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EBT Benefit Expungement
Under new federal rules, federal food assistance benefits will be expunged, or removed, from a client’s EBT card nine months after the benefits were issued, unless the card has been used to make a purchase within the last nine months. If the card has been used, the benefits will remain on the card for nine months from the date of last purchase. Benefits are removed only if:
- It has been nine months since the benefits were issued; AND
- It has been nine months since you last used your EBT card.
Once benefits have been removed, they cannot be added back to your card.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does it work?
Here’s an example: If benefits were issued to your card in January, any of those benefits that remain unused would be removed in October. However, if you used your card in March, the January benefits would remain on the card for nine months from the date you last used the card (in this case, nine months after March would be December). If you used your card again in November, the January benefits (if any still remain) would stay on your card for another nine months past November because you used your card.
What does this mean?
Use your card. Any size purchase counts. Even buying an apple every few months will keep your card active and keep your benefits available to use.
If my benefits are removed, does that mean my case is closed?
No, if you have an active case, the removal of benefits will not affect your case status.
Will all my benefits be removed? I just got some additional benefits last month.
Only those benefits that were issued nine or more months ago will be removed. And those benefits will be removed only if you haven’t used your EBT card within the past nine months.
Will removing benefits keep me from getting future benefits that I’m eligible to receive?
No, if you have benefits that are removed, that will not keep you from receiving future issuances of benefits for which you are eligible.