P-EBT Card & ACP Information
What is the Affordable Connectivity Program?
On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (P.L. 117-58) into law, which established the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP provides eligible households up to $30 a month, or $75 a month for households living on tribal lands, toward their internet bills, as well as a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet.
All households with a child who was approved to receive free or reduced-price school meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or the School Breakfast Program (SBP), within the last 12 months, including children who attend schools participating in the Community Eligibility Provision, are eligible for ACP benefits. Households are also eligible if a member of a household participates in certain federal benefit programs—including, among others, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, Medicaid, and Federal Public Housing Assistance.
Households may apply for the ACP via GetInternet.gov or can call 877-384-2575. NSLP and SBP households applying directly through the ACP website may need to show documentation proving their current participation in the NSLP and SBP if their eligibility cannot be confirmed with other personal identifying information. This may include presenting the household’s school meals approval letter or other current official documentation.
- GetInternet.gov—a one-stop shop to learn about ACP, check eligibility, enroll, and find fully covered internet plans.
- White House Fact Sheet on the ACP and its benefits.
* Through a separate non-FCC initiative, additional no cost plans may be available to Affordable Connectivity Program enrollees. To learn more please visit GetInternet.gov. Provision of a link to this initiative does not imply FCC endorsement of any particular participating provider.
Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household. To receive the connected device discount, consumers need to enroll in the ACP with a participating provider that offers connected devices (Note: not all internet company offer device discounts.) The internet company will provide the discount to the consumer.
On July 19, 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the California School Year (SY) 2022–23 Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) state plan for school age children. P-EBT is a federal program that provides households of eligible students food benefits to replace in-person school meals that children missed due to the pandemic. In California, P-EBT is administered through a partnership between the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the California Department of Education (CDE). The CDSS is the lead state agency for P-EBT with the CDE providing the data necessary to determine eligibility and benefit levels.
SY 2022–23 P-EBT Eligibility and Benefits Timeline
No application is required for students that attended a public school that participates in the NSLP or SBP. The CDSS will automatically issue SY 2022–23 P-EBT benefits to students that meet all of the following requirements:
- Student free and reduced-price eligibility requirements:
- Determined eligible in SY 2022–23 for free or reduced-price meals through meal application, alternative income form, direct certification, or designation as homeless, migrant, or foster; or
- Attended a school that participates in Provision 2 or the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), regardless of individual student eligibility
- IS or absence criteria
- Missed in-person instruction through excused absences for five school days or more in a month, or
- Eligible for P-EBT in SY 2021–22 due to enrollment in IS and continued to attend school through IS for 5 or more days in a month in SY 2022-23.
For SY 2022–23, P-EBT benefits have been expanded to other groups of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals and attending the following school types: private and nonpublic participating schools, private virtual, virtual schools that do not participate in NSLP or SBP, and homeschooled children. The CDE will send a separate communication to those groups.
The amount of benefit each student will receive is based on the daily rate of $8.18 multiplied by the number of days of excused absences or IS attendance of five or more days in a month as reported by LEAs. SY 2022–2023 P-EBT benefits will cover the period between August 1, 2022 and May 11, 2023 (the end of the federal COVID emergency). Only students that had five or more absences or IS days in a month will receive benefits.
Summer 2023 P-EBT
In April 2023, the USDA approved the California Summer 2023 P-EBT plan. Summer P-EBT benefits are currently being processed and mailed by the CDSS.
Families that received Summer P-EBT cards will have their SY 2022-23 P-EBT benefits reloaded to those existing cards in August and September 2023.
Any students that were not issued a Summer 2023 P-EBT card (i.e., graduated earlier than May 2023) will get a new P-EBT card issued with only the SY 2022–23 benefits during August and September. Information about Summer 2023 P-EBT is available on our web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/smmr2023pebtannncmnt.asp.
Communications and Resources for Eligible Households
The CDSS will send postcards in the mail about the upcoming availability of SY 2022–23 P-EBT benefits to eligible households prior to card distribution. In addition, the CDSS will update resources soon for eligible households and partners (available in multiple languages) on the P-EBT web page at https://capandemic-ebt.org/.
The CDSS established the P-EBT Helpline to assist eligible households with questions about P-EBT. The P-EBT Helpline can assist with:
- P-EBT card PIN set-up,
- Mailing address changes,
- Requests for replacement cards, and
- General questions about individual eligibility and benefit amounts.
The contact information for the P-EBT Helpline is below. Only the Helpline has access to card data and can assist families with these issues. The CDE does not have individual data and therefore cannot assist with card issuance.
Households that require assistance with P-EBT cards can call the P-EBT Helpline at 877-328-9677 (Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
For more information about P-EBT, please visit the CDSS P-EBT web page at https://capandemic-ebt.org/.