Extra Food Stamps in California (2021 Emergency Allotment)

Updated on 2/5/21

Are you trying to find out if you will be receiving extra food stamps in California this month through Emergency Allotment? We can help. If you want to know how much in extra SNAP benefits you can expect and when you’ll receive them, then continue reading below.

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 SNAP Benefits for January 2021

"Extra Food Stamps in California"

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.

"California Emergency Allotment (EA) Benefits"

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 Allotment
1 $204
2 $374
3 $535
4 $680
5 $807
6 $969
7 $1,071
8 $1,224
Each additional person $153

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 CalFresh SNAP EBT Benefits by Month"

Extra CalFresh SNAP Benefits by Month for 2021

To find out when you can expect to receive your Emergency Allotment EA benefits on your California SNAP EBT Card each month, use the list provided below.

Extra SNAP Benefits for January 2021

California has requested and been approved to issue CalFresh emergency allotments for the month of January 2021.

Is California issuing extra SNAP benefits in January 2021?

Yes. The January emergency allotments for CalFresh benefits will be available on Sunday, February 7, 2021.

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.

This is done to ensure that all eligible households receive an emergency allotment for each benefit month that emergency allotments are approved.

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.

See below for the update Emergency Allotment Payment schedule for CalFresh.

When will I receive my extra food stamp benefits?

January emergency allotment benefits are expected to be issued on February 7th, 2021. You do not need to contact us or apply for these benefits.

SNAP EBT households can expect to have their extra food stamp benefits available for use on their California EBT Card the following business day.

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

Yes, if your CalFresh applications is approved during the month of January, 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 January, 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.

I did not receive my Extra CalFresh Benefits for October – December. What should I do?

If you have not received the CalFresh Emergency Allotments for your household for the months of October. November, or December, you will be receiving emergency allotment benefits on January 10, 2021.

Extra SNAP Benefits for February 2021

California has not yet been approved to issue extra food stamp benefits or Emergency Allotment benefits for February 2021.

We will continue to update this post as more information becomes available.

Check back for more information on if and when you can expect to receive your extra CalFresh benefits in 2021.

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 as of January 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 TBD
February March 7 TBD TBD

January 2021 Allotment Schedule
February 2021 Allotment Schedule

Extra Food Stamps in California Summary

Here’s the bottom line:

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

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

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 it is important to look at the issuance schedule for a given month to see when the extra benefits were sent 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.

Questions?

We hope this post on Extra Food Stamps in California 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:
Restaurants that Take CalFresh in California
How to Apply for California P-EBT
California P-EBT Extension for 2020/2021
CalFresh Account Login Help
How much will I get in CalFresh in 2021?