Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Summer 2023 P-EBT

What is Summer 2023 P-EBT?

Summer 2023 P-EBT is a temporary food benefit program operating during the COVID-19 pandemic and is an extension of the School P-EBT.

Who is eligible for Summer 2023 P-EBT benefits?

  • To be eligible for Summer 2023 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 2023);
    • 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 2023. This eligibility is based on either:
  • Summer 2023 P-EBT is not available for children in child care.

How do I get Summer 2023 P-EBT benefits? Do I need to apply?

You do not apply for Summer 2023 P-EBT benefits.

  • For Summer 2023 P-EBT, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will identify eligible schools and children for the months of May and June 2023. For Summer 2023 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 2023, 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 15, 2023. If determined eligible, the child will also qualify for Summer 2023 P-EBT benefits. New applications for summer will receive benefits at a later date.

When will Summer 2023 P-EBT benefits be issued?

  • Summer 2023 P-EBT benefits will be issued between August 16th and 27th, 2023.
  • Later issuance dates (to be determined) will follow for any potentially unidentified children who are eligible for benefits.

How much will my child receive in Summer 2023 P-EBT benefits?

Each child eligible to receive Summer 2023 P-EBT benefits (see eligibility criteria listed above) will receive a one-time fixed amount of $120 to cover summer benefits.

How was the Summer 2023 P-EBT benefit amount calculated/decided?

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) set a U.S. standard amount.  The benefit amount equals a fixed summer benefit of $120 per eligible child.  The Summer 2023 P-EBT is a portion of the summer value due to the PHE ending 05/11/2023.

How will Summer 2023 P-EBT benefits be issued?

  • For Summer 2023 P-EBT:
    • If your child is already receiving School P-EBT Benefits, the Summer 2023 P-EBT Benefit will be added to your existing P-EBT Card/account.
    • While IDHS did issue benefits to the same account students had from last year, many students will have inactive cards due to the time lapse from the last issuance. You do not have to order a new card. IDHS will review, and if your card is not active, IDHS will send you a new card automatically.
    • 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.

How do I use my P-EBT benefits?

  • Summer P-EBT benefits are loaded onto a P-EBT only account for the student. Each student will have their own account/card.
    • The first time you receive a card, you must set up a PIN by calling 1-800-678-LINK(5465). Use the automated menu to enter the card number, then select the option to select a PIN: 
      • When prompted for Social Security Number (SSN), enter 999-99-9999.
      • When prompted for Date of Birth, enter your student's date of birth.
    • Follow the same instruction whenever you need to change your PIN.
  • P-EBT benefits are loaded onto a Link card just like SNAP benefits and can be used at any store that accepts Link or SNAP benefits. Stores will have a sign posted if they are authorized to accept Link/SNAP at their location. Additionally, any authorized online retailer can be used. A list of participating online retailers can be found here: Retailers in Illinois Accepting SNAP Payments Online.

What can I buy with my P-EBT Benefits?

  • P-EBT Benefits are subject to the same rules as regular SNAP benefits. Benefits can be used to buy food for your household only.
  • It is not legal to sell your P-EBT Link card or allow others to use your card in return for cash. Doing so can result in loss of your benefits and/or criminal charges.
  • For more information on the use of your P-EBT benefits through your Link account, please see the Illinois Link Brochure here: IDHS: Illinois Link Program - 9203.

I am worried about receiving Summer 2023 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 2023 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.

My child previously 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.
  • Due to the high demand of replacement P-EBT cards, please allow up to 6 weeks for new card delivery.
  • 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.

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 2023 School P-EBT?

The deadline has now passed. You can still get Summer 2023 P-EBT, but you must have applied for free or reduced-price meals with your child's school by July 15, 2023.

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 2023, but I did not receive a P-EBT card in the mail. Who do I contact?

  • It may take until the end of November 2023 to receive your card. You should not be concerned that you have not received a card until then.
  • Make sure your school is eligible for P-EBT, check the listing with ISBE.
  • Individuals may request a new Link card by calling 1-800-678-5465(LINK) or going to the website for Illinois Link Cardholder (

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