Pandemic EBT Program

group of young children eating lunch at a table

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program helps families with eligible children who are unable to access free or reduced-price meals at school due to COVID-19. P-EBT is a collaboration between the NC Department of Health and Human Services and the NC Department of Public Instruction. Click here to learn more about the P-EBT program. 

Who is eligible for Student P-EBT?  

For the 2021-22 school year, eligibility is based on the individual student’s attendance record. To be eligible, students must one or more days in quarantine or virtual instruction and students will only receive benefits for days when they had these COVID-19 related absences from school. Your child’s school will determine if their absence was related to COVID-19 and record that in their attendance record. CLICK HERE to learn more about what is considered a “COVID-19 related absence.”

To help determine if your child is eligible, use the Student P-EBT Eligibility Flowchart in English and Spanish

Who is eligible for Child Care P-EBT? 

Children who are 5 years old or younger and a part of an active FNS case. To determine if your child is eligible, use the Child Care P-EBT Eligibility Flowchart in English or Spanish. 

How can I apply?  

Families do not need to apply for P-EBT. Benefits will be administered automatically. 

How will I get my benefits?  

Letters notifying of eligibility will be mailed to you the first month your child is determined eligible for P-EBT benefits. Households that have received benefits in the past should keep their existing card. If a household receives FNS, P-EBT benefits will be put on their FNS EBT card.

Benefits for students who have NOT gotten P-EBT before and who do NOT receive FNS will get their benefits on a new card that will arrive in the mail 1-2 weeks after P-EBT issuance.

The P-EBT card functions like a standard EBT card, and the same guidelines apply. The P-EBT card can be used to purchase food items at EBT authorized food and grocery retailers, including most major grocery stores. 

CLICK HERE to learn more.

Other Frequently Asked Questions 

How much will I receive in P-EBT benefits?

Benefit amounts are determined by school attendance records reported by the child’s school. The benefit amount will be $7.10 for each day the student experienced a COVID-19 related absence. CLICK HERE to learn more. 

How do I activate my P-EBT card?
  1. Visit Click on “More Information” under EBT Cardholder. You will be prompted to login and/or register your account.
  2. Download the ebtEDGE mobile app. The app is available on Apple Store and Google Play.
  3. Call 1-888-622-7328 and follow the prompts to activate your card and select a PIN.

For more frequently asked questions, visit NCDHHS

Need more information?

If you didn’t find what you need on this page or need more information on local resources, dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162. Our call specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Source: NCDHHS

Last updated 1/6/2023

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Child Care & Education, Food