Food Stamps - Accessing Benefits

Electronic Benefit Transfer - EBT:

New York State has eliminated paper food coupons. You will now use a plastic benefit card [EBT] to access your food stamp account, similar to the way you use a bank debit card.

Simply swipe your EBT card through the designated machine at the register when paying for your groceries and enter the four digit Personal Identification Number [PIN] that you have selected.

* Important reminders*

  • Never tell anyone your secret PIN number.
  • Never write your PIN number on your benefit card.
  • Never let anyone see you enter your PIN number.

If someone else uses your card and PIN, your benefits will not be replaced!

  • Keep your EBT card in a safe place.
  • Do not write on or scratch the black stripe on the back of your card.
  • Do not put your card near magnets, TVs, stereos, VCRs, or even the magnetic clasp on a purse.
  • If your card is damaged or bent, it will need to be replaced by your worker.

If your card is lost or stolen, call:


Using your EBT card:

  • Before you shop, call the customer service number at 1-888-328-6399 to check your balance. You need to know what your balance is before you go to pay for your groceries. You cannot check your balance by calling this number from a pay phone.
  • You will not receive cash back from your purchase.
  • If you use both a food stamp benefit account and a cash benefit account, your card will be swiped through the machine twice and you must enter your PIN twice.
  • If you want to:

    Change your PIN;
    Report your card lost or stolen; or
    Have questions or problems using your benefit card or PIN -

    Call the Customer Service Hotline number at 1-888-328-6399.
    The Hotline number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    You can also check your account balance and change your pin number at the EBT internet website by clicking here:

  • For more information on using your EBT card, visit the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance web site:
  • If you are receiving Food Stamp Benefits and wish to check on your Food Stamp Electronic Benefit Transaction (EBT) account, click here for "My Account".

Important Telephone Numbers:

ServiceNumber (area code 716)
General Information 858-8000
Food Stamp Applications 858-7239
To Contact Food Stamp Workers 858-7239
Fraud Hotline 858-1886
EBT Customer Service 1-888-328-6399
Social Security Administration 1-800-772-1213