Applications to get $50 off your internet bill open

National

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Americans can begin applying for $50 off their monthly internet bill on Wednesday as part of an emergency government program to help low-income households during the pandemic.

The $3.2 billion program is part of the $900 billion December COVID-19-relief package

On top of the $50 deduction, eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to buy laptops, desktop computers or tablets from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the price.

Those who reside on Tribal lands are eligible for a $75 off their monthly internet bill.

Tens of millions of people are eligible, although the Federal Communications Commission, which is administering the program, did not specify a number.

Here’s which households qualify:

  • Households with an income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in some assistance programs, including SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline
  • Those who are approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price lunch program or school breakfast program during the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year
  • Households who received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year
  • Those who experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss since Feb. 29, 2020 and the household had a total 2020 income at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers

There are other eligibility requirements, too — visit the Get Emergency Broadband website to find out if you qualify and to apply.

You can get the discount even if you owe your phone or cable company money. That’s important because some people have been barred from low-cost plans offered by internet service providers when they owed their service provider money. More than 800 cellphone and home-internet companies are participating, including AT&T, Charter, Comcast, T-Mobile and Verizon.

The Associated Press and Nexstar Media Wire contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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