Skip To Main Content

Summer EBT

How Students Qualify for Summer EBT

Children are eligible for Summer EBT benefits if during the 2023-24 school year they:

  • Received SNAP, Temporary (cash) Assistance (TA), Medicaid*, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits (see “Automatically enrolled”), or
  • Were directly certified for free meals at their school (see “Automatically enrolled”), or
  • Attend a NSLP participating school, and the household submitted an income form to their school during the 2023-24 school year that met income requirements for free/reduced price school meals (see “Automatically enrolled”), or
  • Attend a NSLP participating school, and the household meets the income guidelines for free/reduced price meals (but does not have an individual eligibility determination) (see “Application needed”).

*Limited to certain Medicaid eligible children that have income that is at or below 133% of poverty before the application of blocks, disregards or exceptions.

Each student must be individually determined eligible for free/reduced-price meals to receive Summer EBT benefits.

A school’s participation in the Community Eligibility Provision of the NSLP to provide free school meals to all enrolled students cannot be used to establish eligibility for Summer EBT benefits.


If you have questions regarding Summer EBT, please visit for updated program information. General questions about child nutrition programs and policy may be directed to the Child Nutrition office at (518) 473-8781, or


Many families will get Summer EBT automatically if they are getting other benefits, but some families may need to apply.

  • Automatically enrolled: If the child participated in SNAP, TA, FDPIR, Medicaid* or was reported to a Regional Information Center as eligible for free/reduced-price meals by their school anytime in the 2023-24 school year, they will be automatically enrolled in the Summer EBT program. These families do not need to fill out a separate Summer EBT application. NYS estimates that 85% of children who are eligible for Summer EBT will be automatically enrolled.
  • Application needed: If the child has not been reported by their school or district of enrollment to the NYS Education Department as eligible for free/reduced-price meals by their school but is income eligible and attends an NSLP participating school, they can get Summer EBT by filling out a simple online application with OTDA.

Application Process

  • For children who must apply to receive benefits, the online application is the fastest and easiest way to apply. The application and instructions will be available at The online application will launch July 1, 2024 and will be available in English and Spanish.
  • The application requires information including name of each child applying for Summer EBT benefits; date of birth; school name; names and income information for all adults in the household; current address, phone number, and email address.
  • Families have the option to include the child’s NYSSIS ID and/or local student ID on the application. Applications will be processed more quickly and accurately if one or both numbers are included. The NYSSIS ID or local ID will expedite the process to determine if the applying children attend an NSLP-participating school. Summer EBT outreach materials will let parents/guardians know that their NYSSIS ID will expedite an application.

Benefits/Payment method

Benefit issuance dates will be announced on the NYS Summer EBT website:
Families will receive benefits in one of two ways:

  1. loaded on existing EBT food benefit cards that families received during P-EBT. Information on requesting replacement EBT cards will be available at, or
  2. if a child does not have an active P-EBT food benefit card, they will be mailed a new EBT card that they can use to redeem Summer EBT benefits.

It is important to note that:

  • Private schools that participate in NSLP report data directly to NYSED for the purpose of Summer EBT. This data will not be transmitted to OTDA and processed until mid-August 2024. Private school students who are eligible for Summer EBT will be notified and issued benefits after public school students. This is expected to occur at the end of the summer.
  • Children will not receive Summer EBT benefits on a family’s SNAP EBT card. Each child will have their own Summer EBT Food Benefit card. Families must retain this card for future Summer EBT benefits.
  • Summer EBT benefits expire and are removed from the EBT card 122 days from the date they were deposited into the child’s Summer EBT account. These benefits cannot be restored. It is important that families use these benefits soon after they receive them. Information about how to activate and use EBT cards will be included in the mailing with new EBT cards.
  • Families can visit to learn how to check their Summer EBT card balance online.

How families will be notified about their Summer EBT benefits

Beginning in late June 2024 and through the summer, OTDA will send a personalized communication to parents/guardians of each child who is automatically enrolled. This communication will be mailed to the current address on file and will be reinforced with an email or text message, depending on what contact information is on file at the time.

This communication will inform families about Summer EBT and the specific payment method for their child’s Summer EBT benefit. If a child’s benefit is scheduled to be issued to an existing EBT card and a replacement benefit card is needed, the letter will include specific instructions in how to request a replacement card.

For children who completed an application on or after July 1, a letter will be emailed or mailed to inform the parent/guardian of the eligibility determination, timing, and payment method for the benefit (existing EBT card or new EBT card).