Food stamps have become an essential part of American life in this recession and more and more families are turning to them for help. These days, however, food stamps are no longer called food stamps and are, in fact, awarded by a debit card. Since they’re no longer paper coupons, some people are confused as to how to determine how much they have left. If you have food stamps and are unsure of how to find out how much money you have left on your card, here are a few tips.
Most food stamp cards will have a customer service number located on the back of the card. You will likely have to enter a pin number when you call for your balance, so make sure you know it in advance. It is not recommended that you write your pin number on your card or to keep both in the same place as someone could easily use the card should you lose it or if it is stolen.
Your state may also have a website where you can log on to check your food stamp balance. You will again have to have personal log on information like your case number, an email address or other information that you were provided with when you were approved for food stamps. You will also have to enter either a password or a PIN number to access your information. You can also change your address or other contact information through these websites and some will allow you to track your balances and purchase history as well.
Most retailers and grocery stores will actually print your food stamp balance on your receipts. Make sure to keep these so that you can track your purchases and confirm that your balance is correct. If you have any discrepancies, immediately contact your social services department and report the error.
If you do not use all of your available food stamp funds for the month, most states will roll over the balance to the next month. Most states do not have deadlines by which you must use your food stamps, but it is generally accepted that you will use your entire available balance each month. Some states will stop recharging your card if you do not use it all for more than thirty or sixty days. If this happens due to an illness or other reason, contact your social services department to have your account reinstated.