What IsThe SafeLink Emergency Broadband Benefits Program?
SafeLink Wireless is a program provided by TracFone Wireless. It is a telecommunication company that offers Lifeline services to its eligible customers and households. It provides Lifeline packages with free voice call minutes, text messages, and data.
SafeLink Wireless offers both a Lifeline and an Emergency Broadband Benefits program. Lifeline is a federal program that offers free or discounted wireless services to eligible households. The program is permanent and it doesn’t seem like there will be any major changes in it in the upcoming years.
Emergency Broadband Benefits (EBB) program, on the other hand, is temporary. It is a temporary emergency federal government benefit program run by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) that offers discounted broadband wireless services to eligible households. It was created to help out households and individuals affected by the COVID 19 pandemic. The program will stop within 6 months after the country is free from the pandemic, which will be declared by the Secretary of Health Services or as soon as the funds for it are depleted. Only one EBB benefit is allowed per household and the service is non-transferable.
Generally, the EBB program offers discounts of up to $50 per month for broadband services for eligible households ($75 a month for eligible households on Tribal lands). Qualifying households may also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to buy a computer, laptop, or tablet. To receive the device, the beneficiary must pay between $10 and $50 toward the purchase price.
SafeLink Wireless EBB offers free monthly unlimited talk, text, and data with international calling and 10 to 15 GB hotspot data. The exact offer depends on the state. This is a limited-time offer.
How To Qualify For SafeLink Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
In order to qualify for the SafeLink EBB program, one has to meet the qualification requirements. There are three ways to qualify – based on income, another benefit program, or enhanced support.
How To Qualify For SafeLink EBB Based On Income
You can qualify for the SafeLink EBB program if your gross annual household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.
In addition, you can also qualify based on income if your household has experienced a considerable loss of income anytime during the pandemic (starting from February 29, 2020), if you lost your job, or if you reported a household income at or less than $99,000 for single filers or $198,000 in 2020.
How To Qualify For SafeLink EBB Based On Programs
You can qualify for SafeLink EBB if you currently participate in any of the Lifeline-qualifying programs listed below.
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program, and or School Breakfast Program
- Pell Grant award in the current year
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Tribal Head Start
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
How To Qualify For SafeLink EBB Based On Enhanced Support
People residing on qualifying Tribal lands can receive a discount of up to $75 a month on broadband service, as well as a one-time device discount, which may be available in certain states.
What Documents Are Required For The SafeLink EBB Program?
To qualify for SafeLink’s EBB program, the applicant must provide documentation that proves that they either meet the income threshold or participate in a qualifying program. The applicant must also provide some personal documents.
You can send the documents online, where you can upload and send them directly, or by mail. Make sure to never send out original documents but copies or pictures of the documents made by a scanner, copy machine, camera, or smartphone instead.
Exactly which documents you will be required to provide depends on several factors, including the state, the provider, and the timeframe. However, here is a list of documents that you may be asked to provide during the application process:
- Identity verification document (you can choose to send a copy of your passport, U.S. driver’s license, social security number, tribal identification number, a state ID or another government-issued ID, U.S. military ID, individual taxpayer identification number)
- Address (any official document that displays your first and last name and physical address)
- A document that proves qualifying assistance program participation (for example, an approval letter, benefit award letter, benefit verification letter, statement of benefits)
- A document that proves your household income (for example, 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)
- A document that proves a substantial loss of income (most likely you will need two documents – one to show your income change and one to show your current income; for example, a layoff/furlough notice, unemployment application, approval letter, or benefit statement, official evidence of bankruptcy or business closure (for business owners), a state, federal, or tribal tax return, Social Security statement of benefits, Veterans Administration statement of benefits, Retirement or pension statement of benefits, Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits, divorce decree, child support award, or a similar official document showing your income)
To participate in the EBB program, you must be at least 18 years old. If you are not, you can only participate if you are an emancipated minor. To prove you are an emancipated minor, you must provide an official court document or certificate featuring your first and last name and confirmation or emancipated minor status.
Read one of our past articles How To Get T-Mobile EBB Tablet
How To Apply For The SafeLink EBB Program?
First, you can use the National Eligibility Verifier to check if you are eligible for the EBB program. Once you have confirmed your eligibility, you can apply for the SafeLink EBB program online. To do so, simply follow the provided steps below.
- Step 1: Visit SafeLink’s EBB application page.
- Step 2: Enter your ZIP code in the provided box and press ‘Start’.
- Step 3: Enter your full name (first, middle, and last).
- Step 4: Choose your suffix (Mr., Mrs.).
- Step 5: Provide the last 4 numbers of your Social Security number or your Tribal Identification number.
- Step 6: Provide your date of birth.
- Step 7: Select a contact option – a phone number, text, or email.
- Step 8: Provide your contact details.
- Step 9: Receive updates from SafeLink on your email and/or phone.
You can also apply for the program through the official FCC website and choose your favorite service provider there.
Can I Check The Status Of Applications? How Do I Check It?
Existing SafeLink customers can check their service status and verify their re-certification status online on SafeLink’s official EBB application page. To do so, simply follow the steps below.
- Step 1: Visit SafeLink’s EBB application page.
- Step 2: Press ‘Check your service status’ if you wish to check your service status. If you wish to verify your re-certification status, press ‘Verify your Re-certification status’.
- Step 3: Follow the provided on-screen prompts and the system will check your application status for you and give you an informed report.
