Gov. Ned Lamont announced that the Connecticut Department of Social Services will deliver a one-time COVID-19 relief special benefit to more than 15,000 low-income households as a way to alleviate the toll inflation is taking on back-to-school shopping for many families.
The benefit, known as the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund (PEAF), totals $257.87 per child and will go to 27,000 children, according to a press release.
“Connecticut is the most family-friendly state in the country, and this one-time, special benefit puts money back into the pockets of families who have been struggling to make ends meet,” Lamont said in the release. “In the coming months, many of these families will also receive payments from Connecticut’s recently enhanced earned income tax credit, which is one of the most effective programs for lifting working people out of poverty. These PEAF special benefits are another example of how the American Rescue Plan Act is supporting our country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and I thank President Biden and Congress for their actions to get this funding to those who need it.”
The households that are eligible are “those who received benefits through the Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) program during May 2022, or who received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and had no countable income during that same month,” according to the release.
The benefits will be automatically sent to eligible households on Sunday, August 21, 2022, with most of them delivered to the recipients’ electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards.
As for households receiving SNAP or TFA benefits as direct deposits, the benefits will be transferred to their bank accounts.
“These payments, possible because of the American Rescue Plan, could not come at a better time for families,” Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Chris Murphy, Congressman John Larson, Congressman Joe Courtney, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, and Congressman Jim Himes said in a joint statement. “Back-to-school shopping is always expensive and with the increased cost of food, gas and other basic necessities, Connecticut families are feeling the pressure. We are pleased to see the funding we fought for in Congress delivered to the people who need it most.”
Indeed, a survey by real estate and retail management firm JLL finds that parents whose budgets will be significantly affected by inflation plan to spend 15% less than last year on back-to-school supplies.
“Predictably, our survey results show most parents plan to use multiple cost-saving methods to allay the effects of inflation,” James Cook, Director of Retail Research, JLL, said in a press release. “More than half of shoppers will look for sales and coupons, discounters will remain the most popular retail type and free shipping or delivery will be the most important determinant of where to shop online.”
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