School Year 22-23 P-EBT FAQ
The USDA Food and Nutrition Service approved the continuation of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Program for the 2022-2023 school year and Summer 2023.
The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) will distribute lump sum payments to all students who were eligible for P-EBT benefits for the 2022-2023 school year, separated into 2 parts: August 2022 – February 2023 and March 2023 – May 11, 2023 and a one-time lump sum payment of $120 to all students who were eligible for P-EBT benefits during Summer 2023. P-EBT benefits will be issued to existing P-EBT cards for eligible students. Newly eligible students can expect to receive a P-EBT card mailed to their home.
P-EBT Benefits for August 2022 – February 2023 were released on or around April 21, 2023. Parents will be able see March 2023 - May 2023 and Summer 2023 P-EBT benefits reflected on the P-EBT Parent Portal (https://onedhs.tn.gov/parent) on or around June 16, 2023.
Remaining School Year 2022-2023 P-EBT Eligibility
To qualify for the remaining School Year 2022-2023 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 2022-2023 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.
Summer 2023 P-EBT Program
Short for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, P-EBT is a federally funded COVID-19 relief program made possible through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the American Rescue Plan Act 0f 2021. Using P-EBT cards, the program provides nutritional assistance to National School Lunch Program participants and qualifying families to replace school meals missed due to COVID-19 related events.
Summer P-EBT is an extension of the P-EBT program for school aged children.
Eligible K-12 students who attended school in person will receive P-EBT benefits for the Summer 2023 if children are:
- Eligible to receive free meals through the National School Lunch Program or attend a Community Eligibility Program, Provision 2 or 3 school.
- Attended a school that experienced a closure or reduction of hours of 5 consecutive days.
School-aged children determined eligible by July 31, 2023 will be issued Summer 2023 P-EBT benefits.
Children are automatically enrolled in P-EBT for the 2022-2023 School Year and Summer 2023 according to records provided by Tennessee schools. No application is required.
Eligible children will receive approximately $120 in Summer P-EBT benefits, plus the amount of any additional benefits they were eligible for from March 2023 – May 11, 2023.
The total amount of P-EBT benefits will vary for each eligible child.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who decides if a child/student is eligible for P-EBT?
Each school/school district provides TDHS with information on students that are eligible to receive P-EBT. If needed, you may contact your child/children’s school for additional information and instructions to apply for the National School Lunch Program by May 11, 2023. 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
When will I get my P-EBT benefits?
School Year August 2022 – February 2023 P-EBT benefits were distributed beginning April 21, 2023. School Year March 2023 – May 2023 and Summer 2023 P-EBT benefits will be distributed beginning June 16, 2023. 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 assistance hotline at 1-833-419-3210.
Distribution dates are also shared on the TDHS website, and on TDHS Facebook and Twitter accounts.
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 P-EBT Administrative Review process period from June 19 – June 30, 2023For more information on the P-EBT Administrative Review Process, visit: https://www.tn.gov/humanservices/p-ebt/p-ebt-administrative-review-faq.html
How much will I get?
The School Year P-EBT amount is based on each student’s number of “excused absences” related to COVID-19. Eligible children will receive approximately $8.18 per each excused absence day, related to COVID-19.
Children eligible for Summer P-EBT will receive a one-time Summer P-EBT benefit of $120.
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.
Should I keep my P-EBT card after using benefits?
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 assistance hotline at 833-419-3210 to request a replacement card. The card may take up to 30 days to arrive.
My address is incorrect, can I update my address?
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.
I don’t agree with the P-EBT amount my child received, what can I do?
Parents who believe their child’s School Year School Year 2022-2023 or Summer 2023 P-EBT benefits do not reflect the number of school meals missed due to COVID-19-related school closures or excused absences during the March 2023 – May 2023 timeframe or Summer 2023 can submit an Administrative Review request via the P-EBT Parent Portal at https://onedhs.tn.gov/parent. Requests must be made between June 19, 2023 and June 30, 2023 at 5 P.M CST. If approved, P-EBT Administrative Review benefits will be issued on a rolling basis. To learn more about the P-EBT Administrative Review Process visit: https://www.tn.gov/humanservices/p-ebt/p-ebt-administrative-review-faq.html
Why did my student not receive a P-EBT card?
If you think your student qualifies but you have not received a card, call the P-EBT Assistance Line at 833-419-3210.
I don’t want to use my P-EBT funds. What do I do?
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.
I have received my student’s P-EBT card, how do I activate it?
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.
Do I have to activate my student's P-EBT card by a specific date?
We encourage all families to activate each student's P-EBT card as soon as the card is received.
Do I have to use all my P-EBT benefits when I get them?
No. Unused P-EBT benefits will carry over from month to month.
How do I check my P-EBT balance?
You can call 1-888-997-9444 (the number on the back of your P-EBT card) to check your P-EBT balance.
I lost my P-EBT card. Can I get a new one?
Yes. Visit www.connectebt.com to request a new P-EBT card or call 1-888-997-9444. The card may take up to 30 days to arrive.
Where can I use my P-EBT benefits? What can I buy with them?
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.
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 include:
- Prepared meals sold hot and ready to eat
- Cleaning products
- Toilet paper, paper towels, etc.
- Supplements / medicine
- Pet food
For more information regarding eligible food items visit: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items
Who do I contact for any additional questions I may have about P-EBT?
For any additional questions you may have regarding P-EBT, call the P-EBT Assistance Line at (833) 419-3210.