Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)

OTDA Home Programs & Services Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)

Overview

Beginning in 2024, New York State will launch Summer EBT, a new program that provides low-income families with food benefits to help cover the cost of groceries when school is out of session. Summer is the time when many children lose access to free meals they get at school. Most eligible children will receive Summer EBT food benefits automatically; however, some families may need to apply.

This website will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

Eligibility

To be automatically eligible for Summer EBT food benefits:

  • A child must receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and/or Temporary Assistance (cash) benefits, or be directly certified for free meals through Medicaid, OR
  • A child must be determined eligible for free/reduced price school meals by their school.

These children will receive benefits automatically and DO NOT need to apply. Most eligible children will receive their benefits this way. These families will receive a letter this summer letting them know that their child is eligible.

If your child is not automatically eligible, you must apply to receive Summer EBT benefits.
To be eligible with an application:

Benefits

Families with eligible school-age children will receive $120 in Summer EBT food benefits (per child) in 2024.

Summer EBT benefits can be used just like SNAP benefits to buy food at grocery stores, farmers markets, and other SNAP-authorized retailers.

Summer EBT food benefits will not be issued before July 2024. New York State is still working to finalize a timeline for when Summer EBT food benefits will be issued. Eligible children will receive benefits at different times, depending on whether they attend public or private school, and whether they receive benefits automatically or if they are determined eligible through an application.

Once benefits are issued, families will have 122 days from the date they are issued to use the benefits. All unused benefits expire after 122 days.

How to Apply

Most households do not need to apply for Summer EBT food benefits.

For those households that do need to apply, children may be eligible if they meet two criteria.

  • The child must attend a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), AND
  • The household's income must be at or below the income limits for eligibility for free/reduced price school meals (see links to Income Guidelines in “Eligibility” section above).

If your household must apply to be considered for benefits, an online application (English and Spanish) will be available by July 1, 2024, and the link and instructions will be posted on this webpage.

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