Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) is a temporary program that offers subsidized payment assistance on internet services to eligible household members affected by the Covid19 pandemic. However, the National Verifier will determine your eligibility, and you will get notified by your provider before the end of the ebb cell phone program mandated by the FCC. Besides, if you qualify, you will not continue to receive the wireless benefits forever.
Your monthly service cost will get back to its original rate when the program concludes. When you apply, you will get a discount of up to $50 monthly for broadband services for eligible customers. On the other hand, the consumers who reside on qualifying Tribal lands receive an enhanced provision of up to $75 monthly for broadband services.
Moreover, the program offers a one-time device discount of up to $100 for an ebb program laptop, desktop computer, or tablet bought through a participating provider. In this case, the one-time discount demands a consumer co-payment of more than $10 and less than $50 to receive these gadgets. This program will expire when the donated funds get exhausted or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirms the end of the COVID-19.
What is EBB Program?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program abbreviated as the EBB Program) was an initiative by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to assist low-income families in connecting to the internet during the pandemic. Currently, Congress asked the FCC to initiate transitioning the EBB Program into a permanent Affordable Connectivity Program. However, you can continue the application for the Emergency Broadband Benefit up to December 31, 2021.
On the other hand, consumers qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program) by participating in a Lifeline-qualifying program or meeting specific income level requirements. Only one EBB Program benefit account and one device discount is applicable per household.
Additionally, consumers who are qualified for both the emergency broadband benefit program and the Lifeline program can make an application for and participate in both programs and receive up to the total cost of their monthly broadband service. However, service providers must apply the Lifeline discount first and then apply for the EBB Program benefit.
Who Qualifies for the EBB Program?
There are two ways you can qualify for the EBB program. The FCC provides all qualifications, including:
- Your household total income must be at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines
- Any member of your household must meet at least one of the following criteria:
i) Qualifies for Lifeline benefits through participation in:
- Supplemental Security Income
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, among similar programs.
ii) Participates in one of the Tribal specific programs:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- (Tribal TANF)Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Tribal Head Start (only households with the relevant income qualifying standard)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
Experienced a significant loss of income from February 29, 2020, with a gross household income in 2020 that is at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers.
iv) School lunch program
Had an approval for benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, plus through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year.
v) FCC approval
Attain the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program and that the provider had FCC approval for its eligibility verification process
However, only one monthly service discount applies per household. But, the program rules acknowledge there may be more than one eligible household living at the same address.
How Can You apply?
You can apply for Emergency Broadband Benefit program through the three ways for eligible households:
a) Applying Through a Qualifying Broadband Provider
Not all internet service providers participate in the program. However, you may contact a participating broadband provider directly, and they will let you know about their application process. If you cannot apply through ISP directly, you can apply using the remaining two options. Besides, you will still need to contact a participating provider to choose an eligible plan.
Additionally, if your ISP participates in the EBB Program or the Affordable Connectivity Program, each has different ways for you to apply through them. The USAC provides an easy search tool to find participating ISPs in your area by inputting your zip code, city, and state.
b) Using GetEmergencyBroadband.org
The second option is to apply for the EBB through GetEmergency Broadband. However, this option may allow you to apply online. Moreover, this site also assists you in identifying participating providers near your location. After application, you will have to contact your favorite participating provider and choose a plan that matches your needs.
c) Apply via mail
The last option is available if you prefer to apply via mail. You have to call 833-511-0311 and ask for a mail-in application. If you have an option to print it out, you may go to Get Emergency Broadband. Afterward, complete the application and attach all the required copies of proof documentation.
However, you can send your mail application to:
Emergency Broadband Support Center
PO Box 7081
London, KY 40742.
If eligible, you will get a notice that you have qualified for the program. Then you must contact a participating provider to select an Emergency Broadband Benefit eligible service plan.
What Documentation Do You Need For the EBB program?
If you make an online application, get prepared to give the following details:
- Full names
- Date of birth
- A form of ID such as your social security number, Tribal ID number, OR a form of government-issued ID, like a passport, driver’s license, or taxpayer ID number
- A scanned image, a photo of your ID, or you can take a photo with your phone.
Generally, regardless of the mode of application, you’ll have to attach some documentation that confirms your eligibility. If you qualify under one of the programs mentioned above, you’ll have to provide a letter or official document from the previous 12 months (or with a future expiration date). These documents include approval letters, benefit award letters, statements of benefits, or benefit verification letters.
On the other hand, if you qualify through the income level guideline, you’ll have to show your annual income. The following documents will serve right for this kind of verification:
- Previous year’s state, federal or Tribal tax return
- Veterans Administration statement of benefits
- Your employer current income statement from or a paycheck stub
- Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits
- A retirement/pension statement of benefits
- A Social Security Benefits statement
- Child support award, divorce decree, or a similar official document showing your income
Which cell phone providers participate in EBB cell phone program?
