COVID-19 Update: USAC remains open for business. Learn more about USF program responses.

Application and Eligibility Resources

The FCC has announced that consumers can now begin applying for and enrolling in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Consumers looking for general information on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Emergency Broadband Benefit should visit fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit or GetEmergencyBroadband.org.

Consumers qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program) through participation in Lifeline or a Lifeline-qualifying program, by meeting certain income requirements (e.g., experiencing a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020), through participation in EBB-qualifying programs such as the free and reduced price school lunch program, through award of a federal Pell Grant, or through participation in an approved service provider’s low-income or COVID-19 program.

Only one EBB Program benefit and one device discount is allowed per household.

Consumers who are eligible for both the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program and the Lifeline program can apply for and participate in both programs, up to the full cost of their monthly broadband service. Service providers should apply the Lifeline discount first, and then apply the EBB Program benefit.

Determine Eligibility with the National Verifier or an FCC-Approved Alternative Verification Method

Service providers may use the National Eligibility Verifier (National Verifier) to determine EBB Program eligibility for consumers. Service providers can also ask the FCC to approve their alternative verification process and use that approved process to check consumer eligibility for the program. Additionally, service providers may rely on a school to verify consumer eligibility under the free and reduced price school lunch or school breakfast program, so long as service providers comply with certain document retention and certification requirements.

Consumer Eligibility

Consumers can apply for the EBB Program through the consumer portal at GetEmergencyBroadband.org or by completing a paper application (application instructions are available in nine non-English languages).

Consumers Already in Lifeline or Other Service Provider Programs

Consumers who already participate in the Lifeline program are eligible for direct enrollment in the EBB Program and do not need to submit a new EBB Program application. Consumers who participate in other service provider programs may also be eligible for direct enrollment in the EBB Program. For example, service providers who offer low-income or COVID-19 relief programs who obtain FCC approval for their alternative eligibility verification processes can directly enroll consumers participating in those programs in the EBB program. However, service providers must obtain affirmative consent from consumers before enrolling them in the EBB Program.

Income-Based Eligibility

A consumer may be eligible for EBB Program-supported service if they have a gross annual household income at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Visit our Income Eligibility page to review the income eligibility chart.

Consumers can also participate in the EBB Program if their household has experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020. Households that experienced job loss or furlough and reported a 2020 household income at or less than $99,000 for single filers or $198,000 for joint filers are eligible to participate.

Program-Based Eligibility

A consumer may be eligible for EBB Program-supported service if they qualify for Lifeline or a Lifeline-qualifying program, such as SNAP or Medicaid. A consumer may also be eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit if they participate in an EBB Program-qualifying program, such as the free and reduced price school lunch program or school breakfast program. Visit the Program Eligibility page to see the full list of qualifying programs.

Eligibility for Enhanced Support

EBB Program subscribers that live on qualifying Tribal lands can receive a discount of up to $75 per month on their broadband service, in addition to any one-time device discount that may be available. They can receive the Enhanced Tribal Benefit regardless of how they are eligible for the EBB Program. Consumers can learn more about the Enhanced Tribal Benefit on our consumer website.

One Service Benefit and One Device Benefit per Household

A household is anyone living at the same address who share income and household expenses. USAC and the FCC recognize that there may be more than one household residing at the same address. Consumers can see examples on our consumer website.

A Household Worksheet (Spanish Household Worksheet) must be completed any time more than one subscriber at a single residential address receives EBB Program-supported service or a device reimbursement, or when a new consumer applies for service or a device at an address where there is already a subscriber receiving the EBB Program benefit.