Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT)

P-EBT Benefits for School Year 2021-2022 and Summer P-EBT

New Jersey received P-EBT approval for children under the age 6 enrolled in SNAP between September 2021 – June 2022 and for summer 2022.  In addition, summer 2022 P-EBT has been approved for students in grades K-12 in the 2021 – 2022 school year who were eligible for the National School Lunch Program.

Children under the age of 6 in SNAP households:

  • Benefits for children under the age of 6 in SNAP households has been added to your Families First card.

School-age Children in grades K-12 in the 2021-2022 school year:

The first issuance of summer 2022 P-EBT was made in October 2022. As schools continue to collect and submit data, additional benefits will be paid in coming months.

  • Summer P-EBT benefits of $391 per eligible student will be added to your Families First card for active SNAP households.
  • Summer P-EBT benefits of $391 per eligible student for non-SNAP recipients will be added to new P-EBT cards and mailed.  Note: P-EBT cards are being mailed for all students whose data was submitted by their school through November 10, 2022. Please allow a few weeks for cards to be delivered.

Keep checking back for additional information about the distribution of P-EBT benefits. 

Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) is a program to help purchase food for your school-age child(ren) who were eligible for free or reduced price school meals at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP).  Children under 6 who are receiving SNAP also may be eligible for P-EBT.

Summer P-EBT benefits are provided to eligible children for the summer period following a school year during which there was a COVID-19 public health emergency.

To receive P-EBT benefits for the 2021-2022 school year, children must have been:

  • Under the age of 6, and:
  • enrolled in SNAP during the approved months.

To receive P-EBT benefits for summer 2022, children must be:

  • Under the age of 6 in an active SNAP household, or;
  • Eligible for free or reduced price school meals under National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP) as a student in grades K-12, or;
  • Determined newly eligible for free or reduced price school meals during the covered summer period (not including incoming Kindergarten students in the 2022-2023 school year); or,
  • Attending a school that participates in the Community Eligibility Provision.

If you receive SNAP and have a child(ren) under the age of 6, you will receive a benefit for each month you were enrolled in SNAP from September 2021 – June 2022 and a separate benefit payment for the summer months for each child. Children under 6 who were not enrolled in SNAP are not eligible. Eligibility ends when the child(ren) is no longer receiving SNAP.

How much is the benefit?

For children under 6 enrolled in SNAP, a monthly benefit of $42.02 for each month they were eligible between September 2021 – June 2022 was added to your Families First EBT card. Summer 2022 P-EBT benefits will be issued in one payment for the total benefit of $391 for each eligible child.

When will my child(ren) receive these benefits?

Benefits for the months of September 2021 – June 2022 were added to your Families First EBT beginning July 30, 2022. By August 12, P-EBT benefits of $42.02 per child, per month, were issued to the household’s EBT card for every month from September 2021 – June 2022 that your household was receiving SNAP.  

Summer P-EBT benefits for children under the age of 6 were added on September 14, 2022 for households active in the month of July, on September 27, 2022 or on October 13, 2022 for newly active SNAP households in August, or on October 14, 2022 for newly active SNAP households in September 2022.  Benefits of $391 per eligible child under the age of 6 in a SNAP household were added to your Families First card. 

Students in grades K-12 during the 2021-2022 school year who were approved for free or reduced price school meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) are eligible for summer P-EBT. This includes students who became eligible over the summer, prior to their first day of school. Students who entered Kindergarten in September 2022 are not eligible.

P-EBT benefits are available only if your school participates in the NSLP. Not all schools participate in the NSLP, so you should check with your school if you have questions about their participation.

How much is the benefit?

A total benefit of $391 will be issued for each eligible child.

When will my child(ren) receive these benefits?

Data for students is collected once a month on the 10th of the month and benefits are paid the following month for students in schools who submitted data by the deadline.  Schools continue to collect and submit data. 

Contact your child(ren)'s school to confirm if they submitted your child(ren)'s information and when. If they submitted after the 10th of that month, your information will be processed for payment the next month.

See either the "I am a SNAP recipient" or "I am not a SNAP recipient and do not have a Families First Card" sections below for more benefit issuance information and dates. 

Do I need to apply for P-EBT?

No, there is no application to receive P-EBT, however, your child must be eligible to receive free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). If you are newly eligible for the NSLP, contact your child's school to submit an application through September 9, 2022 to receive a summer P-EBT benefit.

If your child is eligible and was signed up for the NSLP, their information is submitted by their school. Benefits will be issued to you automatically by mail or, in some instances, on your existing Families First Card, if you receive SNAP.

My child(ren) attends an out-of-district school and is eligible for free or reduced price school meals. Is my child(ren) eligible for P-EBT?

