**DSS Field Offices are now open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

**DSS Field Offices and our staffed telephone Benefits Center (1-855-6-CONNECT or 1-855-626-6632) are closed on Wednesdays to allow our staff time to process applications, renewals and related work.

**Our customers can access benefit and application information, 24/7, at www.connect.ct.gov and www.ct.gov/dss/apply; or 1-855-6-CONNECT (1-855-626-6632), except during system maintenance on Friday, 10/15/2021 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., during which ConneCT will experience a partial outage, Saturday, 10/16/2021 from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., during which ConneCT will experience a complete outage, and Sunday, 10/17/2021 from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., during which ConneCT will experience a partial outage.

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

Overview

P-EBT is a federal program. The Department of Social Services (DSS), in collaboration with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), received approval to operate this program in response to the COVID-19 related school closures for the 2019 – 2021 school year and has recently received approval to operate this program for 2020 – 2021 school year. 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.

NEW! September 22, 2021 - ‘Pandemic EBT’ food benefits going to nearly 200,700 schoolchildren on September 26

The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), in collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Education, today announced that $75.2 million in special food assistance benefits will be distributed Sunday, September 26, 2021, to the families of nearly 200,700 schoolchildren who are enrolled in the free or reduced-price meals program and who receive services from the Department of Social Services.

This is the first distribution of food benefits that will go to a total of approximately 283,100 schoolchildren through the federal Summer Pandemic EBT: Children in School program.  This provides SNAP benefits to families of children who were eligible to receive free and reduced-priced meals at their school as of the end of the 2020–2021 school year, and covers the summer period of July 2021–August 2021. An additional distribution for approximately 82,400 children who do not receive services from DSS is expected to be announced in October.

Specifically:

  • The Department of Social Services is issuing benefits to the households of 200,700 children currently enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Family Assistance (TFA), or HUSKY Health/Medicaid who were also receiving free and reduced priced meals in their school as of June 2021, regardless of learning model. DSS will deposit Summer Pandemic EBT food benefits onto the existing EBT accounts on September 26, 2021. For nearly 4,000 families that previously did not receive a Pandemic EBT card, new EBT cards will be mailed on September 24, 2021, and will arrive with instructions on how to activate them and access the food benefits.
  • The planned one-time additional benefit is $375 per child enrolled in the free and reduced-price meals program.
  • To date, before the upcoming September 26 distribution, DSS, in partnership with the Department of Education, has provided over $302.5 million in P-EBT benefits for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years to over 290,000 public school students and 492 private school students who are eligible for the free or reduced-price meals program.
  • Benefits can be used at any location that accepts SNAP/EBT cards.  This includes farmers’ markets and direct market farms.  In fact, enrollees can double the value of Pandemic EBT or other SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets participating in CT Fresh Match (more information on that program can be found at www.endhungerct.org/services/farmers-markets). Pandemic EBT participants will also have online access to eligible food purchases through delivery or curbside pickup at participating retailers Amazon, Aldi and Price Chopper/Market 32 via Instacart, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, Food Bazaar, ShopRite, Stop and Shop and Walmart.  For more information, visit www.ct.gov/snap.

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Next distribution of ‘Pandemic EBT’ food benefits going to 193,000 schoolchildren August 22

The Department of Social Services, in collaboration with the Department of Education, today announced that $61 million in special food assistance benefits will be distributed Sunday, August 22, to the families of over 193,000 schoolchildren enrolled in the free or reduced-price meals program and who receive services from DSS.

This is the first distribution in the second round of food benefits that will go to a total of approximately 271,480 schoolchildren through the federal ‘Pandemic EBT: Children in School’ program.  This distribution of Pandemic EBT provides SNAP benefits to families of children who were learning remotely for at least part of month during the period of February 2021 through the end of the school year.  A additional distribution, for children who do not receive services from DSS, is anticipated in September.

Specific information about the August 22 distribution:

  • DSS is issuing benefits to the households of 193,000 children  currently enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Family Assistance (TFA), or HUSKY Health/Medicaid.  DSS will deposit Pandemic EBT food benefits onto the existing EBT accounts on August 22.  For families in this benefit distribution that did not qualify for benefits in round one, new EBT cards will be mailed August 20 and will arrive with instructions on how to activate them and access the food benefits.
  • Benefits may differ from student to student and depend on the learning model the child was in each month, with an average benefit amount estimated at $316 per child. 
  • Benefits can be used at any location that accepts SNAP/EBT cards.  This includes famers’ markets and direct market farms.  In fact, enrollees can double the value of Pandemic EBT or other SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets participating in CT Fresh Match, found at www.endhungerct.org/services/farmers-markets/.  Pandemic EBT participants will also have online access to eligible food purchases through delivery or curbside pickup at participating retailers Amazon, Aldi & Price Chopper/Market 32 via Instacart, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, Food Bazaar, ShopRite, and Walmart (more at www.ct.gov/snap).