What Are The Benefits If I Am Qualified For The SafeLink EBB?
As mentioned before, the EBB program offers discounts for broadband wireless services for eligible households of up to $50 per month ($75 a month for eligible households on Tribal lands). Eligible households may also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to buy a computer, laptop, or tablet.
The benefits of being qualified for the SafeLink Wireless EBB program include:
- Free monthly unlimited talk
- Free monthly unlimited text
- Free monthly unlimited data
- International calling
- 10 to 15 GB hotspot data
Keep in mind that the exact offer depends on the state and that EBB is a limited-time program.
The practical benefits of receiving all of the benefits listed above include:
- Being able to stay in touch with family members and friends.
- Being able to apply for a job and stay in touch with work.
- Being able to contact health and emergency services.
- Being able to stay in touch with education facilities.
What Rules Apply To Me When I Participate In The SafeLink EBB Program?
When participating in the SafeLink EBB program, certain rules apply:
- Only eligible customers may receive an EBB discount.
- EBB benefits, including monthly services and device discounts, are non-transferrable.
- Only one benefit per household is allowed and a household is not permitted to receive EBB benefits from multiple providers.
What Is The Main Difference Between SafeLink Lifeline And SafeLink EBB?
Lifeline is FCC’s permanent program designed to provide discounted or free access to essential communication services, such as broadband internet service.
The EBB, on the other hand, is a temporary program created due to the COVID 19 pandemic through which a provider can provide discounts to a service plan (either the same service plan on which you receive Lifeline support or a different service plan). The EBB will end eventually, however, currently there are no specific dates when it will happen. According to the government, the EBB will end 6 months after the end of the pandemic or as soon as the allocated funds are depleted. You will be notified through your phone or email address before the service is over. When that happens, Lifeline users will be able to continue their Lifeline services.
In case you also need information What Phones Are Compatible With Safelink
What Is SafeLink Lifeline
Lifeline is a federal government program that offers affordable plans and devices to eligible households. It is designed to provide low-income people with free phone and voice call minutes, text messages, data, and other wireless services each month. SafeLink is a Lifeline provider. Some Lifeline providers also offer discounts on telecommunication devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
Like EBB, only one Lifeline benefit is available per household and only eligible customers qualify. The eligibility criteria are basically the same as the EBB eligibility criteria.
You can qualify based on income – if your household income is at 135% or below the federal poverty guidelines.
You can also qualify based on participation in other government programs, including:
- Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Head Start
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Tribally-Administered Temporary
- Tribal-specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance,
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefits
Each participant is required to recertify their eligibility every year, otherwise, they lose the benefit.
SafeLine Lifeline allows customers to upgrade their devices and to receive better wireless services, including more monthly talk, text, data, hotspot, etc. However, they don’t offer a free phone upgrade, as a qualifying participant can only receive one free phone when they register. They can upgrade to a new device for $39 or more.
How To Apply For The SafeLink Lifeline Program
There are two ways to apply for the SafeLink Lifeline program. You can do so online, on SafeLink’s official Lifeline enrollment website. Or you can do so at the Lifeline National Verifier website, where you will be able to choose your preferred service provider. However, in both cases, you must be Lifeline eligible.
To apply, you must follow the steps listed below.
- Choose your state or enter your ZIP code.
- Provide your full name.
- Provide your date of birth.
- Verify your identity with a government ID, such as Social Security Number, Tribal identification number, Driver’s License, Military ID, Taxpayer Identification Number ITIN.
- Enter your home address. Include the street name, number, apartment, city, state, and ZIP code.
- Select if you qualify yourself or through a child or a dependent. Press ‘Proceed’.
SafeLink EBB What Others Thing You Should Know
Does SafeLink Offer Free Tablets?
No, SafeLink Wireless does currently not offer free tablets.
How Do I Know if I Am SafeLink EBB Eligible?
You can use the National Eligibility Verifier to check if you are eligible for the EBB program.
How Do I Know if a SafeLink EBB Program Is Available in My Area?
To verify if a SafeLink EBB program is available in your area, visit SafeLink’s EBB application page, enter your ZIP code in the provided box, and press ‘Start’. The system will immediately let you know if a SafeLink EBB program is available in your area.
Can I Receive Both the Emergency Broadband Benefits and Lifeline at the Same Time?
Yes, you can receive both a Lifeline benefit and the Emergency Broadband Benefit at the same time.
Can I Browse the Internet With My Phone?
Yes, SafeLink EBB and Lifeline wireless services allow you to browse the internet.
Can I Have SafeLink Wireless if I Am Enrolled in the Lifeline Program?
Yes. SafeLink is a Lifeline provider, therefore you can get your Lifeline program benefit at SafeLink Wireless. However, each eligible person (one per household) can only have one Lifeline benefit from one provider.
Can I Choose My EBB Provider?
Yes, EBB program benefits can be obtained from any participating provider of your choice and your monthly service benefit can be transferred to another provider at any time.
If I am Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic and Lost My Job am I Eligible for the EBB Program?
Yes, people who are affected by the pandemic and have lost their jobs are eligible for the EBB program. To apply, you must simply provide an official document that proves your unemployment (for example, Unemployment or Worker’s Compensation statement of benefits) or substantial loss of income.
Do I Have to Apply for Lifeline to Get EBB?
No, you don’t have to apply for Lifeline to get EBB. You can simply apply at safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/Web/www/default/index.html#!/newHome.