P-EBT Benefits for the 2021-22 School Year and Summer 2022 Are Now Available

Dec 01, 2022

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program is now available for the 2021-22 school year and summer 2022. The eligibility criteria is different than previously administered P-EBT benefits, so families should read the new program information thoroughly.

Student eligibility for 2021-22 P-EBT benefits is based on students’ free or reduced-price meal eligibility and COVID-related absences, virtual attendance, and school closures. Families must have had an approved National School Lunch Program (NSLP) household application, be eligible through direct certification, or have attended a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision 2 school during the 2021-22 school year.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) provided local education agencies (LEAs) with a sample letter to families to explain in more detail the benefits and eligibility criteria for this round of P-EBT. LEAs are currently in the process of submitting school absence data to DESE, reflecting COVID-related absences on-file from the 2021-22 school year. DESE will review the data and share benefit amounts with the Department of Social Services (DSS). DSS will load the funds onto new or existing P-EBT cards.

P-EBT is a food assistance benefit for students who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals under the NSLP. Throughout the 2021-22 school year, COVID-19 continued to cause schools to operate with reduced attendance. The number of consecutive school days missed due to a COVID-related absence will be linked to a predetermined benefit level (see below).

Tier / Days Absent

Benefit Day Used

Benefit Amount

Tier 1: 1-5 days

3 days


Tier 2: 6-15 days

10 days


Tier 3: 16+ or more days

17 days


Summer 2022

55 days


The final pages of DESE’s sample letter to families includes answers to frequently asked questions as well as which entity should be contacted if a family has questions.