With this distribution of $61 million by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services, Pandemic EBT/Children in School and Pandemic EBT/Child Care benefits are now totaling over $248.7 million in food assistance to over 330,000 children statewide, with commensurate spending at supermarkets, groceries, farmers’ markets and other food retailers.  Many of the children receive multiple distributions.

Families do not need to apply for Pandemic EBT benefits, as DSS and the Department of Education use attendance information provided by schools to determine if children are eligible for the special food assistance.  For more information, please visit www.ct.gov/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 Pandemic 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.   [Updated 8/13/21]

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August 6, 2021--Pandemic EBT Child Care program bringing extra food benefits to over 55,000 young children in Connecticut August 8

The Department of Social Services (DSS), in consultation with the Office of Early Childhood and Department of Education, today announced that $31.2 million in special food assistance benefits will be distributed Sunday, August 8, to the families of over 55,000 children under age 6 enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Specific information about the August 8 distribution of Pandemic EBT Child Care benefits:

  • DSS will deposit benefits onto existing SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards on August 8 to nearly 41,000 households (55,000 eligible children) who were under age six as of October 1, 2020, unless the child already received Pandemic EBT Children in Schoolbenefits by being enrolled in the free or reduced-price meals program at their school.
  • Benefits may differ from family to family and depend on how many months the child received SNAP between October 2020 and June 2021.
  • Each eligible household whose child received SNAP benefits in all months from October 2020 through June 2021, will receive $716.10 per eligible child.  Households whose child began receiving SNAP benefits after October 1, 2020, or ended before June 30, 2021, will receive a lower amount. 
  • DSS began sending letters to all eligible households on August 6, 2021, notifying them of these benefits.
  • 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.  In fact, enrollees can double the value of P-EBT or other SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets participating in CT Fresh Match, found at www.endhungerct.org/services/farmers-markets/.  P-EBT participants will also have online access to eligible food purchases through delivery or curbside pickup at participating retailers Amazon, Aldi & Price Chopper/Market 32 via Instacart, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, ShopRite, and Walmart (more atwww.ct.gov/snap).

Food budgets can be stretched further with WIC.  Households with kids under 5, new moms, 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: https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/WIC/WIC.

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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July 16, 2021 - Next distribution of ‘Pandemic EBT’ food benefits going to 57,800 schoolchildren; EBT cards being mailed July 16

The Department of Social Services (DSS), in collaboration with the Department of Education, today announced today that $24.1 million in special food assistance benefits will be distributed Friday, July 16, to the families of over 57,800 schoolchildren enrolled in the free or reduced-price meals program and who do not receive services from DSS.

This is the last distribution in the current round of $112.8 million in food benefits going to approximately 275,450 schoolchildren through the federal ‘Pandemic EBT’ (or P-EBT) program.  DSS expects to begin a second round of P-EBT benefits to all eligible families in August.  The benefits will be issued to the EBT cards of all families who received benefits in the first round.

Specific information about the July 16 distribution:

  • DSS is mailing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards July 16 to households of over 57,800 schoolchildren not currently enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Family Assistance (TFA), or HUSKY Health/Medicaid; and who did not receive their benefits in April/May.  DSS will deposit P-EBT food benefits into their new accounts on July 16.  The EBT cards will arrive with instructions on how to activate them and access the food benefits.
  • This includes children attending a school participating in the Community Eligibility Provision, in which all children are eligible for free meals.  These are households that do not currently have EBT cards because they are not enrolled in SNAP or TFA.
  • Benefits may differ from student to student and depend on the learning model the child was in each month, with an average benefit amount estimated at $418 per child. 
  • Benefits can be used at any location that accepts SNAP/EBT cards.  This includes famers’ markets and direct market farms.  In fact, enrollees can double the value of P-EBT or other SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets participating in CT Fresh Match, found at www.endhungerct.org/services/farmers-markets/.  P-EBT participants will also have online access to eligible food purchases through delivery or curbside pickup at participating retailers Amazon, Aldi & Price Chopper/Market 32 via Instacart, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, ShopRite, and Walmart (more at www.ct.gov/snap).

Altogether, the number of children being served through the P-EBT program in Connecticut is approximately 275,450 in 206,450 households.  The number includes 273,251 public school students and 2,204 private school students who participate in the free or reduced-price meals program. 

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*
  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.
  3. The child was learning remotely for part or all of the 2020 – 2021 school year. 

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 the 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 GETS SNAP AND/OR TFA on an EBT card: P-EBT benefits will be added to the  SNAP/TFA EBT card in mid-April. Check your balance at www.ct.gov/dss/ebt or call 1-888-328-2666.
  • IF YOUR CHILD GETS TFA benefits via check or direct deposit or gets HUSKY A (< 185% FPL): P-EBT benefits will be sent on an EBT card in the TFA / HUSKY A head of household’s name to the address on file with DSS in mid-April.
  • IF YOU DO NOT GET SNAP, TFA, or HUSKY A:  P-EBT benefits will be sent on an EBT card in the child’s name to the address on file with the child’s school in mid-April.

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