If the sending school district participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), out-of-district child(ren) may be eligible for P-EBT, if they otherwise meet eligibility criteria.

 

My child(ren) attends a private or charter school and receives free or reduced price meals. Is my child(ren) eligible for P-EBT?

Yes. Children attending private or charter schools are eligible for P-EBT as long as they are eligible for free or reduced price school meals, the school they attend participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and they otherwise meet eligibility criteria. Your school must still provide a list of eligible students.

 

My child(ren)’s school participates in school lunch through a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). Is my child(ren) eligible for P-EBT?

Yes.  Students attending schools that participate in Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) are eligible to receive P-EBT as long as they otherwise meet eligibility criteria. If you received a P-EBT benefit but did not apply for free or reduced-price school meals for your child, you may still be eligible because your child attends a CEP school. You may use the P-EBT benefits.

 

Are college students eligible for P-EBT?

No. College students are not eligible for P-EBT.

 

Are children who are home-schooled eligible for P-EBT?

No. P-EBT benefits are only for school-aged children receiving free or reduced school price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

 

My child is a special needs, 21-year-old high school student. Is my child(ren) eligible for summer P-EBT?

If your child attends school in-district and is approved as eligible for free or reduced price school meals for the 2021-2022 school year and there are no age limitations from the school, then your child is eligible for P-EBT as long as they otherwise meet eligibility criteria and as long as your school submits your child’s information. You may contact your school district to confirm that your child’s information was submitted.

If your child attends an out-of-district school and either their home (sending) school district or the district where your child(ren) attends school participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), your child may be eligible, as long as they otherwise meet eligibility criteria.

 

I share custody of my child(ren). Who will get the P-EBT benefits?

School-aged children
That depends on how your school reported your child(ren)’s information. P-EBT benefits will be issued to the parent/guardian listed by the school and at the address provided by your school.

Children under six in SNAP household
P-EBT benefits will be issued on the Families First card of the household where the child(ren)’s case is active for each eligible month.

 

Is immigration status considered as part of P-EBT eligibility?

No. Immigration status is not factored into eligibility. If your child was approved to receive free or reduced-price school meals for the 2021-2022 school year, your child is eligible for P-EBT.

 

Will receiving P-EBT food benefits impact my family’s “public charge” status?

Receiving P-EBT food benefits will not affect the “public charge” determination for non-citizen households.

 

How do I know if my child(ren) is receiving a P-EBT benefit?

P-EBT benefits will added to your card separately from your regular SNAP benefits.  

You can check the balance of your Families First Card to see if P-EBT benefits were added. To check your balance, you can:

  • Go to NJFamiliesFirst.com or download the ConnectEBT app in the Apple App store or Google Play store to create an account to view your current card balance and transaction history; or,
  • Call EBT Customer Service at 1-800-997-3333 to use the automated phone system to get your balance; or,
  • Check your last store receipt.

For children under the age of 6 in SNAP households:

  • Benefits of $42.02 per eligible child per month for September 2021- June 2022 were added to your Families First card from July 30 through August 12, 2022. 
  • Benefits of $391 for Summer 2022 were added to your Families First card on September 14, 2022 for SNAP households who were active in July 2022. Benefits were added to your Families First card on September 27, 2022 or on October 13, 2022 if you were a newly active SNAP household in August 2022 and on October 14, 2022 if you were a newly active SNAP household in September 2022.

For school-age (K-12) children:

Data for students is collected once a month on the 10th of the month and benefits are paid the following month for students in schools who submitted data by the deadline. Schools continue to collect and submit data. Continue to check back for additional issuance dates or contact your child(ren)'s school to confirm if they submitted your child(ren)'s information and when.

  • The first issuance of summer P-EBT was made on October 6, 2022 for students in schools that submitted data by September 10, 2022. 
  • The second issuance of summer P-EBT was made on October 29, 2022 for students in schools that submitted data by October 10, 2022.
  • The third issuance of summer P-EBT will be made on December 7, 2022 for students in schools that submitted data by November 10, 2022.

If your school submitted your child(ren)’s information, but you did not receive benefits on your Families First card, it was because we could not match the information your school provided with your child(ren)’s information on your SNAP case. You will still receive P-EBT benefits, but we will mail a P-EBT card to the address your school sent us. You can call your school to confirm the address they provided. If the address is correct, you should wait for that card to come in the mail. You will need to use the date of birth of the child named on the card to activate your card. If you have trouble activating, you may need to check with your school to confirm the date of birth the school has on record.

 

Why didn’t I get my school-age (K-12) child(ren)’s P-EBT benefit on my Families First EBT card?

