Basically, the whole world was shaken up to the bones by the pandemic that struck last year. Not only has it put the health of many individuals to the test, but it also rattled the entire world economy and changed the way we operate. Moreover, it forced us to do basically all that can be done online. As such, having access to a proper internet connection became a necessity overnight.
People need a broadband internet connection to access jobs, online classes, and more. In response to that need, the government set in place a special program to help financially challenged households gain access to the internet.
And, while the program was set in place by the government, it is up to carriers to take part in it and offer access to the benefits to the customers.
What Is The TruConnect Emergency Broadband Benefits Program?
TruConnect Emergency Broadband Benefits program is the Emergency Broadband Benefits program (EBB or EBBP) offered by TruConnect. It follows general guidelines of the program, however, offers a set of particular benefits to their EBB customers. Details regarding EBB and TruConnect EBB will be presented throughout the following sections. As such, you will know exactly what can you expect, how to apply, who is eligible, and more.
Does Truconnect Offer EBB Free Tablet?
Part of the benefits listed on the official website regarding the EBB, states 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.”
Here the word “can” plays a very important role as it implies that it is up to providers to decide whether or not they will offer that benefit.
When it comes to Trueconnect, they included this stand-alone service: The TruConnect FREE EBB plan includes 8 GB of 4G/LTE data with wifi hotspot capability and your choice of an LTE-enabled hotspot device or Google Play Certified LTE Android handset.
Devices are subject to availability, however, TruConnect may offer to purchase a discounted 8″ Google Play Certified Android tablet with LTE connectivity that may qualify for an EBB discount of up to $100.
In case there is a tablet that is under $100 available, you may essentially get it for free.
How To Be Eligible For Truconnect EBB Program?
The eligibility for the Trueconnect EBB program is the same as the one for EBB in general. The details are listed below.
A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:
- Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
- 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, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
What Documents Are Required For Truconnect EBB Program?
When applying for the EBB program you need to prove your identity and the requirements that make you eligible in the first place. Below is a list of documents that may be used. Of course, you only need to provide a copy of one of the below-listed documents per category/purpose.
Required Documents for EBB
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
How To Apply For The TruConnect EBB Program?
When it comes to applying for the Trueconnect EBB program, you have several options:
- Apply through Truconnect directly:
- Visit truconnect.com/broadband.
- Once on the page, enter your zip code and email address.
- Click the “Apply Now” button and follow the instructions.
- Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online. After you apply, you will have to contact TruConnect to select one of their eligible plans.
- In case you want to apply via mail: Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application or print a copy (getemergencybroadband.org/how-to-apply), and return it along with copies of documents showing proof of eligibility to Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742. After your physical application is approved, you will need to contact TruConnect to select one of their eligible plans.
What Are The Benefits If I Qualify For A Truconnect EBB Program?
Following the general EBB benefits guidelines that state the following: “The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.”, TruConnect offers this benefits:
- For California Lifeline Customers: The TruConnect California FREE EBB plan includes 14 GB of 4G/LTE data (EBB plan adds 8 GB to your Lifeline plan) with wi-fi hotspot capability
- For Lifeline Customers Outside of California: The TruConnect FREE EBB plan includes 12.5 GB of 4G/LTE data (EBB plan adds 8 GB of data to your Lifeline plan) with a wi-fi hotspot capability
- Stand-Alone EBB Service: The TruConnect FREE EBB plan includes 8 GB of 4G/LTE data with wifi hotspot capability and your choice of an LTE-enabled hotspot device or Google Play Certified LTE Android handset
In Which Areas Currently Truconnect Offers EBB Program?
TruConnect doesn’t particularly state where their EBB program is available. Instead, they offer a designed webpage for the TruConnect EBB Program (truconnect.com/broadband), where potential candidates may enter their zip codes to see if the services are available in their area.
As a guideline, one may use the states in which TruConnect is available. These are as follows: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
If you are located in any of the above states and are eligible for the EBB, you have a good chance to be able to get the TruConnect EBB Program benefits- However, you still need to ensure that it is available at your particular location by entering your zip code (as described above).
What Are My TruConnect Tablet Choices?
You may always check the exact availability on TruConnect’s website. However, keep in mind that only Google Play Certified Android tablets may be purchased/obtained with the EBB discount.
In case you also need information What Phones Are Compatible With TruConnect
Are There Any Restrictions For Truconnect EBB And Lifeline Program?
The two programs, or should we say the benefits of the programs, may be used simultaneously. However, both programs are limited to one per household. Moreover, they are both “use-it-or-lose-it” kinds of programs. As such the benefits must be used regularly to retain your eligibility.
What Other Things You Should Know About Truconnect EBB Program?
Does Truconnect Offer Lifeline Program?
Yes. TruConnect is one of the reputable Lifeline carriers.
Does Truconnect Charge Any Cost For Truconnect EBB Program?
The whole purpose of the TruConnect EBB Program is to offer benefits. As such, there is no cost related to the TruConnect EBB Program, as long as you choose the plans offered by the company.
How Long Does It Take To Receive A Truconnect EBB Program Benefits?
If your application for the EBB has already been approved, you can enroll instantaneously. However, if you are applying via TruConnect, you need to expect somewhere between 3 to 8 days for the entire process. The processing time can vary depending on several factors.
If I Already Receive Lifeline Benefits Will I Automatically Receive The Emergency Broadband Benefit?
No. Receiving Lifeline benefits makes you eligible for EBB. However, it doesn’t automatically enroll you in the EBB. You still need to follow the application and enrollment steps presented herein.
Does Truconnect EBB Program Give Free Phones?
Yes. Especially if you are simultaneously using the Lifeline benefits with TruConnect. In that case, you can surely expect a free smartphone. Otherwise, it all depends on your location and current availability.
You can read one of our past articles Free Government Phone And Tablet Guide
Can I Replace A Truconnect Free Phone And Tablets?
If there are any technical issues (not due to your fault) and the device in question is still under warranty, you may expect to receive a replacement device. In case you damage your device, lose it, or get it stolen, you will also have a chance to get a replacement device; however, in that case, you will have to pay for the replacement device.
Can I Get Free Tablets For Low-Income Families From Charities And Non-Profit Organizations?
Yes. There are charities and non-profits all across the nation offering their help in such forms. However, these are typically smaller local organizations or communities. As such, you will need to ask around in your particular area and see what is what kind of support is currently available.