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HomeNewsLocal governmentVirgin Islands 2023 Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Approved

Virgin Islands 2023 Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Approved

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services has approved the Virgin Islands 2023 Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Plan for eligible School Children, the V.I. Department of Human Services announced Thursday.

What is SUMMER 2023 P-EBT?

P-EBT was funded by the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA as amended by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Summer P-EBT benefits will be issued through the U.S. Virgin Islands Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) EBT card system to households with eligible children who were enrolled in USVI public and private schools during the last month of the 2023 school year (May 2023) which participated in the National School Lunch Program. DHS will begin issuing Summer P-EBT benefits to eligible school children on Thursday, according to the press release.

Commissioner Causey-Gomez stated, “I am excited for DHS to be able to issue this one-time Summer PEBT Benefits of $139 to all eligible children in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Even though we are seeing much lower numbers of COVID positive cases in both districts, we know that families are still experiencing residual financial challenges because of the recent Pandemic. This year’s issuance of Summer P-EBT will give some additional help to our families with children to avoid food insecurity. I am thankful for the continued above-and-beyond services our Division of Family Assistance provides to our Virgin Islanders.”

Who is eligible for Summer 2023 P-EBT?

School-Age Children:

a. All students (K through Grade 12) who were enrolled in USVI public, private, and parochial schools who participated in the National School Lunch Program during the month of May 2023.

b. Students will receive Summer P-EBT across all learning modes: In- Person, Full Virtual or Hybrid- Mix of Virtual and In-Person.

c. There is no application process. The Virgin Islands Department of Education and eligible private or parochial schools provided DHS with the names of students during the month of May 2023.

How will the Summer 2023 P-EBT be issued and how much will you receive?

  1. For eligible children who currently receive Regular SNAP, benefits will be loaded on the household’s existing EBT card.
  2. For eligible children who do not receive SNAP but were issued a card for P-EBT in the past rounds, their P-EBT benefits will be automatically loaded to those cards.
  3. If you lost or damaged your P-EBT Card, contact the P-EBT hotline at (340) 772-7120, email pebt@dhs.vi.gov or come to the DFA Issuance Offices located at Knud Hansen Complex (St. Thomas) or DHS Mars Hill to pick up a card. Picture IDS are required.

For new, eligible Non-SNAP Children: New P-EBT Cards will be mailed to the addresses provided by the parents or guardians.

a. The card will be issued in the student’s name. Households with more than one eligible student will receive multiple cards.

b. Instructions will be provided on how to set up and utilize the card to access their benefits.

5. DHS will issue P-EBT benefits for SNAP and Non-SNAP school children beginning Aug. 17.

6. School children who will receive Summer P-EBT must have been enrolled in eligible Virgin Islands public, private, and parochial schools during May of 2023. Note: If you were not officially enrolled in school during May of 2023, you will not receive Summer P-EBT.

7. Please note that the amount being issued to children for Summer 2023 PEBT is a one-time payment of $139.00. Due to the Consolidation Appropriations Act of 2023, the amount of PEBT benefits has decreased from previous rounds. In addition, Summer PEBT 2023 for Children in Childcare will not be issued to eligible SNAP children under six years of age.

8. Friendly Reminder:

  •  Summer P-EBT benefits can only be used to purchase food items at the stores of authorized SNAP retailers.
  • Summer P-EBT benefits are not transferrable! You must destroy the card if you do not want the benefits.

There is no application process. The Virgin Islands Department of Education and eligible private or parochial schools provided DHS with the names of students during the month of May 2023.

For more information about P-EBT, visit the DHS website at www.dhs.gov.vi or families may call the P-EBT Customer Service Number (340)772-7120 or email pebt@dhs.vi.gov with the subject P-EBT.

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