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CALPADS Update Flash #235

Data Submission for 2021−22 Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer.

To:           Local Educational Agency (LEA) Representatives

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

Date:      August 26, 2022

SubjectCALPADS Update FLASH #235


Data Submission for 2021−22 Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer

On August 2, 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the California Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) State plan for school age children in School Year (SY) 2021–22. The USDA also recently approved the California Summer 2022 P-EBT plan. This communication provides eligibility information, timeline for benefit issuance, and communication and resources for households for both 2021−22 school year and summer P-EBT programs. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is the lead state agency for the P-EBT program, with the CDE providing the data used to determine which students are eligible and the level of P-EBT benefits for those students found to be eligible.

The CDE will use the following data to determine student eligibility and P-EBT benefit levels:

  • Data from the California Nutrition Information & Payment System (CNIPS) to identify schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO)
  • 2021−22 student enrollment and program data submitted to CALPADS and maintained in the CALPADS Operational Data Store (ODS)
  • 2021−22 student attendance data submitted to the Independent Study Attendance Collection (ISAC) Reporting System using the CALPADS Student Absence Summary (STAS) file. (Refer to the section on “ISAC Reporting System Information” below.)

SY 2021–22 P-EBT Information

The eligibility criteria for receiving 2021−22 P-EBT benefits is different from past years. The purpose of the program is to provide benefits to replace in-person school meals that children eligible for free or reduced-priced meals (FRPM) missed due to the pandemic. Since most students returned to in-person instruction in 2021−22, they received meals at school and therefore are not eligible for P-EBT benefits. The FRPM-eligible students, however, who opted not to return to in-person instruction presumably due to continued coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, and opted to receive instruction through independent study (IS), did not have access to meals. Also, students who attended school in-person and were absent due to a COVID-19 related reason (illness or quarantine) did not have access to meals while absent. These two categories of students may be eligible for 2021−22 P-EBT benefits, if they also met the FRPM eligibility criteria described in the next section.

Note: LEAs, including charter schools, that put students who were attending school in-person on an IS contract due to a COVID-19 related quarantine or school closure need to report those days to the ISAC as IS attendance days on the STAS file (“Average Daily Attendance [ADA]-Generating Independent Study Days” and “Non-ADA Generating Independent Study Days”) in order for those students to receive P-EBT benefits for those days.

P-EBT Eligibility Criteria

SY 2021–22 P-EBT benefits will be provided to school age children that meet the following requirements:

  • In SY 2021−22, student was enrolled in a school that participated in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), or Seamless Summer Option (SSO) that operated under a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision 2 or 3; AND
  • Attended school through IS, OR attended school in-person and had 5 days or more of excused absences in any month, August 2021 – May 2022. These absences are presumed to be for a COVID-19 related reason, such as illness or quarantine.

 OR

  • In SY 2021−22, student was enrolled in a school that participated in the NSLP, SBP, or SSO that did not operate under a provision, AND
  • Was determined eligible for free or reduced-price meals through meal application, alternative income form, direct certification, or designation as homeless, migrant, or foster; AND
  • Attended school through IS, OR attended school in-person and had 5 days or more of excused absences in any month, August 2021 – May 2022. These absences are presumed to be for a COVID-related reason, such as illness or quarantine.

When Data Will be Pulled from CALPADS ODS

All student enrollment and program data used to determine student eligibility for P-EBT benefits will be pulled from the CALPADS ODS on October 1, 2022. Enrollment and eligibility are determined based on records that were open at any time during the year; therefore, it does not matter if records have been closed for the school year.

Student addresses will also be pulled from the CALPADS ODS on October 1, 2022, as P-EBT cards will be mailed to the mailing address in CALPADS. The CDE requests that LEAs ensure that address data are up-to-date, and for those students with no address (due to homelessness or other reason), to populate either the school or district address. If a student address field is blank, the CDE will include the district office address for the student prior to sending the information to CDSS.

Information on the ISAC Reporting System

LEAs submit the CALPADS Student Absence Summary (STAS) files to the ISAC Reporting System. Data are to be reported for each of the months August 2021 through May 2022, which means a separate file will need to be uploaded for each month. If you need assistance generating the STAS file by month, it is recommended that you contact your Student Information System (SIS) vendor. When LEAs submit the STAS file to the ISAC, the system will apply the same validations that run on the STAS file when it is submitted to CALPADS. Therefore, it is recommended that LEAs submit the STAS files to the ISAC after certifying End-of-Year (EOY) 3, since the files should upload without triggering any errors.

