Economic Self-Sufficiency (ACCESS)
- To safeguard the public and employees from the spread of COVID-19, all ACCESS storefronts and lobbies are currently closed to public access. With more than 90 percent of customers filing for benefits online or by phone, closing storefronts to protect our employees and the public is the best mitigation strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The quickest way to make changes or check the status of your benefits, and avoid any wait time, is to use the ACCESS Self-Service Portal, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please note, DCF’s Statewide Customer Call Center is available for customer questions and application assistance at 850-300-4323 or 1-866-762-2237 (TTY 1-800-955-8771). Agents are available for extended hours, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m..
- To apply for food assistance (SNAP), cash assistance (TANF) or Medicaid, individuals should go to https://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/.
- Clients logging in to the ACCESS Self-Service Portal should go to https://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/.
- Customers are required to complete an interview to receive benefits. Customers should call 850-300-4323 or 1-866-762-2237 (TTY 1-800-955-8771) to complete an interview telephonically.
- Customers can order an EBT card, get information about EBT transactions, or report an EBT card as lost or stolen at https://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/ or by calling 1-888-356-3281.
- If you have trouble understanding English or need help communicating with the Department of Children and Families, Economic Self-Sufficiency Program, please call 850-300-4323 or 1-866-762-2237.
- If you are an individual with a disability and need help with the application process or other ACCESS services, please find the region point of contact listed at the following website: https://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/individual-with-disability/auxiliary-aids-plan.shtml.
Online Purchasing Pilot
On April 14, the Florida Department of Children and Families announced Florida will pilot a program for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to purchase groceries online with the use of an EBT card. SNAP participants are automatically eligible to participate in this program and do not need to apply.
In coordination with federal, state, and local partners will ensure Floridians can access nutritious food while also practicing social distancing and self-quarantining to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The pilot program will begin with an initial launch on April 16, expanding statewide on April 21.
STARTING ON APRIL 16: Tallahassee-based SNAP customers may use their EBT cards for the online purchase of groceries at all five Tallahassee Walmart locations. Tampa-based SNAP customers may use their EBT cards for the online purchase of groceries at Amazon.
STARTING ON APRIL 21: Both Walmart and Amazon will offer online purchasing statewide.
Additionally, DCF will continue to coordinate with the USDA and the Florida Retail Federation to expand the network of retailers participating in the pilot program.
Walmart already accepts SNAP benefits at all brick and mortar locations in the United States. Now, customers will be able to use their EBT cards and opt for curbside pick-up. Utilization of food assistance benefits remains limited to the purchasing of eligible grocery items and cannot be used to pay for delivery services.
More information can be found here: https://www.myflfamilies.com/covid19/accessPurchasingFAQs.shtml
Maximum Monthly Allotment
The Department of Children and Families worked with our federal partners to temporarily increase all Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients’ benefit amounts to the maximum monthly allotment based on household size for the months of March, April, May, June, July, August, September and October (pending federal approval).
For September, households who normally receive their monthly allotment between the 1st and 11th, will receive the monthly maximum allotment on September 11th. All other clients can expect additional benefits to be included as a part of their regularly scheduled benefit allotment. Additionally, any new households approved for food assistance will receive additional benefits within a week of being approved for benefits. Please note, customers who are already receiving the maximum allotment will not receive an increase. A chart illustrating maximum benefit for household size is provided below for your reference.
People in Household Maximum Benefit Amount 1 $194 2 $355 3 $509 4 $646 5 $768 6 $921 7 $1,018 8 $1,164 For Each Additional Person +$146
Please contact DCF’s Customer Call Center at 850-300-4323 or 1-866-762-2237 or visit www.myflfamilies.com/covid19/access.shtml for more information.
Recertifications are required for existing food (SNAP), cash (TANF) or medical (Medicaid) benefit recipients to determine continue benefit eligibility. Households are required to complete the recertification process every four, six or twelve months to evaluate the household’s current situation and to provide information on household composition, income, assets, and expenses in order to continue to receive benefits.
After waiving recertifications since April, the Florida Department of Children and Families will begin to reinstate recertifications in September.
All clients required to recertify in September and subsequent months will receive notification and a timeline to comply. The department stands ready to assist Florida’s benefit clients if needed through the recertification process which can be done virtually and through the self-service portal.
Medicaid recipients will remain eligible for the duration of the public health emergency as declared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If you have questions regarding the recertification process, please visit: https://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/.
Additionally, DCF’s virtual agent or chatbot stands ready to assist clients by providing case information and answering benefit questions.
Work Requirements Waiver
- In Florida, Able Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs) are individuals who received SNAP food assistance benefits and are subject to the work requirements. ABAWDs must meet monthly work requirements.
- Recipients of TANF cash assistance must participate in work activities.
- Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the Department of Children and Families applied good cause and suspended work requirements for the months of March, April, May, June, August, September and October, allowing Floridians to focus on caring for themselves and their loved ones at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This flexibility is intended to support individuals and families during this transitional period, while also providing them with the resources they need to pursue job opportunities and eventually attain their own version of economic independence.
- In fact, Local Workforce Development Boards (CareerSource Boards) have reopened – they are on standby to assist with these efforts, and they are also working to offer safe, virtual options.
- At this time, the state is at varying levels of recovery, and therefore, the Governor has directed DCF to postpone the reinstatement of work requirements through the end of October.
- To be clear, if you have received a notification stating you are subject to work requirements or that you may be penalized due to failure to meet work requirements, please disregard. No action is needed by those clients and no penalties will be applied.
Maintain Medicaid Eligibility
We will maintain Medicaid eligibility for current recipients through the end of the state of emergency. This means no Medicaid recipient will lose Medicaid eligibility during the state of emergency. We are working on notifying recipients who may have received a termination notice in the month of March that their benefits will continue.
Extend Time to Complete Medicaid Application
During this state of emergency, individuals applying for Medicaid may be unable to submit all the documentation required to process their application. Beginning with applications received in February 2020, we are extending the timeframe for individuals to submit any necessary paperwork to 120 days from the date the application was received. If the Medicaid application is approved, the individual’s Medicaid eligibility effective date will still be the first day of the month that the initial application was received.
Pandemic-EBT or P-EBT
Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) is a supplemental benefit for households with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to pandemic-related school closures.
Families who are eligible for the free and reduced-price school meals program under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) are eligible to receive P-EBT. P-EBT benefits will be issued automatically during the month of June.
For existing SNAP customers with a child receiving free and reduced-price school meals, the P-EBT benefit will be added to your current EBT card automatically. For Medicaid and/or TANF recipients with a child receiving free and reduced-price school meals, the P-EBT benefit will be automatically mailed to the address on your Medicaid and/or TANF file. No further action is required on your part to receive your P-EBT benefits.
For all other P-EBT customers, a new P-EBT card will be mailed to the address on file with your child’s school district. No further action is required on your part to receive your P-EBT benefits.
If your child was receiving free and reduced-price school meals prior to the school closures on March 16, 2020, you will receive a one-time benefit of $5.70 per day (55 days) and per child. If your child was eligible for the free and reduced-price school meals program after March 16, 2020, you will receive a pro-rated amount based on the month of eligibility.
Please allow the state to fully issue all P-EBT benefits by June 30, 2020, before inquiring about your benefit status.
For more information on the P-EBT program, please refer to the P-EBT FAQs.