Deadlines coming up to reimburse stolen SNAP benefits, verify info for P-EBT cards in S.C.

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Published: Jul. 19, 2023 at 8:02 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A few key deadlines are coming up for hundreds of thousands of South Carolinians eligible for food assistance programs.

Many of them are children, and the South Carolina Department of Social Services says meeting these deadlines will help ensure those kids can access healthy food options.

The first is at the end of this week, and it affects people who have had their SNAP benefits stolen from them.

“When President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, it included a provision to replace SNAP benefits that were electronically stolen, whether that was through skimming or electronic cards where they were able to obtain a card number and then manufacture a fraudulent card using that number,” DSS Director of Communications and External Affairs Connelly-Anne Ragley said.

About 1,200 South Carolinians have already reported stolen benefits, totaling about $500,000, according to DSS.

People who believe they did, too, between Oct. 1 of last year and mid-June of this year, but have not yet reported this loss have until Friday at 5 p.m. to do that through []the DSS website.

“It’s important to know that until the federal government acted, there was not a mechanism to replace those stolen benefits,” Ragley said.

The other deadline is coming up next month for families with children eligible to receive pandemic-EBT, or P-EBT, cards.

Those are the approximately 500,000 students who qualified for free or reduced-priced meals last school year.

“We collect these addresses from school districts and the Department of Education, and we know that sometimes people move or they relocate or have a change or address, but they don’t always update it with their local school or their school district,” Ragley said.

DSS is asking families to verify their mailing address by Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. through []the DSS website.

“It really only takes a few minutes to make sure that the correct address is on there, and that really will save headaches for parents and caregivers when those cards start rolling out around mid-September,” Ragley said.

Families unsure if their children qualified for free or reduced-price meals last school year, and are therefore eligible for a P-EBT card, should contact their school district to find out.

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