EBT Cards in Arizona

“How long does it take to get Arizona EBT card benefits after applying for Nutrition Assistance (NA)?” many state residents may wonder. To get an Arizona EBT card, low-income residents must first follow the food assistance application procedures under the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). After applying for the EBT card, residents generally receive their NA materials in the mail within 30 days of requesting food assistance – if they are eligible for these benefits. “What can I buy with EBT card benefits?” qualified SNAP beneficiaries ask. If a beneficiary has an existing EBT card balance, he or she may use benefits to purchase nutritious food items for consumption, including fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products. “Where can I use my EBT card to buy these food items?” is another common question of food stamp beneficiaries. With an Electronic Benefits Transfer card, program participants may shop at convenience stores or grocers inside and outside of the state of Arizona. To learn more about using an Arizona EBT card, review the information below.

How long does it take to get Arizona EBT card issuances?

Residents receive the Arizona EBT card after they learn how to apply for SNAP assistance under the State Department of Economic Security (DES), as EBT cards give claimants the opportunity to easily access their NA benefits while shopping for groceries. Generally, claimants receive an EBT card (also known as QUEST Electronic Benefits Transfer cards) within one month of applying for SNAP assistance in the state. However, Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) distributes these cards, rather than the DES. Furthermore, claimants may receive Electronic Benefits Transfer cards in AZ even if they are not eligible to receive NA allowances, as Arizona EBT cards generally arrive before DES determination letters. For this reason, claimants cannot use their EBT cards until they receive their determination letters from the DES. However, the Arizona EBT card should be kept, even by non-eligible applicants, as they may qualify for food or cash assistance in the future. To learn more about AZ EBT cards and how they work, download our comprehensive guide.

Where can I use my EBT card in Arizona?

“What can I buy with EBT card credentials and where can I use my benefits?” SNAP program participants may ask. The EBT card balance allows the use of NA benefits similarly to how an ATM or debit card works. However, residents cannot use EBT card balances to purchase tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets or other prohibited items. Additionally, an Electronic Benefits Transfer card cannot be used to withdraw cash at ATMs, unless claimants qualify for cash assistance (CA). Furthermore, an Arizona EBT card may be used to purchase food products including vegetable seeds, cereal, bread and food-producing plants.

Beneficiaries may use EBT cards at any permitted establishments that accept Electronic Benefits Transfer cards as payment, including convenience stores, grocers and participating farmers markets. However, an Arizona EBT card may not be used at point-of-sale terminals located in adult entertainment establishments, liquor stores or gambling casinos. “Where can I use my EBT card in Arizona if I am outside of the state?” program participants may ask. While residents may use AZ EBT cards when outside of the state, they may need to answer several security questions to confirm their identities if they regularly use their benefits when outside of Arizona. To learn more about where to use an EBT card in Arizona, download our informative guide.

How to Find Your EBT Card Balance in Arizona

Arizona residents may check EBT card balances online or by telephone, depending on their personal preferences. Additionally, residents may check Arizona EBT card balances by reviewing the receipts from their last completed transactions. For this reason, it is important to keep a record of all receipts from SNAP-related transactions. When checking an EBT card balance online, however, claimants must provide their current card numbers. With online AZ EBT card accounts, program participants may review their recent transactions, check their current balances, contact customer service or reset their Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), if necessary. If checking Electronic Benefits Transfer card balances by telephone, however, claimants may use a 24-hour customer service telephone number. Furthermore, an Arizona EBT card that is lost or stolen may be reported by telephone, as well. While the first replacement EBT card in one calendar year is free, claimants must pay a nominal fee if they need to replace additional cards within the same year.

Residents with EBT cards may add alternate, authorized cardholders to their accounts if other individuals will be purchasing food items on their behalves. Since Arizona EBT card benefits are non-refundable if stolen or lost, however, it is important to only designate trusted users as alternate cardholders. To read more about Electronic Benefits Transfer cards, download our comprehensive guide.



What Kind of Assistance Does the Arizona Family Assistance Services Department Offer?

The state of Arizona can assist eligible families with services such as food assistance or temporary cash assistance. To assess your eligibility, you must fill out an application and provide the required documents. To learn all of the details needed to prepare for this application process, download our comprehensive guide today.


Who Is Eligible To Benefit From the Arizona Family Assistance Services?

Eligible low-income families or individuals in Arizona can benefit from programs offered by the Family Assistance Services Department. Temporary financial assistance or Nutrition Assistance services are available to those who qualify upon filing an application. To find out if your family is eligible for these benefits, download our guide now.