What Is EBT Used For? The Electronic Benefits Transfer card can be used to buy a variety of items but there is a catch. With an EBT card, you’ll only be able to purchase food and drinks. For instance, you can buy fresh and frozen foods. You can also purchase canned, prepackaged, and live food using an EBT card.
However, there are some circumstances when you will not be able to use this card. This is the case if you’re trying to purchase live animals. You cannot buy live chickens or fish using your food stamps. And, does Target take food stamps?
Also, it should be noted that an EBT card can be used at a variety of stores. If you’re an EBT cardholder, you will be able to use the card at a grocery store, farmers’ market, and gas station. Just remember that you’ll need to know what you can use the EBT card for and what you can’t buy with it.
Does Target Take EBT?
There is simply no denying that times are currently tough. Given the recent downturn of the economy coupled with COVID 19, it only makes sense that people would turn to the government for financial relief. While the government was quick to help where they could, they just weren’t or still aren’t in the position to do everything that is needed.
Otherwise, homelessness and unemployment rates wouldn’t be soaring. That’s really beside the point. The point is that the government does provide relief when and where they can to the right qualifying individuals. Some of this relief might come in the form of EBT.
What Exactly Is EBT?
EBT stands for electronic benefits transfer, and it is basically a card-based system similar to that of a debit or credit card. More like a debit card, but similar to both. That being said, it allows recipients of government assistance to pay retailers directly, making the entire process all that much easier and convenient. For instance, if you are currently receiving assistance from the government, you likely received assistance when food stamps were in circulation.
You know what a hassle those things were. You had to carry them around like Monopoly money and hope they didn’t get ripped or lost. They were color-coded and a bit of a hassle to use, but they no doubt worked. Well, the EBT card replaced all that. It is a single credit card that allows you to load your food stamps in conjunction with your other government assistance.
You essentially have all your assistance right in one convenient place. It makes tracking, monitoring, and spending this assistance all that much easier. State governments will both provide and track the use of these cards via the EBT system. This is a system that was implemented in 2004 through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in all 50 states.
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Understanding EBT And How It Works
When laid out on paper, EBT works just like one would imagine it works. The recipient of the aid is issued a plastic card, similar to that of a credit card with a magnetic security strip, PIN number, and all the other works.
Along with SNAP programs, there are a number of other programs that are being used or tested for EBT, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Temporary Aid for Need Families (TANF), and some state general assistance programs.
The key takeaways here are that recipients are issued a credit card-like plastic card that can be used to purchase specific items with specific vendors.
The EBT has replaced the old-style color-coded paper food stamp system and some states have other public assistance programs that work in conjunction with the card as well. Cash and food stamp benefits are loaded onto the electronic benefit card, which can then later be accessed via PIN number.
While the card is similar to that of a credit card, it does have some similar restrictions. First off, it can only be used at EBT participating merchants. It can even be used at ATM machines and point-of-sale terminals.
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How EBT Got Its Start
Back in 2008 Congress completely change the face of the Food Stamp Program. Not only did it get a new structure, but it got an entirely new name, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The programs are now funded by the federal government but administered through the states.
This means that each individual state works with contractors of SNAP and other-state administered benefit programs to provide assistance to those individuals in need of assistance in their district.
When a recipient is approved and granted benefits, the state’s EBT contractor will set up an account for the individual and start depositing benefits. These benefits will then be deposited electronically into the account each month.
All states now have similar systems that work using similar cards with magnetic strips and PIN numbers. The only problem is that these cards only work with certain providers in each state. So, does EBT work with the 2nd largest retail outlet in the world, Target?
Target Stores & EBT Cards
In the United States, the majority of retail establishments will accept EBT cards. If you visit a local Target, you can rest assured knowing that the retail store will accept your EBT payment. However, you have to understand that certain items cannot be purchased from Target with an EBT card.
If you try to buy video games, toys, or clothes with an electronic benefits transfer card, you will run into problems. Instead, you can use the card at Target to buy bread, cereal, milk, fruit, vegetables, fish, chicken, and other edibles.
You’re dealing with a food-only card. This means that you cannot use the EBT for other purposes. You cannot use an EBT card and ask for cashback.
EBTs At Target
When it comes down to it, Target is one of the biggest retail chains in the United States. Today, the company operates nearly 1,700 stores in 48 states. Furthermore, it has nearly 240 Super Target stores. This is good for people who own EBT cards because you’ll be able to use your card at all of these establishments.
By visiting one of these stores, you’ll be able to purchase food and other edibles using your EBT card. Again, you have to know that this card can only be used to buy food. Furthermore, that food has to be approved for EBT purchases.
Can You Use EBT At Target Starbucks?
A lot of Target stores are also home to Starbucks restaurants. You may believe that you’ll also be able to use your EBT at a Target Starbucks. So, can you do this? Ultimately, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has been expanded a lot over the years. In December of 2011, an Oregon woman took a friend to a local Starbucks inside of a Safeway grocery store.
The friend used her EBT card to buy a Tall Frappuccino and a piece of fresh pumpkin bread. At the time, a spokesman for Safeway told the local media outlet that it has recently added the ability to use food stamps at Starbucks kiosks is a “convenience to customers”.
It is believed that EBT cards will only work at grocery stores and Target Starbucks. They likely will not be accepted at stand-along Starbucks stores. SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase pre-prepared or hot food but they can be used for sweets, energy drinks, and soft drinks. As long as it has a nutritional label, you’ll be able to use your EBT card to buy it.
So, you may be able to use your EBT card at a Target Starbucks.
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When Are EBT Cards Reloaded?
At some point, you’re going to run out of money on your EBT card. When this happens, you’ll have to wait for the federal government to add more money to your card. When are EBT benefits added to your electronic benefits transfer card? Ultimately, it depends on where you live.
Monthly benefits are usually added to EBT accounts on the first day of every month. However, things are a bit different in some areas. In Tennessee, the payout day will depend on your Social Security Number. If your SSN ends in 00 to 04, you’ll receive your benefits on the 1st of the month.
If it ends in 15 to 19, you’ll receive them on the 4th of the month. Either way, most benefits are going to be added to an EBT card during the first twenty days of the month. Be sure to check the specifics in your area so you’ll know when you’re going to get your EBT benefits.
Target Returns Policy For EBT Cards
You may buy something from Target that is no longer good. If this happens, you may want to return the item to Target and get a refund. Well, this is going to be complicated because you’re dealing with an EBT transaction.
Will you be able to return groceries to Target even though you paid with an EBT card? Yes. As long as Target is willing to accept the return, you’ll be able to take the items back to the store. Just remember that the money will be returned to your EBT card. SNAP customers will be treated the same as any other customer.
If you can return the item and you paid for it with a credit card, you’ll be able to return it after paying with an EBT card too. Just remember that you cannot receive cash refunds for items purchased with an EBT card.
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Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.