Food Access and Programs

NYS Pandemic EBT: New Benefit under COVID-19

T + T

Summary

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act created the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. In New York State, the P-EBT program provides a food supplement to cover the cost of meals children would otherwise have received at school.

  • For the 2019-20 school year, benefit amounts were based on the number of months in which schools were closed due to COVID-19.
  • For the 2020-2021 school year, benefit amounts were based on the number of days the school was closed, or that in-person attendance was reduced due to COVID-19.
  • On May 2022, summer P-EBT became available.

To qualify, households must have children who would be eligible to receive free and/or reduced-priced meals. Qualifying households do not apply for the P-EBT program, the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) administers the program and automatically issues benefits on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.

Summer P-EBT

New York State has distributed Pandemic EBT food benefits to all households with eligible children who receive free school lunch under the National School Lunch Act for summer benefits. Distribution began in May 2022 and eligible students received $375 in food benefits. For distribution information go https://otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19/.

Families who need assistance, including to replace a lost or stolen card, can submit this online P-EBT Information Form to OTDA.

Description of P-EBT

SUPPLEMENTAL BENEFITS FOR HOUSEHOLDS WITH SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN

P-EBT benefits are NOT SNAP benefits. They are a temporary food supplement benefit issued to households with school-aged children who would otherwise receive free or reduced-price meals, whether they are learning remotely or at school.

P-EBT food benefits can be used to purchase unprepared food at participating supermarkets and bodegas that accept EBT transactions. A detailed list of food items that may be purchased with the P-EBT benefits can be found at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items; this is the same list for households with SNAP benefits.

P-EBT food benefits remain available and accessible on the EBT card for up to one year from the date issued. Households in NYS may check their EBT balance by visiting https://www.connectebt.com or by calling 1-888-328-6399.

Households with questions about their P-EBT food benefits or those who have not received the P-EBT food benefit should complete and submit the P-EBT Contact Form.

BENEFIT AMOUNT

For the 2020-2021 school year, the P-EBT amount was based on the number of days the school was closed, or that in-person attendance was reduced due to COVID-19. For households with children in schools that reported that in-person attendance was not reduced during a month due to COVID, will not receive a benefit for that month.

Schools that reported in-person attendance was reduced by:

  • 1 to 12 days during a month, will receive $82 in P-EBT food benefits for that month.
  • More than 12 days during a month, will receive $132 in P-EBT food benefits for that month.
Note

The daily benefit amount is set at $6.82 and includes breakfast, lunch and a snack, which the child would have received had they been in-person.

All benefits have been distributed for the 2020-2021 school year. For more information go to https://otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19/.

Qualifying for P-EBT

Note

Families of non-public school students should contact the P-EBT Food Benefits Helpline: 1-833-452-0096 to learn if they are eligible.

  • Child must be enrolled in a public school, or non-public school, where free lunch is provided as part of the National School Lunch Program.
  • Child is eligible to receive free and/or reduced-priced meals. This includes:
    • All children attending Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools where all children attending public schools in the district received free or reduced-price school lunches.
    • Children who attend private, parochial and charter schools and who received free school lunches.
    • Three and four-year old children attending Universal Pre-Kindergarten and who received free school lunches.
    • Young adults ages 19 to 21 who are still in school and who received free school lunches.
    • Foster children who received free school lunches.
  • There are no immigration, income, resource, or employment criteria.
    • P-EBT is not counted as a public charge.

Applying for P-EBT

There is no application for the P-EBT program. The State will identify households and issue benefits automatically.

Additional Help

OTDA is providing a P-EBT helpline at 833-452-0096, available Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm, as well as contact via e-mail at otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov .

Professionals may also use the e-mail on behalf of clients; they should indicate “Advocate Inquiry” on the subject line to facilitate routing of the inquiry to expedite the response.

Source Materials