Schools and Libraries (E-Rate)

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Before You're Done

Updated December 2015

Good Samaritans

In situations where the original service provider (as indicated on the FCC Form 486) has gone out of business or has filed for bankruptcy protection before processing BEAR reimbursements for applicants, USAC can assist applicants in obtaining such BEAR reimbursements through a "Good Samaritan" service provider.

The role of the Good Samaritan service provider is simply to receive the BEAR reimbursement from USAC and pass the reimbursement through to the applicant within twenty days of receiving the reimbursement from USAC.

The role of the applicant is (1) to confirm that the service was provided, that the service was paid for in full, and that the original service provider is now out of business or in bankruptcy and (2) to designate a Good Samaritan service provider. USAC can assist applicants in locating a Good Samaritan service provider, if necessary.

Guiding Principles

There are three guiding principles to the Good Samaritan service provider situation.

  • Verification
  • Good Samaritan service provider election
  • Good Samaritan service provider protection
Verification

The applicant will be asked to provide proof that the services have been rendered and paid for, such as invoices from the original service provider and cancelled checks. In such cases, the applicant may have to pursue legal remedies against the original service in order to claim the reimbursement.

If USAC has already issued a payment to the original service provider and that payment was received by that service provider but the reimbursement of that amount was never received by the applicant, the applicant cannot request a Good Samaritan service provider. In such cases, USAC and/or the applicant would have to pursue legal remedies against the original service provider in order to claim the reimbursement. However, an applicant may still be able to seek a Good Samaritan service provider for the portion of its eligible services for which a BEAR Form has not yet been fully processed.

Good Samaritan Service Provider Election

The applicant will be asked to identify a telecommunications service provider with whom it has a universal service fund relationship. The telecommunications provider should have a history of prompt BEAR reimbursements, not be delinquent on universal service contributions, and be certified for the appropriate funding year.

Applicants that do not have an existing universal service fund relationship with a telecommunications service provider can call the Client Service Bureau at (888) 203-8100 and ask for their request for a Good Samaritan service provider to be escalated.

Good Samaritan Service Provider Protection

The substitute service provider (the Good Samaritan) will receive acknowledgment from USAC that the Good Samaritan service provider did not render the service, that the Good Samaritan service provider did not receive any payment for the service and that the Good Samaritan service provider is willing to accept the BEAR payment solely as a pass-through mechanism and not as part of the Good Samaritan's service provider's revenue stream. These certifications will be confirmed in the BEAR Form Notification Letter that is generated in these instances prior to USAC issuing the BEAR payment.

Good Samaritan Request

Applicants who are in need of a Good Samaritan service provider should submit a written request to the address below to initiate the process, including the applicant's name, address, FCC Form 471 number, FRN(s), the original service provider name, original service provider's SPIN (also known as the service provider's 498 ID), and the amount of reimbursement sought. Again, if the original service provider has already received a BEAR payment and the applicant is seeking the reimbursement of that amount, the situation does not qualify.

Written Requests

Send written requests to:
Good Samaritan Request
Schools and Libraries - Correspondence Unit
30 Lanidex Plaza West
PO Box 685
Parsippany, NJ 07054-0685