Pandemic EBT Cards

The information provided is from the New Mexico Human Services Department.

About 168,000 New Mexico families whose children receive free or reduced-price lunch at school will receive $67 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or food stamps, this week, the Human Services Department announced today.

The benefits will be issued on Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer cards in the name of the oldest child in each household and mailed out this week.

More than 250,000 school-age children in New Mexico qualify for the P-EBT program, authorized by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides assistance to families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.

The families of over 87,000 New Mexico school children have already received nearly $35 million in food benefits that were issued in May. The benefit is calculated monthly for each eligible student in the household equal to the daily reimbursement for free breakfast and lunch ($5.70), multiplied by the average number of days school was canceled in the month. It equates to a dollar amount of approximately $399 per student covering the period from March 16, to June 19, 2020.

The Human Services Department partnered with the New Mexico Public Education Department to validate the physical addresses school districts have on file to ensure the P-EBT cards get to the households where the children reside.
The Human Services Department has two hotlines for individuals to inquire about the status of their P-EBT benefits. The P-EBT Hotline is 505-660-4822, or they can call the Human Services Department Customer Service Center at 1-800-283-4465.

The P-EBT program provides a supplemental food-purchasing benefit to current Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program households and a new electronic benefit to other eligible households to offset the cost of meals that otherwise would have been available at school.

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, states may submit a plan to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for providing P-EBT benefits to SNAP and non-SNAP households with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to pandemic-related school closures.

State agencies may operate P-EBT when a school is closed for at least five consecutive days during a public health emergency designation during which the school would otherwise be in session.

“The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program is an important way to ensure that children will get the nutrition they need, especially when schools are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Karmela Martinez, New Mexico Income Support Division director. “We have been working hard with the Public Education Department to get these benefits out to the right families as quickly as possible.”

The Human Services Department provides services and benefits to more than 1 million New Mexicans through several programs including: the Medicaid Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child Support Program, and several Behavioral Health Services.

P-EBT Frequently Asked Questions:

New: Q. What school year is this benefit for?
A. The P-EBT benefit was enacted with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It adds to the free or reduced-priced meals your child would get if their school was not closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That was for the 2019-2020 school year. An extension has been added. It is for school year 2020-2021. It is for the months of August and September.

New: Q. Will P-EBT be extended for the new school year of 2020-2021?
A. Yes. P-EBT will be extended. That is for school year 2020-2021. It is only for August and September. It is only for the dates that school was in session.

New: Q. How much will the P-EBT amount be per child for the 2020-2021 school year months of August and July?
A. The benefit amount is calculated at $5.86 per child. It is for each day the child was 100 percent virtual in school. That is until the school instituted a hybrid-school model for August and September. Schools in New Mexico had various start dates. They implemented the hybrid model at different times. Therefore each school site will have a different P-EBT benefit amount.

New: Q. How much will the P-EBT amount be per child for the 2020-2021 school year months of August and July?
A. The benefit amount is calculated at $5.86 per child. It is for each day the child was 100 percent virtual in school. That is until the school instituted a hybrid-school model for August and September. Schools in New Mexico had various start dates. They implemented the hybrid model at different times. Therefore each school site will have a different P-EBT benefit amount. Please see the attached spreadsheet.

New: Q. Why are P-EBT amounts different for each kid?
A. P-EBT amounts depend on the start date of each school that the child attends.

New: Q. Will the 2020-2021 school year P-EBT go onto my SNAP? Or will it go on my TANF EBT card?
A. No. A P-EBT card will be mailed. The benefits will go on that card.

New: Q. Will I get a new P-EBT card if I already got one in the last school year?
A. No. If you have a P-EBT card, the benefits will go on that.

New: Q. How can I check that my P-EBT benefits went on my existing SNAP or Cash EBT card?
A. There are two ways to check if P-EBT benefits went onto an existing SNAP or Cash EBT card.
1. Call FIS customer service. Call 1-800-843-8303. Speak to a customer-service agent. Ask about your deposit history for your New Mexico SNAP or Cash EBT card.
2. Call HSD customer service. Call 1-800-283-4465. Speak to a customer-service agent. Ask about your deposit history for your New Mexico SNAP or Cash EBT card.

Balance inquiry only? You may call the IVR. Call 1-855-309-3766. Or check online at www.ebtedge.com.

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