How Does Assurance Wireless Work With the ACP Program?
Assurance Wireless is an American telephone service provider owned by T-Mobile US. Assurance Wireless is T-Mobile’s primary Lifeline Assistance brand. It offers discounts for eligible customers, reliable services, and nationwide coverage on T-Mobile’s reliable network, which happens to be America’s largest 5G network. Up until December 31, 2021, Assurance Wireless used to offer both a Lifeline and a so-called Emergency Broadband Benefit program. However, on December 31, 2021, the Assurance Wireless EBB program ended.
Emergency Broadband Benefit or EBB was an FCC program established to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a temporary program created in response to the pandemic and it has ended on December 31, 2021. On the same day the program was replaced by the new, similar, yet permanent Affordable Connectivity Program or ACP. The EBB program provided a discount of up to $50 a month towards broadband service for qualifying households and up to $75 a month for families on Tribal lands.
The temporary EBB program expired on December 31, 2021, and as soon as the EBB program came to an end, T-Mobile, which is the owner of Assurance Wireless (as well as some other phone service providers, such as Metro by T-Mobile or MetroPCS) started reviewing ACP requirements and determining which brands can best reach those who are eligible for the new Affordable Connectivity Program. The owner company has decided that for the time being T-Mobile and some of their other brands (including Metro by T-Mobile) won’t participate in the new ACP program (note: this may change in the future). However, they decided that Assurance Wireless is a good fit, therefore the provider now participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program.
What Are the Benefits of Qualifying for the Assurance Wireless ACP Program?
Assurance Wireless ACP and Lifeline provides eligible customers with a free plan that comes with free unlimited minutes, free unlimited texts, free unlimited data, free 10 GB monthly mobile hotspot data up to 4 G LTE speed, and a free Android smartphone. Only ACP-eligible customers can enroll in the Assurance Wireless ACP and only one ACP program is available per eligible household.
Customers who enrolled in the Assurance Wireless (or T-Mobile or MetroPCS) EBB program by December 31, 2021, will continue to receive EBB benefits for an additional 60 days. Read more about the expired EBB program at t-mobile.com/customers/emergency-broadband-benefit.
What Are the Qualification Processes for Assurance Wireless ACP Program?
As we have mentioned before, the new Assurance Wireless ACP program is available since December 31, 2021. On the same day, the ACP program has replaced the former Assurance Wireless (and T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile) EBB program. While T-Mobile US and some of its brands have not yet decided to participate in this new ACP program, there are many other wireless providers that will participate, including T-Mobile’s primary Lifeline assistance brand – Assurance Wireless.
The qualification process for ACP is determined by the FCC, therefore all ACP providers (including Assurance Wireless) have more or less the same ACP qualification process.
- Step 1: First, you must make sure you are ACP-eligible. See the ACP eligibility criteria in the next section.
- Step 2: You must collect the required documents, which you may be asked to provide in order to prove your eligibility. You can see the list of required documents in the section ‘What Documents Are Required for the Assurance Wireless ACP Program’.
- Step 3: Apply for the Assurance Wireless program or find another suitable ACP provider in your area. Simply visit their official website, find their ACP form, and fill it out by providing all the necessary information and documentation.
You can read more about the Assurance Wireless ACP program at assurancewireless.com/affordable and find out which other providers offer the ACP program in your state at fcc.gov/affordable-connectivity-program-providers.
How Can I Qualify for the Assurance Wireless ACP Program?
Affordable Connectivity Program eligibility criteria are determined by the FCC and therefore it is universal for all ACP providers. To qualify for the ACP program from any provider, including Assurance Wireless, you must be ACP-eligible. You are ACP-eligible if you or any of your household members meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Your annual household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- You or a household member participates in a qualifying government assistance program, such as:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP
- Federal Housing Assistance
- You or a household member participates in a qualifying Tribal specific program, such as:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribal TANF
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- You or a household member was approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year.
- You or a household member received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
- You meet the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program.
What Documents Are Required for the Assurance Wireless ACP Program
The new Affordable Connectivity Program has launched on December 31, 2021. As of that day, any ACP-eligible (see eligibility criteria in the previous section) can apply for the Assurance Wireless ACP program, which has replaced the former Assurance Wireless EBB program.
When you apply for an ACP program from any provider (including Assurance Wireless), the provider will intend to verify your identity and prove your eligibility automatically. In case they are unsuccessful, they may ask you to provide certain documents that may do so.
