You might be eligible for assistance in paying for internet service. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an FCC program that helps families who are struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic.
This is a new benefit. Because it just went into effect, the application website is experiencing high demand, and you might experience delays.
If eligible, you can receive a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband services. Those who meet eligibility requirements and live on Tribal lands can receive up to $75 a month.
In addition, eligible households can receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers, with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50.)
The benefit is available to eligible new, prior and existing customers of participating internet providers. If you have a past due balance with the provider, that does not make you ineligible for the benefit.
Who is Eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:
- Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
- Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
How To Apply
There are three ways to apply:
- Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.
- Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and to find participating providers near you.
- Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with copies of documents showing proof of eligibility
You’ll find answers to many of your questions here.