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State reopens P-EBT applications for families who did not apply in early summer

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Posted at 8:26 AM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 09:26:55-04

Louisiana families that missed applying for the 2019-2020 Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) for free or reduced-price school meals earlier this summer can now apply online.

Beginning September 8 at 8:00 am, the state will open a second application window for families who missed the opportunity to receive financial benefits from those free and reduced price meals.

Families of children who normally receive free or reduced-price meals are eligible for the program. This includes all children who attend a Community Eligibility Provision School where children receive these meals regardless of income.

The state says that families of around 264,111 students did not apply to receive P-EBT benefits in the spring. That original application window closed on June 15. Nearly 470,800 eligible children were signed up for the benefits during that time.

The one-time benefits total $285 per child and cover 50 school days from the onset of statewide school facility closures in March through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Parents who applied for free meals in May, after the P-EBT program was announced, will receive $91.20 per eligible child, which covers the cost of meals for 16 school days in May.

Local school systems will notify families they might be eligible for P-EBT. The state says that families must then apply if they wish to receive the benefits. The application will be available online via the P-EBT portal on the Louisiana Department of Education website.

The deadline to apply is September 29 at 5 p.m. State officials say they expect considerable interest in the program and ask applicants to be patient in trying to access the portal.

More information on applying:

The online application is simple, requiring only a name, address, date of birth, school district and school. Social security numbers, while helpful, are not required. The information submitted by the family, however, must exactly match the information on file with the school system in order for the application to successfully submit.

Once families complete an application in the portal, the computer system will notify them of their successful submission. Upon verification, the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services will then request a P-EBT debit card for the household to be loaded with a one-time benefit. Applicants can expect their cards within 30 days of their application. Benefits will be available for 365 days.

P-EBT is different from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is issued on a Louisiana Purchase EBT card to approved low-income households. However, the P-EBT card can be used to purchase the same eligible food for the household as can be purchased with a SNAP card. All SNAP families with qualifying students are also eligible to receive P-EBT benefits if they apply, and P-EBT also is available to non-SNAP families if they meet the P-EBT guidelines.

P-EBT is not related to loss from Hurricane Laura. Eligibility is solely based on student participation in the free or reduced-price meal program.

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