GEORGE COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) – A new customer support center is now open for families with questions about receiving Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer benefits.

About 466,000 Mississippi children will be eligible to receive benefits in October.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services added a customer service chat function to the P-EBT webpage. A live customer service chat representative is able to help parents with the following questions: 

  • How eligibility is determined. 
  • The amount of benefits an eligible child will receive. 
  • Expected card issuance timeframes. 
  • Other information about how the P-EBT program works and what to expect. 

The P-EBT customer service center has opened with an initial 25 customer service representatives. Its phone number is 1-833-316-2423. The operating hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

It will be fully staffed with 150 customer service staff once benefits are distributed in October.

MDHS encourages parents to review the P-EBT frequently asked questions on the agency’s website and utilize the chat function prior to calling the call center.  

The Mississippi Department of Education and MDHS will distribute P-EBT benefits to two groups of Mississippi children.

Families of Pre K-12 school children who were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch under the National School Lunch Program during the 2021-22 school year will receive a $391 one-time benefit for each child enrolled in the program.

Children younger than six-years-old who were members of an active SNAP case between August 2021 and July 2022 in Mississippi will receive one-time P-EBT benefits based on how many months they received SNAP benefits. A table of benefit amounts is available on the program’s website. 

P-EBT benefits can be used to purchase SNAP-eligible food items at stores that accept Electronic Benefit Transfer cards. All eligible children will be issued a new P-EBT card. 

For PreK-12 students, the P-EBT card will be mailed to the address provided by the child’s 2021-22 school district. For SNAP Under 6 children, the P-EBT card will be mailed to the family’s most updated address on file with the SNAP program.

Completing an application for free or reduced-price lunch during the 2022-23 school year will not make a child eligible for 2022 P-EBT benefits.