P-EBT benefits glitch prevents Northampton parents from registering

Published 4:09 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2023

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To the Editor:

P-EBT benefits deadline is July 31, 2023. Selected parents of students who are homeschooled or fully virtual have been invited to apply. Applications are to be completed online at ncdhhs.servicenowservices.com/gsp.

Unfortunately, there’s a glitch in the system that results in the denial of applications. There are two fields on the application that have an issue (at least, for Northampton County): the “school left for” and the “school zoned for” fields. The drop down menu in these two fields should be populated with the names of the schools in the county, but no schools are listed here…only the word NONE. This results in an incomplete application, so you will not be able to move forward in the application process until these fields have been satisfied.

Some representatives at the call center have been instructed to tell callers to click on the box that says “I do not see the appropriate school for my child”, which sits underneath the field. While this WILL allow you to move forward and complete the application, it will result in the denial of the application on the grounds that the school the child left for did not participate in the National School Lunch Program. This is because NONE is where the name of the school should be, and NONE will not be found on the list of schools that participated in the program.

This is a programming issue and cannot be corrected by the agents who answer the phones. I’m not sure how many counties are affected or if there are additional fields with similar issues. If this issue is not recognized and corrected, many families that really need this assistance will be denied.

Melinda Rhymer