The Rhode Island Department of Human Services continues to work with schools and the RI Department of Education (RIDE) to issue monthly P-EBT benefits to households with school age children who receive free and reduced-price meals at school through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), but were unable to receive those meals at school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students are entitled to this benefit if the school is closed or has been operating with reduced attendance or hours for at least 5 consecutive days in the current school year. On average, 50,000 children have received P-EBT each month.
Starting this month, as early as May 20th, with a change recently approved by the federal government, all children under age 6 who also receive SNAP benefits are now eligible for P-EBT.
Eligibility for this benefit is based on the operating status of the schools in the area of the child's residence. Since all schools in Rhode Island have been open at least partially since October 1, 2020, all eligible children under age 6 will receive a standard monthly benefit based on 11 days per month of eligibility ($75.02 per month).
The first payment to SNAP children under age 6 will be issued on or about May 20, 2021 . This will be a retroactive payment for October 2020 to March 2021. The next payment (for April 2021) will be issued on or about May 28, 2021. Going forward, monthly P-EBT payments will be distributed during the third week of each month for the previous month's benefit. Benefits will be placed on their existing SNAP EBT card each month.
Eligible school-age P-EBT recipients will continue to get their monthly benefits during the second week of the month for the previous month.
The frequently asked questions document on our SNAP Customer Resources page (link below) has been updated to reflect this news. Should you have additional questions, our partners at United Way 2-1-1 remain available to assist families with P-EBT needs. Just call 2-1-1.