What is P-EBT?

P-EBT provides nutrition benefits to families who lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to reduced school days or closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2021-2022 School Year

Eligible children under age 6 will receive another round of P-EBT benefits this summer. Montana’s P-EBT plan was approved by USDA in May, and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) has finalized their plan.

This round of P-EBT will be available to children under age 6 who participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from September 2021 to May 2022. Please note that this is more limited eligibility compared to the 2020-2021 school year.

Children Under 6

Montana’s P-EBT plan for children under 6 years old was approved on May 24, 2022.

Children are eligible for P-EBT if:

  • They were enrolled in SNAP during some month(s) from September 2021 – May 2022, AND
  • They were under age 6 as of August 1, 2021.

Fall semester benefits: Each family will receive $35 per month for each month that their child was eligible between September 2021 and December 2021. Eligible households will tentatively receive these benefits in July.

Spring semester benefits: DPHHS will later calculate the monthly amount for January 2022 – May 2022. Eligible households will tentatively receive these benefits in August.

To ask questions about your P-EBT benefits, contact DPHHS at 1-888-706-1535 or [email protected].

Read Montana’s full 2021-2022 P-EBT plan here.

School Age Children

School aged children will not be eligible for P-EBT benefits for the 2021-2022 school year time period.

Summer 2022

Montana DPHHS anticipates that Summer 2022 P-EBT benefits will be available to eligible children 0-17. It is likely that eligibility for Summer 2022 P-EBT benefits will be similar to eligibility guidelines for Summer 2021, which are described in that section below. This page will be updated as more information becomes available about Summer 2022 benefits. DPHHS has posted their announcement here.

Summer 2021

  • Who is eligible for Summer P-EBT?
    • Children who received free or reduced-price school meals (determined by direct certification, through an application for Free and Reduced-Price School meals program or enrollment in a Community Eligibility Provision school) AND
    • Were enrolled in school as of the last month of the 2020-2021 school year
  • Who is NOT eligible for Summer P-EBT?
    • Any student who dropped out or graduated early (were not enrolled in the last month of the 2020-2021 school year) is not eligible.
    • Children who are newly entering kindergarten for the 2021-2022 school year are not eligible – but may be eligible for the Children Under 6 plan (see below)
  • How much Summer P-EBT benefits will families receive?
    • Families who are determined to have eligible children will receive $375 per child for the entire summer
  • How will benefits be distributed?
    • Families that receive SNAP benefits currently, will have Summer P-EBT benefits added to their existing SNAP EBT card.
    • Families that do not receive current SNAP benefits will receive a Summer PEBT card in the mail.
  • When will benefits be distributed?
    • Households determined to be eligible before July 26, 2021 will receive their Summer P-EBT benefits in August, 2021.
    • Households determined to be eligible after July 26, 2021 that have applied for the NSLP before the end of August and are approved, will receive retroactive Summer P-EBT benefits in September, 2021.

2020-2021 School Year

Children who missed out on free or reduced-price school meals during the 2020-2021 school year due to hybrid or virtual learning models will begin receiving another round Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) in May, 2021. Montana’s P-EBT plan was approved by USDA at the beginning of April and the Montana Department of Public Human and Health Services issued a press release with details of their plan, including:

School Age Children

  • Who is eligible? 
    • Children who would be eligible for free or reduced-price meals; determined by direct certification, through an application for the Free and Reduced-Price School Meals program or enrollment in a Community Eligibility Provision school. AND
    • Missed meals at school due to hybrid or virtual learning models.
  • How much P-EBT benefits will families receive?
    • Children who attended school virtually for the entire school year will receive the full benefit amount, estimated to be $115.94 per month per eligible child.
    • Children who attended a school using a hybrid model will receive a prorated amount, $68.20, for each month (based on the average number of remote days from Montana’s 15 largest school districts).
  • How will benefits be distributed?
    • Households will receive an EBT card in the mail with the first round of benefits.
    • Benefits will be issued retroactively.
      • The first benefit amount will likely be for the months of  October, November and December of 2020, and January and February of 2021.
      • Benefits for March through June of 2021 will likely be issued in July and August of 2021.
  • When will benefits be distributed?
    • Households will begin receiving benefits at the end of May, 2021.
    • If you believe you have eligible children in your household and have not received benefits by June 11, email or call the Montana Department of Health and Human Services:
  • Where can P-EBT Benefits be spent?
    • Anywhere SNAP benefits can be spent, including grocery stores and many farmers markets. P-EBT Benefits even qualify for match funds through Double SNAP Dollars!

Children Under 6

Montana’s P-EBT plan for children under 6 years old was approved on June 16, 2021.

  • Children under 6 years old are eligible for P-EBT if:
    • They were enrolled in SNAP during regular school months AND
    • Reside in a county (or contiguous county) that has at least one school operating as remote or hybrid; OR attended a child care facility that had a 25% or more reduction in capacity
      • Fully remote counties will receive the full amount of $115/month
      • Hybrid counties will receive a prorated amount of $68/month
  • Households with eligible children will begin receiving P-EBT benefits on their SNAP EBT card in July for October 2020 through June 2021
    • For SNAP cases that have been closed prior to issuance, the old SNAP EBT card will be used. If you need a new card, contact Montana DPHHS at 1-888-706-1535 or [email protected]

Read Montana’s full 2020-2021 P-EBT plan here

2019-2020 School Year

P-EBT benefits for the 2019-2020 school year were distributed during July and August of 2020.

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