It’s no doubt that we are in the digital age. Therefore, being connected with friends and loved ones is an essential aspect that should lead your list of priorities. When we talk about connection, we are aware that internet access is not as cheap. In fact, the bills associated with internet connection is much and unaffordable to many US citizens. Also, internet access needs connectivity devices that are equally costly. Although these devices come with high cost, they have a myriad of features that are mesmerizing As a result, low-income households can hardly afford to access these devices as well as pay internet services bills with ease.
To enable such individuals’ access internet without struggle, the Federal government initiated the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) that offers monthly discounts on broadband services and a one-time discount on connectivity devices to eligible households. The ACP program offers these benefits through participating providers like Verizon. In this article, we shall take a closer look at the Verizon ACP program and other related facets.
About Verizon ACP
Before discussing Verizon ACP, it’s crucial to pass some little knowledge about Verizon. Verizon Wireless is a famous telecommunication company in the US that serves the purpose of surging the world forward through expanding digital access to everyone. It offers a number of services like affordable plans, access to cheaper connectivity devices, entertainment deals, accessories, internet and television deals among others. Besides, Verizon is one of the largest telecommunication companies with the largest coverage with a strong connectivity network. Verizon also participates in government assistance programs like ACP and lifeline.
Therefore, Verizon ACP is a federal government assistance program that was initiated to help eligible Verizon customers stay connected regardless of their financial crisis. Typically, qualifying households are given an opportunity to enjoy a discount of up to $30 on monthly internet service. However, you enjoy these discounts only if you are a low income earner or receive benefits from any government assistance program. If you reside on Tribal lands, you also get an opportunity to enjoy a discount of up to $75 per month as a qualifying household.
When we talk about Verizon ACP benefits, it is imperative to mention that they are limited to one monthly service discount. It’s also crucial to mention that Verizon ACP was once Verizon EBB program. Basically, this helps you remain connected with your family, friends or whom you love as well as do virtual businesses, online classes, virtual jobs, and access emergency health care.
Verizon EBB was a federal government program that offered internet discounts of up to $50 per month to qualifying households. However, as of 31st December of 2021, FCC announced that the newly initiated ACP program will replace EBB. Therefore, Verizon EBB was succeeded by Verizon ACP with a few changes applied. Let’s see what changed below.
Difference Between Verizon EBB and ACP
As stated above, Verizon EBB program was transitioned to ACP with a few changes applied. Initially, Verizon EBB program offered a discount of up to $50 per month on internet services to qualified federal households and a discount of up to $75 per month on tribal lands. On the contrary, the FCC made a few changes on ACP directing Verizon to offer up to $30 monthly discounts to eligible ACP households. Luckily, tribal land discounts were not changed as they remained $75 per month.
The second change applied was on income eligibility criteria. To qualify for Verizon EBB, one of the requirements was must have an income that is less than or equal to 135% of the poverty guideline. This changed on ACP as eligible households must have an income of 200% of the poverty guideline.
Lastly, the federal communications commissions directed that all EBB eligible families that qualified as a result of substantial loss of income due to loss of a job or qualified by participating on any COVID 19 program will be required to requalify for ACP. Also, these families will get additional steps needed to get ACP benefits from Verizon wireless.
Benefits of Participating Verizon ACP Program
As stated, Verizon ACP was initiated to help eligible families pay for internet access. Here, customers get the benefit of accessing virtual classrooms, healthcare, and virtual jobs with ease.
Verizon ACP also works at its best to breach the digital divide. Since the rich or high-income earners are able to afford internet access, Verizon ACP ensures that internet access is also affordable to low-income earners. This helps to bring access to technology or the latest updates to everyone.
Verizon ACP also covers mobile and home plans with access to the internet. It also covers the Verizon prepaid and FiOS prepaid internet. On mobile plan, Verizon ACP covers:
- Older and current unlimited data and bundles data plans
- Older and current usage-based data only and bundles-usage based data plans.
- It also covers premium, pro, plus and essential mobile hotspot plans.
On home plans, version ACP covers:
- Traditional FiOS bundles
- Verizon 5G home internet
- Verizon LTE home internet
- FiOS Mix + match internet, any speed
- Verizon HIS
Qualifying Guideline for Enrolling Verizon ACP
As seen, Verizon ACP comes with a bunch of benefits. As a result, everyone would wish to get an opportunity to receive these benefits. However, this is not the case as Verizon ACP benefits are restricted to qualifying households. To qualify, you must be a participant of any government assistance program or be from a low-income household. To make you understand Verizon ACP qualification criteria, we have compiled a list of qualification requirements for you to know whether you qualify or not:
1. You must participate in a government assistance program
In the US, there are a number of struggling families that barely afford basic needs. As a result, the US government initiated a number of assistance programs to help all needy families access help in food, medical assistance, and housing help among others. These programs are known as government assistance programs and play a big role in alleviating various economic problems among low-income families. The good thing is that if you participate in any of these programs, you are eligible to receive Verizon ACP benefits. Here is a list of these programs:
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Medicaid or Medical Assistance
- SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program)
- SSI(Supplemental Security Income)
- Veterans Survivor Pension fund
- Federal Pell Grant in the current years
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program(LIHEAP)
- The National School lunch programs such as free or reduced lunch program.
Besides the above-mentioned programs, you also qualify to receive Verizon ACP benefits if you receive help from any Tribal assistance programs. Some of these programs are:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance(BIA)
- Tribal Head Start
- Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations(FDPIR)
- Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for the Needy Families
2. You must be from a low income household
Low-income households are also considered eligible for Verizon ACP. Basically, it is indicated that you must have an income that is equal to or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. It is important to note that these guidelines vary from one state to another. Also, they vary according to your family or household size. Therefore, you should confirm your state and family size poverty guidelines from FCC official website to determine if you qualify for Verizon ACP.
