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Q&A: Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) For Childcare

A: Pandemic - Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) is a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) program designed to provide benefits on an EBT card to be used to purchase food. This program is in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The purpose of the program is to provide food benefits to eligible children who lost access to meals due to childcare facility closures.

A: South Dakota children are eligible for P-EBT childcare benefits if:

  • The child was eligible for SNAP benefits in one or more of the months of October 2020 to May 2021;
  • The child was under the age of six years old at the time he/she received SNAP benefits;
  • The child’s childcare facility or school in their area of residence was closed or operating under reduced hours for at least five consecutive days; and
  • The child did not receive the 2020-2021 P-EBT for school children benefit.

A: No. If your child is found eligible for a P-EBT for childcare benefit, you will be notified via mail.

A: If your child is found eligible for a P-EBT for childcare benefit, you will be notified via mail.

A: The P-EBT for childcare benefits will be issued to the family’s active EBT card.

A: The P-EBT benefit will be issued to the SNAP head of household during the child’s period of eligibility.

A: P-EBT for childcare benefits will be issued in late October/early November.

A: Families can use P-EBT benefits for nine months. The nine-month period starts when the family makes their first purchase. If a purchase is never made, the period starts when the benefits are issued.

A: No. P-EBT benefits will carry over from month to month. After nine months of no use, any unused P-EBT benefits will be removed from the card.

A: You may contact P-EBT customer service by calling toll free at 1-833-813-0006 or by email at The toll-free number is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00am - 5:00pm.

A: Your P-EBT benefits can be used to purchase food items at authorized SNAP retailers. Find the closest retailer where you can use your benefits at: P-EBT benefits cannot be used for ready-to-eat meals, tobacco, alcohol, paper products, and any other non-food items.

A: No. P-EBT benefits cannot be sold or traded. P-EBT benefits are not transferable and should not be given to anyone else. It is against the law to sell or trade your benefits or South Dakota EBT card or the food you purchased with your South Dakota EBT card. If you sell or trade your benefits and/or food, you will be investigated, and if found guilty, will be disqualified from SNAP and required to pay back any misused food benefits. You may also be referred for criminal prosecution, which could also result in a fine and/or prison time.

A: If you have questions or need assistance, you may visit the P-EBT website at, send an email to, or call toll free at 1-833-813-0006 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00am through 5:00pm.