Public School sign detail on school bus
Credit: Jorge Salcedo / Shutterstock

Thousands of Connecticut children enrolled in a family assistance program are slated to receive a one-time, back-to-school cash benefit over the weekend, according to the Department of Social Services.

State officials said the additional benefit is for households with children between the ages of five and 17 who were enrolled in the Temporary Family Assistance Program (TFA), a state cash-assistance initiative, back in May.

The 7,500 children include 4-year-olds who turned five by May 31 and 17-year-olds who turned 18 by May 2, officials said.

Using federal Pandemic Emergency Assistance Funds, DSS officials plan to distribute $55 per eligible child.

Eligible families do not need to apply for these funds because impacted households should automatically receive the money on their existing electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards.

The funds were made available right before the start of Connecticut’s Tax Free Week – when purchases of clothing and footwear priced under $100 are exempt from the state’s 6.35% sales tax. The tax free week begins Sunday and ends Saturday, Aug. 26.

Making the additional funds available over the weekend will help families purchase back-to-school items or other essential needs, state officials said.

The state had previously disbursed $7 million in PEAF assistance last August 2022. At that time, Gov. Ned Lamont announced a one-time, $257.87 per child benefit to more than 15,000 low-income Connecticut households, which include 27,000 children.

Funding for this latest round is from a supplemental distribution of PEAF money.