MIDDLETOWN — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has recognized the additional financial burden on individuals as well as families with children in school. I would like to take the opportunity to highlight these new changes, as well as explain how it will affect recipients’ monthly benefits.
Due to the school closures, families received a P-EBT card. Students listed as receiving free or reduced-priced meals at their school before it closed are automatically eligible for these benefits because school is not in session at this time. Just like a regular EBT card, these P-EBT cards can be used for food items anywhere SNAP/EBT benefits are accepted.
Benefits are preloaded onto the card and all recipients need to do is select a PIN. To do this, call 888-328-2666. Please make sure you have your 18-digit card number, the DOB of the child whose name is on the card. Participation in the program is voluntary.
If you choose not to participate in the program, you do not need to call and select a PIN number. Instead, please dispose of your card by cutting through the magnetic stripe and discard it in a secure manner. These benefits are only meant for your household, so you should not transfer the card to someone else if you choose not to take part.
The benefit amount for March, April and May is $267.90 per child. Per Gov. Ned Lamont’s order to keep schools closed until the fall, more benefits will be added monthly at the rate of $5.70 per child per day.
Additionally, the state Department of Social Services will provide additional Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to nearly half of Connecticut’s SNAP participants Friday. This disbursement will add to the emergency benefits already disbursed in April. The maximum benefit per household size is as follows: one, $194; two, $355; three, $509; four, $646; five, $768; six, $921, seven, $1,018; and eight, $1,164.
The benefit will result in all households enrolled in SNAP receiving the maximum food benefit allowable for their household size.
As an example, if a household of two normally receives $255 in SNAP benefits in May, they will a $100 emergency benefit Friday. This payment will bring this household up to $355, the maximum benefit for its size.
The extra food benefits will be disbursed to nearly 100,000 households who are not currently receiving the maximum benefits allowed for their household size. The average emergency benefit amount a household will see on its electronic benefits transfer card is $150. All participating households will continue to receive their normal SNAP benefits. This disbursement occurs on the first three days of each month in order of last name.
For questions, contact CT DSS Benefit Center at 855-626-6632 and follow the prompts.
Kevin Wilhelm is CEO and president of the Middlesex United Way in Middletown.