P-EBT benefits

Using your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to access P-EBT benefits
Posted on 05/21/2020

What is P-EBT?

Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) is a program to help purchase food for your child(ren) who normally would get free or reduced-price meals at school before closures. The full benefit amount of $416.10, which covers the days schools were closed due to COVID-19, will be available when you activate your card. You can use P-EBT benefits to purchase food items. You cannot, however purchase prepared foods, such a rotisserie chicken or hot meal. Similar to a bank card, which is protected with a Personal Identification Number (PIN), you will use an EBT card to get P-EBT benefits. If your school offers grab-and-go lunch, you still can pick up a lunch and use your P-EBT benefit to buy food.

How do I use my card at the grocery/convenience store?

  • Before you begin shopping, make sure the store accepts the card.  Look for the SNAP EBT image or visit the Using Your Benefits page on NJSNAP.gov for a list of stores that accept SNAP.
  • Tell the clerk that you want to use your card.
  • Slide your card through the machine.
  • Choose FOOD option.
  • Enter your PIN on the keypad.

How do I get my balance?

  • Go to www.NJFamiliesFirst.com to create an account to view your current card balance and transaction history, as well as report lost or stolen cards.
  • Call Customer Service at 1-800-997-3333 to use the automated phone system to get your balance.
  • Check your last store receipt.

How do I protect my EBT card and PIN?

  • Don’t share your PIN with anyone.
  • Do not write your PIN on your card or card holder. Also, do not carry the number with you in your purse or wallet.
  • If you cannot find your card or if you think someone knows your PIN, immediately call 1-800-997-3333.
  • Keep your card away from electronic equipment (TVs and microwaves), magnets and out of the sun.

What to do if you forgot your PIN?

If you forget your PIN but haven’t lost your card, you can change your PIN online at www.NJFamiliesFirst.com after you create a user account and log in. Or you can call Customer Service at 1-800-997-3333.

Lost, Stolen or Damaged Cards

If your card has been lost, stolen or damaged, it is important to immediately report it online at www.NJFamiliesFirst.com or by calling 1-800-997-3333. This will “freeze” your card so no one can use your benefits. After reporting it, contact your local board of social services for a replacement card. There may be a fee to replace the card.

When do I receive my benefits?

You will receive your one-time benefit when you activate your card.

Additional Information:

  • If you are not interested in using the P-EBT benefit, please destroy your card or mail it to the address on the back of the card.
  • Your P-EBT benefits cannot be given to another person.