Some low-income Connecticut families with school-age children will receive payments starting Sunday of $258 for each child.
Gov. Ned Lamont’s office announced Friday that the “special, one-time, back-to-school COVID-19 relief benefit” will be paid to families over the weekend. The program is called the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund.
The money comes from a $7 million grant the state Department of Social Services received through the American Rescue Plan, President Joe Biden’s signature COVID-19 relief act.
Families are only eligible if they have children and received government assistance through one of two programs in May 2022: the Temporary Family Assistance Program or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The money will be automatically added to recipients’ EBT cards or bank accounts on Sunday, the governor’s office said.
“Connecticut is the most family-friendly state in the country, and this unique special benefit puts money back into the pockets of families who have been struggling to make ends meet,” Lamont said in a statement from his office
Here’s what you need to know about payments:
Who is eligible?
Only families who received TFA or SNAP benefits in May 2022 and had no “countable income” that month are eligible for the program, the governor’s office said.
The program is expected to benefit more than 15,000 households in the state, or about 27,000 children.
How will the payment be made?
Most families will see the money applied directly to their EBT card balance starting Sunday.
Families receiving SNAP or TFA assistance through direct deposit will have the money transferred to their bank accounts, the governor’s office said.
How much will I receive?
Eligible families will receive $257.87 per child.
Do previous COVID relief benefits affect eligibility?
Families can only receive money from the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund if they received benefits through SNAP or TFA in May.
The PEAF money that families receive is separate from previous payments related to the pandemic. Back-to-school benefits will be in addition to direct payments families have received from previous COVID-19 relief, or the state tax credit of up to $250 per child.
But those earlier payments were applied more broadly: The third round of economic impact payments, which most people received as $1,400 payments from the IRS, were restricted by income. The $250 tax credits were restricted by income and up to three children.
How will I know if I will receive a payment?
The state Department of Social Services sent letters to recipients this week notifying them of the payments.
Lamont’s office said PEAF program payments match back-to-school purchases.
The influx of money for families also coincides with the state’s sales tax-free week, which runs Sunday through Aug. 27.
“During this week-long sales tax holiday, retail purchases of most clothing and footwear items priced under $100 are exempt from Connecticut sales and use tax,” say Lamont’s office.