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In response to COVID-19 public health emergency, a benefit program called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) has been developed for States to implement in assisting families that were receiving free or reduced lunches from their school.  The program was designed to help replace the cost of meals incurred by families as a result of the State eliminating public school gathering. 

What is P-EBT?  

• A program to provide nutrition benefits to families who have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals because schools were closed.

• Eligible students and families will receive food benefits on a new or existing EBT card to help fill the school meals gap.

• P-EBT is for eligible children in public and private schools. 

How will P-EBT be paid? Amount to be paid?

• This will be paid in a one-time payment and will be $319 per eligible child.

• Benefits will be issued to a SNAP household on their existing EBT Card. 

• If a household has had their SNAP case close in the last 6 months, benefits will be issued on that household’s existing EBT Card.

• Non-SNAP households will receive an EBT Card(s) with their child’s name on it.  (See attached Buck Slip on instructions to activate the EBT card.) 

When will P-EBT be issued?

• Benefits should be issued by the end of June or early July.

• Guidance will be forthcoming regarding the exact dates the benefits will be issued.

• New P-EBT cards that are being issued will not be all mailed on the same day, but over a period of several days. 

Addresses may not be up to date for students that will be receiving the P-EBT card due to schools closing in March.  Guidance below is for Parents to update their address if needed. 

Non-SNAP Households:

• Parents can call Client Assistance at 1-800-482-8988.

• Parents can email their address change to pebt@dhs.arkansas.gov.

• New address changes will be recorded up to June 15th, so that the information can be sent to the vendor for card issuance. 

SNAP Households:

• Parents will follow the same DCO business process that is in place by reporting their changes to Client Assistance or their local county office. 

Note: Parents that do not receive SNAP and would like to verify if their address is correct should contact (call or email) their child’s school district to determine if the school has the current address. 

Please see the link below with the information needed to help assist with various questions that may arise.  The P-EBT email address can also be used by anyone to ask questions specifically related to P-EBT. The link is:

https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/748432/P-EBT_General_Reference_Guide___2_.pdf 

Please see the link below for the Buck Slip insert that will be included in the mailing of the new P-EBT card offering guidance on activating the EBT card and general rules. The link is: 

https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/748431/P-EBT_BUCK_SLIP-AR-Final_05292020_.pdf 

The DHS website also has some Q&A’s that will help assist with answering questions concerning EBT.  The link is:  https://humanservices.arkansas.gov/resources/response-covid-19/response-covid-19-client/pandemic-snap

As stated above, DHS will accept address updates by these methods through COB 6/15/2020.  All updated addresses will be added as edits to the master file and become the address of record for the mailing. 

If you have any questions please contact the SNAP Policy Unit.

 

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