May 12, 2022 DHS to Offer P-EBT Benefits for 2021-22 School Year The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) helps families cover the cost of breakfasts and lunches their children would have been eligible to receive for free or at reduced price through the National School Lunch Program funding for meals missed while being out of school during the pandemic. The money on these cards can be used for food only. Once believed to be a short-term program, P-EBT has now transformed into a longer-term federal response to the national public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. About P-EBT Benefits In April 2022, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture approved Pennsylvania’s plan to provide P-EBT benefits to students for the 2021-22 school year. Beginning in mid to late June, eligible students will receive P-EBT benefits in several 10-day periods: the first stage will provide benefits for eligible students for the months of September 2021 through November 2021 the second stage will provide benefits for eligible students for the months of December 2021-February 2022 the third stage will provide benefits for eligible students for the months of March through May 2022 the final stage will provide benefits for eligible students for the months of June through August of 2022 The amount of benefits received for each child for each stage will vary based on the individual student’s circumstances. Benefits will be issued on existing EBT or P-EBT cards. Anyone who has not received P-EBT previously will get a card in the mail for each eligible child. The return address on the card’s envelope will be from Texas. Eligibility Children qualify for P-EBT if they receive meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and missed those meals because they were absent from the classroom due to COVID-19. Children are eligible for NSLP if they have an approved free or reduced-price status from a household application, are directly certified by receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or certain Medical Assistance benefits through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), or are enrolled in a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school. The PA Department of Human Services will work with schools to get the necessary information to determine which students are eligible. For more details, visit the PA Department of Human Services website.