Last Updated on January 8, 2023 by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt
The Continuing Appropriations Act (2021) and Other Extensions Act (2021) reauthorized payment of P-EBT food benefit to households with children who would otherwise have received school lunches free of charge under the National School Lunch Act. This was in the event of a decrease in in-person learning because of the pandemic. These temporary food benefits will be used to cover the cost for meals that children may have received at school in the 2020-21 academic years.
Are my child/children eligible for P-EBT food benefits?
If their school was operating with reduced attendance due to COVID-19, children who are entitled to free school lunches under the National School Lunch Program will be eligible for P-EBT food benefit. This applies to children who attend Community Eligibility Provision schools, as well as any private, parochial, and charter schools that are part of the National School Lunch Program.
For questions regarding the National School Lunch Program, please contact the school district or child’s school. P-EBT food benefits are not available to you. Eligible children will receive P-EBT food benefits automatically.
How much will my child/children receive in food benefits?
Based on the number of days that their school reported being closed or that attendance has been reduced by COVID-19, eligible children will be entitled to P-EBT food benefits. Two amounts are possible for an eligible child:
- Children whose schools report that their attendance at school was cut by one to twelve days per month will be eligible for $82 in P–EBT food benefits.
- Children whose schools report that their attendance at school was cut for more than 12 consecutive days in a month will be eligible for $132 in P–EBT food benefits.
- Children whose schools report that they did not reduce their attendance during COVID-related months will not be eligible for a benefit.
Please note that the amount of P-EBT food benefits that eligible children receive depends on the availability and quality of information about monthly school attendance provided by schools or school districts.
How do I order a replacement P-EBT Food Benefit card?
Important: If the card you have received previously is lost, stolen, or damaged, you should request replacement P-EBT food benefit cards. Once the school district and schools have reviewed and processed their monthly attendance information, food benefits will be issued. The replacement card you order will not expedite your child’s access to P-EBT food benefits. In some cases, it may even delay your child’s access.
- Call 1-888-328-6399 to order a replacement PEBT Food Benefit Card. You will need to provide security information. This includes the 19-digit card number printed on the card’s front.
- The cardholder’s 8-digit birthday will be verified (MM/DD/YYYY) as well as the 4-digit Personal ID Number (PIN), you chose for the P-EBT food benefits card you are replacing. You can still order a replacement card if you have not created a PIN before. Follow the prompts.
Please note that your P-EBT food benefits are available on your P-EBT Benefit card for at most 274 days after they were issued. To access your P-EBT Food Benefits, you will need a PIN. You can also check the balance of your family’s PEBTC food benefits by visiting the Connect-EBT website and calling 1-888-328-6399.
How do I access the P-EBT food benefits if they are on a NYS Medicaid card?
You will need a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to access your NYS Medicaid food benefits through P-EBT.
- You can request a PIN over the phone by dialing 1-888-328-6399. To complete the process, please be prepared to provide security information such as your zip code and last four digits for the cardholder’s Social Security Number.
Important: Keep your NYS Medicaid card safe in case your child receives future P-EBT food benefits.
How do I order a replacement NYS Medicaid Card?
- You can request a replacement NYS Medicaid Card if the cardholder is eligible for Medicaid. Call 1-888-328-6399. You will need to provide security information such as the cardholder’s date and Social Security number.
- You can request a replacement NYS Medicaid Card by calling 1-855-355-5777 if the cardholder is eligible for Medicaid through New York State of Health: Health Plan Marketplace. Please prepare security information such as the account holder’s name and Social Security number.
P-EBT food benefits are available on your NYS Medicaid card for a minimum of 274 days after they were issued. You can access your P-EBT benefits by setting up a PIN.
How do I use an EBT card?
An EBT card looks and is used like a bank debit card to buy food at authorized retail food stores. For more information on how to use an EBT card visit the New York State website. To find authorized retail food stores near you, use the SNAP Retailer Locator.
What can I purchase with my child/children’s P-EBT food benefits?
Although P-EBT food benefits do not count as SNAP benefits they can be used to purchase food items that are eligible for SNAP benefits at approved retail food stores.
Anything that is food for the household such as:
- Vegetables and fruits
- Meat, poultry and fish
- Dairy products
- Cereals and breads
- Other foods, such as snacks and non-alcoholic drinks;
- The seeds and plants that produce food for the household.
Households can’t use SNAP benefits to purchase:
- Beverages, wine, liquors, cigarettes or tobacco
- Vitamins, supplements, and medicines. Supplement Facts labels are considered supplements and can be used to exclude an item from SNAP.
- Except for shellfish, fish taken from water and animals that have been slaughtered before being picked up from the store, live animals are not allowed.
- Hot foods at the point they are sold
- Non-food items like:
– Pet foods
– Paper products, cleaning supplies, and other household supplies
– Hygiene items, cosmetics
Where do I go if I have questions?
If you have questions, you may call the Helpline: 1-833-452-0096