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P-EBT for Homeschool and Private Virtual Students

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Web Page

To the administrators of homeschool and private virtual school students:

The State of California has been approved to extend Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits to eligible homeschooled and private virtual school children in School Year (SY) 2022–23. P-EBT is a program created by the United States Congress that provides money to students that missed the opportunity to receive school meals due to the COVID-19 pandemic. P-EBT is administered by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) in partnership with the California Department of Education (CDE).

The CDE is contacting administrators to explain the eligibility requirements, application process, and benefit information.

Eligibility and Documentation Requirements

To receive P-EBT benefits for SY 2022–23 (also referred to as P-EBT 4.0), the eligibility documentation requirements are as follows:

  1. Students were age 6 through 22 and were homeschooled or enrolled in a private virtual school during the SY 2022–23. Children under age 6 may be eligible to receive P-EBT through the childcare-age P-EBT process. Please visit the P-EBT website link provided in the resources section for more information about childcare-age P-EBT.

    Note: A valid private homeschool affidavit number is required for homeschool students to apply for P-EBT. Private virtual school students must provide proof of enrollment in a private school that is registered with the CDE through the private school affidavit process and issued a County District School code (known as a CDS code).

  2. Students must have left enrollment from a school participating in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs after January 27, 2020, due to concerns about the COVID-19 outbreaks. Parents and guardians must attest to this fact as part of the application process.

    Note: The CDSS will verify that students left enrollment in a participating school with information provided by the CDE.

  3. Student households must be determined eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Eligibility can be determined by the submission of household size and income information through the application process at the link below. In addition, households may be automatically eligible without an application by providing a CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservation case number or by demonstrating the students would have attended a public school that currently operates a federal provision (Community Eligibility Provision or Provision 2 or 3).

    Note: Submission of household income information is required for those applying based on household size and income. For those eligible through participation in public assistance programs, the CDSS will verify CalFresh and CalWORKs case numbers prior to issuing benefits. Students using a provisional school to qualify will be asked to confirm which school the student would be attending in-person based on the mandatory attendance area

  4. Student proof of identity through the submission (copy) of one of the following documents:
    • Birth certificate
    • Immigration or naturalization documents
    • Hospital birth record
    • Passport
    • School (or work, if applicable) identification
    • Health benefits card
    • Tax forms with dependent information

Benefit Level

The level of benefits is based on the length of time your student was attending the private virtual or homeschool and not enrolled in a participating school during SY 2022–23. The number of days is based on an estimate of the average number of days up to May 11, 2023 (the end of the federal COVID emergency). If your child was homeschooled the entire SY 2022–23, the food benefit level is $8.18 per day multiplied by a maximum of 171 days or $1,398.78 total food benefit.

In order to be eligible for a P-EBT card, the household must complete the application between July 24, 2023 and August 15, 2023. The online application portal will close on August 15, 2023 and late applications will not be accepted. Applicants will be notified directly whether their child qualified for benefits.


To apply for P-EBT, first gather the above eligibility information and documentation, then visit's website External link opens in new window or tab..

Once your application is complete, the P-EBT helpline will contact households about application status through text message or phone call from phone number 916-848-6998. Please note, this phone number is an unmonitored line and only allows one-way communication from the helpline to applicants. Households that need assistance with the application or other questions about P-EBT should contact the P-EBT helpline at 877-328-9677.


For more information about P-EBT, please visit the P-EBT website External link opens in new window or tab..

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, July 25, 2023
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