The implementation of NH’s new State law RSA 167:7-b is bringing about some changes in how cash benefits can be used, which is outlined below.
The best use of your cash grant is to help pay for things you need to support you and your family. This could mean using your grant to help pay for your shelter, such as rent or your mortgage, or utility bills, such as heat or electricity. Other ways to use your grant is for things like child care co-pays so you can work, laundromats to clean your clothes, and gas to get to and from work or medical appointments. Under NH Law, you cannot use your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, or cash you get from your EBT card, at places that are banned. Those include:
- Gaming Establishments - this includes commercial and charitable bingo halls, card halls, or race tracks, even if the gaming provided is through video, rather than live, events;
- Businesses that provide adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment - whether live or video. This includes businesses in which greater than 50% of visible inventory being sold or rented is printed matter, visual representation, live performance or sound recording including, but not limited to, books, magazines, motion picture films, pamphlets, pornographic records, pictures, photographs, figures, statues, plays, dances, in which performers disrobe or perform in unclothed states for entertainment. It also includes businesses which provide on or off-site adult-oriented entertainment for such venues, commonly referred to as, but not limited to, bachelor parties or peep shows, in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment; or
- Places that primarily sell alcoholic drinks - this includes liquor stores or any businesses in which greater than 50% of visible inventory is beer, wine, or other alcoholic drinks.
If you use your EBT card or cash from your card at one of these places, the following will happen:
- First offense: your portion of your grant will be suspended for 1 month;
- Second offense: your portion of your grant will be suspended for 2 months; and
- Third or additional offenses: your portion of your grant will be suspended for 3 months.
Food Stamp Benefit Disbursement
Food Stamp benefits are issued on the 5th of each month onto an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.
Cash Benefit Disbursement
Cash benefits are issued twice per month, on the 15th and 30th. In February, cash benefits are issued on the 15th and the last day of the month. You can choose to receive your cash benefits via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT).
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
If you choose to have your cash benefits issued to you via EFT, your cash benefits will be deposited directly into your checking or savings account. Your cash benefits are then available to you in the same way as your other cash in your bank account.
If your benefits are not currently being issued via EFT, enrollment in EFT is easy. Contact your Family Services Specialist (FSS) about having your benefits deposited directly into your bank account. We will need your bank name, routing number for the account, and your bank account number.
Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)
If you choose to have your cash benefits issued to you via Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), your cash benefits will be deposited directly into an account that has been specially set up for food and cash assistance programs. Your cash benefits are then available to you via a debit card issued by the Division of Family Assistance. EBT is a confidential and secure way to get your Food Stamp and cash benefits. You can use your EBT card at stores and Automated Teller Machines (ATM). To get your cash or Food Stamp benefits, swipe the EBT card through a point of sale (POS) machine at participating retailers. Only you and the store clerk know your benefits are being used to pay for the items.
You can withdraw your cash benefits at Automated Teller Machines (ATM) that display the QUEST logo. Any bank surcharges or additional transaction fees for use of the ATM will be deducted from your cash benefits at the time of the cash withdrawal. Food Stamp benefits can only be used to buy food so these benefits cannot be withdrawn at an ATM.
Direct Vendor Payments
Direct Vendor Payments are a fast and easy way to have part or all of your cash benefits sent directly to your landlord. Enrollment in Direct Vendor Payments is easy. Tell your FSS that you want part or all of your cash benefits deposited directly into your landlord’s bank account. Your FSS will mail a form to your landlord to complete.
If the payment sent to your landlord is less then your total monthly rent, you are responsible for paying your landlord the balance.
Would you like to accept Food Stamp benefits at your store or Farmer’s Market? Follow these steps to apply online.