We know readers have various questions regarding New York P-EBT benefits. We decided to set up this New York P-EBT FAQs page to address the most common questions we get regarding eligibility for P-EBT, how to apply, when P-EBT cards will be reloaded for 2021, how to get a replacement card, the phone number for NY P-EBT and more.

For a step-by-step guide to New York P-EBT for 2021, click here.

If you have questions about New York P-EBT, continue reading below.

"New York P-EBT FAQs"

New York P-EBT FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the New York P-EBT program:

What is Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 authorized the payment of P-EBT food benefits to households with children who would have received free school lunches under the National School Lunch Act if schools had not closed.

These temporary food benefits are to help cover the cost of meals children would have received at school.

Who is Eligible for P-EBT in New York?

Eligibility for P-EBT benefits in NY is broken down into two categories:

NYC Residents
New York State (Upstate NY) Residents

NYC P-EBT Eligibility

Here is the breakdown of who is eligible for the P-EBT program so far:

  • All children who would have received free or reduced-price school lunches for the days their school was closed due to
    COVID-19 are eligible to receive P-EBT food benefits, such as:
  • Children attending NYC public schools who receive free or reduced-price school lunches.
  • Children who attend private, parochial, and charter schools and who received free school lunches.
  • 3- & 4-year-old children attending Universal Pre-K and who received free school lunches.
  • Young adults ages 19-21 who are still in school and who received free
    school lunches.
  • Foster children who received free school lunches.
  • Any children above with any or no current immigration status.

New York State Eligibility

Here is the breakdown of who is eligible for the P-EBT program so far:

Children who receive free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program are eligible for P-EBT food benefits if their school has been operating with reduced in-person attendance due to COVID-19 during the 2020-21 school year.

This includes children who attend Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools and any private, prekindergarten, parochial, and charter schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program.

If you are unsure of your child’s participation or eligibility for the National School Lunch Program, please contact your child/children’s school or school district.

Are students in New York City private, parochial or charter schools eligible for P-EBT?

Yes. Students in private, parochial or charter schools who receive free meals through the National School Lunch Program are eligible for P-EBT.

Contact your child/children’s school to confirm whether it provides free meals through the National School Lunch Program.

How do I apply for New York P-EBT benefits?

There is no application for the P-EBT program. The State will identify households and issue benefits automatically.

How much will My Child Get in P-EBT For 2020/21?

Families will receive $82 for each month their child was learning from home one to 12 days.

This likely applies to many children who enrolled in hybrid learning, attending school in person some days a week and learning from home the rest of the time to allow for social distancing inside classrooms.

Additionally, families will receive $132 for the months their child was out of school buildings for more than 12 days.

That includes those who learned exclusively online, which makes up a majority of New York City students.

The benefit is paid per child.

Therefore a parent of two fully remote children could get $264 a month.

Families could receive up to $1,320 in P-EBT food benefits for the 2020 – 2021 school year.

When will New York P-EBT Benefits for 2020/21 Be Distributed?

Children eligible to receive P-EBT food benefits will receive their benefits for the 2020-21 school year in two payments:

  • First Payment: June 2021 through the end of July 2021, covering the months of September 2020 – March 2021.
  • Second Payment: Summer/Early Fall, covering the months of April 2021 through June 2021.

The image below, by the New York Community Food Advocates, provides a great summary and update for P-EBT benefits.

Even though this was created for New York City, it applies to the rest of New York state.

"New York P-EBT 2021 Update"

How will New York P-EBT Be Distributed?

How you get P-EBT benefits depends on the group you fall under.

Group 1

P-EBT benefits were issued on the household’s existing EBT card if you already get SNAP benefits.

This means that the P-EBT was added to your SNAP balance.

You can check your family’s SNAP/P-EBT balance by visiting www.connectebt.com.

Additionally, you can call 1-888-328-6399.

Group 2

Benefits were loaded onto the Medicaid Common Benefit Identification Card (CBIC) of the
head of household OR oldest child on the Medicaid case for all eligible children in the household
together on one card.

You should have received notices in the mail by the end of July explaining
P-EBT and how to set up a PIN on the Medicaid card.

Group 3

Benefits will be issued on a new card if you do not currently receive SNAP or Medicaid.

Each child should receive a P-EBT card with an enclosed letter explaining how to create a PIN and use the card.

To set up a PIN, call 1-888-328-6399.

Be prepared to provide security information, including your ZIP code and the cardholder’s date of birth.

These P-EBT cards will have “01/01/1900” as the date of birth, “PEBT 2020” as first name, and
the last name will include the last name followed by first name (or as many letters as the field can hold).

What should I do if I haven’t received New York P-EBT food benefits?

If you have not received your P-EBT benefits you can email the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA)

However, if you have already received a letter from OTDA notifying you that P-EBT food benefits have been issued to your
household and you have questions, you can also call the P-EBT Helpline at 1-833-452-0096.

