Using your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to access P-EBT benefits

P-EBT Benefits for School Year 2021-2022

DHS is working on a plan to issue benefits for school year 2021-2022 under the new P-EBT eligibility criteria. Please continue to check back for updates.

At this time, all benefits for the 2020-2021 school year and summer 2021 have been issued based on information submitted by your school.

If you received a P-EBT card in the mail, please keep it in case of future benefits.

Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) is a program to help purchase food for your school-age child(ren) in Kindergarten - grade 12 who were eligible for free or reduced price school meals for the 2020-2021 school year at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), but whose schools closed or operated with reduced attendance or hours for five consecutive days due to COVID-19.  Children under six who are receiving SNAP also may be eligible for P-EBT.

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 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 board of social services.

What does the P-EBT card look like?

NJ-P-EBT Card Front

P-EBT benefits are available to children who were eligible for free or reduced price school meals at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), but whose schools closed or operated with reduced attendance or hours for five consecutive days due to COVID-19.