EBT stands for Electronic Benefit Transfer and is the required way for recipients of CalFresh (formerly called Food Stamps), CalWORKs, Refugee, and General Assistance to receive benefits. It does not change any eligibility rules. Instead of sending CalFresh and checks in the mail, benefits will be put into a special EBT account for the recipient. No more stolen or lost checks or CalFresh benefits.
How do I access my CalFresh and CalWORKs benefits in the EBT account?
You will be given a plastic EBT card called the Golden State Advantage Card. It looks like a credit card or a bank debit card. You will also have a personal identification number (PIN) that only you will know. You will use your EBT card to access your cash benefits from Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), stores or get cash-back with purchases from stores. You can use the EBT card at grocery stores to buy food with the CalFresh benefits credited to your EBT account.
What is Direct Deposit?
Direct Deposit provides an additional method of benefit delivery. It does not change any eligibility rules. Direct Deposit is voluntary. Recipients of CalWORKs, Refugee, and General Assistance may choose to have their cash aid deposited directly into their personal checking or savings account rather than having cash benefits paid through EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer). Participants of Direct Deposit will receive an Advise Notice by mail when a direct deposit is made to their account.
Can I have both EBT and Direct Deposit?
If you receive a cash grant through the CalWORKs, Refugee, or General Assistance programs and you receive CalFresh benefits, you must receive the CalFresh benefits through EBT. You may, however, have your cash grant direct deposited into your personal checking or savings account.