The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides a monthly benefit to help low-income households purchase nutritious food.
If you receive SNAP you may also be eligible to participate in Maine SNAP-Ed or the Food Supplement Employment and Training Program.
What do I need to do to apply?
Eligibility for SNAP is based on income, assets, expenses and household size. You will need to fill out an application, complete an interview and provide verification of your household’s income, identity, citizenship status, assets and other items depending on your household circumstances.
Temporary Changes to Benefits
In response to COVID-19 and related laws, the Office for Family Independence has made a number of temporary changes to safety net programs including SNAP. Read our Summary of Changes (PDF).
Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)
Maine has been authorized to issue P-EBT benefits to eligible school aged children for the 2021-2022 school year.
- Benefits for August through November 2021 were issued June 21 - 25 and September 12, 2022.
- Benefits for the remainder of the school year were issued August 29, 2022.
To be eligible for this program individuals must meet all of the following criteria:
- They must attend a school that was closed or had reduced attendance due to COVID-19 for 5 consecutive days.
- They must have been absent from school or attended remotely due to COVID-19. P-EBT benefits (of $7.10 per day) are only issued for the days school meals were missed due to COVID-19, for students.
- They must be eligible for Free/Reduced price meal benefits on the USDA National School Lunch Program meal benefit application.
- Any student attending a Community Eligibility Provision or Special Provision II school are eligible for Free/Reduced price meal benefits under the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program’s meal benefit application.
- Students receiving SNAP or TANF benefits of at least $1 any month during the school year are eligible for Free/Reduced price meal benefits under the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program’s meal benefit application.
- Students documented as being part of a family engaged in migrant agricultural work are eligible for Free/Reduced price meal benefits under the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program’s meal benefit application.
- Students documented as experiencing homelessness are eligible for Free/Reduced price meal benefits under the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program’s meal benefit application.
- Students in foster care through Maine’s DHHS are eligible for Free/Reduced price meal benefits under the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program’s meal benefit application.
- Eligible students not meeting any of the conditions above should APPLY FOR FREE/REDUCED PRICE MEAL BENEFITS UNDER THE USDA NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH AND SCHOOL BREAKFAST PROGRAM THROUGH THEIR SCHOOL.
- School breakfast and lunch were available at no cost for all Maine students this past year but universal free lunches in Maine schools do not confer eligibility. Students must be eligible for Free/Reduced price meal benefits under the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program’s meal benefit application, through one of the methods above.
Maine has, also, been authorized to issue P-EBT benefits to children under age 6 for the 2021-2022 school year.
- These benefits were issued September 6, 2022.
To be eligible for this program, individuals must meet all of the following criteria:
- They must have been under age 6 on September 1, 2021.
- They must have been receiving SNAP benefits in Maine in a given month (August 2021 through June 2022) to be eligible for P-EBT for that month.
- They cannot have received P-EBT as a school aged child for any month in the 2021-2022 school year.
The average monthly benefit for children under 6 is about $33 but varies greatly from month to month. They are based on the average reduction in Child Care Food Program claims for the same month pre-pandemic. August and June each only count as ½ of a school year month.
P-EBT Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- How do I set up my pin for my P-EBT card?
Call the number on the back of the P-EBT card. You will need to enter the child’s date of birth and the last for digits of their Social Security Number (SS#). If the child does not have a SS# or it was not provided to OFI you will need to enter 9999.
- Why did I receive multiple cards?
P-EBT cards are issued for each eligible child not on SNAP. If your children were not on SNAP you will receive a P-EBT card for each eligible child.
- I didn’t ask for P-EBT and I do not want it. What do I do with the P-EBT card?
Please destroy or simply throw away the card. P-EBT cards are for the individual child. It a prosecutable offense to give the card and/or benefits away.
- Other people received P-EBT on their EBT card. Why don’t I have my card(s) or benefits yet?
P-EBT cards can take 14 days or longer to be delivered due to postal delays. If you have not received a card for your eligible school aged child by September 12, 2022, you can contact the Department at P-EBT.DHHS@Maine.gov.
- Will P-EBT benefits be issued to the P-EBT card I received last year?
Yes. If your child is eligible for P-EBT for the 2021-2022 school year, they will be issued on the same card. If you need a replacement card you can request one at pinetreecard.com/meebtclient/# or by calling (800) 477-7428.
- Do home-schooled children qualify for P-EBT?
No. To qualify, school aged children must be enrolled in a school that offers meals through the USDA National School Lunch Program and be eligible for the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program and be eligible for Free/Reduced price meal benefits through the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program. Households must submit a meal benefit application to establish free/reduced eligibility.
- If I got it last year is it automatic this year?
