AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Governor Greg Abbott announced Tuesday the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the fourth round of federal Pandemic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT).

Families could start receiving P-EBT benefits the week of April 18, other families may receive their benefits beginning in July, based on when schools provide student information to HHSC, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

The news release states that the HHSC received federal approval to provide more than $626 million in benefits to approximately 2.1 million eligible children in Texas for the 2021-22 school year. 

“We’re thankful for the opportunity to continue this successful P-EBT program in Texas,” said Wayne Salter HHS deputy executive commissioner of Access and Eligibility Services. “These food benefits provide much-needed assistance to families and children impacted by school closures.”

To be eligible for the 2021-22 school year P-EBT, a student must qualify for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) at their Texas school along with COVID-related absences, virtual attendance, or campus closures. The 2021-22 school year P-EBT is based on the number of days an individual student did not receive in-person instruction due to COVID-19 illness. Families will receive $7.10 for each eligible day.

The news release continues stating that eligible families who currently receive SNAP, and those who have received P-EBT in the past, will receive benefits on their existing Lone Star Card or P-EBT Card. They will be mailed a notice with information about their student’s benefit amount and do not need to take any action. Eligible families who do not currently receive SNAP and have never received P-EBT will be mailed a notice with a claim code because additional information is needed to issue benefits.

For more information on P-EBT and how to qualify for benefits, visit here.