The Internet has been the key tool in transforming the way of communication with massive changes. Especially the recent pandemic boosted the use of the internet and showed us that almost everything can be done using the internet and connected devices. We saw the rise of the virtual world. Everything has gone virtual as people have had to get involved in work-from-home, online studies, and virtual services to continue their livelihoods.
There was the EBB (Emergency Broadband Benefit) program to aid low-income people with discounted internet and connected devices until December 2021. Since millions of citizens lost their jobs, the federal government has run this effective initiative to help make them solvent in their livelihoods. EBB was the temporary aid program, and the federal government came up with a new and permanent program to eliminate the digital divide completely. Then it formed the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) which started in earlier 2022. Under this program, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) provides low-income households with discounts on their monthly internet bills so that they can continue using the internet and stay with their livelihoods.
About Safelink Wireless Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Benefit
Safelink Wireless is a specialized service initiated by its owner, Tracfone Wireless Inc., to provide Lifeline services to eligible households. Now Safelink Wireless has joined in this Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to provide discounted internet to eligible households. This means besides the Lifeline program, Safelink Wireless extended its service to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit as a participant provider. First, you have to be eligible to get the Safelink Wireless Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit. Then you can enjoy the monthly discount on your internet bill.
According to the FCC guidelines, Safelink Wireless offers a $30 per month discount on monthly internet bills. In the tribal lands, this monthly discount rises to $75 per month. FCC initiated this program as a permanent initiative to deal with the digital gap. That means no low-income families or individuals should be deprived of this monthly discount. Besides, some providers also offer free smartphones and nearly free tablets and laptops. They provide a one-time discount of up to $100 to buy a desktop, laptop, or tablet.
Now, let’s talk about the people who will be considered the beneficiary of the Safelink Wireless Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit. FCC has specified some points to determine whether a household can get the Safelink Wireless ACP benefit or not. Although it’s a per household benefit, if any member from your household meets any of the eligibility criteria then you can apply for the Safelink Wireless Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit. The USAC (Universal Service Administrative Company) administered National Verifier determines the eligibility of a household based on the information and documents. Once the household is declared eligible then there are some simple application processes to follow. After successful completion of the application, Safelink Wireless will start providing monthly discounts on your internet bill. According to the FCC, the Safelink Wireless ACP benefit is a year-long program and continues to provide benefits until you need them.
Am I Eligible for Safelink Wireless Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Benefit?
There are some criteria to be eligible to get the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit created by FCC. If any member of your household meets any of those FCC criteria, then your whole household can enjoy the Safelink Wireless ACP benefit. For the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), some of the certain eligibility criteria are mentioned below:
- Your household income should be less than or equal to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The FCC considers this range as low-income and the households are eligible for the ACP benefit.
- For the new ACP, the yearly income of your household in 2021 should meet the FCC guidelines. This yearly income may vary depending on the state you live in. As an example, an individual living in Alaska should have an income maximum of $32,180 but in Hawaii, it is $29,640. If a household consists of 3 or 4 members, then the income size is $54,900 in Alaska and $50,520 in Hawaii.
- A household member who lost a job or got a termination letter or was furloughed since February 29 of 2020, is considerable for ACP benefit.
Some government assistance programs are considered ACP benefit qualifications.
- Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) General Assistance.
- FPHA (Federal Public Housing Assistance)
- Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
- The Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Free School Breakfast Program or Reduced-price School Lunch Program
- Federal Pell Grant for the current award year.
- SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or food stamps
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Tribal Head Start
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
Application Process for Safelink Wireless Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Benefit
Here are some simple steps you should follow in the application process for the SafeLink Wireless ACP benefit.
- First, you have to check your eligibility through the National Verifier. Generally, starting with the National Verifier, you will have to go through the instructed process of application. You have to fill in the forms and provide your basic information. Just go to https://www.usac.org/about/affordable-connectivity-program/.
- After confirming your eligibility, you will have to submit your relevant documents in your application process. follow those steps below:
- Visit the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit application page https://www.safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/Web/www/default/index.html#!/newHome
- Enter your ZIP code and start
- Enter your full name (First, middle and last)
- Also enter your suffix.
- Enter the last four numbers of your social security number, if there is no social security number then submit the Tribal Identification number
- Date of birth
- Input possible contact details (email, phone number, text)
- Check the box to receive updates
Required Documents for Safelink Wireless Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Benefit
To prove your eligibility for the Safelink Wireless Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit, you must provide some documentation in support of your application. The FCC requires documentation on household income and personal documents as well. Remember that the proper and accurate information and documents help the national verifier to decide with a positive result. The requirement of exact documents depends on several factors. Such as the state you live in and the provider determining what documents you should submit. But here is the list that Safelink Wireless may ask you to provide for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit enrollment with them.
- Identity Verification Document : You have to prove your identity and fulfill the requirements to be eligible. Provide one of the copies of the documents to prove your identification: Tribal Identification Number, Social Security Number, government-issued ID (State ID, PR ID), US Driver’s license, Passport, U.S. Military ID, etc.
- Address : An official document that displays your full name and your physical address.
- Program participation paper : You have to submit a document that supports your participation in any of the government assistance programs, such as an approval letter/benefit award letter/benefits verification letter/statement of benefits.
- Income or Social Status Statement : A statement of your household income: a retirement or pension statement of benefits/unemployment or worker’s Compensation statement of benefits, Veterans administration statement of benefits, divorce decree, child support award/or other official documents that show your income, similar official documents that show your income/Previous year’s state, federal, or Tribal tax return; current income statement; taxpayer identification number (Individual); prior year income statement.
- Income loss statement : The document that shows your substantial loss of income/Current income statement/a layoff or furlough notice/unemployment application/statement of benefits.
- Emancipated minor status : For the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit, you must be 18 years old, otherwise, you can apply if you are an emancipated minor. You have to provide an official court document or certificate that confirms your emancipated minor status.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How do I know if the SafeLink Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit is available in my area or not?
The process is simple. To know if your area covers the SafeLink Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit or not, just go to https://www.safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/Web/www/default/index.html#!/newHome Enter your zip code in the given box and press “START”. In this process, you can find out whether SafeLink is available in your area or not.
Can I receive both the Lifeline and the ACP benefit at the same time?
Yes, SafeLink Wireless allows you to get both the Lifeline and the ACP benefits at the same time. But each eligible person from one household can get only one ACP benefit from a provider.
What happens when the Affordable Connectivity Program Ends?
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit is not temporary like the previous EBB program, and the Federal Government formed it as a permanent program. This means you can enjoy the benefits until you recover from your financial crisis.
How long will I receive benefits?
According to the FCC, this program is permanent. It will last for years, or until you reach your financial solvency. The FCC has already announced that the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit will provide help for years.
COVID-19 has changed the communication aspects totally. We are more virtually connected nowadays. Such changes make us look for high-speed and uninterrupted internet connections. Besides, the demand for text messaging and voice calls is increasing. The FCC initiated the ACP benefit to help provide internet access for those who can’t afford it in their tough situations. Safelink Wireless is a renowned telecommunication company and it always has a commitment to offering Lifeline service with friendly customer relationships. They have been trying to provide Lifeline packages such as voice call minutes, text messages, and internet data to eligible customers. Eligible households can now get an Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit from Safelink Wireless. This is a great opportunity for eligible households because they can get free call service with other facilities through the Safelink Wireless Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefit.