About the Colorado EBT program
The Colorado Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) program, in partnership with a third-party vendor, is responsible for ensuring that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Cash Assistance payments authorized by each county department of human services are issued to approved recipients. The EBT program processes payment files for SNAP and multiple cash assistance programs.
SNAP is distributed to a Colorado EBT card, also known as the Colorado Quest card. SNAP benefits must be used for SNAP-approved items and cannot be withdrawn as cash.
Cash benefits are distributed either to the EBT card, a personal bank account or to a prepaid KeyBank debit card via direct deposit. The payment method is determined by the recipient and can be updated at any time.
Frequently asked questions about EBT
EBT card information
- What is an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card?
An EBT card, also known as the Colorado Quest card, allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) benefits and some Cash Assistance funds to be electronically transferred for use. It looks like a credit or bank card and can be used at any authorized store across the country that has the EBT or Quest card logo. In Colorado, SNAP benefits are only issued on an EBT card. Funds are accessed by using a personal identification number (PIN) set by the cardholder. The PIN is what keeps benefits safe; for more information see “How do I protect my benefits on my EBT card?” below. If the card is lost, stolen or damaged, it can be replaced by calling EBT Customer Service at 1.888.328.2656 or 1.800.659.2656 (TTY).
- When will my benefits be available on my EBT card?
SNAP Benefits or Cash Assistance will be posted to your EBT account upon the approval of your application. For ongoing benefits please see the Benefit Issuance section on the EBT card brochure (English or Spanish).
- How do I use the EBT card?
Before you complete the purchase, it is important to know the balance on your EBT account. The following steps can be followed to use your EBT card:
- At check-out, swipe your EBT card through the Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal or if necessary, you can hand your card to the cashier for manual entry.
- Some devices may require you to select food or cash. Select food or cash based on the transaction.
- Enter your four-digit PIN. *Do not provide your PIN verbally, the store clerk should never require you to provide it.
- Press the OK or ENTER key.
- Verify the purchase amount and if it is correct, press the YES key. *If there are not enough funds to cover the full purchase amount, some devices may require manual entry of the available food balance.
- The cashier will give you a receipt for your completed purchase; check your receipt to make sure the amount is correct. The store receipt will show the remaining balance in your account.
The above steps may be slightly different for each type of POS terminal, but the cashier can help you if needed.
- Can I use my EBT card in another state?
Wyoming uses a different EBT card, called Smartcards. If you need to use your EBT card in Wyoming, do so at the larger chain stores that have their own equipment to process both types of EBT cards.
See additional exceptions here.
- How can I check the balance of my EBT card?
The easiest way to know your account balance is to keep your receipts. If you don't have your receipts, you may check your balance via the Cardholder Portal or by calling EBT Customer Service at 1.888.328.2656 (1.800.659.2656 - TTY).
- Do I have to use all of my benefits the month I get them, or will they be carried over into the next month?
Any benefits left at the end of the month will be carried over into the next month. Benefits not used will be removed from the card after 365 days. Contact your local county office if you have any questions regarding your benefits. Find your local county office information here.
- What should I do if my EBT card is lost, stolen or damaged?
If your EBT card is lost, stolen, or damaged, call EBT Customer Service at 1.888.328.2656 (1.800.659.2656 — TTY) to report it and order a new card. This is an automated number that will request your 16-digit card number; if you do not have the card number, hold on the line for additional options. Save the EBT Customer Service number to your cell phone contacts as it can be useful in the future if you need to order a replacement and check your balance.
- How do I protect my benefits on my EBT card?
The PIN is what safely protects benefits on the EBT card. Choose a unique four (4) digit PIN by calling EBT Customer Service at 1.888.328.2656 or 1.800.659.2656 (TTY) or through the Cardholder Portal. Lost or stolen SNAP benefits cannot be replaced when the card and PIN are used. Always be mindful of the following:
- Change the PIN often, as skimming devices can easily identify card and PIN information
- Avoid using high-risk PINs that may be easily identifiable such as 1234, 1111, etc., or a number sequence known to others, such as year of birth.
- Never write the PIN on the card or store it with your card.
- When at an ATM or a Point of Sale (POS) device, cover the keypad while entering the PIN.
- When possible, avoid questionable ATM or Point of Sale (POS) devices.
- Be careful who you share your card and PIN with because you, as the cardholder, are responsible for all transactions.
- Do not share your PIN with a retailer or any agency. A State or County representative would never ask for it
If you suspect suspicious activity related to your EBT account, immediately call EBT Customer Service at 1.888.328.2656 or 1.800.659.2656 (TTY) to file a transaction dispute or to order a new EBT card.
- Can I manage my EBT account online?
Register your EBT card and manage your EBT account via the Cardholder Portal.
To manage your benefits or apply for benefits online log on to Colorado PEAK or download the MyCOBenefits app by searching for MyCOBenefits in the App Store on your mobile device.
- How do I change my address on my EBT account?
Contact your local county office to report your new address and if needed, request a replacement EBT card. Find your local county office information here. Addresses cannot be updated by calling the EBT Customer Service number that is listed on the back of your card.
- Can I make online purchases with my EBT Card?
Some retailers have been approved through Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) to offer online purchasing using EBT cards. Please see the retailer’s website or mobile application for more information.
- My benefits were not deposited into my EBT account this month, what should I do?
- How do I change the PIN on my EBT Card?
There are two options:
- Call EBT Customer Service at 1.888.328.2656 or 1.800.659.2656 (TTY) and follow the prompts to change your PIN.
- You can also manage your EBT account online including updating your PIN via the Cardholder Portal.
For more information on PIN safety, see “How do I protect my benefits on my EBT card?” (above).
SNAP on my EBT card
- What can I purchase with my SNAP benefits?
Colorado does not allow hot and prepared food items for immediate consumption to be purchased with SNAP benefits. View a full list of SNAP-eligible food items here.
For additional information, visit the SNAP page.
Cash on my EBT card
- I received a letter stating that I used my EBT card at a prohibited location. Who can I speak to about this misuse notification?
- What is considered an EBT prohibited location and how would I know where not to use it?
Your Colorado EBT card can be used for purchasing groceries and withdrawing cash from ATMs, but there are several types of places where EBT card usage is strictly prohibited. Click here for more information.
- How do I withdraw my cash from my EBT card?
Cash can be used at any authorized retailer to make a purchase, get cash back with a purchase or to withdraw funds from an ATM with the EBT or Quest logo. There is a 32-cent fee each time you withdraw cash from an ATM; any additional ATM surcharge may apply.
Some retailers may allow cash withdrawals by going to the customer service desk.
Direct deposit and KeyBank prepaid debit card
- How do I update or remove my bank account information?
If you are a client receiving Cash Assistance, complete the Client Direct Deposit form.
If you are a provider receiving cash payments, complete the Provider Direct Deposit form.
- I am interested in using the KeyBank prepaid debit card. What should I do?
If you are a client receiving Cash Assistance, review and complete the Client KeyBank Enrollment form.
If you are a provider receiving cash payments, review and complete the Provider KeyBank Enrollment form.
- Can I have my Cash Assistance directly deposited to my personal account instead of my EBT card?
Yes, please use the Direct Deposit form to enroll.
- I am currently using a KeyBank prepaid debit card to access my Cash Assistance. Who do I contact with questions about managing my KeyBank account or to order a replacement card?
- I am a provider and need to update my banking information, how do I do that?
Please download the Direct Deposit Enrollment form, read through the instructions and submit to the form.
- I am a provider and need to know when I will receive my next payment. What can I do?
Contact your local county office for information regarding your payment. Find your local county office information here.