Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) was introduced in H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act as a solution that delivers nutrition assistance on an EBT card that can be used to purchase groceries for families with school children who qualify for free or reduced price school meals when school is out of session due to a pandemic. If your child already qualified for free or reduced-price meals, or your child attends a Community Eligible Provision (CEP) school where everyone eats at no cost, there is nothing you need to do. You will be notified when the program is implemented.
Who would qualify?
Families with children eligible for free or reduced price meals at schools that have closed due to a pandemic will receive PEBT benefits in the mail. Families will receive one card that is loaded with benefits for all eligible children in the household. If families are currently receiving SNAP benefits the PEBT benefits will be loaded onto their existing SNAP card. The amount loaded onto the card will be no less than the value of school lunch and breakfast, dependent on the amount of time their school will be closed and when free or reduced price benefits were established.
If your child attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school or county, they are eligible to receive P-EBT. The federal legislation was designed that any student that would have had access to free meals if not for COVID-19 closures, are supposed to receive access to this benefit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Eligible households will receive a notification letter from the WV Department of Health and Human Resources.
If you currently receive benefits through WVDHHR on a Mountain State EBT card, the PEBT benefit will be issued to your current Mountain State EBT card on or before the end of May 2020. If you do not currently receive any benefits through WVDHHR, you will receive a Mountain State EBT card in the mail on or before the end of June 2020 with the benefits for your household.
P-EBT cards can be used everywhere that SNAP EBT is used.
If you currently receive SNAP/WVWORKS on a Mountain State EBT card for your eligible student(s), the PEBT benefit will be issued to your current card.
Your child is eligible if their West Virginia non-public school provides free or reduced price lunch through the National School Lunch Program and the school is closed due to COVID-19.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the source of the federal administration and financial sourcing of this benefit.
Other benefits (such as SNAP and TANF) will not be impacted by receipt or usage of P-EBT.
If your child does not attend a CEP school, but you believe a change in your personal circumstances now qualifies you for free or reduced price school meals, complete a meal benefit application by visiting School Café. (Important: Do not complete a free/reduced meals application if your student attends a CEP school. It is not needed).
For general questions on P-EBT, please contact your local Department of Health and Human Resources field office or contact the West Virginia Department of Education at 304-558-2709.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
- mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
- fax: (202) 690-7442; or
- email: email@example.com.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.