CalFresh Pandemic SNAP

Extra Food Stamps for California – September 2021

(Last updated on 9/9/21)

Will California food stamps recipients receive extra CalFresh benefits for September? The state of California was approved by the USDA for extra SNAP EBT maximum benefits in September. The extra food stamps for California for September 2021 are part of the Emergency Allotment (EA) Program.

This means that CalFresh benefits recipients in California will get extra food stamp benefits for the month. CalFresh EBT cardholders will receive the maximum benefit amount for their household size.

If you want to know how much in extra CalFresh benefits you can expect in September and when you’ll receive them, continue reading below.

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

In this article, we will cover:

  • What are Emergency Allotment benefits?
  • Who qualifies for extra SNAP benefits?
  • How much in extra food stamps will I receive?
  • When you’ll receive your Extra Food Stamps in California
  • Extra Food Stamps for California – September 2021
  • P-EBT Extension for Summer 2021
  • $3000 Child Tax Credit Payments – starts in July, 2021
  • Why you may have received $95 in extra CalFresh benefits this month
  • Restaurant Meals Program FAQs

Extra Food Stamp Benefits in California

Since March 2020, California has been using temporary SNAP flexibility to provide emergency food benefits to households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These temporary flexibilities are also referred to as Emergency Allotment (EA) benefits.

What are Emergency Allotment benefits?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act authorized emergency SNAP benefits because of COVID-19.

In California, the emergency allotments will raise each household’s monthly allotment of CalFresh to the maximum allowable based on household size.

In addition, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will approve requests for the additional benefits on a month-by-month basis.

We will update this post each month to reflect the extra food stamps that was approved for the month.

EA benefits are part of the Pandemic Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also know as P-SNAP.

What is Pandemic SNAP or P-SNAP?

Pandemic Food Stamp/Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (P-SNAP) will allow all households currently eligible for SNAP to receive the maximum amount for their household size during the COVID pandemic.

Congress authorized P-SNAP in response to COVID-19.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers P-SNAP nationwide.

The FNS approved a waiver allowing the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to issue extra SNAP benefits under P-SNAP.

These extra benefits will over the difference between previously issued benefits and additional funds allowed under P-SNAP.

To find out what households qualify to receive Emergency Allotment (EA) benefits during the Coronavirus pandemic, continue reading below.

Emergency Allotment Benefits Eligibility

If you are trying to find out if you are eligible to receive extra CalFresh benefits in California, we can help.

To find out who qualifies for extra food stamps benefits, continue reading below.

Who qualifies for extra CalFresh benefits?

Any household that is currently receiving CalFresh benefits qualifies for extra food stamp Emergency Allotment (EA) benefits.

There is no extra paperwork to turn in to get the extra CalFresh benefits.

It will simply be added to your EBT card, and you’ll be able to use it just like regular CalFresh.

In addition, any household that is approved for SNAP EBT in a month when EA benefits are issued, will also qualify to receive extra food stamp benefits.

To find out how much you can expect to receive in extra SNAP benefits, continue reading below.

How much in extra food stamps will I receive?

The amount of extra food stamp benefits you receive is determined by your household size.

Your Emergency Allotment benefits through P-SNAP is the difference between the amount of benefits you are currently receiving and the maximum benefit amount for your household size.

If you are already receiving the maximum monthly benefit amount for your household size, then you will not receive any additional or extra SNAP benefits.

However, if you are not receiving the maximum benefit allotment for your household size, then you will receive extra food stamp benefits.

This means that you will receive the Maximum Benefit Amount for your household size with EA benefits.

For help, check out our example on how to calculate your Emergency Allotment benefits below:

Emergency Allotment Benefits Calculator

The formula to calculate how much in extra CalFresh you will receive through Emergency Allotment (EA) benefits is provided below.

Maximum Monthly Benefit Allotment for Household Size – Current Monthly CalFresh Benefits = Total Extra Allotment CalFresh benefits

Example:

If you live in a household of 3 people and are currently receiving $400 in CalFresh benefits per month, then you will receive $135 in extra food stamp benefits.

That’s because the maximum allotment amount for a household of three is $535 per month.

To find out the maximum SNAP benefit allotment for your household size, check out the table below.

Maximum SNAP Benefit Allotment by Household Size

Use the chart below to find the Maximum SNAP Allotment Amount for your household size.

The 2021 maximum SNAP allotments for the District of Columbia and all states other than Alaska and Hawaii are as follows:

Household Size Maximum Monthly Benefit – Fiscal Year 2021 Temporary 15% increase 1/1/21-9/30/21
1 $204 $234
2 $374 $430
3 $535 $616
4 $680 $782
5 $807 $929
6 $969 $1,114
7 $1,071 $1,232
8 $1,224 $1,408
Each additional person +$153 +$176

When you’ll receive Extra SNAP Benefits in California

All households with active CalFresh cases in the benefit month will receive the maximum amount of benefits for their household size.

Emergency Allotments are approved on a rolling basis and issued by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).

The Emergency Allotment for a benefit month is issued in the middle of the next month.

For example, when you get the extra benefit in mid-December, it’s technically for the month of November.

If you do not receive your Emergency Allotment benefits, please contact your SNAP caseworker at your local CDSS office.

However, before you call your caseworker, make sure you have reviewed the payment schedule below to see all three issuance dates for extra benefit for the month you are missing.

To find the CDSS office near you, click here.

To find out when you can expect to receive your extra California SNAP benefits for this month, continue reading below.

Extra Food Stamps for California – September 2021

To find out when you can expect to receive your Emergency Allotment EA benefits on your California SNAP EBT Card for September 2021, see below.

When will I receive my extra food stamp benefits for September 2021?

California has been approved for emergency allotments for the month of September 2021.

September Extra CalFresh benefits will be issued on October 23, 2021.

I did not receive Extra Food Stamps in August. What Can I Do?

Extra food stamps benefits will be paid on September 11, 2021.

However, if you did not receive your benefits on September, the next round of August payments will be issued on October 23, 2021.

I still have not received my Extra Food Stamps for July. What Can I Do?

Extra food stamps benefits for July will be paid on August 8th.

However, if you did not receive your benefits on August 8th, the next round of July payments will be issued on September 11, 2021.

Also, if your July payment did not come on September 11, 2021, then the last opportunity to receive your payment for July is on October 23, 2021.

Is California issuing extra SNAP benefits in October 2021?

Yes. California will continue to issues extra food stamp benefits for those that were missed in previous months:

If you did not receive your extra benefits for July, the third and last opportunity to get your July benefits will be on October 23, 2021.

Also, if you did not get your extra benefits for August, the second opportunity to receive your benefits will be on October 23, 2021.

Lastly, September benefits will also be issued on October 23, 2021.

Will California issue New Extra SNAP benefits in October?

The temporary 15% increase in CalFresh benefits that was authorized in 2021 was supposed to last from January 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021.

On October 1, 2021, CalFresh benefit amounts will be based on the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2021-2022 benefit allotment amounts.

Therefore, starting on October 1, 2021, CalFresh benefits will fall back to the following, based on household size:

Household Size CalFresh Maximum Monthly Allotment
1 $204
2 $374
3 $535
4 $680
5 $807
6 $696
7 $1,071
8 $1,224
Each Additional Member +153

Are new California SNAP recipients eligible for extra food stamp benefits?

Yes, if your CalFresh application is approved during the month of September, P-SNAP benefits will be issued at the time of approval.

How do I check to see if I received my extra SNAP benefits?

To find out if you have received your extra SNAP EBT benefits for September, check your CalFresh EBT Card balance.

The Emergency Allotment benefits will be automatically deposited to your card EBT Card on your scheduled date.

Click here to find out how to check your CalFresh EBT Card balance.

CalFresh Emergency Allotment Payment Schedule for 2020 – and 2021

Here’s how to read the Emergency Allotment Payment Schedule Below:

As mentioned above, each eligible household will only receive one emergency allotment per benefit month that emergency allotments are approved.

However, California runs three issuances for each approved emergency allotment for a given month.

Therefore, if you did not get the benefit on the first issuance date for a particular month, it means it may be sent on the second issuance date.

Furthermore, if you did not get the benefit for a particular month on the first or second issuance date, it means you will receive that benefit on the third issuance date for that month.

It is therefore possible that your extra benefit for a particular month may be issued the following month, two months after, or three months after.

Here’s the CalFresh Emergency Allotment Issuance Schedule for 2020-2021.

Benefit Month First Issuance Second Issuance Third Issuance
2020
March April 12 May 10 June 14
April May 10 June 14 July 12
May June 14 July 12 August 16
June July 12 August 16 September 13
July August 16 September 13 October 18
August September 13 October 18 November 15
September October 18 November 15 December 20
October November 15 December 20 January 10
November December 20 January 10 February 14
December January 10 February 14 March 7
2021
January February 14 March 7 April 18
February March 7 April 18 May 16
March April 18 May 16 June 13
April May 16 June 13 July 18
May June 13 July 18 August 8
June July 18 August 8 September 11
July August 8 September 11 October 23
August September 11 October 23 TBD
September October 23 TBD TBD

P-EBT Extension – Summer 2021

Here’s great news for all parents who have kids participating in the free or reduced school lunch program!

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.

The California Department of Social Services has 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.

California P-EBT FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the California P-EBT program.

Who is eligible for P-EBT benefits?

Children are eligible for P-EBT benefits if:

  • Their school is closed due to coronavirus (COVID 19); and
  • They are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals

How Much is P-EBT Benefits?

  • 2019-2020 School Year– March 2020 through June 2020
    • Breakfast- $2.20
    • Lunch- $3.50
    • Daily Total- $5.70
  • 2020-2021 School Year– August 2020 through June 2021
    • Breakfast- $2.26
    • Lunch- $3.60
    • Daily Total- $5.86
    • With 15% increase- $6.82

If my family is eligible for the August-September benefit extension, will we get a new P-EBT card?

Yes. You will get new cards in the mail. There will be one card per child. Benefits are available up to one year after issuance.

Can I use a P-EBT card to withdraw cash from an ATM?

