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Prepare Now for Pandemic EBT 2.0

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As previously shared, the federal Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program was extended through the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act. This law extends P-EBT benefits through September 2021.

To provide P-EBT benefits for School Year (SY) 2020–21, the California Department of Education (CDE) and Department of Social Services (CDSS) has submitted a P-EBT state plan for approval to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). As we await USDA approval, there are immediate action steps that we are asking local education agencies (LEA) to take now to prepare for P-EBT 2.0 issuances:

  • Ensure student enrollment and eligibility information are up-to-date in California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS): In order to be eligible for P-EBT benefits, a student must be enrolled at a school participating in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program and be eligible during either SY 2019–20 or SY 2020–21 for free or reduced-price (F/RP) meals based on: (1) an approved F/RP meal application or Alternative Household Income Form, (2) participation in a benefits program (CalFresh, CalWORKs, Medi-Cal) as identified through direct certification, or (3) a status of homeless, migrant, or foster. It should also be noted that all students enrolled at schools operating school meals programs under a Community Eligibility Provision or Provision 2 or 3 are eligible for P-EBT regardless of whether they are individually F/RP meal eligible. Therefore, throughout the year, it is important that LEAs keep the following data up-to-date in CALPADS:

    • Student enrollments and exits, especially enrollments in provision schools

    • F/RP meal program records

    • Migrant, homeless, and foster records

In addition, the CDE will rely on the foster and direct certification data maintained in CALPADS to identify eligible students.

  • Ensure student mailing addresses are up-to-date in CALPADS: In round one and the extension of P-EBT, all students (with the exception of students receiving benefits from CalFresh) were required to apply for the program. If the students were found eligible based on CALPADS data, they were mailed P-EBT benefit cards to the address provided on the application. This year no P-EBT application process is required, and eligible students will be mailed P-EBT benefit cards based on their address in CALPADS. Therefore, it is critical that student addresses in CALPADS are kept up-to-date throughout the year. The CDE is requesting that LEAs update student addresses for the first issuance of P-EBT benefits by March 12, 2021.

Thank you in advance for your efforts. The P-EBT program provides an important source of funding for California’s most vulnerable students. For more information about P-EBT, you can visit the CDSS P-EBT web pageExternal link opens in new window or tab..

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Friday, February 26, 2021
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