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USDA approves MA P-EBT state plan! Approx 96K MA infants and kids ages 0-5 now eligible, and 15% boost in P-EBT as well!

Some good news on a cold Saturday. We are delighted to report that on Thursday USDA approved DTA's request to provide Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits to infants, toddlers and Pre-K children who live in a SNAP household. The Baker Administration issued a detailed press advisory yesterday afternooon:  https://www.mass.gov/news/massachusetts-expands-p-ebt-to-kids-under-six-receiving-snap-increases-all-p-ebt-benefits-by And here's today's Channel 22 news story: https://www.wwlp.com/news/massachusetts-becomes-third-state-to-expand-pandemic-ebt-program/?utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=socialflow

This is EXCELLENT news!  MA is the 3rd state in the US to get early approval of it's P-EBT plan for 0-5 year olds and the 15% P-EBT boost in benefits. YES!!! 
 
Here are the core elements included in the Administration''s media advisory: 
  • Approximately 96,000 MA children ages 0 through age 5 will receive their first P-EBT benefits for the next round at the end of March. Note, the 0-5 children must be living in a SNAP household.  
  • DTA estimates this will provide more than $100 million in additional federal dollars for Massachusetts families.
  • The P-EBT benefit will be either $136.40/monthor $68.20 a month based on DESE K-12 education learning mode trends, and families will be notified of the benefit amount.
  • All future P-EBT benefits for children 0 - 5 will be issued on the 25th of each month for the duration of the P-EBT program. 
  • Families will receive a special one-time retroactive payment in early April to cover the months of October through January.
  • Starting March 25th, P-EBT eligible students in school grades K-12 will see the 15% increase in their P-EBT benefits. Students in fully remote learning environments will now receive $136.40 a month and those in hybrid learning environments will receive $68.20.  (This regular P-EBT is not limited to students in SNAP households).
  • one-time special payment for K-12 students will be issued in early April to account for the increase going back to October.
The consumer-friendly MAp-EBT webpage is also updated with this information: https://www.map-ebt.org/  
And for those of you who like to see the more "official" and detailed documents that DTA worked so hard on to secure USDA approval, here's the MA plan approval on USDA's website: https://www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic/covid-19/massachusetts#snap 
 
We hope to discuss this breaking news at Tuesday's SNAP Coalition meeting, March 9th, starting at 10 AM.  The SNAP Coalition meeting will also include a presentation on DTA's SNAP Employment and Training Program as well).