Pandemic EBT benefits now available for eligible families, address updates required by 6/15/2020
Pandemic EBT benefits now available for eligible families, address updates required by 6/15/2020
Monday, June 08, 2020

Pandemic SNAP (P-SNAP) Quick Reference Guide

P-SNAP Benefits
• This is for students who got free or reduced meals at school before schools were closed
on March 13, 2020 because of COVID-19.
• It is a one-time payment of $319 that helps cover costs for lost meals in March, April,
and May until school term ended.

Benefit Disbursement Dates

• There is not a specific date set as development of the program is ongoing.
• Current estimates show between the 20th and the 29th of June or early in July.

P-SNAP Eligibility Factors
• Students that got free or reduced priced meals before schools were closed on March 13,

EBT Cards
• If the students are currently on SNAP or have been on SNAP within the last six months
their benefits will be loaded to the family’s Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.
• If the family has never been on SNAP or it has been longer than six months, they will get
a new EBT card in the name of the eligible child.
• New EBT cards:
o Will be plain white
o Come in the child’s name
o Will come with a set of instructions for activating the card
o The child’s name is used because this benefit is to replace the meals they could not get      because schools closed due to COVID-19.                                                                                                                          o Parents or guardians can use the card.

Change of Address
• If they need to verify their address, they are to call their local school district main office.
• If they need to change their address, they can call DCO Customer Assistance at 1-800-
482-8988 or they can email the following information to
o Parent’s Name
o Parent’s Phone number
o Previous Address
o New Address
o Child’s Name
o Child’s Date of Birth
• This must be completed no later than COB June 15, 2020. 


Why am I getting this card?
The student named on this card was enrolled in free or reduced lunches at school before schools closed due to the public health emergency. The federal Pandemic Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (P-SNAP) helps families that have increased food costs
due to school closures by providing a one-time $319 payment for each child enrolled in free or reduced lunches. The payment is on this electronic benefit card (EBT). If you have any questions about your child’s participation in this program, call the Arkansas Department of Human Services Client Assistance line at 1-800-482-8988.

How do I activate the card?
Call the Arkansas EBT Customer Service at 1-800-997-9999. You will need the number on the front of the card and date of birth of the child named on the card. You DO NOT need to provide the last four digits of your child’s social security number. Instead, enter four zeros (0000) when asked for the last four digits. Next you will need to set a four-digit pin number. You will use this number when making purchases when using the card. After these steps are done, your card is activated. 

How do I use the card?
Once activated, the card can be used to purchase eligible food items anywhere SNAP/EBT cards are accepted, most often a local grocery store. Though the card is in your child’s name, the parent can use it. You must have the four-digit pin number you created when activating the card. The card can be used in the point of sale device, just like a debit card or can be handed to the cashier.

What can the benefit be used for and what do I do if I do not want them?
You can only use this card to buy food that you can cook at home and plants and seeds that can be used to grow food. You cannot get cash back when you use this card or buy alcohol, tobacco, prepared foods, or non-food items. If you do not want these benefits, you
can destroy this card by cutting it in half and the benefits will expire within 365 days.

What else do I need to know?
These benefits are non-transferrable. This means that you cannot sell the card. This is against the law.
Arkansas will continue to comply with civil rights requirements, to include providing equal access to individuals with disabilities and
individuals who are limited English proficient.