3. You must meet the eligibility criteria of your participating service provider
It is important to note that different participating ACP service providers have different eligibility criteria for ACP benefits. Therefore, you should check Verizon wireless official website to determine their ACP eligibility criteria. If you meet any of their requirements, you will receive ACP benefits seamlessly.
4. You must are disabled
More often than not, the disabled are considered less privileged in society. As a result, the federal communications commission also considered them eligible for ACP benefits. They stated that ACP discounts will also be offered to persons with disability on the condition that they verify their disability. If you have any questions on Verizon ACP benefits to qualified disabled, go ahead and contact the number 202-418-2517(FCC disability rights office)
5. Lifeline beneficiaries are also considered
If you are currently enrolled in lifeline on their FIOS internet plan, you will qualify for Verizon ACP. In fact, you will be able to continue receiving your lifeline subsidy and ACP benefits at the same time.
6. Your Child or dependent must be an assistance program beneficiary
You also qualify for Verizon ACP if your dependent or child qualifies for any federal or tribal lands assistance programs.
7. You have received a federal Pell grant
Federal Pell grant is a free award given to needy students that are doing their bachelor’s undergraduate. However, qualified students must have displayed exceptional financial need to continue with their studies. If you have received a federal Pell grant, you, therefore, qualify for Verizon ACP benefits.
8. You must be qualified for national school lunch program
If you sent an application and got approved to the free or reduced-price school lunch program or school breakfast program, you qualify for Verizon ACP.
Documents Required When Applying for Verizon ACP
To get Verizon ACP benefits, there is an application procedure. During this process, you will be required to submit a number of documents. These are personal documents and eligibility documents. Here is a list of copies of documents required while applying for Verizon ACP.
Here, you should submit copies of the following document to prove identity, date of birth and also residential address:
- Government issued ID
- Birth certificate
- Driving license
- A copy of document with your residential details
Income eligibility documents
It’s no doubt that there are many families with low income in the US. Therefore, you should attach documents to prove that your family is among them. This document should prove that your total household income is at or is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Some of these documents are:
- Current income statement
- Worker’s or unemployment compensation statement of benefits
- The Federal, state or tribal return of the previous year
- Social Security statement of benefits
Program eligibility documents
If you qualify for Verizon ACP through assistance program participation, you should attach document to prove that you indeed participate in a particular program. Below is a list of documents that you should gather:
- Medicaid membership card
- Federal Pell grant cover letter
- SSI approval letter
- Tribal head start cover letter
Application for Verizon ACP Benefits
Verizon ACP application procedure is determined by more than one factor. Apparently, if you are not enrolled under the Verizon lifeline program, your application process is different from those enrolled for Verizon lifeline. Below is a detailed application for Verizon ACP.
- If you are enrolled for Verizon lifeline, you should apply for Verizon ACP through calling the number 1.800.922.0204 or visit “Verizon.com/acpconsent”, enter your Verizon mobile number password and sign in to access your Verizon ACP benefits.
- If you are not enrolled for Verizon lifeline, you should apply for your benefits through affordability connectivity program official website. To apply:
- Confirm eligibility: Before applying for Verizon ACP through this procedure, you should first check to confirm whether you qualify for the program. This is so crucial because your application will be declined if you don’t qualify. Once you meet any of the above eligibility criteria, proceed with the application.
- Visit ACP official website: The second step requires you to fill ACP application form. This is though “acpbenefit.org”. After, click “apply now” to start filling the form. Enter your valid official name, address, date of birth, identity verification like social security number and home address. Confirm whether you qualify through a dependent and tap on “next”. Here, attach all valid eligibility documents and submit your form.
- Get approval: Once the lifeline national verifier approves your application, contact Verizon on 1.800.922.0204 and enroll to any of their ACP services. This include the FiOS internet ACP service or LTE home, 5G or wireless internet service.
Verizon ACP Limitations
Verizon ACP has a number of limitations. First and foremost, only one eligible member of an eligible household can get Verizon ACP benefits. The eligible household must have a total income below 200% of the poverty guidelines. Also at least one of the members must be a participant of any government assistance program.
In addition, Verizon ACP discounts are channeled to eligible households once every month. Besides, these benefits are not transferrable among households and must use Verizon internet services at least once every 30 days to continue enjoying them.
Can more than one member of my family receive Verizon ACP benefits?
No. It’s not possible for another member of your family to receive Verizon ACP benefits. This is because Verizon ACP discounts are limited to only one member of an eligible household and cannot be transferred to another member.
What happens my ACP benefits if I leave Verizon?
If you leave Verizon, your ACP benefits will be transferred to your selected provider. Thereafter, you will continue receiving ACP benefits available in that particular provider. Although Verizon ACP benefits are not transferrable among members, they can be transferred to another eligible ACP service provider.
How long will Verizon ACP last?
At this particular moment, it’s not certain how long Verizon should last. Verizon ACP is a newly initiated program that was announced to last on a long-term basis. However, FCC will notify Verizon and the public in general at least 60 days before the program comes to an end.
What will happen to my Verizon ACP benefits when the program expires?
When ACP expires, ACP monthly benefits will be deactivated. Herein, you will continue receiving Verizon plans without ACP subsidy.
Can I get a free tablet with Verizon ACP?
Currently, there is no information from Verizon’s official page on whether they offer 100$ ACP tablet discount or not. However, one thing for sure is that you will get up to $30 discount per month to use internet services on your tablet.
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As seen, Verizon offers a myriad of ACP benefits to qualifying households. This will help families affected by the COVID 19 pandemic access internet connection without struggle. Do you meet any of the eligibility criteria mentioned above? What are you waiting for? Apply for Verizon ACP today and enjoy your benefits.