What if my EBT card or benefits are lost or stolen?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed June 2023

To report a lost or stolen EBT card, call the Massachusetts EBT Customer Service at 1-800-997-2555. DTA will replace your card, but DTA will not replace any SNAP benefits that are stolen from your account. 106 C.M.R. § 364.900 (D) Someone who steals your card can only use your SNAP if they know the PIN. Do not write your PIN on the card and keep it a secret! Once you report a lost or stolen card you can get a new PIN.

You can also call the DTA Assistance Line at 1-877-382-2363 and follow the prompts to ask for a replacement EBT card.

If you ask for a new card by phone, it can take 7-10 days to show up in the mail. You can also go directly to your local DTA office to pick up a new card that day. Any DTA office can issue you a replacement EBT card.  Your old card will become deactivated and the value of your SNAP benefits will be transferred to the new EBT card.

DTA charge for EBT replacement cards

If you get cash or SNAP benefits and you lose your EBT card, DTA may charge $5.00 for replacement of the EBT card depending on the situation. DTA will deduct the $5.00 from your cash or SNAP benefits in your EBT account (you do not pay DTA directly). 

However, DTA should not charge the $5 fee for a replacement EBT card if:

  • the EBT card was lost in the mail and you never used the EBT card that was sent to you,
  • the EBT card did not work correctly (e.g. the magnetic strip failed),
  • you are a victim of domestic violence,
  • your SNAP/cash case was closed for more than 30 days, you reapplied and asked for a new EBT card because you tossed your old card,
  • you need a disability accommodation
  • your name or SSN changed
  • you become exempt from the photo EBT rule and you want an EBT card without a photo (see What is a Photo EBT card and who needs to have one?.), 
  • you ask for a new EBT card after your SNAP was stolen through skimming (you do not have to get a new card – just change your PIN - but if you ask for one), or
  • you meet other good cause exceptions.

Meeting with DTA to get an EBT replacement card​

Under DTA procedures, SNAP and cash (TAFDC or EAEDC) recipients that have received more thanreplacement EBT cards within 12 months are now required to speak with a DTA worker to talk about the reasons for multiple requests and how the EBT card works.

Some clients who request more than 4 replacement cards within 12 months will be told they have to have an in-person appointment with a case manager or a fraud investigator. If this happens and it is a hardship for you, contact a Supervisor, the DTA Ombuds, or an advocate.

DTA cannot deny a request for a replacement EBT card if the person is SNAP eligible. Some EBT recipients may be confused about the card and how it works due to a disability, or an abusive partner or third party is taking the EBT card. If you are in this situation, contact Legal Services.

SNAP stolen after your EBT card/PIN information was “skimmed”

Unfortunately, thieves can try to copy card and PIN information when you use your card at a grocer. Then they can create a new EBT card to use your SNAP benefits. This is called "skimming." You may not know a thief has copied your card and PIN information until after your SNAP benefits are stolen. Since June 2022, thieves have stolen SNAP from thousands of households in Massachusetts.

To best protect your SNAP, change your PIN after every purchase you make with your SNAP. Since that is very difficult for most EBT card users, DTA advises that you change your PIN before each SNAP issuance. Call 1-800- 997-2555 to change your PIN. Learn more at Mass.gov/ProtectYourEBT.

Report stolen SNAP to DTA right away by calling 1-800-Fraud-99. 

As of June 2023 DTA is working on a process to replace SNAP stolen after October 1, 2022. For updates, check this DTA page. SNAP benefits stolen before October 1, 2022 were replaced in May 2023.

If your SNAP has been stolen, contact MLRI at [email protected].

DTA Online Guide: See Appendix G for links to the DTA’s BEACON Online Guide for this section.

Show DTA Policy Guidance

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