Who Is Eligible For Straight Talk Emergency Broadband Benefit

Straight Talk is a wireless provider in the US and a brand of Tracfone. It participates in Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), an emergency federal government-assisted program that ensures connectivity to qualified households and those adversely affected by the Covid pandemic. If you are eligible for a straight talk emergency broadband benefit, the EBB can assist you with monthly internet service and even offer a one-time discount device.

However, qualified Straight Talk customers can now get free monthly benefits, plus the ebb free tablet, through the EBB program. Besides, you can keep your device and number on Straight Talk. Suppose you are struggling with getting internet services during this pandemic. In that case, EBB will help you stay virtually connected to activities that are internet-dependent, whether you are a student, business owner, or a worker operating from home.

Additionally, you can qualify for the EBB Program by participating in a Lifeline-qualifying program or attaining a certain income level, for instance, if you have experienced a substantial loss of income from February 29, 2020. Another qualifying requirement is participation in EBB-qualifying programs, including free and reduced-price school lunch program, award of a federal Pell Grant, among others, as discussed later in this article.

What Is the Straight Talk Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

In every household, only one EBB Program benefit and one device discount are allowed. Suppose you are eligible for both the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program and the Lifeline program. In that case, you can apply for and participate in both programs and receive the total cost of monthly broadband service.

However, service providers are expected to apply for the Lifeline discount first, followed by the EBB Program benefit. The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) is a program steered up by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It is a temporary emergency federal government benefit program to enable connectivity to qualified households and persons affected by the pandemic.

Moreover, the Straight Talk EBB program is planned to end six months after the Secretary of Health Services announces that a public health emergency no longer exists or when the funds get depleted. During this period, only one EBB benefit is allowed per household, and the beneficiary will receive FREE unlimited data, Talk, and text, in addition to 10GB of hotspot data.

Why Choose Straight Talk?

Straight Talk provides the best phones and best plans on America’s largest and most dependable networks. Besides, the company’s compatible phones include AT&T Compatible phones, T-Mobile Compatible phones, and most GSM and CDMA Unlocked phones.

Nevertheless, you can switch phones on Straight Talk under the Keep Your Own Phone (KYOP) program. You can receive Straight Talk service on your current phone, provided it is compatible with its KYOP program.

Moreover, to check whether your device is capable of the Straight Talk Keep Your Own Phone program, you must text “KYOP” TO 611611 from your mobile device. Straight Talk Wireless supports customers who have their own device and want to bring it over to the network. 

Besides, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon phones are all compatible provided they are not under contract and have no financial obligations on them.  Additionally, universally unlocked phones from Motorola and Samsung are manufacturers that are also compatible with the network.

Straight Talk Phone Trade-In Program

straight talk emergency broadband benefit

Straight Talk Wireless provides a phone trade-in program that enables you to trade in your old device and receive up to $300 with the Trade-In Program. You can visit the company’s website and receive value for your device. Also, Straight Talk phone deals comprise all the latest high-end smartphones, including iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices. Besides, there is a selection of mid-range and budget phones available from this provider.

The trade-in program takes approximately seven days, and you will get a box containing shipping instructions and a pre-paid return label for shipping the trade-in device to get value. It’s advisable to clear any personal details on the phone and PIN locks from your device and package it per the shipping instructions that get provided as part of your order confirmation.

Interestingly, you can receive payment for your old phone. You can easily find out how much your phone is worth online, ship it to Straight Talk for free, and get cash back. Generally, all the current customers, potential new customers, and non-customers qualify to trade in their smartphones.

Straight Talk Emergency Broadband Benefit Qualification Criteria

You can enroll for the Emergency Broadband Benefit if your household income lies at or below 135% of the federal poverty provision, or if any member of the household;

  • Qualify for Lifeline benefits through enrollment in SNAP, Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, or Federal Veterans. And Survivors Pension Benefit, or Public Housing Assistance.
  • Belong to one of several Tribal specific programs:
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance such as Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), Tribal Head Start (only households with the relevant income qualifying standard), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
  • Due to job loss or layoff, encountered a substantial loss of income from February 29, 2020, and got a gross household income at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers in 2020.
  • Possess a federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
  • If you have approval for benefits in the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, under USDA Community Eligibility Provision, 2019/2020 or 2020/2021 school year.
  • Attains the eligibility criteria through a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program, and that provider has FCC approval for its eligibility verification process.

Notably, one device discount and only one monthly service discount is applicable per household. However, program rules admit that more than one eligible household is living at the same address.

Who Qualifies for EBB?

i) Child or Dependent

Any member, whether a child or dependent, can make your household eligible. For instance, if your dependent or child qualifies in the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program, the household is eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

ii) If You Experienced a Unpaid Leave or Job Loss

If you underwent a substantial loss of income from February 29, 2020, due to job loss, or you got laid off, you may stand a chance for the EBB Program. Moreover, you will need to prove the job loss or leave, such as a termination letter or furlough notice. In addition to proof of your total income, such as a tax return or official documentation showing income information when applying for the EBB Program.

iii) If You Already a Member of Lifeline Benefits

Lifeline is a program supported by the federal government that makes communications services more affordable to low-income families. If you are currently getting Lifeline benefits, you automatically make it for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, and you can get both benefits simultaneously.

On the other hand, you can enroll for your Lifeline benefit and your Emergency Broadband Benefit to the same or separate services. On this note, you need to contact your broadband provider to understand how to start enjoying the EBB Program discounts.

iv) If Your Broadband Provider Has Its Own Low-Income or COVID-19 Relief Program

If Straight Talk provider already has its own low-income or COVID-19 relief program, you can also qualify through this program. You can talk to your broadband provider for more details.

v) If Your Household Income Is at a Certain Level

If your income is 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines, you can receive the Emergency Broadband Benefit. However, this criterion varies based on your household size and state. You are required to show proof of income, such as pay stubs or a tax return, when you apply for the EBB Program.

vi) If You are a Member of Medicaid, SNAP, or Other Programs

You can have the Emergency Broadband Benefit if you or a member of your household belongs to one of these federal assistance programs:

  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
  • SNAP, previously known as Food Stamps
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Tribal Specific Programs:

  • Tribal Head Start
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance.
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • (Tribal TANF)- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • School Breakfast Program, or Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or including at US Department of Agriculture Community Eligibility Provision schools
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year

Most importantly, you need to provide proof by showing a card, letter, or official document to confirm that you participate in one of the above programs when you enroll for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

Bottom line

Straight Talk is the best provider that has its customers in mind even during the worst economic times. This company offers an Emergency Broadband Benefit program that enables qualified members to enjoy essential communication services for free.

However, these benefits will end after the department of Health, and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency. After that, if a household decides to continue getting service after the end of the Emergency Broadband Program, you will have to purchase and add a Straight Talk Service plan.