P-EBT for Summer 2021

Here’s great news for all parents who have kids participating in the free or reduced school lunch program or who have children under 6 SNAP benefits! The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021, has extended the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) food assistance program through Summer 2021. In this post, we are going to explain how the P-EBT for Summer 2021 is going to work and when cards will be reloaded.

First, we will explain in detail what the P-EBT program is about.

Next, we will cover who is eligible for the program and the benefits that have been issued so far.

Additionally, we will explain the Summer 2021 P-EBT extension, who is eligible, and how much you can expect in benefits.

Lastly, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about the P-EBT program.

"P-EBT for Summer 2021 Explained"

Table of Contents:

  • What is P-EBT Program?
  • Who is Eligible for P-EBT?
  • P-EBT Extension – Summer 2021
  • When will Summer 2021 P-EBT be Loaded?
  • P-EBT Program FAQs

What is P-EBT Program?

"P-EBT Card"

Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer, or P-EBT, is a federal program meant to help families purchase food when students weren’t able to get school meals during the pandemic.

The program was created in Spring 2020 to help kids that were eligible for free or reduced lunch buy food when schools were closed due to COVID-19.

Eligible families receive money on debit cards they can use to buy food anywhere that accepts food stamps.

This includes most grocery stores, food markets, and online retailers such as Amazon and Walmart.

The P-EBT was originally scheduled to expire on September 30, 2020.

However, on October 1, 2020, the program was extended for an additional year – through September 30, 2021.

Additionally, under the American Rescue plan signed into law in March 2021, the P-EBT program was further extended through the end of the pandemic.

Furthermore, the program’s eligibility was expanded to include children under 6 in SNAP households.

Also, on January 22, in support of President Biden’s call to action on hunger, USDA announced that it is increasing the P-EBT benefit by approximately 15 percent.

This was aimed at providing more money for low-income families and millions of children missing meals due to school and child care closures.

Who is Eligible for P-EBT?

Here is the breakdown of the P-EBT program so far:

Families who Do Not Receive SNAP Benefits

If your children are eligible to receive free and reduced-priced meals at school or attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school, here’s what you should know:

Your children are eligible for P-EBT benefits if they no longer have access to the school meals due to school closures resulting from COVID-19.

Usually, there is no need to apply.

An eligible family will receive a confirmation letter and one P-EBT card for each eligible child from the state’s SNAP agency.

The state’s SNAP agency will work with the state’s department of education/local school district to confirm the names of all eligible children for P-EBT.

Families who Currently Receive SNAP Benefits

If your child is eligible for free and reduced-priced meals at school, here’s what you should know:

Your child is eligible for the Pandemic-EBT Program if he or she no longer has access to the school meals due to school closures resulting from COVID-19.

There’s no need to apply. All eligible children will receive a P-EBT card.

This includes SNAP recipients who previously received their P-EBT benefits on their EBT card.

However, no P-EBT benefits will be issued on existing EBT cards. You will receive a P-EBT for each eligible child.

Youth in Foster Care

Youth in foster care who are eligible to receive free and reduced-price meals at school or attend a CEP school are eligible for the Pandemic-EBT benefits.

For those foster youth who receive SNAP benefits, they will be mailed a P-EBT card.

Also, foster youth who do not receive SNAP benefits will be mailed a P-EBT card.

Additionally, foster youth who do not receive SNAP benefits will receive a confirmation letter and a P-EBT card will be issued in their name.

Children Under the Age of Six (Childcare Eligibility)

Beginning October 1, 2020, P-EBT eligibility was expanded to include certain children under the age of six in households that received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit.

Under this provision, your child who is on your SNAP case is eligible for P-EBT if:

The child lives in a county in which at least one school is closed or operating at reduced capacity due to COVID-19, or the child’s daycare facility is closed or is operating at reduced hours due to COVID-19.

P-EBT for Summer 2021

  • Available to all children enrolled in the National School Lunch Program
  • Includes Children under 6 years of age and residing in a SNAP household

This extension was part of the American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021.

According to this legislation, children that are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program or are under 6 years of age and residing in a SNAP household will receive P-EBT over summer 2021 as well.

P-EBT Summer Extension Details

As part of the American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021, by President Biden, children that are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program or are under 6 years of age and residing in a SNAP household will receive P-EBT over the summer as well.

The P-EBT program helps families with eligible children whose access to free or reduced-price meals at school or other food assistance has been impacted by COVID-19.

The summer P-EBT is an extension of benefits for the 2020-2021 school year.

Eligible children will receive a one-time payment of $375 to cover the entire summer period of June through August 2021.

Why is the USDA extending P-EBT Through Summer 2021?

The reason is that kids who get free lunch at school struggle during the summer.

Furthermore, the summer months have traditionally been hard on children who depend on free or low-cost school meals.

