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CALPADS Update Flash #269

2024 Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (S-EBT) Program.

To:           Local Educational Agency (LEA) Representatives

From:      California Department of Education (CDE)
                California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) Team

Date:       March 19, 2024

SubjectCALPADS Update FLASH #269


2024 Summer Electronic Benefit Program

The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (P.L. 117-328) authorized a new permanent, nationwide Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (S-EBT) Program beginning in summer 2024. S-EBT is designed to provide money for groceries to eligible children when school is not in session. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is the lead agency for S-EBT, and the California Department of Education (CDE) works in partnership with the CDSS to administer the program. The purpose of this Flash is to inform local educational agencies (LEAs) of the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) data that will be used, and when that data will be pulled from CALPADS, to determine the students that are eligible for S-EBT benefits.

Please note that the benefits issuance for Summer S-EBT 2024 is subject to approval of California’s 2024 S-EBT Plan of Operations and Management by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Summary of Key Tasks for CALPADS Staff

Tasks on or before March 29, 2024 (first pull date):

  • Ensure that enrollments are up-to-date in CALPADS.
  • Ensure that the following programs records are updated in CALPADS: Free-reduced price meal (181, 182), migrant (135), and homeless (191).
  • Ensure that student addresses are updated in CALPADS.
    Note: Student addresses for students in the first pull that are updated after March 29, 2024 will not be used; families will need to report any address changes through the S-EBT Customer Service Hotline.
  • Collaborate with nutrition services staff on the S-EBT program. The CDE’s Nutrition Services Division (NSD) has provided information on 2024 Summer EBT to their school nutrition partners. This information is located on the CDE Summer EBT 2024 Announcement web page at: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/smmrebt2024announcement.asp

Tasks on or after March 30, 2024

  • Ensure that students enrolling on or after March 30, 2024 through August 31, 2024 have enrollments in CALPADS, and that their program records (181, 182, 135, 191) and student addresses are uploaded. For schools that open before August 31, 2024, update CALPADS with student enrollments, particularly transitional kindergarten/kindergarten students enrolling in a California public school for the first time in the 2024−25 school year. Although those TK/KN students may not have been enrolled in 2023−24, they may be eligible for 2023−24 S-EBT benefits.
  • Ensure that program records (181, 182, 135, 191) are updated for students who were enrolled on or before March 29, 2024. This is to identify students who became eligible for S-EBT benefits on or after March 29, 2024.
  • Continue to collaborate with nutrition services staff on the S-EBT program.

Automatic Eligibility Determination

For 2024 S-EBT, no separate application is required. Eligibility for 2024 S-EBT will be automatically determined by CDSS using records in the Statewide Automated Welfare System (SAWS), or by CDSS/CDE using records in CALPADS. Specifically, students will be identified as eligible by:

  • “Streamlined Certified” through SAWS: Those ages 6–18 and enrolled in CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Medi-Cal (at or under 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level) will be automatically eligible and will be mailed S-EBT benefits to the address in SAWS; or

  • Certified through CALPADS: Students:

  • Enrolled in a school participating in the National School Lunch Program/School Breakfast Program (NSLP/SBP), and

  • Determined eligible during the 2023–24 school year or 2024 summer period (July 1, 2023 through August 31, 2024) based on a free meal, reduced-priced meal, migrant, or homeless program record in CALPADS (program records 181, 182, 135 191), or identified as foster through the CALPADS statewide foster match. Note: The program record does not have to be associated with the school/LEA in which the student was enrolled, as long as the program record is open at some point between July 1, 2023 – August 31, 2024.

Note that the 2024 S-EBT eligibility requirements differ from Pandemic EBT in the following ways:

  • Students who are ages 6–18 and enrolled in CalFresh, CalWorks, or Medi-Cal will be pulled directly from SAWS, and students’ direct certification status in CALPADS will not be used, except for students outside of the 6–18 age range.

  • Students enrolled in Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision schools must have individual eligibility. This means these students are only eligible if they are in SAWS, or have a 181, 182, 135, or 191 program record in CALPADS, or are identified as foster through the CALPADS foster match. The 181 or 182 record may be based on either an NSLP application or Alternative Income form. Since all students enrolled in a CEP or Provision school were eligible for P-EBT benefits, this may cause confusion for households.

  • Foster youth identified only through a tribal foster program record in CALPADS are not eligible based on the federal S-EBT eligibility criteria.

Eligible School Enrollment Period

To be eligible for Summer EBT, students must be enrolled in an NSLP/SBP participating school at any time from March 29, 2024 through August 31, 2024. This means that:

  • Students who were not enrolled during the 2023−24 school year, (such as transitional kindergarten/kindergarten enrolling for the first time in the 2024−25 school year) are eligible for and will receive benefits if their enrollment and eligible program records have start dates on or before August 31, 2024, and these records have been uploaded to CALPADS prior to the last 2024 Summer-EBT pull on August 31, 2024.

Benefit Level

Eligible children will receive an EBT card with $120 for use over the summer period (June, July, August). Funds are subject to expungement four months (122 days) after benefits are made available. Cards will be issued based on when data are available in and pulled from CALPADS (see the next section in this Flash). The schedule for release of benefits to families will be provided at a later date.

