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Mississippi Pandemic-EBT: How much will I get?

P-EBT cards are meant to make up for the cost of providing food to children during the 2020-21 school year, summer months. Some families will only get one payment.

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss — Mississippi children are now receiving their child's P-EBT cards for the 2020-2021 school year.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services is issuing two different kinds of P-EBT payments to qualifying families. One is the summer 2021 P-EBT benefits and the other is the school year 2020- 2021 P-EBT benefits. However, some families will not get both. 

These cards are like the regular EBT-cards. They can only be used to buy fruit, meat, and other food items. 

The P-EBT program is meant to make up for the cost of providing food to children during the 2021 summer months and during the 2020-21 academic year when schools were closed because of the pandemic. 

According to MDHS, about 345,000 Mississippi children who qualified for free or reduced meals during the 2020-2021 school year will get the summer benefit, which is a one-time payment of $375.

About 185,000 Mississippi students will receive the 2020-2021 school year benefits. Eligible students will receive a one-time, lump-sum payment if they attended a school that had a predominately hybrid or virtual schedule for at least one month of the 2020-2021 school year. The amount families will receive will vary depending on how much time their school district spent learning virtually during the school year. 

Here are the specific requirements for a child to qualify for the school year P-EBT. All three requirements must be met to receive the payment:

  • Your child was enrolled in a school that had reduced attendance for at least five consecutive days during the 2020- 2021 school year due to COVID-19
  • Your child was enrolled in a school where at least 51% of students participated in virtual or hybrid learning 
  • Your child was eligible for the free or reduced lunch program during the 2020 -21 school year. 

How much will my qualified child receive?

According to the MDHS' website, the amount of the 2020-21 school year P-EBT payments your qualified child will receive will depend on the number of months that your child’s school operated a virtual schedule ($122.76 per month), a hybrid schedule ($61.38 per month), and an in-person schedule ($0 per month).

For example:

If a child attended a school that had reduced attendance for at least five consecutive days and:

  • the majority of students were on a fully virtual schedule during August 2020 and September 2020 (2 months)
  • the majority of students attended based on a hybrid-schedule during October 2020 (1 month)
  • And the school returned to majority in-person attendance beginning November 2020 through the end of the school year, the child would receive one payment of $306.90 which includes $122.76 for August, $122.76 for September, and $61.38 for October.

A list of schools that qualify for the school-year P-EBT is on the MDHS website. According to that list, DeSoto County Schools students will not be receiving the school year P-EBT. 

Coahoma County Schools, except for Coahoma Early College High School and Sherard Elementary School, did not qualify for the school year P-EBT payments. 

All Tate County Schools, except Coldwater Elementary School and East Tate Elementary School, are eligible for P-EBT payments. 

Other districts in ABC 24 viewing area do qualify for the P-EBT school year benefits. If your child is eligible and didn't attend the mentioned schools, click here to view the exact amounts you will receive.