Child Nutrition Programs » Pandemic-EBT Information & Application

Pandemic-EBT Information & Application

PEBT flowchart

Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) can help you purchase food if your children have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to school closures from COVID-related emergencies or school absences during the 2021-2022 school year.

P-EBT will work differently this year because of fewer COVID-related school closures and absences.

P-EBT eligibility* is determined by:

  • your school's participation in the National School Lunch Program
  • your student’s free or reduced-price school meal status
  • the days a school was closed due to COVID-19 or your student was remotely or virtually attending school due to an excused COVID-19 absence 

The P-EBT benefit is $7.10 per student per day.

*We would encourage you to contact your local school if you would like to apply for free or reduced-price meals. Applications for the 2021-2022 school year must be submitted online with your school or postmarked by May 6, 2022. Utahns Against Hunger has a tool for contacting your school.

Click here for a list of qualified schools.

Haga clic aquí para obtener información en español

If an eligible student’s school closed during the 2021-2022 school year due to COVID-19, no application is required. The student will automatically receive the P-EBT benefit for the days the school was closed.

 

If a student missed school due to an excused COVID-19 absence on a day when the school was not closed, an application to receive the P-EBT benefit for those days must be submitted to the school. Please contact your school for more information.

Anyone who received SNAP from September 2021 to the most current month of the school year and is eligible for P-EBT should check their EBT card balance. P-EBT benefits will be added to the SNAP EBT card. 

For non-SNAP households, if you qualify and had P-EBT previously, your benefits will be added to your existing P-EBT card. If you do not have this card, please see the FAQ section below for instructions on how to request a replacement card. If a new card is required, once you have been approved, you will receive a P-EBT card in the mail.

If a new card is required, you will need to activate your card before using it. You may use it to purchase food.

Follow the steps below when using your card:

  • Activate your card before shopping by selecting your PIN. You will receive instructions on how to set your PIN for your card.
  • Download the connectebt mobile app or make yourself familiar with the website connectebt.com
  • Before you shop, always check your balance.
  • At the store, choose EBT on card reader machine and swipe your card.
  • Enter your PIN on the keypad. The machine will show ****.
  • Press the OK or ENTER key.
  • The cashier will enter the purchase amount, which will then be displayed on the card reader machine.
  • If the amount is correct, press the YES key.
  • The cashier will hand you your receipt. Please make sure the information on the receipt is correct.
  • Keep this receipt so you will know your new balance the next time you shop.

P-EBT cards can be used like debit cards at most stores that sell food. You can see a list of approved stores in your area by entering your zip code into the retailer locator.  

Below is a list of items you can and cannot purchase.

You CAN buy unprepared foods such as:

  • Bread and cereals
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meats, fish, and poultry
  • Dairy products 
  • Plants and seeds to grow food  

You CANNOT buy items such as:

  • Prepared foods, i.e., hot foods and foods that can be eaten in the store
  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
  • Non-food items, i.e., pet food, soap, paper products, cleaning supplies
  • Vitamins and medicines
  • Personal hygiene items, i.e., shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, cosmetics

Save your P-EBT card in the event that you receive additional P-EBT funds.

The Summer P-EBT program for 2022 is not yet approved. Please watch this website for more information in the future.

Any student that was eligible for free or reduced-price meals and received a notification letter from their school district for school year 2021-22 (breakfast and/or lunch) may receive a P-EBT payment if: 

their school was closed, which caused the student to lose access to school meals

or 

the student(s) had a COVID-19 related emergency or excused absence during the 2021-2022 school year. 

Currently, Utah schools are participating in the National School Lunch Program under the Seamless Summer Option and are not charging any students for a meal. This does not mean your household qualifies as free or reduced-price meal eligible. 

An application for P-EBT is not required if your school had a closure due to COVID-19, however you must be signed up and receive a letter notifying you of your eligible status for free or reduced-price school meals to participate in P-EBT. We encourage you to contact your local school if you would like to apply for free or reduced-price meals. 

  • The deadline to apply for free or reduced-price school lunch is May 6, 2022. Applications for free or reduced-price school lunch must be received by your school online or postmarked by this date to be processed. Utahns Against Hunger has a tool for contacting your school. 

If your student's school did not close, or your student was absent at a different time due to COVID-19 then an application will need to be submitted to your student’s school.

The daily rate for P-EBT is $7.10 for each eligible student. 

For example, if your student is eligible and your school was closed for 5 days, you would receive $35.50 per student to cover those 5 days. This amount will be paid automatically.

If your student is eligible and was absent for 3 days due to COVID-19 at a different time than the school closure, you would receive $21.30 per student. This amount would require a parent application because it occurred at a time when the school was not closed. 

P-EBT benefits will be issued on an EBT card, similar to a debit card. If you already have a SNAP EBT card and qualify for P-EBT benefits, the money will be automatically added to your card. 

Please see the “How do I use the P-EBT card” section above for instructions on how to use your card.

P-EBT benefits will begin to be distributed in June 2022. Schools and districts will request their P-EBT payments at different times. Please check with your school for more information on when you might receive your benefits. You may also check your card for P-EBT benefits.

The P-EBT benefits are only for the 2021-2022 school year. We would encourage you to contact your local school if you would like to apply for free or reduced-price meals and to discuss the time period you are eligible for. Utahns Against Hunger has a tool for contacting your school.

The P-EBT card can be used at any retail food store that accepts SNAP EBT cards. Utah has more than 1,400 approved retailers that can accept and process SNAP purchases with an EBT card. These retailers range from supermarkets to convenience stores and farmer’s markets. You can see a list of approved stores in your area by entering your zip code into the retailer locator.

Yes, participating in the P-EBT program does not impact your child(ren)’s summer meal program or any future free or reduced-price meal eligibility.

No, the use of these benefits does not impact your or your child(ren)’s immigration status. The public charge test will not consider P-EBT benefits.

 

You must use these benefits within 274 days of when they are issued.

Please make sure that your correct mailing address is listed with your school for each of your students. If you need to change the address associated with your P-EBT card please refer to the section below and include the requested information in your contact email.

You can contact your school for eligibility questions including: 

  • Has my school submitted their request for P-EBT payments?
  • Was my child included in the request? 
  • Was my child eligible for P-EBT?

 

If you need to replace your P-EBT card, are having trouble setting up your PIN, or need to update your mailing address:

  • Send an email to [email protected] with the following information:
    • Subject Line: PEBT Card Issues 
    • Body of the email: 
      • Description of your issue 
      • Full name for all children 
      • Birthdates for all children 
      • State Student ID (SSID) numbers for each child (this is not required but is most accurate to locate accounts; do not submit your child’s’ school lunch number.)
      • Your full mailing address including any apartment, lot, unit numbers and zip  code 
      • Your name as it is listed with the school  
      • Your contact information

If I can’t find my answer in this FAQ who can I contact?

You can send an email with your inquiry at [email protected]

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