On Friday, April 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved California’s application to operate a Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program during the COVID-19 crisis.
Beginning today, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) will issue P-EBT benefits to CalFresh, Medi-Cal, CalWORKs and Foster Care households with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals as well as to households with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals whose schools are closed due to the COVID-19 emergency.
Through the program, households will receive up to $365 for each child who is eligible for P-EBT benefits. The total amount received depends on how many eligible children there are in the household and the P-EBT card will be paid up to the following amounts each month:
- March 2020: $68 per eligible child
- April 2020: $120 per eligible child
- May 2020: $120 per eligible child
- June 2020: $57 per eligible child
The California Department of Education (CDE) and CDSS estimate P-EBT benefits issuance of more than $1.4 billion to over 3.8 million school children throughout the state to address food insecurity during the crisis.
In Orange County, households with children who are directly certified to receive free and reduced-price school meals and are current CalFresh, CalWORKs, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefit recipients, will automatically be mailed their P-EBT card by May 22 and do not need to apply for the benefit.
Orange County families with children from households eligible for free and reduced-price school meals through a school application, and some attending schools where meals are free for all students, who have not received a P-EBT card by 5/22/20, will need to apply online. The application period for P-EBT benefits will run beginning May 22 through June 30, 2020 at https://ca.p-ebt.org.
Students can still pick up to-go meals if they receive P-EBT benefits.
For more information, please refer to the P-EBT Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Additional questions about the P-EBT program should be directed to the EBT Customer Service Center at (877) 328-9677 or by visiting https://ca.p-ebt.org/info.
The article above was released by the Orange County Social Services Agency.