Social Security, SNAP, Medicaid and WIC Beneficiaries Could Receive $30 or More Off Internet Access
If you are qualified based on your income, you might be able to get $30 off your internet service thanks to a program introduced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) called the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
First introduced on Dec. 31, 2021, after the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP) helped nearly 9 million households pay for internet access during the pandemic, the ACP provides a discount on internet access beginning March 1, 2022.
What’s the Difference Between the ACP and EBBP?
Under the EBBP, those who qualified received a maximum monthly benefit of $50 to go toward internet access, while those living on tribal lands received $75. The $75 discount for those living on tribal lands remains, but any other qualified participants now receive a $30 credit.
To qualify for the ACP, participants must show a household income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, rather than 135% for the EBBP. The benefit is smaller, but available to more households. In Feb. 2022, more than 10 million households enrolled in ACP, Fox2Now reported.
Steps to Take If You Were Already Receiving EBBP
Those who were receiving EBBP through Dec. 31 of last year shouldn’t have to do anything to continue receiving the benefit if their household qualifies under the new guidelines. If additional steps were needed, GOBankingRates reported, a program administrator would have reached out to them.
Who Is Eligible to Receive ACP?
If you are newly qualified to receive the benefits, you should sign up immediately. The program is available to any household who receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and the assistance does not count as income against SSI benefit payments.
Households who take part in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, federal public housing assistance, the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program, WIC, veterans pension or survivor benefits — or Lifeline — may also qualify, according to FCC.gov.
Even if you don’t participate in these programs, but have a household income below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, you may qualify.
How to Apply for ACP
To enroll for ACP or to see if you qualify, visit AffordableConnectivity.gov and submit an application online. You can also print out and mail the application. Then, contact your preferred participating internet provider to select an internet plan. The discount will be applied to your bill if you qualify for ACP.
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