The Food Nutrition Service (FNS) recently started a new program called Pandemic EBT benefit. This program helps households with children with longer school closings. The Pandemic EBT service program was launched in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Read on to learn more about this program.
More about Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)
The P-EBT (Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer) program has been approved by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The program provides financial support to families with children who usually receive free or discounted school meals.
The aim of the program is to reduce the financial burden on low-income households caused by prolonged school closings during COVID-19.
Pandemic EBT is in line with the USDA’s commitment to keep Americans safe and healthy. In addition, the program will feed children if schools are closed during a national emergency.
What is Pandemic EBT Benefit about?
Pandemic EBT is an added benefit when shopping for groceries to offset the cost of meals that would otherwise have been consumed at school. This program provides support to families of children who are entitled to free or discounted meals in connection with school closings.
The Food and Nutrition Service enables states to offer benefits (similar to SNAP or “grocery stamps”) to children who normally receive free or discounted school meals.
List of countries approved for Coronavirus Pandemic EBT?
The following states have been approved to operate a pandemic EBT program. You will be able to operate Pandemic EBT, an added grocery shopping perk for current SNAP attendees, and a new EBT perk for other eligible households to offset the cost of meals otherwise consumed in school would be.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- North Dakota
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- new York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
NOTE: Whether or not your state is approved for pandemic EBT is entirely up to your local state officials. States can be approved for pandemic EBT by submitting a plan to the Minister of Agriculture.
SEE ALSO: How to get emergency food stamps
Qualification of the P-EBT advantages
For information on obtaining P-EBT benefits, see the following criteria.
Your household may be eligible for P-EBT benefits if your child or children:
- Currently enrolled and receiving free or reduced school meals or
- Attending a school participating in the CEP (regulation 2 or 3), and
- Schools were closed for 5 consecutive days due to a public health emergency.
Pandemic EBT FAQs
Answers to some of your most frequently asked questions about P-EBT can be found below.
Who Qualifies for Pandemic EBT?
Current SNAP participants and new EBT-eligible households with children who qualify for free or discounted school lunches under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act may receive pandemic EBT benefits.
Are children who receive school meals through the CEP eligible for pandemic EBT?
Yes, all children who receive free or discounted meals are eligible for P-EBT. Students attending schools participating in CEP (regulation 2 or 3) are also eligible for P-EBT.
Do households have to submit an application for P-EBT?
No, households do not have to apply to receive P-EBT benefits. States will provide P-EBT benefits to SNAP and non-SNAP households with children enrolled in free or discounted school meals.
What is the minimum amount I will receive for P-EBT services?
The minimum household allocation amount is at least the value of school meals ($ 5.70) for each eligible child in your household over a 5 day period.
For example, this means that if you have two eligible children and five consecutive days of closed school, you will receive a total of $ 57 in P-EBT benefits ($ 5.70 x $ 5 x $ 2).
How do non-SNAP households get P-EBT benefits?
A non-SNAP household must provide household information in order to receive P-EBT benefits. You must provide this information to the government agency:
- Name and signature of the head of household
- Number and names of eligible children in the household
- Address of household registered with the school district
- Postal address (if different from the one given above)
How do I get my P-EBT benefits if I don’t have an EBT card?
Your government agency will send you an EBT card mail. You must provide information to your local government agency prior to receiving your EBT card and P-EBT benefits.