For more information on P-EBT in Maryland, please visit the Department of Human Services P-EBT webpage or call the Maryland Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Hotline at 1-833-330-PEBT (1-833-330-7328). Additionally, questions or concerns about individual cases can be submitted using this Customer Inquiry Form. A team from DHS will be working to respond to each form submission.
What is P-EBT?
- Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) provides nutrition assistance to families whose children have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to COVID-19 related school closures. Families will receive money on a new or existing EBT card to help make up for these lost meals.
How do I know if I am eligible?
- If your child receives free or reduced-price school meals, or your child attends a school that offers free school meals to all students, then you may be eligible to receive P-EBT benefits.
How much money will I receive?
- You will receive $5.70 per child for each school day that your child’s school is closed due to the pandemic for a total of up to $370.50 per child.
How will I receive the money?
- Families who already receive benefits (such as SNAP or TANF) on an EBT card should have their P-EBT benefits automatically added to their existing EBT card in June.
- Families whose children receive free or reduced-price meals but do not have an EBT card should have received one P-EBT card per eligible child in the mail with instructions on how to use it.
How can I use these benefits?
- The Maryland Department of Human Services will send you instructions on how to access your P-EBT benefits using a P-EBT or EBT card. These benefits can be used at any store that accepts SNAP or EBT and can be used to purchase most food items, with the exception of prepared foods.
Do I have to use my benefits all at the same time?
- No, your P-EBT benefits will carry over month-to-month and will remain on your EBT card for up to 365 days from the date they were made available to you.
When will I receive the benefits?
- The Maryland Department of Human Services distributed P-EBT benefits in June. If you are eligible and already have an EBT card, you should have been notified when benefits were loaded to your card. If you are eligible but do not have a card, the department should have emailed you one EBT card per child with benefits loaded onto each card and ready for your use once activated.
What do I do if I am eligible for P-EBT but have not received any communications from DHS regarding my benefits?
- Questions or concerns regarding your individual P-EBT case should be directed to DHS through their Customer Inquiry Form. The department has a team working to respond to each inquiry submitted.
What should I do if I’ve moved and need to update my address?
- To received P-EBT benefits, families must have an updated mailing address. Please update your address with the Department of Human Services (by filling out the Customer Inquiry Form) and with your child’s school district.
How do I activate my child’s P-EBT card when I get it?
- Call the number on the back of the card. You will need the 16-digit EBT card number on the front of the card, your zip code, and the date of birth of the child who is named on the card. When prompted to enter the last four digits of your Social Security number, enter 0000. You will then be able to set a four-digit pin number.
Will I receive benefits for the days my kids have already been out of school?
- Yes, the benefits are retroactive to the date schools closed.
How long will I receive benefits for?
- P-EBT benefits will be calculated from the beginning of the mandated statewide school closure, which was March 16th. This amount will be distributed in one lump sum, totaling up to $370.50 per child.
Will this affect my ability to receive other benefits?
- No, it does not.
Does P-EBT replace grab and go meal sites?
- P-EBT benefits supplement grab and go meals and can be used together. To find a meal site near you, visit MDsummermeals.org. “Grab and go” meal site locations are updated nightly and will continue to operate through the summer.
Does this count against me under public charge?
- No, it does not. The Department of Homeland Security has stated that receiving P-EBT benefits will not affect your immigration status or your ability to receive immigration benefits.
How can my family receive additional food assistance?
- If your family needs immediate food assistance, you can find food distribution sites and emergency resources in your area on the Maryland Food Bank and Capital Area Food Bank Meal sites for children can be found at www.MDsummermeals.org.
- You can apply for SNAP benefits in addition to receiving P-EBT. Information on how to apply to SNAP can be found HERE (información sobre SNAP). Applications for SNAP assistance are still being processed while DHS offices are closed. Online applications can be submitted on the MyDHR portal: dhr.state.md.us. If you or someone you know does not have internet access or requires special assistance with filling out this online application, Maryland Hunger Solutions can assist over the phone. For application assistance over the phone, please call and leave a message at: 866-821-5552.