Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

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P-EBT Latest News

Aug. 30, 2022: We've started processing and distributing Summer P-EBT benefits for children of all ages and will continue to do so over the next several weeks. If you need to confirm your child's eligibility, please call 833-518-0282.

 

Aug. 5, 2022: We’ve started processing and distributing P-EBT benefits for Children Under Age 6 and will continue to do so over the next several weeks. Be sure to sign up for text message alerts on the status of your child’s P-EBT by clicking the image above.

 

Aug. 1, 2022: We anticipated sending benefits for Children Under Age 6 beginning in July but we are delayed. Summer 2022 benefits may also be delayed. We do not have specific dates at this time. We are working on processing P-EBT benefits as quickly as possible. We thank you for your patience.

 

July 13, 2022:

On July 8, 2022, the USDA Food Nutrition Service approved Washington state to provide P-EBT benefits to children under age 6 as well as summer benefits for children under age 6 and school-aged  children. 

  • Benefits for Children Under Age 6 will start being deposited in late July 2022.
  • Benefits for Summer 2022 will start being deposited in August 2022.

Although we received approval for Children Under 6 and Summer P-EBT, we continue working with FNS for an approved plan to implement P-EBT for school-aged children for the 2021-22 school year.  

What is the P-EBT program?

Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT, is a program that provides food benefits to children who had limited onsite meals at their school or child care center due to the COVID-19 pandemic. P-EBT benefits have helped Washington families affected by these closures to buy food since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. FNS approved Washington state to provide P-EBT benefits in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years. As the pandemic evolved, so did P-EBT, and its requirements from FNS change with each year. To apply for P-EBT approval, DSHS collaborates with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to build a plan that serves families with benefits. P-EBT has three separate plans, which are as follows:
 

P-EBT for Children Under 6

Children may qualify for P-EBT if they:

  • Are under age 6.
  • Live in a household with an active Basic Food Assistance account between Sept. 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.

Note: Children under age 6 don’t need to participate in free or reduced-price school meals nor do they need to be enrolled in a school or a child care center to qualify for P-EBT.

Eligible children will receive a standard benefit of $43 for each month they reside in a household active on Basic Food from September 2021 – June 2022, up to a maximum of $430. Federal P-EBT guidance bases these benefits on the reduction of meal reimbursement rates reported by Washington to the Child and Adult Care Food Program. This data showed an overall 34% reduction of meals served in child and adult care centers when compared to the prior pandemic year of 2019, likely from closures and impacts due to COVID-19. 

 

Child Care P-EBT Calculations

Child Care Calculation Change in CACFP Lunch Claims Average Child Care Center Operating Days Monthly Months in the 2021-22 School Year Daily Meal Reimbursement Rate Average Monthly Benefit
Full Year Benefit 34% 18 10 $7.10 $43

 

Children in a household active for Basic Food but eligible for $0 in benefits are NOT eligible for P-EBT for children under age 6. If $0 benefit households are issued P-EBT benefits in error, they’ll receive a subsequent notice explaining that they aren’t eligible. Families are welcome to contact the P-EBT contact center for assistance with a case review.

Issuance:
Eligible children will receive approval letters beginning late July 2022 and newly eligible children will receive a P-EBT card shortly after. Benefits for children who qualified for P-EBT previously will be available on their existing P-EBT cards. This card is to be used in addition to your normal Quest EBT card. We intend to issue benefits for September through June 2022 in July 2022. 

Summer Benefits

Summer P-EBT will be provided to school age children and children under age 6. For each group, the eligibility will be as follows: 

Summer P-EBT for School Children
Students who were registered and enrolled in June 2022 in a Washington school that normally participates in the National School Lunch Program/School Breakfast Program and are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals will receive a one-time, lump-sum Summer P-EBT benefit of $391 ($7.10 daily meal reimbursement rate x 55 summer days). Newly eligible children will receive a new P-EBT card, and children who qualified for P-EBT will automatically be added to their existing P-EBT cards beginning August 2022

This includes students who graduated in June 2022. If your child doesn’t already receive free or reduced-price meals, contact your local school district to fill out a school meal application. Families must submit and be approved for  Free and Reduced-Price Meal Applications by Aug. 31, 2022 to receive P-EBT benefits for the Summer P-EBT.

Summer P-EBT for Children under 6 
Children under age 6 who are part of a household active on Basic Food anytime in June, July or August 2022 will receive a one-time, lump-sum Summer P-EBT benefit of $391. Benefits will automatically go onto existing P-EBT cards beginning August 2022. Newly eligible children will be mailed a new P-EBT card.
 
Families who aren’t active on Basic Food assistance are encouraged to apply for food assistance by completing an application online at Washington Connectionor calling the Customer Service Contact Center at 877-501-2233.Households newly approved for Basic Food will be automatically reviewed for P-EBT eligibility in September 2022.

P-EBT for Children in K-12 Schools

As of July 2022, Washington does not have an approved plan to provide P-EBT benefits for school-aged children in the 2021-22 school year.

Throughout the 2021-22 school year, Washington has worked with FNS to develop an approvable P-EBT plan for school-aged children. We are continuing our efforts and will provide additional information should a school plan be approved in the future. 

