Deadline approaching for next round of pandemic EBT payments in Tennessee

Education

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Tennessee parents and caregivers of children who receive free or reduced school meals are being asked to verify their information online now before the next round of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program begins.

The Tennessee Department of Human Services announced Monday the deadline to update address information before the first payments is Sunday, March 14. In order to ensure the new P-EBT cards are mailed to the right addresses next month, qualifying families must verify information online.

“We have been working directly with school districts and community groups to ensure qualifying families receive these funds directly in a timely manner,” TDHS Commissioner Clarence H. Carter said. “With eligibility changes to this new round, more children are now eligible, and we need any family receiving free or reduced lunch support to check their status online.”

Changes to P-EBT eligibility will allow for some students who didn’t qualify for the last round to
participate this time.

To be eligible for the third round of P-EBT benefits:

  • The child must qualify for free or reduced-price school meals under the National School Lunch Program. This includes any student in a school that provided free meals to all students (under a special rule called “Community Eligibility Provision”).
  • And, the child did not receive free or reduced-priced meals at the school because the school is closed to in-person learning; or has been operating with reduced attendance or hours for at least five consecutive days in the current school year.

P-EBT cards can be used like a debit card to purchase food at any establishment that accepts EBT or online with Amazon, Walmart, Aldi, Food Lion, and others. The amount each student will receive varies based on the child’s learning schedule.

For eligibility assistance, parents should call the P-EBT Hotline at 833-496-0661.

Students who are learning 100% virtually will receive $122.76 in P-EBT a month. Students who are on a hybrid learning schedule will receive an amount based on the statewide average number of days students spent that month on hybrid schedules.

P-EBT benefits were provided to more than 740,000 children during the first round of P-EBT for
the spring 2020 school semester and another 364,000 children received benefits for the second
round that ended in September.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture to approve states for P-EBT. Approved state agencies may operate P-EBT when a school is closed for at least five consecutive days during a public health emergency designation when the school would otherwise be in session.

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