CALPADS Pull Dates

The following table summarizes when data are pulled from CALPADS.

Dates Regarding When Data Will Be Pulled From CALPADS

All data updated in CALPADS as of this date will be pulled from CALPADS and provided to CDSS This pull captures the following students
March 29, 2024
  • All eligible students enrolled at a school participating in NSLP/SBP, at any point between July 1, 2023 and March 29, 2024.
May 1, 2024
  • Newly enrolled students with an enrollment start date on or after March 30, 2024, through May 1, 2024, who are eligible.
  • Previously enrolled students who are newly eligible.
May 31, 2024
  • Newly enrolled students with an enrollment start date on or after May 2, 2024, through May 31, 2024, who are eligible.
  • Previously enrolled students who are newly eligible.
June 28, 2024
  • Newly enrolled students with an enrollment start date on or after June 1, 2024, through June 28, 2024, who are eligible.
  • Previously enrolled students who are newly eligible.
July 31, 2024
  • Newly enrolled students with an enrollment start date on or after June 29 through July 31, 2024, who are eligible.
  • Previously enrolled students who are newly eligible.
August 31, 2024
  • Newly enrolled students with an enrollment start date on or after August 1, 2024, through August 31, 2024.
  • Previously enrolled students who are newly eligible.

Where Cards Will be Mailed for Students with Addresses

The cards for students “Streamlined Certified” through SAWS will be mailed to the address available in SAWS.

The cards for students certified through CALPADS will be mailed to the student’s mailing address that is in CALPADS when data are first pulled on March 29, 2024. If the student does not have a mailing address in CALPADS, then the student’s residential address in CALPADS will be used. Therefore, LEAs are encouraged to update student addresses for S-EBT purposes by March 29, 2024. Any address updates made for these students in CALPADS after March 29, 2024 will not be used, and families must update their addresses through the S-EBT Customer Service Hotline, which is forthcoming. See the next section in this Flash, Support for Homeless Students, regarding where cards will be mailed when no student address is available.

Support For Homeless Students

Ensuring access to S-EBT for children of households experiencing homelessness is critical for fighting food insecurity. County Social Services Departments will hold cards for households experiencing homelessness if they are recipients of CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Medi-Cal and are streamlined certified. Homeless households may also contact their County Social Services Department to provide a mailing address if they are recipients of CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Medi-Cal.

For homeless households who are not recipients of CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Medi-Cal, S-EBT cards will be mailed to the address populated in CALPADS. If a homeless student does not have an address in CALPADS, the LEA should populate either the school or district address in the mailing address field for the student. Independently Reporting Charter schools (IRCs) should populate the IRC’s address. Since these cards will be delivered to the address provided by the LEA, the LEA should provide the address based on whether school site or district office staff will be responsible for distributing cards to students. If the LEA does not populate a school or district address for the student in CALPADS, the CDE will include the district office or IRC address for the student prior to sending the information to CDSS.

LEA Support for Summer EBT

Addressing food insecurity for students during the summer when they do not have access to school meals has long been a difficult problem to address. The Summer EBT program seeks to address this need, and LEAs participating in NSLP/SBP are encouraged to assist the program to meet this goal by:

  • Notifying eligible households about S-EBT. Please see available resources in the next section.
  • Outreaching to homeless families about S-EBT and providing information about how they may access cards if they do not have an address, by letting them know that the County Social Services Departments will have their cards if they are recipients of CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Medi-Cal, or if they are not participating in any of these programs, that cards will be available at the school site or district office.
  • Since the eligibility period goes through August 31, 2024, making NSLP applications or alternative income forms available to families during the summer. For NSLP applications or alternative income forms received during the summer, LEAs are encouraged to perform verification for cause if application or alternative income form details, such as household size and income appear incorrect.
  • Routinely updatingCALPADS with new enrollments, and the program records for those students, through August 31, 2024.
  • Ensuring that student address changes that occur during the school year are updated in local student information systems and uploaded to CALPADS by May 29, 2024.

Toolkit Resources

The USDA has branded the S-EBT as “SUN Bucks” and has developed a Summer EBT outreach toolkit for use on their website, on the USDA Summer EBT Outreach Toolkit web page at https://www.fns.usda.gov/sebt/outreach-toolkit. The outreach toolkit includes video, facts sheets, and customizable resources in a variety of languages to inform households about Summer EBT and how to use their benefits.

The CDSS will send communications about the 2024 S-EBT benefits to eligible households that have been streamlined certified based on their participation in CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Medi-Cal. LEAs are also encouraged to send communications to eligible households, in order for families not participating in social support programs to be notified of the availability of S-EBT benefits.

Contact Information

For household questions, the CDSS is establishing a customer service hotline and a dedicated S-EBT web page which will be shared once available.

For LEA questions ONLY, please reach out to SummerEBT@cde.ca.gov. This email address is not for household inquiries about S-EBT.

For CALPADS questions, please send a ticket to calpads-support@cde.ca.gov.

Questions:   CALPADS Office | calpads@cde.ca.gov | 916-324-6738
Service and Support: CALPADS-CSIS Service Desk | calpads-support@cde.ca.gov | 916-325-9210
Last Reviewed: Thursday, March 28, 2024
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