Recognizing that COVID-19 has been challenging for many families and has put a strain on household food budgets, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a new, $1 billion benefit program to help eligible families buy food during the coronavirus pandemic. All Texas schools are being requested to share Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) information with eligible families, so families understand how to receive benefits.
P-EBT is for children who received SNAP food benefits for March 2020 and for children who are certified for free or reduced-price school meals during the 2019-20 Texas school year. Children who attend a school that offers free meals to all students (Community Eligibility Provision or Provision 2 schools) are eligible. Foster youth, migrant youth, homeless youth, runaway youth and Head Start participants are also eligible for P-EBT.
Some families that have children up to 21 years old who are certified for free and reduced-price meals will have to apply to receive P-EBT benefits. This includes children who attend a school that offers free meals to all students. Families that received SNAP benefits for the month of March 2020 for kids aged 5-18 DO NOT need to apply for those children. They WILL NEED to apply for children under 5 and/or between 19 and 21.
The online application will be active the first week of June and close on June 30, 2020. The application will be verified by Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure applicants are eligible. Once the application is approved, benefits will be issued. If a family gets SNAP benefits P-EBT funds will be loaded onto their current Lone Star Card. If they do not currently get SNAP benefits, a P-EBT card loaded with benefits will be mailed to them.
Households will receive a one-time benefit of up to $285 per eligible child. P-EBT benefits can be used wherever SNAP food benefits are accepted. Families can use their P-EBT card like a debit card. P-EBT benefits can be used for up to one year from the date of issuance. P-EBT benefits are in addition to SNAP benefits, grab and go school meals and other nutrition resources. Receiving P-EBT will not affect a family’s ability to get other benefits.
The link to the application is: https://yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT.