NEW! April 2, 2021--Department of Social Services announces that 220,000 children enrolled in school meals program will receive additional SNAP benefits in April through ‘Pandemic EBT’ program
The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), in collaboration with the Department of Education, announced today that $88.6 million in special food assistance benefits will be going in April to families of nearly 220,000 schoolchildren enrolled in free or reduced-price meals program across the state.
Funded through the federal ‘Pandemic EBT’ (or P-EBT) program, the new benefits will help ensure that eligible children in pre-kindergarten through high school continue to receive nutritious meals while learning from home or in hybrid models during the public health emergency.
- P-EBT food benefits will be deposited in the electronic benefit transfer accounts of about 59,500 households, representing 101,187 children, currently enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on Sunday, April 11. An additional 586 households, representing 997 children, enrolled in the Temporary Family Assistance Program but not currently enrolled in SNAP, will also receive P-EBT benefits in their accounts at that time.
- DSS will mail EBT cards to about 69,600 households, representing 117,486 children, not currently enrolled in SNAP, and will deposit P-EBT food benefits into their new accounts on or about Sunday, April 11, for Medicaid-enrolled households; and on or about Sunday, April 25, for the other households, including those with 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 cash assistance.
- 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 $374 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 via Instacart, ShopRite, and Walmart (more at www.ct.gov/snap).
- The children served will include 217,466 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 will use attendance information provided by schools to determine if children are eligible for P-EBT. For more information, please visit https://portal.ct.gov/p-ebt.
This round of P-EBT benefits covers September 2020-January 2021 and totals approximately $88.6 million. The next round of P-EBT benefits is expected at the end of the school year, covering the months of February 2021 onward. During the 2019-2020 school year, the first round of P-EBT delivered $105.7 million in food assistance.
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.
UPDATED! December 23, 2020 Expansion of online purchasing of food with SNAP benefits; ALDI joins Amazon, Walmart and ShopRite--The Department of Social Services (DSS) is pleased to announce the expansion of its Online Purchasing Pilot to include 27 ALDI stores throughout Connecticut, in partnership with online grocery platform Instacart. As part of this new program, DSS SNAP participants in Connecticut will be able to shop from ALDI via the Instacart online site and mobile app.
Once an Instacart customer profile is created at www.instacart.com or on the Instacart mobile app, customers can enter their EBT food card information as a form of payment in their profile. SNAP enrollees will be able to place food orders online by using the identifying numbers on their EBT cards and individually selected PINs.
Customers can then enter their zip code to determine if they are near a participating ALDI store, and begin shopping and selecting items from ALDI’s EBT SNAP-eligible products. Once items are added to their cart, customers will be able to select how much of their benefits they would like to allocate to the order.
ALDI delivery and pickup via Instacart will be available daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Orders for delivery and pickup can be placed by customers for to be receivedas quickly as within an hour, or scheduled for days in advance.
ALDI’s delivery service via Instacart now joins three other food retailers—Amazon, Walmart and ShopRite--to offer online purchasing of food with SNAP benefits in Connecticut.
Retailers now approved for online SNAP purchasing are 27 ALDI Stores in Connecticut (please click here for list); Amazon, including Amazon Pantry and Amazon Fresh; 12 Walmart stores (please click here for list); and Wakefern Food Corp., with 21 participating ShopRite stores (please click here for list).
Please note: only SNAP benefits on EBT cards can be used for online purchases. At this time, cash assistance benefits on EBT cards cannot be used for any part of online shopping, including shipping, delivery or service fees. Customers will need a secondary form of payment for non-food items, such as taxes, tips and fees, per federal SNAP guidelines.
While federal rules do not allow any SNAP benefits to be used for shipping, delivery or service fees, some food retailers may choose to waive fees, if applicable. To help subsidize costs for EBT SNAP beneficiaries, during a 90-day period starting December 16, 2020, Instacart (representing ALDI) will waive delivery and/or pickup fees on up to the first three EBT SNAP orders for each customer with a valid EBT card associated with their Instacart account. After this period, online shopping customers using SNAP benefits must use another means of payment for any fees and/or any non-SNAP-eligible items they wish to purchase.
Customary shipping/delivery fees are:
- Instacart pickup fees are $1.99 and delivery starts at $3.99.
- ShopRite has a $10 service fee and a separate delivery fee.
- Walmart fees vary between $7.95 and $9.95 (or a flat fee of $98/year).
- Amazon waives delivery fees for orders over $35 with free 2-day shipping for Prime members. For non-Prime members, orders of $25 or more of receive free shipping in 5-8 business days.
SNAP benefits are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which also regulates which foods are eligible for purchase with the benefits. FNS is the authorizing agency for food retailers participating in the program. For information about enrolling in SNAP EBT and online food sales through SNAP, food retailers can visit www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailer-requirements-provide-online-purchasing.
UPDATED November 17, 2020--Special measures to assist SNAP enrollees during the Covid-19 public health emergency
- No Periodic Review Forms--we are suspending the requirement to submit Periodic Review Forms (PRFs) for all SNAP enrollees from December 2020 through June 2021. This means that you will not be receiving PRFs in the mail to fill out during this time period.
