From communicating with friends and family to taking classes or working online, the internet is usually a necessity for most homes instead of a necessity. However, the cost associated with internet services can be quite expensive unless you get a basic package. Keep in mind that a basic package might not deliver the speeds that you need for all of the tasks that you do online. Many providers charge about $60 a month for the minimal speeds that are available. As you increase your speed, you’ll probably see your price increase each month. According to Golatinotv.com, there are a few sources available to get help with your internet payment each month, they are few and far between and can be difficult to be approved for, especially if you apply when funding is almost gone.
There is an Allconnect guide that offers assistance in finding agencies that can help with internet payments as well as ways that you can save money on your bill by cutting back on the services that you have. Many of the programs that are available from the government are based on your income, so if you don’t make a lot through the year, then you could be approved. Keep in mind that it’s sometimes easier to get approved for these programs if you receive government assistance, such as food stamps or Medicaid.
Some agencies will let you know about the assistance that’s available when you enroll in various programs so that you can get as much help as possible until you’re able to become financially stable. Some providers offer assistance as well so that customers can receive discounts, especially if they can prove that they have had a setback with their income or if they have been impacted by a natural disaster, such as the COVID pandemic.
One of the latest programs available from the government is the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, learn more here. It was launched in April 2021. Low-income households can apply for assistance by contacting the program or by completing an application online. The Federal Communications Commission is behind the program and has handled the funding that’s available. There has been over $3 billion in funds available for customers who are approved for the program.
However, when the money has been used, there likely won’t be more funding unless the federal government approves the addition. If approved, households can receive a discount of up to $50 off of their internet bill each month. Those who live on tribal lands can receive up to $75 off their bill. Those who participate in the program can also receive a discount of $100 on a computer or other equipment that’s needed in order to access the internet in the home.
Keep in mind that the program is only available throughout the duration of the pandemic.
There are a few different ways that you can qualify to receive the assistance including:
- Getting assistance related to the pandemic
- Subscribe to Lifeline
- Receive Medicaid or SNAP benefits
- Children receive free or reduced lunch
- Lost your job or seen a decrease in your income because of the pandemic
Another program that’s available to assist with discounts on your internet bill each month is Lifeline. You’ll only receive a discount of about $9 each month, but if you only need basic internet in your home, then you might be able to find a provider that will offer a lower amount each month so that you don’t have to pay as much after using the discount. You can use the discount for either your phone or internet bill, but you won’t be able to use it for both services.
The FCC has made some changes to the program, waiving some of the requirements for customers. These will likely end in June 2021. The recertification process will be a bit easier as well as the verification process for those who sign up for the program. Most customers, won’t need to recertify until the requirements begin once again. Subscriber usage likely won’t impact the assistance that’s available. Income documentation won’t need to be provided as often throughout the approval and verification process until the requirements are back in place. Some of the programs that often allow for automatic enrollment in Lifeline include Federal Public Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, and SSI.
There are also a few programs to help those who live on tribal lands. The goal of Lifeline is to help customers stay in touch with family members and those they talk to on a regular basis as well as to have the emergency help that they need. If you use the discount for internet services, then it would be beneficial because you can work from home or take classes online.
Getting Lifeline Assistance
Before you receive a Lifeline discount, you need to be able to show that you’re enrolled in a government assistance program, such as SNAP or Medicaid. Most of the time, all you need to show is a letter of enrollment or approval if you just applied for assistance. After receiving word that you’ve qualified for assistance, you can then choose the phone or internet company you want to use. If you already have phone or internet service, then you can contact your provider to see if they will accept the Lifeline discount. You need to provide your personal information regarding your account in order to verify that it’s you who is receiving the assistance. Once the final approval goes through, then you’ll see the discount on your bill each month.
You could be approved for Lifeline assistance even if you don’t receive any kind of government help. You can show proof of your income and any decrease that you’ve seen as a way to be approved for the program. There are certain limits that you need to reach in order to be approved based on income. You can show a copy of your bank account, a paycheck stub, a decree of your divorce, or a letter about Social Security benefits among other items to prove how much you make each month.