No. You cannot use a P-EBT card to get cash at an ATM.

A P-EBT card can only be used to purchase food in most grocery stores and farmer’s markets.

Also, you can use your P-EBT card to buy groceries online for delivery from Amazon or pick-up from Walmart.

For how to use EBT cards online, see our post on Buying Groceries Online with California EBT.

If I already got a P-EBT card in the mail do I need to apply online?

No. If you already got a P-EBT card in the mail do not apply online.

Just follow the instructions on your card and create your private PIN number.

After that, your card will be ready to use.

If I get P-EBT benefits, will it make me a public charge?

No. The P-EBT program is a disaster emergency benefit based on free and reduced-fee school meal eligibility.

This is similar to other benefits that DHS has said would not be considered for
public charge purposes.

However, USCIS can consider several factors under their public charge test.

Also, the Public charge rule does not apply to all immigrants.

The Biden Administration Increases P-EBT Benefits

As of January 22, 2021, the Biden Administration passed a law to increase Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits by 15% to help fight childhood hunger.

Previously, the P-EBT program was capped at $5.86 per child per school day.

In addition, many households have had issues claiming their P-EBT benefits.

The 15% increase to the P-EBT Program will tackle the problem of food insecurity among children during the school year.

$3000 Child Tax Credit Payments

The American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six.

Additionally, it went from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of six, and raised the age limit from 16 to 17.

All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called Head of Household).

When will I get the Child Tax Credit?

Starting on July 15th, 2021, most families will automatically receive monthly payments of $250 or $300 per child without having to take any action.

If you’ve filed tax returns for 2019 or 2020, or if you signed up to receive a stimulus check from the Internal Revenue Service, you will get this tax relief automatically.

You do not need to sign up or take any action.

Why Did I Receive $95 in CalFresh Benefits this Month?

Did you receive a $95 food stamps deposit on your EBT card this month? Here’s why:

As part of the Food Stamps Emergency Allotment (EA) that was approved as part of the stimulus bill in March 2021, food stamps beneficiaries were approved for extra benefits through September 2021.

Effective April 2021, all CalFresh households will receive a minimum EA of $95 per month in food stamps benefits.

This new minimum EA applies regardless of household size.

Households eligible for the maximum allowable allotment based on household size are now eligible to also receive an EA of $95.

However, households that are not eligible to receive the maximum allowable allotment based on household size, but whose emergency allotment is less than $95 per month will now receive an emergency allotment of $95 per month.

Lastly, households that are eligible to receive more than $95 per month will continue to receive that amount since it is over the minimum amount now allowed for EAs.

Restaurant Meals Program FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program (RMP).

What is the Restaurant Meals Program?

The CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program allows certain groups of CalFresh recipients to buy prepared meals with their EBT benefits.

The program provides the option for eligible SNAP recipients to use their CalFresh EBT benefits or Golden State Advantage card to purchase prepared meals at approved participating restaurants.

Participating counties have a list of approved restaurants that participate in the RMP and eligible CalFresh recipients can only use their EBT card at approved restaurants within their county.

Who is Eligible for the Restaurant Meals Program?

To be eligible for the California SNAP Restaurant Meals Program, you must be part of the three demographics below:

Elderly: 60 years or old

Disabled: Have been determined disabled through the Social Security Administration, are a veteran with a service based disability, or are receiving disability payments through the Railroad Retirement Act.

Homeless: Living in a supervised shelter, halfway house, or a place not designated for, or ordinarily used as sleeping accommodations for human beings.

Which California Counties Participate in the Restaurant Meals Program?

As of February 2021, the following counties are participating in the Restaurant Meals Program:

Click on your county below for details about the restaurant meals program and the list of approved restaurants:

How do I know that a Restaurant Participates in RMP?

Each participating county provides a list of approved RMP restaurants.

In addition, look for the ” EBT Cards Accepted Here ” sign in the window or contact your local county human services office to get a list of participating restaurants.

Also, you can click on the participating county list above to see our detailed list of approved RMP restaurants in each county.

Extra Food Stamps for California – September 2021 Summary

Here’s the bottom line about Extra Food Stamps for California – September 2021:

Since March 2020, California has been using temporary SNAP flexibility to provide emergency food benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each eligible household will only receive one emergency allotment per benefit month that emergency allotments are approved.

Extra CalFresh benefits for September 2021 will be paid on October 23, 2021.

However, California runs three issuances for each approved emergency allotment for a given month.

Therefore, it is possible that your extra benefit for September may be issued in October, November, or December 2021.

Also, if you did not receive your August extra benefit on September 11, 2021, the next round of August payments will be issued on October 23, 2021, as well.

Questions?

We hope this post on Extra Food Stamps for California – September 2021 was helpful.

If you have further questions about 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:
$3,000 Child Tax Credit from 2021 Stimulus
Restaurants that Take CalFresh in California
How to Apply for California P-EBT
California P-EBT Extension for 2020/2021
CalFresh for San Diego County
How much will I get in CalFresh in 2021?
How to Complete CalFresh SAR 7 Form
Get Printable CalFresh SAR 7 Form
Restaurants that Accept Calfresh in Alameda County

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