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School Pandemic EBT 2022-2023: Food Benefits for Students

I've heard that the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ends on May 11, 2023. How does that affect my child's P-EBT benefits?

Families of eligible school-aged children will still receive benefits for any P-EBT eligible day on or before May 11.
Newly eligible children receiving P-EBT benefits because they are homeschooled or learning virtually will have their May 2023 amount adjusted. This is because the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency is ending partway through the month. Per federal guidance, DHS is only authorized to issue P-EBT benefits for days when the public health emergency is in effect.

Food benefits for students whose learning was affected by COVID-19

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is a federal program that provides food benefits to families of children affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The School P-EBT program provides benefits for children who cannot get free or reduced price meals at school for COVID-19-related reasons. This includes if a child was absent because of COVID-19-related reasons or was learning from home. Students must meet specific eligibility requirements to be able to receive benefits. Getting these benefits does not affect immigration status.

For the 2022-2023 school year, the federal government extended eligibility for School P-EBT benefits to a new limited group of children

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) prepared a plan for the 2022-2023 school year. DHS prepared the plan with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF). This plan details the issuance of benefits to school-age children and non-school-age children. Non-school-age children can receive benefits through the Pre-6 P-EBT program. This plan was the first in the nation to be approved by the federal government.

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P-EBT dictionary

Browse our dictionary of terms we use when talking about the 2022-2023 P-EBT program.

Download Wisconsin’s School Year 2022-2023 P-EBT plan (PDF).

Per the program guidelines for the 2022-2023 school year, school districts have been reporting:

  • Students enrolled to receive free or reduced price meals at their schools.

  • The number of days in each month those students were absent for COVID-19-related reasons or were learning from home.

Once DHS receives all information needed to determine if a child is eligible, we issue benefits on the next scheduled issuance date. When DHS sends the benefits, we also send families a letter explaining how much they got, for which children, and for what months.

How benefits are determined

You will receive $8.18 for each P-EBT eligible day reported for your child through May 11, 2023. P-EBT eligible days are reported by your child's school. If you have questions about your child’s eligibility or the benefits you received, call the P-EBT Support Team at 833-431-2224. Be prepared to provide:

  • Your full name, date of birth, street address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and email address
  • Your case number, if available
  • Your child's full name, date of birth, and gender
  • The name of your child's school and school district
  • The number of days your child was absent for a COVID-related reason or was learning from home

To help confirm your child's P-EBT eligible days, please provide exact dates and whether each was an absence or a learn-from-home day. Without this level of detail, schools may not be able to confirm your claim. If there are additional days you believe your child should have received benefits, your child's school will need to confirm the new number with the P-EBT Support Team

School P-EBT is not a replacement for other food assistance. If your family does not receive FoodShare benefits, please visit the Access website to check your eligibility and apply. To find other food resources in your community, call 211.

To be eligible, your child must be:

  • Enrolled in a school participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP)
  • Qualified for free or reduced price meals
  • On record as being qualified with their school district and the state. 

You must apply for free or reduced price meals through your child's school. Contact your child’s school for an application if they are not already enrolled. Your child may still be eligible even if they have had access to “grab and go” meals offered by their schools.

Two smiling children reaching for food in a cafeteria.

You do not need to apply if your child attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school. All children at CEP schools are considered part of the free or reduced price meal program.

You have the right to request a fair hearing. A fair hearing allows you to tell why you think there has been a wrong decision about your application or benefits. At the hearing, a hearing officer will hear from you and the agency. They will then determine if the decision was right or wrong. You may bring a friend or family member with you to the hearing.

To request a fair hearing, you will need to send either a fair hearing request form or a letter asking for a hearing to the Division of Hearings & Appeals, PO Box 7875, Madison, WI 53707. You can also fax it to 608-264-9885. The deadline to request a fair hearing is July 31, 2023.

You may be able to get free legal help for the hearing. To learn more about legal help, call 888-278-0633.

 Children newly eligible for benefits must have either:

  • Left an in-person NSLP school at some point since January 27, 2020. They must have left due to concerns about COVID-19. They can be enrolled in a fully virtual institution or be homeschooled.
  • Entered second grade or below at the start of the school year in a fully virtual institution or were homeschooled. They must have never been enrolled in an in-person school due to concerns about COVID-19.

To have your child be considered for benefits as part of this limited group, you must complete an online application. You must include documents that verify your household’s size, income level, and child’s learning mode. Benefits will only be issued to children that are determined to be eligible through the application. Applications can be submitted until May 19, 2023.

Eligible students will receive $147.24 each month they meet program criteria from August 2022 to April 2023. For May 2023, eligible students will receive $73.62. This is because the federal government is ending the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency partway through the month on May 11, 2023.

Benefits will be automatically added to your existing QUEST or P-EBT card. The benefits will be added on the dates listed in the table below. If you do not have a QUEST or P-EBT card, benefits will be added onto a new P-EBT card. The new card will be mailed to your address on file. Once you receive your card, follow the instructions on the back to activate it. Once your card is activated, you can use it like a debit card to buy food.

Benefits issuance schedule
Eligible month Benefits issued
August 2022, September 2022, October 2022 January 21, 2023
November 2022, December 2022, January 2023 March 18, 2023
February 2023, March 2023, April 2023, May 2023 (through May 11) July 15, 2023

P-EBT benefits can be used wherever FoodShare benefits are accepted. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers markets, and some online retailers. You can use the benefits to buy certain food items, including:

  • Bread and cereals
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, fish, and poultry
  • Dairy products
  • Snack foods

See a detailed list of items you can and cannot buy with your benefits.

We recommend using your card at least once every few months. If you do not use the card for nine months, any benefits that have been on your account for more than nine months will be removed.

To check the balance on your card, go to the ebtEDGE website or use the ebtEDGE mobile app. If you lose your card, call QUEST Card Service at 877-415-5164.

Please remember that you cannot give your card to someone else. It is illegal to sell, trade, or give your School P-EBT benefits to another person.

For assistance

If you have questions, email us at or call 833-431-2224.

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Last revised March 20, 2023