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June 15, 2021

P-EBT program returns, but many changes for 2021

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Starting today, families who have children who qualified for free or reduced price meals can once more apply for Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits to help cover food costs they experienced while their student was not doing in-seat learning due to the pandemic. However, the P-EBT 2020-2021 program is very different from last year’s program. Here are highlights of those changes:

  • All families must apply to get the P-EBT benefit, regardless of whether or not they receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Stamp benefits.
  • A child may be eligible for P-EBT if the school was closed, not doing in-seat learning, or had reduced hours at least five school days in a row due to COVID-19.
  • P-EBT benefits are available for the months of September 2020 through May 2021.
  • The P-EBT benefit is based on the school’s report of how much of the month was not in-seat learning. If most of the school’s month was not in-seat learning, the monthly P-EBT benefit amount is $129.58. If only some of the school’s month was not in-seat learning, the monthly P-EBT benefit amount is $77.75.
  • Families download the P-EBT application (aplicación en Español)
  • Families directly email or mail the P-EBT application to the Family Support Division by July 31, 2021.
  • Each eligible student will get an EBT card in his or her name with the lump sum P-EBT benefit amount for the 2020-2021 school year. Ineligible families will receive a denial letter.

"We heard from Missouri families how last year’s P-EBT benefit helped with the extra household food costs and I am very pleased Missouri can once more make the benefit available," said Jennifer Tidball, Acting Director, Department of Social Services. "A special thank you to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and school districts around the state for their tremendous support that makes the P-EBT benefit program possible."

It is important to note, families who receive SNAP with an eligible child under age six will automatically get a P-EBT benefit for that child added to the household’s existing EBT card. Families do not need to apply for P-EBT benefits for children under age six.

Visit for more information about P-EBT. Missourians can email the completed P-EBT application (aplicación en Español) to, or mail it to:

Family Support Division
615 E. 13th Street
Kansas City, MO 64106

The Missouri Services Navigator has information on over 2,800 programs and services available in the state. Missourians in need of information on SNAP, Medicaid, Child Care Subsidy, LIHEAP, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefit programs can visit Missourians who have questions not specific to an individual’s case can use the DSS Virtual Assistant to get immediate answers to basic questions 24 hours a day. Phone assistance is also available Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. call 855-FSD-INFO or 855-373-4636.

SkillUp and Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) are free programs available to all SNAP and TA recipients that help low-income Missourians with career planning, overcoming challenges to work, as well as getting and keeping a job.

The mission of the Department of Social Services is to empower Missourians to live safe, healthy, and productive lives.  Visit to learn more about the Department of Social Services and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


Media Contact

Rebecca Woelfel