What Is The Cricket Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
The Cricket Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB or EBBP) is a government-supported program set in place to help out households with financial challenges during the Covid-19-related circumstances. The EBB is a universal program, which means that many carriers can participate and offer their services in line with the program’s guidelines. Cricket is just one of those carriers that participate in the EBB. As such, the Cricket Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is EBB offered by Cricket.
Who Is Eligible For The Cricket Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
The Cricket EBB follows the same eligibility requirements as the general EBB. If you meet one of the below-listed eligibility requirements, you can apply for the benefits:
- If your household’s income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines – In order to calculate the income guideline applicable for your household, visit the Federal Poverty Guidelines at https://aspe.hhs.gov/2021-poverty-guidelines#guidelines and find the amount based on the number of people in your household. Then, take that number and multiply by 1.35 to get to 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Here’s an example: if I visit the link above and find that the Federal Poverty Guideline for me based on the number of people in my household is $12,880, then $12,880 x 1.35 = $17,388. So, if my income is equal to or below $17,388, I may qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
- If you participate in a qualifying federal assistance program:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps Medicaid
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- National School Lunch Program
- Federal Pell Grant
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- If a household member lives on federally recognized Tribal Lands:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs general assistance;
- Tribally administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families;
- Head Start (for those households meeting its income qualifying standard); or
- The Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
- If you’ve lost substantial income since February 29, 2020, because of unemployment or furlough
Note: Please keep in mind that EBB eligibility is determined through the National Verifier (the federal government’s application and approval process). As such, Cricket doesn’t determine customer EBB eligibility. Thus, make sure to visit getemergencybroadband.org or call 833-511-0311 to get answers to all your questions regarding your EBB application, including eligibility status.
What Documents Do I Need To Sign Up For The Cricket EBB Program?
In this section, you will learn about the documents needed to sign up or apply for the Cricket EBB program. Whether you are an existing Cricket customer or a new one, the required documents are the same.
When applying for EBB, you need to prove your identity and your eligibility.
Applicants can choose one of the following documents to prove their identity:
- Social Security Number.
- Tribal Identification Number.
- U.S. Driver’s License.
- Other Government-issued ID, such as a state ID.
- U.S. Military ID.
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
When it comes to eligibility proof, you need to provide a document related to your qualifying condition. For instance, if you are eligible based on your low income, you need to provide documents proving that. These can be:
- Prior year’s state, federal or Tribal tax return
- Current income statement from your employer or a paycheck stub
- Veterans Administration statement of benefits
- Unemployment or Workers’ Compensation statement of benefits
- Federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General Assistance
- Divorce decree, child support award, or other official document containing income information
Furthermore, if you are eligible based on your participation in specific programs, then the required proof documents can be:
- Benefit award letter
- Approval letter
- Statement of benefits
- Benefit verification letter
You need to enclose the copies of the above-listed documents when applying (see the section below).
How Do I Apply For The Cricket EBBP?
The application or sign up process for existing Cricket customers:
- Visit the National Verifier (getemergencybroadband.org) in order to check if you qualify. Once you’ve confirmed that, be sure to come back to official Cricket’s website to enroll.
- As soon as you’ve been approved by the National Verifier, complete the Cricket’s EBB enrollment form (cricketwireless.com/emergency-broadband-benefit/form). This form will apply the benefit to an existing eligible plan or allow you to change to an eligible plan. Just follow the instructions provided on the page.
- Once your enrollment is complete, Cricket will apply your monthly benefit of up to $50 (or up to $75 for Tribal Lands) beginning on your next month’s service.
In case you need help with the enrolment, contact Cricket customer support at (844) 246-8364.
The application or sign up process for new Cricket customers:
- Visit the National Verifier (getemergencybroadband.org) to see if you qualify. Be sure to come back to Cricket to enroll.
- Once you’ve been approved by the National Verifier, visit your nearest Cricket store (use this link cricketwireless.com/stores to locate a store). That way, they will help you pick an EBB eligible plan and enroll in the program.
In case you need help, contact Cricket customer support at (844) 246-8364.
If I Applied For EBB And I Received An “Application Not Found” Error. What Do I Do Next?
If you get an “Application Not Found” error when checking on your status or after submitting your application, follow the steps below:
- Visit the National Verifier website and log in with the credentials you used when you originally submitted your information.
- Once logged in, retrieve your application and correct any information.
- Resubmit your application.
- Return to the Cricket’s website and re-apply (enroll again, using the steps above). It is important to make sure that all your information matches exactly those you provided on the National Verifier website. Submit your enrollment request.