- Automatic renewals for six months—we are automatically extending eligibility for SNAP enrollees whose normal annual certification is scheduled to end in November or December 2020. In other words, you will not have to go through a renewal process, and your eligibility will be extended six months (to May or June 2021). Please note: SNAP enrollees whose eligibility was previously extended will still need to go through the renewal process. We will send you a notice when you need to take any action to keep your SNAP eligibility.
Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP)
The Department of Social Services is pleased to announce a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) demonstration project for older adults and those with disabilities. Once enrolled in SNAP, eligible households qualifying for the Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) will experience additional flexibilities to support continued enrollment.
Flexibilities in ESAP include:
- An expanded three-year SNAP certification period of eligibility;
- No periodic report form will be due halfway through the certification cycle, as is usually the case for SNAP enrollees;
- Revised reporting requirements (explained in greater detail below); and
- The opportunity for some relaxed renewal flexibilities, when households meet additional requirements.
ESAP Eligibility Criteria:
- All adult (18 years or older) household members must be determined elderly (60 years or older) or with a disability, per SNAP regulations and
- No household members can be employed (i.e., receive countable earned income).
Revised Reporting Requirements:
Please note that ESAP-eligible SNAP households need to report information to DSS before their renewal is due if they experience a household change that would disqualify them from ESAP (for example, if the household no longer includes an older adult or adult with disability, or if they start working). All SNAP households must report if they receive lotto/gambling winnings equal to or in excess of $3,500.
SNAP Definition of a Disability:
An individual who meets one or more of the following:
- Receives disability or blindness benefits from any of these programs: Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, or SSI-related Medicaid.
- Receives a federally or state administered SSI supplement based on disability or blindness, or section 212(a) of PL 93-66.
Receives a disability retirement benefit from a government agency for a disability considered permanent by SSA.
- Is a veteran the VA considers totally disabled or permanently housebound or in need of regular aid and attendance.
- Is a veteran’s surviving spouse who the VA considers:
- in need of regular aid and attendance,
- permanently housebound, or
- approved for benefits because of the veteran’s death and has a disability considered permanent by SSA.
- Is a veteran’s surviving child who the VA considers:
- incapable of self-support, or
- approved for benefits because of the veteran’s death and has a disability considered permanent by SSA
- receives interim assistance benefits pending the receipt of Supplemental Security Income, receives disability related medical assistance under title XIX of the Social Security Act, or receives disability-based State general assistance (SAGA) benefits provided that the eligibility to receive any of these benefits is based upon disability or blindness criteria established by the State agency which are at least as stringent as those used under title XVI of the Social Security Act.
ESAP is designed to increase the efficiency of SNAP and reduce food insecurity among a population whose household circumstances generally stay the same and can have additional barriers associated with age or disability, such as transportation or mobility. The Connecticut Department of Social Services was approved for this demonstration project by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, the agency that administers and funds SNAP nationwide. We look forward to serving you! [updated 10-30-20]
Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) - 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 – 2020 school year. P-EBT provides food supports to help families with children who were receiving free and reduced-price school meals pay for food. For more information please follow this link.
Food Resources for Kids During COVID-19 Emergency: Special information from the Office of Early Childhood (En Espanol)
Suspension of ‘ABAWD’ work requirements. ABAWD work requirements and three-month SNAP time limit for enrollees in all towns in Connecticut has been suspended for the duration of the public health emergency, per Congressional action (ABAWD=Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependent Children enrolled in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program).
Extension of SNAP eligibility. If your SNAP renewal form or periodic review form (PRF) was due in March 2020—benefits are automatically continued through September 2020. If your SNAP renewal form or PRF is due in April 2020—benefits will be automatically continued through October 2020. If your SNAP renewal form or PRF is due in May 2020—benefits will be automatically continued through November 2020. If your SNAP renewal for or PRF is due in June 2020—benefits will automatically be continued through December 2020.
For Expedited SNAP cases: DSS will still issues SNAP benefits for one or two months, depending on whether the application was received before or after the 15th of the month, while the interview and verifications are pending. Just as above, If the household then responds with the needed information before completing the interview, and all the criteria above are met, the DSS worker will process the case without the interview. Please note: Expedited SNAP cases are those where the household has gross income less than $150 and liquid assets less than $100 in the month of application, whose combined income and assets are less than their combined rent/mortgage and utility expenses, or who are migrant or seasonal farmworkers who are destitute and have liquid assets less than $100 while residing in Connecticut.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, helps eligible individuals and families afford the cost of food at supermarkets, grocery stores and farmers’ markets.
SNAP Time Limits for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs): What you should know
SNAP recipients in Connecticut must report when their household’s total monthly gross income goes above 130% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Please follow this link to learn more about income reporting requirements.
Mensaje Importante sobre SNAP
Beneficiarios de SNAP en Connecticut tienen que reportar cuando el total del ingreso bruto mensual de su hogar exceda el 130% del nivel federal de pobreza (FPL) Oprime aquí para obtener más información.
If you're enrolled in SNAP, you can now take care of your
'periodic report form' online! Check out www.ct.gov/dss/snapreportform
For your safety, ALL Aquarium visits now require a timed ticket and must be reserved online. Follow this link to Learn More.