How to Qualify for The Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum – Thousands of Americans were able to connect to the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, which was established to help students and people in need.
Although the Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum is no longer accepting new participants due to the new Affordable Connectivity Program, this article explains how you can still get the EBB discount from Spectrum Mobile and what you need to do to apply.
What is Emergency Broadband Benefit?
Eligible homes could get a discount of up to $50 per month on the broadband connection under the Emergency Broadband Benefit, increasing to $75 for households located on qualifying Tribal grounds. If a household contributes more than $10 but less than $50 toward the cost of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from a qualified provider, that household will be eligible for a one-time discount of up to $100.
There is a cap of one discounted monthly service and one discounted device per household using the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
How Does Spectrum Work With Emergency Broadband Benefit?
Spectrum is a nationwide wireless network that reaches over 90% of the people and serves as a conduit to 70% of the country’s territory. The corporation also provides cable television, landline, mobile telephone, and the internet and is one of the MVNOs providing the EBB discount using the Verizon network that serves customers everywhere throughout the country with fast, dependable 4G LTE and 5G data speeds.
A $50 monthly credit was provided for home internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic, and residents of eligible Tribal Lands were eligible for a monthly discount of $75.
Also, qualifying households received a tablet at no cost if they didn’t already have one. As a bonus, the 4G network offered download speeds of at least 30 Mbps, making it suitable for watching online films and other large files.
To facilitate internet sharing amongst family members, Spectrum Mobile includes Wi-Fi broadband in several of its service options and also offers no-contract services, and fixed internet access for desktops, laptops, and tablets is also now available. So, you can get the price cut without buying a special device, but if you need one, there are programs where you can get a tablet for free or at a steep discount.
How do I know If I am eligible for the Spectrum EBB program?
In the wake of the global spread of the coronavirus, many families found themselves unable to afford their internet service, prompting the government to implement an emergency broadband subsidy program for which a family had to satisfy the criteria listed below to get the benefits –
- Have a household income of less than or equal to 135% of the federal poverty line.
- The applying household should be a part of Lifeline, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Food and Personal Help Administration Veterans’ and Survivors’ Pension Benefit,
- Supplemental Security Income and certain tribal programs.
- Eligible for the USDA Community Eligibility Program and other school meal assistance programs, such as the free and reduced-price lunch and breakfast programs.
- Should be a current or former recipient of the Federal Pell Grant program in the year the EBB is given out.
- Since February 2020, a person or family lost a large portion of their income owing to job loss.
- Has a combined annual income of less than $99k (single applicants) or $198k (married applicants) in 2020.
- Qualifies for a discounted rate or Covid-19 assistance through a service provider that offers it.
The EBB program is not for everyone. Only households who meet the requirements and enroll in Lifeline have the option of staying with their existing providers or switching to another service that offers suitable plans. Families participating in their provider’s low-income or Covid-19 program also don’t need to apply again.
What documents are required when I apply for the Spectrum EBB program?
To get the Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum, you must provide proof of eligibility, and the required documentation varies on how you qualify for the discount.
You must include the following types of supporting paperwork with your EBB application –
Proof of Identity
- Having the proper identification documents is essential. You can prove your identity by presenting any one of the following documents –
- Social Security Number
- U.S. Driver’s License
- The Identification Number of the Taxpayer
- Identification Card Issued By The United States Military
- Proof of residency/identification from the state
- An alternate form of government-issued identification
Proof of Address
When signing up for Spectrum’s EBB, you’ll need to give the company a mailing address and proof of residency. Common forms of verification of residency include the following –
- Utility bill
- Tribal ID
- Evidence of residency in a state
- Proof of rent or mortgage
- W-2 form or most recent tax return
Proof of Income
When applying for an EBB from Spectrum Mobile, provide proof that your annual household income does not exceed 135% of the current federal poverty criteria by showing evidence of the following types of income –
- The federal, state, or tribal tax return for the prior year
- Proof of social security benefits
- Earnings statement from work or paycheck stub
- Certificate of Eligibility from the Veterans Affairs Department
- Benefits verification for Worker’s Compensation or Unemployment
- Documents such as a child support order, divorce decree, etc.
- Benefits confirmation for retirement or pension
A record of your involvement in Government Programs
For eligibility based on a government aid program, you’ll need to produce the following evidence with your application for EBB Spectrum Mobile –
- Benefit verification letter
- Statement of benefits
- Approval letter
- Benefit award letter
Proof of Substantial Income Loss
Alternatively, suppose you’ve suffered a significant loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In that case, you can be eligible for the EBB discount by providing the following documentation –
- A Notice of Layoff or Furlough
- Proof of company failure or bankruptcy
- Proof of unemployment benefits, such as an approval letter or an application
- Proof of Social Security Benefits
- State, federal, or tribal tax return
- Certificate of eligibility from the Veterans Affairs Department
- Benefits verification for Worker’s Compensation or Unemployment
- Legal decrees such as those establishing child support and alimony
- Benefits confirmation for retirement or pension
You must be 18 years old to apply for EBB with Spectrum Mobile. Otherwise, you must prove that you are a legally emancipated minor, such as a certificate or a court order.
Do not send in any original documents because you never know when you might need to reference them, so you should make copies using a phone camera, smartphone, copy machine, or scanner, and the copies must be legible and bright enough to read easily.
How to qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum
Both new and current Spectrum Mobile customers are welcome to apply for EBB, and the instructions for filling out the application are below.