No. To be eligible for the 2021-2022 school year—
- your school aged child would need to be eligible for Free/Reduced price meal benefits through the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program during the 2021-2022 school year and have missed school meals due to COVID-19; or
- your child under age 6 would need to have been receiving SNAP in Maine.
- Will P-EBT be issued for the summer of 2022?
Maine has not yet been approved to issue summer P-EBT for 2022 but is working on approval from Food and Nutrition Services (FNS).
- When will my child get P-EBT?
School aged children were issued P-EBT for August through November 2021 June 21 - 25, 2022 and for the remainder of the school year on August 29, 2022.
Benefits for children under age 6 are anticipated to be issued in September 2022.
Please remember it may take 14 days or longer to receive an EBT or P-EBT card due to postal delays.
- Why did my child get a different P-EBT benefit amount than their classmate?
Unlike previous years, each school aged child’s benefit is uniquely calculated based on the number of days they missed school meals due to COVID-19. Children who had a different number of remote days or excused absences received a different benefit amount.
- What are the Monthly benefit amounts for children under age 6?
August 2021 $11.05
September 2021 $25.98
October 2021 $38.22
November 2021 $27.41
December 2021 $29.72
January 2022 $44.36
February 2022 $32.29
March 2022 $32.91
April 2022 $38.63
May 2022 $41.96
June 2022 $16.78
- Can I apply for P-EBT?
Eligibility for P-EBT for school aged children is dependent on being eligible for Free/Reduced price meal benefits through the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program. Households must submit a meal benefit application to establish free/reduced eligibility. If your child has not been found eligible for this program, the first step would be to apply for it. You can apply through your school. If you believe you may also be eligible for SNAP, you can apply for SNAP at MyMaineConnection.
If your child is eligible for Free/Reduced price meal benefits through the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program, is enrolled in an eligible school, and missed school meals due to COVID-19, they are eligible for a benefit of $7.10 for each day missed. If you believe they did not receive the correct amount of P-EBT, you can complete a P-EBT Reconciliation Application. There are separate Reconciliation Applications for August through November (PDF) or December through June (PDF), and
mail it to
P-EBT Department of Health and Human Services Office for Family Independence 109 Capitol St. Augusta, ME 04330-6841
or e-mail it to P-EBT.DHHS@Maine.gov.
Eligibility for P-EBT for children under age 6 is dependent on them having received SNAP for the month in question. SNAP eligibility cannot be determined retroactively. However, to avoid missing future potential eligibility, you can apply for SNAP at MyMaineConnection.
Online Purchase Options Available for Maine SNAP Recipients:
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is excited to announce that Maine Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients are now be able to purchase eligible food items online at participating retailers using their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.
- How to use your EBT card for online purchases
- Amazon, BJ's, and Hannaford accept SNAP food benefits only.
- Shaw's and Walmart accept both SNAP and EBT cash benefits.
- Amazon waives delivery fees on purchases of $35 or more.
- Shoppers can visit their local BJ's, Hannaford, Shaw's or Wal-Mart store online to find out what pick-up or delivery options are available near them.
- Contact your local grocery store to see if they chose curbside pick-up as an option. Any grocer is allowed to purchase wireless EBT equipment which makes curbside pick-up possible.
- Information for Retailers
Current SNAP-eligible retailers interested in participating in online EBT purchases should visit the USDA website for more information, including program requirements and instructions for enrollment.
Post-Secondary Student Eligibility
The Office for Family Independence (OFI) has created a Community College Verification Form (PDF) to simplify verifying SNAP eligibility for post-secondary students at community colleges. Community colleges can verify students are enrolled in an associate’s degree or certificate program that is considered a “career or technical education program”, as defined by the federal Carl D. Perkins Act (most certificate and associate degree programs fit the definition), OR a course the community college has determined will make the student more employable. This information has been conveyed to Navigators at community colleges so that they are better able to assist OFI in the fight to reduce hunger. Navigators are campus based staff who assist eligible students throughout their time in school.
USDA Non Discrimination Statement
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.
Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (833) 620-1071, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to:
Food and Nutrition Service, USDA
1320 Braddock Place, Room 334
Alexandria, VA 22314; or
(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
SNAP-Ed has Gone Cellular
Sign up to get text messages from Maine SNAP-Ed and they will help you and your family shop, cook and eat healthy on a budget. You can look forward to simple tips for healthy eating, low-cost recipes, grocery shopping ideas, tips on getting the family to drink more water and more. Sign up at Notifications - Maine SNAP-Ed (mainesnap-ed.org) today to get text messages sent straight to your phone.
The Food Supplement Employment and Training Program (FSET)
FSET helps connect Food Supplement participants with job training and education. There are lots of opportunities available at no cost. Learn more about FSET.