In case you need help, contact Cricket customer support at (844) 246-8364.
What Are The Benefits If I Am Qualified For The Cricket Emergency Broadband Benefit?
The benefits of the EBB at Cricket are the same for existing and new customers. They are as follows:
- The $50/mo. EBB savings
- Or up to $75/mo. on Tribal lands
Those discounts can be applied to the following Cricket plans:
- $10/mo. (Reg. $60/mo.) – Unlimited + 15 GB Mobile Hotspot + 150 GB Cloud Storage rate
- $5/mo. (Reg. $55/mo.) – Unlimited high-speed data rate plan
- $5/mo. (Reg. $55/mo.) – 100 GB data only plan
Also, note that the benefit can be applied to accounts with multiple lines of $60/mo. or $55/mo. voice-and-data service.
Moreover, keep in mind that if your monthly service charge is $0 after the benefit, you must use your service each calendar month, or the benefit will be removed.
Do I Qualify For Cricket EBBP If I Am A Lifeline Beneficiary?
Yes. Being a Lifeline beneficiary qualifies you for the EBB program. However, it doesn’t apply nor enrolls you automatically. You still need to apply by following the steps provided in the “How Do I Apply For The Cricket EBBP?” section above.
How Do I Check Cricket EBBP Eligibility?
A great way to self-check eligibility is by looking at the “Who Is Eligible For The Cricket Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?” section above. However, to perform an official eligibility check, you need to visit National Verifier’s official website.
How Can I Check My Application Status?
The fastest and simplest way to check your EBB application status is to visit the National Verifier website and log in with the credentials you used when you originally submitted your information. In case, you’d rather call their support, you may also check your application status by calling 833-511-0311.
How Long Will The Cricket Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Last?
Here is the official answer that doesn’t specify any particular date:
“The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an emergency program developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will end once the program funds are exhausted, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic, whichever comes first.”
Does Cricket Offer Free Phone And Tablet Under EBB Program?
The official benefits of the EBB program state the following: “Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.”
This tells you that a provider may or may not offer devices. Since Cricket doesn’t provide any information regarding that aspect, you will have to reach out to their support at (844) 246-8364.
How Many Household Members Can Use The Free Broadband Service?
Keep in mind that only one benefit per account and no more than one per household are available. In case you are not sure what a household is, check out its definition below.
What is a household?
A household is a group of people who live together and share money (even if they are not related to each other).
If you live together and share money, you are one household. If you live together and don’t share money, you are 2+ households.
One Household Examples:
- A married couple who live together must share one Lifeline discount
- A parent/guardian and child who live together must share one Lifeline discount
- An adult who lives with friends or family who provide financial support must share one Lifeline discount
Multiple Household Examples:
- 4 roommates who live together but do not share money or expenses are 4 households
- 30 seniors who live in an assisted-living home are 30 households
I Am Under 18 Years Old. Can I Participate In The Cricket Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
Unfortunately, you cannot apply directly if you are under 18 years old. One of the conditions is that you must be at least 18 years old to qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program.
However, there is an exception to this rule: emancipated minors can qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program while under the age of 18.
In case you are an emancipated minor, make sure to submit a copy of a court document or certificate to the National Verifier that states that you are an emancipated minor (you add this to your application).
What Devices Are Eligible For The Free Broadband Service?
Unfortunately, Cricket doesn’t specify any particular devices to be offered to EBB eligible clients. According to the general rules of the EBB program, they CAN offer particular devices. However, the “can” also means that they are not obligated to do so. As such, make sure to reach out to their support and ask about your options regarding free devices under the EBB.
Do I Need To Pay A Registration Fee?
As far as the Cricket official information goes, there is no registration fee related to the EBB enrollment. However, if you are switching from another carrier, make sure to check out their policies and your account condition with them to ensure that they do not charge you for leaving them prior to your contract expiration date (or similar).
What Happens If I Leave Cricket?
If you leave Cricket, it means that your EBB will no longer be used with Cricket. As such, you will be able to enroll with your EBB eligibility with another carrier.
In case you also need information Boost Mobile Emergency Broadband Benefit Guide and Who Is Eligible For Emergency Broadband Benefit Verizon and Straight Talk Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
How Is The Universal Administrative Company (USAC) Involved With The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
The FCC actually engaged the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to implement the EBB Program. As such, they are the ones that set it in place. They did so by using the framework of the Lifeline program, which is an existing FCC program. That way the whole process was made easier and the implementation faster. All this was done in order to help provide affordable voice and broadband service to low-income consumers.