The Covid-19 has taken jobs, businesses, and freelance initiatives from millions of Americans who have been struggling with their livelihood. This pandemic situation turned many solvent citizens into near poverty. But accessing the internet through a connected device in this situation proved most effective as jobs and businesses are being operated through virtual communication. It makes students take classes virtually, jobholders doing remote offices, and many new kinds of communications. But good to inform you that the federal government has come forward to help people with a monthly internet subsidy and a one-time connected device for each eligible household to let them access the online world. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the Emergency Broadband Benefit or EBB program which allows up to $50 to cover monthly internet bills and $100. So that people can learn, earn and live their life in this crisis moment.
Since private organizations operate most of the broadband services at cost, this government program is being appreciated to keep people’s hope alive. Many providers across the nation have been providing the Emergency Broadband Benefit as participant providers and some of them provide discounted tablet for eligible households. If you haven’t enrolled for this EBB program, then this article is to let you know if you are eligible and way of enrollment. Remember, only 5 million people have applied so far, and more households are remained out of the program.
How Does The EBB (Emergency Broadband Benefit) Free Tablet Program Work?
EBB, Emergency Broadband Benefits is a temporary financial solution that gives families discounts on monthly internet bills and connected devices like tablet. This tablet is to help family members connect to the job or classrooms or take government services. In this financial hardship, a tablet is like a blessing for a family. Without such a device you can’t get the impact of digital inclusion throughout the technological revolution. Being aware that the FCC wants you to connect through the EBB program taking financial subsidy. But you must be eligible based on some criteria to get this service. It is a limited-time benefit targeting the low-income US households to facilitate their high-speed internet and computers with discounts. This benefit program works almost like free government phone services. You will get this benefit throughout the COVID-19 emergency (pandemic situation) with six months of validity. This feature can bless you with an excellent high-configured tablet and unlimited data, talk, and text.
Though the benefits program is not free you can purchase it as nearly free. FCC wants a minimum contribution from the applicant family to keep it as a co-pay method. So here if you buy the tablet pricing more than $100 then the rest amount will be on you. Which should not be a problem for you to afford. That’s how you can connect to services like jobs, virtual classes, government services, and many more facilities. If you are eligible then the following services you will receive:
- Up to a $100 discount is applicable to buy the tablet. The discount rate depends on the tablet model and is applicable only once.
- Up to a $50 monthly discount for eligible Americans. Up to a $75 monthly discount which is only applicable for tribal lands.
- The services can be bundled with voice and data services
- With the monthly plan, the equipment rental facility is also included
- This one-time discount is allowed per household both for the internet discount and tablet.
- It is a first come first served basis program, and benefits are temporary
Who Qualifies for EBB (Emergency Broadband Benefit) Free Tablet?
For the EBB service, one member of one household is eligible to apply from the EBB (Emergency Broadband Benefit) program free tablet. To get qualified for this program you must meet any of the following criteria:
- Someone who lost a job or was furloughed during this pandemic can apply as eligible. You will have to show proof of income to meet the income guideline. Have you faced a substantial loss of income from job loss or furlough notice since February 2020? Then FCC will grant you an Emergency Broadband Benefit free tablet. Remember, to be eligible for this discount program your total income in 2020 should be below or equal to $99,000. For joint filers, this total income range is $198,000.
- If the household has participants in certain assistance programs, then it is excellent proof to show that you are eligible. The programs that act as added advantages for proof are SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistant program), Medicaid, SSI (Supplemental Security Income), Federal public housing assistance, Veterans survivor Pensions Benefits Fund, and more. Fortunately, these guidelines are similar in almost every state. You have to have all the documents supporting the benefits you enjoy already.
- According to federal poverty guidelines, the applicants will be considered eligible for EBB if the income of the household is below 135%. The guidelines are similar for all the states across the United States. But before applying, check the updated poverty rate on their website to see if you fit these criteria.
- You can check the eligibility under the federal free or reduced-price lunch and breakfast program, under the Richard B. Russell national school Lunch Act, or under section 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (including the USDA Community eligibility provision).
- If you are not US Citizen then must need social security number (SSN) or other permit papers.
- If you received Federal Pell Grant under section 401 then you can apply for EBB. This award is only for students with financial needs who earned a bachelor’s degree or any professional degree.
- Either low income or COVID-19 program, both participants are eligible for this service.
- You can receive both Lifeline and EBB services, if you have received Lifeline service then do not need to submit, just contact EBB providers.
How To Apply For An Emergency Broadband Benefit Tablet Free?
There are several easy steps you can follow without any hassles to apply for EBB. You can maintain the whole application procedure online from your house. The most important step is to qualify through the National Verifier. Without getting approval from the USAC administered National Verifier, you will not be able to get the Emergency Broadband Benefit free tablet and internet benefits.
Contact the broadband service provider
You need to find out which broadband service providers offer Emergency Broadband Benefit free tablet. Contact one of them directly to learn the application process properly. There are so many internet providers available, based on the state you live in. Sometimes one company works for multiple states. It will be the more accessible or easy way if you have an existing service provider who offers EBB. Most of the famous broadband service providers support EBB and you can find them out within your location.
Check the eligibility terms
After getting the provider’s name, you must know if you meet the eligibility criteria to apply for this process. You can easily apply without that much effort, after meeting the requirements. There are common eligibility terms that almost every provider follows.
If you are eligible then apply via online and find the providers near you. Next, you need to fill in the online page with your name, date of birth, social security number, and other pieces of information. Besides the information, you must attach certain documents. Before going to the next step, confirm the validity of each piece of information and then proceed. Wait until for getting approval, usually takes 3 to 5 days for the verification and approval.
