If you have a Hawaii EBT Card (Kokua Card) and have questions about your card, you’ve come to the right place.
In this detailed guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about your Hawaii EBT Card, including lost card replacement, how to log in online to check your balance, EBT discounts and perk you did not know about, and restaurants that take EBT in Hawaii, how to shop for groceries online with your EBT card, and much more.
This post on Hawaii EBT Card will cover:
- What is Hawaii EBT?
- How do I apply for EBT in Hawaii?
- What can I buy with Hawaii EBT?
- How Do I check my Hawaii EBT Card Balance?
- Hawaii EBT Deposit Schedule
- Which restaurants take EBT in Hawaii?
- Hawaii EBT Phone Number
- Hawaii EBT Discount and Perks
- Amazon Prime EBT Discount (50% OFF Prime)
- How do I replace my lost Hawaii EBT card?
- Hawaii EBT FAQs
What is Hawaii EBT?
An EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card is a plastic card that acts like a debit card that is used to distribute public assistance benefits.
The Hawaii EBT Card also called the Kokua Card is used for the delivery of benefits such as food stamps (SNAP benefits) and Cash Assistance.
Once you are approved for food stamps or one of the programs listed above, you will receive your benefits each month on a Kokua Card.
How do I apply for EBT in Hawaii?
There are 3 ways you can apply for food stamps in Hawaii.
Option 1 – Apply online
You can apply online through the Public Assistance Information System (PAIS) – as shown in the image below.
If you have an account, you can log in or create your PAIS System Account. Click here to be taken to the website.
Option 2 – Apply at DHS Office Near You
You can apply in person at the Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS) office near you. Click here to locate a DHS office.
Option 3 – Download the Hawaii Food Stamps Application
You can download an application, complete it, and mail it to your county DHS office or submit it in person.
What can I buy with Hawaii EBT?
Your EBT card works like a debit card. It can be used to purchase food at grocery stores, convenience stores, and some farmers’ markets and co-op food programs.
The USDA, which runs the food stamps program has a strict guide on what you can and cannot buy with SNAP benefits.
Here is the list of food items you are allowed to purchase with your SNAP Benefits card:
- meats, fish, poultry
- deli meats and steak
- dairy products
- seeds and plants that produce food for the household
- soft drinks
- snack crackers
- ice cream
- energy drinks (must have a nutrition label)
- live seafood, such as lobster, fish, and shellfish
- pumpkins (as long as they are edible)
- birthday cakes (the non-edible piece of the cake cannot exceed 50 percent)
- bakery items
Here’s what you CANNOT buy with your SNAP benefits:
- Alcoholic beverages
- tobacco products
- hot food (prepared for immediate consumption)
- Nonfood items
- pet foods
- paper products
- medicines and vitamins
- household supplies
- grooming items
Can I use Hawaii EBT to Buy Groceries Online?
If you are a Hawaii SNAP EBT Cardholder, you can now use your EBT card online to buy groceries for delivery! This is great news for Idaho food stamps recipients.
As of September 2022, you can use your Kokua Card to make purchases online for pick-up and/or Delivery at the following grocery stores:
Sam’s Club Scan and Go
See our post on How to Buy Groceries on Amazon with EBT Card.
How Do I check my Hawaii EBT Card Balance?
Here’s how to check the balance on your Hawaii Kokua Card.
Option 1 – Check your Last Receipt
The first option for checking your Hawaii EBT Card balance is to check your last receipt. This is the easiest and quickest way to locate the current balance on your Hawaii EBT Card.
Your balance will be listed at the bottom of your most recent grocery store or an ATM receipt. You should get in the habit of keeping your most current EBT receipt, that way, you always have a quick way to check your balance before you shop.
Option 2 – Check your Balance Online
The second option for checking your Card balance is online through the Edge EBT website.
To log in, visit the Edge EBT website here, then enter your User ID and Password. Once logged in, you’ll be able to view your current balance and transaction history. If you do not have an ebtEDGE online account, you can create a User Account here.
Option 3 – Check by Phone
The last option for checking your Card balance is by phone. Call the EBT Customer Service number (1-888-328-4292) on the back of your card. The Customer Service Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
After you call, enter your sixteen (16) digit EBT card number and you will hear your current food assistance or cash account balance(s).
Which restaurants take EBT in Hawaii?
The Restaurant Meals Program is a federal program that enables qualified elderly, disabled, and homeless food stamps recipients to buy food at authorized restaurants. Any state or county can enroll in the Restaurant Meals Program.
The purpose of the program is to help expand food access to those who do not have a place to store and cook food, who may not be able to prepare food or who don’t have access to a grocery store.
Unfortunately, the state of Hawaii does not currently participate in the Restaurant Meals Program. We will update you as soon as the state joins the program.
Hawaii EBT Phone Number
Here’s the number to call if you are trying to reach Hawaii EBT Customer Service:
You can call 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week
You can call the Hawaii EBT Phone Number if:
- Your card is lost or stolen.
