​The Federal Communications Commission Emergency Broadband Benefit

Posted by Reeve Staff in Life After Paralysis on May 14, 2021 # COVID-19, Assistive Technology

In December 2020, the Consolidated Appropriation Act, 2021, established the Emergency Broadband Connectivity Fund. This $3.2 Billion Fund was established to help Americans afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the start of the pandemic, many did not know how they would see their doctors. Healthcare services are vital to all, especially to the disability community. Technology is an essential part of the world that we live in. As individual’s with disabilities, many of us utilize assistive technology in our household’s, even more now with the pandemic. In 2020 we learned even more around adapting to and connecting virtually, whether at work, doctor's visits, or socially. The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) will help guarantee that eligible households will receive a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband services.

Who Is Eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

The FCC has listed which households are 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 (add the number in- what number is 135%) 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.

Where to Sign Up

On May 12, 2021, households that are eligible will be able to enroll to receive monthly discounts. Check the FCC website for updates on the benefit and if you are eligible for the EBB service.

This program will end once the funds run out or six months after COVID-19 is declared to be over.

All this information can be found on the FCC website, where you can read more about the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB).

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