California P-EBT

California P-EBT for Summer 2021

Here’s great news for all parents who have kids participating in the free or reduced school lunch program or who have children under 6 on CalFresh! The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) food assistance program through Summer 2021. In this post, we are going to explain how the California P-EBT for Summer 2021 is going to work and when cards will be reloaded.

First, we will explain in detail what the California P-EBT program is about.

Next, we will cover who is eligible for the program and how many rounds of P-EBT benefits have been issued so far.

Additionally, we will explain the Summer 2021 P-EBT extension, who is eligible, and how much you can expect in benefits.

Lastly, we will cover how you can contact California P-EBT customer service and how to speak to a live person.

Alert: CalFresh Benefits to Increase by 25% – Learn More

Click for information on the $3,000 Child Tax Credit Payment from the stimulus bill.
Table of Contents:

  • What is California P-EBT Program?
  • Who is Eligible for P-EBT in California
  • P-EBT Extension – Summer 2021
  • When will Summer 2021 P-EBT be Loaded?
  • California P-EBT Customer Service

What is California P-EBT Program?

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) provides food assistance to households with children who are enrolled in a free or reduced-price school meal program while schools are out of session due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The program operates similarly to the CalFresh or SNAP/food stamps program.

Benefits are pre-loaded funds on P-EBT cards to eligible children and can be used exclusively for food purchases.

Pandemic EBT was originally scheduled to expire on September 30, 2020.

However, on October 1, 2020, the program was extended for an additional year – through September 30, 2021.

Additionally, under the American Rescue plan signed into law in March 2021, the P-EBT program was further extended through the end of the pandemic.

Furthermore, the program’s eligibility was expanded to include children under 6 in SNAP households.

Also, on January 22, in support of President Biden’s call to action on hunger, USDA announced that it is increasing the P-EBT benefit by approximately 15 percent.

This was aimed at providing more money for low-income families and millions of children missing meals due to school and child care closures.

Who is Eligible for P-EBT in California

Here is the breakdown of the P-EBT program so far:

P-EBT 1.0 – 2019-2020 School Year

  • Available to all children enrolled in the National School Lunch Program

P-EBT 2.0 – 2020-2021 School Year

  • Available to all children enrolled in the National School Lunch Program
  • Expanded to include children enrolled in childcare programs

This extension was approved under the Covid Recovery and Relief bill signed into law on December 27, 2020.

It includes a provision that allows the state of California to issue P-EBT benefits to all children under the age of 6 who live in a household that has received SNAP at any point since October 1, 2020, without requiring verification if the child is indeed enrolled in a childcare program.

However, the household (or school if enrolled in one) must be located in an area of a closed school or a school operating with reduced attendance or hours before the state can provide P-EBT benefits.

When will P-EBT 2.0 be issued?

The CDSS and CDE are currently working in partnership to collect the information necessary to submit an approvable plan to the USDA.

However, If you need an update on P-EBT 2.0, including information about how P-EBT 2.0 will be issued, visit the CDSS website here.

2021 Summer P-EBT

  • Available to all children enrolled in the National School Lunch Program
  • Includes Children under 6 years of age and residing in a SNAP household

This extension was part of the American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021.

According to this legislation, children that are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program or are under 6 years of age and residing in a SNAP household will receive P-EBT over summer 2021 as well.

P-EBT Extension – Summer 2021

As part of the American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021, by President Biden, children that are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program or are under 6 years of age and residing in a SNAP household will receive P-EBT over the summer as well.

As a result, the California Department of Social Services announced that California has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) food assistance program through Summer 2021.

The P-EBT program helps families with eligible children whose access to free or reduced-price meals at school or other food assistance has been impacted by COVID-19.

The summer P-EBT is an extension of benefits for the 2020-2021 school year.

Eligible children will receive a one-time payment of $375 to cover the entire summer period of June through August 2021.

Why is the USDA extending P-EBT Through Summer 2021?

The reason is that kids who get free lunch at school struggle during the summer.

Furthermore, the summer months have traditionally been hard on children who depend on free or low-cost school meals.

According to the Food Research and Action Center, in July 2019, just 1 in 7 children who ate at little or no cost during the school year was getting a subsidized school lunch at the height of summer.

Who is eligible for Summer 2021 P-EBT?

  • Young children, ages 0-6, who are living in a household receiving CalFresh benefits.
  • Students in the Free & Reduced-Price Meal program and whose school is physically closed during the 20-21 school year.

How can my family receive Summer 2021 P-EBT?

Here’s how you can prepare to receive P-EBT benefits for the summer of 2021:

1 – Enroll your children in CalFresh. Click here for CalFresh application help.

2 – Ensure your children have an up-to-date Free & Reduced-Price Meal application or Alternative Income Form on file with your school.

Check with your school district if you are not sure. 

3 – If your child is already enrolled in their school meal program, or you previously received P-EBT benefits, do this:

Make sure their school has the correct mailing address on file. Check with your school district if you are not sure. 

When will Summer 2021 P-EBT be Loaded?

The CDSS and CDE are working on a schedule to release Summer P-EBT benefits soon.

We will provide an update here when an announcement is made, including when P-EBT cards will be mailed to newly eligible children.

California P-EBT Customer Service

If you need to speak to California P-EBT Customer service, we can help.

The number to call is 1- 877- 328-9677

Here’s how to reach a LIVE person:

It can be frustrating to call the P-EBT helpline and find yourself speaking to an automated system.

Here is how you can get to a real person when you call the P-EBT helpline:

Step 1

Call 1-877- 328-9677 for assistance.

Step 2

Select your language

Step 3

Select “0” when asked for a card number, twice if necessary

Step 4

Select “report lost” or “unauthorized card use” to be connected to a person

Step 5

Tell that person you are missing your P-EBT card

California P-EBT for Summer 2021 Summary

Here’s the bottom line about California P-EBT for Summer 2021:

California P-EBT benefits have been extended through Summer 2021

Eligible children will receive a one-time payment of $375 to cover the entire summer period of June through August 2021.

However, to prepare to receive your P-EBT benefit for the summer:

Make sure your children have an up-to-date Free & Reduced-Price Meal application or Alternative Income Form on file with your school.

Also, check with your school district to make sure they have the correct mailing address on file for your child.

Questions?

We hope this post on California P-EBT for Summer 2021 was helpful.

If you have further questions about CalFresh or California P-EBT, please let us know in the comments section below.

Also, be sure to check out our other articles about CalFresh and CalFresh EBT, including:
Restaurants that Take CalFresh in California
How to Apply for California P-EBT
California P-EBT Extension for 2020/2021
California P-EBT Balance (and how to activate the card)
Is GetCalFresh.org Legit?

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