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David Y.Ige | DHS Press Release: SUMMER P-EBT BENEFITS BEGIN ROLLOUT JULY 19

DHS Press Release: SUMMER P-EBT BENEFITS BEGIN ROLLOUT JULY 19

Posted on Jul 14, 2022 in Latest news from the department, Newsroom

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Social Services (DHS) and Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) announced the rollout of the Pandemic Summer 2022 Electronic Benefits Transfer Program (P -EBT).

In response to the economic impacts of the pandemic, through rounds 1, 2 and 3 of the P-EBT, two Keiki under 6 years old programs and now that we are approaching the second Summer P-EBT program, DHS provided 127,000 eligible children with $249,368,670.00 in food assistance. Additionally, DHS provided over $469,000,000.00 in Supplemental Emergency Allowance SNAP support to individuals and families.

What is Summer P-EBT?
The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program is a food aid approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service, and authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFRCA) (PL 116-127 ) as amended by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act (PL 116-159) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (PL 116-260).

Who is it for?
School-aged students who, on the last day of the 2021-2022 school year:

  • Are either registered (including high school students) for free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) OR…
  • Who are enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or other provision. (See List of DOE CEP Schools [click here] or NSLP charter and private schools [click here]) WHERE…
  • Who apply for free or reduced-price school meals by July 31, 2022, and are then determined eligible and enrolled in free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the NSLP.

Children under 6 years old:

  • Received SNAP benefits at any time between June 1, 2022 and July 31, 2022 inclusive.

Do families have to apply for P-EBT summer benefits?
There is no demand for P-EBT summer benefits. Most eligible students are automatically enrolled in the P-EBT by verification based on their age:

  • For school-aged students enrolled in the Department of Education and charter and private schools participating in the NSLP, eligible students are either enrolled in free or reduced-price school meals at their school, or students are enrolled at a school that provides school meals free to all students through CEP or other provision.
  • Children under 6 years old are automatically enrolled in the Keiki P-EBT through verification of SNAP participation with the Department’s eligibility system.

What if my school age child is NOT enrolled in free or reduced price school meals?
If your school-age child is in need and is NOT enrolled in the free or reduced-price school meals program (and you want them to receive P-EBT benefits) please apply through EZMealApp.com between July 15, 2022 and July 31, 2022 if your child attends a DOE school. For children attending a private or charter school participating in the NSLP, please contact your school.

How does this work?
School-aged students:

  • Eligible students will have their benefits issued to their own Hawaiʻi P-EBT account accessible through a Hawaiʻi P-EBT card (white card with black letters) they received for the 2020-21 school year.
  • For newly eligible students who have not previously received a P-EBT for the 2020-21 school year, they will be mailed separate Hawaiʻi P-EBT cards in each eligible student’s name.

Children under 6 years old:

  • Eligible children will have their benefits paid into their family’s existing SNAP account and the Kokua EBT. (Note: Eligible child must have received SNAP for the month of June or July 2022 for P-EBT benefits to be issued on the Kokua EBT card.)
  • If the eligible child(ren) were part of a SNAP household but are no longer part of the SNAP household and are no longer receiving SNAP, you will need to contact the P-EBT Call Center at 1-888-975-PEBT(7328), or email us by clicking the “Contact Us” button at pais-pebt.dhs.hawaii.gov so we can verify and coordinate their benefits.

What if I need a replacement card?
If a replacement card is needed (Kokua EBT or Hawaiʻi P-EBT), please call Fidelity Information Service (FIS) customer service at 1-888-328-4292 and mention that you are requesting a replacement card for a P- EBT (if requesting a Hawai’i P-EBT card).

What Foods Can P-EBT Benefits Buy?

  • Benefits can be used to purchase SNAP-eligible foods, such as groceries (including frozen), snacks, and seeds or plants that will produce food. You cannot use benefits to purchase alcohol, tobacco products, vitamins, live animals, prepared foods, or non-food household items.
  • For a list of foods eligible for SNAP, see fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items.
  • Kokua EBT and Hawai’i P-EBT cards can also be used in the Da Bux

How much will students/children get for summer allowance?

  • School-aged students and children under age 6 will be eligible for the same amount of benefits set by the federal government.
  • The amount of the P-EBT summer benefit that covers the summer period from June 1, 2022 to July 31, 2022 is $455 per student/child.
  • A separate letter from the Hawaiʻi P-EBT card sender will be sent beginning July 13, 2022 to advise you of the amount your student/child will receive for the summer.

When will benefits be issued?
Summer P-EBT benefits will be loaded to Hawaiʻi P-EBT or SNAP EBT accounts and will be available on the following dates:
Availability of Benefits Rising
July 19, 2022 $228
August 23, 2022 $227

To note: For school-aged students who request free or reduced-price meals after the end of the 2021-2022 school year and before July 31, 2022, and are determined eligible and enrolled in free or reduced-price meals, all Summer P-EBT benefits for 2022 will be issued on August 23, 2022.

Do I or my child have to be a US citizen to get P-EBT benefits?

School-aged students:

  • These benefits are intended for all children who are either enrolled in free or reduced-price school meals or enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or of another arrangement. Use of P-EBT benefits will NOT affect the immigration status of a parent or child.

Children under 6 years old:

  • If they are NOT enrolled in free or reduced-price school meals or at a school that provides free meals to all students through CEP or another provision, SNAP eligibility rules apply. . U.S. citizens and certain aliens admitted for permanent residence may be eligible

Where can I check my child’s P-EBT benefit status?
Click the “Pandemic EBT Status Lookup” button on pais-pebt.dhs.hawaii.gov.

If I have further questions, where do I call (for example, where can I report a change of address)?
Call the P-EBT Call Center at 1-888-975-PEBT (7328) or email us by clicking the “Contact Us” button at pais-pebt.dhs.hawaii.gov

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For media inquiries only:
Amanda Stevens, Public Information Officer

Department of Social Services
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (808) 586-4892

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