DTA has kindly shared updated data on the number of P-EBT cards (individual cards issued to children) in all MA cities and towns. Most eligible families were issued nearly $399 in total P-EBT benefits, either on their DTA EBT cards or through the P-EBT card mailed to families. DTA sent an email yesterday to SNAP partners with important information to remind families about P-EBT, see attached PDF.
DTA has also updated the MAp.EBT.org website with some helpful materials for school districts to use. Go to: https://www.map-ebt.org/
DTA Data on P-EBT cards issued and Pin-ed by MA City and Town
HERE is an Excel spreadsheet with the most up to date DTA data. We/MLRI have color coded the excel spreadsheet highlighting which cities have unpinned P-EBT cards of over 1,000; 500 to 999 and 100 to 499 cards. You can sort this excel spreadsheet by column as well.
The top 10 cities (cities with un-Pin-ed P-EBT cards above 1000) are: WORCESTER, LYNN, LOWELL, BROCKTON, SPRINGFIELD, FALL RIVER, NEW BEDFORD, BOSTON/DORCHESTER, LAWRENCE and EVERETT
Why are there MA families with un-pinned P-EBT cards?
· The family is confused about how to PIN the card and/or lost the DTA letter that included the child’s “case number.” The parent/guardian can get the case number directly from DTA by going onto DTA Connect HERE, and can also get clear instructions on how to PIN the card at www.MAp-EBT.org .
· The family moved or just did not receive the P-EBT card. The parent/guardian can report they did not get a P-EBT card to the DTA Assistance Line at 877-382-2363. They should confirm their correct mailing address. The families will go on a list to be sent a P-EBT replacement card (we do not know yet when the replacement cards will be issued).
· The family may include immigrant members and are worried that using the benefits might be harmful. USDA and DTA have both confirmed that use of P-EBT benefits does not cause any “public charge” problems. This is clearly stated on the letters sent to families. See also DTA FAQs. And remember, receipt of SNAP for eligible dependents (e.g. US citizen children) is also not a “public charge” consideration for adults/parents who are planning to adjust their legal status down the road.
· The family may conclude they do not need the P-EBT benefits. We understand some families may be uncomfortable using government benefits. But spending P-EBT not only helps the MA economy, it helps the families when kids are at home 24/7. While P-EBT benefits cannot be “transferred” to another family, a family can always make a donation to a local food pantry or non-profits if they wish to reciprocate in some way.
NOTE: Families can always apply for SNAP if they are eligible and need food benefits, even while waiting for the P-EBT replacement card. Remember, the DTA Assistance Line staff can take a SNAP application over the phone! YES. By calling DTA, a family can file the SNAP application the same day, give DTA a verbal “telephonic signature” and do the required SNAP interview in one call! You do not need to refer families to the DTA Connect online Application or an Outreach partner.
Report back:Please let MLRI and Project Bread know what you are hearing from local school districts and from families. It is critical that we get P-EBT benefits into the hands of families and families get the food they need for their kids. We need P-EBT to be a success, not just for now, but in case we need to fight for P-EBT