EES Policy No. 21-06-05

RE:  Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) School and Child Care School Year (SY) 2020-2021

Policy Memo

Contact Persons: Janelle Harper

From:  Sandra Kimmons

KEESM Reference

Date:  June 21, 2021


Primary DCF Areas Affected: Food Assistance

Where Posted on Web:

The Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions extends Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) through the end of September 2021. That means that P-EBT is available for all of school year (SY) 2020-2021 (August 2020-May 2021). The Act also made several significant changes to P-EBT policy for students in school. Not only does the Act cover eligible students in school another significant change is the extension of P-EBT to children under the age of 6 that are in child care. P-EBT benefit levels will vary depending on days missed per school type (elementary, middle and high), per district days missed have already been verified by the schools. The Department for Children and Families in partnership with Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) developed a plan to offer School and Child Care P-EBT benefits and the plan was approved by USDA Food and Nutrition Services.

School age children P-EBT Eligibility –

Some students that were eligible for P-EBT 2019-2020 SY will NOT be eligible for School P-EBT 2020-2021 SY because their school held in person learning all school year. Most schools in Kansas reported in person learning.

A child eligible for School P-EBT benefits must meet the following:

  1. The student is eligible for free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program either through direct certification (receiving or had received public assistance) or through income application completed by their school district.

  2. The student did not receive free or reduced price meals at school because the school building was closed or had been operating with reduced attendance or hours for at least 5 consecutive days due to COVID-19 in the SY 2020-2021 (August 2020-May 2021). Kansas is approved to use a simplified assumption that all Kansas schools are considered to have missed at least 5 consecutive days.

    NOTE: School P-EBT benefits will be issued by automation in KEES and through an application process through the DCF Parent Portal similar to the SY 2019-2020 school year. Refer to the P-EBT User Guide.

    For those students that are not direct certified that are not auto issued P-EBT benefits they will be provided a Unique Identifier from their school to be used as verification of free or reduced price meals. Guardians will use the Unique Identifier to apply for P-EBT through the DCF Parent Portal. If a client contacts DCF because they cannot locate their Unique Identifier the client needs to be directed back to their school to receive another one. A paper P-EBT application will be available for staff to send per client request. DCF staff are NOT to contact schools or KSDE. Do not have clients contact KSDE. All P-EBT questions are to be answered by DCF staff. The only time a client needs to be directed to the school is if they need a Unique Identifier to apply for P-EBT through the DCF Parent Portal.

Child Care children P-EBT Eligibility –

  1. The child must be or had been receiving Food Assistance benefits at any time since October 1, 2020.

  2. The child under the age of 6 and

  3. Resides in an area or attends a child care facility of a school that missed 5 consecutive days due to COVID-19.

NOTE: DCF cannot issue P-EBT benefits for any month that the child did not receive Food Assistance. The majority of Child Care P-EBT benefits will be issued through KEES automation because the eligible child had been or currently is receiving Food Assistance since October 1, 2020. Refer to the P-EBT User Guide. Child Care P-EBT will use a paper application in very rare scenarios.

Foster Care Children –

All Foster Care Children eligible for P-EBT will be processed by the Foster Care Child Care Unit.

Benefit Levels –

The full daily benefit level for each eligible student is equal to the free reimbursement for breakfast, lunch and snack for the SY 2020-2021. The benefit is multiplied by the number of days that the eligible student missed of school due to COVID-19. The daily benefit amount is $6.82 for school and Child Care children. This calculation will be done through the rules in KEES and benefits will be issued in one lump sum benefit. Staff may see children on the same case that are issued different benefit levels. This is because the children are in a different school type (elementary, middle, high). The benefit will be rounded up to the nearest whole dollar.

  • Examples

    School P-EBT -

    Jane, John, and Jim are eligible for free or reduced priced meals. They live in the same household and both attend school at USD 001. Jane is in elementary school, John is in middle school and Jim is in high school. The three students missed a different amount of school days due to COVID-19.

    Jane attends elementary school at USD 001 Elementary School days missed due to COVID-19 – 15 days 15 days x $6.82= $103 P-EBT benefit for Jane

    John attends middle school at USD 001 Middle School days missed due to COVID-19 – 45 days 45 days x $6.82 = $322 P-EBT benefit for John

    Jim attends high school at USD 001 High school days missed due to COVID-19 – 0 days Jim will not be issued a P-EBT benefit

  • Child Care P-EBT-

    Katie age 4 lives in a household that has received Food Assistance since October 1, 2020. The school district that Katie resides in missed 15 school days due to COVID-19. Katie is eligible for $103 P-EBT benefits.

    Jeff age 3 lives in a household that has received Food Assistance since October 1, 2020. The school district in which Jeff resides in had in person learning the entire SY 2020-2021 and not eligible for school P-EBT. However, Jeff attends daycare in an area of a school district that did miss school days due to COVID-19. The school missed 10 days, Jeff is eligible for $69 P-EBT benefits because he attends a daycare in the area of a school that had remote or hybrid learning.

    Casey age 5 lives in a household that received Food Assistance in October, November and December 2020 that discontinued for no IR and the case has not re opened. The school district that Casey resides in missed school days due to COVID-19 in October, November and December 2020. Casey is only eligible for school days missed in October, November and December. KEES knows the monthly break down of days missed per school type, per district.

NOTE: DCF may issue benefits to families that choose fully remote learning for their children, their eligibility is based off the school type in their district and if they had missed school days due to COVID-19. Also, Kansas schools do not have data readily available for those students who were individually quarantined due to exposer of COVID-19. There is no way to verify that the student was absent due to COVID-19 in Kansas because that would be a violation of HIPPA. These individual children are not eligible for P-EBT and will not be provided a Unique Identifier from their school unless they meet the regular eligibility criteria outlined above. Refer to the P-EBT User Guide.

Implementation Timeline –

  1. Auto issuance begins for School and Child Care – June 29th -July 8th

  2. Fall Out/Foster Care Cases work begins– June 28th – July 9th

  3. DCF Parent Portal application available - July 12th

  4. Ongoing P-EBT work - July12th-September 30th

Auto Issuance dates will be issued on a staggered issuance schedule as seen below:

If the clients last name starts with: The consumer will get their benefits after 6:00am on the:
A or B 6/29/2021
C or D 6/30/2021
E, F, or G 7/1/2021
H, I or J 7/2/2021
K or L 7/3/2021
M 7/4/2021
N, O, P, Q or R 7/5/2021
S 7/6/2021
T, U or V 7/7/2021
W, X, Y or Z 7/8/2021

Undeliverable EBT card process for KEES cases with active P-EBT program only

For eligibility cases with P-EBT program activity only, a revised process is needed for undelivered EBT card tasks. When an Undelivered EBT card task is reviewed:

  • Review the case in KEES to determine if Food Assistance, TANF, or Child Care or P-EBT are open. Reminder: Check to see if a new address has been reported and not yet data accepted.

  • If Food Assistance, TANF, Child Care or P-EBT is not open, disregard and delete the task.

  • Follow normal processes to update the address in KEES if the case head contact the agency at a later date.

For ongoing cases with Food Assistance, TANF or Child Care follow the standard Undeliverable EBT card process outlined in the Undelivered Card Process Deskaid.

Overpayments for P-EBT benefits-

Unlike last SY there will be overpayments for P-EBT benefits for SY 2020-2021. If P-EBT benefits are issued to the wrong household and verification is received to issue to another household there will be an overpayment to the household that was not eligible. If there a child receives duplicate benefits the appropriate benefit will be recouped. The P-EBT User Guide will be updated once the P-EBT Overpayment process is finalized.