What Is The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary government assistance program by the FCC designed to help households who are struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was designed in response to the ongoing pandemic to help families affected by the health crisis. The program is designed to connect eligible households to jobs, virtual classrooms and online education, healthcare and emergency services, loved ones, and more.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit or EBB provides a discount of up to $50 a month ($75 a month on qualifying Tribal lands) towards broadband service for eligible households and families. Some EBB providers also participate in the device discount part of the program, which means that eligible households can receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer if they pay a co-pay of more than $10 and less than $50.
The EBB is a temporary program designed to help people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and as such, the program will end once the funds run out or six months after the federal government declares an end to the health crisis, whichever comes first.
Read more about the Emergency Broadband Benefit at fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.
How Does Spectrum Work With Emergency Broadband Benefit?
Spectrum is a huge telecommunications company that offers various services, including cable TV, home phone, mobile phone, and internet services. As an internet provider, Spectrum also offers an Emergency Broadband Benefit for eligible customers who are struggling to afford an internet connection.
Indeed, at Spectrum, eligible households can get help to pay for internet service during the pandemic. At Spectrum, eligible households can get a monthly credit of up to $50 or $75 in Tribal lands toward the broadband service cost.
Spectrum EBB internet speeds start at 30 Mbps and wireless speeds may vary. In-home Wi-Fi service is available. There are no contracts and you have the freedom to cancel your EBB program at any time, without penalty.
Spectrum offers fixed internet service type and does not offer discounts on connected devices (tablets, laptops, or desktop computers).
Currently, Spectrum offers its EBB services and discounts in the following U.S. states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Note: This is a limited-time offer. In addition, the EBB is limited to one monthly service credit per household. A household includes any individual or group of people who are living together at the same address and share income and expenses.
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How Do I Know If I Am Eligible Spectrum EBB Program?
To qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. A household is EBB Spectrum-eligible if one member of the household meets any of the following criteria:
- A household member qualifies for the Lifeline program or another government assistance program, such as Medicaid, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, SSI (Supplemental Security Income), Section 8 Federal Public Housing Authority (FPHA) support, Veterans and Survivor’s Pension benefit, etc.
- Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers or the household has an annual income at or below 135% of the federal government guidelines.
- Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program, or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year.
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating providers’ existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
What Documents Are Required When I Apply For Spectrum EBB Program?
When applying for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum discount and benefit, Spectrum will try to verify your information automatically. However, if the provider is unable to do so, you may be required to provide certain documents that may verify your identity or prove your eligibility, such as:
- An official document verifying your identity, such as your passport, state ID or other government-issued ID, U.S. military ID, U.S. Driver’s license, Social Security Number, Tribal Identification Number, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
- An official document showing your address, such as a driver’s license, a valid government, state, or Tribal ID, utility bill, mortgage or lease statement, most recent W-2, or tax return.
- If you qualify based on your income, you will be required to provide a document that shows that your annual household income is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty guidelines, such as a 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, Veterans Administration statement of benefits, Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits, divorce decree, child support award, or a similar official document showing your income, a retirement/pension statement of benefits.
- If you qualify based on assistance program participation, you will be required to provide an official document proving that you are currently participating in the program, such as a benefit award letter, an approval letter, a statement of benefits, a benefit verification letter.
- If you qualify based on substantial loss of income, you will have to provide a document showing loss of income due to job loss (including bankruptcy or business closure) or furlough since February 29, 2020 (for example, a layoff/furlough notice, an unemployment application, approval letter, or benefit statement, evidence of bankruptcy or business closure) and a document proving that your annual household income is now below $99,000 for single filers or $198,000 for joint fillers (for example, a 2020 state, federal, or tribal tax return, Social Security statement of benefits, Veterans Administration statement of benefits, Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits, divorce decree, child support award, or a similar official document showing your income, a retirement/pension statement of benefits).
If you wish to participate in any EBB program, you must be at least 18 years old or emancipated. Therefore, emancipated minors must provide a court document or certification proving their emancipated minor status.
You can make copies or take pictures of the required document using a scanner, copy machine, camera, or smartphone. Make sure the copies are clear, easy to read, and not blurry or too dark. Also, make sure to never submit original documents.
How To Enroll In The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Spectrum (New Customers and Existing Customers)
Current Spectrum customers who have already applied for eligibility through the National Verifier at getemergencybroadband.org can apply to Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum by simply completing Spectrum’s online application. Do so by following the simple steps below.
