Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school get extra food benefits. These food benefits are called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT benefits. P-EBT benefits help families in California buy food when schools are closed because of the coronavirus emergency.
Families will get up to $365.00 per eligible child on their P-EBT card to use on food and groceries.
Families with children who get CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits do not need to apply. Most will get their P-EBT card in the mails during the month of May. P-EBT cards will begin arriving around May 12, 2020.
Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and who do not get their P-EBT card in the mail by May 22, 2020 ust apply online before June 30, 2020. the online application will be available begining May 22, 2020 at www,ca.p-ebt.org.
STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION INFORMATION
The California Department of Education (CDE) and Department of Social Services (CDSS) are partnering on the administration of Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) in California.
P-EBT will provide up to $365 to needy children eligible for Free or Reduced-Price Meals (FRPM) through the National School Lunch (NSLP) or School Breakfast Programs (SBP). Children who are directly certified for FRPM will automatically be mailed a P-EBT card through an automated data matching process between the CDE and CDSS. These P-EBT cards will arrive in the mailboxes of eligible families between May 12 and May 22.
Children who are FRPM eligible through the meal application process will be able to apply for P-EBT online beginning May 22. The application will be available at www.ca.p-ebt.org and will be available in English, Spanish and Chinese. Eligibility of those children who apply online will be confirmed by the CDE and CDSS using data from the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS). (This is not possible for our students because they are not included in the public school’s CALPADS system. We are working with the state on an alternative method of confirmation.
Frequently Asked Questions Question: Can school districts continue to process applications for free or reduced-price school meals?
Answer: Yes. If a family’s socio-economic status has changed, they may apply for free or reduced-price school meals. If determined eligible, the family may also apply for P-EBT.
Question: If an eligible family completes a paper or online application on or after March 16 (the average date of school closures statewide used for P-EBT purposes), are their children eligible for P-EBT?
Answer: Yes. If a family submits a school meal application on or after March 16 and they are determined eligible, this family can apply for and receive P-EBT benefits for their school-aged children.
Question: If a student is determined eligible to receive free or reduced-price school meals through direct certification on or after March 16, is the student eligible for P-EBT?
Answer: Yes. If a student is directly certified for free or reduced-price meals on or after March 16, this student will automatically receive P-EBT benefits. The date the P-EBT card arrives in the mail and the amount of P-EBT benefit issued depends on the date the student is directly certified.
Question: How will P-EBT benefits be calculated for a student that was determined eligible for free or reduced-price school meals based on an application at the start of the school year, but was then recently (e.g. on or after March 16) directly certified for free or reduced-price school meals?
Answer: In this scenario, the P-EBT eligible family should submit a P-EBT application online. The family will receive the full P-EBT benefit amount of $365 per child.
Question: If a family has a toddler and receives CalFresh, is the toddler eligible for P-EBT?
Answer: P-EBT eligibility is based on an individual student’s eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals offered through the SBP or NSLP. Only those children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals and attending a school that participates in the SBP or NSLP are eligible for P-EBT.