According to the Food Research and Action Center, in July 2019, just 1 in 7 children who ate at little or no cost during the school year was getting a subsidized school lunch at the height of summer.

Who is eligible for Summer 2021 P-EBT?

  • Young children, ages 0-6, who are living in a household receiving SNAP benefits.
  • Students in the Free & Reduced-Price Meal program and whose school is physically closed during the 20-21 school year.

How can my family receive Summer 2021 P-EBT?

Here’s how you can prepare to receive P-EBT benefits for the summer of 2021:

1 – Enroll your children in SNAP.

2 – Ensure your children have an up-to-date Free & Reduced-Price Meal application on file with your school.

Check with your school district if you are not sure. 

3 – If your child is already enrolled in their school meal program, or you previously received P-EBT benefits, do this:

Make sure their school has the correct mailing address on file. Check with your school district if you are not sure. 

When will Summer 2021 P-EBT be Loaded?

Your state’s Department of Education, together with the Food Stamps/SNAP agency are working on a schedule to release Summer P-EBT benefits soon.

We will provide an update here when an announcement is made, including when P-EBT cards will be mailed to newly eligible children.

P-EBT Program FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the P-EBT program:

What if I do not want P-EBT benefits?

If families do not wish to receive P-EBT benefits for their children, they should destroy the P-EBT card.

If they change their mind, they may call their state’s SNAP agency to request a replacement card at any time prior to the expiration of the benefits.

P-EBT benefits expire 365 days after the benefits are issued.

Are home-schooled students eligible for P-EBT?

No. The P-EBT program is designated for students who receive free or reduced-price meals in a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

Are all children under the age of six eligible to receive P-EBT benefits?

No. Children under the age of six are only eligible to receive P-EBT benefits if they have received SNAP at any time since October 1, 2020 and live in an area where one or more schools are closed or operating with reduced attendance hours.

What is the monthly P-EBT benefit amount for children under the age of six?

The amount of your benefit for each month will be based on whether the school district in which you live was fully remote or hybrid.

Benefits will be calculated using a daily rate of $6.82, which will be multiplied by the approved benefit level.

Does the legal and/or immigration status of the child affect eligibility for P-EBT?

Any child that meets eligibility requirements as identified above will be eligible for P-EBT benefits, regardless of their legal or immigration status.

Receiving P-EBT food assistance does not impact your immigration status and will not impact a future immigration application you may file.

My family needs food now, what can we do?

Many schools and community locations are distributing meals to school-aged students now.

To find locations in your area, visit your local school district website.

Students and families who receive P-EBT may continue to participate in other food assistance programs, such as meals provided by schools.

P-EBT does not replace other assistance.

If your family does not already receive SNAP benefits (food assistance), you should apply for assistance immediately by visiting your state’s SNAP website.

How will students in foster care and/or those who may be impacted by homelessness get P-EBT benefits?

Yes. Here’s what you need to know:

Children Under Age 6

Children under age 6 in foster care may be eligible for P-EBT.

To be eligible for P-EBT, a foster child’s household must receive SNAP benefits and that foster child must be included in that household’s SNAP case.

If the child is not listed on the SNAP case, they will not receive P-EBT.

However, if you are interested in adding a child to your SNAP case, contact your local county SNAP office.

Students

Children in foster care or impacted by homelessness who are eligible under the established criteria may receive P-EBT benefits.

Students in foster care may be newly eligible for P-EBT or may have experienced placement changes since the last P-EBT issuance and no longer have their EBT card.

Your local SNAP office can identify and help eligible foster care students get access to their P-EBT benefits by issuing new cards.

Cards will be mailed in the student’s name and will not be grouped together with multiple children.

The P-EBT cards will be mailed to the local county SNAP office that has custody of the foster care student.

The student’s foster care social worker will provide the card or assist with transfer of the card to the student’s new placement.

P-EBT cards for homeless and migrant students will be mailed to the address on record for the student at the student’s school.

Families are encouraged to confirm this address is correct with their child’s school.

P-EBT for Summer 2021 Summary

Here’s the bottom line about P-EBT for Summer 2021:

P-EBT benefits have been extended through Summer 2021

Eligible children will receive a one-time payment of $375 to cover the entire summer period of June through August 2021.

However, to prepare to receive your P-EBT benefit for the summer:

Make sure your children have an up-to-date Free & Reduced-Price Meal application on file with your school.

Also, check with your school district to make sure they have the correct mailing address on file for your child.

Questions?

We hope this post on P-EBT for Summer 2021 was helpful.

If you have further questions about SNAP Benefits or P-EBT, please let us know in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out our other articles about SNAP and EBT, including:
Free Admission with EBT in all 50 States
How to check ebtEDGE balance
ConnectEBT card balance
What you can buy with an EBT Card
How much in food stamps can I get?

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