At the end of last year, the Federal Communications Commission approved the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, which means eligible families will be able to get a $50 per month credit on their internet bills.

Families whose incomes were negatively impacted during the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for the bill credit. According to the FCC's website, the new benefit "will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, and virtual classrooms."

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Why is this credit being offered?

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel says internet access is vital to US families, especially as they navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

"Families in every corner of the country have been struggling to get online throughout this pandemic. For those families, we now say help is around the corner," Rosenworcel said in a statement last week.

Who's eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit?

Your family is eligible if a member of your household meets one of these requirements:

  • Qualifies for the Lifeline program;
  • Receives benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating providers' existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

 How do you apply?

Consumers can use this link to enroll in the Emergency Broadand Benefit program next week, on May 12, 2021.

In the meantime, you can use this link to see if you qualify and find out what documents may be required. The 'find an internet provider near me' tool will be available closer to the launch date of the program.

In addition to $50 per month for eligible families, a $100 credit toward the purchase of a new laptop or desktop computer is also available.

The program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.


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