Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Program

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Program

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The Maryland Department of Human Services in conjunction with the Maryland State Department of Education has secured approval from the USDA on its joint submission to operate a Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Program.

P-EBT is intended to cover breakfast, lunch, and a snack for eligible children who would have received these meals at their school, for five days a week. The benefit for the 2020-2021 school year is valued at $6.82 per day for a full virtual month of enrollment or for a full hybrid month of enrollment.

What is P-EBT?

These benefits, called Pandemic-EBT, or P-EBT, are intended to help families in Maryland purchase food while schools are closed due to COVID-19.

P-EBT Issuance Overview

The P-EBT benefit amount for each eligible student is dependent on the learning model the student was in for each month of the school year 2020-2021.  The learning model is determined by the Local School System for each school in Maryland. Benefit amounts can differ from child to child.

P-EBT benefit amount is calculated for each month and is based on the majority of students’ experience in the school for the majority of each month. Students attending schools whose learning model is in-person, in which students are attending in-person for the majority of the month, are not eligible for P-EBT benefits for that month.

Maryland schools have opened safely and effectively. All local school systems were directed to open for in-person instruction by March 1, 2021.  Information on the reopening of Maryland schools can be found at Marylandpublicschools.org website.

How To Activate Your P-EBT Card

How do I activate the card?
Call the phone number 1800-997-2222 on the back of the card. You will need the 16 digit EBT card number on the front of the card, your zip code, and the date of birth of the eligible child listed on the card. When prompted to enter the last four digits of your Social Security Number, enter 0000. You will then need to set a four-digit pin number.

How do I use the card?
Once activated, the card can be used to purchase eligible food items anywhere SNAP/EBT cards are accepted. When making food purchases, you will need to use the PIN number you created when you first activated your P-EBT card. The card can be used in the point of sale device, just like a debit card, or can be handed to the cashier.

Who will get P-EBT?

Maryland Families who Do Not Receive SNAP Benefits
If your children are eligible to receive free and reduced priced meals at school or attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school, they are eligible for Pandemic – EBT benefits if they no longer have access to the school meals due to school closures resulting from COVID-19.

There is no need to apply. An eligible family will receive a confirmation letter and one P-EBT card for each eligible child.

Maryland Families who Currently Receive SNAP Benefits
If your child is eligible for free and reduced-priced meals at school, the child is eligible for the Pandemic-EBT Program if he or she no longer has access to the school meals due to school closures resulting from COVID-19.

There’s no need to apply. All eligible children will receive a P-EBT card. This includes SNAP recipients who previously received their P-EBT benefits on their EBT card. No P-EBT benefits will be issued on EBT cards.

Youth in Foster Care
Youth in foster care who are eligible to receive free and reduced-price meals at school or attend a CEP school are eligible for the Pandemic-EBT benefits. For those foster youth who receive SNAP benefits, they will be mailed a P-EBT card.

Foster youth who do not receive SNAP benefits will be mailed a P-EBT card.

Foster youth who do not receive SNAP benefits will receive a confirmation letter and a P-EBT card will be issued in their name and mailed before the end of June.

Children Under the Age of Six
Childcare Eligibility: Beginning October 1, 2020, P-EBT eligibility was expanded to include certain children under the age of six in households that received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit. Under this provision, your child who is on your SNAP case is eligible for P-EBT if:

  • the child lives in Baltimore City or a county in Maryland in which at least one school is closed or operating at reduced capacity due to COVID-19, or the child’s daycare facility is closed or is operating at reduced hours due to COVID-19.

How will families get P-EBT?

  • Students who are receiving SNAP benefits and are eligible for the P-EBT benefits will receive P-EBT cards. SNAP recipients who might have previously received their P-EBT benefits on their EBT card, will be mailed a P-EBT card. No P-EBT benefits will be issued on EBT cards.
  • SNAP children under 6 will be mailed a P-EBT card. P-EBT cards will be mailed by the end of June.
  • If your household does not receive SNAP benefits and your student is newly eligible for free and reduced meal programs or attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school you will be mailed a P-EBT card. P-EBT cards will be mailed by the end of June 2021.
  • Students who already received a P-EBT card will receive their P-EBT benefits on the same card.
Pandemic EBT Flyer
Pandemic EBT Flyer

When Will Families Get Their Benefits?

October,
November,
and December 2020
January and
February
March and
April
May and
June
July and
August
*Month Available: May 2021 June 2021 July 2021 August 2021 September 2021

*Benefits are issued at the end of the month

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Additional Resources

Apply for SNAP Benefits

Apply for the Free and Reduced Price Meals Program

Families who believe their child may be eligible should contact their school. The school will guide families through the application process.

Visit MDsummermeals.org to find sites serving “grab & go” meals for youth

For more information please call
the Maryland Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Hotline at
1-833-330-PEBT (1-833-330-7328).