Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

CALPADS Update FLASH #250

2022-23 Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program.

To:           Local Educational Agency (LEA) Representatives

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

Date:      May 3, 2023

SubjectCALPADS Update FLASH #250


2022-23 Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program

California’s 2022−23 Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) state plan for School Year (SY) School-Age students has not yet been finalized and approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, if approved, the timelines for data submission will be very tight. Therefore, the CDE is providing information about the P-EBT 4.0 program for the 2022−23 school year ahead of official plan approval. While some details may change, the main components, and general timelines, will not change. It is important that LEAs carefully review this communication to ensure that they have processes in place so that they can upload required data by the timelines in order for their eligible students to receive P-EBT benefits. The CDE will send out a confirming communication once the USDA officially approves the plan.

The key deadlines for data submission for P-EBT 4.0 are:

  • May 22, 2023 for Summer P-EBT.4.0: LEAs must update the student enrollment/exit, program, and address data in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) by May 22, 2023. The CALPADS data updated by this date will be used to determine program eligibility and to mail P-EBT 4.0 cards to students for the Summer P-EBT 4.0 program benefits. In particular, LEAs should update exit data for any students who exited prior to May 1, 2023, or who enrolled on May 1, 2023 or after.
  • June 30, 2023 for SY P-EBT 4.0: LEAs must update the student enrollment/exit, program, and address data in CALPADS by June 30, 2023. The CALPADS data updated by June 30, 2023, will be used to determine program eligibility. The updated address data will be used to mail P-EBT cards to the small subset of students who were not eligible for summer P-EBT benefits and therefore did not receive a P-EBT 4.0 card.
  • June 30, 2023 for SY P-EBT 4.0: LEAs must submit the Student Absence Summary (STAS) file by month to the Independent Study Attendance Collection (ISAC) Reporting System by June 30, 2023. The ISAC will open on May 12, 2023 and close on June 30, 2023.

Overview of P-EBT 4.0 Programs

This communication provides eligibility information, timeline for benefit issuance, and communication and resources for households for both the 2022−23 school year (SY) and summer P-EBT programs. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is the lead state agency for the P-EBT programs and is responsible for determining benefit levels based on data provided by the CDE, issuing P-EBT cards, and administering the P-EBT Helpline and Application Portal. The CDE is responsible for providing the data used to determine which students are eligible and the level of P-EBT benefits eligible students will receive. The CDE also provides student addresses used for mailing P-EBT cards to families.

The purpose of the P-EBT program is to provide benefits to replace the in-person school meals that children eligible for free or reduced-priced meals (FRPM) missed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and during the summer when students are not in school. To meet this purpose:

  • The Summer P-EBT 4.0 program will provide benefits to public school students (refer to “Summer P-EBT 4.0 Program” section for more details):
    • Who were enrolled in a school participating in a federal meals program (National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program) in May 2023 and met the Free or Reduced-Price Meal (FRPM) eligibility requirements.
  • The SY 4.0 P-EBT program will provide benefits to public school students (refer to “SY P-EBT 4.0 Program” for more details):
    • Who were enrolled in a school participating in a federal meals program and met the FRPM eligibility requirements; and
      • Who opted not to return to in-person instruction at a school participating in a federal meals program and who received instruction through independent study (IS) presumably due to continued COVID concerns; or
      • Who returned to in-person instruction at a school participating in a federal meals program, but who were absent due to illness or quarantine presumably due to COVID-19.
    • Who exited, some time between January 27, 2020 and December 31, 2022, a brick-and-mortar public school that was participating in a federal meals program at the time of exit, and in 2022−23 were enrolled in a public virtual school not participating in a federal meals program.
  • Additionally, the SY P-EBT 4.0 program provides benefits to private school students:
    • Who exited a brick-and-mortar public school that was participating in a federal meals program, sometime between January 27, 2020, and December 31, 2022, and in 2022−23 were enrolled in a private virtual school that was not participating in a federal meals program or in a homeschool that has a private school affidavit number or County-District-School (CDS) code provided by the CDE. (Data for students attending private schools participating in a federal meals program are being collected separately by the CDE’s Nutrition Services Division and are not addressed in this Flash.)

Since the Summer P-EBT 4.0 program does not have an attendance component, the number of eligible students will be large, and benefits for this program will be mailed to students first. Though the SY P-EBT 4.0 program includes new student groups (students attending public and private virtual schools and students being homeschooled), since most students have returned to in-person instruction in 2022−23 and have received meals at school, the overall number of students receiving SY P-EBT4.0 benefits will be significantly lower than in past years, even with the inclusion of these additional groups of students.

