What is P-EBT?


P-EBT is a benefit for households to buy food to make up for the missed school meals while students were learning from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic from March-June. Since 2017, every single NYC public school student can get free breakfast and lunch through the federal school meal program. Since P-EBT is linked to this program, this means every single NYC public school student will get P-EBT to make up for missed school meals.




Do we need to apply or register for P-EBT?


No. P-EBT is an automatic food benefit. You do not need to apply or register.




When and how will I get P-EBT?


All NYC public school students will receive the $420 P-EBT food benefit. When and how you receive P-EBT depends on the student’s age and their current enrollment in public benefits.




For students ages 5-18 who are linked to households enrolled in SNAP (food stamps) or public assistance as of March 2020:


The P-EBT benefit will be added to existing EBT card in two payments, with the first payment expected towards the end of May and second payment towards the end of June.




For students ages 5-18 enrolled in Medicaid (but not SNAP or public assistance) as of March 2020:


The P-EBT benefit will be directly added to existing Medicaid card (also known as the Benefit Identification Card) in one payment by July. A letter will be mailed to your home with instructions to activate a PIN number.




For students NOT enrolled in SNAP, public assistance, or Medicaid as of March 2020:


A new card for P-EBT will be mailed to each student with the full $420 benefit. Some families in this group may receive the mailing as soon as late August while most are expected to receive the mailing in September or October.




For all students under age 5 and over age 18:


A new card for P-EBT will be mailed to each student with the full $420 benefit. Some families in this group may receive the mailing as soon as late August while most are expected to receive the mailing in September or October.




What if I have more than one student?


In New York State, the amount is $420 per student. If you have three (3) NYC public school students in your household, your automatic benefit is $420 per each student. There are no limits or exceptions.




What if I have more than one child, in different NYC public schools?


While the timeline may vary, you will receive $420 per each student. How and when you receive the benefit for each student may vary based on their age and the existing public benefits. ***See " When and how will we get P-EBT?" for details.***




Does my or my child’s immigration status affect whether we get P-EBT?


No. All NYC public school students will get P-EBT regardless of immigration status. No application and no documentation is needed. Benefits are issued automatically.




Does P-EBT affect my or my child’s immigration status?


No. P-EBT does not affect immigration status or public charge status. No application and no documentation is needed. Benefits are issued automatically. All NYC public school students will receive P-EBT regardless of immigration status.




Do students in charter and parochial schools receive P-EBT?


If a charter or parochial school provides free and reduced-price meals through the federal school lunch program, your child may receive the P-EBT food benefit. The school administration can confirm if the school participates in the federal free or reduced-priced school lunch program.




Do students in foster care get P-EBT?


Students in foster care enrolled in a NYC public school will receive P-EBT food benefits. All students receiving free or reduced-price school lunch will receive P-EBT food benefits, including those in foster care.




Do homeschooled students get P-EBT?


Households with homeschooled students do not usually receive free or reduced-priced school lunch and therefore may not be eligible for P-EBT food benefits.




Can my child get P-EBT if they don’t get SNAP (food stamps), public assistance, or Medicaid?


Yes. NYC public schools provide free school meals for all students, regardless of current benefits. P-EBT is linked to the school meal program. This means every single public school student will get the P-EBT food benefit.




What period does the P-EBT benefit cover?


P-EBT is a benefit for families to buy food while students were learning from home during the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. The current $420 P-EBT benefit covers the 74 days that schools were closed in New York, March 16-June 25. The $420 benefit amount does not change regardless of when you receive it.




Are P-EBT benefits taxed?


No.




Does P-EBT cover summer school meals?


No. The current $420 P-EBT benefit covers the 74 days that schools were closed in New York, March 16-June 25. We recommend you hold on to the card even after you spend the $420 P-EBT benefits, in case the benefit is extended for summer or fall.




Where are new P-EBT cards mailed?


New cards with the P-EBT food benefit will be mailed to the most recent address the NYC Department of Education has on file for your student. You will receive instructions by mail on how to set up a PIN number for the new card.




Can we get P-EBT if my child attends school outside of NYC, such as in Westchester or Long Island?


Maybe. P-EBT is a program administered by the state and linked to the federal school meal program. Students throughout New York State may get P-EBT if their school participates in the federal free or reduced-price school lunch program. NYC public schools provide free school meals to all students, this means that every single public school student will receive P-EBT




What if we didn’t fill out a “lunch form”?


If your child attends a NYC public school, they will receive the P-EBT benefit even if you didn’t complete the Income Inquiry form at the beginning of the year. When in school, every single NYC public school student can get free lunch through the federal school meal program. P-EBT is linked to the school meal program. This means every single NYC public school student will get the P-EBT food benefit.




What if my kids didn't eat breakfast or lunch at school before schools closed?


