TIME might be running out for eligible Americans to take advantage of some federal benefits.
Under the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) low-income households are eligible for up to a $30 discount and a one-time $100 personal computer or tablet credit.
The program has replaced the temporary emergency broadband benefit program that helped struggling households get access to the internet during the pandemic.
Under the ACP, Americans on tribal lands can receive up to $75 per month.
Everyone else that’s eligible can get as much as a $30 discount.
More than 11.5million households have signed up for benefits, according to the White House.
However, that’s already taking a chunk out of the total $14.2 billion that the program was allocated.
When funding can run out
As a result, The Hill projects that the funding for the program will deplete by the middle of 2024 based on how things are trending.
While there’s plenty of time still left, it’ll be up to Congress to monitor it and provide a boost to the ACP if necessary.
“We project that funding the ACP broadband benefit (but not devices) for an additional five years could cost $30 to $35 billion,” The Hill wrote.
Currently, it’s unclear if lawmakers in Washington have any interest in providing expanding the program in the future.
Who qualifies and how to apply
Because funding could run out with the possibly of no action from congress – you’ll want to take advantage of these federal benefits if eligible.
To qualify, a household’s income must be less than 200% of the federal poverty guideline or receive benefits from SNAP, Medicaid, or other programs as outlined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
For instance, a family of four with a household income of less than $55,500 can get approved for ACP benefits, since the poverty line for a family of four is $27,750.
To enroll, you can apply online.
You can also print out a mail-in application.
The FCC projects that a total of 48million households are eligible for the program.
According to the White House, more than 1,300 providers nationwide accept the ACP benefit.
You can check out the full list and find the offerings in your state.
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