Depending on your eligibility criteria, you may be required to provide some of the following:
- An official document that includes your full name, date of birth, and address to verify your identity and address, such as a passport, a government, military, state, or Tribal ID, birth certificate, U.S. Driver’s license, certificate of U.S. citizenship or naturalization, permanent resident card or Green Card, etc.
- An official document showing that your household’s annual income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, such as prior year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return, current income statement from your employer or a paycheck stub, a Social Security statement of benefits, or a similar official document showing your income, or a retirement/pension statement of benefits.
- An official document proving your participation in a qualifying assistance program, such as a benefit award letter, approval letter, statement of benefits, or a benefit verification letter.
- An official document stating that your household is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program.
- An official document stating that you or a household member has received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
Considering the fact that to apply for any ACP program, you must be 18 years old or more or an emancipated minor, emancipated minors must prove their emancipated minor status with an official court document or a certificate.
You will most likely be able to attach the documents to your online application, otherwise, you can send them via mail to your provider’s address. Make sure to only submit copies of the documents, never originals.
Where to Apply for the Assurance Wireless ACP Program
Assurance Wireless is a reliable Lifeline provider and as of December 31, 2021, it also offers its ACP program. Applying for the Assurance Wireless ACP program is simple. All you have to do is to follow the simple steps below:
- Step 1: Make sure you are ACP-eligible (see criteria above) and a resident of one of the states where Assurance Wireless offers its services.
- Step 2: Visit Assurance Wireless’ website at assurancewireless.com/affordable and enter your ZIP code in the provided search box. Press ‘Apply Now’. You will be redirected to the Assurance Wireless ACP application form. Fill it out by providing your ZIP code, email address, personal information, and attach the documents that prove your eligibility.
You can also apply by submitting an application at acpbenefit.org and then contact Assurance Wireless or another preferred participating provider to select a plan and have the discount applied to your bill.
- Step 3: After submitting the application, allow a couple of days for the provider to review your application and let you know if you have successfully enrolled.
What to Do if I am Not Qualified After Completing This Process?
In case you have applied for the Assurance Wireless ACP program (either on their website or directly at acpbenefit.org) and you did not qualify, you should do the following:
- Make sure you are indeed ACP-eligible.
- Make sure you are a resident of the state where Assurance Wireless offers its services.
- Make sure you have provided all the required information.
- Make sure you have attached all the necessary documentation.
- Make sure the provided information is true and that the documents are valid and visible.
- Make sure the provider received your application.
- Lastly, contact the provider’s customer support service and ask why you did not qualify and if there is something you can do to fix it. If not, you can try applying with another provider.
Does Assurance Wireless Offer Free Tablets Under the ACP Program?
The Affordable Connectivity Program offers two types of discounts:
- A monthly discount of up to $30 toward internet services for eligible households ($75 a month for eligible households on Tribal lands).
- A one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a desktop computer, a laptop, or a tablet. To get this discount, the eligible customer must contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
Read more about the ACP program in general at fcc.gov/acp.
While all ACP providers offer discounts on monthly services, only some of them offer discounts on connected devices (desktops, laptops, or tablets). See the full list of ACP providers in your state of residence at fcc.gov/affordable-connectivity-program-providers and note the ones that have a ‘tick’ under ‘Offering Connected Devices’.
Fortunately, Assurance Wireless does offer one-time discounts on connected devices, however, they do not offer tablets, but Android smartphones instead.
Assurance Wireless ACP and Lifeline also offers:
- Free unlimited minutes
- Free unlimited texts
- Free unlimited data
- Free 10 Gb of monthly hotspot data (up to 4G LTE speed)
- A discount on broadband service
Read more about Assurance Wireless ACP at assurancewireless.com/affordable.
Are Assurance Wireless ACP and T-Mobile ACP the Same?
Assurance Wireless is a T-Mobile-owned company. As such, their services are linked to T-Mobile’s services. However, Assurance Wireless is T-Mobile’s primary Lifeline provider and is more oriented toward helping people in need. T-Mobile, on the other hand, is a more commercial brand. While both T-Mobile and Assurance Wireless used to participate in the former EBB program, so far only Assurance Wireless is participating in the new ACP program (which makes sense, since Assurance is more assistance-oriented). T-Mobile may join in later on.
When it comes to applying for the program, you don’t have to apply through T-Mobile’s website. Instead, you can apply for Assurance Wireless ACP and/or Lifeline directly on Assurance’s website at assurancewireless.com/affordable.