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Summer EBT Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer?

Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (Summer EBT) is intended to reduce hunger and food insecurity for children who lose access to free and reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) during the summer when school is not in session.

How Much Will My Summer EBT Benefits Be?

Each eligible child in your family will receive a one-time benefit of $120.

Is My Child Eligible for Summer EBT?

Your child is eligible if:

Your household participates in SNAP, or your child attends a school that offers USDA National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program, and your household income meets the requirements for free or reduced – price school meals.

I received a notice stating my child has been determined “direct eligible.”  Then I received a notice saying my application was denied.  Will my child receive SEBT benefits?

As your child was determined to be direct eligible, any applications filed by you will be denied.  Your child will receive SEBT benefits based on Direct Eligibility.

How Do I Apply For Summer EBT?

You may automatically qualify for Summer EBT without the need to apply. Visit our website at to find an interactive eligibility flowchart. Answer each question to help determine your status.

If the flowchart shows that you need to apply for Summer EBT, either print a copy and complete by hand or complete the application online and print it out. Then, email the completed application to or drop it off at your local DHS county office. Paper copies are also available at your local DHS county office.

When Is The Deadline to Apply For Summer EBT?

The deadline for applications to be turned in is August 26, 2024.

How Will I Receive Summer EBT Benefits?

Each eligible child in your family will receive $120 on his or her own Summer EBT card. For example, if you have three eligible children in your home, you will receive three separate cards in three separate envelopes.

How Do I Activate My Summer EBT Card?

To activate your card, call the phone number on the back of the card (1-800-997-9999) and enter the SEBT card number on the front of the Summer EBT card. Select Summer EBT option 1 in the PIN menu, and when asked to enter your child’s Social Security Number (SSN), enter 0000. Next, enter the date of birth as MM/DD/YY for the child named on the front of the card. Finally, you will need to set a new 4-digit PIN (personal identification number). After these steps are completed, your card is ready to use.

How Do I Use My Summer EBT card?

Once your card is activated, it is like a debit card. To make a purchase, simply swipe and enter your 4-digit PIN.

What Items Can I Buy with My Summer EBT card?

You can use Summer EBT benefits to buy food like fruits, vegetables, meat, whole grains, and dairy at grocery stores, farmers markets, and other places that accept SNAP benefits.

When Will I Get My Summer EBT Card?

The earliest that cards will be mailed out is July 10, 2024. Cards will continue to be mailed throughout the summer as applications are received and processed. The latest benefits will be issued is September 30, 2024.

How Long Do I Have To Use My Summer EBT Card?

You will have 122 days to use your Summer EBT card after it has been issued. You will also receive a notice prior to expiration with the date the expiration is scheduled and the amount to be expired.

How Do I Replace My Summer EBT Card?

If you need to replace your card, call the number on the back of the card (1-800-997-9999). After calling, your card will be cancelled immediately. Once your card is cancelled, it cannot be reactivated, and benefits cannot be used until the new card is received. Please allow up to 10 to 14 business days for the new card to arrive. Your PIN, remaining balance, and any pending deposits will automatically roll over onto the new card.

Will Every Child In My Household Receive Summer EBT?

No, not all children in your home are eligible for Summer EBT benefits. Every child must meet the eligibility criteria to receive Summer EBT benefits.

How Do I Check The Balance On My SEBT Card?

To check your balance, call the number on the back of the card (1-800-997-9999). Any unspent benefits will automatically expire 122 days from the date they became available on the Summer EBT card.

Can Someone I Trust Help Me Ask Questions?

Yes, but you must verify the account and give permission for the third party to speak to us. Third parties include, but are not limited to, family, spouses, children, caretakers, friends, coworkers, etc.

How Do I Appeal A Decision About Summer EBT Benefits?

If you want to file an appeal you can mail a DHS-1200 or your Denial Notice to Arkansas Department of Human Services Appeals and Hearings Section Slot S101, P.O. Box 1437, Little Rock, AR 72203-1437 or email it to You must file an appeal within 90 days from the end of the summer operational period, November 25, 2024. If you receive a notice with less than 30 days to file an appeal from November 25, 2024, you will have 30 days from the date you received your notice to file an appeal.

I Don’t Want Summer EBT Benfts. Can I Decline?

Yes, if you do not want your benefits and have already received your card, you can cut the card up and the benefits will automatically expire after 122 days. If you have received your letter saying you are eligible, but you have not received your card, you can complete the OPT OUT section of your notice and send it to DHS.

If one of my children is eligible for Summer EBT, are ALL of my children eligible?

Not necessarily. Each individual child in the household needs to meet the eligibility criteria in order to receive Summer EBT benefits. For example, you may have a child who attends an elementary school that participates in the National School Lunch Program and another child who attends a pre-school that does not participate in the National School Lunch Program. In that situation, the child in the elementary school would be eligible, but the child in pre-school would not. You would need to visit our website at and go through the interactive eligibility flowchart to find out if that child is eligible.