Throughout our district, children who normally get free or reduced-price meals at school have been learning from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help, the federal government created the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program to provide $6.82 to families for each day that a student in a free and reduced-price meal program learned from home.
At the end of March, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) provided $46 million in P-EBT benefits to families all over the state for the months of August, September, October, and November of 2020, based on the best information it had available.
How do you know if you got benefits?
- You should have received a notification letter from DHS telling you about any benefits you were going to receive. It would have looked like this.
- Your benefits may have been directly added to your QUEST card, so check your balance. If you didn’t already have a QUEST card, you would’ve received a P-EBT card in the mail. It would look like this:
Your letter may have told you that you were not getting benefits – but that was based on incomplete information. We have told DHS that all of the schools in our district were learning virtually during the months of August through November. So if you received a letter saying you were getting $0 benefits in early April, it is likely you will get benefits at the beginning of May. You do not need to do anything for this to happen. You will also get a new letter that tells you how much you will be getting and whether it will be added to a QUEST card (if you have one) or if they will be sending you a P-EBT card (pictured above).
If you did not receive a letter from DHS and your child is a part of the free and reduced price meal program at their school, then it is possible that the state does not have your address on file. They need to have your address to provide benefits and send your card. You need to fill out the short P-EBT application, that is available online.
If your child is not currently a part of the free and reduced price meal program at their school, but you think they might be eligible, you can apply now. You should contact the office at your child’s school to apply. Even if your child(ren) is accepted into this program now, they are eligible for benefits back to the beginning of the year.
If you have other questions about the P-EBT program or problems with your benefits, there is information including frequently asked questions and answers on the DHS P-EBT webpage. You can also reach out to the PEBTsupport@wisconsin.gov or P-EBT support line at 1-833-431-2224 (8am-4pm, M-F). Be prepared to provide:
- your child’s full name and grade level
- your child’s school name and the location of the school
- your full name and contact information for follow-up: phone and email
- your preferred language, if not English
- if applicable: your case number (this can be found at the bottom of each page of your letter)
- a description of your problem, issue or question
You can also contact us for help or with questions. Find a list of school phone numbers and email addresses here. Or call the district office for help reaching your school.