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How to Replace Stolen SNAP Benefits

  • Announcements
August 1, 2023
Written By: Jessica Bautista

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) recently announced that recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) who have had their benefits electronically stolen on or after October 1, 2022 will now be able to replace their stolen SNAP benefits through federal funds.

“SNAP is the nation’s most important food security program, helping more than 1.9 million Pennsylvanians put food on their tables to help them stay safe, healthy, and fed. But too often, bad actors attempt to take advantage of SNAP recipients by engaging in scams and theft of these benefits,” said DHS Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh. “I am incredibly pleased that we can now restore these benefits to the people who need them most. I encourage anyone who may qualify to reach out to DHS right away so you can restore the benefits you’re entitled to.”

According to DHS, SNAP recipients can apply to have stolen benefits replaced by filling out a Benefit Theft Claim Form and submitting it online or providing it to DHS through COMPASS, by calling the Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930 or at 215-560-7226 for Philadelphia clients, or by visiting a County Assistance Office (CAO). Reports of electronic benefit theft must be reported within 60 calendar days of the discovery of the theft.

SNAP benefits are eligible for replacement if they were stolen due to electronic fraudulent activity, such as:

1. Skimming: The use of electronic equipment to take someone’s information without their knowledge.
2. Card Cloning: Copying stolen electronic benefits transfer (EBT) information to a new card.
3. Phishing scams: When scammers use fraudulent text messages or phone calls to obtain EBT card numbers and PINs to steal SNAP benefits.
4. Scamming: Falsely convincing a SNAP recipient to give their EBT and/or personal information to someone else.

DHS reported that they cannot replace benefits if the client gave their physical EBT card and PIN to someone who stole the benefits, or if a physical EBT card was lost or stolen.

The maximum amount a household can receive in a single reimbursement is up to two months’ worth of their regular SNAP payment or the amount that was stolen, whichever is less. Benefits lost to electronic fraud cannot be replaced more than two times in a federal fiscal year, which runs from October 1 to September 30.