Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

Information about Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT.

P-EBT is a federal food assistance program created in Spring 2020. The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), in collaboration with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), received approval to temporarily operate this program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, visit map-ebt.org (website available in 6 languages).

♦ There have been reports of people receiving scam text messages that their P-EBT benefits have been blocked. This message is not from DTA. Never provide your personal information or EBT/P-EBT card number to unidentified callers.

Table of Contents

Summer P-EBT

  1. Who is eligible for Summer P-EBT?
  • K-12 students* who:
    • Attended a school where every student gets free meals (under a special rule called Community Eligibility Provision “CEP”), OR
    • Were approved by their school for free or reduced-price meals (under the National School Lunch Program) (at any point during the pandemic, including 2021-2022 school year or during this summer)
  • Families with an infant or child 0-5 years old AND your family gets SNAP benefits

*Students who graduated in 2021 or have moved out of Massachusetts are not eligible. Students who attended a virtual academy full time for school year 2021-2022 or were homeschooled are also not eligible.

List of CEP schools. 

There is no application for P-EBT in Massachusetts.

 

  1. How much will my child get in Summer P-EBT and when will they get it?

Eligible children will receive a total of $391 in two equal payments of $195.50 this summer.

 

Date Issued

Amount of Summer

P-EBT

K-12 Students

Infants & Kids

0-5 Years Old

$195.50

July 3

July 25

$195.50

August 3

August 25

 

* There was also a special issuance on July 11 for K-12 students who did not receive benefits on 7/3.

Based on data submitted from school districts, eligible students who did not receive Summer P-EBT will receive a retroactive Summer P-EBT payment. The next payment will be on September 25th. Eligible students receiving Summer P-EBT for the first time on 9/25 will get $391 in P-EBT benefits (July funds + August funds).

 

  1. How will I get Summer P-EBT?
  • If you got P-EBT in the past: Check the EBT or P-EBT card you already have. If you do not have your P-EBT card, request a new one at DTAConnect.com/pebt.
  • If you are new to P-EBT: Check your mail for a P-EBT card or look for funds on the EBT card you already have.

K-12 P-EBT Eligibility & Benefits

1. Will there be more P-EBT for K-12 students in SY2022-2023?

 P-EBT was temporarily created by the federal government to replace school meals during the pandemic while schools were closed to in-person learning. States are currently waiting for federal guidance. More information will be shared when available. Please keep your P-EBT card. 

School meals will continue to be available for all Massachusetts students free of charge this school year. 

Many families eligible for P-EBT are eligible for SNAP! Households can find information and apply for these food funds at DTAConnect.com.

2. Who is eligible for P-EBT benefits?

Students are eligible for School Year 2021-2022 P-EBT if they:

  • Are eligible for free or reduce-price meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), or
  • Attended a school that serves free meals to all students (under a special rule called the Community Eligibility Provision); AND
  • Had any excused COVID-related absences*. These are excused absences that fall under one of the following categories:
  • Absences due to positive COVID test
  • Absences due to asymptomatic close contact or quarantine
  • Absences due to student being symptomatic in accordance with Protocol C of the state’s COVID absence policy (any symptoms that would keep student home from school, COVID positive or not)
  • Days that a student participated in remote learning (either due to temporary school closure or due to remote learning during quarantine) also count as P-EBT eligible days

Students attending virtual academies full time are not eligible for P-EBT.

 

3. How much will my student get in P-EBT benefits?

A student’s P-EBT benefit amount per month will depend on the student’s number of school-reported COVID-related absences for each month.

The monthly amounts are:

  • 1-5 absences: $21 a month (per student)
  • 6-15 absences: $71 a month (per student)
  • 16+ absences: $128 a month (per student)

For information on eligible absences, see eligibility section above.

 

4. When will my student get their P-EBT benefits?

COVID-Related School Absences

P-EBT Funds Available

September 2021 – April 2022

May 25

May 2022

June 25

June 2022

July 25

*Depending on when data is shared by the school, you may receive funds past these dates.

 

5. How will I get P-EBT?

If a student received P-EBT in the past, they will get their School Year 2021-2022 P-EBT benefits on the same card. Most children in a household that receives DTA benefits (SNAP and/or TAFDC) got P-EBT directly on their DTA EBT card. Children in households that do not receive DTA benefits got their P-EBT benefits on a P-EBT card.

Newly eligible students will receive their School Year 2021-2022 P-EBT benefits on their DTA EBT card if they are in a household that receives DTA benefits (SNAP and/or TAFDC). If the household does not receive DTA benefits, they will receive a P-EBT card for each eligible student.

 

6. What do I do if I think the number of days reported by my student's school was too low?

If you believe you got the wrong P-EBT amount, complete the Request to Review P-EBT Amount form. It is included with your P-EBT notice and online at https://www.map-ebt.org/k-12#form. Send the form to your school.

