We have been notified that some households are receiving letters about Pandemic – Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) from the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that are addressed to someone who may be listed as a child’s emergency contact as opposed to the child’s parent/guardian. Data integrity is very important to both the NCDPI and the DHHS.
This inconsistency is due to a local decision on how PowerSchool Users enter data into the student record. Our partners at DHHS have confirmed the letters were delivered to the correct addresses for the correct children, but the parent name of the letter was incorrect and used the name of the emergency contact designated for the child. The names of the parent/guardian were incorrect in a small percentage of records, not the entire student population. The P-EBT funds are for the child, not the parent, and an incorrect parent name will not preclude the child from receiving benefits. In light of the issues, the Agency is submitting updated files this morning so the DHHS can generate the P-EBT cards for the students for whom they are intended.
I would also like to take a moment to share another piece of information that may help clarify some of the questions you may be asked. DHHS has received data that includes all students that are approved for free or reduced price meal benefits and those enrolled in CEP sites. This data file has been matched with DHHS FNS/SNAP data so that the DHHS could add the additional benefit to existing FNS/SNAP EBT cards for the household. If DHHS was unable to make an exact match, they will be issuing a new P-EBT card for the unmatched child/ren. So this means a household may wind up with two different “payments;” one on the household’s existing EBT card (for one or more children) and a separate P-EBT card for a child whose data was not successfully matched with the household in which he/she resides. Also, the new P-EBT cards are being generated in batches so it may take additional time for the entire payment to reach the household. There was a concern about overloading the supply chain that the Grocers Association and USDA asked for the P-EBT benefits to be issued in batches, over time, so they could ensure a reasonable amount of inventory, in stock, when families shop for food.