If you are looking for information or need help with your North Carolina P-EBT benefits, we can help. In this article, we will provide you with the most comprehensive guide on North Carolina P-EBT benefits.
We will cover:
- What is North Carolina P-EBT?
- North Carolina Pandemic EBT Eligibility
- How to get North Carolina P-EBT benefits
- How much you will get in P-EBT benefits
- North Carolina P-EBT Benefits Payment Schedule
- How to use Pandemic EBT
- Where you can use FL P-EBT
- Check your North Carolina P-EBT balance
- North Carolina P-EBT Discounts
- North Carolina P-EBT FAQs
Pandemic EBT Program
The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program was authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The program provides financial assistance to families with children that typically receive free or reduced-price school meals.
The goal of the program is to reduce the financial strain on low-income households caused by extended school closures during COVID-19.
Pandemic EBT is in line with USDA’s commitment to keeping Americans safe, secure, and healthy. In addition, the program helps feed children when schools are closed for a national emergency.
To learn more about the Pandemic EBT in North Carolina, continue reading below.
North Carolina P-EBT Benefits
In April, Governor Roy Cooper announced North Carolina’s approval for the federal Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program. This means that North Carolina students who normally receive free or reduced-price meals at school will receive financial assistance through P-EBT.
The program will provide relief to households with students during extended school closures. All public and a majority of private North Carolina schools have been closed since March 16th due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
To find out if your child qualifies for P-EBT benefits in North Carolina and how to get them, continue reading below.
What is North Carolina P-EBT?
North Carolina Pandemic EBT is a supplemental food purchasing benefit to offset the cost of meals that would have otherwise been consumed at school.
The Food and Nutrition Service is allowing North Carolina to provide benefits (similar to SNAP or “food stamps”) to children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals through the National Lunch Program.
The program is expected to provide financial assistance to approximately 800,000 children in the state. Find out if your child qualifies for North Carolina Pandemic EBT benefits.
North Carolina P-EBT Qualifications
North Carolina P-EBT benefits are provided to all public and private school students who participate in the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and receive free or reduced-price school meals.
P-EBT Benefits are also available to students that attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school in North Carolina.
Students over the age of 18 will receive North Carolina P-EBT benefits if they are enrolled in school and receive free or reduced-price lunch.
Students enrolled in Head Start programs do not qualify for Pandemic EBT in North Carolina. However, Pre-K students may qualify for P-EBT if they are participating in the federal free and reduced-lunch program.
Does my child qualify if they participate in the USDA Child Nutrition Program?
No, to qualify for North Carolina P-EBT, your child must be enrolled and receiving free and reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program.
Pandemic EBT benefits are intended to help North Carolina households buy food for their children during school closures.
Households that meet the following criteria qualify for Pandemic EBT in North Carolina:
- Families with one or more children in their household
- Attend a CEP school that provides free meals to all students
- Children who normally receive free and reduced price meals at school
- School has been closed due to the pandemic for at least five consecutive days
To learn more about students eligible for P-EBT benefits in North Carolina, continue reading below.
North Carolina P-EBT Eligible Students
North Carolina households with students that attend public or private schools and are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program are eligible for the P-EBT program.
In addition, students that are meet any of the following are also eligible for P-EBT benefits in North Carolina:
- Attends a Charter school with the National Lunch Program
- Attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school
- Parent applied and was approved to receive free or reduced-price meals with the school district
Students that are attending virtual schools or home-schooling are not eligible for P-EBT benefits in North Carolina.
If your child is still receiving “grab and go” meals from your school, you are still eligible for P-EBT enrollment.
The North Carolina P-EBT program is only available to students enrolled in the National School Lunch Program for the 2019-2020 school year. The child must be enrolled and participating to receive P-EBT benefits.
If your child is not currently enrolled in the free and reduced-price lunch program, but you think you would qualify, please contact your local school district for instructions on how to submit an application.
To find out how to get North Carolina P-EBT benefits, continue reading below.
How do I get North Carolina P-EBT?
To receive North Carolina P-EBT benefits, you do not need to do anything. North Carolina P-EBT benefits will be automatically issued to households with eligible students. There is no application for North Carolina P-EBT benefits.
Information on P-EBT eligibility is pulled directly from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
For P-EBT households receiving SNAP EBT benefits, your P-EBT benefits will be added to your current NC EBT Card.
P-EBT households not receiving SNAP benefits, will be mailed a P-EBT card for their benefits. Your P-EBT Card will be mailed to the address on file with your child’s school.
No further action is required on your part to receive your P-EBT benefits.
To find out how much you can expect to receive in North Carolina P-EBT benefits, continue reading below.
How much will I receive in North Carolina P-EBT benefits?
