Why Did I Get $20 Cash on My EBT Card

If you recently received an extra $20 cash deposit on your Electronic Benefit Transaction (EBT) card, you might be wondering what it’s for. Don’t worry; it’s not a mistake. This additional cash is part of a one-time yearly “heat and eat” benefit offered to certain CalFresh recipients in California to boost their food benefits.

According to federal law, the state can increase food benefits for specific households receiving CalFresh if they also qualify for heating assistance under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). As a result, the state adds a separate deposit of $20.01 to the EBT card, which can be used to purchase non-food items or withdrawn as cash.

How to Take Advantage of the “Heat and Eat” Benefit

The “heat and eat” benefit is available to some CalFresh recipients who receive food benefits and no other cash assistance. The one-time deposit of $20.01 is loaded onto the EBT card as “cash,” allowing you to use it at stores that accept EBT cards. To buy non-food items, simply select the “EBT cash” option on the EBT machine. Additionally, you can withdraw the $20 from certain ATMs that do not charge a fee for EBT users.

To find no-fee ATMs, you can refer to the list of no-fee ATMs provided by the California Department of Social Services on their website. They have a useful map of these ATMs that you can access here: No-Fee ATM Locator.

What is this $20.01 Cash Deposit on My EBT Card?

If you’re a CalFresh recipient, you might have noticed a $20.01 “cash” deposit on your EBT card, which is known as the “heat and eat” benefit. This benefit exists due to a complex provision in federal law that allows the state to increase food benefits for certain individuals.

How Can I Use It?

The $20.01 cash deposit can be used at stores to purchase non-food items by selecting the “EBT cash” option on the EBT machine during checkout. It’s essential to use ATMs that do not charge a fee for EBT users when withdrawing the cash.

If you need to find no-fee ATMs, the California Department of Social Services has compiled a list that you can check out here: List of No-Fee ATMs. Additionally, they offer a map of these ATMs, which you can access and filter for free ATMs: No-Fee ATM Map.

Understanding the $20.01 Cash Deposit for Some California Households

The $20.01 cash deposit is a credit included in payments to certain California households that qualify for food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. This credit was initiated by CalFresh, the state’s SNAP agency, and is part of the State Utility Assistance Subsidy (SUAS) benefits for eligible households.

How to Qualify for SUAS Benefit

To qualify for the SUAS benefit, households must meet specific criteria:

  • Do not have utility bills separate from rent/mortgage
  • Are not already receiving the maximum CalFresh benefit for their household size
  • Are not receiving the maximum shelter deduction
  • Are not already receiving an increased benefit due to the Homeless Shelter Deduction

Free Laptop with EBT, Food Stamps Can You Buy Hot Food with EBT in Florida

If you meet these requirements, you’ll receive an annual payment of $20.01, which will be transferred into your EBT account. This benefit can be used for food or cash purchases. Keep in mind that if you no longer meet the eligibility criteria during your next certification period, you won’t receive the $20.01 SUAS benefit.

How to Apply for CalFresh Benefits

If you wish to apply for CalFresh benefits, you’ll need to fill out the California Department of Social Services online application at GetCalFresh.org or call the CalFresh Info Line at 877-847-3663. Once approved, you’ll receive a CalFresh EBT card in the mail, linked to your CalFresh account, which can be used for online purchases or swiped at registers like a debit card.

Unraveling the Mystery of the LIHEAP Related Benefit

If you’re wondering about the source of the $20.01 benefit, it could be related to LIHEAP funding. Some states, like California, issue a Heat and Eat payment of around $20 once a year to certain households. This payment allows more individuals to access heating shelter and utility allowance deductions.

Remember, the extra $20.01 cash deposit on your EBT card is a valuable benefit aimed at helping eligible households make ends meet and improve their overall well-being.

For more information and sources related to this topic, you can refer to the following:

Always be aware of the latest updates and announcements from the official sources to make the most of the available benefits. If you’re eligible for the “heat and eat” benefit or any other assistance program, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the support offered by the state.


JNVSOLAN is an industry veteran with over a decade of experience in Stamps & Postage, Open Close Hours, Restocking & Shipping, EBT and Pay, and General Topics. His expertise and dedication to these fields make him a valuable asset to our team. Trust his insights for all your niche-related queries.

Leave a Comment