. If you have two or more receipts, just look at the receipt with the latest date to get your balance. It should have the lowest balance of your receipts, unless your card has had funds added since your last purchase.
Read More: EBT Card Restrictions
Call for Assistance
Check the back of your card for a toll-free phone number you can call to check your balance, as well as ask other questions. The main number to call is 877-328-9677. When you call, you’ll be asked to put in your personal information, such as your card number and PIN.
Enter the requested information and start listening to your prompts. In addition to getting your information from the computerized system, you can ask for a live customer service representative if you have more specific questions. If you want to hear your CalFresh EBT balance, call the same number.
Read More: How to Use EBT Cards at the Grocery Store
Log In to Your Account
You can check your balance by going to the CDDS website and entering your username and password, which will take you to your personal account. You’ll have to set up your account after you get your card.
If you haven’t created an account, follow the link at the website to do so, or click here. You’ll need your card number and case number to get started. Follow the directions to create your account.
Once you’re in your account, you can check your balance and find other information.
Keep Your Card Secure
If your Golden State Advantage EBT card has been stolen or you’ve lost it, or you believe that someone else might have your EBT card number, PIN number or your Social Security number, the California Department of Social Services suggests you call 877-328-9677 for help. You can freeze your EBT account so no one can take your funds and get a new card and PIN issued.
- The misuse of food and cash benefits is a violation of federal and state laws.
Steve Milano has written more than 1,000 pieces of personal finance and frugal living articles for dozens of websites, including Motley Fool, Zacks, Bankrate, Quickbooks, SmartyCents, Knew Money, Don't Waste Your Money and Credit Card Ideas, as well as his own websites.