EBT card FAQ
In Texas WIC participants receive their food benefits on a card similar to an ATM card called the WIC EBT card. The WIC EBT card provides flexibility so that participants can purchase just a few or a lot of WIC items at one time.
You can find out more about the WIC EBT card by clicking the WIC Frequently asked EBT questions below.
- What is the WIC EBT card?
- Is the WIC EBT card the same as my SNAP card?
- How do I receive my WIC food benefits?
- What is a PIN?
- How much time do I have to use my food benefits?
- Do I have to buy a certain amount of food at each trip to the grocery store?
- What will happen when I use my WIC EBT card at the grocery store?
- What if a WIC item is not listed on my receipt as a WIC purchase?
- What if I need someone else to go to the store for me?
- What if the doctor changes my child's formula?
- What if my EBT card is damaged and doesn't work?
- What if my EBT card is lost or stolen? Can someone else use it?
What is the WIC EBT card?
It looks and works like a credit/debit card. It stores and keeps track of your WIC food benefits
Is the WIC EBT card the same as my SNAP card?
No, although they look about the same, your WIC EBT card is separate from your SNAP card. Your WIC card has a gold chip on the front.
How do I receive my WIC food benefits?
You must bring your WIC EBT card to each clinic visit. If you forget to bring your card to your WIC appointment, you will need to reschedule the appointment. No benefits will be issued without your WIC EBT card.
The WIC staff members will place your family's information and load up to three months of WIC food benefits onto your card. They will also provide a WIC Shopping List that tells you how much food you have loaded on your card.
WIC staff will activate your card so it is ready to use. You may go to any store that accepts WIC to use your benefits.
WIC Staff members will schedule your future appointment before your last set of food benefits expires.
What is a PIN?
A PIN is your Personal Identification Number. Your PIN, a special four-digit number that you choose, will make your EBT card work. To keep your benefits safe, never tell anyone your PIN, or write it on the card, or keep it with the card. If you forget your PIN, call your local WIC office for an appointment to have your PIN changed.
How much time do I have to use my food benefits?
Each month, your WIC food benefits are good from the first day of the month until the last day of the month. It is best not to wait until the end of the month to use your WIC benefits. Any foods you do not purchase before the end of the month will be lost.
Do I have to buy a certain amount of food at each trip to the grocery store?
No, you can choose how much of your WIC food benefits you wish to purchase at each shopping trip. For example, you can buy one box of cereal this week and one box of cereal next week or you can buy two boxes all at once. It's up to you.
What will happen when I use my WIC EBT card at the grocery store?
Use your WIC Shopping List to select your foods. This picture will mark checkout lanes that accept your card. If all lanes accept your card, there will not be a sign.
Tell the cashier that you will be using your EBT card.
Ask the cashier if you need to separate your WIC foods from your other foods. When the cashier tells you, insert your card into the card reader and enter your PIN. Leave your card in the reader until the cashier tells you to remove it.
Once your items are scanned, review your receipt to make sure your WIC purchases are listed and correct.
Each time you use your EBT card at the store, you will receive a receipt that shows the foods you have left for the month. Save your receipt.
If you lose your receipt, go to your local WIC office or grocery store to get a new one with your latest balance.
What if a WIC item is not listed on my receipt as a WIC purchase?
The card reader, not the store clerk, decides which foods you can buy with your EBT card.
You may have selected an item that is the wrong size or the wrong brand.
You may not have enough benefits left on your card for the item.
You can choose to pay for the item with your other groceries.
If you do not want to buy the item as a non-WIC purchase, tell the cashier you do not want the item.
What if I need someone else to go to the store for me?
Give that person your WIC EBT card and your PIN. Make sure the person is someone you trust.
What if the doctor changes my child's formula?
The WIC clinic is the only place where you can exchange baby formula. If you need to make a change, call your local WIC office.
Do not take your formula back to the store.
It is best to buy formula in small quantities - one or two cans at a time - until you are sure you have the right formula for your baby.
What if my EBT card is damaged and doesn't work?
Don't throw it away - call your local WIC office for an appointment to take your card to the clinic.
What if my EBT card is lost or stolen? Can someone else use it?
Your card is safe because it can only be used with your secret PIN. You must call 1(800) 942-3678 to report a lost or stolen card.
Once you call and report your card missing, it will be locked by WIC so it cannot be used.
Replacing your card can take up to 6 business days.
After reporting the loss call your local WIC office and make an appointment to get a new card.