Credit Balance Refunds

In February each year, USAC reviews the accounts of all companies with a credit balance on their January invoice to determine if the carrier is eligible for a credit balance refund (CBR).

In addition a carrier may request a one-time exception refund at any time during the year if there is a credit balance on their account.

All credit balances are offset with any known future universal service fund obligations and the company is only eligible for a refund of any remaining credit balance. Companies must be current with their FCC Form 499 filings to be considered for a refund.

Refund Exceptions

As with other disbursements, payments will be held if a company is in Red Light status. USAC reviews both the FCC Red Light status as well as the USAC Red Light status prior to issuing a credit balance refund.

Companies that have recently provided USAC with information to deactivate their account will only be eligible for a credit balance refund on the second month of the following quarter.

Credit balances on a company’s USAC account may not be used to satisfy debts with non-USAC entities (e.g., Telecommunications Relay Service, North American Numbering Plan).

Universal service balances transferred to the U.S. Department of Treasury ("Treasury"), in accordance with the Debt Collection Improvement Act (DCIA), must be satisfied before a carrier’s credit balance refund will be disbursed by USAC. It is the carrier’s responsibility to contact the Treasury directly to settle any outstanding balance issues. The Treasury can be reached at (888) 826-3127.

Submitting a CBR Request

To submit a request for a credit balance refund, select the appropriate document below and follow the directions:

International companies requesting a credit balance refund must email USAC for instructions.

USAC remits all credit balance refunds by Automated Clearing House (ACH) electronic payment method. Upon successful payment of the credit balance refund, the amount of the credit is removed from the invoice balance as indicated by a "Credit Balance Refund" line item.