Frequently asked questions about P-EBT

 

About the P-EBT program

What is P-EBT?

P-EBT provides food assistance benefits on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to Colorado families whose school-aged children are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals at school through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), but who have not been able to access those meals because schools were closed, or on a hybrid or remote learning model due to COVID-19. 

The P-EBT benefits will be electronically placed on the EBT card and can be used to purchase eligible food items at local and online retail stores. 

P-EBT eligibility for pre-K through grade 12 students for the 2020-21 school year

Who is eligible?

You are eligible for P-EBT funds if your student(s): 

  • Attend 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) AND
  • Attended a school with a "remote" or "hybrid" learning model for at least one month this school year; OR opted for remote learning by October 1, 2020 and continued learning remotely until at least March 31, 2021.
Will using P-EBT impact my immigration status?

No. All households who are eligible for P-EBT may receive it, regardless of immigration status. The public charge rule does NOT apply to P-EBT benefits. 

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 for the 2020-21 school year.

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

Students are eligible 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 enrollment in an NSLP school. 

Are learning modality disputes still being accepted?
P-EBT benefits were issued based on the average days that your child’s district or school was operating remotely or in a hybrid model. Since the 2021-22 school year has begun, we are no longer able to accept disputes to the school’s learning modality data for the 2020-21 school year. We are currently processing forms that were submitted by August 27, 2021, and will respond with a decision by early October. Please be aware that submitting a dispute form allows for a review of the student's learning mode and does not guarantee a change in benefits. Please feel free to keep an eye out for future P-EBT program updates here.
Why did my student’s April and May benefit payment differ from their eligibility letter?
Per federal guidance, all P-EBT-eligible students were issued April and May 2021 P-EBT benefits based on the school or district’s reported learning modality for those months. If you have noticed a difference between the benefit amount on your student’s eligibility letter and what was issued to your student’s card, it is likely your student’s original P-EBT letter was impacted by a coding error that caused the letter to show incorrect benefit amounts for April 2021 and May 2021. We apologize for any confusion created by this error. 
Will there be P-EBT benefits for the 2021-22 school year?
At this time, the State of Colorado is working closely with USDA to gain more information on future P-EBT programs. We encourage families to fill out a free or reduced-price school meal application for the school year to establish eligibility for possible future P-EBT benefits. Schools and community partners can also share the Colorado Department of Education’s outreach materials to encourage families to provide household information through their school nutrition services department.

P-EBT eligibility for children under age 6 for the 2020-21 school year

Who is eligible?

You are eligible for P-EBT funds if your child:

  • Was born on or after Oct. 2, 2014; AND
  • Did not receive P-EBT benefits through school enrollment; AND 
  • Is a member of a household that received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at any time between Oct. 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021.
How and when will I get P-EBT for children under 6 on SNAP?

For children whose households were participating in SNAP between October 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021, P-EBT benefits will be issued based on active months in SNAP. Benefits will automatically load onto a household’s previous or current SNAP EBT card starting in early September.

How much will I receive in P-EBT benefits for children under 6 on SNAP?

P-EBT benefits will be issued for each month the eligible child received SNAP from October 2020 to May 2021. Each eligible child can receive up to $942 in total for October 2020 to May 2021 benefits.

Benefit month SNAP under 6 P-EBT benefit amount
October 2020 $120
November 2020 $121
December 2020 $134
January 2021 $123
February 2021 $108
March 2021 $108
April 2021 $114
May 2021 $114
Can I enroll in SNAP now and get P-EBT benefits for my child under 6?

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 2020-2021 school year, but could result in eligibility for future potential P-EBT benefits.

Using your P-EBT card

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

Please contact the P-EBT Support Center at 1.800.536.5298 to request a replacement card. This card could receive future P-EBT benefits, so please hold on to it until the P-EBT program concludes.

How do I activate my P-EBT card?

Learn how to activate your card here.

Where can I use the P-EBT card?

You can use the card 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 are here.

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

Yes, you can use your 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 that 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 I 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 P-EBT funds. What do I do?

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

Can I update my address?

Please contact the Colorado P-EBT Support Center at 1.800.536.5298 or cdhs_pebtcolorado@state.co.us.

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

Changes can be made to the parent/guardian on file if 1) the parent/guardian on file requests to designate a different parent/guardian and provides updated contact information (new guardian name and mailing address). OR 2) the parent/guardian on file with the P-EBT program is deceased, medically incapacitated, or incarcerated. Please note these are the only situations that we are able to change the parent/guardian on file. If 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.us.

Will there be P-EBT benefits for summer 2021?

Yes. Students in grades PK-12 who attended a National School Lunch Program school and were eligible for free or reduced-price school meals during school year 2020-21 OR are a member of a SNAP household under the age of 6 may be eligible for summer P-EBT, regardless of learning mode (remote or hybrid status).

Families will receive $375 in P-EBT per eligible child to help purchase food for the summer months. These funds will be available in November 2021.