The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Important P-EBT Info to Help Families PIN their children's cards

We are aware that many families are struggling to PIN their children’s P-EBT cards. The P-EBT card PIN-ing process is confusing for at least three reasons:  1) For security reasons, DTA was required to assign a unique “Case Number” to each child in addition to DOB in order for the family to PIN the card; 2) DTA has shared with us that the EBT Customer Service Line (run by the company Conduent) is unable to set up a separate phone tree branch to serve P-EBT families; and 3) USPS mail delivery has been slow and unreliable. The EBT Customer Service line is serving both regular DTA customers (SNAP/cash) as well as P-EBT customers.  

As a result, families have to navigate a confusing set of prompts not designed for them.  Families confused by the P-EBT PIN-ing process or who did not get/keep the DTA notice with the Case Number are flooding Project Bread's Food Source Hotline, making it difficult for them to serve the volume of inbound calls. 

DTA is aware of the PIN-ing problem and issued instructions last night for DTA staff to help families navigate the EBT Customer Service Line and get their Case Number if needed.  Attached are the instructions DTA sent. This AM DTA had Conduent change the recording on the EBT Customer Service Line to direct callers to the DTA Assistance Line (vs Project Bread) for help getting their Case Number.  Here’s a quick summary:

For families who have their original DTA P-EBT Notices:

When calling the EBT Customer Service Line (1-800-997-2555), parents need three data points in order for the family to create a PIN for their child’s P-EBT card.

1.       The P-EBT card number – listed on the front of the card.

2.       The DTA assigned Case Number – specifically the last four numbers are needed when asked for the SSN. See example highlighted below.

3.       The child’s date of birth (month/date/year) – also needed to create a PIN.

For families that did not receive or lost the DTA P-EBT notice:

DTA and Project Bread are working on immediate solutions to help families get their child’s P-EBT Case Numbers, hopefully by tomorrow. In the meantime - we recommend P-EBT families who need the case number for their child call the DTA Assistance Line (1-877-382-2363). DTA has informed DTA staff that they can provide the P-EBT case numbers for families that provide the P-EBT card numbers for their children.  Note:

·         As this eblast goes out, the DTA Assistance line does not yet have verbal instructions to guide P-EBT families not getting DTA benefits who need to reach a worker.  Yesterday, DTA notified all staff that they can assist P-EBT families with getting their child/rens Case Numbers.  Today, 6/3/2020, we recommend P-EBT families that call the DTA Assistance Line press “4” then “4” to reach DTA staff. If the DTA staff instructs the family to call Project Bread, ask to speak with a supervisor. 

·         If you are working directly with families, please keep track of these cases (including the P-EBT card # and student's name) and be prepared to advise the client as more DTA options are set up to access the Case Number in the next few days. 

For more information and client friendly materials on P-EBT, check out the www.MAp-EBT.org webpage. For nitty gritty on P-EBT policy and sample notices, see our P-EBT google doc here

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