Data Sources

The CDE will use the following data sources to determine student eligibility and P-EBT benefit levels for Summer and SY P-EBT 4.0:

  • Data from the California Nutrition Information & Payment System (CNIPS) to identify schools participating in a federal meals program, which includes the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), and whether a school operated under a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision 2 or 3.
  • Student enrollment/exit and program data submitted to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) and maintained in the CALPADS Operational Data Store (ODS).

Additionally, to determine SY benefits, the CDE will use the following data:

  • 2022−23 student attendance data submitted to the Independent Study Attendance Collection (ISAC) Reporting System using the CALPADS Student Absence Summary (STAS) file. Specifically, count of days attended in Independent Study (IS) by month and count of excused absence days by month. Note that only attendance data submitted to ISAC will be used to determine attendance in IS and excused absences.
  • Data from the California School Directory to identify whether a school is a public virtual school.

Summer P-EBT 4.0 Program

Since students are generally not attending school during the summer and do not have access to meals, the eligibility criteria for the Summer P-EBT program are based solely on whether students were enrolled in a school participating in a federal meals program and met FRPM eligibility criteria. Specifically, Summer P-EBT 4.0 will be provided to students who meetthe following requirements:

  • Were enrolled for at least one day in May 2023 in any grades TK-12 (up to age 22) in a school participating in a federal meals program that was not operating under CEP or Provision 2 or 3 AND had a CALPADS program record for free or reduced-price meals (as determined through a meal application or alternative income form), homeless, or migrant, or had been directly certified or identified as foster through the statewide match at some point during the school year (July 1, 2022 - May 31, 2023) OR
  • Student was enrolled for at least one day in May 2023 in any grades TK-12 (Up to age 22) in a school participating in a federal meals program that operated under CEP or Provision 2 or 3.

Students Not Eligible for Summer P-EBT 4.0 Benefits

Students do not qualify for Summer P-EBT 4.0 benefits if:

  • The student was not enrolled in a school participating in a federal meals program in May 2023.
  • The student exited school or graduated prior to May 1, 2023.
  • The student transferred to a school not participating in NSLP or SBP before May 1, 2023.
  • The student enrolled as a new transitional kindergarten (TK) or kindergarten student in 2023–24. Note that TK and kindergarten students may still qualify for Summer P-EBT if they received CalFresh during the Summer under the California P-EBT “young child” (under 6 plan).

When LEAs Must Update CALPADS for Summer P-EBT 4.0

LEAs must update student enrollment/exit, program, and address data in CALPADS by May 22, 2023. These data are used to determine student eligibility for Summer P-EBT 4.0 benefits. Enrollment/exit and eligibility are determined based on records that were open at any time during the 2022−23 school year; therefore, it does not matter if records have been closed. To determine Summer P-EBT 4.0 benefits, it is particularly important that LEAs update CALPADS by May 22, 2023, with any student exits that occurred prior to May 1, 2023 and any student enrollments that occurred on May 1 or after for the 2022−23 school year.

It is also particularly important to ensure that student addresses data are updated in CALPADS because those addresses will be used to mail P-EBT 4.0 cards to students. For more information about student addresses, see the section below entitled “Populating Student Addresses in CALPADS.”

Populating Student Addresses in CALPADS

LEAs populate and CALPADS maintains a student’s residential address and mailing address. The CDE will always provide the student’s mailing address to CDSS; if the student does not have a mailing address, the CDE will provide the student’s residential address. If the student has neither (perhaps due to homelessness or other reason), the LEA should populate either the school or district address in the mailing address field (since the school or district is essentially acting as a mailing address for the student). Since in this case the student’s card 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 address for the student prior to sending the information to CDSS.

It is important that LEAs update student addresses in CALPADS by May 22, 2023. This is because P-EBT cards will first be sent to students loaded with summer benefits. This will be a large group of students, since eligibility is not based on student attendance in independent student or excused absences due to COVID-19. For students eligible for SY benefits, the cards they already received in the mail that included summer benefits will be reloaded with SY benefits. Students who are not eligible for summer benefits (a small group) will be mailed a card with SY benefits.

Benefit Levels and Distribution for Summer P-EBT 4.0

Summer P-EBT 4.0 is for the period from June 2023 through August 2023, and it has a set benefit amount of $120. Eligible students will receive summer benefits in the late July to late August time frame.

SY P-EBT 4.0 Program for Public Schools

P-EBT 4.0 Eligibility Criteria for Students Attending a Public School

For SY 2022−23, Table 1 in this Flash summarizes the different factors that contribute to determining whether a student is eligible to receive benefits under P-EBT 4.0, and if they are eligible, the data used to determine the level of benefit they will receive.

