Beneficiaries of Social Security, SNAP, Medicaid, and WIC Could Receive $30 or More Off Internet Access

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If you qualify based on your income, you may be able to save $30 on your internet service thanks to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

After the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP) assisted nearly 9 million households in paying for internet access during the pandemic, the ACP began providing a discount on internet access on March 1, 2022.

 

Social Security Benefits

What Is the Distinction Between the ACP and the EBBP?

Those who qualified for the EBBP received a maximum monthly benefit of $50 for internet access, while those living on tribal lands received $75. The $75 discount for tribal members remains in effect, but all other qualified participants now receive a $30 credit.

To be eligible for the ACP, participants must have a household income of at least 200 percent of the federal poverty line, as opposed to 135 percent for the EBBP. The benefit is smaller, but it is available to a larger number of households. According to Fox2Now, more than 10 million households will be enrolled in ACP by February 2022.

 

What to Do If You Are Already Receiving EBBP

Those who received EBBP through December 31 of last year should not have to do anything to continue receiving the benefit if their household meets the new guidelines. If additional steps were required, a program administrator would have contacted them.

What People Are Eligible for ACP?

If you are newly eligible for the benefits, you should sign up right away. The program is open to any household receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and the assistance does not count against SSI benefit payments.

According to FCC.gov, households receiving 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 be eligible.

Even if you don’t participate in these programs, if your household income is less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line, you may be eligible.

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How to Obtain ACP

To apply for ACP or to see if you qualify, go to AffordableConnectivity.gov and fill out an online application. The application can also be printed and mailed. Then, to choose an internet plan, contact your preferred participating internet provider. If you qualify for ACP, the discount will be applied to your bill.

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