The Department of the Family (DF) clarified today that it is addressing the situation that impacts several thousand applicants for food assistance to students known as Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), who at some point were active in the Assistance Program Nutritional (PAN), but they are no longer.
According to written statements issued by Alberto Fradera, administrator of the Family Socioeconomic Development Administration (ADSEF), people in this situation, who were once recipients of the PAN but no longer participate in that program, will receive a new card for mail.
He explained that “these cases are detected by the system on a daily basis and once it is confirmed that the previous card is in effect deactivated, the new card with the benefits is issued.”
According to the information provided by Fradera, as of Thursday, March 4, 2021, the system had detected “9,345 inactive cases, of which 8,627 new cards were issued.”
“These cases are verified daily and new cards are issued. Unlike new cases, this process should ordinarily take between 10 to 14 days to ensure the integrity of the process and avoid payments that do not proceed, “said the official.
He added that “once the card arrives, it can be activated by calling the number that appears on the back of it, and they can use it immediately.”
According to the official, as of today 272,000 students have been assisted through the Pandemic EBT program, with issues amounting to $ 221 million in February and $ 44.6 million in March. The broadcasts for the month of March began on March 4 and last until March 22.
According to complaints received, people who had requested the benefit had not been able to collect it because they appeared as registered in the system, because they had received the PAN at some point. However, the cards they had received, in some cases more than a decade ago, had already been deactivated and therefore it was not possible to access the money through them. In such cases, as explained by the ADSEF administrator, they should receive a new card in the next few days.
The P-EBT is a pandemic food assistance program approved by the Federal Congress and President Joe Biden for students participating in the DE’s School Lunch Program, for the time that schools have been closed as a result of COVID -19 in this 2020-2021 school year.
Every student from the public school system and from school entities belonging to the DE’s School Lunch Program, who is enrolled in the 2020-2021 school year, is eligible to receive this assistance.
Each student can receive $ 119.02 for each month of the 2020-2021 school year. The money is received each month through an electronic card issued by the Department of the Family, and can be used to buy unprepared food in more than 3,000 stores certified by the PAN throughout the island.