RESTAURANTS

Does McDonald’s Take EBT?

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Does McDonald’s Take EBT?

People who use EBT may be looking for fast-food joints where EBT is accepted as a form of payment. Unfortunately, McDonald’s is not one of them. McDonald’s does not accept EBT in drive-thru or in-store. However, if you receive TANF benefits with EBT, you can withdraw cash for use at McDonald’s. In addition, some states offer Restaurant Meal Programs for the elderly, disabled, and the homeless.

Does EBT Work at McDonald’s?

Although McDonald’s does not take EBT, there are some options around this. Unfortunately, you cannot use your EBT to buy McDonald’s food in most states. However, there are a few exemptions.

Restaurant Meals Program

It is available for those who need help to get food, like the homeless and elderly. Some states have a complete Restaurant Meals Program. Others have a slimmed-down version, while others lack the program altogether.

TANF Benefits

TANF stands for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. It can be an option if you want to use EBT in that form to buy food at McDonald’s. In addition, with TANF, you receive money from the state monthly that goes to your EBT card.

You can withdraw the money at any ATM and use it to pay rent, other bills and buy fast food from restaurants like McDonald’s.

Who is Eligible for EBT?

Each state has varying rules on who qualifies for EBT. But generally, any person living within 100% to 130% poverty level and is an asylum seeker, American citizen, refugee, or legal immigrant can sign up. Your household size and monthly income also determine whether you qualify, and if you do, what benefits you can get from your state.

What Payment Options Does McDonald’s Accept?

McDonald’s accepts a wide variety of payment options, such as:

  • Credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express
  • Cash
  • Arch gift cards
  • Digital wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Can you use SNAP EBT Benefits at McDonald’s?

You cannot use your SNAP benefits card at McDonald’s, but you can use it elsewhere to buy authorized food items from various stores. For example, you can buy cereal, fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, grains, etc.

SNAP allows the purchase of specific products. However, it is also clear on the items you cannot buy, such as medicine, alcohol, vitamins, immediately consumable food items like fast food, among others.

Where Can You Use Your EBT Card?

Fast-food restaurants do not accept your SNAP EBT. However, you can use it to buy food items in many grocery stores like Costco, Albertsons, ALDI, Walmart, Publix, Food 4 Less, etc.

Generally, EBT is not accepted at McDonald’s or any fast-food restaurant if you only receive SNAP EBT benefits. However, if you receive cash benefits via TANF, you can withdraw the money and use it at McDonald’s.

In addition, states that participate in Restaurant Meals Programs allow you to use your card at McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants. However, it is advisable to check your state’s rules for EBT, as each state has different guidelines for who qualifies for each EBT aid program available.

We can only hope that in the future, many states will embrace the Restaurant Meals Programs to provide those in need access to more immediate food options.

Vince Dooley

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