Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Program

Versión en Español

Latest Updates

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is a temporary food assistance benefit program for:

  • Students who get free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program and meet other criteria.
  • Children in an active Food and Nutrition Services case (FNS also known as Food Stamps) who meet the criteria.

Summer 2022 P-EBT has ended and all payments have been processed.

Upcoming Benefits: 2022-23 School Year

P-EBT benefits will continue for the 2022-23 school year and until the federal Public Health Emergency ends (currently slated for May 11, 2023). We are preparing to begin this year’s program and plan to start issuing benefits to students by March and then to young children by April.

Here’s what to do to prepare:

Remember: These are NOT the only eligibility criteria for P-EBT. These are the things you can do today to get ready for the next round of P-EBT when it launches.

  1. P-EBT eligibility is based on participation in the following programs (along with other criteria) so make sure you:

    • Apply for the Free or Reduced-Price meal program at your child’s school.
    • Apply for FNS (food stamps) or add your child to your FNS case.
  2. If your student misses school because of COVID-19 (if they're sick with COVID-19, need to quarantine, or temporarily attend virtual school while enrolled in a regular school) make sure the school marks their attendance as a COVID-19 absence (attendance codes 1D or 1R).

How can we help you with P-EBT?

Tab/Accordion Item

P-EBT benefits for the 2022-23 school year haven’t begun yet. We are preparing to begin this year’s program and plan to start issuing benefits to students by March and then to young children by April.

If you got a P-EBT card in the mail, your child likely qualified for this temporary benefit. This can happen automatically if a child meets certain requirements. 

Learn how to check the balance on this card.
Learn more about P-EBT and its benefits.

If you believe you received this card in error, or if it was sent to the wrong address, please call the EBT Call Center at 1-888-622-7328.  If you don't wish to receive P-EBT benefits, you may destroy the card.

Students will get a new P-EBT card if they did not get P-EBT during last school year but qualify for the summer benefit. Cards are sent 1-3 weeks after each benefit issuance. If you are expecting to get a new card, it may arrive as late as December. Find out if you’re getting a new P-EBT card.

If your child is a student without FNS, the card will be sent to the address on file at the child’s school. If you are receiving the benefit for a young child or a student with FNS, it will be sent to the address on the FNS case file.

If your EBT or P-EBT card has been lost or destroyed, you can order a new card at, on the ebtEDGE mobile app, or by contacting the EBT Call Center at 1-888-622-7328. It will be helpful to have your card number handy. If you don’t know your card number, just give us a call.

Not right now. Some recipients may still be getting their one-time benefit from summer 2022. North Carolina is still waiting to hear if P-EBT will be extended for the 2022-23 school year. We’ll update this website with new information as we get it.

There are two groups of children that receive Summer P-EBT:

  • Children age 5 and under as of Sept. 1, 2021 are eligible for Summer P-EBT if they receive Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits.
  • Students are eligible if their school participated in P-EBT for the 2021-22 school year AND they are approved for FNS (food stamps) or free or reduced-price meals. Find out if your school participates.

Check if your household is eligible for benefits

Note: Some applications submitted during the summer are still being processed, and benefits may be issued as late as December. If you think your child meets the above criteria but you do not believe they are receiving Summer P-EBT, you can contact the EBT Call Center at 1-866-719-0141.

Yes and North Carolina is preparing to begin this year’s P-EBT program within the next few months. P-EBT has been renewed for the 2022-23 school year, or until the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) ends. Right now, the PHE is set to end in May. When we know more about the end of this program, we’ll share updated information on what to expect. Please bookmark this page and check back for updates.

Check out these Frequently Asked Questions.

Watch Out: P-EBT Scam Advisory

There are scams targeting EBT recipients. Here are some reminders to keep you and your family safe:

  • NEVER provide personal information if someone you don’t know reaches out to you by phone, text, or email.
  • NEVER share Social Security numbers, bank information, EBT and/or P-EBT card numbers, or other personal information with people you don’t know.
  • ONLY provide personal information when YOU reach out directly to a state agency. If you receive any unsolicited communications asking you to provide personal information, do not respond and immediately delete the message.
  • BEWARE: Card skimming and cloning are on the rise. Learn more about card scams and find out how to protect yourself.

Latest Updates

Jan. 27, 2023

  • P-EBT benefits will continue for the 2022-23 school year and until the federal Public Health Emergency ends (currently slated for May 11, 2023). We'll announce details as soon as we can including detailed eligibility requirements so please bookmark this page and come back to learn more. In the meantime, find out what you can do to prepare for the next round of P-EBT.

Read more updates

All Updates

Tab/Accordion Item

Dec. 14, 2022

  • Starting on Dec. 23, 2022, the EBT Call Center hours of operation are changing to 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The EBT Call Center will not be open on weekends or holidays. You can activate your card, select a PIN, check your card balance, view your transaction history or cancel your EBT card by using the cardholder portal at or through the EBT Edge mobile app available at Google Play or the Apple Store.

Sept. 7, 2022

  • As of Sept. 24, 2022, P-EBT recipients will have 274 days from the date of benefit issuance to make eligible purchases before benefits expire.

Aug. 10, 2022

  • Please note that our call center is experiencing extremely high call volumes. For self-service options, please refer to our FAQs or the P-EBT Virtual Agent (chat circle on the bottom right of your screen) for information on P-EBT eligibility, benefits, and timing.

July 26, 2022

July 25, 2022

June 23, 2022

North Carolina will issue Summer P-EBT benefits for eligible students and young children. Read the news release

Is My Student/Child Eligible?   Summer P-EBT Frequently Asked Questions

There is no application for P-EBT, however, to be eligible:

  • Students must be approved for National School Lunch Program (NSLP) free or reduced-price meals (FRP). If your student is not already approved, an application for NSLP FRP must be submitted to your local school district by Aug. 31, 2022 to be considered for Summer P-EBT benefits. 
  • Children 5 years old or younger that aren’t students must be part of a household that participates in Food and Nutrition Services (FNS). If not already participating, you must apply for FNS by Aug. 31, 2022 to be considered for Summer P-EBT benefits. ​​​​

May 24, 2022

  • North Carolina intends to issue Summer P-EBT benefits for eligible students and children at the end of July if federal approval is received. More information will be posted to this page as it becomes available.

May 12, 2022

  • Next week, North Carolina’s youngest children who are eligible for food assistance benefits will begin to receive extra monthly benefits tied to the COVID-19 pandemic for the 2021-2022 school year. North Carolina is among the first states in the nation to receive approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a 2021-2022 Child Care Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer food assistance program. See if your child is eligible.