Households participating in SNAP that include children under the age of six may be eligible to receive automatic P-EBT benefits, which can be used like SNAP benefits to purchase groceries. Eligibility does not depend on the children being enrolled in child care. However, the household must live in an area where schools are closed, operating virtually, or operating reduced days or hours due to COVID-19 for at least five days in a row. The exact monthly benefit per child will vary depending on school operating status. States may utilize child care operating data instead of school data, but benefit levels are likely to mirror benefits for children in local schools. While states still need to opt in and submit detailed plans, households are generally not expected to apply or take action to receive benefits. Child care providers should not need to take any action, either.
This FAQ was updated on May 11, 2021 to reflect new guidance on the availability of P-EBT benefits through Summer 2021.
- What is Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)?
- When and how did P-EBT start?
- Has P-EBT continued or changed since September 2020?
- Who administers P-EBT?
- How do state plans work for P-EBT for Children in Covered Child Care Facilities?
- Who exactly under the age of six is eligible for P-EBT?
- Does P-EBT for Children in Covered Child Care Facilities depend on child care enrollment?
- Do all children under age six in households that participate in SNAP automatically get P-EBT?
- What does it mean to be “in an area” where schools are closed, operating virtually, or operating reduced days or hours?
- Can child care operating data be used instead of school operating data?
- Do child care facilities have to take any action to help their enrolled children receive benefits?
- Do families have to take any action in order to receive benefits?
- How are benefit levels determined?
- When do benefits start? When can families expect to receive benefits?
- Are benefits retroactive?
- Will retroactive benefits or back benefits be issued all at the same time?
- How long will benefits last?
- How will benefits for summer 2021 work?
- Are the same children eligible for P-EBT benefits in summer 2021?
- When will we know more about P-EBT for Fall 2021 and beyond?
- Can families that receive P-EBT still receive meals for their child through their child care provider, local school, or other community organization?
- USDA guidance on P-EBT, including memo, Q&A resource, and state plan template: https://www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic/covid-19/ebt-state-plans-2020-2021