Obtain an Applicant 498 ID
Applicants who choose the FCC Form 472 (Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Form) payment method must have an FCC Form 498 ID number (applicant 498 ID) on file with USAC to receive reimbursement payments. To receive or revise an applicant 498 ID, applicants must file the FCC Form 498 in the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC).
Filing the FCC Form 498: Applicant User Guide
Purpose of FCC Form 498
The FCC Form 498 collects contact, billing, and remittance information.
The applicant 498 ID is a unique number issued to each applicant by USAC to ensure that approved funds are directed to the correct applicant bank account. Once the information provided on this form has been approved, USAC issues the applicant and Applicant 498 ID.
The FCC Form 498 requires:
- Basic information about the applicant–which will mostly auto-populate based on the applicant’s EPC account–such as billed entity name and address;
- A Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (Tax ID);
- A Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) available through SAM.gov;
- Remittance contact information;
- Financial contact information for the financial institution, such as an account and routing number; and
- Any other billed entities (BENs) that should be associated with the same banking account information.
NOTE: An entity that was able to file invoices before Funding Year (FY) 2016, but cannot file invoices in EPC, can have its entity number listed as an associated entity on the billed entity’s FCC Form 498. For example, a school district acts as a billed entity in EPC, but before FY 2016 it used its administrative building’s entity number to file BEAR Forms. The school district can list the entity number of its administrative building as an associated billed entity number on its FCC Form 498
How Applicants File FCC Form 498
An applicant’s FCC Form 498 must be filed in EPC and processed by USAC before USAC can begin making direct payments to the applicant. Applicants will use their applicant 498 ID when requesting direct BEAR payments. BEAR payments will be made to the bank account associated with the applicant 498 ID.
Before you can complete and file the FCC Form 498, you must know what roles and permissions you will assign and must have all of the information outlined below.
Assign Roles and Permissions
First, the entity’s Account Administrator must assign roles and permissions to the individuals that will be responsible for completing and certifying the form. These roles include:
- School or Library Official:
- Someone who occupies a position of authority for the applicant (typically a superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal, assistant principal, library director, assistant library director, county administrator, district administrator, or state education department or state library lead);
- Is not a consultant; and
- Is authorized to certify that the information provided in the FCC Form 498 is true, accurate, and complete.
- General Financial Contact:
- Someone who is authorized to retrieve the FCC Form 498 information and obtain access to EPC; and
- Is able to complete but not certify updates to the FCC Form 498.
Verify your Federal EIN
In general, schools and libraries already have a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) or taxpayer identification number (Tax ID). If the billed entity is not the school or library – for example, if a town, county, Tribal or federal government files program forms on behalf of a library that does not control its own finances – the EIN of the appropriate agency should be provided.
Obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)
On April 6, 2022, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA-22-371) announcing that the General Services Administration’s SAM.gov would transition from the use of the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to the SAM.gov assigned Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and that the FCC was working with USAC to make a full transition to SAM.gov for all universal service fund recipients. In the September 15, 2022 E-Rate News Brief, USAC announced that all service providers receiving funding through the universal service programs would be required to obtain and use a UEI when making changes to their existing or submitting a new FCC Form 498.
USAC now requires all E-Rate applicants that will be using the BEAR method of invoicing and receiving funding through the E-Rate program to obtain and use a UEI when making changes to their existing or submitting a new FCC Form 498. E-Rate applicants that do not currently have a 498 ID and/or will only use service provider invoicing (SPI) for reimbursement, are not required to register in SAM.gov to obtain a UEI and will not need to file for or update their 498 ID.
The FCC Form 498, available through EPC, will only accept the UEI if the following criteria are met:
- SAM.gov registration for your entity is active;
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the UEI matches the EIN for the FCC Registration Number; and
- EIN for the UEI matches the EIN on the FCC Form 498.
If you are already registered in SAM.gov, you have a UEI. To find your UEI, log into SAM.gov and select the Entity Management widget in your Workspace or log in and search Entity Information. Please ensure that your SAM.gov registration is active and the EIN for your UEI, the FCC Registration Number, and the FCC Form 498 numbers match. Once you have completed these steps, add your UEI to your FCC Form 498 ID. Entities’ registrations in SAM.gov require annual renewal or the accounts are deactivated. Please ensure that your organization annually renews its SAM.gov registration prior to the expiration date listed in your entity’s record in SAM.gov in order to continue receiving direct payments through the E-Rate program.
If you are not registered in SAM.gov, you need to register and allow up to six weeks for the registration to be completed for SAM.gov. Once you register with SAM.gov, you are automatically assigned a UEI and can add your UEI to your FCC Form 498. Even if you don’t need to modify your 498 ID immediately, you should go ahead and complete your SAM.gov registration as early as possible, so that you have your UEI when it is required to be used.
If you need help obtaining a UEI or have additional questions, please contact USAC’s Customer Service Center, selecting the Contributors/Service Providers option, at (888) 641-8722, or visit SAM.gov for additional information on how to obtain a UEI or register your entity.
Locate or Obtain an FCC RN
An FCC Registration Number (FCC RN) is required by all entities that do business with the FCC. If you have filed an FCC Form 471 in the last several years, you already have an FCC RN, as you were required to provide it on the form.
If you do not have an FCC RN, you can apply for one on the FCC’s Commission Registration System (CORES) website.
The FCC website refers to these numbers as “FRNs.” This is not the same as the Funding Request Number (FRN) that USAC assigns to each funding request on an FCC Form 471.
Choose Your Banking Account
To identify the bank account into which USAC will deposit direct payments, you are asked to provide three pieces of information:
- The bank name;
- The account number – the number assigned by your bank to identify your account; and
- The routing number – a nine-digit number that identifies the specific bank.
The bank account information provided on the form cannot be for a bank account owned by a consultant.
Upload Banking Documentation Information
You must separately upload banking documentation with your FCC Form 498 so that USAC can verify your account information. The document upload fields appear on the form’s Remittance Information page, which allows users to upload their banking documentation at the same time they are submitting the FCC Form 498.
You will need to upload a clear image of a voided check, or a statement from your financial institution that includes the bank name and account number.
After Filing FCC Form 498
After you submit banking documentation online, USAC verifies your account information and within two (2) business days, alerts the person who submitted the documentation via email whether the applicant 498 ID form is approved or rejected.
If you have not heard from USAC after two (2) business days, you may contact us. Alternatively, you may check your form’s status in EPC, using the following steps:
- Navigate to EPC
- Click Records
- Click FCC Forms 498
- Enter your FCC Form 498 ID and click Search.
- The FCC Form 498 link appears, along with its status.