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DFCS announces Pandemic EBT application date change
ATLANTA – The Georgia Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) announced today that it has changed the date of its previously announced application cycle for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT). The new submission deadline is September 18, 2020.
Although the P-EBT application deadline is moving from September 25, 2020 to September 18, 2020, DFCS will manually issue P-EBT benefits to the families who are identified as P-EBT eligible but were unable to submit a P-EBT application online. The decision to manually issue P-EBT benefits was made in an effort to ensure that all of the 1.1 M students identified as approved (based on enrollment data provided by Georgia Department of Education [Ga DOE]) for free and reduced lunch in March 2020 through the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Program receive this benefit before it expires on September 30.
The agency encourages families to continue applying online through September 18 to help with correct address validation for P-EBT card delivery and so that children can be grouped on one P-EBT card per family. However, after the 18th, families that have not claimed the benefit will automatically receive it in the mail at the address reported to the student’s local school during the 2019-2020 school year.
“We value our partnerships with federal and local partners and want to do all that we can to help families and children in Georgia, said DFCS Director Tom Rawlings. This next step of manually distributing P-EBT cards will give us the opportunity to provide a source of healthy meals for many families who are eligible but otherwise may not claim the benefit, said Rawlings.”
Beginning on July 22, DFCS partnered with the Ga DOE to provide this supplemental food benefit to families. The Family First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 allows the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to facilitate the distribution of P-EBT to eligible students statewide.
As of September 15, P-EBT had not yet been successfully claimed by approximately 357K children throughout the state. This translates to about 32% of eligible students that will benefit from the manual issuance process. DFCS, under the approved P-EBT state plan, has been working to issue funds to eligible families to offset additional food costs caused by the pandemic. The temporary funding includes a one-time allotment of $256.50 per eligible child and is intended to prevent food insecurity for families across Georgia.
Families will receive an EBT card within three (3) to four (4) weeks of distribution. Families will also receive information explaining card usage and activation procedures. The allotment amounts issued to families are based on the number of children in the household who are eligible for free or reduced lunch. The benefit amount was determined by a federal equation that factored in the number of pandemic-related school closure days in Georgia for the months of March, April and May 2020.
Families can use their pre-loaded EBT cards at approved EBT grocery retailers and outlets to purchase food items. P-EBT benefits are entirely federally funded at no cost to families participating in the program.
For more information and updates about P-EBT in Georgia, visit: https://dfcs.georgia.gov/pandemic-electronic-benefit-transfer or call the dedicated PEBT phone line at 1.855.501.INFO (4636).
About Georgia DFCS
The Georgia Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a federally funded program that provides monthly benefits to low-income households to help pay for the cost of food. DFCS is responsible for issuance of SNAP, Medicaid and TANF to low-income families; assistance for out-of-work parents to help them get back on their feet as well as multiple support services and programs to help families in need.