Prepare for the Rainy Days!
Here is a simple step that will save your market a lot of stress in the case of an EBT-device error. This page will explain:
- How to order manual vouchers
- Why your market should have these
- How to use your manual vouchers
Paper Vouchers can be used when electricity is down- to continue to process EBT transactions.
Go to this website to print them (for free) or order them (first 2 packs are FREE!). What’s nice about this website is that you can plug in your FNS # and they will print onto the vouchers- saving you the time and effort of having to hand-write the numbers onto the voucher.
The importance of the vouchers
It’s not always easy or convenient for low-income people and families who receive SNAP benefits to make it to the market. We want to provide everyone with positive experiences, so that they’ll come back and get the best food in Maine! Thus, this is a simple step to make sure that even when the power is down or service is faulty, we can still accommodate all shoppers.
How to use the manual voucher system?
- Complete the voucher carefully and have your customer sign it.
- Call this number for the state of Maine: 800-477-7640
- On this call you are seeking “transaction approval”, where you will place a hold on the customer’s SNAP account for the amount of the transaction. YOU’RE NOT DONE YET….(also, be sure to record the transaction as you normally would at your market booth- for you own record-keeping)
- The end of your phone call will provide you with an “Authorization Number” to write on the voucher- this is crucial in processing the voucher.
- If and when the terminal is functioning again (perhaps off-site, plugged into a land-line or when service returns) you must then key in the voucher entries;
- The process starts off the same, when the screen prompt states: “SELECT EBT TYPE”- choose “Voucher”.
It will then ask for
a) Accnt #- which is the EBT Card #
b) Voucher #- a number to identify the voucher, like a check #
c) Authorization #- the number the call-in system gave you for each transaction.
Then the transaction should run through. Remember to submit batch at the end in order for it to fully process!
Worst case scenario:
If by some circumstance the EBT terminal is not fixed and operating properly, THEN…
The manual vouchers are mailed to the State’s EBT contractor. Markets generally have 15 days to mail in the vouchers. The direct deposit into the market’s bank account occurs within 2 business days aft er the EBT contractor receives the voucher.
Some of this information was pulled from-
Wasserman, Wendy, Debra Tropp, Velma Lakins, Carolyn Foley, Marga DeNinno, Jezra Thompson, Nora Owens, and Kelly Williams. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at Farmers Markets: A How-To Handbook. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, June 2010.