Apply via mail-in
Some people find it a hassle to fill up online. There is this opportunity for those people to apply via the mail-in application. Call: 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, print a copy, and fill it up. Once you filled it, send it along with the documents. Make sure to check the personal information carefully. After filling in the information, submit it to this address.
Emergency Broadband Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY, 40742
You will get approval within a few days. If you are qualified then they will contact you and let you know the further steps. Sometimes, they ask for some additional information and documents. You may contact them via email also. Stay connected with their social channels to be updated.
These are the solid process of getting a tablet if you are qualified. Moreover, if you are not qualified then they will contact you. They will let you know for more documents to apply again.
Once approved, you will receive a $100 discount on the tablet you want to purchase.
Documentation Needed for Emergency Broadband Benefit Free Tablet
You must submit one of these documents during the application process for the Emergency Broadband Benefit free tablet program:
- Emergency Broadband Benefit free Tablet Provider Account Number
- Social security number/Driver’s license/passport/ID/Taxpayer Identification Number (Individual) with name and date of birth.
- Proof of eligibility.
- Recent Tribal TANF letter or card.
- Current BIA card
- Prior year’s state, federal or Tribal tax return
- Federal or Tribal notice letter of participation in General assistance (SNAP, Medicaid, etc.)
- Free or reduced school meal award letter
- Current income statement of the applicant
- Tax return in 2019 or 2020
- Veterans Administration statement of benefits
- Applicant household’s Unemployment statements
Which Areas Does Emergency Broadband Benefit Cover?
Luckily, emergency broadband benefits cover the whole of America. Find the internet service provider who offers emergency broadband benefits near your location in your state. Despite all the states being available with the EBB program, you will not get an equal number of these service providers. Some states have plenty of ISP’s but some small states have only two or one. But if you are eligible for EBB, then you will get a discount from the existing providers. To know more details you need to contact the local office via mail. They will inform you what you want to know.
Top Emergency Broadband Benefit Service Provider
There are so many emergency benefits providers are available. Both the landline and wireless broadband providers are facilitating this emergency broadband benefit. At first, you need to identify which service providers work with EBB. Here are some famous broadband service providers listed below:
- Qlink wireless
- PCs for People
- Cintex Wireless
- Assurance Wireless
- Cox Communications
- Gila River Telecommunications
- Human- It
- Metro by T-Mobile
- T-Mobile USA
- EnTouch Wireless
- Ting Internet
- Viaero Wireless
- Etheric Networks
- Ting Internet
- Excess Telecom
- Boost Mobile
- Gen mobile
- Assist Wireless
What Free Tablet Are Available On The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?
Fortunately, several renowned Tablet brands are available in the EBB program. If you get maximum discounts by meeting the terms and requirements, you can purchase a high-quality tablet with a good discount. But remember that the discount rate for a laptop is a maximum of $100. The rest have to be paid for by you. In this EBB program, there are several models from renowned brands are available for the discount offer. Such as:
- Amazon Fire 7
- Apple iPad 10.2
- Lenovo Tab E10
- Lenovo Smart Tab M10
- Huawei MediaPad T5
- Huawei MediaPad T3
These laptops are good for online classes, home office, hunting jobs, freelancing, and other works. You can have one of these laptops free if you are already enjoying the Lifeline program. But never forget to get the warranty with the laptop.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get a new tablet?
First, you have to be eligible to get the EBB discount from a participant provider. Since every participant provider doesn’t allow discounted tablets, so you will have to look for the provider who provides Emergency Broadband Benefit program free tablet. Once you meet the eligibility term and enroll in the program successfully with an EBB free tablet provider, then you will receive the one-time benefit on behalf of your household.
How long does it take to get the tablet?
After finishing the order properly, it takes around 6 to 8 weeks to receive the shipment. Please note that the delivery may vary based on availability. The shipping procedure begins upon your confirmation. The provider will notify you of the status of the device shipment.
What type of tablet do they offer?
A few brands are leading the market that is also available in the EBB program. But you will get one of them based on your eligibility criteria. You have the chance to get the highest discount of up to $100 to buy a quality tablet.
How long will the Emergency Broadband Benefit free tablet offer last?
The EBB is a temporary program that might end after six months of initialization. FCC will close the benefit when the pandemic emergency is over and the situation gets better. You can enjoy the benefit till then. But discounted or free tablet offer is a one-time program. This means you can purchase a tablet for once on behalf of your household.
What will happen to the tablet after the EBB ends?
You won’t get the discount offer after the program ends. For internet plans, you can either continue or stop the tie with the EBB provider but the discounted tablet is yours since you co-paid for it. As per the FCC rule once you got the tablet your household can have it forever. You don’t need to revert the tablet to the provider.
It is undeniable that both the broadband connection and a tablet are important for a household to stay connected to daily activities like working from home or looking for jobs or attending classrooms. Nowadays every member of a family has to deal with virtual tasks. Even the seniors have to take health services online. And the other new normal thing is the online class. Even the first-grader now has to attend the class from home. So people who lost jobs or income sources or whose earning level turned down, should enroll in this benefit program.
Since the EBB offers a $50 discount for monthly internet and $100 on purchasing a tablet, it’s a blessing for a family to solve the connection issue in a shot. Because meeting any of the eligibility criteria will lead you to get both the device and connection. So follow the eligibility procedure, enroll according to the steps we mentioned above, and select a participant provider from the list who offers Emergency Broadband Benefit free tablet.