Louisiana approved to issue Summer P-EBT benefits

Published 2:21 pm Monday, July 25, 2022

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), received federal approval to expand the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program to cover the summer months for eligible children in K-12 schools.

This is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Summer P-EBT program to provide food benefits for the summer months to eligible children.

Unlike the school year P-EBT program, all students in K-12 schools are eligible to receive summer P-EBT if they receive free or reduced-price meals and were in school in May 2022.

Benefits for the Summer P-EBT program will begin being issued in late summer and into the autumn months as schools and school districts submit eligibility information to DCFS. Included in that eligibility information is the verification of eligible students who attended school in May 2022. For this reason, most students will not receive benefits right away. Students who received P-EBT benefits for May 2022 will receive summer benefits immediately as it is already verified they attended school in May 2022.

Each eligible child will receive a payment of $391 to cover both June and July. The payment will be issued in two installments, one for $195 and a second for $196.

Who is eligible for Summer P-EBT benefits? Eligible students are those who fit into either of the following categories:

  • Receive free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) or
  • Attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school, where all children receive free meals regardless of family income, as of May 2022.

Students who were not previously approved for free or reduced-price school meals, but who apply by July 29, 2022, 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 29, 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 systems to gather eligibility information.

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

How and when will Summer P-EBT benefits be issued?

Summer P-EBT benefits will be issued on Louisiana Purchase EBT cards in each eligible student’s name. Benefits will be issued on the same card that was received for the 2020-21 or 2021-22 school year.

Students who did not receive P-EBT for this or last school year will be mailed a card with Summer P-EBT benefits already loaded onto it.

Benefits for K-12 students will be distributed beginning in late summer and continuing on a weekly basis as school districts submit eligibility information to DCFS.

How can I check the status and details of my child’s case?

The P-EBT Parent Portal allows parents to view and receive information about their child’s P-EBT benefits.

The Portal is located within the CAFÉ Self-Service Portal.

In addition to viewing case details, changes can also be requested through the Parent Portal, including requesting a new card and changing learning style or mailing address. Creating an account in CAFÉ will also allow recipients to receive text updates from DCFS regarding the P-EBT program and any future benefits.

To learn more about the P-EBT Parent Portal, visit www.dcfs.louisiana.gov/pebt-parent-portal.

How can I request a new card?

Summer P-EBT benefits will be issued on the same card that was received for the 2020-21 or 2021-22 school year. If the card has been lost, stolen, or damaged, a new one can be requested through the P-EBT Parent Portal, by calling the EBT customer service line at 1-888-997-1117 or through the LifeInCheck mobile app.

How long can P-EBT recipients use their benefits?

Under new federal rules, federal food assistance benefits will be expunged or removed, from a recipient’s EBT card nine months after the benefits are issued, unless the card is used to make a purchase within this nine-month period. If the card is used, the benefits will remain on the card for nine months from the date of last purchase. Benefits are removed only if:

  • It has been nine months since the benefits were issued; AND
  • It has been nine months since the recipient last used their EBT card.

Once benefits have been removed, they cannot be added back to the card.

Find more information about P-EBT and the use of P-EBT benefits on the DCFS P-EBT website at www.pebt-la-org.

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