- Your card does not work.
- You want to change your PIN because you forgot it or if
someone else knows your PIN.
- You want to find out how much you have left in your account.
- You have been charged for a purchase but you didn’t get the food or
if you were charged too much for what you bought.
- You have other questions or problems.
How to use your Kokua Card to buy Food
Here are the steps you need to take to use your Kokua Card to purchase food that is on the food stamp list, at approved retail locations.
Before you shop, check your balance using one of the following methods, as explained in detail above:
- By looking at your last receipt
- You can also call Customer Service, toll-free at
- Finally, you can go online to check your balance.
This balance will be the most you can spend with your card.
Here’s how to purchase food with your card.
Take your groceries to the checkout lane.
Depending on the store, you may need to separate
your eligible food items from non-eligible items.
Swipe your card through the Point-of-Sale (POS)
terminal or hand your EBT Card to the clerk.
Enter your four-number Personal Identification
Number (PIN) on the keypad. The terminal will
show **** instead of the numbers you entered.
Press the “ENTER” key.
The clerk enters the purchase amount. If the
amount is correct, you press the “OK” or “YES” key.
You will get a copy of a printed receipt showing:
- Store name and address
- Amount of your purchase
- Your new food stamp benefits account balance
Keep your receipt so you will know your new balance the next time you shop.
Please note that you cannot be charged a fee to use your food stamp benefits.
Hawaii EBT Discount and Perks
Your Hawaii Kokua EBT Card gives you access to the following discounts, freebies, and perks.
Amazon Prime EBT Discount
If you have a Kokua Card, you can now sign up for Amazon Prime EBT Discount and get all the great benefits that come with Prime membership, at a fraction of the cost.
Amazon wants to make Amazon Prime membership more affordable to low-income households.
The regular Amazon Prime membership is $14.99 a month. However, if you have an EBT Card, you can get Prime Membership for $6.99. That’s over 50% off the regular price.
The table below shows how the EBT and Medicaid discount on Amazon Prime compares to the other Amazon Prime memberships.
|Amazon Prime Membership||Price||Full Prime benefits|
|Amazon Prime month-to-month||$14.99/mo.||✓|
|Amazon Prime annual||$139/yr.||✓|
|Prime Student (monthly)||$7.49/mo.||✓|
|Prime Student (annual)||$69/yr.||✓|
|Amazon Prime EBT/Medicaid cardholders||$6.99/mo. (max. 4 yrs.)||✓|
If you are currently on Food Stamps/EBT Cardholder, and your income is below a certain level, you may qualify for FREE or low-cost home or cell phone service for you or a member of your family through the Federal Lifeline Program, which serves nearly 13 million Americans.
The Lifeline program helps to lower the monthly cost of phone and internet service. Eligible customers will get at least $9.25 toward their monthly bill. You can only use Lifeline for either phone or internet service, but not both.
Discounted Cell Phone Services
Below is a list of cell phone providers that participate in the Lifeline program in the state of Hawaii.
|Q Link Wireless||855-754-6543|
|Sandwich Isles Communications, Inc.||888-955-7274|
|Tempo Telecom, LLC||877-822-8501|
Discounted Home Phone Services
Below is a list of home phone providers that participate in the Lifeline program in the state of Hawaii.
|Sandwich Isles Communications, Inc.||888-955-7274|
|Hawaiian Telcom, Inc.||808-643-3456|
Free Admission with EBT Program
One of the great benefits of the Hawaii EBT Card is access to great tourist, cultural, educational and adventure museums – including zoos, aquariums and many more.
This is under free admission with EBT program, otherwise known as Museum for all.
The Hawaii Museums listed below all offer FREE to $3.00 to individuals and families who have an EBT card, and a valid form of photo ID.
The offer covers up to four individuals per EBT card, which means that if you have a family of 4, you can use your Hawaii EBT card to get the special discounted rate or the free admission for all four members.
We advise that you call the museum first before you go – so that you can find out what their special rate is for EBT Cardholders (whether it’s free admission or $3).
See the list of Hawaii Free Admission with EBT Program sites.
How do I replace my lost Hawaii EBT card?
If you just realized your Kokua Card is lost or you simply do not know where it is, you should we can help you get a replacement card.
The first thing you need to do when you realize your Food stamps card is lost, stolen, or not working is to call the Hawaii EBT card customer service.
Report a lost, stolen, or damaged Hawaii Kokua Card
If your card is lost, stolen, or damaged call EBT Customer Service at 1-888-328-4292 right away.
Instructions on what to do when you call
First, when you call the customer service number above, you will be asked to enter your card number.
Do not enter your card number or press any keys. You will be asked to enter your card number again.
Again, do not enter your card number or press any keys. You will then be asked to press one to report your card as lost, stolen, or damaged.
Press the 1 key on your phone. Once you report it, your EBT card will be deactivated so that the benefits cannot be used by anyone else.