North Carolina P-EBT benefits are provided for each eligible child in your household for March 16, 2020 through June 12, 2020 – a total of 65 days. The amount is equal to the daily reimbursement cost for free breakfast and lunch at $5.70 per day.
If your child was receiving free or reduced-price school meals prior to schools closing on March 16, 2020, you will receive $371.00 in North Carolina P-EBT benefits per child.
To find out when you will receive your P-EBT benefits payment, continue reading.
When will I receive my North Carolina P-EBT benefits?
North Carolina households currently receiving SNAP benefits will receive their P-EBT benefits first. Those households should expect to receive their payment on their North Carolina EBT Card by mid-May.
For households not receiving SNAP benefits, you will have to wait to receive your NC P-EBT Card in the mail before you can get your benefits. You are expected to receive your payment by mid-June.
To find out when your P-EBT Card will arrive, skip to the next section below.
When will my North Carolina P-EBT Card arrive?
Your North Carolina P-EBT Card will arrive in the mail via USPS by June 10, 2020. P-EBT Cards began mailing out in waves on May 21st.
The first wave sent on May 21st, included households enrolled in the free and reduced-price school meals program prior to December 2019.
The second wave was sent out at the end of May and included households enrolled in the free and reduced-price school meals program between January and March 2020.
Third, the last wave will be sent out at the beginning of June and will include those enrolled in the National Lunch Program after March 2020.
All North Carolina P-EBT Cards will be mailed to households by June 3rd.
If you are currently receiving food stamp benefits in North Carolina and have an EBT Card, you will not be sent a P-EBT Card in the mail. Your P-EBT benefits payment will be submitted directly to your EBT Card.
North Carolina P-EBT Payment Schedule
The North Carolina P-EBT benefits will be submitted in two payments.
The first payment will be sent out by end of May and will cover the school days closed in March and April (34 total days).
The second payment will be sent out in mid-June and will cover the school days closed in May and June (31 total days).
Here is a breakdown of North Carolina P-EBT payments by number of children:
|North Carolina P-EBT Benefit Payment Schedule|
|# of Children||Payment #1||Payment #2||Total P-EBT Payment|
Daily rate per student: $5.70
How to use North Carolina P-EBT Benefits
To use your North Carolina P-EBT benefits, you must first activate your P-EBT Card. To activate your NC P-EBT Card, please call the number on the back of the card. You will be asked to register a 4-digit PIN number for your card.
Once your P-EBT Card has been activated, you are ready to use your North Carolina P-EBT benefits.
To use your benefits, visit an eligible SNAP EBT store location in North Carolina. When shopping with your benefits, checkout as usual and use your EBT Card like a debit card.
When you are ready to pay for food at the store/market:
- Select “EBT”
- Swipe the card
- Enter your 4-digit PIN number
After that, your payment is processed and benefits removed from your card. To find out where you can use your North Carolina P-EBT benefits, continue reading below.
Where to use North Carolina P-EBT
P-EBT benefits can be used at any store that accepts SNAP EBT benefits. Pandemic EBT benefits can be used at grocery stores, warehouse stores, mini-marts, convenience stores, markets, gas stations, specialty food stores, bakeries, farmer’s markets and more.
Some popular North Carolina P-EBT locations include:
- BJs Wholesale Club
- Compare Foods
- Carrolls Foods Incorporated
- Deep Roots Market
- Earth Fare
- Food Lion
- Harris Teeter
- Ingles Market
- Lowes Food
- Piggly Wiggly
- Sam’s Club
- Sprouts Farmers Market
- Stop & Shop
- Whole Foods
For a complete list of approved P-EBT retailers and to find a location near you, use the interactive store locator.
Check North Carolina P-EBT Balance
To check the balance of your North Carolina P-EBT benefits, follow the EBT Card balance instructions.
There are three ways to check your North Carolina EBT balance – online, in-person, or by phone. To find out how to check your North Carolina P-EBT balance, follow the instructions below.
North Carolina P-EBT Balance Check Online
To check your P-EBT benefits balance on the North Carolina EBT Card online, visit the North Carolina EBT Edge website. Once you are on the website, click the Cardholder Login section on the left-side of the page.
After that, you will be taken to a new page where you can enter your User ID and Password, then click the “Login” button. You must log in to your account to check your North Carolina EBT balance.
If you do not have an EBT Edge account, you must first create one. For help on how to create your North Carolina EBT Online Account, click here.
North Carolina P-EBT Balance Check by Phone
The second option to check your P-EBT balance is by calling the North Carolina EBT Card Customer Service toll-free phone number at 1-888-622-7328. Representatives are available to help you retrieve your current card balance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Before you call, be sure to have your Card Number, 4-digit PIN, and Social Security Number (SSN) ready. You must provide this information to receive your P-EBT balance.
