California P-EBT

California P-EBT Reload Update (for 2021/2022)

If you have questions about the California P-EBT Reload Update for 2021, you’ve come to the right place. California was approved to offer another round of P-EBT benefits for 2020/2021 school year. This is called P-EBT 2.0.

In addition, the state was approved to offer P-EBT benefits to eligible children for the summer of 2021.

Therefore, your child may be eligible for both benefits.

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has started sending out P-EBT benefits for both programs.

In this post, we will provide a detailed update on California P-EBT 2.0 and Summer 2021 P-EBT benefits.

For each program, we will explain who is eligible, what you need to do to receive benefits, and when benefits will be reloaded onto P-EBT cards.

If you do not currently receive P-EBT benefits but have a child that qualifies, continue reading for when and how to get your benefits.

Table of Contents:

  • What is the P-EBT Program?
  • What is California P-EBT Program
  • California P-EBT Extension (P-EBT 2.0)
  • Who is Eligible for P-EBT 2.0 in California?
  • How to Get P-EBT Extension Benefits (P-EBT 2.0)
  • When will P-EBT Extension 2.0 for 2021 be Reloaded?
  • California P-EBT Extension – Summer 2021
  • Who is eligible for Summer 2021 P-EBT?
  • How can my family receive Summer 2021 P-EBT?
  • When will Summer 2021 P-EBT be Reloaded?
  • What do I need to do when the new P-EBT card arrives in the mail?

What is the P-EBT Program?

The P-EBT program is a federal assistance benefit. It is part of the U.S. government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was established by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

P-EBT provides benefits to children that would have received free or reduced-price school meals, if not for COVID-related school closures.

P-EBT benefits are meant to replace breakfast and lunch that children who received free or reduced-price meals would normally receive during distance learning due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

It also applies to students who have experienced COVID-related reductions in school hours or attendance.

The benefits are very similar to SNAP benefits (food stamps).

What is California P-EBT Program

California P-EBT is the local P-EBT program in the state of California.

It is run by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), in collaboration with the California Department of Education (CDE).

The state received approval to operate the program in response to COVID-19 related school closures.

The program provides food benefits to help families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals but were disrupted due to COVID-19.

California P-EBT Extension (P-EBT 2.0)

Recently, the state of California was granted authority to extend the P-EBT program.

This means that eligible children will get P-EBT food benefits for the entire 2020-21 school year.

Essentially, there will be a second round of P-EBT payments.

Congress reauthorized this extension on Oct. 1, 2020, for the 2020-2021 school year.

Who is Eligible for P-EBT 2.0 in California?

According to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS):

A young child is eligible for P-EBT 2.0 if, between October 1, 2020, and August 31, 2021, they were:

  • Age 0-6 years old; and
  • Part of a household getting CalFresh food benefits (SNAP or Food Stamps); and
  • Living in a county where at least one school facility is closed or is limiting in-person instruction.

Additionally, School-aged children are eligible for P-EBT 2.0 if they were:

  • Enrolled at a school for school year 2020-21 that participated in the federal School Breakfast Program or National School Lunch Program; and
  • Eligible to get free or reduced-price meals for school year 2020-21; and
  • Assumed to have attended school via all distance learning or a hybrid of all distance learning and in-person learning at least some days of the week during school year 2020-21.

How to Get P-EBT Extension Benefits (P-EBT 2.0)

According to the CDSS, here’s what you need to do to get the second round of P-EBT benefits for 2021.

Step 1

You should contact your school and make sure the school district has your most current mailing address on file.

There will be no P-EBT 2.0 application.

Therefore, when the CDSS begins to issue the new rounds of P-EBT benefits, they will be sent to your address that is on file with the school district.

Step 2

When P-EBT 2.0 begins, cards will be mailed directly to eligible children based on the mailing address on file with their school.

You must update your mailing address as soon as possible and no later than March 12, 2021, to ensure timely delivery of your P-EBT benefits.

When will P-EBT Extension 2.0 for 2021 be Reloaded?

Here’s the schedule for when P-EBT 2.0 benefits will be reloaded for eligible California children.

Young Children

P-EBT 2.0 cards for eligible young children who got CalFresh between October 2020 and January 2021 were automatically mailed beginning early July 2021 through August 2021.

Additionally, P-EBT 2.0 cards for eligible young children who got CalFresh between February 2021 and May 2021 will be automatically mailed beginning in November 2021.

All remaining cards for young children will be mailed in December 2021.

School-Aged Children

P-EBT 2.0 cards for eligible school-age children will be automatically mailed beginning early August 2021 through November 2021.

Any remaining cards for school-age children will be mailed in December 2021.

California 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.

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 Reloaded?

California’s Summer P-EBT plan has been approved.

All eligible children will receive a standard summer P-EBT benefit of $375, which will be reloaded on existing P-EBT 2.0 cards in December 2021.

What do I need to do when the new P-EBT card arrives in the mail?

When you receive the new P-EBT card in the mail, follow the instructions that come with your P-EBT card.

You will be required to create your private PIN number.

Also, families need to set up a new PIN even if they already set up a PIN for their original P-EBT card.

Furthermore, do not throw away your P-EBT card.

That’s because more benefits may be added later if the federal government
extends the program again.

For help in checking the balance on your P-EBT card, see our post on How to check California P-EBT Card balance.

California P-EBT Reload Update Summary

We hope this post on the California P-EBT Reload Update was helpful.

Questions?

We hope this post on California P-EBT Extension was helpful.

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

Be sure to check out our other articles about CalFresh and CalFresh EBT, including:
Emergency Allotment for CalFresh – Extra Food Stamps for 2021
Restaurants that Take CalFresh in California
How to Apply for California P-EBT
California P-EBT Extension for 2020/2021
CalFresh Account Login Help
CalFresh Income Limits for 2021
May 2021 California Extra Allotment

Kwame Kuadey

Kwame Kuadey writes about personal finance and the social safety net. His career started in banking but he caught the entrepreneurial bug and has spent the last decade building successful businesses, including an Inc. 500 Company. Kwame believes everyone has the power to improve their quality of life by seeking knowledge and taking action. In 2012, Kwame founded Empower Media to help low-income households improve their financial situation. His expertise is in topics relevant to low-income households, including government benefits and assistance, banking products, access to credit, plus tools & resources to help reduce income volatility and build wealth. Kwame has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, Washington Post, ABC, and NPR.

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