- Step 1: Visit spectrum.net/support/forms/emergency_broadband_benefit.
- Step 2: Log in to your Spectrum account with your username and password.
- Step 3: Fill out the application form by providing all the necessary information and perhaps documentation.
- Step 4: Receive verification of your status in this program by email.
In case you are a potential new customer who is considering switching to Spectrum, you can apply to Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum by following the simple steps below.
- Step 1: Find out if you are eligible for the program by visiting buy.spectrum.com/buyflow/buyflow-localization?.
- Step 2: Apply for the program through the National Verifier at getemergencybroadband.org. Provide all the necessary information and perhaps documentation.
- Step 3: Receive verification of your status in this program by email.
What Are The Benefits If I Am Qualified For The Spectrum Emergency Broadband Benefit?
In case you qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit from Spectrum, you will receive a monthly credit of up to $50 (or $75 in Tribal lands) toward the broadband service cost. Spectrum’s EBB internet speeds start at 30 Mbps. Getting this monthly EBB discount on internet services provides eligible low-income customers with a long list of benefits, including:
- The ability for customers to stay connected with their loved ones.
- The ability to stay in touch with work and/or to seek out better job opportunities.
- The ability to access information, virtual classrooms, and get an online education.
- The ability to enjoy music, video streaming, and other types of entertainment.
- The ability to stay in touch with health services.
- The ability to stay in touch with emergency services.
Which Other Broadband Providers Are Participating In The Emergency Broadband Facility?
EBB is a government-funded assistance program designed to help the people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, there are lots of mobile and fixed service EBB providers throughout the country. Some of them even offer connected devices, such as tablets, laptops, or desktops.
Some other Emergency Broadband Benefit providers include:
- 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
See the full list of EBB providers by the state at fcc.gov/emergency-broadband-benefit-providers.
Spectrum Emergency Broadband Benefit Related Others Thing You Should Know
How Many Days After The Application Will I Get The Emergency Broadband Benefit?
Exactly how long it takes to receive the EBB credit depends on several factors. However, once you receive confirmation of your enrollment, you can expect to see the EBB credit on your very next bill.
Is Spectrum Participating In The Device Subsidy Portion Of The EBB Program?
No, currently Spectrum is not participating in the device subsidy part of the EBB program. As such, Spectrum does not provide one-time discounts on tablets, laptops, or desktop computers. Instead, the provider only offers monthly service discounts.
Can I Transfer Spectrum Benefits To Another Person Or Household?
Spectrum’s EBB program subsidies are nontransferable. The benefit is limited to one per household.
If I Move While Receiving The EBB Subsidy, What Happens?
Moving doesn’t change your EBB eligibility. However, you may be asked to re-enroll with your new address. If you move to a location that is not serviceable by Spectrum, you may need to change your internet provider. Before you do, check with your new internet service provider to make sure it also offers EBB benefits.
Can My EBB Benefits Be Transferred Between Internet Service Provides?
The EBB service is limited to one per household and a household can also be applied to one provider at a time. Nonetheless, you can de-enroll with your current provider and re-enroll with another provider at any time.
What Happens At The End Of The EBB Program?
When the EBB program ends, your service will continue and you will be required to pay full rates (depending on the internet service you have selected). You will also be able to change your internet service if you wish to do so.
When Will the EBB Program end?
Recently, the FCC has decided to create the Affordable Connectivity Program, a new long-term program that will replace the temporary EBB program. The new program will help ensure everyone can get internet access for a long time. Households enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program as of 12/31/21 will continue to receive their current monthly benefit until 3/1/22.
My Social Security, Date Of Birth, Or Identity Could Not Be Verified. What Do I Do Next?
The first thing you should do is to make sure that the information you provided on the application form is correct. If it’s correct, you may be required to submit an official document as proof along with your application. You can see the list of acceptable documents above. Read more at lifelinesupport.org/national-verifier/error-messages-relating-to-your-identity.
I Am Under 18 Years Old. Can I Participate In The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
Only people 18 years old or more or emancipated minors can qualify for the EBB program. In case you are an emancipated minor, submit an official document proving so.
If I’m Part of the Lifeline Program, Can I Still Qualify?
Yes, through the Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum you can receive both Lifeline and EBB benefits.
Do I Need to Downgrade or Cancel Other Services to Qualify for This Program?
No, you can keep all of your other Spectrum services, as long as your Internet package is eligible for this program.