DPHHS submits P-EBT Plan for 2021-22 school year
Children under age six eligible for benefits
News from DPHHS
MONTANA — Department of Public Health and Human Services Director Adam Meier announced on May 13 the agency has submitted for federal approval a plan to receive Pandemic Electronic Transfer (P-EBT) benefits for the 2021-22 school year and thus making Summer 2022 P-EBT a reality.
“We’re pleased that federal requirements now include flexibilities that will make it practical for DPHHS to effectively offer P-EBT in Montana for the current school year and over the summer,” Meier said. “This program has been a valuable resource for thousands of Montana families in helping to supplement their food budgets, in a time when grocery costs continue to rise.”
Upon federal approval, this latest round of P-EBT will be available to children under age 6 who participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from September 2021 to May 2022. DPHHS estimates that nearly 17,000 children who had reduced access to child care meals will be eligible for a $33 per month benefit. This amount is for September to December 2021.
The school-year benefit amount for January 2022 to May 2022 has yet to be determined.
“I’m pleased that a workable solution has been identified and USDA heard our concerns,” Meier said. “In the end, this is about providing valuable assistance to Montana families and ensuring children have access to nutritious foods. We committed to re-evaluating P-EBT in light of federal flexibilities, and we met that promise.”
Montana also intends to submit a plan to USDA in several weeks to distribute Summer 2022 P-EBT benefits, as it is now eligible to do so because of the aforementioned school-year plan. DPHHS is currently reviewing new USDA guidance issued just this week and will provide more information when it’s available. It is anticipated that Summer 2022 P-EBT will be available to children 0-17.
As for the 2022-2023 school year, USDA hasn’t indicated if P-EBT will be available next school year.
P-EBT was established in 2020 to ensure access to the equivalent of school meals for those who were eligible and lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to COVID-19 school closures. From March 2020 to August 2021, DPHHS issued more than $66 million in P-EBT benefits.
Payments in this latest P-EBT distribution will be made to families through the state’s SNAP EBT card system to households who received SNAP during the qualifying time period.
Montanans with questions are encouraged to call 1-888-706-1535 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about P-EBT, go to: montanameals.org.