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Home » Resources » Get Connected for Less: How to Save up to $75 a Month on Your Home Internet Bill with the Federal Benefit

Get Connected for Less: How to Save up to $75 a Month on Your Home Internet Bill with the Federal Benefit

If you’re struggling to pay your monthly internet bill, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit program to provide temporary financial assistance for low-income households. This program offers eligible participants a monthly discount of up to $75 on their internet bills, making it easier for families and individuals to stay connected and access essential online services. In this article, we will explore the details of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program and how you can apply for it.

What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit program?

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program is a temporary federal initiative created to assist eligible households in covering the costs of their monthly internet bills. This program was launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which highlighted the growing need for reliable internet access to work, learn, and access healthcare services remotely. The Emergency Broadband Benefit program is funded by the federal government and is administered by the FCC.

Who is eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program?

To be eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in certain federal assistance programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP, or Lifeline.
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020.
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.

Determine if you can ‘skip the line’

Remember how I talked about skipping a step when I mentioned the Lifeline program? If you’re already a part of Lifeline, you can contact your ISP directly to enroll in the ACP. You’re not required to use the Apply Now button on the ACP site.

Similarly, if you are currently enrolled in your ISP’s low-income program but are not participating in Lifeline, you may also be able to avoid using the ACP site. You must follow up with your ISP and ensure that the FCC approves it for this step.

Get your paperwork together

If you can’t skip that step, prepare to pull together several documents. (Note: If you plan to mail the application, do not send your original documents, only copies.) Among the paperwork you’ll need is proof of income, including either a tax return, pay stub or Social Security statement of benefits, or proof of program participation, including approval letters, benefit verification letters or statement of benefits.

You can refer to the ACP site’s Show You Qualify page for a full list of acceptable documents.

What benefits does the Emergency Broadband Benefit program offer?

If you are eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, you can receive a monthly discount of up to $75 on your internet bill. In addition, the program provides a one-time discount of up to $100 on a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchase if you contribute $10 to $50 towards the purchase price. The laptop or tablet must be purchased through a participating provider.

How to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program?

To apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, you can contact a participating broadband provider directly or apply online at GetEmergencyBroadband.org. You will need to provide proof of eligibility, such as a Medicaid or SNAP card, a Federal Pell Grant award letter, or proof of income. Once your eligibility is verified, your internet service provider will apply the discount to your monthly bill.

What internet services are covered by the Emergency Broadband Benefit program?

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program covers a variety of internet services, including home broadband, mobile broadband, and fixed wireless broadband. The program does not cover satellite internet services.

How long will the Emergency Broadband Benefit program last?

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program is a temporary initiative that will end when the fund runs out of money or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.

How will the Emergency Broadband Benefit program affect my current internet plan?

If you are currently enrolled in an internet plan, the Emergency Broadband Benefit program will provide a discount of up to $75 on your monthly bill. If your internet plan costs less than $75 per month, the program will cover the entire cost of your monthly bill. If your internet plan costs more than $75 per month, you will be responsible for paying the difference.

What happens if I move to a new address while enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program?

If you move to a new address while enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, you will need to notify your internet service provider and provide proof of your new address. If your current provider does not offer service at your new address, you can transfer your benefit to a new provider.

Can I participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program if I already receive other government assistance?

Yes, you can still participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program even if you already receive other government assistance such as Lifeline, SNAP, or Medicaid. However, you cannot receive the Emergency Broadband Benefit discount on top of the Lifeline discount.

Conclusion

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program is a temporary federal initiative that provides eligible households with a monthly discount of up to $75 on their internet bills. This program is designed to help low-income households access essential online services during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are struggling to pay your internet bill, you may be eligible for this program. To apply, contact a participating broadband provider or visit GetEmergencyBroadband.org.

FAQs

What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit program?

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program is a temporary federal initiative that provides eligible households with a monthly discount of up to $75 on their internet bills.

Who is eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program?

To be eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, you must meet at least one of the following criteria: have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020, or received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.

How do I apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program?

You can contact a participating broadband provider directly or apply online at GetEmergencyBroadband.org.

How long will the Emergency Broadband Benefit program last?

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program is a temporary initiative that will end when the fund runs out of money or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.

Can I participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program if I already receive other government assistance?

Yes, you can still participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program even if you already receive other government assistance such as Lifeline, SNAP, or Medicaid. However, you cannot receive the Emergency Broadband Benefit discount on top of the Lifeline discount

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