Information about Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT
P-EBT is a federal program. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS), in collaboration with the California Department of Education (CDE), received approval to operate the program in response to COVID-19 related school closures. P-EBT provides food benefits to help families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals through the federal School Breakfast or National School Lunch Programs.
On July 22, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the California Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) state plan for summer 2021, known as Summer P-EBT. The state plan provides Summer P-EBT to school age and childcare age children. For Summer P-EBT, many students that received School Year (SY) 2020–21 P-EBT (known as P-EBT 2.0) will receive Summer P-EBT. In addition, children determined newly eligible for free or reduced-price (F/RP) meals during the summer may also receive Summer P-EBT.
Students Previously Issued P-EBT 2.0 Benefits
Students approved for P-EBT 2.0 benefits for SY 2020‒21, and who were still enrolled in May 2021, are eligible for Summer P-EBT. Children who exited school or graduated early, transferred to a school not participating in the School Breakfast Program (SBP) or National School Lunch Program (NSLP), or who transferred out of state, will not be issued Summer P-EBT benefits. School age students that were determined eligible for P-EBT 2.0 benefits and enrolled in an SBP/NSLP participating school site as of May 2021, do not need to apply for Summer P-EBT benefits.
Newly Eligible Students
Students enrolled as of May 2021, but who did not previously receive P-EBT 2.0 benefits and are determined newly eligible for F/RP meals from June 1, 2021, through August 15, 2021, may also receive Summer P-EBT benefits.
Summer P-EBT Childcare Age Eligibility
Young children (under six years old) who are getting CalFresh food benefits during the summer may also be eligible for Summer P-EBT benefits. This includes:
- Young children issued P-EBT benefits in May 2021, and continue to get CalFresh food benefits at any point during the months of June, July, or August 2021.
- Young children who get CalFresh food benefits for the first time at any point during the months of June, July, or August 2021.
Young children do not need to apply for Summer P-EBT. Eligibility is based on getting CalFresh food benefits between June and August 2021. As a result, LEAs do not need to provide opportunities for young children to apply for P-EBT or F/RP school meals.
Summer P-EBT Benefits and Timeline for Benefits
Each eligible child (childcare and school age) will receive Summer P-EBT benefits totaling $375 in a single issuance. Summer P-EBT benefits will be issued onto existing P-EBT 2.0 cards, or if a child becomes newly eligible during the summer period, onto a new P-EBT 2.0 card that will be mailed to the eligible child during the month of December 2021.
Resources for Families and Schools
Families that require assistance with P-EBT can call the P-EBT Helpline at 877-328-9677 (M-F, 8am to 6pm). The P-EBT Helpline can assist with PIN set-up, address changes, request for replacement cards, or general questions about eligibility and benefits.
For more information about P-EBT, eligible families may visit the P-EBT web page at https://ca.p-ebt.org/.
For updated information about COVID-19 emergency feeding, please visit the CDE COVID-19 Guidance in the Child Nutrition Programs web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/cnpcovid19guidance.asp.
The County Social Services Office does not have access to information about individual applications or P-EBT cards.