Data for students is collected once a month on the 10th of the month and benefits are paid the following month for students in schools who submitted data by the deadline. Schools continue to collect and submit data. Continue to check back for additional issuance dates or contact your child(ren)'s school to confirm if they submitted your child(ren)'s information and when.

  • The first issuance of summer P-EBT was made on October 6, 2022 for students in schools that submitted data by September 10, 2022. 
  • The second issuance of summer P-EBT was made on October 29, 2022 for students in schools that submitted data by October 10, 2022.
  • The third issuance of summer P-EBT will be made on December 10, 2022 for students in school that submitted data by November 10, 2022.

You can call your child(ren)’s school to confirm your child(ren)’s NSLP eligibility and if their information was submitted.  If your school confirms this information, please know that we have it and your benefits are in process. If your school submits the information after the monthly due date, your child will receive the P-EBT benefits at the end of the next month.  

While most families receiving SNAP were issued P-EBT benefits for their school-age (K-12) students on their existing Families First card, some families will receive a P-EBT card in the mail. P-EBT benefits are issued to the Families First EBT card for all children who we are able to verify as SNAP recipients based on the information we receive from the school.

If you did not receive benefits on your Families First card, it was because we could not match the information your school provided with your child(ren)’s information on your SNAP case. You will still receive P-EBT benefits, but we will mail a P-EBT card to the address your school sent us. You can call your school to confirm the address they provided. If the address is correct, you should wait for that card to come in the mail. Please keep this card. Future benefits, if applicable, will be issued to it.

If the address your school provided was not correct, contact your local board of social services for a replacement card.

You will need to use the date of birth of the child named on the card to activate your card. If you have trouble activating, you may need to check with your school to confirm the date of birth the school has on record.

 

I only got benefits for one of my children. Where are the benefits for my other children?

There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Your other children may not have been eligible. Only summer P-EBT is approved for NSLP-eligible students in grades K-12 during the 2021-2022 school year. You will only see one benefit for those children. See eligibility criteria above for more information.
  • Your other children’s benefits may be in process.
  • We could not match your child(ren)’s information to your SNAP case.

If your school did submit your child(ren)’s information, but we were not able to match your child(ren)’s information with your SNAP case, we mailed a P-EBT card to the address your school sent us. You can confirm the address provided with the school. You should wait for that card to come in the mail. If the address your school provided was not correct, contact your local county board of social services for a replacement card.

You can call your child(ren)’s school to confirm your child’s eligibility and if their information was submitted.  If your school confirms this information, please know that we have it and your benefits are in process.

 

I received some of my P-EBT benefits on my Families First Card and the rest on a separate P-EBT card. Can I combine all of the P-EBT benefits on my Families First card?

No. If you received multiple cards, you cannot combine the amounts on one card. Please keep the P-EBT card you received. Future benefits will be issued to it.

 

What if my SNAP case is now closed?

If you are scheduled to receive the P-EBT benefits on your Families First card, but your SNAP case is closed at the time benefits are issued, we will still issue the benefits to your Families First card for you to use as you would any SNAP benefit.  

If you no longer have your Families First card, you should contact your local county board of social services to request a replacement card.

How do I know if my child(ren) is receiving a P-EBT benefit?

Summer 2022 P-EBT started to be issued in October 2022. A new P-EBT card will be mailed to the address provided by your school. Once mailed, cards may take a few weeks to reach your address. 

Data for students is collected once a month on the 10th of the month and benefits are paid the following month for students in schools who submitted data by the deadline.  Schools continue to collect and submit data. 

Contact your child(ren)'s school to confirm if they submitted your child(ren)'s information and when.  If they submitted after the 10th of that month, your information will be processed for payment the next month.  

You can confirm with the school the address and the date of birth the school has on record for all children submitted. You will need to use the date of birth of the child named on the card to activate your card.

If the address your school provided was not correct, contact your local county board of social services for a replacement card.

Once you have received your P-EBT card, you can check the balance of P-EBT benefits. To check your balance, you can:

  • Go to NJFamiliesFirst.com or download the ConnectEBT app in the Apple App store or Google Play store to create an account to view your current card balance and transaction history; or,
  • Call EBT Customer Service at 1-800-997-3333 to use the automated phone system to get your balance; or,
  • Check your last store receipt.

Please keep this card. Future benefits, if applicable, will be issued to that card.

 

Why didn’t I receive my P-EBT benefit?

Summer P-EBT benefits are provided for students who were in grades K-12 during the 2021-2022 school year who were receiving or eligible for free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). 

We will mail a P-EBT card to the address your school sent us. You can call your school to confirm the address they provided. If the address is correct, you should wait for that card to come in the mail. 

