The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Requests
All households with potentially eligible students (approved free or reduced lunch or are enrolled in a school that participates in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) are potentially eligible for P-EBT. Families should validate their address in the DSS P-EBT Address Portal on or before March 19, 2021 so that their P-EBT benefits are not delayed. The P-EBT address portal is located at https://benefitsportal.dss.sc.gov/#/pebt/addressverification. To locate a child in the address portal the parent must have: Student last name, date of birth, student ID, school district, and school name. If a parent/guardian does not know the student ID, they should contact their child’s school.
P-EBT is an option the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) has offered to states as an emergency program for the COVID-19 pandemic. The general premise behind the program is that with prolonged school closures, children are consuming meals at home that they otherwise would have had at school through national free or reduced-price meals under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, further straining families’ financial difficulties during this time.
This program was started last year and is continuing this year. The primary difference between last year’s P-EBT and the current program (P-EBT 2.0) is that the first round was a one-time benefit based on the initial statewide school closures. For the 2020-21 school year, P-EBT 2.0 is a monthly benefit based on the number of days each child is attending school virtually.
Children must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for P-EBT benefits for the 202021 school year:
- Enrolled in a free and reduced-price school meals program or attending a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school. The attached listing of South Carolina public and private schools participating in the National School Lunch Program, including CEP schools, is available on the DSS website.
- Attending a school experiencing pandemic-triggered closures or reduced attendance/hours.
- Attending school virtually, either full-time or on a hybrid schedule.
For those having trouble accessing the verification portal, below is a direct link.