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

Resolving Eligibility Failures

Proof of Qualifying Assistance Programs

If USAC needs more documents to prove that a consumer participates in a federal assistance program, consumers can show proof by uploading a copy of a document with the criteria listed below to the National Verifier online portal or by mailing it to the Emergency Broadband Support Center.

If you participate in one of these following government programs, you qualify for the EBB Program:

  • Lifeline, having qualified through participation in one of the following programs:
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Medicaid
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
    • Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension
  • Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
  • Free and Reduced Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program in the 2019-20, 2020-21, or 2021-22 school year, including at US Department of Agriculture Community Eligibility Provision schools
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) General Assistance
  • Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Tribal head Start (only households meeting the relevant income qualifying standard)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations

To prove participation in one of the above programs, you must submit a document that, at a minimum, includes:

  • Your name, or the name of your benefit qualifying person (BQP);
  • The name of the qualifying program, such as SNAP;
  • The government, 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, with the following exceptions:
    • For the Free and Reduced Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, documents can be from either the 2019-20, 2020-21, or 2021-22 school year, and
    • For federal Pell Grants, documents should be from the current award year year and can include screenshots of a National Student Loan Data System or FAFSA dashboard, or a copy of the email sent by the Department of Education about the EBB Program.

Proof of Income

If USAC asks consumers for additional proof that their income qualifies for the EBB Program, they can show proof by uploading a copy of a document listed below to the National Verifier online portal or by mailing a copy to the Emergency Broadband Support Center.

All documents must include the consumer’s name or their child or dependent’s name (if qualifying through a Benefit Qualifying Person).

If their household’s gross annual income is 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines, a consumer qualifies for the EBB Program.

To prove their gross annual income, consumers should show an item that clearly includes income information, such as one of these items:

  • The prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return
  • Current income statement from an employer or paycheck stub
  • Social Security statement of benefits
  • Unemployment or Workers’ 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 a member of a consumer’s household has experienced a substantial loss of income in the past year and their household income in 2020 was at or below a maximum limit ($99,000 for single filers or $198,000 for joint filers), they also qualify for the EBB Program.

To prove this status, showing loss of income is only half of the requirement. Consumers must also show that their annual household income in 2020 was at or below the above limits. So, they will need two documents: one to show their income change and one to show their current income.

Use the list below to find acceptable documents:

  • Loss of income documents (dated on or after February 29, 2020):
    • Layoff/furlough notice
    • Unemployment application, approval letter, or benefit statement
    • For a business owner, evidence of bankruptcy or business closure. Document must be an official government document (i.e. tax form or bankruptcy filing) that includes your name, your company’s name, and the date of business closure or bankruptcy filing. If the form only includes your company name, you should also submit an official government document that shows you own the company.
  • Current income documents:
    • 2020 state, federal, or Tribal tax return
    • Social Security statement of benefits
    • Veterans Administration statement of benefits
    • Retirement or pension statement of benefits
    • Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits
    • Divorce decree, child support award, or a similar official document showing their income

Learn more about how to submit these documents, or, if you are a consumer, visit USAC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit consumer website.