SafeLink is a telecommunication company in the US that specializes in Lifeline services. The lifeline program is by TracFone Wireless, Inc. and serves eligible households with the lifeline packages, including texts, voice call minutes, and data. In short, it provides free cell service to income-eligible households. Today, I will take you through the SafeLink EBB program to learn something that maybe you did not know.

    The Emergency Broadband Benefits (EBB) is a program by the federal government that offers discounts on broadband services to eligible households. The government came up with the program to cushion the people affected by Covid’19 with their home internet or wireless services. Unlike Lifeline, the program will not last forever and will at one time come to an end.

    There are strict rules on how to qualify for the EBB program. Even though the benefit is for people from poor backgrounds, you have to prove that you need the help. We shall see how you can qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefits government offers later on. As we shall see, there are several qualification criteria, with the most common being the poverty guideline.

    The SafeLink, Emergency Broadband Benefits program is part of the broader Emergency Broadband Benefit by the federal government, which is a temporary emergency federal government benefit discount program run by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The program aims at giving connectivity to eligible households and the consumers affected by the Covid’19 pandemic.

    The program will stop six months after the Secretary of Health Services declares that the country is free from Covid’19. Again, the program will also end when the funds allocated for it are depleted. Only one Emergency Broadband Benefit per household is allowed, and others have to rely on the beneficiary for the service.

    Generally, the EBB includes discounts of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for qualifying households and up to $75 every month for households on eligible Tribal lands. Again, qualifying households can also get a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet from participating providers.

    The one-time discount requires beneficiaries to contribute more than $10 and, at most, $50 toward the purchase price. Therefore, you can easily benefit from an EBB free tablet from your service provider. It is important to note that each service provider tailors the EBB program services to offer the best possible service to its customers. The SafeLink EBB program includes:

    • FREE Monthly Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data
    • FREE 10 to 15GB Hotspot Data (depending on the State) and Unlimited International Calling

    Applying for the service is purely online, and you only need to complete a few steps, and you are good to go.

    safelink ebb program

    For you to benefit from the SafeLink Broadband Benefits Program, you have to meet the qualification requirements. You can qualify based on income, program, or enhanced support.

    i) Qualification based on income

    You can qualify for the program if your gross annual household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.

    Furthermore, you can qualify for the benefit if your household has experienced a substantial loss of income beginning from February 29, 2020. Your household is eligible to participate if you experienced a furlough or job loss or reported a household income at or less than $99,000 for single filers or $198,000 in 2020.

    ii) Qualification based on programs

    Various programs give you a direct ticket to benefiting from the EBB program. The programs, which are also the Lifeline qualifying include;

    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Pell Grant award in the current year
    • Medicaid
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program, and or School Breakfast Program
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
    • Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
    • Tribal Head Start
    • Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

    iii) Eligibility based on enhanced support

    If you live on qualifying Tribal lands, you can receive a discount of up to $75 per month on your broadband service, on top of a one-time device discount that may be available.

    What is a household?

    Household refers to people living under one physical address. Such people share income and expenses. They may be students, mother, and children, father, mother, and children, etc. People in a household do not need to be related. However, there can be more than one household under one address.

    With all the details about the EBB program, you can proceed to apply for the benefits program. You can, first of all, use the National Eligibility Verifier (National Verifier) to check whether you are eligible for the EBB Program.

    Once you find out that you are qualified, you can then proceed to apply online. You never know as you can receive a SafeLink Wireless free tablet to use for your communication purposes. Whether you are an existing or new SafeLink customer, you can easily apply for the service online. The following is the application process.

    • Visit the SafeLink EBB application page.
    • Enter ZIP code and hit start.
    • Next, enter your full names, starting with your first, middle, and last name.
    • Enter your suffix, e.g., Mr, Mrs.
    • Enter the last four numbers of your Social Security Number. If you do not have a Social Security Number, you can enter your Tribal Identification Number in the space provided.
    • Enter the date of birth.
    • Select the best way possible that SafeLink can use to reach you. You can choose phone, text, or email.
    • Enter your phone number.
    • Enter your email address.
    • Check the box to receive updates from SafeLink.

    Alternatively, you can apply for the program at the Federal Communications Commission’s website and then choose your favorite service provider.

    When will the EBB end?

    There is no specific date when the EBB program will end. The government plans to end the temporary program six months after the Covid’19 pandemic or when they deplete the funds allocated for the service. Whichever comes first. 

    You will get a message through your phone or email address that the service is over. If you were a Lifeline user, you will continue with your lifeline service as usual.

    Lifeline is a federal government initiative to offer cheap plans and free phones. SafeLink mainly offers Lifeline services. You can easily get a SafeLink Wireless free government phone that you can use for your communication purposes. The lifeline service aims to help people from eligible households with free phones, discounted data, texts, and voice call minutes every month. Only one person per household can benefit from the program.

    You can qualify for Lifeline if you meet the eligibility criteria similar to the Emergency Benefit Program. That means you must either have an income at 135% or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines. If you are currently participating in any of the following government programs, you can apply.

    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Medicaid
    • Tribal-specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance,
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance
    • Tribally-Administered Temporary
    • Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
    • Head Start
    • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefits

    You must recertify your eligibility every year, or else you may lose your account. You need to recertify your account because it can reach a point where you do not need the service. In such a case, you should cease benefitting from the Lifeline services.

    SafeLink Wireless allows you to upgrade your device to a new one and receive better communication services such as faster call connection, fast data, and faster SMS delivery. There is no SafeLink Wireless free phone upgrade as you only get a free phone once when you register for the service. The cost of upgrading to a new device starts from $39.

    You can apply online at SafeLink’s website so long as you meet the eligibility criteria. You can also apply for the program at the Lifeline National Verifier website and choose your preferred service provider. You first need to choose your State to proceed.

    Next, you will enter your full legal names, starting with your first name, second name, and last name, then your date of birth. After that, you need to verify your identity by using your Social Security Number, Tribal identification number, Driver’s License, Military ID, Taxpayer Identification Number ITIN, or any other form of government ID.

    After that, enter your home address. An address includes the Street number and name. Apartment/ Unit, City, State, and ZIP code. Next, select whether you qualify yourself or you qualify through a child or any dependent. Select proceed.

    Bottom line

    SafeLink Wireless is one of the telecommunications companies in the US that offer Lifeline services. Currently, the company is offering the Emergency Broadband Benefit program (EBB), a government initiative to cushion the people affected by the Covid’19 pandemic.

    Through SafeLink, you can get discounts on your broadband services. SafeLink also offers Lifeline services to eligible households. Lifeline beneficiaries automatically qualify for the EBB program.