How To Get EBT Cash Benefits Every Month

ebt cash benefits

How To Get Paid Monthly EBT Cash Benefits 

EBT cash benefits, or the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, is a government assistance program that provides cash assistance to low-income families. If you are in need of help purchasing basic needs, you may be eligible to receive EBT cash benefits.

In this article, we will explain how to apply for EBT cash benefits and what you can expect once you are approved.

What Is EBT Cash Benefits?

EBT cash benefits are government benefits that help low-income families with cash assistance. The EBT cash benefits program is also known as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

Editor’s Note: Government assistance programs typically have multiple names that the public refers to them as. If you see or hear any of these terms know that they all mean EBT cash benefits: EBT Cash Benefits, Temporary Assistance For Needy Families, TANF, TANF Cash, or Welfare.

Once you qualify for this program they will issue you a debit card with cash benefits on an EBT card. You can use this EBT cash card to make purchases of basic needs items that are approved by your state’s health and human services department.

Texas Lone Star Card EBT
This is an example of an EBT cash benefits card. Each state will have a different design so your card will not look the same as this. This is an EBT card in Texas. This card is called the Lone Star card. Again, your state will have a different name and design for its EBT card.

What Is The Difference Between Cash Assistance Benefits And SNAP Benefits?

There are two primary programs that fall under the EBT umbrella: SNAP and cash assistance.

SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, helps low-income individuals and families meet their basic food needs. Generally, SNAP is limited to healthy foods that can be bought from grocery stores and supermarkets. With a few rare exceptions, you cannot use SNAP funds to purchase hot, ready-made meals at restaurants or fast-food establishments.

Cash assistance, on the other hand, is a program that provides cash benefits to low-income households in order to help cover the cost of living expenses. These benefits can be used to cover things like rent, utilities, transportation, and other necessary expenses.

While both programs are designed to help low-income households make ends meet, they each have different restrictions on how the benefits can be used.

“Cash benefits” is a term that is used to describe the funds you have available to you on an EBT card. These benefits are separate from SNAP benefits, which is why cash benefits are often referred to as “emergency” or “temporary” cash assistance.

Cash Benefits IS The Same Thing As TANF

EBT cash benefits is another name for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. This is a government assistance program that provides cash assistance to low-income families.

Government assistance programs typically have multiple names that the public refers to them as. If you see or hear any of these terms know that they all mean EBT cash benefits:

  • Cash Benefits
  • EBT Cash Benefits
  • Temporary Assistance For Needy Families
  • TANF
  • TANF Cash
  • Welfare – this name was replaced by TANF

What Can You Buy With TANF Cash Benefits?

You can use your EBT cash benefits to purchase a wide variety of things, including food, clothing, housing, utilities, furniture, transportation, phone service, laundry supplies, and medical supplies not covered by Medicaid.

In addition, you can use your EBT cash benefits to pay for other basic needs like diapers and toothpaste. With EBT cash benefits, you can get the things you need to live a comfortable life.

Can I Withdraw Money From An ATM With EBT Cash Benefits?

Yes, you can funds from the ATM if you have EBT cash benefits (also known as TANF).

While you can use your EBT card cash to buy food items at the grocery store, you may also be able to withdraw cash from an ATM. Essentially, an EBT card functions much like a debit card. However, if you only have SNAP funds, you can’t withdraw cash or use your card to pay for housing or non-food items.

If you do have TANF or EBT cash benefits, you can use your card to withdraw money from the ATM.

What Is The EBT Cash Benefits Eligibility Criteria? 

In order to qualify for EBT cash benefits, you must meet certain requirements.  To qualify, you will need to show that you are financially struggling and have dependents under your care.

Here are the exact qualifications:

  • You must be unemployed or underemployed.
  • Additionally, your income must be very low according to the cost of living in your area.
  • Finally, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien, or a qualified alien.
  • Have children who are 18 years of age or younger.
  • You are pregnant.
  • 18 years of age or younger and the head of your household.

If any of the above situations describe your situation you could qualify for cash benefits.

Applying For EBT Cash Benefits

To apply for EBT cash benefits you will need to contact your state’s human services department. Typically your state will allow you to apply for cash benefits in-person, by mail, by phone, or online.

You can use the listing below to either call your state’s EBT cash benefits program or visit their website to learn how to get EBT cash benefits in your state. 

How Much TANF Benefits Can I Receive Each Month?

The average monthly EBT cash benefit is $503. The monthly cash benefits amount you receive will depend on the state you live in, your current income, the size of your family, and your state of employment. New Hampshire has the highest monthly TANF benefit of $1,098, while Arkansas at $204 has the lowest cash benefit of any state.

Again the benefits will vary based on your state. Other examples of monthly payments include EBT cash benefits in California averaging $878.  North Carolina EBT cash benefits on the other hand average around $272 per month.  These numbers are based on a single-parent family of 3.

Enter your state’s name in the table below to learn how much monthly TANF benefits you can get.

StateAverage EBT Cash Benefit (July 2021)
North Carolina$272
South Carolina$305
New Mexico$447
North Dakota$486
West Virginia$542
New Jersey$559
South Dakota$630
District of Columbia$658
Rhode Island$721
New York$789
New Hampshire$1,098

If you begin working after applying for cash benefits, the amount you receive will be based on your income and deductions. If your income exceeds the poverty level in your area, you could lose eligibility for the program. However, if you are able to find a job that pays a livable wage, you may be able to keep your benefits and slowly transition off of the program.

How Long Can You Receive TANF Cash Benefits?

You can only receive TANF funds for a maximum of 5 years. After 5 years of receiving cash benefits, you will no longer be eligible for the program. However, you may still be able to qualify for SNAP.

SNAP provides food assistance to low-income families and individuals, and you may be able to receive SNAP benefits even if you are not receiving TANF benefits.

TANF is designed to help low-income families make ends meet, but it is not meant to be a long-term solution.


EBT cash benefits can help low-income families make ends meet. The program provides cash assistance that can be used to purchase basic needs like food and housing.

The name of this program seems to vary considerably, with titles such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, cash benefits, and welfare all being used, so don’t be confused.

If you are interested in applying for the cash benefits program in your state, visit the TANF website for more information.

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