- Activating a new EBT card for P-EBT Customers Only?
See Pandemic EBT Cards Activation Instructions below.
- Important information for traveling outside the District with your EBT card (English - (Español) Spanish - (አማርኛ) Amharic)
General EBT Card Information
New and replacement Electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards are mailed to the customer's address on record with DHS by Fidelity Information Services (FIS) - the District's EBT card distribution company. Customers may expect to receive their EBT card within five to seven days and are not required to visit the EBT Office to receive their card. Your EBT card will arrive in a plain, all-white envelope so please carefully look for it in the mail.
Customers without a fixed mailing address may pick up their EBT card at one of the following EBT Card Distribution Centers:
EBT Card Distribution Center at 645 H Street NE
Hours of Operation:
- Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.*
EBT Card Distribution Center: 1649 Good Hope Road SE
Hours of Operation:
- Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.*
*Hours and days are subject to change.
Activating Your EBT Card
You or an authorized representative may activate the card. An authorized representative is a person you choose to get your benefits for you. To designate an authorized representative, you must submit a written statement to a local DHS Service Center.
General EBT Card Activation Instructions
To activate your EBT card, call FIS at (888) 304-9167. You must have the following information ready when calling FIS to activate an EBT card:
- Your date of birth (DOB) in MM/DD/YYYY format
- Last four digits of your Social Security Number (SSN). If you do not have an SSN or did not provide one at the time of the program application, you may use your zip code
- A pre-selected personal identification number (PIN)
- Keep your PIN secure and never share it with anyone. If you cannot remember your PIN or it was compromised, call FIS at 888-304-9167 to select a new PIN
Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Card Activation Instructions
These instructions are for customers receiving only P-EBT benefits on an EBT card. For customers receiving other benefits (e.g., SNAP) on EBT, P-EBT is issued to their existing EBT cards.
If your P-EBT-only card replaces one that you previously activated, you do not need to activate the card. However, we recommend that you create a new personal identification number (PIN) by contacting DHS’ Card Distribution Company, FIS, at 888-304-9167.
If you have not activated a card on the account yet, you must activate the card and create a PIN after the card arrives in the mail. To complete this process, call FIS at 888-304-9167 and follow these instructions:
- If the card is issued in your child’s name -- Use all zeros for the child’s social security number (SSN), the child’s date of birth (in format MM/DD/YYYY), and the ZIP code of the family mailing address.
- If the card is issued in your name – Use all zeros for the SSN, the date of birth of the oldest child eligible for P-EBT benefits (MM/DD/YYYY), and the ZIP code of the family mailing address.
- To create your PIN -- Be prepared with a pre-selected four-digit PIN when you call FIS. Keep your PIN secure and never share it with anyone. If you cannot remember it or someone finds out your PIN, call FIS at 888-304-9167 to select a new PIN.
For more information on P-EBT, click here
Checking Your Balance
SNAP participants may check the balance of their benefits using the ebtEdge Mobile App available for Apple mobile devices or Android mobile devices, visiting the FIS ebtEdge website, or contacting FIS at (888) 304-9167. Benefit balances are also printed on your store receipt.
Updating Your Mailing Address
Customers may update their mailing address on record with DHS by contacting the Call Center at (202) 727-5355, 7:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Monday - Friday.
Requesting a Replacement EBT Card
Customers should keep their EBT cards secure at all times to ensure it does not get damaged or lost. A replacement EBT card may be requested by calling 888-304-9167. In addition, SNAP and TANF customers may visit one of our EBT Card Distribution Centers, listed above, to request a replacement card in person.
Protecting Your EBT Benefits & Authorized Use
- Change your EBT card PIN often. Do not share your PIN with anyone. You can change your PIN by visiting www.ebtedge.com, using the free ebtEDGE mobile app, or by calling 888-304-9167.
- SNAP benefits can only be used to purchase food at grocery stores or other authorized retailers.
- If you have cash benefits, you may use those like cash. Cash benefits may be withdrawn from an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) using an EBT card. Two ATM withdrawals per month are permitted at no charge. Additional ATM withdrawal transactions are 85 cents per transaction.
- The District may block EBT transactions in certain cities/states if fraud is detected, and you may be required to call to have your card unlocked for those locations. For more information click: (English - (Español) Spanish - (አማርኛ) Amharic)
- View the "Secure Your SNAP Benefits: A Customer Integrity and Fraud Prevention Guide" to learn more about protecting your SNAP benefits.