We received some good news from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) regarding student reimbursements connected to the global pandemic.
Students who were quarantined with Covid-19 and unable to receive lunch are eligible for reimbursement through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits, both for the 2021-22 School Year (SY) and the Summer 2022. Please carefully review this information, as eligibility criteria has changed.
Leaders of Saint Louis Public Schools (SLPS) have kept good records on absences which will help make this process easy. We will generate a list of eligible students and the number of consecutive school days each missed due to Covid-19. DESE will provide that list to the Department of Social Services’ Family Support Division (FSD). FSD will load the appropriate amount on the P-EBT card.
In order to qualify for the 2021-2022 school year P-EBT benefits, your child must be:
- Certified for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) through the school district.
- Enrolled in grades K-12 only during the 2021-22 school year (SY)
- Approved for free or reduced-price meals during SY 2021-22. (Details below.)
- Verified as having a COVID-related absence or virtual learning day on-file at school
Your child is NOT eligible for P-EBT if:
- NOT currently receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Student did not apply for or was determined NOT ineligible for free or reduced-price meals SY 2021-2022
How to Access Funds for SY 2021-2022:
The number of consecutive COVID-related school absences will be linked to a benefit level. (See benefit chart below.) The appropriate benefit will be loaded onto an existing P-EBT card. You will simply activate the card to access the funds.
(If your student does NOT have an existing card, one will be mailed to the address on-file. If you no longer have that card, call the FDS at 855-FSD-INFO 855-373-4636.)
How to calculate benefits:
P-EBT benefit amounts are determined by the number of consecutive school days in which the child did not have access to a free or reduced-price meal at school due to a COVID-related absence or virtual learning day.
(If your student’s absence/virtual learning of five or more days was NOT reported to the school as COVID-related, your school district may review absences parents must provide proof of COVID-related illness to the district.)
Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Benefits – Page Two
In order to qualify for P-EBT for Summer 2021-2022:
Students eligible for free or reduced-price meals during the school year 2021-22 are eligible for a summer benefit. If your child is eligible, benefit amounts will be based on the summer benefit amount of $391. (See Benefit Chart Below.)
- Student must have been enrolled in grades K-12 during the school year 2021-22 or newly approved for free or reduced-price meals between July 1, 2022, and the end of the summer are eligible for a summer benefit.
- Student must have been enrolled in grades K-12 during the school year 2021-22 to be eligible for summer.
Free or reduced-price eligibility is determined by when a student has:
- Applied for free or reduced-price meals during the 2021-22 school year and was found eligible based on the school year 2021-22 income guidelines; or applied for free or reduced-price meals from July 1, 2022, through the end of the summer based on the school year 2022-23 income guidelines.
- Enrolled in a school that participated in Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision 2. If you are not sure your child attended an eligible school, you should contact the school district the child attended.
- Been found eligible based on categorical eligibility including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or another source, such as homeless or foster.
If your child is eligible, the benefit will be loaded onto a P-EBT card in the child’s name. You may then activate the card to access the funds.
FAQ Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Benefits – Page Three
What do I do if I lost my student’s P-EBT card?
You can use the online chat feature at mydss.mo.gov or call 855-373-4636.
What do I do if my address has changed?
If you think your student is eligible for this benefit and your address has changed, you should first contact the school district that your child attended during the school year 2021-2022 to review your case and notify the school about the address change.
Who do I ask if I have questions about the P-EBT card?
DO NOT CONTACT YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR P-EBT CARD. You can use the online chat feature at mydss.mo.gov or call 855-373-4636.
Who do I call about my student’s COVID-related absences?
Contact the school district that your child attended during the school year 2021-2022.
Who can answer questions about my child’s P-EBT benefit from SY 2020-2021?
P-EBT benefits from the school year 2020-21 have been issued and are no longer available.
What if my student’s school did not track Covid-related absences or did not report them?
Contact the school district that your child attended during the school year 2021-22 to review the absences recorded.
When will my student receive the benefit?
Your student’s school district has already submitted the needed information to issue the P-EBT. While we cannot provide an exact timeline, depending on when the card is processed, you may receive a benefit by the end 2022.
If you have questions about your specific benefit, as outlined below, you can reach the St. Louis Public Food and Nutrition Services Department, Althea Albert-Santiago, 314-345-4519_ or Tenecia Williams, 314-345-2308.
A phone bank has been set up to assist in your questions – please dial (314) 345.5656.
Here are some examples of benefit tables:
Tier / Days Absent
Benefit Day Used
Tier 1: 1-5 days
Tier 2: 6-15 days
Tier 3: 16+ or more days
P-EBT cards are used the same way as EBT cards. For more information on the card, visit mydss.mo.gov/food-assistance/ebt.
If you have questions on how to apply, or need additional assistance with food, childcare, transportation, and/or other services, visit the Missouri Services Navigator at mo.servicesnavigator.org