If you are a parent, listen up! Parents Can Get Help Paying For Internet and A New Computer. Here’s How.
On May 12, a government emergency broadband benefit program kicked off and since that time, more than 5 million U.S. households have enrolled in the program.
The goal of the program is to prevent families from losing access to an essential resource during the pandemic, the FCC says.
“No one should have to choose between paying their internet bill or paying to put food on the table,” said the FCC’s acting chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, in a news release when the program opened.
Under the program, the FCC is offering:
- Up to $50 a month off your broadband service and associated equipment rentals.
- A discount of up to $75 a month on your broadband service if your home is on qualifying tribal lands.
- A one-time discount of up to $100 on a laptop, tablet or desktop computer.
How do you know if you qualify?
You qualify for the discounts in the program if you meet one of the following criterias:
- Qualifies for Lifeline benefits through participation in SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit;
- Participates in one of several Tribal specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Head Start (only households meeting the relevant income qualifying standard), Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 due to job loss or furlough AND has a total household income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers;
- Received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year;
- Received approval for 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, 2020-2021, or 2021–2022 school year; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program, and that provider received FCC approval for its eligibility verification process.
Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household. Program rules acknowledge there may be more than one eligible household residing at the same address.
How to Sign-Up For Internet Discounts
There are 3 different ways to apply but you’ll want to hurry because once funds run out, you won’t be able to receive any benefits. You can:
- Fill in the online form. You can apply online at GetEmergencyBroadband.org.
- Mail in an application. If you’d rather send in your application, you can go to the website above and download the form in either English or Spanish (with instructions also available in nine other languages) and mail it, along with proof of your eligibility, to the address below:
Emergency Broadband Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742
- Contact your broadband provider. You can check the FCC’s website to see whether your internet provider is one of the participating companies. Or you can call your provider’s customer service line to confirm its participation and get help with filling out your application.