Texas families who relied on the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer card, which previously provided a one-time benefit of $285 for students receiving free and reduced-price meals, can apply for another round of food aid for the 2021-22 school year.
The federal benefit helps provide for the approximately 3.7 million eligible, low-income children in Texas who lost access to free and reduced-cost meals when schools first shut down during the pandemic.
This time, the benefit could provide up to $1,200 per student, depending on the number of days most students at their school received remote instruction during the past school year.
P-EBT benefits are for eligible families to buy food authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
The purpose of P-EBT is to provide food assistance to families with students who would have received free or reduced-price lunch while attending school but are not attending school in person because of COVID-19 restrictions. This benefit is available only to families with students enrolled in a Texas school who were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, or the school is a Community Eligibility Provision participantandfamilies with children born after Aug. 1, 2014 who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food benefits.
P-EBT benefits can be used the same way as SNAP benefits. The benefit amounts vary based on the school a child attends.
The P-EBT benefit amount for each campus is calculated based on:
• information provided by schools about virtual students,
• the daily benefit amount,
• and the number of school days per month.
Every Texas school participating in the National School Lunch Program was asked to provide the number of days each month that most students learned virtually during the 2020–2021 school year. The higher the number of days that students attended school virtually, the greater the P-EBT benefit amount for that campus.
The Food and Nutrition Service approved a daily benefit amount of $6.82 that covers the cost of two meals and a snack.
An average number of school days per month was calculated by looking at the largest school districts in Texas.
August: 9 days
September–May: 18 days per month
June: 5 days
Students attending the same school will get the same P-EBT benefit amount. It is possible that a child is eligible for P-EBT but no benefits will be issued because all students attended in-person classes at their school. A child is eligible for only one P-EBT benefit, even if they are part of multiple households. P-EBT benefits are nontransferable.
Those who started relying on SNAP after May 2021 and have children born before Aug. 1, 2014, will need to apply.
New P-EBT cards will be sent in the mail for all eligible families, even if they received P-EBT last year. The P-EBT card can be used at all places that accept SNAP payments, including grocery stores and supermarkets.
P-EBT applications will be worked on in the order they are received. Health and Human Services Commission staff may try to call your family or contact the child’s school to get additional information.
The online P-EBT application will be available until Aug. 13. After the household submits an application, the student’s eligibility will be automatically verified using the free and reduced-price meal list provided by the child’s school.
P-EBT is administered by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Texas Department of Agriculture and Texas Education Agency.
Contact your child’s school if you have questions about the school’s participation in these programs. The P-EBT application will provide a list of Texas schools that participate.
The P-EBT application is now open. Visit yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT to apply(link is external). The application link is case sensitive.