P-EBT is a grocery benefit that covers the cost of school meals when your child misses school due to COVID closures or absences.
To be eligible for school year 2021-2022 Pandemic EBT, school-age students must meet all of the following criteria:
1. They must attend a school that was closed or had reduced attendance due to COVID-19 for 5 consecutive days
2. They must have been absent from school or attended remotely due to COVID-19. P-EBT benefits are only issued to students for the days school meals were missed due to COVID-19
3. They must be eligible for free or reduced price school meal benefits
To be eligible for school year 2021-2022 Pandemic EBT, children under age 6 must meet all of the following criteria:
1. They must have been under age 6 on September 1, 2021
2. They must have been receiving SNAP benefits in Maine in a given month (August 2021 through June 2022) to be eligible for P-EBT for that month
3. They cannot have received P-EBT as a school-age child for any month in the 2021-2022 school year
• Any student attending a Community Eligibility Provision or Special Provision II school are automatically eligible for free or reduced price school meal benefits. You can view a list of CEP and Special Provision II schools
• Students receiving SNAP or TANF benefits of at least $1 any month during the school year are automatically eligible for free or reduced price school meal benefits
• Students documented as being part of a family engaged in migrant agricultural work are automatically eligible for free or reduced price school meal benefits
• Students documented as experiencing homelessness are automatically eligible for free or reduced price school meal benefits
• Students in foster care through Maine’s DHHS are automatically eligible for free or reduced price school meal benefits
• Eligible students not meeting any of the conditions above should apply for school meal benefits using the online school meal benefit form
• School breakfast and lunch were served at no cost for all Maine students this past school year, but that does not mean that all students in Maine are eligible for P-EBT. P-EBT eligibility is determined by the criteria listed above
Eligible school-age children receive $7.10 per school day, or $35 per week, to cover the cost of school breakfast, lunch, and snack when they miss school meals because of COVID.
Benefit amounts will vary from child to child based on their individual experiences such as a classroom quarantine or if a student was absent from school or attended remotely because they had COVID.
The average monthly benefit for children under 6 is about $33 but varies greatly from month to month.
To apply for P-EBT, families need to submit a school meal benefit form to their school to make sure their children qualify for P-EBT. Families can submit the form quickly and securely online.
Families may not have submitted a school meal application this year because schools are providing free meals to all students. But it’s not too late to fill out the form now, and it is important that families fill out the school meal benefit form to receive Pandemic EBT.
Children are automatically qualified for P-EBT if they receive SNAP or attend a school that offers meals at no cost to all students with the Community Eligibility Provision. Families in these situations do not need to submit a school meal application to qualify for P-EBT.
If you think your household might be eligible for SNAP, you can apply online at My Maine Connection. Quickly screen for SNAP eligibility using this online calculator.
Benefits are provided on an EBT card. This card works like a debit card and is used to purchase food at stores that accept EBT like grocery stores, corner stores and farmers markets. You can find a list of farmers markets that accept EBT.
If a child lives in a household that receives SNAP, P-EBT benefits are loaded onto their family’s SNAP card. Households can apply for SNAP online at My Maine Connection.
For children that do not live in a household receiving SNAP, an individual card is issued for each eligible child.
If a child received P-EBT before, benefits are loaded onto the same card previously provided. Lost or destroyed cards can be replaced. Report a lost card on the Maine EBT site or by calling 1-800-477-7428.
If a child is newly receiving P-EBT, a card will be mailed to the address on file with their school. Make sure your school has your updated mailing address!
P-EBT cards arrive in an unmarked white envelope, so be on the lookout and report lost cards on the Maine EBT site or by calling 1-800-477-7428.
This is what the P-EBT card will look like:
Call the number on the back of the P-EBT card. You will need to enter the child’s date of birth and the last four digits of their Social Security Number (SS#). If the child does not have a SS# you will need to enter 9999.
Once you have set up your pin for your child’s P-EBT card, you can check your balance by calling 1-800-477-7428 and logging into your account using your card number and pin.
P-EBT cards are issued for each eligible child not on SNAP. If your children were not on SNAP you will receive a P-EBT card for each eligible child.
P-EBT cards can take 14 days or longer to be delivered due to postal delays. If you have not received your card by July 6, 2022, you can contact the Maine Department of Health and Human Services at Farmington.DHHS@Maine.Gov.
No. Immigration status is not considered for Pandemic EBT eligibility and receiving P-EBT will not make you a public charge.
School-aged children were issued P-EBT for August through November 2021 on June 21, 2022. Benefits for school-aged children for the remainder of the school year were issued August 29, 2022. Benefits for children under 6 for school year 2021-2022 were issued on September 6th, 2022. Please remember it may take 14 days or longer to receive an EBT or P-EBT card due to postal delays.
Unlike previous years, each child’s benefit is uniquely calculated based on the number of days they missed school meals due to COVID-19. Children who had a different number of remote days or excused absences received a different benefit amount.
No. To qualify, school aged children must be enrolled in a school that offers meals through the USDA National School Lunch Program and be eligible for Free/Reduced price meal benefits through the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program. Households must submit a meal benefit application to establish free or reduced priced school meal benefit eligibility.
More information about Summer P-EBT coming soon.
Yes! Families can participate in P-EBT, summer meals, SNAP, and WIC – all these programs can work together to ensure families have the food they need right now. To find a summer meal site near you, check out Maine Hot Lunch Summer.
If your child is eligible for Free/Reduced price meal benefits through the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program, is enrolled in an eligible school, and missed school meals due to COVID-19, they are eligible for a benefit of $7.10 for each day missed. If you believe they did not receive the correct amount of P-EBT for August through November 2021, you can complete a P-EBT Reconciliation Application (PDF), and mail it to:
Department of Health and Human Services
Office for Family Independence
109 Capitol St.
Augusta, ME 04330-6841
or e-mail it to P-EBT.DHHS@Maine.gov.
Questions? Call 1-855-797-4357 ext 5 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday 8am-4:30pm or email P-EBT.DHHS@Maine.gov.