Frequenty Asked Questions on Summer 2021 P-EBT?

What is Summer 2021 P-EBT?

Summer 2021 P-EBT is a temporary food benefit program operating during the COVID-19 pandemic and is an extension of the School P-EBT and Child Care P-EBT benefit programs.

Who is eligible for Summer 2021 P-EBT benefits?

  • To be eligible for Summer 2021 School P-EBT, the child, and the school in which they are enrolled, must meet certain eligibility criteria:
    • The child must be enrolled in an eligible Illinois school at the end of the school year (May and/or June 2021);
    • The child must attend a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program; and
    • The child must be eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals through their eligible school in May and/or June 2021. This eligibility is based on either:
  • To be eligible for Summer 2021 Child Care P-EBT, the child must meet certain eligibility criteria:
    • The child must be under the age of 6-years old as of 10/01/2020;
    • The child must have received SNAP benefits for at least one month - May, June, or July 2021; and
    • The child must not have received Summer 2021 School P-EBT benefits through the Summer 2021 School P-EBT benefits issuance process.

How do I get Summer 2021 P-EBT benefits? Do I need to apply?

You do not apply for Summer 2021 School or Child Care P-EBT benefits, but for Summer 2021 School P-EBT benefits, you must make sure your child is enrolled in free or reduced-price meals, if eligible, and that your address is up to date with your school.

  • For Summer 2021 School P-EBT, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will identify eligible schools and children for the months of May and June 2021. For Summer 2021 School P-EBT benefits, eligibility is based on the school's enrollment in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and the child's eligibility to receive free or reduced-price meals in May and/or June 2021, or if the school identifies as a Community Eligibility Provisions (CEP) school.
  • Participating Schools will also accept free or reduced-price meal applications through July 31, 2021. If determined eligible, the child will also qualify for Summer 2021 P-EBT benefits. New applications for summer will receive benefits at a later date.
  • For Summer 2021 Child Care P-EBT, applying is not necessary, as the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) will systematically identify children who qualify for Summer 2021 Child Care P-EBT benefits based on the child meeting the eligibility criteria listed above. (see eligibility criteria listed under "Who is eligible for Summer 2021 P-EBT benefits?")

How much will my child receive in Summer 2021 P-EBT benefits?

Each child eligible to receive School or Child Care Summer 2021 P-EBT benefits (see eligibility criteria listed above) will receive a one-time fixed amount of $375.00 (three hundred and seventy-five dollars) to cover summer benefits.

How was the Summer 2021 P-EBT benefit amount calculated/decided?

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) set a U.S. standard amount which is equal to the median number of weekdays in select sampled school districts, multiplied by the daily P-EBT rate. That equals a fixed summer benefit of $375 per eligible child (55 days at $6.82 per day).

How will Summer 2021 P-EBT benefits be issued?

  • For Summer 2021 School P-EBT:
    • If your child is already receiving School P-EBT Benefits, the Summer 2021 P-EBT Benefit will be added to your existing P-EBT Card/account.
    • If your child has not received School P-EBT Benefits, a new P-EBT account will be established and a P-EBT Card will be mailed to the address provided by the school in your child's name.
  • For Summer 2021 Child Care P-EBT:
    • Benefits will be issued onto the household's existing Illinois Link card.
    • Individuals may request a new Link card by calling 1-800-678-5465(LINK) or www.link.illinois.gov

When will Summer 2021 P-EBT benefits be issued?

Summer 2021 School or Child Care P-EBT benefits will be issued between August 11th and 20th, 2021. Later issuance dates will follow in September 2021 for any children that were newly eligible via a Free/Reduced Meal application filed over the summer.

I am worried about receiving Summer 2021 P-EBT because of my immigration status. Will getting this benefit count in a public charge test?

No. It is important to know that Summer 2021 P-EBT will not count in a public charge test. All students are eligible regardless of immigration status. Read Protecting Immigrant Families: Public Charge - Know Your Rights (pdf) for information about what public benefits impact the public charge test.

In the 2020-2021 school year my child received P-EBT benefits, but I threw away or lost my child's existing P-EBT card. Can I still get benefits?

  • Yes. If you have lost your card, no longer have your card, need to report a lost or stolen card, or to request a replacement card, visit Manage My Illinois Link Card or contact the LINK hotline at 1-800-678-5465.
  • Additional questions about P-EBT can be communicated to the toll-free P-EBT Helpline number at 1-833-621-0737 from 8:30 am to 5:00 PM, Monday thru Friday, excluding State holidays. You can also submit an inquiry via our P-EBT website at www.dhs.illinois.gov/PEBT

How do I know if my school is eligible (participates in the National School Lunch Program)?

  • A listing of NSLP schools can be found on the ISBE website.
  • Additionally, on the IDHS P-EBT General Inquiry Request form, only P-EBT eligible schools are listed. If your school is not listed here, that school does not qualify for P-EBT.

I think my child is eligible for free or reduced-price meals, but we haven't enrolled. Can I still get Summer 2021 School P-EBT?

Yes. You can still get Summer 2021 School P-EBT, but you must have applied for free or reduced-price meals with your child's school by July 31, 2021.

How do I know if my child is eligible for free or reduced-price lunch?

Read the ISBE income eligibility guidelines for free or reduced-price school meals (pdf).

My child received free or reduced-price school meals in May and/or June 2021, but I did not receive a P-EBT card in the mail. Who do I contact?

  • Make sure your school is eligible for P-EBT, check the listing on ISBE (www.isbe.net/pebt)
  • Individuals may request a new Link card by calling 1-800-678-5465(LINK) or going to www.link.illinois.gov

For additional information, please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on School P-EBT.