According to the official California EBT website, CalFresh P-EBT is a federal program that provides food benefits for families with children under 6 that have already received CalFresh Food benefits between October 2020 and August 2021, or school-age children who were eligible for free or reduced price school meals during the 2020 to 2021 school year. P-EBT provides additional food benefits to compensate for free or reduced-price meals, typically served at child care or school, that children may have missed due to the pandemic. Since March of 2020, California has been temporarily enhancing the SNAP program in order to provide emergency food benefits to households with impacted families. These temporary adjustments are also referred to as Emergency Allotment benefits.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act first authorized emergency SNAP benefits in order to aid low-income workers impacted by COVID-19. These emergency allotments effectively raised each household’s CalFresh monthly allotment to the maximum allowable amount, based on household size. Emergency allotment benefits are part of the Pandemic Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as P-SNAP.As for eligibility requirements, if you aren’t currently receiving CalFresh benefits, but you have an EBT card and aren’t sure whether or not you qualify, you’ll be happy to know that any household that is currently receiving CalFresh benefits will automatically qualify for extra food stamp Emergency Allotment benefits. And there is no extra paperwork to turn in in order to claim the extra 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 Emergency Allotment benefits are issued, will also qualify to receive extra food stamp benefits. The amount of extra food stamp benefits you receive is determined by your household size. In order to calculate your Emergency Allotment benefits through P-SNAP, take the difference between the amount of benefits you are currently receiving, and the maximum benefit amount for your household size. So 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. The formula for calculating how much in extra CalFresh you will receive through Emergency Allotment benefits is shown here: Maximum Monthly Benefit Allotment for Household Size – Current Monthly CalFresh Benefits = Total Extra Allotment CalFresh benefits. So the question becomes when exactly will you receive extra SNAP benefits in California? The next round of September payments will be issued on November 14th, 2021. Emergency Allotments are approved on a rolling basis and issued by the California Department of Social Services.
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. Young children under 6 get P-EBT benefits based on the learning model at schools in their area. The maximum amount per eligible child is $123 per month for those who lived in a county where at least one school was offering only distance learning and $68 per month for those who lived in a county where, if no school was only distance learning, at least one school was hybrid learning. If all schools in a county were open for in-person learning, young children living in that county are not eligible for P-EBT. School-age children get P-EBT benefits based on the most common learning model at their school or schools in their area. Cards for kids under 6 who got CalFresh Food Benefits between October 2020 and January 2021 have already been delivered.
Cards for school-age kids have begun being mailed and will continue to be sent through November. Young children who got CalFresh between February 2021 and May 2021 will get their cards in November or will have their existing P-EBT 2.0 card reloaded with benefits if previously eligible. Those who got CalFresh between June 2021 and August 2021 will get their card in December or will have their existing P-EBT 2.0 card reloaded with benefits if previously eligible. School children will get a second issuance on their existing P-EBT 2.0 card in November 2021 followed by a third issuance in December 2021. Cards are mailed out in groups based on age and in alphabetical order by first name.