The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) received federal approval to issue Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits to families of children ages 0-5 who have received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, formerly known as Food Stamps.
This is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) P-EBT program to provide food benefits to eligible children as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unlike the P-EBT program for children attending K-12 schools, the Child Care P-EBT program will be issued to the families of children who receive SNAP benefits if those children lived in or attended child care in areas where facilities were closed or operating with reduced hours.
Benefits for the Child Care P-EBT program will begin being issued in the fall.
Eligible families will receive:
- $22.45 per eligible month between August-December 2021,
- $27.14 per eligible month between January-May 2022,
- $195 for June 2022, and
- $196 for July 2022.
Who is eligible for Child Care P-EBT Benefits?
All children under the age of six in households that had an active SNAP case in any eligible month from August 2021 through July 2022 are eligible for Child Care P-EBT benefits. An eligible child will only receive a P-EBT benefit for a month in which they previously received a SNAP benefit. To be eligible, the child must have lived in or attended child care in an area where one or more schools or child care facilities were closed or operating with reduced attendance or hours.
- If a child turned six between August 2021 and May 2022, they would be eligible to receive benefits for the remainder of the school year, provided they were in a household with an active SNAP case in that month.
- If your child received P-EBT benefits for any month during the 2021-22 school year, they are not eligible for Child Care P-EBT benefits as they may have already received benefits for the designated time period.
There is no action required for eligible families to receive benefits. DCFS will issue benefits to eligible children based on SNAP household information.
How and when will Child Care P-EBT benefits be issued?
Child Care P-EBT benefits will be issued directly to the household’s SNAP Louisiana Purchase EBT cards in multiple payments beginning in Fall 2022 based on eligibility. According to federal guidelines, child care P-EBT benefits will be issued after all K-12 P-EBT benefits are issued to ensure there is no duplication of benefits.
Parents can check their child’s case through the “Check My Cases” link on their CAFÉ account at www.dcfs.la.gov/CAFE [dcfs.louisiana.gov] or the LifeInCheck 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 [dcfs.louisiana.gov].