The ISAC Reporting System can be accessed from the CDE website at https://www2.cde.ca.gov/isacreportingsystem. LEA CALPADS Administrators will have access to the ISAC Reporting System and will be able to retrieve their access code by using the “Recover your Access Code” feature on the ISAC Reporting System login page. Any questions or problems related to the ISAC Reporting System should be sent to isac@cde.ca.gov.

Instructions and training videos on the ISAC Reporting System are available as follows:

The CDE has communicated the STAS file requirements for upload to the ISAC Reporting System to the SIS vendors, and the ISAC is currently being tested by vendors opting to participate in testing. The ISAC Reporting System will open on August 30, 2022 and will close on September 30, 2022. All student independent study and excused absence data will be pulled from the new ISAC Reporting System on October 1, 2022.

Benefit Levels and Distribution

The amount of benefits that each eligible student will receive is based on the daily rate of $7.10 multiplied by the number of days in IS or excused absences of five or more days in a month, based on data that LEAs submitted to the ISAC Reporting System. Students with less than five days of excused absences in any given month will not be eligible for P-EBT benefits for those days during that month.

The CDSS will load and mail P-EBT cards to school age children during the November through December 2022 time frame. As stated earlier, cards will be mailed to the address listed for the student in CALPADS. Each eligible child in a household will receive their own P-EBT card. The cards first mailed in November will have 2021–22 P-EBT benefits for the months of August 2021 through December 2021. The cards will automatically be reloaded with a second issuance of benefits in late November and December 2022 with P-EBT benefits for the months of January 2022 through May 2022.

Summer 2022 Eligibility and Benefits and Timeline

Since all students are not attending school during the summer and do not have access to meals, the eligibility criteria for the Summer P-EBT program is based solely on whether students meet FRPM eligibility criteria. Specifically, Summer 2022 P-EBT will be provided to school age children that meetthe following requirements:

  • Student was enrolled for at least one day in May 2022 in a school that participated in the NSLP, SBP, or SSO in SY 2021–22, AND
  • Student was determined eligible in SY 2021–22 for free or reduced-price meals based on:
    • Meal application, alternative income form, direct certification, or designation as homeless, migrant, or foster; OR
    • Enrollment in a school that operated under CEP or Provision 2 or 3, regardless of individual student eligibility.

In addition, students found to be newly eligible based on a Free or Reduced-Price Meal program record with a start date on or before August 15, 2022 will receive Summer 2022 P-EBT benefits.

Students Not Eligible for Summer P-EBT Benefits

There are several situations in which students many not qualify for Summer 2022 P-EBT, which include the following:

  • The student exited school or graduated prior to May 1, 2022.
  • The student transferred to a school not participating in NSLP, SBP, or SSO before May 1, 2022.
  • The student enrolled as a new kindergarten student in 2022–23 (kindergarten students may still qualify for Summer P-EBT if they received CalFresh during the Summer under the California P-EBT childcare-aged plan).
  • The student was not FRPM-eligible in 2021−22, and attends a school site with new participation in CEP or Provision 2 or 3 in SY 2022–23 that did not participate in CEP or Provision 2 or 3 in SY 2021–22.

When Data Will Be Pulled

All student enrollment and eligibility data will be pulled from the CALPADS Operational Data Store (ODS) on October 1, 2022. Student addresses will also be pulled from the CALPADS ODS on October 1, 2022, as P-EBT cards will be mailed to the mailing address in CALPADS. The CDE requests that LEAs populate either the school or district address for any student records where no address is available, such as for students experiencing homelessness or otherwise having no permanent address. If a student address field is blank, the CDE will include the district office address for the student prior to sending the information to CDSS.

Benefit Levels and Distribution

The Summer 2022 P-EBT is for the period from June through August 2022, and has a set benefit amount of $391. Students that only qualify for summer benefits will have new cards sent to them beginning December 2022 that includes summer benefits. The summer benefits for students who already have a card for SY 2021−22 P-EBT will be loaded on to those existing cards.

Communications and Resources for Eligible Households

The CDSS will send communications about the upcoming availability of 2021–22 P-EBT benefits to eligible households prior to card distribution and the second issuance of 2021–22 P-EBT benefits. In addition, the CDSS has resources for eligible households and partners available in multiple languages on a Pandemic-EBT website at https://capandemic-ebt.org/.

Families with questions can call the P-EBT Helpline at 877-328-9677

The P-EBT Helpline is administered by the CDSS. It will be available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Families can call the Helpline for general questions about P-EBT eligibility and benefits, and for assistance with Personal Identification Number (PIN) set-up, address changes, and requests for replacement cards. The P-EBT Helpline has been enhanced to better assist with inquiries and to address individual cases. In addition, a new live chat feature will be available on the P-EBT website to provide general support.

Questions:   CALPADS/CBEDS/CDS Operations 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: Friday, August 26, 2022
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