The EBT card in Florida, also known as the Access Florida Card is used for two programs: Florida Food Stamps, as well as the temporary cash assistance program. Families that qualify under the income guidelines can apply for and receive these cards in either of these programs. Note that the Food Stamp Program has changed it's name to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) effective October 2008. The food stamp and other assistance programs are also known more generally as "ACCESS Florida".
If you happen to qualify, and EBT card can provide a great deal of relief, assuring that you can provide for your families' basic food needs, even if you are having trouble paying bills on time. The card functions just like a regular debit card, and can be used at participating grocery stores and other participating retail locations. To apply for and use the Florida EBT card, follow these steps:
To apply in person:
How to Apply for your EBT Card in person
- Contact your closest Florida Human Services or Public Aid department. If you are a low income household, unemployed, or a single mother with children, you may be eligible for the Florida Access card which will allow you a certain amount of food purchases each month.
- Be sure to take these items: proof of any income, social security cards, proof of address ( like a utility bill ), as well as information for every person in your household. The case worker will need names, birth dates, and social security cards for everyone in your household.
- Talk with your case worker and set an appointment. Describe your current finances during the appointment and let them know how an EBT card would be beneficial for you. Also bring in any unpaid bills, this will help demonstrate your current budget issues.
- You'll then fill out an application with a case worker. If you like, you can download the application and fill it out ahead of time. Ask any questions you have about the EBT card. After your application is approved, the caseworker will send an EBT card to you.
- Find the the phone number on card then use the pin number you were assigned to check your current balance. Your benefits card can be used at checkout card just like a regular debit card.
To apply online:
Be sure to check the eligibility requirements first.
- When you receive the card, sign it on the back. If you chose to receive your card via mail, you must call their Help Desk at 1-888-356-3281 to register the card. You can't use your card unless it is registered. The help desk will then allow you to choose your PIN (Personal Identification Number).
- If you obtained the card for food stamp benefits, you can then use the Benefit Security card at participating stores to purchase food.
- With the Tempoary Cash Assistance program, you can use your card to withdraw cash or make purchases at participating stores.
Start with this page and find the link labeled "Apply for Food Stamps, Temporary Cash Assistance, or Medicaid"
Important Things To Know About EBT Services
Useful phone numbers if you run into problems:
Aside from the Florida EBT card, there are many other programs, such as food pantries and the Angel Food Ministries program. You can contact a local church or community action agency to locate local food pantries. Angel Food Ministries are also available across Florida and nationwide. You can purchase boxes of food for a small charge of around $30 to help feed your family. There are no minimum income limits to meet. Angel Food Ministries' website is located at angelfoodministries.com
Other helpful information: