Montana Access Card

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services distributes Food Stamp benefits and cash assistance from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program using an electronic benefit-transfer system known as the Montana Access Card. The card is also used in some cases to distribute child support payments.

The Montana Access Card is similar to a debit card. Cardholders can use it to authorize the transfer of money from a government account to a retailer account to pay for products. Stores that accept the Montana Access Card display a program logo.

Cardholders can access TANF benefits and child support payments from most automated teller machines (ATMs), participating retailers, and post offices in Montana and across the nation. Food Stamp recipients can use the card to purchase approved food items at retailers anywhere in the nation who are authorized by the USDA Food and Nutrition Services.

To use the card, cardholders simply swipe it through a point-of-sale device and enter a personal identification number (PIN) to authorize the transaction.

The Department implemented the Montana Access Card program for Food Stamp benefits in June 2002. It expanded the Montana Access program to include TANF benefits in October 2002. TANF recipients have the option of 1) getting their benefits via the Montana Access Card, 2) getting a state-issued warrant, or 3) having their benefits directly deposited to their bank account.

The Department added child support payments to the Montana Access Card in May 2003. Custodial parents may choose to have their child support payments deposited directly to a bank account. Otherwise, their child support payments are disbursed through a new or existing Montana Access Card.

To check your Card Balance and last transactions online go to:

To contact the Montana Access Card staff, please call:

  • Cardholder Help Desk, (866) 850-1556
  • Manual Voucher Authorization, (866) 850-1563
  • Retail Help Desk (for retailers using state equipment only), (800) 831-5235
  • Retailer General Information, (406) 441-1190

Page last updated 09/08/2010