Please keep this card. Future benefits, if applicable, will be issued to that card. If the address your school provided was not correct, contact your local county board of social services for a replacement card.

You will need to use the date of birth of the child named on the card to activate your card. If you have trouble activating, you may need to check with your school to confirm the date of birth the school has on record.

 

I only got benefits for one of my children. Where are the benefits for my other children?

There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Your other children may not have been eligible. Summer P-EBT is approved for students who were in grades K-12 in the 2021-2022 school year. See eligibility criteria above for more information.
  • Your other children’s benefits may be in process. You can call your school to confirm the address they provided. If the address is correct, you should wait for that card to come in the mail.

 

I received separate P-EBT cards for my children. Can I combine the amounts on one P-EBT card?

No. If you received multiple cards, you cannot combine the amounts on one card. Please keep all P-EBT cards you received. Future benefits, if applicable, will be issued to them.

 

If my child(ren) is eligible for P-EBT benefits, are we now automatically eligible for SNAP benefits?

No. If you applied for free or reduced price school meals directly through your school, it is not an application for SNAP. If you would like screen for eligibility and apply for SNAP benefits, you may do so online at www.njhelps.org.

How do I activate my P-EBT Card?

Instructions on how to activate your P-EBT card are included in the envelope with your card. If you have any problems activating your P-EBT card, call the number on the back of your P-EBT card (1-800-997-3333).

Please do not call this number if you did not receive a P-EBT card or need to request a replacement P-EBT card. To request a replacement P-EBT card, please see the section below “What if I need a replacement P-EBT/Families First EBT card?”

 

I am having trouble activating my card, what should I do?

Your PIN number is the date of birth for the child listed on the card. Use the two-digit month, two-digit day, and four-digit year (for example: 09012009).

If prompted to enter the last four digits of the social security number, enter 0000. If you still have an issue, contact your school to confirm the DOB on file and use that DOB to activate your card.

If you need additional assistance, call 1-800-997-3333.

 

How do I use my card to purchase food?

Your card can be used at any store that accepts SNAP.  Look for the SNAP EBT image at the store or visit the “Using Your Benefits” page for a list of stores that accept SNAP. Benefits can be used to purchase eligible SNAP food items.

At the store:

  • Slide your card through the payment machine.
  • Choose the FOOD option.
  • Enter your PIN on the keypad

Just like SNAP, recipients may also use their Families First EBT card to purchase eligible SNAP food items online at participating stores.  For more information about ordering online and to find participating stores in your area, visit the “Using Your Benefits” page

 

Do I have to use my P-EBT benefits right away?

No, you do not have to use all of your P-EBT benefits at one time.

 

How do I check my balance on my P-EBT/Families First card?

  • Go to NJFamiliesFirst.com or download the ConnectEBT app in the Apple App store or Google Play store to create an account to view your current card balance and transaction history, as well as report lost or stolen cards; or,
  • Call 1-800-997-3333 to use the automated phone system to get your balance; or,
  • Check your last store receipt.

 

How do I protect my P-EBT/Families First card and PIN?

  • Don’t share your PIN with anyone.
  • Do not write your PIN on your card or card holder. Also, do not carry the number with you in your purse or wallet.
  • If you cannot find your card or if you think someone knows your PIN, immediately call 1-800-997-3333.
  • Keep your card away from electronic equipment (TVs and microwaves), magnets, and out of the sun.

 

What do I do if I forgot my PIN?

If you forget your PIN, but haven’t lost your card, you can change your PIN online at www.NJFamiliesFirst.com after you create a user account and log in. Or, you can call 1-800-997-3333.

 

What if I need a replacement P-EBT/Families First EBT card?

If you need to replace your P-EBT card or did not receive your P-EBT card because your address was incorrect, contact your local county board of social services. If your P-EBT card has been lost, stolen or damaged, it is important to immediately report it online at www.NJFamiliesFirst.com or by calling 1-800-997-3333. This will “freeze” your card so no one can use your benefits. After reporting it, contact your local county board of social services for a replacement P-EBT card. You may be asked to verify your identity. There may be a fee for replacement P-EBT cards.

 

 

What if I do not want to use my P-EBT benefits?

If you are not interested in using the P-EBT benefit, please return the card by mailing it to the address on the back of the card.

 

I received a P-EBT card in error or got more benefits than I should have. What should I do?

If you received a P-EBT card, but your child does not receive free or reduced price school meals and you believe you are not eligible for these benefits, please do not use the card and contact your school to confirm. If you received the card in error, please return it by mailing it to the address on the back of the card. If you received more P-EBT benefits than you should have, please do not use the extra P-EBT benefits. Report the error to your local county board of social services.

What does the P-EBT card look like?

NJ-P-EBT Card Front