Application as an Existing Spectrum Mobile Customer
By visiting the National Verifier on www.getemergencybroadband.org, current Spectrum Mobile subscribers can verify their eligibility, and once you are determined to be qualified for EBB, you can submit your application through Spectrum’s website.
Procedures for filling out the application are as follows –
- Visit www.spectrum.net/support/forms/emergency_broadband_benefit.
- Enter your login information to access your Spectrum Mobile account.
- Enter all needed information into the EBB application form.
- Complete the application by including any necessary documents
- Wait patiently while Spectrum Mobile checks your EBB standing and hope it arrives within the next few hours or, at most, a few days.
Application as a new Spectrum Mobile Customer
New Spectrum Mobile customers can follow these steps to apply for the EBB –
- Go to https://www.spectrum.net/support/internet/affordable-connectivity-program to see if you qualify for the EBB.
- Submit an EBB application to the National Verifier at www.getemergencybroadband.org.
- Include all pertinent data on the application form with supporting documents.
- Lookout for an email from the organization to confirm that your application was received.
What are the benefits if I am Qualified for the Spectrum Emergency Broadband Benefit?
The EBB discount provides the following advantages to your household –
- Maintaining contact with friends and family.
- The ability to gain knowledge and educate oneself via remote learning environments.
- Better employment prospects due to involvement in online/virtual jobs.
- Medical facilities.
- Options for amusement such as listening to music, playing games, and watching videos online.
- Maintaining contact with first responders and emergency services.
Which other Broadband providers are participating in the Emergency Broadband Facility?
The Emergency Benefits Program is a federally financed aid initiative to support those negatively impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak. Therefore, most EBB service providers offer mobile and fixed options nationwide. Tablets, laptops, and desktop computers are just some internet-enabled hardware available from these establishments.
The list of service providers who participates in the EBB program are –
- Access Wireless
- Assurance Wireless
- Boost Mobile
- Cintex Wireless
- Comcast (Xfinity)
- Infinity Mobile
- Metro by T-Mobile
- Mint Mobile
- Q Link Wireless
- Ready Wireless
- StandUp Wireless
- T-Mobile USA
- TracFone Wireless
- Tru Connect
Spectrum Mobile Bring Your Own Phone Program
Spectrum’s Bring Your Own Phone program makes it simple to switch to the service. You can sign up for Spectrum Mobile’s Emergency Broadband Benefit without purchasing a new phone if you already have one compatible with Spectrum’s network.
You may get a Spectrum Mobile SIM kit from any major retailer, and you can select an appropriate service plan. The benefits of the Spectrum Mobile BYOP program include the following –
- Spectrum Mobile relies on Verizon’s high-quality network to provide its customers with excellent coverage, so all its customers enjoy the same superior 4G LTE coverage.
- Spectrum Mobile gives you options with its no-contract prepaid plans, and since you are not locked into a contract, you are free to select a more suitable plan or switch to a different provider at any time.
- Spectrum Mobile’s BYOP service already offers steep savings without the EBB discount.
- Spectrum Mobile makes it simple to switch providers.
How many days after the application will I get the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
Several variables affect how long you’ll have to wait for Spectrum’s EBB. However, after your application has been verified, the EBB credit will appear on your subsequent broadband statement.
Is Spectrum participating in the Device Subsidy Portion of the EBB Program?
Spectrum Mobile does not support the EBB’s device subsidy scheme, so don’t think Spectrum Mobile will give you a free or heavily discounted phone.
Can I transfer Spectrum Benefits to another person or household?
Support from Spectrum’s EBB program is not transferable. There is a cap of one benefit per family.
What happens to my EBB subsidy if I relocate?
Your eligibility for the EBB will not alter because you relocated. It’s possible, though, that your new address will require you to re-enroll, and you may need to find a new internet service provider if you relocate to an area not covered by Spectrum. The new ISP you’re considering should be checked out first to ensure it provides the same EBB perks as your current ISP.
Can my EBB benefits be transferred between Internet Service Providers?
You can only have one EBB service in your home at a time, and there is a cap of one provider per household. However, you are always free to cancel your service with your present provider and switch to a different service at your convenience.
When the EBB program ends, what will happen?
Your service will continue even after the EBB program finishes, but you will be responsible for paying (depending on your selected internet service), and if you’re unhappy with your current internet provider, you’ll have the option to switch.
When does the EBB program end?
The FCC has chosen to replace the short-term EBB program with the Affordable Connectivity Program, which makes it more likely that people will have access to the internet for a very long period. Until March 1, 2019, households enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Payment Program will continue to receive their current monthly benefit.
There was a problem verifying my identity, birth date, or social security number. What should I do now?
If this is the case, you may be asked to provide a formal document to support your claim. The documents that will be accepted can be seen above. To learn more about identity-related errors, visit lifelinesupport.org/national-verifier.
I am under 18 years old. Can I participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program?
The EBB program is restricted to adults and legally emancipated minors only. Please provide proof of your age or emancipation if you are a minor.
Can I still be eligible if I am already enrolled in the Lifeline program?
You can get both Lifeline and EBB through the Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum.
Do I need to downgrade or cancel other services to Qualify for this program?
As long as your Internet plan qualifies for this promotion, you do not have to cancel any other Spectrum subscriptions.
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If a family loses their job or has a significant reduction in income, they may be eligible to receive Spectrum benefits from the Federal Communications Commission’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program. You must also participate in a government assistance program to qualify for the EBB discount and would need to verify eligibility and fill out an application form using documentation verifying your identification, residence, and financial stability to apply for the EBB discount.
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