Summer P-EBT benefits begin to roll-out in July 2021

08-Jul-2021

DHS announced summer P-EBT benefits for children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, or attend a Community Eligibility Provision school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

​For questions about P-EBT, please contact the DHS P-EBT call center at    1-888-975-PEBT (7328) or email hi.pebt@dhs.hawaii.gov.


The Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) have announced the roll-out of Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) benefits this week. Benefits are allocated to children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, or attend a Community Eligibility Provision school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, children under 6 years of age are eligible for benefits under the Keiki Under 6 Food Support Program if they receive SNAP benefits at any time between June 1, 2021, and August 2, 2021.

Through Rounds 1, 2,  and 3 of P-EBT, and the Keiki Under 6 Food Support Program, DHS provided more than 111,000 eligible children with $184 million in food assistance support.

What is Summer P-EBT?
The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program is food assistance approved by the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service, and authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (P.L. 116-127) as amended by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act (P.L. 116-159) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260). 

Who is it for?
Students who, as of the last day of School Year 2020-2021, meet one of the three requirements below:

  • Are enrolled (this includes high school seniors) for free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) OR…
  • Who are enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or another provision. For a list of CEP schools: www.hawaiipublicschools.org/TeachingAndLearning/HealthAndNutrition/StudentHealthResources/Pages/CEP.aspx OR...
  • Who apply for free or reduced-price school meals by August 2, 2021, and are determined eligible and enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

What about my child who is younger than 6 and not enrolled in an NSLP school?
They are eligible for benefits under the Keiki Under 6 Food Support Program if they receive SNAP benefits at any time between June 1, 2021, and August 2, 2021. You can get information about children in this group here: http://humanservices.hawaii.gov/blog/keiki-under-6-food-support-program/
 
Do families need to apply for Summer P-EBT benefits?
No. There is NO APPLICATION for Summer P-EBT benefits. Eligible children are automatically enrolled for P-EBT through verification depending on their age:

  • For students, the Department of Education (DOE) and NSLP-participating Charter and Private schools verify that students are either enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program, or they are enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision or another provision.
  • Children under 6 are eligible for benefits under the Keiki Under 6 Food Support Program if they receive SNAP benefits at any time between June 1 – August 2, 2021.

Important information that will help families receive Summer P-EBT benefits:
If your child is in need and is NOT enrolled in the free and reduced-price school lunch program (and you would like for them to receive P-EBT benefits), please apply via EZMealApp.com by August 2, 2021, if your child is attending a DOE school. For children attending a NSLP-participating Charter or Private school, please contact your school.

How does this work?

  • Eligible students will have their benefits issued to their own Hawaiʻi P-EBT account that is accessible through a Hawaiʻi P-EBT card (white card with black lettering) or a Kokua EBT card.
  • For newly eligible students that did not receive P-EBT for the 2020-21 school year, they will be mailed a Hawaiʻi P-EBT card.
  • Families new to the program that are mailed a Hawaiʻi P-EBT card will receive a card in the name of each eligible student.
  • For children under 6 years of age, eligible children will have their benefits issued to their family's existing SNAP account and Kokua EBT.

What foods can P-EBT benefits buy?

  • P-EBT benefits can be used to buy SNAP-eligible foods, such as groceries (including frozen), snacks, and seeds or plants that will produce food. You can't use P-EBT benefits to buy alcohol, tobacco products, vitamins, live animals, prepared foods, or any non-food household items. For a list of SNAP-eligible foods, see www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items.
  • Hawaiʻi P-EBT cards can also be used in the Da Bux program and at participating farmer's markets.

How much will students/children receive for the summer benefit?

  • Students/children will receive benefits of $438 per student/child to cover the summer period starting from June 1, 2021, through August 2, 2021.
  • A letter, separate from the Hawaiʻi P-EBT card, will be mailed in early July 2021, to inform you how much your student/child will be receiving for the summer.

When will benefits be issued?
The Summer P-EBT benefits will be loaded to the Hawaiʻi P-EBT accounts, or SNAP EBT accounts, and be available on the following dates:

Benefit Availability               Amount
July 7, 2021                          $219
August 10, 2021                   $219

Note:  For students who apply for free or reduced priced meals after the 2020-2021 school year ends and by August 2, 2021, and are determined eligible and enrolled in free or reduced priced meals, Summer P-EBT benefits will be issued in the later part of August 2021.

Do I or my child have to be a U.S. citizen to receive P-EBT benefits?
No. These benefits are for all children who are either enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals or enrolled at a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or another provision. Using P-EBT benefits will NOT affect a parent or child's immigration status.

Where can I check on my child's P-EBT benefit status?
Go to humanservices.hawaii.gov and click on the P-EBT status banner.

Where can I call if I have more questions or report changes like if I move?
You can call the P-EBT call center at 1-888-975-PEBT (7328) or write to us by clicking the "Contact Us" button at pais-pebt.dhs.hawaii.gov. If a replacement card is needed, please call the Fidelity Information Service (FIS) customer service at 1- 888-328-4292 and mention you are requesting a replacement Hawaiʻi P-EBT or Kokua EBT card.

What if my card is lost or stolen?
If you need a replacement card (Kokua EBT or Hawaiʻi P-EBT) please call the Fidelity Information Service (FIS) customer service at 1- 888-328-4292 and mention you are requesting a replacement card for a P-EBT account (if requesting a Hawai'i P-EBT card).

Where can I call if I have more questions (such as where can I report a change of address)?
Contact the P-EBT call center at 1-888-975-PEBT(7328), or send an email message to hi.pebt@dhs.hawaii.gov.

​Visit the DHS website at humanservices.hawaii.gov for the latest updates and information.


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