 

7. What do I do if I think my student is eligible for P-EBT, but we did not receive any benefits?

If you did not get P-EBT but believe your student is eligible, complete the Request to Review P-EBT Amount form. It is available online at https://www.map-ebt.org/k-12#form. Send the form to your school.

 

8. What happens after I submit the Request to Review P-EBT Amount form to my school?

  1. The school will approve or deny your form
  2. If approved, the school will send the information to the Department of Education
  3. You will receive the P-EBT funds on the 25th of the following month

Kids 0-5 Years Old on SNAP P-EBT Eligibility & Benefits

1. Who is eligible for child care P-EBT?
You will get P-EBT if you have an infant or child 0-5 years old, AND your family gets SNAP benefits. 

Don’t get SNAP? Apply now online or call 877-382-2363 and press 7.

2. How much will my kid get in P-EBT benefits?

For school year 2021-2022, the amount is based on the average decrease in child care meals provided during these months compared to before the pandemic. 

Child care days Funds per month
September 2021 - November 2021 $37
December 2021 - February 2022 $42
March 2022 - June 2022 $30

 

3. When will my kid get their P-EBT benefits?

Child care days Funds Available
September 2021 - November 2021 June 25, 2022
December 2021 - February 2022 September 25, 2022
March 2022 - June 2022

October 25, 2022

 

Check your balance on DTAConnect.com, the DTA Connect mobile app or call the number on the back of your card. 

Using P-EBT Benefits

1. I lost my P-EBT card. Can I get a new one (replacement card)?
Yes. Visit DTAConnect.com/pebt to request a new P-EBT card. Go to the “P-EBT Card Replacement Request” page (note: on a mobile phone, click on “Menu” to see the page).

Enter your information. NOTE: some information is required, like child’s date of birth. The required information will say (required) next to it. Then click submit.

Watch a video on how to request a replacement card.

2. I got a P-EBT card in the mail. How do I activate (PIN) it?
You will need the letter DTA mailed to you with your student’s case number to activate (PIN) the card. The letter was mailed separately from the card. If you lost the letter, visit the “P-EBT Case and Account Balance Information” page on DTAConnect.com/pebt. Type in your P-EBT card number to view your student’s case number. Note: some of the first numbers are already entered for you.

Visit map-ebt.org/uyb for step-by-step guidance on how to activate (PIN) your P-EBT card. Watch a video on how to PIN your card.

3. Do I have to activate (pin) my student's P-EBT card by a specific date?
We encourage all families to activate each student's P-EBT card as soon as the card is received, but there is no set deadline to activate or PIN the P-EBT card. 
 
4. Do my P-EBT benefits roll over at the end of the month if I don’t use all of them?
Yes. The money will carry over from month to month. Benefits that are not used for over 274 days will be removed from the card.

5. How do I check my balance?
If you have a P-EBT card, you can check your balance by visiting DTAConnect.com/pebt. Go to the “P-EBT Case and Balance Information” page. There enter your P-EBT card number. Your balance will show below your P-EBT case number. You can also call the number on the back of your P-EBT card (800-997-2555).

If you have a DTA EBT card, you can check your balance on DTAConnect.com, the DTA Connect mobile app or by calling the number on the back of your card. Note that your P-EBT will be added to any SNAP on your account – your balance will reflect both.

6. Where can I use my P-EBT benefits? What can I buy with them?
You can use your P-EBT benefits at any store that accepts SNAP, including online from many retailers. Most retailers have signs saying they accept SNAP or EBT.

P-EBT benefits can be used to buy any food that can be bought with SNAP. SNAP eligible food is most foods, except prepared foods and foods sold hot. 

7. Will getting P-EBT impact my family’s ‘public charge’ status?
No. Using P-EBT benefits does not impact your or your child's immigration status. The Public Charge rule does NOT apply to P-EBT benefits.

SNAP benefits are also NOT counted in a Public Charge test. If you are not a US citizen or eligible immigrant, you can get SNAP for an eligible family member (like your U.S citizen child). 

8. Can I participate in the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) with my P-EBT benefits?
No. P-EBT benefits are different than SNAP benefits and cannot be used to receive HIP benefits.

Community Outreach

1. I am a community organization looking to help spread the word on P-EBT. Where can I find flyers and other outreach materials?
Visit www.map-ebt.org for flyers, social media graphics/text, robocall/text/email language in: Arabic, Cape Verdean, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, English, Haitian Creole, Khmer, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish & Vietnamese.

Questions & Extra Food Help

1. Who did I contact for questions on P-EBT?
Call the DTA Assistance Line at (877) 382-2363 or visit MAp-EBT.org.

2. I need more food help. Who do I contact?
For other food help, call the Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at (800) 645-8333 (TTY 1-800-377-1292).

3. Are free meals available over the summer?

The Summer Eats program provides free meals to all kids and teens at sites across Massachusetts during the summer months. No identification or registration required. Learn more and find a site near you at www.projectbread.org/summereats. You can use P-EBT and Summer Eats together.

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