The Department of Education (DE), together with the Family Socioeconomic Development Administration (Adsef), are in the process of drafting a state plan that details the eligibility guidelines so that Puerto Ricans can benefit from federal aid through of the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer program, known as Summer EBT.
“This program must submit a state plan to be evaluated by the federal government and approved to then establish the policies and guidelines of the program. “We are in the process of the federal government completing the dissemination of what will be the eligibility guidelines for the program.”reported the ADSEF administrator, Alberto Fradera in interview with The new day.
The Summer EBT was previously known as the Pandemic EBT, an aid that was granted to families during the summer months, when minors were on academic breaks in order to provide them with food. In December 2022, Congress made Summer EBT permanent beginning in 2024.
Regarding who qualifies for the Summer EBT, Fradera said that, “basically, minors who are enrolled in the Department of Education’s School Cafeteria program will be eligible… We are in those communications with the federal government. The final guidelines are what will establish that eligibility.”
The DE Press Office confirmed that The 242,625 students in the public system can benefit from the School Canteens program.
How much money will be received per child?
“Up to $120 as a maximum benefit to cover the two months of summer. That is another issue that is still in discussions with the federal Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). This benefit will only be granted every summer, that is, It is not a benefit that will be available every month, but it will be to cover the months of June and July, which are the months that minors are out of school.”
How to apply?
“Later we will be disclosing what the eligibility and application process will be. I do not foresee that there will be any major changes… In previous years, to give an example, it has been that the participants of the Nutritional Support Program (PAN), as we already have information in our database, do not have to do any management to request. It would come to them automatically. Minors who are not within the PAN, yes, perhaps they would have to go through an application process. We are finalizing that to also submit it for evaluation.”
How will the money be received?
“During 2021-2022 and 2023, the program was disbursed in the same way and will continue to be disbursed in the same way: through the Family Card. Those parents who are not participants in the PAN program would have to apply to the program and our system will then determine if that parent has a Family Card available. Because if he has received the program in previous years, then he must have that card available and he would receive the benefit on that same card. If you do not have a Family Card, a check would be sent to you by postal mail.”
ADSEF expects to submit the state plan for USDA approval in mid-February. After receiving approval of the plan, the public agency will announce the dates on which applications would be opened.