Do EBT/SNAP Benefits Expire or Roll Over? Answered

Woman shopping for produce at a grocery store

Short Answer

SNAP benefits on EBT cards roll over at the end of the month. After your regular deposit, your EBT card balance will be the amount of the deposit plus any benefits leftover from previous months. However, your state will clear your EBT card if you do not use your benefits for one year.

Do EBT/Food Stamp Benefits Roll Over?

If you do not use the full amount of your Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, your leftover balance will roll over each month.

The balance on your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card will reflect any leftover amounts from previous deposits plus the amount of your latest deposit.

Though your balance will carry over, you must use your SNAP benefits within the year. If you don’t use your card for several months or carry a large balance, your state agency may contact you or send you a new EBT card by mail.

We confirmed this information with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service and by checking state policy documentation.

Removal of Benefits

As noted above, SNAP benefits remain available for one year. If you don’t use your EBT card at all for 12 months, your benefits will expire, and the state will remove them from your EBT account.

Once expunged, you can’t get your benefits back. If you have any questions about your EBT account or encounter an issue with your benefits, you can contact your state agency for assistance.

Find your state’s contact information and online EBT portal in my research on lost EBT cards.

More Information

For more on using EBT benefits, see my research on what you can buy with food stamps and grocery stores that accept EBT.

We also explain when you can expect your monthly deposits and how to check your EBT balance.

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