Summer P-EBT coming soon to Louisiana K-12 students

Staff Report

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services received federal approval to expand the state's Pandemic EBT program to cover the summer months.

Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services

To date, DCFS has issued approximately $192.2 million in P-EBT benefits for 515,624 students who receive federal free or reduced-price meals but attended school between August 2020 and May 2021 on a hybrid or virtual learning schedule because of the pandemic. The third P-EBT payment, covering February-May 2021, is scheduled to begin loading onto cards on Aug. 4.

Benefits for the Summer P-EBT program are expected to be issued in August. Those who already have received P-EBT benefits for the 2020-21 school year will see benefits made available on student’s existing cards by Aug. 6.

For Summer P-EBT, each eligible child will receive a one-time payment of $375 to cover both June and July. The program differs from the 2020-21 School Year P-EBT program in that students who attended school in-person, as well as on a hybrid or virtual schedule, would be eligible if they receive free or reduced-price meals and were in school in May 2021.

It includes those eligible for free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) and those in a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school, where all children receive free meals regardless of family income, as of May 2021.

Students who were not previously approved for free or reduced-price school meals, but who apply by July 30 and are later approved, will also be eligible to receive Summer P-EBT. While Summer P-EBT benefits will be issued to those who have applied for free or reduced-price school meals by July 30, there may be a delay in the issuance of benefits.

There is no action required for students who already received free or reduced-price school meals or attended a CEP school. DCFS will work with school districts to gather eligibility information.

Important information about benefits:

Children who received P-EBT benefits for the 2020-21 school year will receive their Summer P-EBT payment on the same EBT card where their P-EBT benefits were issued.

Children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals but didn't receive P-EBT for the 2020-21 school year because they attended school in-person will receive a P-EBT card by mail pre-loaded with their Summer P-EBT benefits.

More information about the P-EBT program can be found at www.pebt-la.org.

DCFS is also working with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service on a plan for children aged 0-5 who are in SNAP households but did not receive P-EBT benefits through the school year P-EBT program. More information on that program will be announced later.