(May 18, 2020- Washington, D.C.)– Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced announced that starting on Monday, May 18, 2020, the 759,551 families participating in Puerto Rico’s Nutritional Assistance Program (NAP per its English acronym) will receive an increase in monthly benefits as a result of an increased federal allocation of $347 million amid the Coronavirus COVID-19 health emergency.
The increase is scheduled for a period of three months and is equivalent to the level of benefits received by families in the U.S. mainland.
Puerto Rico currently received $197,960,000 after approval of emergency assistance for the pandemic due to COVID-19 from the CARES Act and $98,981,905 from the Family First Coronavirus Response. The remaining $50 million of the $600 million allocation received in the second federal aid package from 2017 Hurricanes Irma and María was also authorized for use and will be disbursed this May. This allocation corresponding to the 2018 NAP Relief is scheduled for May as it was previously expiring in June.
“Today, the NAP program assists 759,551 families, representing 43.25 percent of the population in Puerto Rico. Historically, residents of the island do not ordinarily receive the same benefits as those residing in the states. With these resources, we are not only provided assistance to new families, but we can also support them during this emergency by increasing available benefits and making them equal to those in the rest of the nation,” said the Governor.
As of May 1, 2020, the NAP program assists 1,381,832 people on the island and 759,551 families. These numbers represent 77,630 more beneficiaries in the program and 44,212 new families as of February when the emergency was declared.
For his part, the Acting Secretary of the Family, Eddie García, explained that each family receives a fixed amount of increase, according to their family nucleus, and their regular monthly benefit. Older adults receive a little more than the rest of the population.
He encouraged participants to access the portal at www.ebtpr.com, where they can check their balances and view their transactions.
“Participants do not have to go through any procedure to receive the increase since this benefits will go on to their Family Card. Families who have already received their regular benefit for May will have this increase available today, and those who receive their benefits this week will see it reflected on the day that corresponds to their deposit,” said the Acting Secretary.
The increase in benefit for a person’s household is $82, and their maximum regular benefit is $112, for a total of $194 monthly benefit. Meanwhile, a family of four with a maximum monthly benefit of $410 receives a $239 increase of $649. (See table below for specific increase in benefits by family nucleus).
On the other hand, the Governor and the Acting Deputy Administrator of the Administration for Socioeconomic Development of Families (ADSEF per its Spanish acronym), Alberto Fradera, advised that as part of the approved federal plan, ADSEF technicians will be have an additional compensation of “hazard pay” available with 100% federal funds.
“The public servants of the ADSEF have carried out a titanic work amid this emergency with an unprecedented number of requests to join the NAP program. With 62,000 applications evaluated, there are already 77,630 new participants in the NAP program, and we have an aggressive plan for attending to requests for the next two weeks. We also continue to deliver food to all those families in need, all over Puerto Rico,” said Fradera.
“This allocation of federal funds will provide much-needed relief to those families that are currently food insure on the island and continue to recover from past major disaster while we weather the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jennifer M. Storipan. “It is our priority to continue providing access to all available federal resources so that our most vulnerable population, our children, elderly, and thousands of families residing on the island can have their unmet needs met.”
Individuals can access the NAP application at www.solicitudpan.com. Applicants should send the two required documents after completing the application to firstname.lastname@example.org. These are an official photo identification and a form that identifies your physical address. The form must contain your application number and your full name.