Can You Buy Beer with EBT? What You Need To Know

A common question people have is whether you can buy beer with EBT. The answer isn’t simple because it depends on a few different factors. EBT, or Electronic Benefits Transfer, is a system used to distribute government benefits like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.

According to the Food and Nutrition Service, households cannot use SNAP benefits to buy beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco. However, some states may have different rules regarding the use of EBT for purchasing alcoholic beverages. SNAP benefits are intended to help low-income families purchase nutritious food, and the use of benefits for non-food items is generally prohibited.

The legal restrictions on purchasing alcohol with EBT are outlined in the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008. This law specifically prohibits the use of EBT benefits for the purchase of alcoholic beverages. Violations of this law can result in the loss of benefits, fines, and even criminal charges.

Alternatives to Buying Beer with EBT

If you are unable to purchase beer with your EBT card, there are alternative payment methods available. Some of these methods include cash assistance programs and other payment methods.

Cash Assistance Programs

If you are receiving cash assistance through programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Refugee Cash, or Aid to the Blind, Disabled, or Elderly (ABD), you may be eligible to use these funds to purchase beer. However, these funds cannot be used to purchase beer with an EBT card.

Other Payment Methods

If you do not have access to cash assistance programs, there are other payment methods available for purchasing beer. These methods include using a credit or debit card, cash, or a check. Some stores may also accept mobile payment methods such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet.

Purchasing beer with any form of government assistance is a controversial topic, and it is up to the individual to decide what is best for them. Additionally, it is important to always drink responsibly and never drink and drive.

To learn more about the range of items you can purchase with an EBT card please refer to our comprehensive guide ‘What You Can Buy with EBT’. This guide offers valuable insights into the types of products eligible for EBT purchases.