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.
P-EBT 1.0 Outcomes Report
Over the summer of 2020, P-EBT provided food benefits to eligible school aged children for the months of March, April, May, and June 2020. Recently, California was approved to provide additional P-EBT benefits to children who already received P-EBT benefits for the months of August and September 2020. This is referred to as the “P-EBT Extension.”
Children eligible for P-EBT extension benefits:
- Previously received P-EBT benefits for the 2019-20 school year;
- Are attending a California K-12 school for the 2020-21 school year; and
- Are assumed to be attending school virtually or via a hybrid model of virtual and in-person instruction for the 2020-21 school year.
Under the P-EBT extension, each eligible child will receive a new P-EBT card with P-EBT benefits for the months of August and September 2020. These new P-EBT cards will be mailed directly to families in late October through late December. Eligible families do not need to apply to receive P-EBT extension benefits.
IMPORTANT: Children who are newly eligible for free or reduced-price school meals for the 2020-21 school year are not eligible for P-EBT extension benefits and will be served under the second P-EBT program described below.
P-EBT Extension Frequently Asked Questions
Recently, states have been granted authority, pending federal approval, to provide eligible children P-EBT food benefits for the entire 2020-21 school year. To provide P-EBT benefits for the 2020-21 school year, states must develop and submit a new P-EBT plan for federal approval. The CDSS and CDE are awaiting federal guidance and will be working collaboratively to develop and submit an approvable plan as soon as possible. More information will be shared here as soon as it’s available.
P-EBT Cardholder Support
Families that have already received a P-EBT card and need assistance with PINset up, need to request a replacement card, or did not receive their card in the mail as expected, may contact the P-EBT Helpline at (877) 328-9677 office for help.
The P-EBT Helpline can only help families that expected to receive a card in the mail or already received a P-EBT card. The P-EBT Helpline cannot assistwith P-EBT eligibility issues or issue P-EBT benefits. Thank you.