SNAP COVID-19 Information

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OTDA Home Programs & Services SNAP SNAP COVID-19 Information P-EBT Food Benefits Information for SNAP or Temporary Assistance (Cash) Households with Eligible Children

SNAP & Temporary Assistance (Cash) Households with Children Eligible for P-EBT Food Benefits

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York State will issue P-EBT food benefits to all eligible children for the 2020-21 school year.

What are P-EBT food benefits?

P-EBT food benefits are being provided to families to help cover the cost of meals their children would have received at school if not for reduced in-person learning due to the pandemic.

P-EBT food benefits are not SNAP benefits. They can only be used to purchase the same food items that can be purchased with SNAP benefits. A list of food items that may be purchased with food benefits can be found at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items/.

Who is eligible for P-EBT food benefits?

All children who receive free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) are eligible for P-EBT food benefits if their school has been operating with reduced in-person attendance due to COVID-19 during the 2020-21 school year. This includes Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools and any private, prekindergarten, parochial and charter schools that participate in the NSLP.

How and when will my child receive their P-EBT food benefits?

Eligible children currently receiving SNAP or Temporary Assistance (cash) will have their P-EBT food benefits automatically issued to their household’s EBT card. You do not need to apply. You can check for your family’s P-EBT food benefit availability by visiting www.connectebt.com or by calling 1-888-328-6399 and checking the balance of your EBT SNAP account.

Eligible children will receive P-EBT food benefits for the 2020-2021 school year in two payments:

  • The first payment of P-EBT food benefits for each month between September 2020 and March 2021 that an eligible child qualified for food benefits will begin being issued to all eligible public school children beginning in June.
  • The second payment of P-EBT food benefits for each month between April and June 2021 that an eligible child qualified for food benefits will be issued to all eligible public school children after the first payments have been issued.
  • OTDA anticipates that benefits for the entire period of benefit eligibility (September 2020 through June 2021) will be issued to eligible non-public school children beginning in September 2021.

We will continue to update our website at otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19 as additional information on P-EBT food benefit distribution becomes available.

IMPORTANT: Please be sure to hold on to your EBT card in the event that additional P-EBT food benefits are issued to your child in the future.

How much will my child receive?

Eligible children will receive P-EBT food benefits based on the number of days their school was closed or operated with reduced in-person attendance due to COVID-19. There are two different amounts that an eligible child may receive:

  • Children whose schools reported that their in-person school attendance was reduced by 1 to 12 days during a month, will receive $82 in P-EBT food benefits for that month.
  • Children whose schools reported that their in-person school attendance was reduced for more than 12 days during a month, will receive $132 in P-EBT food benefits for that month.
  • Children whose schools reported that their in-person attendance was not reduced during a month due to COVID will not receive a benefit for that month.

Please note, the P-EBT food benefit amount that eligible children receive is based on the availability of monthly in-person school attendance information provided by schools and school districts.

Questions?

For answers to commonly asked P-EBT food benefit questions visit our website at otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19. You may also submit your questions in writing by visiting otda.ny.gov/PEBT-info and completing the P-EBT Information Form.

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