The Success of EBT in Michigan

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is an innovative vehicle to delivering government benefits by combining the best of electronic technologies. Instead of paper food stamps and paper checks, Department of Human Services (DHS) clients are issued a debit card to purchase food products and access cash benefits. This debit card is called the Michigan Bridge Card. The federal government has mandated that all states use EBT for food assistance benefits.


Approximately 4,400 retailers and over 4,000 ATM’s are available for Bridge Card use within the state. The level of participation by retailers and financial institutions has been vital to our success.


Training for Bridge Card use includes the provision of written materials to every DHS client as they become eligible for assistance, and the use of Bridge Card videos in county offices. A toll free help phone line is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The phone number is located on the back of the Bridge Card. Clients and client advocates across the state played a large role in the development and success of this training effort.


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