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BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) —The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) have received approval from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to distribute a third round of pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits to eligible students.

P-EBT benefits will start rolling out between April and May to qualifying households with children in grades K-12 (including pre-K students in public and some private schools.)

Students are eligible to receive benefits if:

  • they would normally receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, BUT
  • haven’t been receiving those meals during the 2021-22 school year because they are on a fully virtual schedule or missed days of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Louisiana distributed more than $811.4 million in P-EBT benefits to almost 1 million students and children during the second round of P-EBT. Those benefits covered meals missed during the 2020-21 school year due to school closures, summer closures, and closures of child care centers.

Schools Determine Eligibility

There is no P-EBT application process for parents. Schools will report to DCFS which students meet the criteria for eligibility. Benefits are being calculated differently this year. Students are eligible if they are on an approved fully virtual learning schedule or missed days of school due to COVID-19, according to the school or district COVID-19 protocol. DCFS will then issue P-EBT benefits on a Louisiana Purchase EBT card to each eligible student at the mailing address provided by their school.

Students who are on an approved fully virtual learning schedule would be eligible for $127.80 per eligible month. Students who missed days of school could receive between $21.30 and $127.80 per month depending on the number of approved absences due to COVID-19.

Click here for P-EBT benefit levels.

  • Families who received P-EBT for the 2020-21 school year or summer P-EBT: The benefits for this year will be issued on the same card.
  • Families who did not previously receive P-EBT: The benefits for this year will be issued on a new card in the student’s name.
  • Families who receive SNAP: P-EBT benefits will be issued on a separate EBT card in each eligible child’s name, not on the regular SNAP EBT card.
  • Student ID or Activation Number Needed: The child’s student ID or activation number will be needed in place of their Social Security Number to activate the P-EBT card. Parents who do not have their child’s student ID or activation number should contact their child’s school.
  • KEEP YOUR P-EBT CARD: All P-EBT benefits for each eligible child for the 2021-22 school year, and any potential future benefits, will be issued on the same card per child. If the card is lost, stolen or damaged, a new one can be requested through the P-EBT Parent Portal, by calling the EBT customer service line at 1-888-997-1117 or through the LifeInCheck EBT mobile app.

Benefits to eligible students will be issued as DCFS receives information from each school.

Receiving P-EBT benefits does not affect a student’s or the family’s immigration status, as the public charge rule does not apply to P-EBT funds.

P-EBT benefits may be used to purchase SNAP-eligible food items at stores that accept EBT cards. The benefits are available for 9 months from the issue date or the last purchase and are non-transferable.

For more information about P-EBT eligibility and how to use P-EBT benefits, visit