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P-EBT FAQs

2021-2022 School Year:

Eligibility:

 Q. Who is eligible to receive P-EBT benefits for the 2021-2022 school year?
 A. Eligible students must qualify for free or reduced-price meals or attend a school approved to participate in Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or National School Lunch Program (NLSP). The student's school must also have been closed or operating at reduced attendance or reduced hours for five consecutive days because of COVID-19.

A student will only qualify to receive P-EBT for each month in which the school met the above requirements AND the student was absent or learning remotely because of a COVID-19 related issue. The remote learning must have been provided by a teacher employed by the eligible school or school division. Fully virtual schools such as Virtual Virginia are not eligible for NSLP and, therefore, are not eligible for P-EBT. Qualifying students will receive P-EBT benefits for only the days in which they reported absences or remote learning due to COVID-19-related reasons.

 Q. How do I know if my student(s) is eligible?
 A. If you are unsure if your student qualifies for free or reduced price meals or attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school, please visit your school division's website or contact your child's school for more information.

Households must apply for free or reduced-price meals annually, unless the student attends a CEP school that provides meals at no cost to all students. Students who attend a CEP school or receive free or reduced-priced school meals and meet the other federal requirement, qualifications for P-EBT do not have to apply for P-EBT benefits.

If you believe there are students in your household who met all of the P-EBT requirements and you have not received P-EBT benefits, please contact the P-EBT Call Center Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. at 866-513-1414 or 804-294-1633 or use the P-EBT Inquiry Form. Please do not contact your child's school or local department of social services with P-EBT questions.

 Q. How do I know if my student's school is eligible?
 A. A school is eligible for P-EBT if the following conditions are met:
  1. The school is closed or operating at reduced hours for five (5) consecutive days because of a COVID-related issue.
  2. and the school participates in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program.
Schools become eligible based on criteria set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Schools will be added to the running list as they become eligible. Once eligible, a school remains eligible for the remainder of the school year. To view the list of eligible schools, click here.

 Q. Are home-schooled students eligible for P-EBT?
 A. No. The P-EBT program is designated for students who attend a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

 Q. Are Head Start students eligible for P-EBT benefits?
 A. Head Start students are eligible for P-EBT only if they attend a Head Start program that participates in the National School Lunch Program with reimbursable meals claimed through a participating public school. Some Head Start programs receive meals through other funding sources and students attending those programs are not eligible. Head Start students who are not claimed under the NSLP or the School Breakfast Program by a participating public school are not eligible for P-EBT.

 Q. Who receives the P-EBT benefit for eligible students?
 A. P-EBT benefits will be issued to the parent or guardian identified in the student's school record and submitted by the school division for the eligible student who receives free or reduced-price meals.

 Q. Are non-citizen students eligible for P-EBT?
 A. Non-citizen students qualify for P-EBT benefits if they are eligible to receive free and reduced-price school meals in a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program.

Benefits:

 Q. When will benefits be issued?
 A. Benefits will be issued on the following schedule:
Issuance Month Available to Customer
September 2021 5/25/2022
October 2021 5/25/2022
November 2021 6/14/2022
December 2021 6/14/2022
January 2022 6/14/2022
February 2022 6/25/2022
March 2022 6/25/2022
April 2022 6/25/2022
May 2022 6/25/2022
June 2022 7/25/2022
Summer PEBT TBD

 Q. Where can I use my P-EBT benefits?
 A. P-EBT benefits may be used at any store that accepts SNAP. Most retailers have signage indicating they accept SNAP or EBT. P-EBT may also be used to purchase food through online platforms such as Amazon, Aldi, Food Lion and Walmart's as part of Virginia's online food purchasing pilot program.

 Q. What can I buy with P-EBT benefits?
 A. You can buy any SNAP-eligible food with P-EBT. Most foods are SNAP-eligible, except prepared foods and foods sold hot. A list of SNAP-eligible food is available on the United States Department of Agriculture's website.

