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 an applicant 498 ID, applicants must file the FCC Form 498 (Service Provider and Billed Entity Identification Number and General Contact Information Form) 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. Once the information provided on this form has been approved, USAC issues the applicant an applicant 498 ID.
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. A billed entity may have more than one applicant 498 ID if that entity has more than one bank account it uses to receive BEAR payments.
Conversely, 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 FY2016 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.
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);
- 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.
How Applicants File FCC Form 498
An applicant’s FCC Form 498 must be filed 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 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 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.
Locate or Obtain a DUNS Number
The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) is a proprietary system developed and regulated by Dun & Bradstreet. DUNS assigns a unique numeric identifier to a single business entity upon request. Applicants are required to provide a DUNS number on the FCC Form 498.
Dun and Bradstreet issue a DUNS number without charge to an entity required to register with the federal government for contracts or grants.
- First, check to see if you already have a DUNS number. You can check by using the Dun & Bradstreet DUNS Number Lookup tool.
- If you do not already have a DUNS number, you can apply for one through the Dun & Bradstreet website.
On April 6, 2022, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA-22-371) announcing that the General Services Administration’s SAM.gov will transition from the use of the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to the SAM.gov assigned Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). On May 12, 2023, USAC will update the FCC Form 498 for all E-Rate applicants (who use or will use the BEAR method of reimbursement) to require entities to have an active UEI if they submit a new FCC Form 498 or if they modify their existing FCC Form 498 after May 12, 2023. Please refer to our April News Brief for more information.
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 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.