COVID-19 Update: USAC remains open for business—Washington, DC office closed. Learn more about USF program responses


Any aggrieved party that wishes to appeal a USAC decision must first file an appeal with USAC to seek review before filing an appeal with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission). Once USAC has made a decision on an appeal, the party may appeal USAC’s decision to the Commission.

Parties seeking a waiver of FCC rules (e.g., late payment fees, waiver of form deadlines) should file an appeal directly with the Commission because USAC cannot waive FCC rules.

A note for Rural Health Care Program Participants:

Deadline for Appeals and Requests for Waiver Extended by FCC Order DA 20-345: Additional Relief for HCPs due to COVID-19

Program rules require applicants to file an appeal or waiver within 60 days of a decision for which relief is being sought. FCC Order DA 20-345 waives the 60-day deadline for requests for review or waiver of decisions by USAC or the FCC and provides an additional 60 days for these requests. This waiver will be in effect for all deadlines of appeals and waiver requests from March 11, 2020 through September 30, 2020. Read more here.

Before You Appeal

Contact us. There may be an administrative remedy that does not require a formal appeal decision. Remember that if an administrative remedy does not solve your issue, appeals must be filed within 60 days of the original adverse decision (see below).

Filing an Appeal

USAC must receive your appeal within 60 days following the date when USAC issued the decision. For example, you must appeal a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) within 60 days of the date of the letter. See 47 C.F.R.  § 54.719(b) for the FCC’s rules on filing an appeal.

What to Include in an Appeal

The following information must be included in your letter of appeal:

  • Applicant or service provider who is filing the appeal (i.e. entity number, service provider’s 498 ID (SPIN))
  • Contact information including name, address, telephone number, and email address of the person who can discuss the appeal with USAC in detail
  • Documentation of USAC’s decision (e.g., copy of USAC’s decision letter being appealed)
  • Supporting documentation such as forms and previous correspondence
  • A precise explanation of the relief sought through the appeal
  • The carrier name and Study Area Code (SAC) (High Cost and Lifeline Program carriers only)
  • The Filer ID that is the subject of the appeal (Contributors only)

If you fail to submit the missing information to USAC within the time prescribed, it may result in the denial of your appeal.

All appellants will receive acknowledgment of the appeal upon receipt. USAC will review all complete appeals and respond with its decision in writing. For further Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program guidelines, see the SL Program appeals guidelines.

To File an Appeal with USAC

You must file your appeal (or, if submitting by mail, it must be postmarked) within 60 days of the date when USAC issued the decision you are appealing.

Note: If that day falls on a weekend or on a Federal Holiday, the appeal is also considered on time if you file it (or it is postmarked) by the first business day following that weekend or holiday.

Program Electronically By U.S. Mail
High Cost Program File by email to Universal Service Administrative Co.
High Cost Division
Attn: Letter of Appeal
700 12th Street, NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005
Lifeline Program File by email to Universal Service Administrative Co.
Lifeline Division
Attn: Letter of Appeal
700 12th Street, NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005
Rural Health Care Program File by email to Universal Service Administrative Co.
Rural Health Care
Attn: Letter of Appeal
700 12th Street, NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005
E-rate Program FY2016 and forward: File in EPC

FY2015 and previous years: File by email to

Contributors File by email to Universal Service Administrative Co.
Billing, Collections, and Disbursements
Attn: Letter of Appeal
700 12th Street, NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005

To File an Appeal with the FCC:

Parties that are seeking a waiver of FCC rules or that have filed an appeal with USAC and received a decision may, if they choose, appeal USAC’s decision to the FCC. You must submit your appeal to the FCC within 60 days of the date when USAC issued the decision.

On all communications with the FCC, be sure to reference the appropriate Docket No:

  • High Cost Program: WC Docket No. 10-90
  • Lifeline Program: WC Docket No. 11-42
  • Rural Health Care Program: WC Docket No. 02-60
  • E-rate Program: CC Docket No. 02-6
  • Contributions: WC Docket 06-122

Electronic Delivery

The FCC recommends filing appeals with the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) to ensure timely filing. You can find instructions for using ECFS on the ECFS Online Manual page of the FCC’s website. The FCC will consider electronic appeals as filed on a business day if they are received before midnight ET. If you have questions or comments about using the ECFS, please contact the FCC directly at (202) 418-0193 or via email.

For more information about submitting appeals to the FCC, including options to submit the appeal via U.S. mail or hand delivery, visit the FCC’s website. See Sections 54.719-54.725 of the FCC’s rules for further information regarding filing an appeal.

Paying Invoices During the Appeal Process

If you are a contributor and have a balance on your universal service account but are awaiting a decision from a pending USAC or FCC appeal, you are still responsible for keeping your account balance current. If you do not pay the amount billed for the current month in full, you will receive a late payment fee and the late payment fee will not be waived unless the disputed charges are later found to be the result of USAC error.

If your debt is under appeal with USAC or the FCC, and you have provided USAC with a copy of your FCC appeal (if applicable), your outstanding balance will not be transferred under the Debt Collection Act of 1982 (Public Law 97-365) and the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-134), as amended (the DCIA) to the United States Department of Treasury for further collection while your appeal is pending.

The disputed debt will not be subject to the Red Light Rule, which is included in the additional collections and disbursements rules associated with the Debt Collection Improvement Act, codified at 47 C.F.R. Parts 0 and 1. (See sections 1.1112, 1.1116, 1.1161, 1.1167, and 1.1910 of the FCC’s rules).

However, please be advised that you will continue to receive USAC collection letters while your appeal is pending and, if your appeal is denied, you will be subject to Red Light status and to transfer under the DCIA.