• PANDEMIC EBT for 2021-2022

    Due to COVID-19, children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals will get extra food benefits. These food benefits are called P-EBT. P-EBT benefits help Washington families buy food when school are closed or have reduced in-person attendance.

    Who is eligible?
    Children are eligible for P-EBT benefits if:

    • Their school is closed or has reduced in-person attendance hours.
    • They are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.

    How do families apply?
    Great news: Families don’t have to apply for the P-EBT Program! If your child is eligible for free or reduced-price school meals, they may automatically qualify. Families should ensure their current mailing address is on file with the child’s school and are encouraged to fill out a school meal application if their child doesn’t get free or reduced-price meals already.

    How much will families get?
    Benefit amounts vary depending on the learning model of their child’s school for each given month. The monthly benefit amount will range from $25 to $123.

    What does the P-EBT card look like?
    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.

    When will P-EBT cards arrive?
    Eligible children should expect to receive a notice by late March, which will contain more information. The P-EBT card will be mailed separately in the following weeks.

    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 or Walmart. 

    Will families get a new P-EBT card each month?

    No. Families should keep each child’s P-EBT card. The first issuance will include benefits for the beginning of the 2020-21 school year through January 2021. Additional benefits may be issued to the card every two months through the end of the school year for as long as the COVID-19 public health emergency continues.

    Families are encouraged to participate in Grab-n-Go school meals even if they have P-EBT benefits.

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    March 1, 2021

    OLYMPIA — Many families in Washington state will soon have another round of food benefits available to them to help buy groceries. Called Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT, these food benefits are available to families with children who have been home from school due to COVID-19 closures or reduced hours and who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals through their school’s National School Lunch program.

    The Department of Social and Health Services recently received federal approval to implement a second round of P-EBT for the 2020–21 school year. The first round of benefits, distributed last summer, helped provide food security for nearly 400,000 Washington children. Families will begin receiving the second round of benefits in late-March and through the end of April.

    Families whose children already receive free or reduced-price meals do not need to apply for P-EBT. The benefits — ranging from $25 to $123 per child per month, depending on the learning model of the child’s school — will come loaded onto a special P-EBT card mailed automatically to each eligible child. The next round of P-EBT benefits covers September 2020 through January 2021. Future installments will be made directly to eligible children’s P-EBT cards, so families should keep all cards for any additional benefits.

    To ensure all eligible children receive the 2020–21 P-EBT benefits, families must complete the free and reduced-price meal program application through their school district, if they have not already, and make sure their current address is on file with the district.

    P-EBT benefits do not replace any Child Nutrition Program already offered, and families are encouraged to continue participating in grab-n-go meals or emergency food programs at their local schools and community locations, even if they receive P-EBT benefits.

    The Public Charge rule does not apply to P-EBT benefits and will not impact immigration status.

    Families who have questions about P-EBT benefits can go to dshs.wa.gov/PEBT or call the P-EBT Contact Center at 833–518–0282 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday (except observed holidays).