Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott

David E. Wilkins

January 23, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Gillespie,
Press Secretary, DCF Communications
(850) 717-4450

ACCESS Benefit Card
~ Lighthouse design replaces American flag on EBT card used for public assistance benefits ~

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – The Florida Department of Children and Families wants to remind clients that we are continuing to provide new ACCESS cards to recipients of public assistance. These new cards feature a lighthouse design and are replacing the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card which has a flag design.

The new card is for customers who receive food assistance, Temporary Cash Assistance, Refugee Assistance, and Food Assistance Employment and Training payments. The new card already has been distributed to new clients and as replacements for lost, stolen or damaged cards. Changing the cards allows for increased security and durability so that families truly in need of temporary assistance receive that help in a timely fashion.

Beginning today, the Department will begin replacing all remaining American flag EBT cards by mailing a new card to current recipients. Customers should destroy the old card and begin using the new one; their PIN number will remain the same. The old card will be deactivated 90 days after the client receives the new card.

Similar to a commercial credit or debit card, the new ACCESS card has an expiration date and will be replaced automatically every four years with a new design. Authorized retailers statewide have been informed of this change and posters and fliers have been distributed through our community partners and in DCF service centers.

DCF’s Economic Self-Sufficiency (ACCESS) Program is responsible for determining eligibility for public assistance and providing ongoing case management of public benefits.

The Food Assistance Program helps low-income individuals and families buy the food they need for good health. The Temporary Cash Assistance Program provides short-term cash benefits to families with children under the age of 18, or under age 19 if full-time secondary school students, as well as pregnant women in their last trimester. Both are federally-funded programs administered by the Department.

The Department currently has 3.3 million food assistance recipients and 82,850 who receive cash assistance. To apply for benefits, go to To request a new ACCESS card, customers can call toll-free to the EBT card replacement line at 866-430-8999 or to EBT Customer Service at 888-356-3281. For more information about the new ACCESS card, please go online to

Below is the mailing schedule by county for replacement cards.

January February March April
Alachua Bradford Collier Duval Flagler Okaloosa Sarasota
Baker Calhoun Franklin Gadsden Gilchrist Orange Seminole
Bay Charlotte Glades Gulf Hamilton Osceola Sumter
Brevard Citrus Hardee Hendry Hernando Palm Beach Suwannee
Broward Clay Highlands Holmes Indian River Pasco Taylor
  Columbia Jackson Jefferson Lafayette Pinellas Union
  Dade Lake Lee Leon Polk Volusia
  Desoto Levy Liberty Madison Putman Wakulla
  Dixie Manatee Marion Martin St. Johns Walton
  Escambia Monroe Nassau Okeechobee St. Lucie Washington
    Hillsborough Santa Rosa