West Virginia PEBT Card Activation Instructions
If your child is newly eligible for PEBT for the 2021-22 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
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.
Foods for the household to eat, such as:
- breads and cereals
- fruits and vegetables
- meats, fish, and poultry
- dairy products
Seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat.
Households CANNOT use SNAP benefits to buy:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
- Any nonfood items, such as: pet foods, soaps, paper products, household supplies
- Vitamins and medicines
- Food that will be eaten in the store
- Hot foods
“Junk Food” & Luxury Items
The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (the Act) defines eligible food as any food or food product for home consumption and also includes seeds and plants which produce food for consumption by SNAP households. The Act prohibits the following items from being purchased with SNAP benefits: alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, hot food and any food sold for on-premises consumption. Nonfood items such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, medicines and vitamins, household supplies, grooming items, and cosmetics, also are ineligible for purchase with SNAP benefits.
Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream are food items and are therefore eligible items.
Seafood, steak, and bakery cakes are also food items and are therefore eligible items.
When considering the eligibility of energy drinks, and other branded products, the primary determinant is the type of product label chosen by the manufacturer to conform to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines:
- Energy drinks that have a nutrition facts label are eligible foods.
- Energy drinks that have a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements and are therefore not eligible.
Generally live animals and birds are not eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits. Live seafood such as lobsters, fish and shellfish may be purchased with SNAP benefits.
Pumpkins are edible and eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits. However, inedible gourds and pumpkins that are used solely for ornamental purposes are not eligible items.
Gift baskets that contain both food and non-food items are not eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits if the value of the non-food items exceeds 50 percent of the purchase price. To read the most recent notice about gift baskets, click here.
Items such as birthday and other special occasion cakes are eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits as long as the value of non-edible decorations does not exceed 50 percent of the purchase price of the cake.
U.S. Department of Agriculture / “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).” Food and Nutrition Service, 17 Nov. 2017, www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items
How to Use My Card?
Before you shop, always check your balance
- Look at your last store receipt.
- Call the EBT Helpline at 1-866-545-6502.
- Set up an account at the FIS Cardholder Portal.
- Download the FIS ebtEDGE Mobile App.
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
The Cardholder Portal is a great tool for cardholders to access account balances, review transactions, change their PIN and more. The Cardholder Portal and the ebtEDGE Mobile Application work together providing cardholders a way to simplify life and stay in the know.
Through the Cardholder Portal you can:
- View account information in English or Spanish.
- Check the balance.
- See transaction history for at least the last 30 days.
- Print transaction history.
- Search for retailers in the area.
- View training material.
First time users will need to first register before using the Cardholder Portal
- Visit the Cardholder Portal at ebtedge.com or by clicking the image below.
- First time users will need to register before using the Cardholder Portal.
- Do so by clicking Register Here on the Login screen. See image to right for example.
- To view the Cardholder Portal Training click here.
Click the “Trouble Signing In” link under the BLUE LOGIN button. You can also find answers in the above Cardholder Portal Training.
This is currently the ONLY mobile app approved for WV EBT and PEBT Cardholders.
- It is important that you select ebtEDGE and not another mobile app. The ebtEDGE app is the only app that is administered by our WV EBT vendor, FIS.
- If you have been using another mobile app, please delete that app and replace it with ebtEDGE.
- As always, if you have any questions about your EBT card, contact the EBT Office at 304.558.4126.
- The ebtEDGE mobile app provides cardholders access to the same functions found on the ebtEDGE Cardholder Portal website.
- It is secure and designed to provide access on the go
To view frequently answered questions, click here.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved online food purchasing for West Virginia PEBT and Mountain State Cardholders. This approval allows SNAP recipients to purchase food online from both Amazon, Walmart and Aldi.
Approved Online Purchasing Retailers
West Virginia currently has three approved retailers for online purchasing, Amazon, Aldi and Walmart.
- West Virginia Mountain State EBT cardholders will be able to make purchases using SNAP and/or WV WORKS benefits.
- EBT cardholders can purchase items for delivery or for pickup and pay for the purchase online.
- There is no charge for pick-up orders.
- There is a charge for delivery orders which cannot be paid with the EBT card.
- The transaction can be split between SNAP, WV WORKS and other tender.
- How do I place an order using my EBT Card?
- West Virginia Mountain State EBT cardholders will be able to make SNAP EBT purchases beginning May 19, 2020 after 4 PM ET.
- Any purchases over $25.00 from amazon.com receive free delivery.
- The amazon.com site does not allow the cardholder to pay for delivery fees with the EBT card.
- The cardholder can split the purchase between SNAP and other credit/debit card tender.
- The checkout process prompts the cardholder to make choices about the SNAP eligible items.
- The checkout process will prevent the purchase of items that are not qualified for SNAP benefits to be paid by the Mountain State EBT card.
- How do I pay with SNAP EBT?
- West Virginia Mountain State EBT Cardholders can make online SNAP purchases with ALDI through it’s partnership with Instacart beginning December 15, 2020.
- After creating a Instacart profile, customers will need to enter their Mountain State EBT Card information as a form of payment.
- Customers may be asked to enter a second form of payment for nonfood items or additional fees not covered under SNAP guidelines.
- SNAP benefits do not cover the cost of delivery.
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.