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DCF Program Updates

Florida’s Pandemic-EBT Program

In collaboration with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Department of Education

P-EBT 2020-2021
Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is P-EBT?
    Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) is a supplemental benefit for households with students who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to pandemic-related school closures or distance learning.

  2. Who is eligible for P-EBT?
    A student is eligible for the 2020-2021 P-EBT benefits if the following conditions are met:

    • The student attends a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program and the school was closed or operating with reduced hours or attendance for at least 5 consecutive days due to COVID-19.

    AND

    • The student did not have access to free or reduced-price meals because they are participating in distance learning.

    AND

    • Meet one of the following conditions:
      1. The student receives SNAP (food assistance), TANF (temporary cash assistance) or Medicaid (Directly Certified by FDACS for the NSLP), or
      2. The student is enrolled in a school that provides free lunch to all students as a Community Eligibility Provision school or a school operating under Provisions 2 or 3, or
      3. The student is determined eligible for the National School Lunch program by the school district through an application.

    Please note, students receiving SNAP, TANF, or Medicaid but who do not attend school or attend a school that does not participate in the National School Lunch Program are not eligible for P-EBT, including Florida Virtual School (FLVS).

  3. What is distance learning?
    Distance learning or innovative learning is the process in which a student participates in school outside of the traditional on-campus instruction as a response to the public health emergency. For example: Leon County refers to their distance learning program as a “digital academy”.

  4. How do I know if my child attends a Community Eligible Provision (CEP) school or if the school operates under Provision 2 or 3?
    View the list of Florida schools that participate in the National School Lunch program
    here: https://www.myflfamilies.com/pebt
    These schools are identified with a ‘yes’ in the CEP or Provision 2 or 3 columns

  5. Is the student eligible for P-EBT if they attend Florida Virtual School (FLVS)?
    No, FLVS does not participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

  6. When and how will I receive my P-EBT benefit?
    For households receiving SNAP benefits, the additional benefits will be added to their existing EBT cards. For Medicaid and/or TANF recipients with a student receiving free and reduced-price school meals and participating in distance learning, the P-EBT benefit card will be automatically mailed to the address on your Medicaid and/or TANF file. No further action is required on your part to receive P-EBT benefits.

    Households not currently receiving SNAP benefits will receive a new P-EBT card in the mail with benefits automatically loaded and a personal identification number (PIN) with set up instructions. The new P-EBT card will be mailed to the address on file with your student’s school district. No further action is required on your part to receive P-EBT benefits.

    Keep your P-EBT card. It will automatically be re-loaded when additional benefits are issued.

    If you received a P-EBT card in 2020, this card will not be re-loaded with additional benefits. If your child meets the eligibility criteria for the 2020-2021 school year listed above and you are not a SNAP recipient, a new EBT card will be mailed to you.

  7. What benefit amount will I receive?
    Students will be issued benefits equal to the daily federal reimbursement rate for a breakfast, lunch, and snack for school year 2020-2021 as specified by USDA. The benefit in Florida, which is $6.82 per student, is multiplied by the number of school days that each student was enrolled in distance learning (as determined by the local school district) and did not have access to free or reduced-price meals.

    P-EBT benefits will be provided retroactively to identify the number of days a student participated in distance learning. This process will ensure families are provided the full and accurate P-EBT benefit amount.

  8. How do I know when my P-EBT benefit has been added to my EBT card?
    For current SNAP recipients, the P-EBT benefit amount issued will be listed in your account separate from your regular SNAP benefits in the self-service portal at: https://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/

  9. What if I have a school age student who was receiving free and reduced-price school meals and did not receive the P-EBT benefit?
    You may call 1-833-311-0321 if you have questions about your student’s P-EBT benefit.

    We are working quickly to issue benefits. If you have not received your P-EBT benefit by June 1, or your student has been determined not eligible for the P-EBT benefit or you think you received an incorrect amount of P-EBT, you can complete the online form to request a review of your student’s eligibility.

  10. How often will I receive P-EBT?
    Benefits will be issued retroactively for the following periods:

    August 2020 - December 2020 – issued in late April/ May 2021

    January 2021 - March 2021 – issued in June 2021

    April 2021 - June 2021 – issued in August 2021

  11. What can I purchase with P-EBT benefits?
    Households can use P-EBT benefits to buy breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy, and plants and seeds to grow food for your household to eat. Households cannot use P-EBT benefits to buy nonfood items such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, household supplies, grooming items, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, vitamins, medicines, food to eat in the store, or hot foods.

  12. What retailers accept P-EBT?
    P-EBT benefits can be used to purchase food items at retailers displaying a Quest or SNAP logo/signage. To find the closest retailer where you can use your benefits, download the free ebtEDGE mobile app at https://www.fisglobal.com/ebtedgemobile

    SNAP recipients may purchase groceries online with the use of an EBT card. As of April 2021, participating retailers include Walmart, Amazon, ALDI, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Publix.

  13. When will my P-EBT benefits expire?
    Pursuant to federal guidance, current P-EBT benefit funding will expire when activity on the card is inactive for 365 days (12 months). Beginning in October 2021, benefits will expire after 274 days (9 months). If benefits are added to your current EBT card, the P-EBT benefits will be used first.

  14. What benefit amount will an eligible student receive?
    Eligible students will receive $6.82 per school day for days they are enrolled in distance learning.

  15. What if we recently moved, how and where do we update our address to receive P-EBT?
    If you are already receiving SNAP,TANF and Medicaid benefits, the quickest way to make changes or check the status of your benefits is to use the Self-Service Portal, at https://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/ which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  16. What if I have a school age student who was receiving free and reduced-price school meals and did not receive the P-EBT benefit?
    Please allow the state to fully issue all P-EBT benefits before inquiring about your benefit status. Please wait until May 14 before contacting the Department or to request a review. More information will be forthcoming, for the most up to date information on the 2020-2021 P-EBT program, visit: myflfamilies.com/pebt.

  17. What if a student resides in multiple residences?
    If you currently receive SNAP, TANF, or Medicaid and have a student receiving free and reduced-price school meals, the P-EBT benefit will be mailed to the address on file with the Department of Children and Families.

    If you are not receiving SNAP, TANF, or Medicaid, but you have a student who is eligible for the free and reduced-price school meal program and is enrolled in distance learning, the P-EBT benefit will be mailed to the address on file with the school district. The P-EBT benefit will be issued to the parent or guardian of the student at the mailing address on file in the student’s school district.

  18. What if I received a P-EBT card and do not need this benefit?
    P-EBT benefit cards should be destroyed if not needed. P-EBT benefits cannot be donated or transferred to anyone else. The benefit is for the eligible student only and can only be used for the student and their household.

  19. What will the new P-EBT card look like?
    The card will be in a plain, white envelope with a South Dakota return address.

    Front of the card
    Sample of PEBT card front

    Back of the card
    Sample of PEBT card back

  20. How do I request a replacement card?
    If you have received a P-EBT card and need to replace it, you can call 1-888-356-3281 to report your P-EBT card as lost, stolen, damaged, or if you did not receive your P-EBT card. Please note, if you have already scanned the QR code on the card carrier and downloaded the EBT APP, your P-EBT card can be reported as lost, stolen, or damaged through the app.

  21. Why did I receive one P-EBT card when I have more than one child?
    If we are able to match a student to an existing SNAP account, then the benefit will be deposited into the existing SNAP account. If not, DCF will attempt to match to a Medicaid account, then we will attempt to group the children based on the household as available. Otherwise we will distribute the P-EBT benefits via one card per child.


  22. For the most up to date information on the 2020-2021 P-EBT program, visit: myflfamilies.com/pebt

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