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P-EBT FAQs

Summer P-EBT:

 Q. How do I know if I qualify for Summer P-EBT?
 A. If you qualify for free and reduced-price school meals in school year 2020-2021, you will be eligible for Summer P-EBT.

 Q. When will benefits be issued?
 A. Benefits will be issued in a one-time payment of August 25, 2021. Benefits will be loaded on an your existing EBT card.

 Q. How much will students/children receive for the summer benefit?
 A. Students will receive benefits of $375 per student to cover the summer period.

 Q. What if I just completed my application for free and reduced meals at my school?
 A. If you applied after June 30, 2021 and before July 31, 2021, you will receive benefits on August 25, 2021.

 Q. What if I have a child that is under six years of age? Will they also receive Summer P-EBT benefits?
 A. Yes, children under the age of six are also eligible for the Summer P-EBT benefit. In order to receive the benefit, these children must be enrolled in the SNAP program during the summer months. The benefit will be the same amount of $375 per child and issued on August 25, 2021.

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.

  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)

2020 - 2021 School Year P-EBT:

Eligibility:

 Q. What is the purpose of P-EBT?
 A. The purpose of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program is to provide a nutritional supplement to eligible students who are learning in fully remote or hybrid modalities due to COVID-19-related school closures.

 Q. Who is eligible to receive P-EBT benefits?
 A. Eligible students must qualify for free or reduced-price meals and attend a school participating in the National School Lunch Program. Qualifying students will receive P-EBT benefits through the 2020-2021 school year. Households that previously received P-EBT will have new benefits automatically added to their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) EBT or P-EBT card. If you are newly eligible, a P-EBT card will be mailed to you or funds will be added to your SNAP EBT card.

 Q. How do I know if I am eligible?
 A. Participating schools will communicate directly to eligible households. If you are unsure if your child receives free or reduced-price meals, please contact your child's school to verify approval. Eligible households do not have to apply for P-EBT benefits.

If you believe there are eligible students in your household and you have not received P-EBT benefits, 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. Are home-schooled students eligible for P-EBT?
 A. 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).

 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 in a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program. Some Head Start programs receive meals through other funding sources and students attending those are not eligible. Head Start students who are not claimed under the NSLP or the School Breakfast Program 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 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 P-EBT benefits be issued?
 A. P-EBT benefits will be issued to eligible households on the following schedule:
Benefit Period Issuance Date
October 2020 - November 2020 March 17, 2021
December 2020 - January 2021 March 20, 2021
February 2021 March 25, 2021
March 2021 April 25, 2021
April 2021 May 25, 2021
May 2021 June 25, 2021
June 2021 July 25, 2021

Note: All retroactive benefit amounts were calculated based on the school's modality as of January 2021.


 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 were the amounts of P-EBT benefits determined?
 A.
P-EBT Issuance Parameters
P-EBT 1 - Spring 2020 A set amount per day that students would have received free or reduced-price meals, if not for the public health emergency.
P-EBT 2 - Fall 2020 A set amount per day that student would have received free- or reduced-price meals during the months of August and September, if not for the public health emergency.
P-EBT 3 - October 2020 through June 2021 The state's average amount of school days for each type of school modality (fully remote or hybrid) multiplied by the daily benefit amount of $6.82.

Other Questions:

 Q. My family needs food now, what can we do?
 A. Many schools and community locations are distributing meals to school-aged students now. To find locations in your area, text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 or visit your local school division 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 CommonHelp or by calling 1-855-635-4370. For information about other food assistance in your area, call 2-1-1.

 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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