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Use Your Benefits
Use Your Benefits
How can I check the balance on my P-EBT card?
If you have already activated your P-EBT card, call 1-888-997-1117 and follow the prompts to check your balance. You cannot check the balance on the card until it has been activated. Before activation, the card balance will appear to be $0. For activation instructions, see question above.
Should I keep my P-EBT card after using the benefits?
Yes, please keep the card, as any additional P-EBT benefits for which the child is eligible will be loaded onto the same card.
When do P-EBT benefits expire?
All federal benefits issued (including SNAP, P-EBT, etc.) by DCFS have a 9-month time limit for use. The timer is reset to 9 months each time a purchase is made. The letter is meant to inform a recipient that they have benefits that will soon expire. If they make a purchase, the timer will be reset. If they don’t, any remaining benefits will be lost. However, the card and the case are still active and any future benefits will be added to their card with the same 9-month time limit.
What do I do if I have trouble activating my P-EBT card?
What if my P-EBT card was lost or stolen? How do I get a replacement?
If your card is lost, stolen or damaged, cancel your card immediately and request a replacement. You can do this in one of 3 ways:
- Portal: You may complete a request for a new card in the P-EBT Parent Portal.
- Phone: Call the EBT customer service line at 1-888-997-1117 and listen for the option to report your card as lost, stolen or damaged.
- Web: Go to www.LifeInCheckEBT.com and create an account. (NOTE: You will need a separate account, with a separate email address, for each EBT card that you have.) Once you have created an account for the lost/stolen card, log in and select the “Card Management” tab on the top of the screen. This will bring you to a screen where you can cancel your card and request a replacement card.
- Mobile: Download the LifeInCheck EBT mobile app and create an account. (NOTE: You will need a separate account, with a separate email address, for each EBT card that you have.) After logging into the app, select the “My Account” icon on the bottom right of the screen. There will be a list of options available including one to deactivate or cancel your card and request a replacement card.
- If you do not need to change your mailing address, call the EBT customer service line at 1-888-997-1117 and listen for the option to report your card as lost, stolen or damaged. You can then request a new card be mailed to your address on file.
Buy Food in the Store
What can I buy with P-EBT benefits? Are there restrictions?
P-EBT benefits are intended for the purchase of food and can be used to buy items like breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products, as well as seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat.
Hurricane Ida Hot Food Waiver
Due to Hurricane Ida, now through September 28, 2021, Louisiana P-EBT can be used to purchase "hot" or prepared foods, following a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Waiving that restriction is vital in the aftermath of a storm such as Hurricane Ida, where many residents are displaced and cannot access a kitchen to prepare their meals.
The waiver allows recipients to use their benefits to buy prepared foods available at any retailer that accepts EBT cards in Louisiana. Restaurant purchases are still prohibited.
More information about the “hot foods” waiver can be found at http://dcfs.la.gov/page/snap-hot-foods-waiver.
P-EBT benefits may NOT be used to buy any of the following: Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco; nonfood items, such as pet foods, soaps, paper products or household supplies; vitamins and medicines; food that will be eaten in the store or hot foods.
For more information, visit USDA's SNAP Eligible Food Items page.
Where can I use P-EBT benefits?
A P-EBT card can be used at any retailer in the United States where SNAP EBT cards are accepted. To find participating retailers, visit the SNAP Retailer Locator and enter a street address, city and state, or zip code. Enter your starting location and select a retailer or map point to get details and directions.
Can I use a P-EBT card to buy food online?
Online shopping is not currently allowed for Louisiana P-EBT benefits, although Louisiana is working on a plan to make online SNAP purchases possible in the near future.
Are P-EBT benefits transferable? Can I give away or sell my card? What if I don't want the benefits?
P-EBT benefits are non-transferable. If you wish to decline the benefits, please destroy the card.
It is illegal to sell, trade or give away your P-EBT benefits, PIN or Louisiana EBT card; to allow a retailer to buy your food benefits in exchange for cash; and to use someone else's P-EBT benefits or Louisiana EBT card for your household. If you are found guilty of intentional program violations, you will be disqualified from SNAP benefits and will have to pay back any unauthorized P-EBT benefits issued.