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.
NEW! 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:
- The child was eligible to receive free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program*
- 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.
- 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.
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.