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Summer EBT benefits in Nebraska: Who's eligible, and for how much

Posted at 9:17 PM, May 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-06 22:20:53-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — As many as 175,000 children in Nebraska will have help to stay fed this summer, according to state estimates on eligibility for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2024 Summer EBT program.

The benefits window starts in 10 days, beginning May 16 and extending through Aug. 31. Each eligible child is set to receive $40 per month for a total of $120 on a physical EBT card, which can then be used at grocery stores.

Children who are eligible for benefits include those who qualify or are enrolled in SNAP, TANF, FDPIR, in free and reduced meal programs through school, and those who are on Medicaid in addition to being 185 percent below the
federal poverty income line. A complete list of eligibility criteria is available on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website.

Last December, Gov. Jim Pillen said the state would not enroll in federal assistance, choosing not to meet a Jan. 1 deadline, explaining then that he didn't believe in welfare. Public backlash included a petition that gathered thousands of signatures, a rally at the state Capitol, and a multi-day vigil at the Governor's Mansion in Lincoln, as opponents urged him to change his mind.

At the time, estimates were that 150,000 students would have been eligible, that number has since been updated to up to 175,000, or 80,000 households, by Nebraska DHHS.

On Feb. 12, Pillen announced Nebraska would participate in the SEBT program, with the addition of "supplemental supports" that include DHHS follow-ups after SEBT cards are mailed, DHHS text messages to families enrolled in the summer EBT program, plus connection to "additional support and resources" on the SEBT website. The final section on the state's Summer EBT site appears to match that description.

The USDA's interactive map shows almost 150 places that EBT can be used within a five-mile radius of Omaha, with specific location information here.

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