How Do I Qualify To Get The Affordable Connectivity Program Laptop

The federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) helps low-income households access high-speed internet in America. This program replaced 2021’s temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit program, and more than 10 million households have already enrolled. Besides, the benefits from the program include affordable connectivity program laptops, of which the applicant cost-shares a subsidized amount towards the laptop purchase. The list of wireless providers featured in this program varies from state to state.

However, various internet service providers offering free government internet and laptop participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program. Depending on your area, you may choose from several providers. You need to confirm in your area about their plans for program participation. Luckily, you can see a list of participating providers by state and territory on the www.fcc.gov/affordable-connectivity-program-providers webpage. The service providers qualifying in the Affordable Connectivity Program would get monthly payments from the households eligible for the program.

According to the White House, households eligible for the program can receive a one-time discount towards purchasing a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet. Additionally, low-income households from tribal and non-tribal lands can apply for a partial monthly discount for internet service. Households would give the portion of the monthly service cost not covered through the discount. 

What is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?

The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC initiative that ensures that households can affordably access the broadband they require for work, healthcare, school, and more. If you are currently getting benefits from the Lifeline program, you do not need to apply again for the ACP. However, you can apply for your Lifeline and ACP benefit through one or separate services.

You can talk to your Lifeline provider about the services available as part of the ACP, including application options of the discounts to your existing Lifeline service, or reach out to another internet company taking part in the ACP to apply for the benefit of separate internet service.

Moreover, the benefit offers a discount of up to $30 monthly toward internet service for qualified households and $75 monthly for households living on qualifying Tribal lands. Interestingly, eligible households can also get a one-time discount of up to $100 to buy a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet. You need to contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the buying price through participating providers.

Who Qualifies for the Affordable Connectivity Program Laptop?

A household member qualifies for the Affordable Connectivity Program laptop benefits if the household income is equal to or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or if a household  member meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • Participates in specific assistance programs including SNAP,  Federal Public Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline;
  • Participates in Tribal specific programs, including  Tribal TANF,  Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
  • A beneficiary in the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, primarily through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision;
  • Benefited a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or
  • Attain the eligibility criteria via a participating provider’s existing low-income internet program.

Notably, the Affordable Connectivity Program restricts one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

How Do I  Enroll?

  • Proceed to ACPBenefit.org to fill an application or print out a mail-in application.
  • Contact your favorite participating provider to choose a plan and disburse the discount to your bill.

However, some providers may feature an alternative application method that they request you to complete. Qualified households must apply for the program and engage a participating provider to choose a service plan. If you want to confirm your application status or eligibility, call the ACP Support Center at (877) 384-2575.

How Do I Apply For the Affordable Connectivity Program Laptop?

If you don’t participate in Lifeline but get service from a participating company offering an ebb program laptop, you may not require to apply again for the Affordable Connectivity Program Laptop benefit. This option is only applicable if the company receives approval for its application process from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

On the other hand, there are three ways you can apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program.

i) Through Mail

Print an application: 

Finish the application and Household Worksheet and forward them, along with proof copies of your documentation, to:

ACP Support Center

PO Box 7081

London, KY 40742

ii) Through Online

You can log in or enroll in a new account to complete the ACP application online.

iii) Through Your Internet Provider

First, ask whether your internet company participates in the ACP or utilize the online tool at https://acpbenefit.org/companies-near-me/ to locate a participating company near you. Besides, the participating companies can assist you in applying for an ACP laptop through their company’s application process.

How Do I Sign Up to Get ACP Laptop?

After sending an application, the reviewer shall share the results with you. In case you apply online, you may get immediate approval. If the reviewer can not confirm your eligibility automatically, you will have to submit additional documentation and give information on how you can give those documents for review.

Immediately, they approve your application; you can select a wireless provider that provides ACP discounts and sign up for service. You can talk to your preferred participating company to learn more about their services for ACP recipients and know how to sign up.

Lifeline Program Participants on ACP Application

Individuals already participating in the FCC’s Lifeline program will not have to apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program laptop or offer any new documents to show they are eligible. Thus, they must opt-in to a plan offered by their current broadband company or ask for enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program. Like the new program, Lifeline gives free laptop with food stamps and subsidies for the monthly costs of cell phone and internet services for low-income households, but only by $9.25 per month. 

Currently, most Lifeline beneficiaries utilize the discount on monthly wireless bills. And, Lifeline members can maintain their current benefits and top up a wired or wireless plan offered by a broadband provider eligible in the Affordable Connectivity Program. The eligible households can participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program and Lifeline program for the same or different services.

What Documents Do I Need When Applying For A Laptop Through ACP?

However, individuals not currently enrolled in Lifeline must apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program via the National Lifeline Verifier. You can apply online or using mail. The applicant needs to avail the following information:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Home address
  • Social Security Number last four digits
  • Tribal identification number
  • A government-issued ID,  driver’s license, passport, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number documentation.

The eligible households can apply online by going to CheckLifeline.org and signing up for an account. You can check if you qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program via the website immediately after applying online. If the National Verifier can’t automatically prove your eligibility, they will have to upload more documents. Besides, your broadband provider can assist with the application process.

On top of that, you may also proceed to ACPBenefit.org to submit an application or print out a mail-in application or call a participating provider to choose a plan and get the discount applied to their bill.

Notably, each year the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), which manages both Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program, recertifies that households remain qualified to participate in both programs. The National Verifier uses automated database connections whenever possible to recertify eligibility.

What Are The Terms And Conditions of ACP enrollment by Wireless Provider?

Before enrolling an eligible customer in the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD), the broadband providers taking part  in the Affordable Connectivity Program must share clearly with consumers, in writing or orally, the following conditions and terms:

  • The Affordable Connectivity Program is one of the government programs meant to subsidize the customer’s broadband monthly internet access service bill
  • The household may get ACP-supported broadband service through any participating provider of choice
  • The eligible household may apply the ACP benefit to any provider’s broadband service benefits with similar terms available to households not eligible for ACP-supported service.
  • The provider may terminate the household’s ACP-supported service after 90 consecutive days of non-payment
  • The qualifying household will be subject to the provider’s undiscounted rates, plus the general terms and conditions if the program stops. Suppose the consumer switches their benefit to another provider but continues to get service from the existing provider or upon de-enrollment from the Affordable Connectivity Program.
  • The household may forward a complaint against its wireless provider through the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center.

Most importantly, if the provider gives a connected device using the Affordable Connectivity Program, the disclosures must also state that the household does not have to accept the device to enroll in the program. On that note, providers must also tell consumers about the provider’s qualifying service plans fully subsidized by the affordable connectivity program benefit amount to protect against inappropriate upselling.

Bottom line

The FCC officially launched the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) early this year to replace the expired EBB program. However, this ACP program discounts monthly internet bills to low-income Americans, efforts meant to make broadband internet more accessible. You can also enroll for a laptop, desktop, or computer as part of the ACP benefits provision. You need to give a certain amount in the range of $10 to $50 and ACP to give $100 towards the purchasing price. In this guideline, there is all information concerning getting a laptop through the ACP.