Pandemic EBT Status Update
On May 4, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the California Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) State plan for young children in child care. The State plan for SNAP-enrolled children in child care provides benefits for the months of October 2020 through May 2021.
California will confirm that each child’s home address, based on information used to determine SNAP eligibility, is in the area of a closed school or a school operating with reduced attendance or hours. For this purpose, an “area” is defined as a county. For all child care aged children in each area, California will issue a P-EBT monthly benefit amount equal to the highest monthly issuance amount for a school in that area. Additionally, the State will utilize a two-tiered benefit structure: one benefit amount for child care aged children residing in an area with at least one school providing all virtual instruction, and one benefit amount for child care aged children residing in an area with at least one school providing hybrid instruction.
The State will use the best available data to issue benefits in amounts that are tied as closely as possible to the number of days that eligible children do not receive a meal service through their covered child care facility.
For more information, visit the USDA Food and Nutrition Service State Guidance on Coronavirus P-EBT web page .
School Year (SY) 2019–20 P-EBT Plan Amendment
The USDA has approved an amendment to the California state plan for P-EBT benefits issued during the 2019–20 SY. This amendment allows the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to issue P-EBT cards to children who were Free and Reduced-Price meal eligible, but who did not submit an online application for P-EBT benefits during the Spring of 2020. The CDSS and California Department of Education (CDE) have identified 514,140 children who will receive a P-EBT card for SY 2019–20 based on the approval of this plan amendment. Families with questions on 2019−20 benefits should call the P-EBT Helpline referenced below. The Helpline is open Monday through Friday, from 6 am to 8 pm.
SY 2020–21 P-EBT Status
The CDSS and CDE continue to work with the USDA to secure approval of our P-EBT plan for the current SY. The CDSS and CDE will communicate to stakeholders as soon as the state plan is approved and P-EBT cards for SY 2020–21 begin to be mailed.
The CDE and CDSS will host an informational webinar for the School and Education community to overview additional details about the rollout of SY 2020–21 P-EBT benefits on Thursday, June 10, 2021 from 2:00–3:30 PM. Registration information for this webinar will be shared in a forthcoming listserv announcement.
On April 26, 2021, the USDA also announced the availability of P-EBT benefits for Summer 2021. Under this program extension, P-EBT benefits will be available to all children previously determined eligible for P-EBT during the 2020–21 SY. Implementation of Summer P-EBT requires that state agencies have an approved SY 2020–21 P-EBT plan. The CDSS and CDE will submit an amendment for Summer P-EBT benefits once the SY 2020–21 plan has been approved.
For more information about P-EBT, you may visit the CDSS P-EBT web page .
Families that require assistance with existing P-EBT cards can call the P-EBT Customer Service Center Helpline at 877-328-9677.
For updated information about COVID-19 emergency feeding, please visit the CDE COVID-19 Guidance in the Child Nutrition Programs web page.