There were good reasons we were so ecstatic when the Federal government created the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
Previously known as the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), the ACP offers qualifying households a $30 discount off their monthly internet bill. ACP-eligible households may also receive a $100 discount off the purchase of personal computers and laptops.
Simply put: the ACP offers low-income families and individuals a great, easy way to access opportunities online. To that end, we believe the ACP signup process should be quick and easy.
In this blog, we’ll show you how to sign up for the ACP and receive discounted internet and devices.
Table of Contents
- How to know if you’re eligible for ACP benefits
- What paperwork is necessary to apply for ACP benefits
- Two of the most common errors on ACP applications (and how to fix them)
- How Human-I-T is helping households receive their ACP benefits
How to know if you’re eligible for ACP benefits
You are automatically eligible for the ACP if you or someone in your household is:
- Enrolled in Lifeline benefits (a Federal program which lowers the cost of phone and internet service for low-income households)
- Earning an income that is less than 200% of the Federal poverty guidelines
Individuals may also be eligible for the ACP if they receive benefits from government programs such as:
- Medicaid / MediCal
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Veterans Pensions and Survivors Benefit
- National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program
- Federal Pell Grant recipient
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Now that you know what qualifies someone to enroll in the ACP, let’s review what paperwork you’ll need to ensure your ACP application is successful.
What paperwork is necessary to apply for ACP benefits
Individuals who are attempting to prove income-based eligibility for the ACP must submit proof of income. Acceptable forms of proof of low-income include:
- Prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return
- Three consecutive months of pay stubs from a current employer
- A Social Security statement of benefits
- A VA statement of benefits
- Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits
- Divorce decree, child support award, or similar document showing household income
- A retirement/pension statement of benefits
Individuals who are trying to prove they receive benefits from assistance programs must submit at least one of the following documents:
- Benefit approval letter from the program the individual claims participation in
- Benefit verification letter from the program the individual claims participation in
- Benefit award letter from the program the individual claims participation in
- Statement of benefits from the program the individual claims participation in
- School enrollment forms for the program the individual claims participation in
Your documents must also be of a certain age and contain certain information in order to be used in your application. Below, you’ll find a list you can use to determine if your documents can be used to determine your ACP eligibility:
- The document must be no more than six months old since
- The document must clearly show the name of the program you participate in
- The document must contain the first and last name of the primary household member who is enrolled in the program
- The document must contain the name of the tribal entity, government agency, program administrator, or educational institution that issued the document
Now that you know what documentation to prepare, let’s talk about how to ensure your application has the highest chance of success.
Two of the most common errors on ACP applications (and how to fix them)
Our subscriptions team at Human-I-T has helped thousands of people apply for and enroll in the ACP. We’ve seen two things continually prevent ACP applications from getting approved: duplicate address errors, and duplicate enrollment errors.
Duplicate address errors? Fill out a Separate Household form
Some individuals’ ACP applications get rejected because the FCC has already distributed ACP benefits to someone else in their household. The reason this leads to a rejection is because the ACP is limited to one benefit per household benefit, not one per individual.
According to the FCC, a household is defined as:
“A group of people who live together and share income and expenses (even if they are not related to each other).”
Examples of a household include a married couple who live together, a parent/guardian and their child who live together, or adults living with friends or family that financially support them. In each of these households, only one individual could receive ACP benefits.
However, some ACP providers like Human-I-T offer individuals the chance to fill out what’s known as a “Separate Household” form. This form lets the applicant assert their independence from the household currently receiving ACP benefits.
If this form is accepted by the FCC, then the application will proceed.
Duplicate enrollment errors? Fill out a Transfer Service form
Unlike the previous error, some ACP applications get rejected because the applicant themself is already enrolled in the program.
Sometimes this is a genuine slip of the mind: the applicant was automatically eligible to enroll, they said yes to an ACP offer, and didn’t think of it again. It happens.
Other times, this can happen when an applicant signs up for ACP benefits with a provider but becomes unhappy with their service. This can lead to them just not using their old ACP benefits at all and forgetting about their enrollment.
Regardless of why it happens, this can be a frustrating thing for any ACP applicant to discover. That’s why Human-I-T makes it easy for ACP applicants to get past this issue by letting them fill out what’s known as a “Transfer Service” form.
This form allows applicants to transfer ACP internet service between providers without losing benefits.
How Human-I-T is helping households receive their ACP benefits
Phew. Okay. We know that was a lot.
Who knew that getting your monthly internet costs reduced would be such a hassle?
Instead of trying to sort through all of the necessary information yourself and crossing your fingers that your application goes through, let us help!
At Human-I-T, our team offers assistance for every step of the application process. We help individuals verify their household’s eligibility for the ACP, as well as help connect them to the best ACP internet offers in their area.
Truthfully, though, a lot of times that ends up being Human-I-T’s offer.
Because our low-cost internet plans are already… well… low-cost, households that sign up for ACP internet with Human-I-T receive free monthly internet for the duration of the program.
But that’s not all.
Households that set up a new ACP internet plan through Human-I-T also receive a voucher for $100 after completing a one-time, $80 purchase of a hotspot. This hotspot purchase is necessary, as this hotspot enables the new internet service.
The $100 voucher can not be used to offset the price of the hotspot. Instead, it can be used to purchase ACP-eligible laptops from our online store, which are already heavily discounted from their retail price.
So what are you waiting for? Click here to receive your ACP benefits today!