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OLGT 2021-63: Cross Program: Retroactive P-EBT Payments to Households with Children Under the Age of 6



The Continuing Appropriations Act of 2021 extended Pandemic EBT (P- EBT), a benefit initially included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This is a food benefit for families with children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals through the federal School Breakfast Program (SBP) and/or National School Lunch Program (NSLP). P-EBT benefits are meant to compensate for the value of school lunch and breakfast for each eligible child.

Massachusetts received approval from the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to amend its current P-EBT plan. This approval expands P-EBT benefits to children under the age of 6 who were present in a SNAP household that received expedited benefits only, even if the household was not approved for ongoing SNAP benefits.

The Department will issue retroactive P-EBT benefits on July 25, 2021 to eligible households that received expedited benefits only, from October 2020 through March 2021, for the month in which they received expedited benefits. The retroactive P-EBT benefit amount will correspond with the most common learning model reported for school-aged children statewide in the corresponding month.

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