Arizona Department of Education
Health and Nutrition Services Division
The purpose of this handout is to provide guidance for calls or inquiries from parents, guardians or the general public regarding Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT). Per the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Department of Economic Security (DES) is providing P- EBT benefits to those families with students enrolled in a school participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) whose students have lost access to free or reduced-price meals due to a school closure of five days or more. The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) was authorized to provide student data from schools’ Student Information System (SIS) enrollment records to DES so DES could issue P-EBT benefits as quickly as possible. The data sent to DES comes from each LEA Student Information System (SIS) enrollment records. DES has created a webpage for eligible households that have not received P-EBT benefits; this webpage will allow parent/guardians to obtain the P-EBT benefit by either searching their student’s eligibility or applying for P-EBT by providing household income information. This webpage is scheduled to be available until July 10, 2020. It is highly encouraged that this information is shared throughout the school community.
The DES website can be accessed at https://des.az.gov/p-ebt and the portal for households to obtain the P-EBT is available on this website.
If the student is already receiving assistance via Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the families will have received the P-EBT benefit through their current EBT card. For families not currently receiving assistance via SNAP or TANF, a new P-EBT card will be issued. This benefit is a one-time benefit and additional benefits are not planned at this time. Please encourage the families to keep their P- EBT card in a safe place in case Congress decides to add more benefits at a future date.
The benefits are issued based on the following criteria:
- Student was enrolled in a school site that participates in NSLP and the school closed due to COVID-19
- Student has qualified for free or reduced-price meals supported by an Income Eligibility I or Income Eligibility II indicator in the School Food Authority’s (SFA) SIS enrollment record sent to the Arizona Education Data Standards (AzEDS) database, or the student was identified as a SNAP or TANF recipient
You may receive phone calls from parents/guardians of eligible students who have not received a P-EBT card or who may be having difficulty activating the P-EBT card. The following information is meant to help answer questions or concerns from parents/guardians.
Parents/Guardians that cannot activate a P-EBT card
If a household receives their card and is unable to activate it, please advise them to call the P- EBT hotline at 1-844-841-3802. If they have already contacted the hotline and were unable to match the information, provide the following instructions:
- Locate the letter they received from DES notifying them of the P-EBT benefit
- Locate the case number on the letter
- Identify the student’s date of birth on page three of the letter
o If the student’s date of birth on the record in the SFA’s SIS is incorrect, the household will not be able to activate the card; the SFA must correct the date of birth in their SIS and notify ADE via Help Desk
Parents/Guardians of students that have not received P-EBT
It is possible that the student’s data is incomplete or not up to date in your SIS; in this example, DES was unable to send a P-EBT benefit to the household. DES has released a webpage that will allow the parents/guardians of students that had been approved for free or reduced-price meals during the school year that have not yet received the P-EBT benefit to complete the student record and have the P-EBT benefit issued. The parent/guardian will enter their first name, last name, mailing and home address, student first name, last name, DOB, sex and the school the student was attending when schools closed. The system will attempt to locate their record and provide them with one of the three results:
- Student was matched and determined to be eligible. A P-EBT benefit will be issued. A parent/guardian may receive this result if the student data was missing a parent/guardian name or an address.
- Student was matched and determined not eligible. Parent/guardian will be provided a link to apply for the P-EBT benefit. The link will ask for household income information. A parent/guardian will receive this result if the Income Eligibility I and II indicators were not marked for the student in the SFA’s SIS enrollment record.
- Student was not matched. This message is received when the webpage is unable to find the student based on the information entered compared to the data recorded in the SFA’s SIS. In order for a student to match, the parent or guardian must enter the student data exactly as reflected in the SIS.
- Verify the parent or guardian entered is the same data as reflected in the SFA’s SIS: Student First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, Sex, Parent/Guardian/Other and School Name.
- If the school has more than parent/guardian listed, please advise parents to try all names in the webpage. For example: Mother did not match after entering data and Father is also in the SIS enrollment record; advise Mother to enter Father’s name on the DES webpage.
- Mother entered the data and received a no match. Father is also in enrollment record. Advise Mother to enter Father’s name on the DES webpage.
- If the student record is incorrect, the school has the ability to update the student enrollment record and sync to AzEDs. The parent/guardian should access the DES database and enter the student/guardian information again in 10-14 days.
- If parent/guardian confirms that they have entered student data exactly as listed in the SIS and still receive a no match, the school should submit an ADE Help Desk ticket (instructions are listed below).
Parents/guardians of students that did not apply for free or reduced-price lunch (but still attend an NSLP school) or have had a change in their income during the school closures may also be eligible for the P-EBT card. However, the Income Eligibility I and II indicator in the SFA’s SIS will not be accurate. The parent/guardian will need to complete all data fields in the webpage and will be provided a result that they found the student, but they are not currently eligible for P- EBT. The parent/guardian will be provided a link to apply for the P-EBT card. The link will ask for household income information.
SFAs that do not report to AzEDS:
If a non-public SFA that does not report data to ADE through AzEDS receives inquiries from parents/guardians or the public regarding P-EBT data and is unable to resolve the issue, submit a ticket through ADE Help Desk (see instructions below). In the description field, provide the student’s first name, last name, and DOB and the issue the parent/guardian is experiencing. HNS will use this information to research the issue and respond to the SFA with further guidance.
How to create a ticket in ADE Help Desk
- Go to: https://helpdeskexternal.azed.gov
- Complete a one-time registration process.
- Log in and you will be on the Help Desk Home Page
- Select “New Request”
- Select “HNS Service Request”
- Select Sub-Category: “Other”
- Select Item: “Other”
- Fill out other applicable categories
- In the description, include the State Student ID of the student and the description of the issue the parent/guardian is experiencing
- Fill out the appropriate SFA information
- Click Submit
HNS will receive the information and research the issue. Once the issue has been researched, HNS will reply to the SFA. Parents/guardians should not use this portal and will not receive any information from ADE about student data.
Please contact your School Nutrition Programs (SNP) Specialist with questions concerning this guidance. Your assigned SNP Specialist can be found at the top of the Sponsor application in CNPWeb. You may also send an email to ADESchoolNutrition@azed.gov or call 602-542-8700, option 2.
The above letter is also available in a PDF format for download. Click here.