Here’s how to email the OTDA based on which P-EBT category your child falls under as described above.

Group 1 – Email otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov with child’s name and date of birth.

Group 2 – P-EBT food benefits were loaded onto Medicaid CBIC cards in July.

If you have not received a letter, your child should receive P-EBT benefits in Group 3.

Group 3 – Email otda.sm.eisp.PEBT@otda.ny.gov with child’s name and date of birth.

However, OTDA will not finish sending Group 3 P-EBT cards until the end of September, so you may have to wait.

How do I activate my New York P-EBT Card?

"New York P-EBT Card activation"

In order to use your child’s P-EBT Food Benefit card, you must first call the EBT customer service hotline to select a Personal Identification Number – or PIN.

  • Using a touch-tone phone, dial 1-888-328-6399.
  • When prompted, select your preferred language– for example, press ‘1’ for English.
  • Next, enter the 19-digit number from the front of the card using your phone’s keypad.
  • After entering the card number, you will hear a series of options. If you have not used the card before to access P-EBT food benefits, press ‘1’ to create your PIN.
  • You will be asked to provide the last four digits of the cardholder’s Social Security Number. (The cardholder is the child whose name is printed on the front of the P-EBT Food Benefit card.)
  • Do NOT enter the last four digits of the child’s Social Security Number. Instead, you must enter the two-digit month and two-digit day of the child’s birthday (MM/DD). For example, if the child’s birthday is July 4, enter 0704. *Be sure to enter the child’s actual birthday and not the fake birthday printed on the front of the card.
  • After entering the child’s birthday information, you’ll be asked to enter your zip code.
  • Finally, select your new 4-digit PIN by entering a 4-digit number using your phone’s keypad. You will be required to enter this PIN whenever you make a purchase using your P-EBT Food Benefit card.

Alternatively, you can watch the video below for instructions on how to activate your New York P-EBT Card.

You can also refer to this detailed tutorial for help getting a replacement P-EBT card in New York.

How do I Contact New York P-EBT Customer Service?

Here’s the number to call for P-EBT support:

EBT Customer Service: 1-888-328-6399

You can call the number to:

  • Request a replacement card
  • Check your P-EBT balance
  • Activate (PIN) a card
  • Reset your PIN

Additionally, you can also check your card balance by visiting www.connectebt.com.

Here are additional P-EBT Support Information:

NY State P-EBT Hotline: 1-833-452-0096.

Get help to activate a card if you’re having trouble activating your P-EBT Card.

NY State P-EBT Contact Form: Bit.ly/PEBTcontactform

To update your mailing address on file.

What about P-EBT Benefits for Summer 2021?

As part of the American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021, by President Biden, children that are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program or are under 6 years of age and residing in a SNAP household will receive P-EBT over the summer as well.

The P-EBT program helps families with eligible children whose access to free or reduced-price meals at school or other food assistance has been impacted by COVID-19.

The summer P-EBT is an extension of benefits for the 2020-2021 school year.

Expanding P-EBT benefits through summer could impact more than 2.3 million kids in the state of New York and bring as much as $874.3 million in benefits to families.

Eligible children will receive a one-time payment of $375 to cover the entire summer period of June through August 2021.

For more details on this, see our post on P-EBT Extension for Summer 2021.

What can I buy with the P-EBT card?

You can buy most fresh, canned, frozen food items including but not limited to:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, dairy, and eggs
  • Rice, beans, and dry goods
  • Seeds to grow your own plants

What items can I NOT buy with the P-EBT card?

Items you can NOT buy with your P-EBT card include:

  • Prepared meals sold hot and ready to eat
  • Diapers
  • Cleaning products
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, etc.
  • Supplements/medicine
  • Pet food
  • Alcohol

For more information regarding eligible food items, click here.

Will receiving P-EBT impact households under “Public Charge?”

No. P-EBT is not a benefit that counts under Public Charge. Receipt of P-EBT does not affect a person’s immigration status.

New York P-EBT FAQs Summary

We hope this post on New York P-EBT FAQs was helpful.

Still Have Questions?

To return to the main P-EBT Guide, click here: New York P-EBT Guide.

For help with checking your P-EBT balance, click here: New York P-EBT Balance.

To reach the P-EBT Customer Service Helpline, click here: New York P-EBT Phone Number.

Summer 2021 P-EBT Details can be found here: Summer 2021 New York P-EBT.

To apply for SNAP benefits in New York, click here: New York SNAP Eligibility Guide.

For details on Restaurants that take food stamps in New York, click here: What Fast Food Restaurants Take SNAP in New York?

If you have further questions about New York EBT Card or SNAP benefits, please let us know in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out our other articles about New York Food Stamps New York EBT, including:
Get Free Admissions with New York EBT Card
How to Get a Replacement New York SNAP EBT Card
New York to Get 25% SNAP Increase
New York P-EBT Extension for 2021

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