School Year 2021-2022 P-EBT FAQ

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service approved the continuation of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Program for the 2021-2022 school year.

Tennessee’s plan to issue P-EBT for the 2021-2022 school year (SY 21-22) was recently approved by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. Actions are underway to determine if a child has missed meals due to an excused absence related to COVID-19, and the child is eligible to receive free, or reduced-priced meals.

2021-2022 P-EBT Eligibility

To qualify for the School Year 2021-2022 P-EBT a child must have missed school due to a COVID-19 related “excused absence” documented at the school. In addition, a child must participate in the National School Lunch Program and the school experienced a closure or reduction of hours of 5 consecutive days. Children that attend a Community Eligibility Program, Provision 2 or 3 school may also be eligible.

P-EBT for the 2021-2022 School Year is available to:

Children that receive free or reduced-price meals through one the following:

  • National School Lunch Program, income application or direct certification
  • Enrollment in a Community Eligibility Provision school,
  • Enrollment in a school operating under Provision 2 or 3, and
  • their school experienced a closure or reduction of hours of 5 consecutive days.

As more details are finalized regarding P-EBT for the 2021-2022 school year, updates will be posted on the TDHS P-EBT webpage, and TDHS social media accounts.  Text messaging will be available for parents who opt-in through the Parent Portal https://onedhs.tn.gov/parent   and the child has a documented COVID-19 related excused absence documented by the school. Text message opt-in will be available starting May 16, 2022. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Each school/school district provides TDHS with information on students that are eligible to receive P-EBT.  Contact your child/children’s school for additional information and instructions to apply for the National School Lunch Program by April 17, 2022. If you are unsure if your child received free or reduced-priced meals at school, or if your child attends a Community Eligibility Provision, Provision 2 or 3 school, contact the school for more detail.

For more information, please see frequently asked questions at: https://www.tn.gov/education/health-and-safety/school-nutrition/free-and-reduced-price-meals.html

To check the status and distribution date of P-EBT benefits, parents can use the P-EBT Parent Portal by visiting https://onedhs.tn.gov/parent  or calling the P-EBT hotline at 1-833-419-3210. Distribution dates are also shared on the TDHS website, and on TDHS Facebook and Twitter accounts.

UPDATED: TDHS will release P-EBT benefits for the 2021-2022 academic year during the summer of 2022 and details on related dates will be shared in the coming weeks. Once benefits are distributed, parents who believe their child did not receive the correct benefit amounts based on days with COVID-19-related excused absences can claim missing days during the reconsideration process period.

The P-EBT text message service and Parent Portal are best the tools to stay informed about benefit release dates, the reconsideration process and the latest P-EBT developments.

The P-EBT amount is based on each student’s number of “excused absences” related to COVID-19. Confirmation from each school and can vary from student to student, even within a family. To view the amount your child may receive, visit the P-EBT Parent Portal at https://onedhs.tn.gov/parent.

You can check your P-EBT card balance on www.connectebt.com or by calling the number on the back of your P-EBT card.

Yes, you should keep your card in case your child qualifies for future P-EBT program benefits. Your card will be reloaded as long as the program continues, and your child qualifies.  If the parent no longer has access to the card, a replacement can be ordered by calling the P-EBT hotline at 833-419-3210 to request a replacement card. The card may take up to 30 days to arrive.

Yes, to update please visit https://onedhs.tn.gov/relief to login/create an account, click the Parent Portal button, and update your address as needed. You may also call the P-EBT hotline at 833-419-3210.

UPDATED: If your child does not receive the correct benefits after the scheduled P-EBT distributions, parents can claim missing days through the reconsideration process taking place later this summer. More details will be shared regarding the reconsideration process in the coming weeks.

If you think your student qualifies but you have not received a card, call the P-EBT Assistance Line at 833-419-3210.

If you do not feel your family needs the P-EBT benefits, and you would like to decline benefits, please destroy the card after you get it. P-EBT benefits are non-transferrable. You can also decline to participate by visiting https://onedhs.tn.gov/relief to login/create an account, click the Parent Portal button and select Decline Benefits.

Please call 1-888-997-9444 to activate the card.  To activate the card, you will need the last four (4) numbers on the P-EBT card. When it asks for the last four (4) digits of the child’s social security number, use 0000 and date of birth for the child identified on the card.  During the activation process you will be instructed to select a four-digit personal identification number (PIN) which you will use at SNAP authorized retailers along with the card to access the benefits.

We encourage all families to activate each student's P-EBT card as soon as the card is received.

No. Unused P-EBT benefits will carry over from month to month. Unused funds will be removed from the P-EBT card after 274 days starting in September 2022.

You can call 1-888-997-9444 (the number on the back of your P-EBT card) to check your P-EBT balance.

Yes. Visit www.connectebt.com to request a new P-EBT card or call 1-888-997-9444.

You can use your P-EBT benefits at any store that accepts SNAP, including at select online grocers. Most retailers have signs saying they accept SNAP or EBT. 

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

Items you can NOT buy 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 visit: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items

For any additional questions you may have regarding P-EBT, call the P-EBT Assistance Line at (833) 419-3210.

Parents can Click Here to check eligibility for available P-EBT and verify their mailing address on the P-EBT Parent Portal.

Click Here to Access the P-EBT Parent Portal