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Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

Overview

NEW! ‘Pandemic EBT’ Child Care program bringing extra food benefits to over 39,865 young children in Connecticut on December 4

The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), in consultation with the Connecticut Department of Education and Office of Early Childhood, today announced that $15.5 million in special food assistance benefits are scheduled to be distributed Sunday, December 4, 2022, to the families of 39,865 children under age 6 and who are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

This is the last major distribution in the current round of $145.8 million in food benefits going to nearly 282,900 schoolchildren, and 39,865 children under age 6 in childcare through the federal ‘Pandemic EBT’ (or P-EBT) program covering the 2021 – 2022 school year and subsequent summer period.

Specific information about the December 4 distribution of Pandemic EBT Child Care benefits:

  • DSS expects to deposit benefits onto existing SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards by 5 p.m. on December 4, 2022, to nearly 31,450 households (39,865 eligible children) who were under age 6 and receiving SNAP benefits from DSS between July 1, 2022, and August 31, 2022, unless the child already received Summer Pandemic EBT Children in School benefits by being eligible for the free or reduced-price meals program at their school.
  • The distribution will include benefits deposited onto existing SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards of SNAP-eligible households who welcomed a child born in either July or August 2022.   
  • The planned one-time additional benefit is $391 per child.
  • DSS has already deposited benefits totaling $111.9 million dollars to 282,900 schoolchildren eligible who received free and reduced-priced meals at their school as of the end of the 2021–2022 school year on October 31, 2022, and November 7, 2022.
  • Families do not need to apply for P-EBT benefits, as DSS uses SNAP eligibility information to determine if children are eligible for P-EBT Child Care benefits.

Benefits can be used at any location that accepts SNAP/EBT cards. This includes famers markets and direct market farms.

P-EBT participants also have online access to eligible food purchases through delivery or curbside pickup at participating retailers ACME, Amazon, ALDI and Price Chopper/Market 32 via Instacart, Big Y, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, Food Bazaar, Geissler’s Supermarket, Price Rite, Sam’s Club Scan & Go, ShopRite, Stop and Shop, Target, Walmart, and Whole Foods. Additional information on that is available at www.ct.gov/snap.

Food budgets can be stretched further with WIC. Households with kids under age 5, new parents, and pregnant or breastfeeding women may be eligible to receive healthy foods, free nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to helpful resources. To apply or learn more, visit portal.ct.gov/DPH/WIC/WIC.

All children up to five years of age receiving SNAP benefits are also eligible for FREE Head Start/Early Head Start programming. Head Start provides programs that develop early learning skills, healthy lifestyles, language and literacy skills, and other academic needs. Visit https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/programs/article/head-start-programs or contact OEC.HSCollaboration@ct.gov for more information on this FREE program and how to enroll.

DSS received information from the Office of Early Childhood and the Department of Education to implement the P-EBT Child Care plan, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. The P-EBT Child Care SNAP funding was authorized by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, with additional amendments made in the Continuing Appropriations Act and Other Extensions Act of 2021, as well as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

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P-EBT is a federal program. The Department of Social Services (DSS), in collaboration with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), Has operated P-EBT in response to the COVID-19 related school closures for the 2019 – 2020 and 2020 – 2021 school years and has recently begun distributions covering the 2021 – 2022 school year and subsequent summer period. P-EBT provides food supports to help families with children who were receiving free and reduced-price school meals pay for food.

Please follow this link for an informational pamphlet about P-EBT.

Follow this link for a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Families do not need to apply for P-EBT benefits, as DSS and the Department of Education use attendance information provided by schools to determine if children are eligible for P-EBT. 

DSS and the Department of Education are partnering to implement the P-EBT plan, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.  The P-EBT SNAP funding for children who participate in the free or reduced-price meals program was authorized by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, with additional amendments made in the Continuing Appropriations Act and Other Extensions Act of 2021, as well as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

How do I know if my child qualifies for P-EBT?

A child is eligible for P-EBT benefits if three conditions are met:

  1. The child was eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program during the 2021 – 2022 school year
  2. The child does not receive free or reduced-price meals at school because the school is closed or operating with reduced attendance or hours for at last 5 consecutive days in the current school year due to COVID-19.
  3. The child was learning remotely for part or all of the 2021 – 2022 school year due to a COVID-19 related absence.

You do not have to apply for P-EBT benefits. DSS and CT Dept. of Education (CSDE) will use attendance information provided by your child’s school to determine if they are eligible for P-EBT.

For more information about who is eligible for P-EBT benefits, follow this link.

How will I get the P-EBT benefits?

  • If your child receives SNAP or TFA benefits on an EBT card, or previously received P-EBT benefits on an EBT card, the SY 2021-22 P-EBT benefits will be added to that EBT card.
  • If your child has not received P-EBT benefits previously, and only receives Medicaid from DSS, a P-EBT card will be issued in the Medicaid Head of Household’s name to the address on file with DSS.
  • If your child has not received P-EBT benefits previously and does not receive benefits from DSS or is a private school student, a P-EBT card will be issued in the student’s name to the address on file with their school.

For Information on how to PIN your EBT card or use your benefits, follow this link.

Note: If you do not use your benefits for a period of 274 days from the date they were deposited onto your card, the benefits will be taken off of the card and returned to the federal government. This is called having your benefits “expunged”. DSS will not reissue or replace expunged benefits.