Frequently asked questions about P-EBT

 
About the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program
What is P-EBT?

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Program is a federal program created to provide food assistance to Colorado families with students or young children who had reduced access to meals due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

P-EBT benefits are issued retroactively based on school attendance and COVID-19 outbreak information reported by the student's school district for school-enrolled children, or based on SNAP participation for children under 6. 

Families can use P-EBT funds to purchase foods based on their dietary needs and preferences from retailers in their communities.

P-EBT funds are available on a P-EBT or SNAP EBT card. You can learn more about eligible food purchases here.

What steps do families need to take to get P-EBT benefits?

Make sure your student’s school has the correct mailing address on file and/ or make sure your family's SNAP case mailing address is up-to-date to ensure benefit notifications are sent to the correct address. 

There is no P-EBT application:

  • For P-EBT School Enrollment benefits, the P-EBT Program can only act on data submitted to the program by other state agencies. 
  • For P-EBT SNAP Under 6 benefits are determined using SNAP participation data. 

Keep P-EBT cards, as possible future benefits may be issued on existing P-EBT cards.

P-EBT benefits for the 2020-21 school year
I was told my student would get a 2020-21 benefit correction. When will those benefits be available?

Final 2020-21 benefit correction payments should be available by the end of May 2022. Eligibility notices will be mailed at the same time to summarize the correction.

Can I still dispute my student’s 2020-21 benefits?

Additional benefits for the 2020-21 school year can no longer be disputed or corrected. 2020-21 school year benefits will be closed after final benefit corrections are paid out in May 2022.

P-EBT eligibility for children enrolled in school during the 2021-22 school year (P-EBT school enrollment benefits)
Who is eligible? 

A student may be eligible if they: 

  • Attended a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP); AND 
  • Are eligible for Free or Reduced-Price Meals at school (income guidelines here (https://www.cde.state.co.us/nutrition/incomeeligibilityguidelines); AND
  • Experienced reduced access to school meals due to COVID-19 circumstances (i.e. participated in a remote or hybrid learning model, were in a grade with a CDPHE-confirmed COVID-19 outbreak, or were absent from school due to COVID-related circumstances. Please note that COVID-related absences may require families to complete a benefit reconsideration form after benefits are administered in Fall 2022 to inform the P-EBT program of these situations before benefits can be given to their student.)
What are the P-EBT School Enrollment benefit amounts?

P-EBT benefit amounts vary, depending on the child-level learning modality reported to the P-EBT program by the student’s school or district.

For the fall 2021 semester, monthly benefit amounts are:

  • Remote = $142 per month
  • Hybrid = $85 per month
  • In-Person = $0 per month
  • School Closure = varies, based on specific reports from individual schools
  • Unplanned Alternate Schedule = varies, based on specific reports from individual schools
  • Outbreak = $57 per month
When will my student receive P-EBT school enrollment benefits?

Tentative benefit issuance schedule: 

  • September 2021 - December 2021 benefits: Beginning in August 2022
  • January 2022 - May 2022 benefits: TBD
Where can I access my student’s P-EBT school enrollment benefits?

If the student received 2020-2021 P-EBT benefits on a new P-EBT card with the black and white design, this card will be reloaded with P-EBT School Enrollment benefits for the 2021-2022 school year.

If a student did not receive 2020-2021 P-EBT benefits, or received 2020-2021 P-EBT benefits on a SNAP card, they will be mailed a new P-EBT card to the address provided by their school or district.

Will using P-EBT impact immigration status? 

No. All households could be eligible for P-EBT, regardless of immigration status. Using P-EBT does NOT impact you or your child’s immigration status. 

Are children who are no longer enrolled in school and are being homeschooled eligible to receive P-EBT? 

No. Children who are no longer enrolled in an NSLP-participating school or are being homeschooled are not eligible to receive P-EBT.

Does it matter if my child is enrolled in a charter, public, or private school? 

Students are eligible only if their school participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and they qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. Check if your school participates in the NSLP here

Will my child still qualify if they switched schools during the school year? What do I need to do?

Yes, they may still qualify. Your child’s P-EBT eligibility will be based on timing of enrollment in an NSLP school. No action is needed by the household, all enrollment data will be submitted to the P-EBT program directly from each school or district.

Custody for my student is split between two households. How does my child receive the benefit?

The P-EBT benefit is meant for the student, the P-EBT card is issued in the student’s name and is meant to travel with the student between households. For the first issuance of P-EBT School Enrollment benefits, the student’s benefits will be issued “in care of” the parent or guardian that is listed as “head of household” by the student’s school. This may be the adult who submitted a free and reduced application for the student, or the adult listed as the primary contact in the school’s system. Please work with any other guardians and coordinate to support the student that the benefits are intended for.

P-EBT eligibility for children not enrolled in school during the 2021-22 school year (P-EBT SNAP under 6 benefits)
Who is eligible?

A child that was not yet enrolled in school during the 2021-2022 school year may be eligible if they: 

  • Were born on or after August 2, 2015; AND
  • Received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits between September 1, 2021, and May 31, 2022; AND 
  • Did not receive P-EBT school enrollment benefits.
What are the P-EBT SNAP Under 6 benefit amounts?

For the months of September - December 2021, P-EBT SNAP Under 6 benefits are $31/month. Benefits for the spring months of January 2022 through May 2022 will be calculated once additional data is available. 

When will my child receive P-EBT SNAP Under 6 benefits?

