Here’s great news for all parents who have kids participating in the free or reduced school lunch program or who have children under 6 on Texas Food Stamps! The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) food assistance program through Summer 2021. In this post, we are going to explain how the Texas P-EBT works, who is eligible, when cards will be reloaded and how to check the balance on your card.
First, we will explain in detail what the Texas P-EBT program is about.
Next, we will cover who is eligible for the program and how many rounds of P-EBT benefits have been issued so far.
Additionally, we will explain the Summer 2021 P-EBT extension, who is eligible, and how much you can expect in benefits.
Also, we will walk you through how to check the balance of your P-EBT card and how to contact Texas P-EBT customer service.
Lastly, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about the P-EBT program.
Table of Contents:
- What is Texas P-EBT Program?
- Who is Eligible for P-EBT in Texas?
- How to Apply for Texas P-EBT
- P-EBT Extension in Texas – Summer 2021
- When will Summer 2021 P-EBT be Loaded?
- How to Contact Texas P-EBT Customer Service
- How to Check Texas P-EBT Card Balance
- Texas P-EBT FAQs
What is Texas P-EBT Program?
Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) provides food assistance to households with children who are enrolled in a free or reduced-price school meal program while schools are out of session due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The program operates similarly to the Texas SNAP/food stamps program.
Benefits are pre-loaded funds on P-EBT cards to eligible children and can be used exclusively for food purchases.
Pandemic EBT was originally scheduled to expire on September 30, 2020.
However, on October 1, 2020, the program was extended for an additional year – through September 30, 2021.
Additionally, under the American Rescue plan signed into law in March 2021, the P-EBT program was further extended through the end of the pandemic.
Therefore, as long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and schools are not 100% in-person, the program is likely to continue.
Furthermore, the program’s eligibility was expanded to include children under 6 in SNAP households.
Also, on January 22, in support of President Biden’s call to action on hunger, USDA announced that it is increasing the P-EBT benefit by approximately 15 percent.
This was aimed at providing more money for low-income families and millions of children missing meals due to school and child care closures.
Who is Eligible for P-EBT in Texas?
Here’s who is eligible for P-EBT benefits in the state of Texas:
A child must meet one of the following criteria for the 2020–2021 school year to be eligible for P-EBT:
- Certified for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
- Attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision 2 (P2) school that offers free meals to all students through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
- Born after Aug. 1, 2014, in a family that received SNAP benefits for at least one month between October 2020 and June 2021.
If you have any questions about eligibility for your child, contact your child’s school.
Additionally, the P-EBT application will provide a list of Texas schools that participate.
Furthermore, it is possible that a child is eligible for P-EBT but no benefits will be issued because all students at their school attended in-person classes.
P-EBT Extension in Texas – Summer 2021
As part of the American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021, by President Biden, children that are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program or are under 6 years of age and residing in a SNAP household will receive P-EBT over the summer as well.
As a result, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced that Texas has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) food assistance program through Summer 2021.
The P-EBT program helps families with eligible children whose access to free or reduced-price meals at school or other food assistance has been impacted by COVID-19.
The summer P-EBT is an extension of benefits for the 2020-2021 school year.
How to Apply for P-EBT in Texas
Here’s how you can apply for Texas P-EBT benefits:
Who Needs to Apply?
A parent/guardian must apply if the eligible student is:
- Enrolled in K-12 and NOT part of a family who received SNAP benefits for at least one month between August 2020 and June 2021.
- Born on or before August 1, 2014, and is part of a family who received SNAP benefits for the first time during the 2020–2021 school year in May or June 2021.
A parent/guardian does not have to apply if an eligible student or child is:
- Born on or before August 1, 2014, and is part of a family who received SNAP benefits for at least one month between August 2020 and April 2021.
- Born after August 1, 2014, and is part of a family who received SNAP benefits for at least one month between October 2020 and June 2021.
How to Apply
To apply, visit the YourTexasBenefits page to complete an application. Click here to be taken there.
The application is open until August 13th, 2021.
If you do not currently get SNAP benefits and your child is approved for P-EBT, you will be mailed a P-EBT card loaded with benefits.
When will Summer 2021 P-EBT be Loaded?
The CDSS and CDE are working on a schedule to release Summer P-EBT benefits soon.
We will provide an update here when an announcement is made, including when P-EBT cards will be mailed to newly eligible children.
How to Contact Texas P-EBT Customer Service
If you need to speak to Texas P-EBT Customer service, we can help.
For more information, visit hhs.texas.gov/pebt (English) or hhs.texas.gov/es/pebt (Spanish).
You can also call the P-EBT Call Center at 833-442-1255.
Customer service agents are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Central time.
How to Check Texas P-EBT Card Balance
You have two options available to you to check the P-EBT balance.
Option 1 – Check by Phone
You can check your Texas P-EBT Card balance by calling the Customer Service number on the back of your card.
We have also provided the number below for your convenience.
Texas P-EBT Customer Service Number: 1-800-777-7328.
The Customer Service Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
After you call, enter your P-EBT card number and you will hear your account balance.
Option 2 – Check your Last Receipt
Also, you can check the balance on your Texas P-EBT card through your last transaction receipt.
This is the easiest and quickest way to locate the current balance on your P-EBT Card.
To locate the balance, look at the bottom of your most recent grocery store receipt.
Furthermore, it is a good practice to keep your most current P-EBT receipt.
That way, you always have a quick way to check your P-EBT card balance before you shop.
Texas P-EBT FAQs
Here are the most common questions readers have regarding the Texas P-EBT program:
When will I get my P-EBT card?
It can take two to five weeks after completing your application to receive a P-EBT card loaded with benefits in the mail.
Cards will be mailed to the address entered on the application.
If it has been five weeks since you applied for P-EBT benefits and you have not received a P-EBT card or notice from HHSC, here’s what to do:
Contact the Texas P-EBT Call Center at 833-442-1255, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.– 6 p.m. Central Time.
How long do I have to use my P-EBT benefits?
You can begin using your card at any time.
If you do not use your card for one year, any unused benefits will expire.
Why was my child denied for Texas P-EBT?
There are several reasons why your child may be denied P-EBT benefits in Texas.
The denial reason will be on the notice you received in the mail.
Here are possible reasons:
Based on the information provided by your child’s school or district, your child does not meet the criteria to receive P-EBT.
Your child was not listed in the information provided to HHSC by your child’s school or district for the 2020–2021 school year.
Please note that if your child’s information on the application you submitted did not match the records provided by their school and/or district, that could be the reason your child was not approved.
Already Received Benefits
Your child was denied because it was determined they already received P-EBT benefits.
If you have questions, contact the P-EBT Call Center at 833-442-1255, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Central time.
Texas P-EBT Summary
We hope this post on Texas P-EBT Benefits was helpful.
If you have further questions about Texas P-EBT, SNAP or EBT in general, please let us know in the comments section below.
Also, be sure to check out our other articles about EBT, including:
Wisconsin P-EBT Benefits
Free Admission with Alabama EBT
Alabama EBT Card FAQs
Alabama EBT Deposit Schedule
How to Request a Replacement Alabama EBT Card
Illinois EBT Phone Number