This page, Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), is offered by

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

Information about P-EBT, or Pandemic EBT.

P-EBT is a federal program. The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), in collaboration with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), received approval to operate this program in response to the COVID-19 related school closures. P-EBT provides food supports to help families with children who were receiving free and reduced-price school meals pay for food.

For more information, visit map-ebt.org.

Table of Contents

P-EBT Eligibility

1. Who is eligible for P-EBT benefits?
P-EBT is a federal program created in Spring 2020 to provide additional funds for families to buy food while schools were closed due to COVID-19. To be eligible, the student must qualify for free or reduced-price school meals under the National School Lunch Program. This includes any student in a school that provided free meals to all students. 

More P-EBT benefits will be added in September 2020 to cover:

  • The days that school buildings are closed due to delayed start, and/or
  • Students are at home learning remotely for at least 5 days in a row 

Your student’s school confirmed how many days your student is missing in-person instruction during the month of September only. Benefits are for the days students are out of school in September, but will be distributed starting September 30 and into October.

2. How do I find out if I am eligible?
If you are eligible for September P-EBT, you will get a letter in the mail from DTA in October. 
 

Additional Resources

Getting P-EBT Benefits

3. When will I get my September P-EBT benefits?
If your family is eligible for September P-EBT and currently get DTA benefits (SNAP, TAFDC), you will get your P-EBT benefits on your DTA EBT card starting September 30. 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.  

If your family is eligible for September P-EBT and does not currently receive DTA benefits and you got a P-EBT card in the past, you will get your P-EBT benefits on your existing P-EBT card starting September 30. You can check your balance by calling the number on the back of your P-EBT card.

If your family is eligible for September P-EBT and your family does not currently receive DTA benefits and you did not get a P-EBT card in the past, you will receive a P-EBT card in the mail in October.

4. I lost my P-EBT card. Can I get a new one?
Yes. Starting October 1, visit DTAConnect.com/pebt to request a new P-EBT card.

5. How much will I get?
For September P-EBT, your family will get $5.86 per child per day for every eligible school day. The P-EBT amount is based on each student’s school learning situation confirmed by their school in September and can vary from student to student, even within a family.

Example 1:
Household of 5 receiving DTA benefits, two school-​age children

*Child #1 attends School A with an original start date of September 1 and a delayed start date of Sept 9. This child is enrolled in a hybrid learning model: 2 days remote and 3 days in-person per week.

# of school days eligible because of delayed start = 5 school days
# of school days eligible due to learning model = 0 school days

*Child #2 attends School B with a delayed start date of September 16 and is enrolled in a fully remote learning model.
 # of school days eligible because of delayed state = 10 school days
# of school days eligible due to learning model = 11 school days

*Child #1 total days eligible = 5
*Child #2 total days eligible = 21
*Household’s total # days eligible = 26

$5.86 per child x 1 child = $5.86 per day x 26 total school days = $152.36 on DTA EBT card
 
Example 2:

Household not receiving DTA benefits, one school-age child

*Child attends School C with delayed start date of Sept 14 and offers a hybrid learning model; however, child personally elects fully remote model.
# of school days eligible because of delayed start = 8 school days
# of school days eligible due to learning model = 13 school days

Child’s total days eligible = 21

$5.86 per child x 1 child = $5.86 per day x 21 school days = $123.06 on a P-EBT card

Example 3:
Household not receiving DTA benefits, one school-age child

*Child attends School D with a delayed start date of Sept 14 and offers a hybrid learning model: 5 days remote, 5 days in-person alternating.
 
# of school days eligible because of delayed start = 8 school days
# of school days eligible due to learning model = 5 school days

Child’s total days eligible = 13​

$5.86 per child x 1 child = $5.86 per day x 13 school days = $76.18 on a P-EBT card

Example 4:
Household not receiving DTA benefits, one school-age child
 
*Child attends School E with delayed start of Sept 10 and offers a hybrid learning model: 2 days in-person, 3 days remote per week. Remote from Wed-Wed.
# of school days eligible because of delayed start = 6 school days
# of school days eligible due to learning model = 12 school days

Child’s total days eligible = 18

$5.86 per child x 1 child = $5.86 x 18 school days = $105.48 on a P-EBT card

6. Will there be more P-EBT benefits?
The federal government extended P-EBT through the entire 2020-2021 school year. We are waiting for guidance from the federal government before we are able to issue more benefits. More information will be shared as soon as it is available. Keep your P-EBT card!

Using P-EBT Benefits

7. I got a P-EBT card in the mail. How do I activate it?
You will need the letter DTA mailed to you with your student’s case number to activate the card. The letter was mailed separately from the card. If you lost the letter, visit DTAConnect.com/pebt to view your student’s case number.

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

8. 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. 
 
9. Do I have to use all my P-EBT benefits when I get them?
No. The money will carry over from month to month. Benefits that are not used for over a year will be removed from the card.

10. How do I check my balance?
You can call (800) 997-2555 (the number on the back of your P-EBT card) to check your balance.

11. 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 Amazon and Walmart. 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. 

12. 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.

13. Do P-EBT benefits replace grab and go meal sites?
No. P-EBT benefits supplement grab and go meal sites. They do not replace them. Families can find a meal site in their community through Project Bread's School Closure Meal Site Finder.

14. 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

15. 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 and more in multiple languages!

Questions & Extra Food Help

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

17. 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).

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