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PANDEMIC ELECTRONIC BENEFIT TRANSFER (P-EBT)
Delaware's P-EBT Program provides food assistance to families with children who lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to school closures or reduced in-person attendance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The P-EBT Program was implemented as a result of the federal public health emergency declaration for COVID-19 and may continue until the federal public health emergency ends.
Families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits as well as families who do not receive SNAP may participate in the P-EBT Program if they have eligible children in their households.
Families can use their P-EBT benefits to buy eligible food items at stores and farmer's markets that accept SNAP EBT to help feed their children while schools are closed or have reduced in-person attendance.
P-EBT benefits for school year 2021-2022 will be issued beginning in March 2022.
Children enrolled in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade at a Delaware school are eligible for P-EBT if they meet the following two conditions:
Families are eligible to receive P-EBT benefits for each child in their household who qualifies for the P-EBT Program based on these two conditions.
Each month, Delaware schools report to the Division of Social Services the students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals and the number of COVID-related absent days or virtual school days for each student. The Division of Social Services uses this P-EBT eligibility information to issue benefits.
Families do NOT need to apply for P-EBT benefits. Eligible families are automatically enrolled in the P-EBT Program and will be notified by mail. Families will receive detailed information on the P-EBT Program and how to use P-EBT benefits to purchase food.
Households will receive $7.10 for each school day that their child did not receive meals at school because the school was closed or the child had an excused absence or attended school virtually due to a COVID-related reason.
The P-EBT benefit amount equals the federal reimbursement rate for breakfast, lunch, and a snack of $7.10 per child per eligible school day. Households will receive P-EBT benefits for all eligible children in their home in monthly issuances. Household will NOT receive P-EBT for the days that their children attended school in-person and received meals at school or for absent days that are not due to COVID.P-EBT monthly benefit calculation:
$7.10 x Number of COVID-related absent days and/or virtual school days = Monthly P-EBT benefit amount
Children attending a fully virtual school program:
An eligible child who is attending a fully virtual school program will receive a standard P-EBT benefit amount of $127.80 each month that the child attends school virtually for the full month. The benefit amount equals $7.10 x 18 school days per month.
Schools that are unable to track COVID-related absences:
Some Delaware schools are unable to track COVID-related absences in their attendance systems. If a child attends a school that is unable to track COVID-related absences, the child will receive P-EBT benefits for the excused absences of 5 or more consecutive school days. The households would need to contact the child's school to report COVID-related absences of 1-4 school days. This only applies to the following schools and districts:
The Division of Social Services will issue P-EBT benefits for the 2021-2022 school year based on each child's school attendance record, so benefit amounts will vary by child and month.
DSS will begin issuing benefits for the 2021-2022 school year in March 2022.
|P-EBT Benefit Month|
Date benefits will be loaded to EBT cards
|August 2021 & September 2021||March 4, 2022|
|October 2021 & November 2021||April 8, 2022|
|December 2021 & January 2022||May 6, 2022|
|February 2022 & March 2022||June 3, 2022|
|April 2022 & May 2022||July 1, 2022|
|June 2022||July 15, 2022|
The dates that benefits will be issued to individual households depend on when the Division of Social Services receives eligibility and attendance data from each school.
Some households may experience a delay in receiving benefits, and benefits may become available within 2 or more weeks from the monthly issuance date.
P-EBT benefits will automatically be loaded onto SNAP EBT cards and P-EBT cards. The P-EBT benefits for all eligible children in a household will be loaded to EBT and P-EBT card in monthly installments (see the Monthly P-EBT Benefit Schedule).
SNAP EBT and P-EBT cards operate like a debit card. You can purchase SNAP eligible foods at stores and farmer's markets authorized to accept SNAP EBT. Select EBT, swipe your card, and then enter your private PIN.
FAMILIES WHO DO NOT WISH TO PARTICIPATE IN THE P-EBT PROGRAM SHOULD IMMEDIATELY DESTROY THEIR P-EBT CARD THAT WAS MAILED TO THEM BY CUTTING UP THE CARD AND SECURELY DISPOSING OF IT.
P-EBT benefits are non-transferable and will expire in 365 days. It is illegal to buy, sell, or trade and EBT card or benefits.
Go to www.ConnectEBT.com or call 1-800-526-9099 for questions about EBT card balances, PINS, or replacement cards.
Click here for a list of foods you can buy with P-EBT benefits.
Click here to find a store near you that accepts SNAP EBT and P-EBT cards.
Click here for the latest Division of Social Services COVID-19 program updates.
DELAWARE'S P-EBT PROGRAM
Please contact the Division of Social Services at 1-866-843-7212 if you have questions about Delaware's P-EBT Program.
DELAWARE'S SCHOOL NUTRITION PROGRAM
Please contact the Nutrition Department for your child's school district, charter school, or private school for information on how to apply for free or reduced-price school meals. You may be able to apply online by going to your school district's website. Families will need to meet certain eligibility criteria to participate in the School Nutrition Program.
Click here and select School Nutrition Sponsor Contacts to find out if your school participates in the School Nutrition Program and offers free or reduced-price meals.
General questions related to eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE NOTE: If your child attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school where all students receive free meals, you no NOT need to apply for free or reduced-price school meals. All students at CEP schools are automatically eligible for P-EBT benefits. Click here for a list of Delaware's CEP schools.