P-EBT Benefits Update as of October 29, 2020:
First thing, if you have questions about continuing your existing P-EBT benefits, call the P-EBT Helpline at (877) 328-9677. Eligible families should not need to apply to receive P-EBT extension benefits. The August/September benefits are being mailed from October to December.
Recently, states have been granted authority, pending federal approval, to provide eligible children P-EBT food benefits for the entire 2020-21 school year. This 2.0 version will provide benefits to new families (not just an extension of benefits to previously eligible families) BUT California is waiting for federal guidance.
P-EBT Benefits Update as of September 21, 2020:
California can add additional funds to existing P-EBT cards due to a complicated string of events that ends with this letter from Cynthia Long called Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer Program (P-EBT) Approval of California’s State Plan Amendment. Money can be added to the cards before September 30th to eligible families who already possess the cards.
Children under age 18 may continue to receive “grab n go” meals or emergency food at COVID-19 emergency feeding sites offered by schools and community locations, regardless of P-EBT benefit status. Find those food distribution sites in the East Bay >>
If your family needs any additional help buying groceries, you can apply for CalFresh (also known as Food Stamps).
P-EBT Benefits Update as of September 10, 2020:
All P-EBT eligibility decisions have been made and all appeals have been processed. P-EBT was a one-time disaster response program intended to support children who lost access to free or reduced prices school meals due to pandemic related school facility closures during the months of March through June of 2020 — with no apparent plan for helping the families impacted by the ongoing closures!
As of July 15, applications for the program are closed. If your child received free and reduced-price school meals and was enrolled in a California Public School during the Covid-19 closures in spring 2020, a P-EBT card with up to $365 should be in your mailbox. Charter and private school students may have different eligibility requirements.
The application deadline was July 15, 2020. View website to get started >>
Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) is a supplemental benefit for households with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. P-EBT benefits will be issued as a one time payment during the month of June (or a little later based on sliding deadlines and high volumes of requests). You should expect one card per student and these cards can be used to purchase groceries.
Who is eligible for P-EBT benefits
In California, children who eligible for the free and reduced-price school meals should find these benefits arriving by mail. If your student is receiving CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits, you/they should have received these benefits already. If not, do follow up on the cdss.ca.gov website >>
This is a nationwide program. Throughout California, if your child already receives free or reduced lunch, you should be eligible.
When will your card arrive?
By July 15 according to the California DCF website. Some parents have reported receiving them already, some have received them on different days for students in the same household. These envelopes may be addressed to the parent or the child.
What else do you need to do to receive a card
No further action is required on your part to receive your P-EBT benefits. Check out this P-EBT FAQ if you have further questions.