 

General P-EBT Information

P-EBT card imageEach child who qualifies for P-EBT benefits will receive an approval letter along with a designated P-EBT card. Watch the mail for a card that looks like this!

The P-EBT card is separate from and doesn’t replace a food or cash (Quest) EBT card.

How do families apply?

Great news: Families don’t have to apply for the P-EBT Program! If your child is determined eligible they may automatically qualify.

How are P-EBT benefits used?

P-EBT benefits can be used like a debit card to buy food in most grocery stores and farmers markets, or to buy food online at Amazon, Walmart and Safeway/Albertsons as well as the A&J Select Market in Stevenson, Washington. Families can also use their P-EBT to get double the amount of food at participating farmers markets. Learn more at DOH SNAP Market Match

What if I lost or misplaced my P-EBT card?

If your P-EBT card was lost, stolen or misplaced, call 833-518-0282 to request a replacement.Please Note: Replacement cards will be sent to the last known address on file. If your address has changed, please call the P-EBT Contact Center at 833-518-0282 to review and update your information. Cards may take 7-10 business days to arrive once they are sent and will need to be activated.

Should I keep my child’s P-EBT card after funds are used?

Yes! Additional benefits may be issued to the card for as long as the COVID-19 public health emergency continues and we receive federal approval to extend the program.

Who do I call for information?

For information on who to contact with questions on P-EBT, please review the table below. This information is also available in a downloadable version that can be printed and shared with families.

Department of Social and Health Services

P-EBT Contact Center

EBT Vendor

School District

Community Services Division Customer Service Contact Center

 Contracted with Accenture Staff

Fidelity National Information System (FIS)

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

1-877-501-2233

1-833-518-0282

1-888-328-9271

Use the OSPI Websites and Contact Information webpage for district information.

  • Apply for, report changes or renew Food and Cash programs (SNAP, ABD/ HEN Referral, TANF/WorkFirst, Refugee Assistance).
     
  • P-EBT eligibility is NOT available through the Customer Service Contact Center.
     
  • DSHS Customer Service Contact Center and Community Services Offices cannot issue or mail P-EBT cards or P-EBT replacement cards.
     
  • Families must apply for food benefits by Aug. 31, 2022 to be considered for Summer P-EBT.

P-EBT Contact Center is responsible for:

  • Reviewing P-EBT eligibility for children under age 6 and summer issuance.
     
  • Updating P-EBT address and requesting replacement P-EBT cards.
     
  • Reviewing notices for eligible P-EBT children and answering questions.
     
  • Case review and administrative hearing request for P-EBT eligibility.  

 

Text message updates make it easier than ever to stay on top of P-EBT benefits. To receive personalized text messages, visit https://www.textpebt.dshs.wa.gov/ to sign up for updates.

P-EBT: 

  • Activation of P-EBT card (create PIN).
  • Change PIN number.

P-EBT specific cards are issued under the child’s name and account, not the head of household’s name/information. 

 

Client will need the child’s:

  • Name.
  • Date of birth.
  • Address on file with the P-EBT Contact Center, including zip code.

 

For regular Food/SNAP or Cash EBT card information, the client will need:

  • EBT card number.
  • Head of household’s Social Security number.

Mailing address on file with DSHS.

FIS will not replace P-EBT cards.

Families should contact their local school district to fill out a school meal application if their child doesn’t already receive free or reduced-price meals.

 

Contact your district to:

  • Apply for Free or Reduced-Price Meals.
  • Find meal sites and locations.

 

Note: Free and Reduced-Price Meal Application collection processes vary by district. 

 

  • Students must have been enrolled in a participating school in June 2022 to be eligible for Summer P-EBT benefits.

 

Hours of operation: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday (except state holidays).

Interview hours:  8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Please have your Client ID or Social Security number available.

Hours of operation:  8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday (except state holidays). 

 

Hours of operation:  Sunday-Saturday, 24 hours a day.

Customers can PIN cards, order replacement cards (when address is correct) and make balance and transaction inquires using the Cardholder Portal (Login) at www.ebtEDGE.com or by using the ebtEDGE Mobile App.

Hours of operation:

See district website for details. Districts may have limited or reduced hours during the summer months.

 


Do I need to claim P-EBT benefits on my taxes?

 

No. P-EBT benefits are not taxable under the Federal Income Tax rules.

Do I need to pay back these benefits?

No. Children who receive P-EBT benefits don’t need to repay them.

Are P-EBT benefits subject to public charge rules?

No. P-EBT benefits are not subject to Public Charge rules.

How long will benefits stay on my card?

Benefits are automatically removed after 274 days of non-use and cannot be replaced. We encourage households to use the P-EBT benefits for your family and to help boost the local economy. If you receive multiple cards for multiple children, you are also encouraged to make at least one purchase on each card to prevent funds being expunged after 274 days. Benefits are not transferable and cannot be gifted or donated. If you wish to decline the benefits, you may destroy the card or return the card to the address on the back of the card.

 

Additional Resources

What Can SNAP Buy?

State Guidance on Coronavirus P-EBT | USDA Food and Nutrition Service (usda.gov)