You should usually receive your new card in the mail within five days (excluding Sundays and holidays).
Call As Soon As Possible
We encourage you to call the customer service number as soon as you can so that your account can be secured, especially if you think the card is stolen.
That way, you don’t risk losing the money currently in the account.
When you call customer service, they will confirm your mailing address before they mail the card to make sure they have the current address on file.
You will be able to use the same pin you used on the previous card unless you decide to select a new pin with the new card.
How long does it take to get a Replacement Kokua Card?
Your replacement card will be mailed to you and it will take 7-10 business days to arrive.
However, unlike getting a credit card or debit card replacement, you cannot get your EBT card expedited or a tracking number for the card.
In addition, there is no option to get a replacement EBT card the same day.
Furthermore, while you wait for your card to arrive, you cannot use your EBT funds. There is no way to manually enter the card number at retail locations and online even with online shopping on Amazon, you need to enter your card CVV number to complete the transaction.
Therefore, Unfortunately, you have to wait for your card to arrive before you can use the funds in your EBT account.
Replacement Card did not arrive?
If you have requested a replacement Hawaii EBT Card and it has not yet arrived in the mail after 5-7 business days, here’s one possible reason.
If you previously changed your address and did not update your EBT account, that is probably the reason your card has not arrived.
That is because your new card is going to be mailed to your old address, and if it is mail that cannot be forwarded, then the card will likely be returned to the card issuer, which means you will have to wait longer to receive the re-issued card, further delaying your ability to be able to buy the food you need.
You can resolve this by calling the Hawaii EBT Customer service number and updating your mailing address so that your new card can be mailed to the correct address.
Hawaii EBT FAQs
Here are the most frequently asked questions about Hawaii EBT.
I didn’t get my EBT benefits this month
If you did not receive your benefits this month, you should contact your local DHS office for help. For the DHS office closest to you, click here.
The ATM didn’t give me the money I requested, but it took it from my cash benefits. What do I do?
You should call the EBT Card customer service telephone number at 1-888-328-4292.
You will be provided directions for filing a claim.
Note that the bank or ATM owner will not be able to give you the missing cash. You will have to go through the claims process with EBT customer service.
How can I set up or change my EBT card PIN?
To set or change your PIN, call the Kokua Card toll-free customer service telephone number at 1-888-328-4292.
You will be able to set up a PIN over the telephone.
Can I have someone else help me shop using my EBT account?
Yes, you can set up an Authorized Representative (AR) to help you shop with your EBT Card.
However, the AR will have a separate card with his or her own account number and PIN.
The EBT system is able to track which card is used at any time. The AR will have access to your entire benefit account.
Note that it is not possible to limit the AR’s access to a lesser amount.
However, you may choose the account(s) to which the AR has access.
If you don’t want him or her to have access to all of your benefits, it is possible to limit the AR’s access to either your food benefits or cash benefits if you like.
Ask your county caseworker about setting up an Authorized Representative (AR).
Can I use my Hawaii EBT card in other counties and other states?
Your Kokua Card will work at any store in the state that accepts SNAP/EBT benefits.
In addition, you can use your card in the other 49 states in the United States, as well as the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.
However, if you are unsure, ask the store manager.
If I don’t use all my Hawaii EBT benefits this month, will I lose them?
No. If I don’t use all of the benefits you received this month, they will stay in the EBT account, and you may use these benefits in the following months.
What happens if the ATM does not give back my EBT card?
Occasionally, an ATM will not return your EBT card. In most cases, this occurs when you do not remove your card from the ATM within a certain amount of time.
In some cases, the bank will return your card if you present proper identification.
However, in many cases, the bank will destroy the card even if you request it be returned to you showing proper identification.
If your card cannot be returned, you should request a new card by calling customer service at 1-888-328-4292.
When are Hawaii food stamps posted on EBT Card?
In the state of Hawaii, Food Stamps Benefits are deposited on EBT Cards over 2 days, between the 3rd and 5th of every month. When your food stamps benefit is deposited on your EBT Card depends on the First Letter of your Last Name. Here is the schedule:
|If the First Letter of your Last Name is||Benefits are deposited on the|
|A – I||3rd of the month|
|J – Z||5th of the month|
Once your benefits are deposited into your account, you can begin using them with your Hawaii EBT card to purchase eligible food items. For a full list of approved food items, see the Food Stamps Eligible Food List here.
Hawaii EBT Card Summary
We hope this article on Hawaii EBT Card was helpful.
If so, we encourage you to share this article with anyone who may also find it helpful by using the “Share this” button below.
If you have additional questions about the Hawaii EBT for food stamps, please leave those in the comments section below. We are here to help you!
Be sure to check out our other articles about Hawaii SNAP and EBT, including:
- Free Admission to Museums with Hawaii EBT
- What you can buy with an EBT Card
- Hawaii EBT Card Balance
- How much in food stamps Benefits can I get?