Table 1
Summary of P-EBT 4.0 Eligibility Criteria for Students Attending a Public School

Scenario
Number
Type of school student was enrolled in School participated in a federal meals program School operated federal meals program under a Provision Eligibility is determined by… The benefit level is determined by…
1
Public School
Yes
No
An open CALPADS program record for free or reduced-price meal (from a meal application, or Alternative Income form), migrant or homeless, or identified as eligible through direct certification or statewide foster match

Count of 5 or more IS days in a month

OR

Count of 5 or more excused absences in a month
2
Public School
Yes
Yes
Enrollment in a provision school

Count of 5 or more IS days in a month

OR

Count of 5 or more excused absences in a month
3
Public School Primarily or Exclusively Virtual
No
N/A

Exited brick-and-mortar public school participating in a meals program between January 27, 2020 – December 31, 2022

AND

An open CALPADS program record for free or reduced- price meal (from a meal application, or Alternative Income form), migrant or homeless, or identified as eligible through direct certification or statewide foster match
Count of 5 or more IS days in a month

As summarized in Table 1, SY 2022–23 P-EBT 4.0 benefits will be provided to students in grades Transitional Kindergarten (TK) through Grade 12 (up to the age of 22) that meet the following requirements under the scenarios described in Table 1:

Scenario 1
  • In SY 2022-23, the student was enrolled in a public school that participated in a federal meals program that did not operate under a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision 2 or 3, AND
  • Between August 1, 2022 – May 11, 2023, attended school through Independent Study (IS) for five days or more in any month or attended school in-person and had 5 days or more of excused absences in any month. The absences are presumed to be for a COVID-19 related reason, such as illness or quarantine; AND
  • During the months the student had five or more days of IS or excused absences, the student had an open CALPADS program record for free or reduced-price meal (as determined through a meal application or alternative income form), homeless, or migrant, or student was directly certified or identified as foster through the statewide match.
Scenario 2
  • In SY 2022-23, the student was enrolled in a public school that participated in a federal meals program that operated under a CEP or Provision 2 or 3; AND
  • Between August 1, 2022 – May 11, 2023, attended school through IS for five days or more in any month or attended school in-person and had 5 days or more of excused absences in any month. The absences are presumed to be for a COVID-19 related reason, such as illness or quarantine.
Scenario 3
  • In SY 2022−23, the student was enrolled in a public school reported by the LEA to the CDE as “primarily virtual” or “exclusively virtual” and is so designated in the California School Directory, and the school did not participate in a federal meals program; AND
  • Student exited between January 27, 2020 and December 31, 2022, a brick-and-mortar school that was participating in a federal meals program; AND
  • Between August 1, 2022 – May 11, 2023, the student attended school through IS for five or more days in any month; AND
  • In the months the student attended five or more days in IS, the student had an open CALPADS program record for free or reduced-price meal (as determined through a meal application or alternative income form), homeless, or migrant, or student was directly certified or identified as foster through the statewide match.

    Note: Students who had no prior enrollments in CALPADS or who exited a public school participating in a federal meals program between June 30, 2021 and December 31, 2022, must submit an attestation in the Application Portal, that the student attended the virtual school due to concerns about COVID.

When LEAs Must Update CALPADS

LEAs must update student enrollment/exit, program, and address data in CALPADS by June 30, 2023. These data are used to determine student eligibility for SY P-EBT 4.0 benefits. Enrollment and eligibility are determined based on records that were open at any time during the 2022−23 school year; therefore, it does not matter if records have been closed. The student address data are used to mail P-EBT 4.0 cards to students who did not already receive a P-EBT 4.0 card loaded with summer benefits. For more information about student addresses, see the section “Populating Student Addresses in CALPADS.”

When LEAs must Submit Data to the ISAC Reporting System

As LEAs did last year, LEAs must submit the CALPADS Student Absence Summary (STAS) file to the Independent Study Attendance Collection (ISAC) Reporting System for SY P-EBT 4.0. For P-EBT 4.0, states are required to distribute all benefits by September 30, 2023. This necessitates an early submission window for this data of May 12 through June 30, 2023. Therefore, LEAs must submit data to the ISAC by June 30, 2023 if their eligible students are to receive SY P-EBT 4.0 benefits.

Data are to be reported for each of the months August 2022 through May 11, 2023, which means a separate file must be uploaded for each month. If assistance is needed to generate the STAS file by month from your Student Information System (SIS), contact the SIS vendor. LEAs that do not have a SIS can use the STAS Batch templated that is located in CALPADS (Help>Batch File Templates Downloads>Student Absence File (STAS) Template). When LEAs submit the STAS file to the ISAC, the system will apply the validations that run on the STAS file when it is submitted to CALPADS, adjusted for the fact that the data are submitted for each month versus the entire year. Each record must have a full CDS code with a valid school code; school codes of all 0000000 or 0000001 will be rejected on input.

