Extra Summer Pandemic EBT Assistance Is Available — Here’s How To Get It
(IntegrityMag.com) – Families in many states who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches have the opportunity to receive extra SNAP pandemic benefits during the summer of 2022.
The extra pandemic EBT assistance program gives families an extra 15 percent on their SNAP benefits, which totals about $27 per person. Even families who did not receive the extra EBT assistance during the school year may be eligible as states are required to allow new enrollment for the summer.
What is the extra EBT assistance program?
The government created the extra EBT program during the pandemic because many students were not able to receive the free breakfast and lunch they were eligible for because their schools did not offer in-person learning. This put a strain on families as they needed to increase their food spending without added aid.
Rising food prices add to the problem as families have a fixed benefit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that cannot be adjusted during the fiscal year.
Not all states participated in the extra EBT assistance program because they did not have the ability to issue extra cards or add to current SNAP EBTs for participating families. States also needed to apply for an extension of benefits to offer the program through the summer months. However, the United States Department of Agriculture, which administers SNAP funding, anticipated it would quickly approve extension applications.
Regulations for the summer EBT assistance extension also made it possible for families to receive the extra payment even if their children participate in the Summer Food Service program or receive meals from their child-care provider.
How will the summer EBT payments work?
States have the option to include the extra summer EBT payments with their standard benefits or to tailor the benefits to fit the school calendar year.
States also have the option to pay the extra benefit in a one-time payment, but the federal government is encouraging states to spread the benefit over two or three payments to allow families to better budget for their food spending.
How do families get the summer EBT payments?
Families who were qualified to receive the extra EBT payments should continue to receive the payments over the summer without the need to reapply or provide proof of income.
Families who did not receive the extra EBT payment during the school year still can qualify to receive the payments during the summer months. They will need to find their nearest office that handles SNAP benefits for their county or community and apply for the extra benefits.
The federal government has not supplied a list of states approved for the extra summer EBT payments as of this writing. The states that participated during the 2021-22 school year are Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. American Samoa and Puerto Rico also qualified for the benefits during the 2021-22 school year.
Extra allotment also available to some
The federal government also approved an extra allotment program for states to provide the full SNAP benefits to families that qualified for only partial benefits under the fiscal 2022 guidelines. These benefits are being phased out but will continue in some states through at least the end of June.
States that are approved to extend extra allotment benefits through June are Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The District of Columbia and Guam also are included through at least June.
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