West Virginia PEBT Card Activation Instructions

If your child is eligible for the 2020-2021 school year, you will receive a new EBT card in the mail. It will not have any WV DHHR information on the envelope. Watch your mail for a white, window envelope with a Sioux Falls, SD return address.

To activate the card

  • Call the number on the back of the card – (866) 545-6502.

  • Follow the prompts

    • Enter the 16-digit number on the front of the card
    • Enter the date of birth for the cardholder’s name
    • IMPORTANT: Date of birth must be in the following format MM/DD/YY
    • Enter the case number that was provided to the cardholder in a separate letter
    • Select a four-digit PIN
  • You will hear a confirmation that the card has been activated.

If you are unable to activate the card, contact

  • EBT Banking Services – (304) 558-4126
  • West Virginia Customer Service Line – (877) 716-1212

What is PEBT?

Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT, is a system through which recipients of certain government benefits receive and spend funds electronically, using a plastic EBT card like a bank debit card. Benefits are deposited electronically into the recipient’s program account. The recipient can then use his or her EBT card to make purchases, which are subtracted from the account.

Where Can I use the West Virginia PEBT card?

SNAP recipients can use their card to purchase food at any USDA authorized SNAP grocery or convenience store. If you qualify for SNAP benefits, you can use your West Virginia PEBT Card to:

  • Buy selected food items at any store that accepts EBT benefits.

  • Buy selected seed items at any store that accepts EBT benefits.

Note: Stores will not give you change for SNAP benefit purchases. Only the exact amount of your food purchase is deducted from your SNAP benefit account.

Clients can call the 24-hour, toll free phone number 1-866-545-6502 for assistance to use the card, to obtain account balances and to report lost or stolen cards.

Using a PEBT card is:

  • Easy – SNAP purchases for food and seeds can made at any USDA/FNS approved retailer. At the checkout counter, the EBT card is used like a credit card in the POS (point of sale) machine.

  • Safe – The EBT card cannot be used without the secret PIN (personal identification number) that is chosen by the cardholder as soon as the card is received. The same plastic EBT card can be used for years when kept in a safe, clean place and when not exposed to magnets, cellphones, sunlight or high heat.

  • Convenient – PEBT benefits will be issued to the West Virginia PEBT card throughout the 2020-2021 school year. Benefit deposits will be made to the same card based on whether the child missed school lunches due to the pandemic.

What can I buy with the PEBT card?

The benefits on your PEBT card are SNAP/Food benefits that are provided through the federal government Cares Act. The benefits are issued to help defray food expenses for children who would have received free or reduced lunches.

How to Use My Card?

  • Before you shop, always check your balance

  • To use your card at a POS machine:

    • Slide your card through the machine.
    • Choose EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer), if prompted.
    • Enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Do not give your PIN to the clerk.
    • When the total is entered, press ENTER if correct. If not correct, discuss with clerk.
  • Look at your receipt. Make sure the receipt shows the store name, date and time of purchase, and amount of purchase.

    • Always protect your card and your PIN.
    • Never record your PIN on your card and don’t keep the PIN with the card.
    • If your card is lost, stolen or damaged, call 1-866-545-6502 immediately.
    • A new card will be ordered and should arrive within 7-10 business days, unless delayed by United State Postal Service delivery issues due to the pandemic.

Additional Tools for Managing Your Benefits

Farmers Markets and SNAP

​SNAP purchases are not limited only to participating stores. Many of the Farmers Markets here in West Virginia also accept SNAP benefits.  When you use your Mountain State EBT Card at your local Farmers Markets, you are purchasing healthy and locally grown foods, while also supporting your local farmers.