Are you having a little trouble making ends meet?
These days, most people rely on the internet for a wide range of reasons. Surfing the net can help you find a new job, learn skills, keep up with the news, and connect with loved ones. However, not everyone can afford to pay a monthly fee for this service. Fortunately, you may be able to get connected for free if you are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
So, let’s find out, can I get free internet with food stamps?
- About the Affordable Connectivity Program
- ACP Eligibility
- The Application Process
- How To Apply?
- What To Do After Being Approved?
- Where Can I Use My EBT Card?
- Final Thoughts
About the Affordable Connectivity Program
This program is funded by the Federal Communications Commission. Qualifying households receive a monthly amount to use toward their monthly internet bill. This helps to ensure that everyone in the United States can get connected and gain access to essential services.
If you receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, you are likely to qualify. More commonly referred to as food stamps, SNAP benefits are intended to help support people with very low-income families. If you qualify, gaining access to this benefit is a fairly simple process.
Households that qualify are allocated a monthly amount to put toward their connection fee. There are a few different allowances that eligible households can receive. Here is what you can receive if you qualify:
- Up to a $30 per month discount on broadband internet service.
- Up to a $75 per month discount if you live on a qualifying Tribal land.
- A single discount of up to $100 toward purchasing an eligible laptop, tablet, or desktop computer.
How to Qualify?
Even if you already receive SNAP benefits, you need to apply to enroll in the program. Your application will be closely inspected, and it will be determined if you are eligible. There are three main requirements, and your household only needs to meet one of them.
- The household income.
- Your child or dependent is currently enrolled in SNAP, Medicaid, or WIC.
- Your child or dependent currently receives a Lifeline benefit.
You need to meet certain requirements to enroll in the Affordable Connectivity Program. It is important to read them carefully and make sure that you are eligible. There are three main ways you could receive the $30 discount on the connection cost.
One of the main eligibility criteria is based on your household income. You will automatically qualify for the program if it is less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The guidelines are set based on the size of your household and the state that you live in.
The main calculation is based on the number of people that live in your household. This assumes that everyone in your household shares finances. This could be a single person, a couple, a couple with children, or house members who share their resources.
The qualifying calculated household income is as follows:
- One person per household – $29,160
- Two people per household – $39,440
- Three people per household – $49,720
- Four people per household – $60,000
- Five people per household – $70,280
- Six people per household – $80,560
- Seven people per household – $90,840
- Eight people per household – $101,120
If there are more than eight people in your household, you need to add $10,280 for each additional person. You are likely to be required to show proof of income when applying for the discount based on income. Proof of income can include three consecutive pay stubs or a current tax return.
Assistance Program Participation
Alternatively, you can qualify for the low-income internet program through your current assistance benefits. This shows that you are part of a household that qualifies for government assistance.
Participating in one of the following programs can give you access to the credit:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Medicaid or CHIP
- Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children
- Supplemental Security Income
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program
- School Breakfast Program
- USDA Community Eligibility Provision
- Federal Pell Grant recipient
You are likely to be asked to provide proof that you are enrolled in one of the listed programs. This can include a letter or card. It could also be another type of official document showing your participation in the program.
Current Lifeline Participant
You can also qualify for a broadband connection through the Lifeline Program. If you or a member of your household receives this benefit, make sure you inquire about the ACP benefit. In addition to the monthly $30 credit, you can also get a Lifeline phone to help you stay connected.
The Application Process
You need to complete the official application in as much detail as possible. It is important to make sure all the information you provide is accurate and complete.
You need to provide the following information:
- Full legal name
- Date of birth
- Home and mailing address
- Phone number
- Email address
- Social Security Number
- Detailed information on all household members
- Your total household income
- Government Assistance Information, if relevant
How To Apply?
Once you have established that you are eligible, you need to apply for your $30 discount. There are three main ways of doing this, and you need to select the most convenient option. Let’s take a closer look…
This is the quickest and easiest method if you already have access to the internet. You need to head on over to the official Affordable Connectivity Program website or the Lifeline website. Find the application form and create an account if you don’t already have one.
All the information you need to provide will be clearly outlined on the application form. Make sure you take the time to read the requirements carefully. If you qualify, you will usually receive immediate approval and a confirmation email containing further information.
If you don’t get immediate approval…
However, there may be cases where your eligibility cannot be automatically approved. You will receive a letter or email asking for extra documentation. Make sure you have all the requested documentation so that you can get connected as quickly as possible.
Apply by mail
You can also apply to receive the $30 credit through the mail. Head on over to the Affordable Connectivity Program website and print out the application form. You will also need to print out and complete the Household Worksheet.
Once both forms have been filled out, you need to mail them to the Affordable Connectivity Program Support Center. Make sure you include copies of the required documents to speed up the process. You should receive an answer and details on the next steps within a couple of weeks. If you need to confirm any of the requirements, call your local Affordable Connectivity Program office.
Apply with your internet provider
Last but not least, you can apply for the discount through your current internet provider if you have one by finding out whether they participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program. If they do, applying for the discount should be a quick and easy process.
If they do not participate in the program, you will need to find a new service provider. Fortunately, a large number of broadband providers throughout the United States do participate. They often offer specially created programs with enhanced discounts that could treat you to a completely free connection.
What To Do After Being Approved?
It is important to note that the $30 connection credit does not go into your bank account. Instead, this benefit will be paid directly to your service provider. If you do not currently use a participating service provider, you will still have some work to do.
First, you will need to find information on your local participating Affordable Connectivity Program service providers. Take the time to check out the different options.
It will be sent directly to your service provider…
Once this has been done, you need to give the details to your Affordable Connectivity Program contact. Your credit will then be sent directly to the service provider and will then be deducted from your monthly broadband bill.
In addition to a monthly credit, you could be entitled to receive other benefits. Even if you are a current broadband user, you can still receive the credit. If you have an outstanding bill, the Affordable Connectivity Program may even clear it for you.
Where Can I Use My EBT Card?
If you’re not sure which grocery stores accept EBT, then take a look at Does Publix Take EBT, Does Walgreens Take EBT WIC And Food Stamps, and Does Whole Foods Take EBT, as well as Does Sams Club Take EBT, and Does Dollar General Accept EBT And Food Stamps?
Lastly, you might be wondering Does KFC Take EBT, Does McDonalds Take EBT, and Does Burger King Accept EBT – Full Guide, followed by Does Starbucks Take EBT, and Does Subway Take EBT if you’re heading out for a bite to eat?
If you receive food stamps, there is a good chance you can apply to the Affordable Connectivity Program for assistance. In most cases, you will automatically qualify for a $30 discount. You could also receive a $100 discount on a tablet, PC, or laptop.
If you choose the right service provider, the amount you receive could completely cover the monthly fee. Therefore, it is important to take the time to shop around for the best possible deal. Some major service providers offer additional discounts to people who receive SNAP benefits.
Happy Surfing with your new Internet!