What SNAP Does
Once eligibility and level of benefits have been determined, information is transferred to the state's EBT contractor. Once they are approved for benefits, an account is established in the recipient's name, and their SNAP benefits are deposited electronically in this account each month. A plastic debit card, similar to a bank card, is issued and a personal identification number PIN is assigned or chosen by the recipient to control access to their account. All states have systems that use magnetic stripe cards and "on-line" authorization of transactions. When paying for groceries, the SNAP customer's card is run through an electronic reader or a point of sale terminal POS , and the recipient enters the secret PIN to access the food stamp account.
Then, electronically, the processor verifies the PIN and the account balance, and sends an authorization or denial back to the retailer. The recipient's account is then debited for the amount of the purchase, and the retailer's account is credited.
Amazon and Walmart are testing a program to accept food stamps online
No cash money changes hands. Payment is made to the retailer through an ACH settlement process at the end of the business day. Many states stagger the issuing of benefits to EBT SNAP accounts, with the particular day of the month determined for each recipient based on the case number, Social Security number , or date of birth. In the late s, the food-stamp program was revamped, and stamps were phased out in favor of a specialized debit-card system known as electronic benefit transfer EBT provided by private contractors.
Many states merged the use of the EBT card for public-assistance welfare programs as well. The farm bill renamed the Food Stamp Program as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as of October , and replaced all references to "stamp" or "coupon" in federal law to "card" or "EBT.
New state and federal law grants new provisions to law enforcement and state agencies to investigate the criminal use, including taxation on EBT purchases, of state and federal benefits. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
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Electronic benefit transfer - Wikipedia
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