What the Tech? Do You Qualify for the Broadband Benefits Program?

Millions of people will qualify for a new program from the FCC that will pay a portion of internet bills as well as offer a substantial discount on a computer or laptop.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit was authorized earlier this year but a start date for payments or benefits has not been announced. However, on Tuesday the FCC flipped the switch on a new website where people can apply for help.

https://getemergencybroadband.org/ is the website and people may start enrolling for the benefits on May 12th.

FCC acting chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel explained the purpose of the benefit: “We need to use all available tools to get 100% of us connected in this country and this program is an essential part of making that happen,” she said.

The benefit will pay up to $50 per month towards broadband for eligible households. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet.

What many people will be surprised to hear are the wide eligibility requirements. If your household’s income is at 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines, you will likely qualify.

The FCC program is also open to people who experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020, with a total household income at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers.

The discount program only applies to households. If more than 1 person in the home qualifies, the discount will only be applied once to eligible participants.

The enrollment period begins May 12th. You can review eligibility requirements and enroll in the program here https://getemergencybroadband.org/

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