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File ACP Reimbursement Claims

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) launched on December 31, 2021. It is a modification and extension of the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program.  Providers must use the ACP Program Claims Process to file reimbursement claims for both legacy EBB subscribers and ACP subscribers. The ACP Claims Process is built on the Lifeline Claims System. Service providers can access the claims process through the USAC OnePortal.

On the first of the month, USAC takes a snapshot of all subscribers entered in the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD). Consumers who have not been entered in NLAD when the snapshot is taken are not eligible for reimbursement for the corresponding data month. Subscribers should only be claimed if they are receiving ACP service (e.g., subscribers who have enrolled but have not started receiving service are not eligible to be claimed). Until the new non-usage rules take effect, consumers must receive and use service in the data month to be claimed for reimbursement if they are not assessed and do not pay a fee for their ACP service.

Service providers have up to six months to submit original claims or upward revisions of previous claims. (There is no time restriction on downward revisions.) Revisions can be made starting with the March 2022 data month (January and February 2022 are not eligible for revisions.) However, if the provider would like to be reimbursed in the snapshot month (i.e. receive reimbursement in April 2022 for the April 1st snapshot, which is the March 2022 data month), they need to certify their claims by the 15th of the snapshot month. If the 15th of the month falls on a weekend or holiday, service providers can certify on the first business day following the 15th.

To complete ACP reimbursement claims, a service provider’s 497 Officer or 497 User* will follow the process below on or after the first of the month. For further context, download our Claims Input Template Sample and the Error Descriptions List.

  1. Select the ACP File or Revise Claim in the Claims System and choose the correct data month and year. Select “Original” in the Filing type.
    • Download the list of subscribers eligible for reimbursement.
    • The list is a report in the ACP Claims Process based on the NLAD “Subscriber Snapshot” report.
  2. Review the list of all subscribers available for reimbursement claims and modify the appropriate data on the list as needed.
    • Add the dollar amount claimed for each subscriber on the report (the system automatically defaults to the value from the prior month).
    • The support amount claimed cannot be more than the actual discount provided to the ACP subscriber in the relevant service month, and the ACP support must be fully passed through to the consumer in the form of a discount.
    • Add the dollar amount for the device claim (if appropriate). Service providers must subtract the household co-pay from the device claim.
    • Indicate which subscribers are not being claimed and why (using the appropriate reason code).
  3. Upload the report back into the ACP Claims Process and review the information to ensure the system data matches your company data.
  4. Set the claim as “ready to certify” and complete your contact information in case USAC has questions about the claim. Submit the claim.

Once the claim is ready to certify, the 497 Officer must:

  1. Select ACP Certify Claim in the ACP Claims Process and select the correct data month and year. Confirm that the data uploaded is correct and ready to be certified. 497 Officers can review the claim using the “View” link in the Support Details column.
  2. Select all the claims to be certified using the check box on the left-hand side of the screen. To certify all available claims, check “Select All”.
  3. Review and sign the ACP certifications.
  4. Select the blue button to certify claims. When the claims are successfully submitted, the 497 Officer will receive a green success message. Review to ensure the number of claims submitted matches the number the company planned to submit.

* Non-Lifeline ETC participating in the ACP should email ACProgram@USAC.org to create a 497 User role. All other service providers can create this user role in NLAD.

ACP Claims & Reimbursement FAQ

ACP Discounts and Lifeline Discounts

Can I apply the ACP discount to a top-up for my Lifeline-supported service? Can a provider be reimbursed through the ACP for a discount applied to a top-up of a household’s Lifeline service?

Pursuant to the FCC’s 2022 Affordable Connectivity Program Report and Order (ACP Order), eligible households may receive both the Lifeline and ACP discounts and can apply both benefits to their qualifying broadband service. The full Lifeline discount must be applied first to the standard rate for the ACP offering.  The ACP discount can then be applied to the remaining amount.  Providers cannot apply the ACP support to a separate service offered by the provider as a “top-up” on an existing customer’s service plan.  Providers are also reminded that the ACP discount cannot be applied to a service plan that is already offered with no fee to the end-user as a result of Lifeline program support or other benefit programs.

Households can receive a Lifeline-supported service and a separate ACP-supported service from the same provider as long as the services are eligible for the benefit that is applied to the service.

ACP Claims and Reimbursements

How should a provider account for households that were not served for the entire month when submitting a reimbursement claim in the Affordable Connectivity Claims System?

On the first day of each month, USAC will create a snapshot of each ACP provider’s currently enrolled subscribers, including ACP households enrolled in NLAD since the last snapshot was taken.  Each provider will have until the 15th of the month, or the next business day, to select the households they would like to claim for reimbursement.  This process will include indicating the amount for reimbursement, which should equal the ACP discount provided to that household for the service month.  The amount of the ACP reimbursement cannot exceed the amount of the ACP discount that was passed through to the ACP subscriber, up to $30 per month (or $75 per month for residents of qualifying Tribal lands).  If a provider prorates its standard rate for subscribers who enrolled in the middle of a month, the ACP reimbursement is not necessarily prorated as well, but the ACP reimbursement cannot exceed the ACP discount that the provider actually passed through to the consumer for that month.  So, if the prorated price of the service is less than $30 for that month, then the provider must ensure it is not claiming reimbursement for more than the price of the service in that month.

For households that a provider claimed in the previous month, the snapshot report will automatically pre-populate the amount the provider claimed for the household in the previous month. Providers should review the snapshot report closely and verify that the amount pre-populated for the current month is accurate.  For example, if a household received a higher ACP discount in the current month because the prior month’s discount was for a partial month of service, the provider should update the amount to reflect the actual discount passed to the household in the current month.

USAC does not prorate or adjust reimbursement amounts. It is the responsibility of the provider to input the amount equal to the discount passed to the subscriber in the service month.

What are the deadlines for submitting reimbursement claims in the Affordable Connectivity Claims System?
Service providers have up to six months to submit original claims or upward revisions of previous claims. (There is no time restriction on downward revisions.) Revisions can be made starting with the March 2022 data month (January and February 2022 are not eligible for revisions.) However, if the provider would like to be reimbursed in the snapshot month (i.e. receive reimbursement in April 2022 for the April 1st snapshot, which is the March 2022 data month), they need to certify their claims by the 15th of the snapshot month. If the 15th of the month falls on a weekend or holiday, service providers can certify on the first business day following the 15th.

How can a provider determine the correct amount to seek reimbursement for?
USAC understands that providers may have billing cycles that do not align with the calendar month. For purposes of ACP reimbursement, providers should claim the discount associated with the given service month, even if that amount has not been invoiced yet. For example, assume a subscriber began a $20 ACP service plan on May 25 and the provider enrolled the subscriber in NLAD the same day. The provider’s billing cycle runs from the 15th to the 15th of the following month. On the June 1 snapshot, the provider may only claim the discount actually associated with the service provided in May, which would likely be less than $20 due to the late-in-the-month enrollment if the provider prorates its pricing for service only provided for part of the month. On the July 1 snapshot, the provider would claim the full $20 discount for the June service month, as long as that entire discount was passed through to the household.

Providers cannot claim an ACP household for reimbursement if that household transferred or was de-enrolled during the service month and did not appear on the snapshot report for that month. For example, if an ACP household transferred to another provider on June 15, they will not appear on the original provider’s July 1 snapshot and therefore cannot be claimed for reimbursement. The new provider, however, will be able to claim the subscriber for reimbursement for the discounts provided in the month of June.

What is the support amount?

ACP consumers can receive reimbursement up to $30. Consumers living on Tribal lands are eligible for reimbursement for up to $75.