The P-EBT program was extended by Congress in September 2020 for the 2020-2021 school year and was extended again by Congress in March 2021 to operate through the remainder of the federal public health emergency. On June 14, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved Oklahoma’s school year 2020-2021 P-EBT plan.
Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) helps families with children who would have received free or reduced-price meals if school buildings were not closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
P-EBT can be used to buy groceries.
Families with qualifying children will receive benefits, no application required. Not only does P-EBT help families directly, it helps our local economy as well! Using your benefit helps support stores in our state as well as workers employed at those stores. Using your benefits will not take it away from families in need of assistance.
P-EBT Assistance for Families
Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) is a program that helps children who would have received free or reduced-price meals at their schools if not for the COVID-19 pandemic. In Oklahoma, the Department of Human Services (OKDHS) administers the program through funding provided by a federal grant.
For the 2020-21 school year, schoolchildren must meet two important eligibility requirements:
- Children must have been enrolled in a school district that participates in a federal meal program where meals are served at a school
- Children must qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on income and have turned in the free or reduced-priced meals application to your children’s school for 2020-21, OR be enrolled in a school that participated in the Community Eligible Provision, Provision 2 or Provision 3 federal program in 2020-21. See a list of participating schools.
Families of students who are eligible will receive a P-EBT benefits card equivalent to $6.82 per day for school days in which the student was enrolled in a participating school AND received virtual instruction. No benefits will be issued for those days in which the student received in-person instruction or was counted absent from virtual instruction. The student's school determines the number of days a student qualifies for benefits based on the school’s calendar, student attendance records, school participation and the student’s free and reduced-price meal status. That data is securely transmitted to OKDHS, which loads and distributes the P-EBT benefits card.
There is no application process for these benefits. Families will receive benefits automatically if their school has identified to OSDE that a student qualifies. Every eligible child will be mailed a 2020-21 P-EBT card. Families with multiple children will receive a card for each eligible child in their household. For information about how to use the P-EBT cards, call DHS at (405) 522-5050.
P-EBT benefits for 2020-21 will begin arriving in mailboxes in mid-September 2021. Please allow several weeks to receive your child’s card.
If your child received virtual instruction in 2020-21, you believe your child meets the above eligibility criteria and you do not receive your card by Oct. 15, 2021, please return to this web page to fill out an inquiry form. If you believe you did not receive your card due to a change in address, you will need to fill out the inquiry form. The form will become available by Oct. 15. Your school will have an opportunity to review your information. Only your child’s school can verify eligibility for P-EBT benefits.
If you have other concerns not addressed here, please read our P-EBT FAQs for Families.