What Is a New York State Benefit Identification Card?

Sylvain Sonnet/Getty Images

The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance issues a New York State benefit identification card, to individuals and families who receive cash or food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The card is known as an electronic benefits transfer card (EBT).

An EBT card can be used to purchase food from approved retailers including farmers markets and to obtain cash from ATMs and points of service. Some retail stores allow an EBT cardholder to obtain cash back when making purchases. The OTDA website provides a link to a list of approved retailers and farmers markets in the state and a list of ATMs and point of service locations where cash can be obtained using the EBT card.

The State of New York provides a website separate from the OTDA site where individuals can check to see if they qualify for benefits or check the status of their application. Benefits that can be applied for on that site include SNAP, health programs, home energy assistance, temporary assistance, WIC and a variety of other services for the elderly. Those who have been issued an EBT card can use that same website to check on their EBT card balance and their transaction history.