Maui News

Everything you need to know about Hawaiʻi’s Summer P-EBT benefits

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The Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services and the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education have announced the roll-out of 2022 Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program or P-EBT.

In response to the economic impacts of the pandemic, through Rounds 1, 2,  and 3 of P-EBT, two Keiki Under 6 programs and now as we approach the second Summer P-EBT program, DHS provided 127,000 eligible children with more than $249 million in food assistance support.

Additionally, DHS provided more than $469 million in Supplemental Emergency Allotment SNAP Support to individuals and families.

What is Summer P-EBT?

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program is food assistance approved by the US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, and authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act as amended by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

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Who is it for?

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School-aged students who as of the last day of School Year 2021-2022:

  • Are either enrolled (this includes high school seniors) for free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program OR…
  • Who are enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision or another provision. (See list of DOE CEP Schools [click here] or NSLP Charter and Private Schools [click here]) OR…
  • Who apply for free or reduced price school meals by July 31, 2022, and are later determined eligible and enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals at a school that participates in the NSLP.

Children under 6 years old:

  • Received SNAP benefits for any time between June 1, 2022 through and including July 31, 2022.

Do families need to apply for Summer P-EBT benefits? 

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There is no application for Summer P-EBT benefits. Most eligible students are automatically enrolled for P-EBT through verification depending on their age:

  • For school-aged students enrolled in Department of Education and NSLP-participating Charter and Private schools, eligible students are either enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals at their school, or students are enrolled in a school that provides free meals to all students through the CEP or another provision.
  • Children under 6 are automatically enrolled for Keiki P-EBT through verification of SNAP participation with the Department’s eligibility system.

What if my school-aged child is NOT enrolled in free or reduced-priced school meals?

If your school-aged child is in need and is NOT enrolled in the free or reduced-price school meal program (and you would like for them to receive P-EBT benefits) you may apply via EZMealApp.com between July 15, 2022 through July 31, 2022 if your child is attending a DOE school. For children attending a NSLP-participating Charter or Private school, contact your school.

How Does this Work?

School-aged students:

  • 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) that they received for the 2020-21 school year.
  • For newly eligible students that did not previously receive P-EBT for the 2020-21 school year, they will be mailed separate Hawaiʻi P-EBT cards in the name of each eligible student.

Children under 6 years old:

  • Eligible children will have their benefits issued to their family’s existing SNAP account and Kokua EBT. (Note: The eligible child must have received SNAP for the month of June or July 2022 for P-EBT benefits to be issued to the Kokua EBT card.)
  • If the eligible child(ren) were in a SNAP household but are now no longer with the SNAP household and no longer receiving SNAP, you will need to contact 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 so that we can verify and coordinate their benefits.

What if I need a replacement card?

If a replacement card is needed (Kokua EBT or Hawaiʻi P-EBT) please call the Fidelity Information Service 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).

What foods can P-EBT benefits buy?

  • Benefits can be used to purchase SNAP-eligible foods, such as groceries (including frozen), snacks, and seeds or plants that will produce food. You can’t use the benefits to purchase alcohol, tobacco products, vitamins, live animals, prepared foods, or any non-food household items.
  • For a list of SNAP-eligible foods, see fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items.
  • The Kokua EBT and Hawai‘i P-EBT cards can also be used in the Da Bux

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

  • Both school-aged students and children under 6 years of age will be eligible for the same amount of benefit that has been established by the federal government.
  • The amount of Summer P-EBT benefit that covers the summer period starting from June 1, 2022 through July 31, 2022 is $455 per student/child.
  • A letter separate from the Hawaiʻi P-EBT card mailer will be mailed starting from July 13, 2022 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 or SNAP EBT accounts and be available on the following dates:

Benefit Availability             Amount
July 19, 2022                        $228
Aug. 23, 2022                  $227

Note:  For school-aged students who apply for free or reduced priced meals after the 2021-2022 school year ended and by July 31, 2022, and are determined eligible and enrolled in free or reduced priced meals, all Summer P-EBT benefits for 2022 will be issued on Aug. 23, 2022.

Do I or my child have to be a US citizen to receive P-EBT benefits?

School-aged students:

  • 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 or another provision. Using P-EBT benefits will NOT affect a parent or child’s immigration status.

Children under 6 years old:

  • If they are NOT enrolled for free or reduced-price school meals or at a school that provides free meals to all students through CEP or another provision, then SNAP eligibility rules apply. U.S. citizens and some aliens who are admitted for permanent residency may qualify

Where can I check on my child’s P-EBT benefit status?

Click on the “Pandemic EBT Status Lookup” button at pais-pebt.dhs.hawaii.gov.

If I have more questions where should I call (such as where can I report a change of address)? 

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

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