If your child attends a NYC public school, they will receive the P-EBT benefit even if they didn't eat school meals when in school. When in school, every single NYC public school student can get free lunch through the federal school meal program. P-EBT is linked to the school meal program. This means every single NYC public school student will get the P-EBT food benefit.




Why isn’t the money dispensed at the same time?


P-EBT is administered by New York State. The State already has information for students who get public benefits (ages 5-18 enrolled in SNAP, public assistance, and Medicaid) and can put the P-EBT benefit directly on existing cards pretty quickly. For students who do not currently get public benefits, and students under age 5 and over age 18, the State needs to rely on information they get from schools to be able to mail new cards. This process takes more time.




How long do we have to spend the $420 P-EBT food benefit?


You have 12 months from the date issued to use your P-EBT benefit.




How do we use the P-EBT card?


The P-EBT card works like a debit card to purchase food items anywhere EBT benefits are accepted, including local retail food outlets, supermarkets, farmers markets, bodegas, and some online stores, such as ShopRite. You will receive a PIN number to input when using your card for P-EBT benefits.




What can P-EBT food benefits be used for?


P-EBT food benefits can be used to purchase fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, bread, and dairy products. More information on eligible food items can be found here.




Who do I contact if I have questions or need help with P-EBT?


New York State is administering P-EBT. If you have questions about P-EBT, call the P-EBT Food Benefits Helpline: 1-833-452-0096 or email: otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov. NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) is not able to assist with P-EBT questions, even if you have an existing SNAP case with HRA.




How do I check our P-EBT food benefits balance?


Visit www.connectebt.com or call 1-888-328-6399.




Does P-EBT affect any current or future benefits?


No. P-EBT is a benefit for families to buy food while students were learning from home during spring 2020. P-EBT is separate from all other benefits, and will not affect current or future eligibility or amounts of any other benefits.




Can we still get free grab-and-go meals from schools and/or free food delivery?


Yes. All NYC children and adults can still pick up free meals from school meal hubs. Those unable to leave home due to COVID-19 can still receive meals through NYC free food delivery.




Will we get P-EBT faster if we apply for SNAP, public assistance, or Medicaid now?


No. Distribution of P-EBT benefits are based on benefit status as of March 2020., If your child was not already linked to a public benefits account in March, you will most likely receive a separate card for P-EBT around July or August. If you think your family may be eligible to get SNAP (food stamp) benefits, public assistance, or Medicaid, you can find more information and how to apply through ACCESS NYC.




Do students over age 18 get P-EBT?


Students up to age 21 who attend NYC public schools will receive P-EBT. This includes students with disabilities and students in alternative programs. It does not include college students.




Do students graduating in the 2019-2020 school year get P-EBT?


Yes. Any student enrolled in school during March 16-June 25, when schools closed due to the pandemic, will receive the $420 benefit for this period.




Do students in college get P-EBT?


No. P-EBT is linked to the federal school meal program, which is not available in college. If you are a CUNY college student we recommend you contact your CUNY campus food pantry.




Do students under age 5 get P-EBT?


Students under age 5 who attend NYC public schools will receive P-EBT food benefits, including students in Pre-K and 3-K. The school’s administration should be able to tell you if the school participates in the federal free or reduced-priced school lunch program. Some early child care programs, including programs funded or sponsored by the NYC Department of Education, offer food through a federal food program called the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). P-EBT is linked to the federal school lunch program, and is not linked to CACFP at this time.




Does P-EBT affect the amount of SNAP or other benefits my family receives?


No. The P-EBT food benefit is independent of all other benefits. P-EBT does not affect current or future benefits, including increased SNAP benefits during the pandemic.




Does P-EBT affect our current or future eligibility for SNAP or other benefits?


No. P-EBT does not impact your current or future eligibility for SNAP or any other public benefits.




For those who will receive P-EBT on a Medicaid card, whose card will the P-EBT benefits go on?


P-EBT food benefits will go on the Medicaid Common Benefit Identification Card (CBIC) of the head of household. If the head of household does not have Medicaid, P-EBT benefits will go on the CBIC of the oldest child in your household with Medicaid. You will get instructions by mail for how to set up a PIN number for the card so that you can use the P-EBT food benefits. Please note: The CBIC is different from the card issued by the health insurance company.




How can I get a replacement Medicaid card?


Call the P-EBT Food Benefits Helpline: 1-833-452-0096 to request a replacement card.




Our family doesn’t need money for food at the moment. What should we do with the P-EBT food benefit?


Everyone who receives P-EBT should use it. P-EBT is non-transferable and non-refundable. Using your P-EBT is good for the local economy. After you have used your P-EBT, you may choose to donate money to support food distribution efforts throughout NYC. See here for more information.





P-EBT Frequently Asked Questions

Food Benefits for All NYC Public School Students 
 
Location

Community Food Advocates

110 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

info@foodadvocates.org

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