P-EBT benefit deadline extended

by Cristin Parker cristin@thecherokeean.com

Local residents who haven’t already done so, have until the end of this month to apply for the Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT).

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has extended the application deadline for the federal program to Friday, July 31, to help ensure eligible families have time to apply for the benefit.

P-EBT is a one-time benefit of $285 per eligible child and can be used in the same way as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits to pay for groceries.

“We remain committed to ensuring access to healthy and nutritious foods for eligible Texans, and P-EBT provides that to those who need it most,” HHS Access and Eligibility Deputy Executive Commissioner Wayne Salter said. “This extension provides more time for families to apply for this emergency assistance.”

Eligible families include those with children who lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to school closures.

“We understand the challenging circumstances some families may be experiencing,” Rusk ISD Child Nutrition Service Director John Hood said. “We urge anyone who hasn’t already, to apply for this benefit, which can be used to buy food from any retailer that accepts the Texas Lone Star Card.”

Families eligible for P-EBT were notified by their school districts in May. HHSC partnered with the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas Education Agency to launch the $1 billion federal program on June 1 in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. To date, nearly $700 million in P-EBT has been issued to families, benefiting more than 2.5 million children.

Visit hhs.texas.gov/pebt to apply; or contact the P-EBT Call Center, (833) 613-6220, with questions.

Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday, July 2, announced HHSC will provide approximately $182 million in emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits for the month of July as the state continues to respond to the pandemic. HHSC received federal approval from the USDA to extend the maximum, allowable amount of SNAP benefits to recipients based on family size.

“The extension of these emergency SNAP benefits helps ensure that Texans can provide nutritious food for their families as the state continues to combat COVID-19,” Abbott said. “Securing access to healthy food in our communities is an important part of our response to this pandemic.”
More than 950,000 SNAP households will see the additional amount on their Lone Star Card by Saturday, July 11. The emergency July allotments are in addition to the $628 million in benefits previously provided to Texans in April, May and June.

“During this pandemic we must ensure those who need it most can continue providing nutritious food for their families and maintain their health,” Salter said. “We’ll continue to make sure Texans can access the services they need as this situation evolves.”

Texans in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP and Medicaid, at YourTexasBenefits.com.