TDHS extends electronic benefits deadline

Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, July 1, 2020

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Families across Tennessee still have time to apply for an important program designed to help support them through the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) has extended the deadline to apply for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program until 4:30 p.m. central time on July 13.

P-EBT provides parents with $5.70 in food benefits per child for each day that child qualifies. To be eligible, children must receive free or reduced meals at school or attend a Community Eligibility Provision school. Families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits do not need to apply as their benefits will be automatically applied to their existing EBT cards.

P-EBT is designed to replace meals lost during the months of March, April and May due to COVID19 school closures. Qualifying families who do not receive SNAP or TANF will receive a P-EBT card in the mail in July that can be used to purchase food at any establishment that accepts EBT or online with Amazon and Walmart.

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“P-EBT has been providing important support to families who found themselves facing an unexpected financial burden during the pandemic,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “We want to ensure every eligible family knows about this assistance and has a chance to apply. Helping families through this challenging time is how we will continue building a thriving Tennessee once the pandemic is over.”

Individuals who need assistance completing their P-EBT application or have general questions about the program are encouraged to call the TDHS hotline at: 833-496-0661.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture to approve states for Pandemic EBT (P-EBT). Approved state agencies may operate P-EBT when a school is closed for at least five consecutive days during a public health emergency designation when the school would otherwise be in session.

Tennessee is among the more than 40 states that have received P-EBT approval. Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at