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

Acceptable Documentation Examples

An application may result in an error that requires the consumer to submit additional documentation to the Emergency Broadband Support Center for manual review.

If a consumer receives one or more of the errors listed below, they may submit the information under “Documentation Required” via mail to the Emergency Broadband Support Center, online using the consumer application portal, or in-person at a service provider store location if their broadband provider offers that option. Consumers should always submit copies of their documentation, never originals. If a consumer is submitting documentation via mail, they must include the completed cover sheet (which will be available once the program opens for applications later this spring).

Eligibility Documentation

When eligibility cannot be verified through any of the National Verifier’s automated data sources, the consumer can submit eligibility documentation to the Emergency Broadband Support Center, which will initiate a manual review process to determine if the consumer is eligible.

The documentation requested will vary by program or income information available.

Program Participation

To prove participation in a qualifying program, consumers must submit a document that, at a minimum, includes:

  • The consumer’s name, or the name of the consumer’s benefit qualifying person (BQP);
  • The name of the qualifying program, such as SNAP;
  • The government agency, Tribal entity, program administrator, school, school district, university, or college that issued the document; and
  • An issue date within the last 12 months or a future expiration date that aligns with the benefit period.
    • For the free and reduced price school lunch program or school breakfast program, documents can be from either the 2019-2020 or the 2020-2021 school year.
    • For federal Pell Grants, documents should be from the current award year.

To demonstrate that a child or dependent participates in the free and reduced price school lunch program or school breakfast program, the consumer can provide one of the following documents:

  • Letter from school or school district that confirms a member of the household is approved to receive free and reduced price school lunch or school breakfast for the 2019-2020 and/or 2020-2021 school years; or
  • Written proof that the child or dependent is enrolled in a school/school district that participates in the Community Eligibility Provision for the 2019-2020 and/or 2020-2021 school years.

To prove receipt of a federal Pell Grant award in the current award year, the consumer can submit one of the following documents, provided that it clearly documents the student’s receipt of a Pell Grant:

  • Written confirmation from a student’s institution of higher education or the Department of Education that the student has received a Pell Grant for the current award year;
  • A student’s official financial aid award letter documenting the amount of a student’s Pell Grant award received for the current award year;
  • A copy of a student’s paid invoice that clearly documents the student’s receipt of a Pell Grant during the current award year; or
  • Screenshot of student dashboard, which you can access at StudentAid.gov/login, that clearly documents the student’s receipt of a Pell Grant during the current award year.

Income

To prove a consumer’s household income is 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines, consumers must submit one or more of the following documents*:

  • The prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return
  • Current income statement from an employer or paycheck stub
  • A Social Security statement of benefits
  • A Veterans Administration statement of benefits
  • A retirement/pension statement of benefits
  • Unemployment/worker’s compensation statement of benefits
  • Federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance
  • Divorce decree, child support award, or other official document containing income information

*If the consumer presents documentation of income that does not cover a full year, such as current pay stubs, the consumer must present the same type of documentation covering three consecutive months within the previous 12 months

To demonstrate a substantial loss of income through loss of job or furlough since February 29, 2020, the consumer must submit one document from each of the two categories listed below:

Group 1 (dated on or after February 29, 2020)

  • Layoff notification or furlough notice from Employer
  • Approval Letter of unemployment
  • Unemployment Benefit Statement
  • Application for unemployment benefits

Group 2

  • Proof that that the household does not have an income greater than $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers for calendar year 2020:
    • 2020 state, federal, or Tribal tax return (e.g., W2 or 1040)
    • A Social Security statement of benefits
    • A Veterans Administration statement of benefits
    • A retirement/pension statement of benefits
    • Unemployment/worker’s compensation statement of benefits
    • Divorce decree, child support award, or other official document containing income information

Identity Verification

When you apply for the EBB Program, there are many types of identification (ID) that you can use to verify your identity. Applicants can choose one of the following:

  • Social Security Number (last 4 digits)*
  • U.S. Drivers License
  • Other Government-issued ID, such as a state ID
  • U.S. Military ID
  • Passport
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

If you submit identification documents, they must contain your first name, last name, and date of birth.

Social Security Numbers are not required to participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, but using a Social Security Number will process your application the fastest.

Duplicate Subscriber

If the National Verifier detects that a consumer’s information matches that of a current subscriber, the system will prevent this consumer from being added as a duplicate subscriber. In the majority of cases this error may result from service transfers, and service providers can resolve a duplicate subscriber error by obtaining consent to transfer the subscriber’s EBB Program benefit and completing a benefit transfer in the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD).

Under 18 Years Old

Consumers must be at least 18 years old to qualify for the EBB Program. Only emancipated minors can qualify for the EBB Program under the age of 18. Households that qualify for the EBB Program through a child or dependent’s participation in an EBB-qualifying program (e.g., a student’s participation in the free and reduced price school lunch program or school breakfast program) will apply through an adult member of the household and list the eligible child or dependent as a Benefit Qualifying Person.

If a consumer is an emancipated minor, they must submit a copy of a court document or certificate that says they are an emancipated minor.

Address Documentation

When an address is not verified through any of the National Verifier’s automated data sources, the consumer can use the National Verifier mapping tool or submit documentation to resolve the error.

Mailed Applications

A consumer may use one of several ways to resolve an Address Management Service (AMS) error on a mailed-in application. USAC recommends an option that allows USAC to acquire the consumer’s latitude and longitude coordinates. Coordinates are required to resolve an AMS error if the consumer will be seeking the enhanced Tribal benefit.

To provide USAC with more information about a consumer’s primary address, use one of the following methods:

  • If possible, log in to the National Verifier portal and resolve the AMS error by simply dropping a pin on our mapping tool, indicating the consumer’s primary residence.
  • Provide a printed map (such as an image from Google maps) that contains a pin and latitude and longitude coordinates identifying the location of the consumer’s primary residence.
  • Use the Tribal Mapping Tool–available to service providers in NLAD–and print the results.
  • Provide any available map that makes the consumer’s location identifiable to USAC, and circle the location of the primary residence. If coordinates are known, write them on the map.  Otherwise, USAC will determine coordinates based on the map.
  • Provide a hand-drawn document that identifies the consumer’s primary residence by identifying the nearest crossroads (or mile markers), identifiable landmarks, and distance between the locations. If coordinates are known, write them on the map. Otherwise, USAC will determine coordinates based on the map.

Several other documents are acceptable to resolve an AMS error. Do not use the options below if the consumer is seeking the enhanced Tribal benefit:

  • An unexpired driver’s license or federal, state, or Tribal identification card (except a driver’s license or state ID card will be accepted if expired on or after March 1, 2020)
  • Utility bill (but not a wireless phone bill)
  • Current income statement from an employer, paycheck stub, or W-2
  • Most recent state, federal, or Tribal tax return
  • Current mortgage or lease statement
  • An official letter from a federal, state, or Tribal government/agency
  • Confirmation from local USPS that the address is a deliverable address

Duplicate Address

To resolve a duplicate address error, consumers must prove they are an independent economic household by submitting a Household Worksheet (which will be available later this spring before the program opens for consumer applications).

A household is a group of people who live together and share income and expenses (even if they are not related to each other). Consumers are only allowed one EBB Program benefit per household, not per person.