Summer P-EBT Program FAQs

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 when cards will be reloaded, and provide detailed Summer P-EBT Program FAQs.

"Summer 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.

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.

Who is eligible for Summer 2021 PEBT?

The summer P-EBT extension is available to the following:

School-age Students

If a student received P-EBT benefits during the last month of the school year 2020–2021, they are eligible for Summer P-EBT.

Additionally, if the student was eligible for free or reduced-price school meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) but did not receive benefits during the last month of 2020–2021 because they attended school in person, they will receive P-EBT benefits during summer 2021.

Furthermore, newly eligible students for free or reduced-price meals if deemed eligible before the end of the covered summer period should receive the full P-EBT benefit for the summer.

Children Under 6 years old

Children under 6 who are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during the last month of the school year, or at any point over the covered summer period, are eligible for the full summer 2021 P-EBT benefit.

Summer 2021 P-EBT Program FAQs

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

What is the amount for the Summer 2021 P-EBT benefit?

This depends on each state.

Some states will take the standard amount set by USDA, and some may choose to distribute benefits based on their own data.

However, states can choose to opt in to the standard P-EBT benefit based on USDA’s calculated average of scheduled summer periods.

The standard benefit level is $375 for summer 2021, based on 55 summer
weekdays at $6.82 per day.

Alternatively, states may decide to set school district-specific benefits that are based on each district’s actual summer period, or they may calculate a state average based on a sample of school districts within the state.

However, regardless of the method the state chooses, neither can exceed 90 days.

The image below from the USDA provides an estimate of how much your child may get for Summer 2021 P-EBT.

"USDA Summer P-EBT Payment amount 2021"

How will I receive the P-EBT money?

P-EBT cards will be issued to each eligible child in the child’s name.

Additionally, students who are receiving SNAP benefits and qualify for the P-EBT program who previously received their P-EBT benefits on their parents’ EBT card will be mailed a P-EBT card.

No P-EBT benefits will be issued on EBT cards.

Also, SNAP children under 6 and students newly enrolled in free and reduced meals programs or CEP schools will be mailed a P-EBT card.

Students who already received a P-EBT card will receive their P-EBT benefits on the same card.

What do I do if I no longer have my child’s P-EBT card(s)?

To request a replacement card, call your state’s SNAP agency or contact your local SNAP office.

You will need to provide the child’s name, date of birth, the same four (4) digits used to activate the original P-EBT card.

Also, you will have to provide your address to have a new card mailed to you.

Replacement cards typically take around 7-10 days business days to arrive.

Do I have to use my benefits all at the same time?

No, your P-EBT benefits will carry over month-to-month.

Your benefits will remain on your EBT card for up to 365 days from the date they were made available to you.

Is P-EBT available to immigrant children?

Yes. Like the National School Lunch Program, P-EBT is available to all school children regardless of immigration status.

P-EBT is a replacement for free and reduced-price school meals which is not considered in a “public charge” determination.

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

Does this count against me under public charge?

No, it does not.

The Department of Homeland Security has stated that receiving P-EBT benefits will not affect your immigration status or your ability to receive immigration benefits.

Summer P-EBT Program FAQs Summary

Here’s the bottom line:

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.


We hope this post on Summer P-EBT Program FAQs 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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