The pandemic has taken a toll on every aspect of people’s lives. As such, government units and private sectors alike are doing what they can to alleviate the impacts the Coronavirus-2019 has brought. One specific obstacle in this global epidemic is the inevitable shift of jobs via the digital world – the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program is one of the services that can cater to this particular hurdle.
What Is The Straight Talk Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
EBB is the Federal Communications Commission’s initiative to aid families in providing wireless services and internet connections to households struggling to establish their way in this transitioned world.
As a known wireless provider in the United States, Straight Talk lends a hand in the federal government’s EBB strategy. Straight Talk Emergency Broadband Benefit Program ensures that qualified families can benefit from their offers, which will enable the households’ access to employment possibilities, healthcare services, and even educational purposes.
With the Straight Talk Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, assistance on the monthly internet system and even a one-time discount gadget are entirely plausible.
Who Is Eligible For The Straight Talk Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
One Straight Talk Emergency Broadband Benefit Program can be availed per household. However, more beneficiaries in the same address can also apply, considering that they belong to different families. These are the specific qualifications to be considered in the EBB program:
EBBP can apply to your family if your household income is at or below 135% of the criteria in the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- If you or any family member is a Supplemental Security Income, SNAP, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Medicaid, or a Veterans and Survivors Pension beneficiary, you are also eligible for EBB benefits.
- Obtained a Federal Pell Grant in the present year.
- Has a significant decrease in income since February 2020 because of unemployment and company lay-off AND the total family income reaches at or below $99,000 for single taxpayers and $198,000 for those on the married filing joint.
- Has membership in the Tribal Specific Programs – Tribal Head Start, Bureau of Indian Affairs and General Assistance, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, OR the Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
- Passes the eligibility qualifications of an FCC-approved participating provider’s COVID-19 or low-income program.
- A beneficiary of the free or discounted school breakfast/lunch program, including 2019 to 2021 and 2020 to 2021 academic year USDA Community Eligibility Provision.
How Do I Apply For The Straight Talk Straight Talk Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
(Application Process And What Document Need?)
To avail of the Straight Talk Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, confirm your qualifications and fill out the necessary information. After filling out the form, attach the requirements needed. Here are the particular documents required to apply to the EBB Program:
For those who are already members of the Lifeline program, which is another government initiative to make connection offers cost-effective for families with low income, you do not need to pass any more requirements. This makes you automatically eligible for the Straight Talk Emergency Broadband Benefit. Please contact 1-877-430-2355 for further information.
If you are laid-off from the company you work for, provide proof of your termination documents, such as your dissolution notice or termination letter. Include papers regarding your total income either by tax return or any official documents showing your finances.
Those who are under federal assistance programs (SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SNAP, Medicaid, or a member of the Veterans and Survivors Pension program) or are a beneficiary of Tribal specific programs (Tribal Head Start, Bureau of Indian Affairs and General Assistance, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, OR the Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) just provide proof of membership either by letter, ID card, or any official documentation.
If your household income amounts to or less than 135% than the established federal poverty guidelines, then show documentation providing the income proof like tax return when availing of the EBB Program.
For interested emancipated minors who are at least eighteen years of age and above, show documents containing your full name and court documents or certificates that are proof of your emancipated minor status.
For those interested in the EBB Program, Straight Talk has its personal low-income/COVID-19 assistance program. Just hit your broadband provider for the specific details.
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How Do I Check The Status Of My Application?
After finishing the application process, the results can immediately be seen if you fill out the requirements online. You can also check your status by visiting getemergencybroadband.org or broadbandbenefits.com.
If there is any additional proof needed, then Straight Talk will send you a message requesting further documentation in which they will also assist where to send.
What Are The Benefits If I Am Qualified For The Straight Talk Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
Those who have passed the application process of the Straight Talk Emergency Broadband Benefit Program can enjoy unlimited data free of charge, talk and text promos, and an additional ten gigabytes of Hotspot data you can share with your other family members. This will help you form connections with people all over the globe and join online educational or professional meetings. Aside from this, there is a one-time discount for purchasing gadgets.
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Does Straight Talk Offer Free Tablet Under Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
Under the EBB Program, eligible families can receive a free tablet or one-time discount for purchasing tablets, laptops, or PC. There is a discount of up to $100 for the purchase price of such items. Since all qualified households have a monthly service discount and one-device price deduction, purchasing a gadget can definitely be lighter in the pockets.
Straight Talk sends a free tablet for Emergency Broadband Benefit Program as part of their one-time discount bundle.
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Are There Any Restrictions For This Straight Talk Ebb Program?
