EBT Card (Horizon Card) Basic Instructions

EBT Cards (Horizon Cards) are the method in which you will receive your SNAP or cash payments.  EBT cards are mailed at the time you submit an application for benefits or upon your request and will not be loaded with benefits until you are approved for assistance.

Your EBT card will be mailed to you in a plain white envelope with a return address from Texas.  Cards are often mistaken as junk mail so check all your mail carefully for your EBT card.

Keep your Horizon Card even if your case closes. This will save you time if you apply again for benefits in the future, as you won't need a new card mailed to you.

Activating Your Card

As soon as you receive your EBT card you will need to activate it by selecting a PIN by:

Once you have selected a PIN, you will not need to activate future cards. Any replacement cards will have the same PIN as the previous card.  

EBT Account Management and Security

EBT Fraud

Manage and protect your EBT account and benefits by monitoring your account activity regularly.  You can access and manage your account 24/7 by calling the Horizon Card Help Desk (EBT Help Desk Instructions) (800-997-4444) or logging into your connectebt.com (Instructions for creating a ConnectEBT Account) or connectEBT (Instructions for using the ConnectEBT mobile app) mobile application account.

  • Do NOT give your card, card number or PIN to anyone.
  • Block the keypad when entering your PIN to block it from others watching or cameras.
  • Check your balance frequently. 
  • Monitor your transaction history.
    • Immediately report your card as stolen if you notice any transactions that you did not make. (This must be reported by calling the Horizon Card Helpdesk or by using the ConnectEBT website  (connectebt.com) or mobile app.)
    • Request a replacement card
  • Change your PIN frequently to help ensure your account and your benefits are protected.
    • Do not use restricted PINs. You must select a PIN that consists of 4 unique numbers that are in random order.
      • No number can be used more than once.
      • Two numbers cannot be in order forward or backward (like 1-2-3-4 or 4-3-2-1).
  • Report duplicate transactions or system errors that caused you to be charged twice.
  • Do not respond to social media posts, email or text messages that ask you to enter your EBT card number and PIN to resolve issues or get extra funds.
  • Workforce Services and the Horizon Help Desk will:
    • NEVER ask for your pin.
    • Only use official mail sent via USPS or electronically via myCase.
  • EBT funds can only be issued by Workforce Services to your EBT card.
  • How to Protect Yourself from EBT Fraud

Avoid EBT Trafficking 

Trading or selling your SNAP benefits or your EBT card for cash, non-eligible items, or services is known as "trafficking" and is illegal. 

Selling or trading your SNAP benefits or the EBT card could result in the loss of your benefits and criminal penalties. 

  • Do not sell or trade your EBT card
  • Do not purchase or trade ineligible items using SNAP or cash benefits. 
  • Do not trade services for SNAP benefits. 
  • Do not sell food items purchased with SNAP. 

How to use SNAP (EBT Card)
How to use Financial or Cash (EBT Card

How to Use SNAP Benefits 

EBT cards can be used at any retail store that accepts SNAP to purchase eligible food items. You can identify SNAP retailers by looking for the Quest or EBT logo. You can also see a list of approved stores in your area by entering your zip code into the retailer locator

EBT cards can also be used to make SNAP purchases online at approved online retail locations.  (add a link to the online SNAP Retailers)

To make a SNAP purchase:

  • Select EBT from the point of sale machine or notify the cashier that you are using your food account.
  • Swipe your card then enter your PIN. (Cover the keypad when entering the PIN to protect it from cameras or people seeing your PIN.)
  • Select OK when the purchase amount is displayed.

When SNAP Benefits are Available

SNAP benefits are automatically added to your SNAP EBT account once the agency has decided you are eligible to receive SNAP benefits.

To check the balance on your EBT card or if you have questions about using your card call (800) 997-4444 or log into your connectebt.com or ConnectEBT mobile app account.

For every month that you receive SNAP benefits, your benefits will be automatically deposited into your EBT account based on the first letter of your last name:

  • A - G, available on the 5th of the month
  • H - O, available on the 11th of the month
  • P - Z, available on the 15th of the month

EBT Transaction Information

  • If you do not access your account for 274 days, your benefits will be removed from the card. Once benefits are removed from the account they cannot be re-issued.
  • You can view two months of your transaction history. 
  • You can also hear your last 10 transactions by calling the EBT Help Desk at 800-997-4444.
  • EBT account balances can be adjusted when there is a system error in processing a transaction. You will receive a notice about the adjustment. You may file a fair hearing if you disagree with the adjustment.

EBT Retailer Information

  • The retailer is required to provide you a receipt that will include retailer name, location, transaction type, transaction amount and the remaining SNAP balance. 
  • There is no minimum dollar amount per transaction or maximum limit on the number of transactions. In addition, no transaction fees will be imposed on SNAP purchases.