You can only get cash back from your EBT card if you receive cash assistance through your state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. You can’t get cash back on standard SNAP food assistance benefits.
Can You Get Cash Back From an EBT Card?
You can’t get cash back from an EBT card if you only receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits on the card.
However, if you’re eligible for a cash assistance program in your state, you can get cash back from your EBT card.
To find out more about this, we consulted EBT policy documentation from state governments and contacted benefits administrators in several states.
Cash Back Eligibility
TANF programs are run by the states, and each state’s program operates under one or more different names; see the list in the table below.
Programs by State
The following state programs are TANF programs and allow recipients to get cash back from the funds they receive:
You may qualify for several government assistance programs.
If you receive both SNAP and TANF benefits (or any other type of benefit) on your EBT card, note that you can get cash back, but only up to the store’s limit or your available TANF cash balance — not the total card balance.
How to Get Cash Back
At the Register
If you have an active “cash” balance on your EBT card through your state’s TANF program, you can get cash back at the register.
When you make a purchase using your TANF balance at a store that accepts EBT cards and allows EBT cash back, you’ll have the option to receive cash back after swiping your card and entering your PIN, just as you would when using a debit card.
Cash back limits at grocery stores, convenience stores, and department stores typically range between $40 and $100; see our list of cash back limits by store.
At the ATM
You can make cash withdrawals at most ATMs but can avoid bank fees by finding a surcharge-free ATM.
Check with your benefits administrator for the limits and fees that apply to your card.
Cash Refunds for EBT Purchases
You may be able to receive a cash refund for an item you purchase using your EBT cash balance. However, you can’t get cash refunds for food purchases that use your SNAP benefits.
Individual store policies regarding refunds vary. Some stores only grant refunds in the form of store credit or will only refund spoiled items; others will refund EBT purchases back to the card.
Contact your local store for information about its return and refund policies.
Cash assistance benefits are meant to help families pay bills or purchase items that aren’t SNAP-eligible, such as toiletries or household cleaning products.
It’s illegal to use your cash assistance balance on alcohol, tobacco, firearms, ammunition, lottery tickets, jewelry, vacation expenses, tattoos, court-ordered fees/fines, or to purchase entertainment items.
Find your state’s EBT contact information in our research on lost EBT cards; you can use the same number or online portal that you would use to report a lost card to find out more about your state’s restrictions regarding EBT cash back.
Our previous research also features the details on whether your EBT benefits will roll over at the end of the month and when to expect your monthly EBT deposits.