ISAC system access and the uploading of data will be the same as last year. CALPADS LEA Administrators have been assigned an ISAC access code. CALPADS LEA Administrators can retrieve their access code by clicking on the “Retrieve Your Access Code” button found on the ISAC Login page. Information on how to retrieve the ISAC access code and upload data to ISAC is provided on the CDE’s website:

Benefit Levels and Distribution for SY P-EBT 4.0

The amount of benefit that each eligible student will receive is based on the daily rate of $8.18 multiplied by the aggregate number of days in IS or excused absences that LEAs submit for each student to the ISAC Reporting System. Students with five or more days in IS in a month, or 5 or more days of excused absences in a month will be included in the aggregate count. Students eligible for the SY P-EBT 4.0 public school program will also receive a Summer P-EBT 4.0 benefit of $120, unless the student has graduated, dropped out, or moved out of state prior to May 1, 2023. (See section, “Summer P-EBT 4.0 Program.”)

Eligible students will receive SY benefits on the P-EBT 4.0 that they received loaded with P-EBT 4.0 summer benefits. If the student was not eligible for summer benefits, they will receive a new P-EBT 4.0 card loaded with SY benefits. Summer benefits will be distributed first in the July-August timeframe. School year benefits will then be loaded on existing P-EBT 4.0 cards that were already sent with summer benefits (or new P-EBT 4.0 cards will be sent to students who did not receive summer benefits). As described earlier, cards will be mailed to the student address. (See the section in this Flash entitled “Populating Student Addresses in CALPADS.”)

SY P-EBT 4.0 Program for Students Attending Private Virtual or Home Schools

P-EBT 4.0 provides benefits for eligible students attending a private virtual school not participating in a federal meals program, or who are homeschooled. To be eligible, students must have been enrolled in a school participating in a federal meals program and then exited that school between January 27, 2020 and December 31, 2022 due to concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak. To receive benefits, families will need to apply online through the P-EBT Application Portal by providing the following information and attestations:

  • Student’s last known public school where the student was enrolled and then exited and the date of that exit.
  • The SY 2022−23 private school affidavit number provided by the CDE or the county-district-school (CDS) code assigned by the CDE to private schools with six or more students.
  • An attestation that the student was enrolled in a private virtual school or is homeschooling due to COVID-19 concerns.
  • To determine eligibility:
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (SNAP/TANF) case number and the corresponding county where the case is active; or
    • A completed application that is comparable to the USDA’s prototype FRPM application, and an attestation that the household income and number of individuals living in the household, and all other information entered on the application is true and correct to the best of the parent’s/guardian’s knowledge.
  • Proof of student’s identity. Acceptable forms of proof may include a birth certificate, immigration or naturalization documents, hospital birth record, passport, or tax forms with dependent information.Verification of household income such as: paycheck stubs, social security statements, child support payments, and tax returns.

Families must submit their applications to the P-EBT Application Portal accessible from the P-EBT Web page, between July 7, 2023 to September 1, 2023. Relevant application data will be validated with CALPADS enrollment and 2022−23 California School Directory and private school affidavit data. The P-EBT Helpline will notify all applicants of the approval or denial of their application. Approved applicants will receive benefits for all school days in 2022−23, calculated to be 171 days (18 days per month August – April, and 9 days in May) at a reimbursement rate of $8.18 per day. Approved applications will be processed and benefit cards sent to families on a rolling basis.

Communications and Resources for LEAs

LEAs should not send tickets to the CALPADS Service Desk. Instead, LEAs should send:

Communications and Resources for Eligible Households

The CDSS will send communications about the upcoming availability of 2022–23 P-EBT benefits to eligible households prior to card distribution. In addition, the CDSS has resources for eligible households and partners available in multiple languages on theP-EBT web page at https://capandemic-ebt.org/. Families with students attending virtual schools or who are being homeschooled must apply for program benefits through the Application Portal accessible from the web site.

The P-EBT Helpline is 877-328-9677. The Helpline is administered by the CDSS. It is available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Families should 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. Families may also receive assistance by using the live chat feature on the P-EBT web page.

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: Thursday, May 04, 2023
Recently Posted in School Performance
  • Flash 272 (added 23-May-2024)
    Adding Flash 272 - Importance of the Initial US School Enrollment Date for English Learners
  • New Flash #271 (added 14-May-2024)
    New Flash #271- New Education Data Collection System to collect data for ASVAB and SSCE
  • New Flash #270 (added 14-May-2024)
    New Flash #270 - 2023−24 End-of-Year 4, Special Education Revised Guidance, and Other Updates
  • 2023−24 End-of-Year Submissions (added 07-May-2024)
    Letters sent to superintendents on April 29, 2024.
  • California College Guidance Initiative (added 06-May-2024)
    Letter sent April 22, 2024 to superintendents and charter school administrators.