Here are the restrictions when availing of the Straight Talk EBB Program:
- Only limited to one person per household
- Available to households with a family member benefiting from various government programs such as the Federal Public Housing Assistance, SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, or a member of the Veterans and Survivors initiative or;
- Those who are a beneficiary of the free or reduced-price school breakfast/lunch project in the academic years 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021 or;
- Only for the members of tribal-specific programs such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and General Assistance, Tribal Head Start, Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
- For the Household with a total income of at or below 135% of the criteria in the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
When you are qualified to avail of the EBB program, here are some things to take note of:
- The EBB program is non-transferable, and cannot be given to another family member
- Customers who no longer belong to the EBB Program criteria must withdraw their benefits and contact the service provider immediately.
- The government covers only up to $100 of service expenses. Once you have reached the limits of the reimbursement range, you will need to cover the extra costs yourself.
- The one-time discounts for gadgets apply only to tablets, laptops, or desktop computers. It does not include cell phones or devices capable of cellular calls.
Can I Receive The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) If My Household Is Already Receiving Lifeline Benefits?
Yes! Since the EBB and the Lifeline benefits are two separate programs, a household is entirely eligible to benefit from them simultaneously. Being a member of the Lifeline Benefit program gives you eligibility to automatically be a beneficiary of the EBB. (edited).
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Why Choose to Avail the Straight Talk EBB Program?
As a known affordable prepaid carrier and internet service provider, Straight Talk will surely give you the most benefit for your Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Since they work on four of the major networks, Straight Talk covers a wide variety of plans that can be applied to the EBB Program.
Situated at over three thousand Walmart locations in the country, Straight Talk services are not only affordable but are also accessible to a huge variety of people interested in availing the EBB Benefits.
How do I know if I am eligible for this government initiative?
You may be considered eligible for the EBB Program if you or your household meets the criteria below:
- A beneficiary of government assistance programs such as the SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SNAP, Medicaid, or a member of the Veterans and Survivors Pension program.
- Member of any Tribal Specific Programs such as the Tribal Head Start, Bureau of Indian Affairs and General Assistance, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, OR the Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
- Have a total income of 135% or below the specifics set by the Federal Poverty guidelines.
- Have a significant income loss due to company lay-off or employment termination since February 29,2020.
- Total household income of below $99,000 for single taxpayers and $198,000 for couples.
- If your child or a dependent is receiving benefits from the free or reduced-price school breakfast/lunch initiative in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic year.
- Federal Pell Grant awardee during the present year.
What Does One per Household pertain to?
The EBB program entails that only one family member from each household should be a beneficiary. However, considerations are taken for those families living in the same address as long as they do not belong in similar households. This arrangement works for multi-unit dwellers or for families who reside in apartment complexes.
What are the start and end dates of the EBB Program?
The Federal Communications Commission started the EBB Program on the twelfth of May in the current year. The program’s benefits will be ended once the budget is depleted or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services states that the Coronavirus-2019 is completely ended.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, I have lost my job and employment. Am I qualified to avail of the Emergency Broadband Benefit?
Yes, those removed from their jobs due to a lack of company resources are eligible to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Just send proof of your termination either in the form of a termination letter or dissolution notice. As long as the unemployment letter contains your name, address, and termination date, then you’ll be considered in the program.
Am I going to be informed about the termination or end of the EBB Program?
Straight Talk or any service provider of your choice will notify you once the Emergency Broadband Benefit has reached its conclusion. Since the EBB Program is a temporary initiative focused on aiding households on their transition to the digital world, this will end once the COVID-19 pandemic is fully under control and eliminated.
What will happen if the EBB Benefit for the qualified applicants has finished?
When the FCC initiative Emergency Broadband Benefit ends, your service provider will give you an offer to not terminate your program benefits. However, the program you are currently benefitting from will entirely lose the attached EBB benefits, such as the one-gadget discount and the monthly free internet service. Other offers will also be provided to make your option variety as diverse as possible to help you find a new plan suited to your specific needs.
Can the EBB benefit be transferred between two different internet service providers?
As per the specifications of the FCC EBB Program regulations, only one person from each household can benefit from the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. However, there are no restrictions regarding terminating your benefits with your current internet provider and applying to another EBB Program from a different internet service provider. This is possible as long as they are participating under the FCC’s EBB program.
Can I keep my same phone and the same phone number?
Yes definitely! By availing of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, you can keep your phone and mobile number. It can function like it was before – just more affordable data plans and have the government pay for your internet costs. However, there are some specifications. Since Straight Talk utilizes the services of the four major networks, most of the phone models work with its allied EBB Program. However, to know whether your model is qualified for the Straight Talk Keep Your Own Phone program, please text “KYOP” to 611611.
You also have the option to trade your old phone when the model is not qualified for the EBB Program.
Do I receive the government funds directly each month?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit program gives qualified households a one-time decrease in purchase price on one certain gadget and provides a monthly discount of internet services amounting to $50 to $75. This entirely depends on the eligibility of the household, for example, if they are a beneficiary of the Tribal Lands program. Instead of personally receiving the funds, they will directly be sent to your chosen broadband program provider.
Can I refer a friend who qualifies?
Yes, however, their success in availing of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will entirely depend on their qualifications.