EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) – The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (Food Stamp) program, also known as P-EBT, was released in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but did you know that 92% of states continued to send money to these cards?
P-EBT was part of the US government’s solution to help families pay for food while their children were at home due to school closures during the pandemic. If your child received free meals at school, you may have received an EBT card to buy food while they were home.
Funding for the P-EBT program comes from federal COVID-19 relief programs, but distribution and management have been handled by individual states with approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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Most states — 46 of 50 — implemented the program in the 2021-2022 school year, and the majority were due to receive benefits from the previous school year between July and December.
Some states, however, have not yet allocated benefits to residents with P-EBT cards, and eligible residents may still have funds available to them.
Here’s what the Ohio Department of Employment and Family Services says about the program:
“Federal law allows states to implement a temporary program called Electronic Pandemic Benefits Transfer (P_EBT), which provides eligible children with benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). K-12 students in eligible school buildings who qualify for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP) may be eligible for P-EBT benefits. In addition, children on SNAP, under the age of 6 who are not in school, are eligible for P-EBT benefits based on a monthly reduction in midday meals provided to children in state daycares.
“The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Employment and Family Services and the Department partners with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to ensure eligible children receive this important benefit. .“
Other states that should have received benefits for the 2021-2022 school year include:
States that should expect P-EBT benefits in the future:
States that do not plan to send P-EBT services according to the United States Department of Agriculture:
- South Dakota
It is important to note that states may have changed their benefit schedules from what was originally listed on their proposals, so the above lists may not reflect exact dates. However, if states manage to stick to the schedule, they should issue benefits on the dates indicated.
Check your state’s website linked above for more detailed payment information. You can also call your existing P-EBT card phone number to check the balance.