What are Photo EBT cards and who needs to have one? – MassLegalHelp

In 2013, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a state police to require some of the SNAP and cash aid recipients to have EBT cards with a photograph of the head of family. M.G.L. Chpt.18 §2 ( B ) ( thousand ). due to advocacy by a image of state of matter organizations, the final state law exempts over 75 % of Massachusetts SNAP and cash recipients from the photograph EBT rule .
regardless of what your poster looks like, all EBT cardholders and their family members have the same rights when using the EBT card to buy food.
There are basically two types of valid EBT cards in Massachusetts :

Photo EBT Card for “mandatory” (non-exempt) recipients. DTA started issuing in December, 2013.

Photo EBT Card for “ mandate ” ( non-exempt ) recipients .

“Valid-without-Photo” issued to exempt applicants, and recipients who need a replacement card. Started December, 2013.
“ Valid-without-Photo ” issued to exempt recipients

The back of each circuit board states : “ This card may be used by any household member.” All family members are authorized to use the EBT calling card at the grocery store floor. The PIN is your electronic touch, barely like a debit menu. here are your customer rights :

  • Stores cannot refuse to let a household member use the card because their name or picture is not on the EBT card.
  • Stores that accept EBT cards cannot set up “SNAP-only” checkout lines or refuse to let you use self-checkout lines.
  • Store clerks should not treat SNAP recipients differently from other shoppers who use credit or debit cards.
  • Stores should not ask to see the photo EBT card unless it is store policy to inspect ID of all debit or credit card customers.

Federal rules protect the right of all empower members to use the EBT wag and to not be discriminated against : 7 C.F.R. §274.7 ( A ), 7 C.F.R. §274.8 ( b ) ( 5 ) ( four ) and 7 §C.F.R .. 278.2 ( b ) .

Households EXEMPT from photo EBT card

You do not need a photograph EBT wag if you are the principal of family and :

  • Age 60 or older
  • Disabled or blind
  • Under age 19
  • Homeless
  • A victim of domestic violence
  • A person with a sincerely held religious belief.
  • An authorized representative transacting SNAP on behalf of a household.

DTA mechanically exempts persons old age 60 or older, or receiving a disability-based profit ( such as SSI or EAEDC ). Victims of domestic ferocity and other persons with disabilities can self-attest to their situation, without having to provide extra confirmation.
DTA besides does not issue photograph EBT cards for adults applying on behalf of eligible dependents but not applying for themselves, such as a non-citizen apply on behalf of eligible children .
If you have a photograph EBT card but you late became excuse from the photograph EBT rules ( for example, you turn age 60 or become disable ), DTA will issue you a new EBT card without a photograph and not charge you any refilling fee. You can qualify for a “ Valid-without-photo ” EBT card.

How photo EBT cards are issued

If you have a stream Mass Driver License or Mass State ID, DTA typically uses the RMV photograph for the EBT poster. If you do not have an RMV photograph, DTA may send you a notice for an EBT photograph appointee. You can reschedule the photograph appointee if you have a dispute. You can besides go to any DTA office to have your photograph taken.
important : DTA can not hold up or delay or close your SNAP case while scheduling your photograph appointment. DTA should besides take adversity ( such as lack of entree to department of transportation ) into account .

Advocacy Reminders

  • USDA has extensive regulations requiring states to follow certain photo EBT rules. The rules require states to offer a hardship exemption for individuals who cannot get to a SNAP local office (for example, because of lack of child care or transportation); to issue an EBT card to expedited applicants without delay; and not deny or withhold SNAP to an entire household if the head of household does not comply with photo EBT. 7 C.F.R. 273.8(f)(5), 7 C.F.R. 274.8(f)(7)
  • See Urban Institute 2015 report assessing photo EBT laws: Assessing the Merits of Photo EBT Cards in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
  • Contact MLRI if you have an issue with a photo EBT card. For more information about photo EBT in MA, go to our webpage: Masslegalservices.org/photoEBT

DTA Online Guide: Cross Programs > EBT > Photo EBT Requirements

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