 Q. Do I have to use all my P-EBT benefits at once?
 A. No. The money will carry over from month to month. After one year, unused P-EBT benefits will be removed from the card.

 Q. What should I do if I do not want the P-EBT benefits?
 A. Households that do not want to use their P-EBT benefits must destroy the P-EBT card when they receive it. Destroy the card by cutting through the magnetic stripe and disposing of it securely. If you change your mind, P-EBT benefits will be available to you for 365 days. You may call ConnectEBT at 1-866-281-2448 to access your P-EBT benefits for up to one year. P-EBT benefits are not transferable and should not be given to anyone else.

 Q. How do I request eligible benefits that were not received in previous P-EBT issuances?
 A. To inquire about P-EBT benefits for previous issuances (spring and fall 2020), please contact our call center Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. at 866-513-1414 or 804-294-1633 or use the P-EBT Inquiry Form.

 Q. How are the amounts of P-EBT benefits determined?
 A. The number of days a student is absent from an eligible school because of a COVID-19 related issue or receiving remote learning from a teacher(s) employed by the school division due to a COVID-19 related issue. If a student misses between 1 and 5 days the benefit will be $21.30, 6 to 15 days the benefit will be $71.00 and 16 or more days the benefit will be $127.80.

Summer P-EBT:

 Q. Will P-EBT benefits be distributed for summer 2022?
 A. Summer 2022 P-EBT benefits will be issued in one allotment. The issuance date has not been confirmed at this time.

Card information:

 Q. What do I do if my P-EBT card is lost?
 A. You may request a replacement card in one of three ways:
  1. Contact ConnectEBT at 1-866-281-2448 to report your card lost and request a replacement.
  2. If you have registered through ConnectEBT, you may order your card using your login credentials.
  3. If you have downloaded the ConnectEBT app on your mobile device, you may request a card after you log in. A replacement card may take 7 - 10 business days to reach you.

 Q. How do I PIN my card?
 A. There are three ways to PIN your P-EBT card and manage your benefits account. Secure information detailing how to PIN your card is also included in the envelope with your card.

Three options:
  • Call 1-866-281-2448
  • Visit connectebt.com/ and log on
  • Download the ConnectEBT app on your mobile phone via the App Store or Play Store
When prompted:
  1. Enter the 12-digit EBT card number located on the front of the card
  2. Enter the date of birth of the oldest child receiving free or reduced meals. (You will need to enter the date of birth of the oldest child receiving free or reduced meals.)
  3. Enter 0000 when asked for the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number (SSN). (If at any time the full SSN is needed, it will be 000-00-0000)
  4. Enter a four-digit pin number (four numbers you will remember)

Other Information:

 Q. My family needs food now, what can we do?
 A. Households that do not meet eligibility requirements for the P-EBT program are encouraged to call 2-1-1 Virginia to learn more about food resources in their local area or visit Commonhelp.virginia.gov to check eligibility for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

 Q. Does P-EBT replace school-based grab-and-go meal programs?
 A. No, P-EBT does not replace other school-based food assistance programs. Students and families who receive P-EBT may continue to participate in other school-based food assistance programs such as grab-and-go meals.

 Q. Does P-EBT count against me under public charge?
 A. The public charge rule does not apply to P-EBT benefits. Using P-EBT benefits does not impact you or your child's immigration status. The public charge rule does not apply to P-EBT benefits. These benefits are for families with students who are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals in a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program.

 Q. What will happen to my P-EBT card if my family has moved?
 A. VDSS will use the current mailing address from your child's school record. If that address is not correct, the P-EBT card will be recorded as undeliverable in the VDSS system. VDSS will work with local school divisions and attempt to contact you for corrected mailing address information. If possible, contact your school now to update the address in your child's school record. If you do not receive your P-EBT card and you have not been contacted, please contact our call center Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. at 866-513-1414 or 804-294-1633 or use the P-EBT Inquiry Form.

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