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Pandemic EBT for Families with School-Aged Children
School closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impact children from low-income households that rely on free and reduced-price meals to prevent hunger. As a result, the USDA recently approved Wisconsin for Pandemic EBT (P-EBT).
Now, families with children who qualify for free or reduced price meals will receive a food benefit that is equal to the value of missed meals. Find out who will receive Pandemic-EBT, how much they will receive and how the benefits will be distributed. If you qualify and have not received benefits, click the button below to apply now.
Frequently Asked Pandemic EBT Questions
With many families in Wisconsin eligible for this important program, here are some resources to help you find out if you are eligible for Pandemic EBT and when you can expect your benefits.
Who is eligible to receive Pandemic-EBT?
Families with children eligible for free or reduced-price meals who attend schools that have closed due to the pandemic are eligible for the Pandemic-EBT benefit. The family will receive a benefit card for each child that attends schools with closures. If the school participates in the Community Eligibility Program, where ALL children receive free breakfast and lunch, then all students will qualify for the benefit.
How will families receive Pandemic-EBT?
If the family is already enrolled in FoodShare (see our guide on this webpage for more information), benefits will be loaded directly onto the household’s existing EBT card. Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services will confirm which households are eligible for the benefit.
If the family is NOT enrolled in FoodShare, but the children receive Free or Reduced price meals at school, they still qualify for the benefits. Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services will attempt to verify a family’s eligibility by searching through enrollment records for other benefit programs like Medicaid or W-2 (TANF). Verified families will be mailed a new EBT card with their Pandemic-EBT benefits.
If households cannot be matched up, there will be an application that families may fill out. An online version of the application can be found here. Eligible families will then be mailed an EBT card with their Pandemic-EBT benefits.
How much will families receive and when?
Families will receive a benefit no less than the value of a breakfast and lunch for each day that school has been closed. What is that value? Wisconsin is using the maximum allowable benefit for free breakfast ($2.20) and free lunch ($3.50). So, the benefit $5.70 for each child and each day school has closed. The state will begin issuing benefits for both March and April together beginning Monday, April 27. Benefit amounts will include March 19 through March 31 (9 days) and all of April (22 days). At $5.70 per day, the total benefit issued for these two months will be $176.70 per child who receives free or reduced-price meals. For May and June combined, the benefit amount is $148.20 per child.
Where can I get more information?
These flyers provide the helpful information on the website in an easy-to-read, printable format to share. Learn more about Pandemic EBT benefits, how to apply and who is eligible with the flyers below, available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Burmese and Russian.