Different internet providers are approved to participate in the EBB Program and the ebb free tablet program. These same internet providers must also get invited and approved to participate in the EBB Program. They include the following:
1) Safelink wireless
Safelink Wireless is a renowned mobile virtual network operator in the US. It is also a familiar brand in the lifeline program that seeks to help low-income families with subsidized internet services. You can apply to receive the Safelink Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) with this carrier.
If you qualify for this program under Safelink, you will receive free monthly Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data. Besides, you will enjoy free 10 to 15 GB Hotspot data with the offer varying by state. Also, these benefits feature unlimited international calling.
2) Life Wireless
Life Wireless provides Broadband services to eligible customers adversely affected by the current pandemic. When you qualify for Life Wireless’s EBB service, you can apply for your Lifeline and EBB benefits to a single plan that offers 30 GB of data plus unlimited talk and text, usually $60 at no charge.
After successfully applying for these benefits, this Company credits your $50 EBB benefit, if applicable. If you opt to participate only in the Life Wireless EBB program, you will owe a $10 co-pay.
3) Cricket Wireless
If you are an ongoing Cricket customer, you can visit the National Verifier to check if you qualify. Once the National Verifier has approved you, you can complete the EBB enrollment form. This form will apply the benefit to an existing eligible plan or enable you to change to an eligible plan.
However, once your enrollment gets completed, Cricket Wireless will apply your monthly benefit of up to $50 (or up to $75 for Tribal Lands) beginning on your next month’s service. The plans Eligible for EBB Savings include:
- $10/mo. (Reg. $60/month – Unlimited + 15 GB Mobile Hotspot + 150 GB Cloud Storage rate
- $5/mo. (Reg. $55/month – Unlimited high-speed data rate plan
- $5/mo. (Reg. $55/month- 100 GB data only plan
Moreover, the benefit applies to accounts with multiple lines of $60 per month or $55/month voice-and-data service.
4) QLink Wireless
Qlink is an active participant in the lifeline program and a dedicated EBB provider. This carrier offers a Qlink wireless free tablet and is helping customers who are currently experiencing life challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interestingly, Qlink Wireless makes everything possible to allow customers to stay connected during these unprecedented times.
Moreover, Qlink offers qualified customers Unlimited Free Data, Talk, and Text, especially low-income families. The wireless connectivity gives those in dire need the opportunity to manage their monthly bills and connect to the world using unlimited data right from your hand.
5) Boost Mobile
Boost Mobile is offering qualified households a free Boost Mobile 35 GB smartphone plan, tablet plan, or mobile hotspot plan valued at $50per month. However, these benefits are limited to one qualifying household. The qualified households on Tribal Lands are eligible for a free Boost Mobile 35 GB smartphone plan valued at $60 per month, or the 35 GB tablet plan or mobile hotspot plan, each valued at $50 per month.
Additionally, to check eligibility, please go to Boost Mobile EBBP. When enrolling, you can use the provided Promo Code to select the $0 plan for new customers. The existing customers: can use the provided ePIN to cover the plan change costs during enrollment.
T-Mobile is a crucial participant in the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program. This provider ensures households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic stay connected to education, work, healthcare, and other services.
You will have an SMS or email from T-Mobile stating that your enrollment got approved, and your EBB discount will get applied to your account within 1-2 billing cycles.
However, after your EBB discount is applied to your account, you will get another confirmation from T-Mobile via text or email. Besides, to enjoy this benefit through T-Mobile, you must be a current customer on an eligible rate plan and qualify for the benefit through the National Verifier.
7) Xfinity Mobile
Xfinity is part of EBB providers and supports the ongoing commitment by ISP to keep you connected. Interestingly, Xfinity is proud to participate in the Federal Government’s Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), and it features all tiers of Xfinity Internet service, including Internet Essentials.
However, the qualified households can get a temporary monthly credit from Xfinity of up to $50 per month (up to $75/month for customers in Tribal lands) toward their Internet service and leased Internet equipment until the program’s funding ends.
8) StandUp Wireless
The above carrier offers access to Emergency Broadband Benefit Program and affordable tablets. This wireless Company will provide tablets to customers currently enrolled in Lifeline for as low as $10.01 alongside unlimited talk, text, and 10 GB of data.
However, StandUp Wireless is very excited to offer the Emergency Broadband Benefit program to new and existing eligible customers. Through this EBB program, the Company helps Americans connect to families, jobs, doctors, and the entire internet economy with extra data.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is part of the federal programs that promote families and households struggling to get internet services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides, the FCC and the above-listed internet providers accept the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program applications until December 31, 2021. The eligible households need to apply for the program and contact a participating provider to choose a service plan.