February 26, 2021 update: find the latest P-EBT information in this post.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many schools in Kentucky being closed for in-person learning since March. To help provide food supports for families, Kentucky has leveraged a federal program through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT). These benefits provide money that can be used on grocery items in place of free meals that children would receive at school.
The first round of P-EBT covered the school days spent learning from home in March, April, and May 2020. The second round covered school days spent learning from home in August and September 2020, which varied for each student depending on their school’s schedule.
Beginning in November, all schools were required to close to in-person classes and remain on a home-based learning schedule. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has announced that P-EBT will be available for October and the following months that students spend learning from home.
UPDATE (February 10, 2021): The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is awaiting final federal approval for the retroactive application to proceed for October – February P-EBT funds.
(855) 979-9949 – You can call right now if you lost your old card or don’t have one, and it will be mailed out within a week or two in this interim period, and the money will be loaded once they start distributing that. This number goes directly to the card manufacturer to send out the new card to the address on file.
(855) 306-8959 – If your address has changed and you need a new card, call this number right now to update the address and get the new one sent in the interim.
Additionally, families who are currently on SNAP will get their next round of P-EBT benefits on their SNAP card, so they will not need to request a new card if theirs is lost or been thrown away.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has also provided information that some students were unintentionally left off the mailing list for the August and September benefits. This issue has been identified and is being resolved. Families who did not receive their card should expect it to arrive by mail in early January 2021. The amount on the benefit cards will vary for each student, depending on how many days they spent learning from home in August and September.
Along with a new rollout plan from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, families can expect an increase in the daily amount allotted for the P-EBT benefit. A new executive order issued by President Biden will increase the benefit amount by 15%. Previously, the amount per day that students could receive was capped at $5.86.
If you have questions about the P-EBT benefit or the status of your card, please call the state’s Family Support Line at (855) 306-8959. Check out an FAQ document from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and visit the Pandemic-EBT webpage for additional details.