DEFINITION of 'Electronic Benefit Transfer - EBT'

A system that allows state governments to provide and track benefits to authorized recipients via a plastic debit card. Common benefits provided via EBT are Food Stamps and Cash benefits. Recipients receive a plastic payment card with a magnetic strip and a PIN is issued. Cash benefits include State General Assistance, TANF (Temporary Aid for Needy Families) benefits and refugee benefits.

Cash and food stamp benefits are deposited into electronic benefit accounts which can be accessed using a Common Benefit Identification Card (CBIC) and Personal Identification Number (PIN). The Card can be used at EBT participating merchants and ATM machines and Point of Sale (POS) terminals throughout the state.

BREAKING DOWN 'Electronic Benefit Transfer - EBT'

As of 2008, Congress renamed the Food Stamp Program the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) has been adopted nationwide since 2004.




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