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P-EBT for Homeschooled & Virtual School Students
A note about Virtual Students:
Students enrolled in virtual learning schedules with their brick-and-mortar school campuses do NOT need to apply for P-EBT. Their eligibility will be determined by their school and reported to DCFS for issuance of benefits. See K-12 page for more information.
Eligible students enrolled in an approved fully virtual school system (e.g., University View Academy or Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy) MUST apply for P-EBT benefits through their virtual school by May 11, 2023, following the guidelines for Homeschool/Virtual School Students found below.
What is P-EBT for Homeschooled & Virtual School Students?
The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) Program was created in Spring 2020 to provide funds for families to buy food while schools were closed due to COVID-19. More P-EBT funds are being issued for the 2022-23 school year and will be available beginning in May 2023.
- Eligible students in APPROVED VIRTUAL SCHOOLS or BESE-APPROVED HOME STUDY PROGRAMS, who are fully virtual or homeschooled DUE TO COVID-19, would receive:
- $147.24 per month through April 2023, for each month they are eligible
- $81.80 for May 2023, due to the ending of the federal Public Health Emergency on May 11, 2023.
- There IS an application process to receive P-EBT if the student is homeschooling or attending an approved virtual school. Benefits will NOT be issued automatically. See additional information below.
- Using P-EBT does NOT impact your or your student’s immigration status. The public charge rule does not apply to P-EBT funds.
Which homeschooled and virtual school students are eligible for P-EBT for School Year 2022-23?
In general, a child attending a BESE-Approved Home Study Program, or attending a BESE-approved fully virtual school that does not participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), is eligible for P-EBT benefits for the 2022-23 school year if the child meets ALL three of these requirements:
- The child previously attended an NSLP-participating school, but withdrew after the start of the COVID health emergency due to COVID concerns; OR the child enrolled in kindergarten as a virtual or homeschool student in school year 2020-21 or later;
- The child is not attending an NSLP-participating school in SY 2022-23 due to concerns about COVID; AND
- The child would have received free or reduced-price meals at the NSLP-participating school if not for their virtual or homeschooled status.
How do I apply for P-EBT for my homeschooled or virtual school student?
Parents/guardians of eligible homeschooled or virtual school students must complete an application for P-EBT by May 11, 2023. Applications not completed by that date will NOT be processed.
- Virtual school students will apply with their approved virtual school.
- Homeschooled students will apply at their local public school.
Parents/guardians of eligible homeschooled and virtual school students will need to provide the following:
- Completed and signed certification form (obtained from the school), including the following:
- The name and address of the child's previous NSLP-participating school (where the child attended pre-pandemic).
- Statement that the child either left an NSLP-participating school or began homeschooling at some point after January 27, 2020, due to concerns about COVID-19.
- Documentation of an approved BESE-Approved Home Study Program application or documentation of enrollment and attendance at an approved virtual school, whichever is applicable. Families should also be prepared to provide documentation of prior NSLP-school attendance and/or enrollment in homeschool since kindergarten if applicable.
- Signed Data-Sharing Agreement allowing the student's and parent's information to be shared with all parties supporting the P-EBT program in order to provide the benefits
- Proof of guardianship and address verification (must match child's information)
- Completed application and proof of income eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) at the time of P-EBT application
How & when will I get P-EBT?
P-EBT benefits for homeschooled and virtual school students will be issued on Louisiana Purchase EBT cards - one card for each eligible child, with each card issued in that child's name. The card will arrive in the mail, in a plain white envelope.
NOTE: If you receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, your child's P-EBT benefits will be issued on a separate card, not on your regular SNAP EBT card.
When the card arrives, you will need to activate it using a Student ID number that has been assigned to your student. If you do not know your child's Student ID number, or if your child is homeschooled, call the DCFS Customer Service Center at 1-888-524-3578 to get the number assigned to your child. Once you have that number, follow the instructions that come with the card and when prompted for the cardholder's Social Security or Student ID number, enter the Student ID number that was provided to you.
P-EBT benefits for the 2022-23 school year will be issued beginning in May 2023, as DCFS receives information from each local school district.
How much P-EBT is my homeschooled or virtual school student eligible to receive?
Eligible homeschooled and virtual school students will receive $147.24 for each month of the 2022-23 school year for which they were determined eligible, through April 2023. The monthly benefit for May 2023 will drop to $81.80 due to the ending of the federal Public Health Emergency on May 11, 2023.