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P-EBT Cards Being Issued by DHHS

Posted on 02/22/2021
The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program helps families purchase food for children whose access to free or reduced-priced meals at school has been impacted by COVID-19 because students are learning virtually, outside of brick-and-mortar schools. P-EBT is a collaboration between the NC Department of Health and Human Services and the NC Department of Public Instruction. The program is not managed by the local public school system. 

The P-EBT benefits will be provided through the current EBT system. EBT is an electronic system that replaced paper food stamp coupons with a card that is like a debit card. Pandemic Electronic Benefits (P-EBT) provides a benefit on an EBT, or Electronic Benefits Transfer, card. The P-EBT card functions as a standard EBT card. The P-EBT card can be used to purchase food items at EBT authorized retailers, including most major grocery stores.

P-EBT benefits received starting this month will be for the months of August to December 2020 for those students who are eligible. Those who do not have a P-EBT card and are eligible during these months should anticipate receiving their cards in February or March. The total amount of P-EBT benefits put on a card will not be received at one time; benefits will be spread out over several days to avoid overwhelming those stores that accept EBT. P-EBT benefits will be issued retroactively in a monthly issuance starting in March as long as the child remains eligible.

Amount of benefit
The new daily rate for the 2020-2021 P-EBT allotment is $6.82 to include the value of an afterschool snack in addition to the breakfast and lunch a student would receive if they were receiving free or reduced meals each day they were learning in person.

Since the allotment is based on a monthly calculated average, the benefit amounts may change month to month.

Families do not need to apply for P-EBT
Families do not need to apply for P-EBT. Eligible families already receiving Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits will receive an additional benefit on their existing EBT card. Eligible families who do not have an FNS or P-EBT card will be mailed a card by March 2021.

For more information about P-EBT eligibility, about the program, who is eligible, and how families will receive the benefit, please visit Families should contact the EBT Call Center (1-866-719-0141) for questions or additional resource information.


Eligibility for P-EBT Benefits 

Elegibilidad para los beneficios P-EBT

grocery basket of food