Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
What is the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an FCC program to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. Qualification will depend on meeting the program’s criteria.
Do I qualify?
Your household qualifies for the Emergency Broadband Benefit if it has an income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines OR any member of the household:
- Qualifies for Lifeline benefits through participation in SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit;
- Participates in one of several Tribal specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Head Start (only households meeting the relevant income qualifying standard), Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 with a total household income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers;
- Received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year;
- Received approval for 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 or 2020-2021 school year.
Only one monthly service discount is allowed per household. Program rules acknowledge there may be more than one eligible household residing at the same address.
Qualify Through Your Child or Dependent
Any member of your household can make your household eligible. For example, if your child or dependent participates in the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program, your household qualifies for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
If You Already Receive Lifeline Benefits
Lifeline is a program to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. If you currently receive Lifeline benefits, you automatically qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, and you can receive both benefits at the same time. You can apply your Emergency Broadband Benefit and your Lifeline benefit to the same or separate services. Talk to your broadband provider to learn how to start receiving EBB Program discounts.
If Your Household Income Is a Certain Amount
You can get the Emergency Broadband Benefit if your income is 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines. The guideline is based on your household size and state.
You will have to show proof of income, like pay stubs or a tax return, when you apply for the EBB Program.
If You Experienced a Substantial Loss of Income
If you experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 because you lost your job or were furloughed, you may qualify for the EBB Program. To qualify in this way, your total household income in 2020 must be at or below $99,000 (for single tax filers) and $198,000 (for joint tax filers).
You will have to show proof of your total income, like a tax return or official documentation containing income information, as well as proof of the loss of income, like a termination letter or furlough notice, when you apply for the EBB Program.
The benefit will run until funds are depleted or 6 months after the date determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services that a public health emergency no longer exists as a result of COVID-19, whichever is first.
X-Stream Service is offering the optional Emergency Broadband Benefits (EBB) program to our customers. The EBB Program is a government program that reduces the household’s broadband Internet access service bill and is temporary in nature. The household will be subject to X-Stream Services undiscounted rates and general terms and conditions at the end of the program if the EBB household wants to continue to receive service. A household may obtain broadband service supported by the EBB Program from any participating provider of their choosing. A household may transfer their EBB Program benefit to another provider at any time.
If You Use SNAP, Medicaid, or Other Programs
You can receive the Emergency Broadband Benefit if you (or someone in your household) participates in one of these federal assistance programs:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors BenefitFree and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program
- Tribal Specific Programs:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance,
- Tribal Head Start (only households meeting the relevant income qualifying standard),
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, including at US Department of Agriculture Community Eligibility Provision schools
- Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year
You may need to show a card, letter, or official document as proof that you participate in one of these programs when you apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.