North Carolina P-EBT Balance Check in Store
The last option to check your NC P-EBT balance is in-person at the store. You can find your current North Carolina EBT Card balance located at the bottom of your most-recent purchase receipt. Be sure to save all of your recent North Carolina EBT Card receipts!
North Carolina P-EBT Discounts
Pandemic EBT recipients in North Carolina may be eligible for discounts with their North Carolina EBT Card. You can save over 50% OFF an Amazon Prime membership, get discounts on phone and internet service, free museum admission, and much more!
North Carolina P-EBT FAQs
Get answers to the most frequently asked questions about the North Carolina P-EBT benefits program.
Where is my P-EBT Card?
If you do not receive your North Carolina P-EBT Card, please contact the North Carolina P-EBT Customer Service help phone number at 1-888-622-7328. Please wait until June 10th to contact customer service about your NC P-EBT card.
My address has changed, how can I update it so I can get my P-EBT Card?
If your address is incorrect or you have moved and are receiving SNAP benefits, you can update your address with your DHHS Caseworker. If you are not receiving SNAP benefits, you can change your address by contacting ebtEdge at 1-888-622-7328.
What should I do when I get my P-EBT card in the mail?
When you receive your P-EBT card in the mail, follow the instructions that came with your card. You will be required to activate your P-EBT Card and create your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Once activated, your card can be used to buy food in most grocery stores and farmer’s markets in North Carolina.
How do I activate my North Carolina P-EBT Card?
Your North Carolina P-EBT Card can be activated through the ebtEdge mobile app on your phone or by calling 1-888-622-7328. In order to successfully activate your card, you will have to register your 4-digit PIN. To do this, you will be asked to provide the birth date of the youngest child receiving free and reduced-price lunch in your household.
How are P-EBT benefits calculated?
To find out how much P-EBT you will get for each child, you multiply the daily reimbursement cost for free breakfast and lunch of $5.70 by the number of school days canceled in the month.
If your child’s school was canceled for a total of 65 days, you multiply 65 by $5.70. This means you will get a total of $370.50 in P-EBT benefits.
You will complete this calculation for EACH eligible child to get your total monthly P-EBT benefits for your household.
Do North Carolina P-EBT benefits expire?
Your North Carolina P-EBT benefits will be available on your P-EBT debit card for a total of 365 days. After the 365-day period, the benefits will be removed.
What if I lost my North Carolina P-EBT Card?
If your North Carolina P-EBT Card has been lost, stolen, or damaged, you can request to have a replacement card sent to you by contacting ebtEdge.
How do I get a replacement North Carolina P-EBT Card?
To request a replacement North Carolina P-EBT Card, please call ebtEdge customer service at 1-888-622-7328. You will be able to report your P-EBT card as lost, stolen, or damaged and have a new one sent to you.
If you have already downloaded the ebtEdge app on your phone, you can also use that to request a replacement P-EBT Card.
Can I use North Carolina P-EBT benefits online?
Yes, you can use your North Carolina P-EBT benefits to shop for food online at Walmart and Amazon. To find out how to use your North Carolina EBT Card online, check out our article here.
What can you buy with P-EBT?
P-EBT recipients can use their benefits to purchase the following items:
- Breads and cereals
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat and poultry
- Fish and seafood
- Deli meats and steak
- Dairy products – milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.
- Snacks, crackers and chips
- Bakery items and birthday cakes
- Juice and soda
- Ice cream and frozen treats
- Cookies and desserts
For a complete list of P-EBT eligible items, click here.
Is P-EBT retroactive?
Yes, P-EBT benefits are issued retroactive to the date when schools initially closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For North Carolina, P-EBT benefits will date back to March 16th.
All eligible students will receive the full benefit amount unless they became eligible after March. Households that have lost employment due to COVID-19 are encouraged to apply for free lunch status to become eligible for P-EBT.
Is P-EBT only for food?
Yes, P-EBT benefits can only be used to purchase food items for at-home consumption. You cannot use your P-EBT benefits to purchase hot, prepared food items or any of the following:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Tobacco products
- Pet food
- Soap and cleaning products
- Medicine and prescription drugs
- Paper products
- Household supplies
- Grooming items
- Cosmetics and beauty products
Does it matter if my household already receives SNAP?
No, it does not affect P-EBT benefits if you are already receiving SNAP benefits or any other government assistance benefits. P-EBT benefits are in addition to SNAP benefits.
For more frequently asked questions related to North Carolina Pandemic EBT, check out the state website here.
NC P-EBT Benefits Summary
We hope this article about the North Carolina Pandemic EBT Program was helpful to you! If you have any additional questions about North Carolina P-EBT benefits, you are having trouble applying for the program, please let us know in the comments section below.
We are here to help! Stay safe and healthy.