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Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT)

P-EBT Program Information & Updates

P-EBT Benefits for March through June 2020 in School Year 2019-2020

The District issued P-EBT benefits to 66,000 school children in 44,000 households for the School Year (SY) 2019-2020.  About 3,000 children eligible for SY2019-2020 could not be paid due to unavailability or inaccuracy of address information.  Of those, some children are expected to be paid retroactively based on the information updated recently by schools or through online web forms.  If you believe your child was eligible during the previous school year (SY 2019-2020), between March and June 2020, and has not received P-EBT benefits yet, please submit your information, including your contact information, through this web form

P-EBT Benefits for August and September 2020 in School Year 2020-2021

In September 2020, the DHS issued P-EBT benefits for the new school year to the children who were known to be eligible at that time and who already had existing EBT cards.  Unfortunately, some eligible children may not have been paid yet due to the time limit and challenges in the federal government's rules.  Since then, schools reported more children eligible for August and September P-EBT benefits. They can now be paid in March 2021 as the District has been authorized to issue P-EBT benefits retroactively.  Additionally, all eligible students in August and September 2020 will receive extra benefits due to an increase in the P-EBT benefit daily rate.  The P-EBT daily rate increased from $5.70 per school day per child in SY19-20 to $5.86 at the beginning of SY20-21 and further increased to $6.82, which can be retroactively applied to the beginning of the current school year.  Every student eligible in August and September 2020 will receive additional benefits of $0.96 multiplied by the number of school days during this period after P-EB benefits are issued at the daily rate of $5.86 per child.      

All P-EBT benefits will be issued to your existing EBT card if you are currently receiving SNAP benefits or received P-EBT benefits previously.  If you are new to the P-EBT program, you will receive a new EBT card when benefits for your child are issued.  Therefore, it is important to have an up-to-date address on file with your school or your SNAP case at the DHS.  If you lost your EBT card or have trouble activating your card, you may submit an online web form.

P-EBT Benefits for October 2020 and Remainder of School Year 2020-2021

Based on the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260) amended section 1101 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA, P.L. 116-127), the District can continue to issue P-EBT benefits to eligible school children in the current school year. 

Since October 2020, however, due to the complexity and changes in the federal policy and guidance, the District has not yet been able to issue ongoing P-EBT benefits. The Biden administration recently published new guidance allowing states to exercise more flexibility to issue ongoing P-EBT benefits to children and families in need. Based on this new guidance, the DHS is currently working to finalize the District’s plan to issue P-EBT benefits for October and the remainder of this school year. This website will be updated immediately once the District’s plan is approved. If your child is eligible to receive ongoing P-EBT benefits, we will mail you a notice when we issue your benefits.

Assistance with Benefits for Students with Confirmed Eligibility

District residents receiving confirmation that your child is eligible for P-EBT and are experiencing difficulty accessing benefits, please complete this online web form or click the link below, and we will work to resolve the issue.


New or replacement EBT cards may take up to four weeks to arrive via the US Postal Service. If you have not received your card after 30 days since receiveing a letter or robocall indicating that P-EBT benefits were issued, please complete an online web form for each child with your current address and contact information.

Once we review the issue submitted by you through this web form, we will either call you in person or issue a robocall in the following circumstances:

  • You received your EBT card and cannot activate the card.
  • You reported a lost or missing EBT card, and we confirm that you have accessed funds.
  • Your child is eligible for and has not received September P-EBT benefits. September 2020 benefits will be issued in March 2021 (a notice will be mailed upon benefits being issued).

District residents who have received September 2020 P-EBT benefits, and are waiting to receive benefits for October and the remaining months of school year 2020-2021, will not be contacted individually. Please check this website often to receive the most up-to-date information.

If you have moved recently, please submit an online web form to inform us of your current address and, contact your child’s school to update the address on file to ensure P-EBT benefits are received. 

We apologize for any delayed response to you and thank you for your patience.

Additional Information About P-EBT Benefits & Additional Food Resources

  • About the P-EBT Program

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is a federal program created under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020. The program provides food benefits to families with children who would have received free or reduced-price school meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) if not for the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. A child is eligible to receive P-EBT benefits if they: 

  • do not receive free or reduced-price meals at school because the school is closed; or, 
  • the school has been operating with reduced attendance or hours for at least five consecutive days. 

DHS, the District’s SNAP agency, is responsible for issuing P-EBT benefits to qualified households through EBT cards, in collaboration with Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to obtain student enrollment and NSLP information. 

P-EBT benefits are equivalent to the daily reimbursement for free breakfast and lunch, and P-EBT benefits issued for school year 2019-2020 were $5.70 per child, multiplied by the average number of days when school was canceled. The P-EBT daily benefit rate increased to $5.86 at the beginning of school year 2020-2021, and received an additional increase in February 2021 to $6.82 to include a snack benefit. The increased benefits can be applied retroactively to students eligible in August and September of school year 2020-2021.

P-EBT benefits are issued to EBT cards and benefits may be used to purchase food at stores that accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) or online at Amazon.

  • Qualifications & Eligibility

The District does not require a P-EBT application. To receive P-EBT benefits, a child should meet one of the following conditions: 

  • Submission of a FARM application to the child's school for the current school year and approval of the application has been received.
  • Attending a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school in low-income areas. View a list of eligible CEP schools in the District.
  • Receiving SNAP and TANF benefits, experiencing homelessness or residing in foster care.  

Please contact your child's school to verify their eligibility for P-EBT and the school lunch program. 

  • Receiving P-EBT

District residents who are currently participating in SNAP or have previously received P-EBT benefits, will receive P-EBT benefits on their existing EBT card. District residents new to the P-EBT program will receive a new EBT card when P-EBT benefits are issued for the first time.

Please complete and submit an online web form if your EBT card is lost or missing, or you are experiencing trouble activiating your EBT card. 

  • Frequently Asked Questions about P-EBT

Additional information about P-EBT benefits may be found in this helpful frequently asked questions (FAQs) and information updates.

  • Additional Food Resources in the District

For more information on food resources available in the District during the public health emergency, visit coronavirus.dc.gov/food or the food resources information page on the DHS website.

Your family may be eligible to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Information on how to apply to SNAP is available at https://dhs.dc.gov/snapinfo

To apply for SNAP and other public benefits available in the District, visit https://dhs.dc.gov/service/apply-benefits