Tentative benefit issuance schedule: 

  • September 2021 - December 2021 benefits: Beginning in August 2022
  • January 2022 - May 2022 benefits: TBD
Where can I access my student’s P-EBT SNAP Under 6 benefits?

P-EBT SNAP Under 6 benefits for the child will be automatically loaded onto the household’s SNAP EBT card.

Custody for my child is split between two households. How does my child receive the benefit?

For P-EBT SNAP Under 6 Benefits, the child’s benefits will be issued to the household’s EBT card where the child received SNAP benefits for each month during the 2021-2022 school year. Please work with any other guardians and coordinate to support the child that the benefits are intended for.

Can I enroll my child in SNAP now to receive P-EBT benefits for a child that was not yet enrolled in school during the 2021-2022 school year? 

If you would like to enroll in SNAP, you may apply online here and your local county office will contact you regarding your SNAP application. Applications received now cannot be used to issue P-EBT benefits retroactively for the 2021-2022 school year, but could result in eligibility for potential future P-EBT benefits. 

P-EBT for summer 2022
Will there be P-EBT benefits for summer 2022?

Yes, Colorado received USDA approval to continue providing P-EBT benefits to families for summer 2022. Summer P-EBT benefits are tentatively scheduled to be distributed in late 2022.

Who is eligible?

A child who was enrolled in school may be eligible for summer P-EBT if they:

  • Were eligible for free or reduced-price school meals; AND
  • Were enrolled in an NSLP school as of May 2022; AND
  • The student’s district reports student information to the P-EBT program.

*Families are encouraged to fill out a free or reduced-price school meal application with their school by Aug. 15, 2022, to be considered for summer 2022 P-EBT benefits.

A child who was not enrolled in school is eligible for summer P-EBT if they:

  • Did not receive summer 2022 P-EBT benefits through school enrollment; AND
  • Were born on or after August 2, 2015; AND
  • Received SNAP benefits between May 2022 and August 2022. 
When will my child receive summer 2022 P-EBT benefits?

Summer 2022 P-EBT benefits are tentatively scheduled to be distributed in late 2022. 

*Keep P-EBT/SNAP EBT cards. Do not throw away a P-EBT/SNAP EBT card when it reaches a zero balance; possible future benefits will be issued on existing cards.

Where can I access my child’s summer 2022 P-EBT benefits?

Children who were eligible for P-EBT benefits through school enrollment will receive funds on a P-EBT card. 

Children who were eligible for P-EBT through P-EBT Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Under 6 will be issued their summer 2022 P-EBT funds on the household's SNAP EBT card where the child received the SNAP benefit for that particular month.

*Keep P-EBT/SNAP EBT cards. Do not throw away a P-EBT/SNAP EBT card when it reaches a zero balance; possible future benefits will be issued on existing cards.

Using your P-EBT card
I’ve lost my P-EBT card. How do I get a replacement card? 

Please contact the Colorado P-EBT Support Center at 1.800.536.5298 or cdhs_pebtcolorado@state.co or send a text message to 720.741.0550  to request a replacement card. Keep P-EBT cards even after benefits are spent, as possible future benefits may be issued on existing P-EBT cards. 

How do I activate my child’s P-EBT card? 

Learn how to activate the card here.

Where can I use the P-EBT card?

The card can be used anywhere SNAP benefits are accepted. Learn more here.

What can I buy with the P-EBT card?

You can buy most fresh, canned and frozen food items like:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, dairy and eggs
  • Rice, beans and dry goods
  • Snack crackers, coffee and bakery cakes
  • Seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat.

Click here for a complete list of approved food items.

How do I buy food with the P-EBT card?

Instructions on how to pay can be found here.

Can I use P-EBT funds to buy food online? 

Yes, you can use a P-EBT card, just like a SNAP EBT card, to shop for food online from several retailers, including Amazon or Walmart. Learn more here.

Can P-EBT benefits be used with Double Up Food Bucks as well?

Yes, households can earn Double Up Food Bucks (also known as the GusNIP Incentive) and can make qualifying purchases using P-EBT benefits. For more information on Double Up Food Bucks please visit https://doubleupcolorado.org.

Other information
Can students who receive P-EBT benefits continue to access school meals?

Yes. Students who receive P-EBT benefits can continue to access school meals (both Grab and Go or cafeteria meals) and are highly encouraged to do so. P-EBT benefits are intended to supplement the days in which students could not access school meals.

Why should we use P-EBT benefits?

P-EBT helps families buy food during COVID-19. The program also helps support Colorado’s economy, including our grocery stores, corner stores and their employees, during this challenging time.

I don’t want to use my child’s P-EBT funds. What do I do?

You may destroy the card. Participation in P-EBT is voluntary.

Can I update my child’s address?

Yes. Please contact the Colorado P-EBT Support Center at 1.800.536.5298 or cdhs_pebtcolorado@state.co or send a text message to 720.741.0550.

Can I update or change the parent or guardian on file for my student?

Changes can only be made to the parent/guardian on file if:

  • The parent/guardian on file requests to designate a different parent/guardian and provides updated contact information (new guardian name and mailing address) OR 
  • The parent/guardian on file with the P-EBT program is deceased, medically incapacitated, or incarcerated. 
  • Please note these are the only situations in which the parent/guardian on file can be adjusted. If either of the listed circumstances apply to your student, please contact the Colorado P-EBT Support Center at 1.800.536.5298 or cdhs_pebtcolorado@state.co or send a text message to  720.741.0550.