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Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

Overview

NEW! ‘Pandemic EBT’ food benefits going to over 65,770 schoolchildren on November 7 

The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), in collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Education, today announced that $32.5 million in special food assistance benefits is scheduled to be distributed beginning Monday, November 7, 2022, by 5:00 p.m. to the families of over 65,770 schoolchildren who are enrolled in the free or reduced-price meals program and who do not receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Family Assistance (TFA), or Medicaid (HUSKY A) assistance from DSS. 

This is the next distribution of food benefits that will go to a total of approximately 286,360 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 2021–2022 school year, and covers the summer period of July 2022–August 2022.  

Specifically:

  • The Department of Social Services is issuing benefits to the households of over 65,770 children not 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 2022, regardless of learning model. DSS has scheduled the deposit of Summer Pandemic EBT food benefits onto the existing EBT accounts on November 7, 2022, by 5:00 p.m.
  •  An additional 17,500 children eligible for this Summer Pandemic EBT: Children in School distribution, but who previously did not receive a Pandemic EBT card, will receive their distribution when their households are mailed EBT cards beginning November 18. The new EBT cards will arrive with instructions on how to activate them and access the food benefits.
  • This current distribution includes students who attended a school participating in the Community Eligibility Provision, in which all students in that school receive meals at no cost to families.
  • The planned one-time additional benefit is $391 per child enrolled in the free and reduced-price meals program.
  • An additional distribution for approximately 54,000 SNAP household children under the age of 6 and who are not enrolled in school is expected in early December.
  • To date, before the upcoming November 7 distribution, DSS, in partnership with the Department of Education, has provided over $561.4 million in P-EBT benefits for the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022 school years to over 280,000 public school and 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, Acme, Big Y, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, Food Bazaar, Geissler’s Supermarkets, PriceRite, Sam’s Club Scan & Go, ShopRite, Stop and Shop Target, Walmart, and Whole Foods.

For more information, visit https://portal.ct.gov/p-ebt

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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.