Schatz: New Federal Program Can Help Hawai‘i Residents Save Up To $50 On Monthly Internet Bill, Receive Discounts On Computers, Tablets

Applications Now Being Accepted At: GetEmergencyBroadband.Org; New $3.2 Billion Program Part Of COVID-19 Relief Package Passed By Congress, Signed Into Law In December

WASHINGTON – Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced that applications are now being accepted for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a new federal program which provides up to $50 a month on internet service and discounts on computers and tablets for eligible participants. The new $3.2 billion federal program, established by the COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress and signed into law in December, provides support for broadband services and certain devices to help low-income households stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Lots of Hawai‘i residents are struggling to pay their monthly bills, and this new program can help thousands of people who need it to stay online,” said Senator Schatz. “If you’ve lost your job or need help with your internet bills, I encourage you to see if you qualify and apply for this new program.”

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program provides:

  • Up to a $50/month discount on broadband service and associated equipment rentals
  • Up to a $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)

Any household with income at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines is eligible. Households may also qualify for the program if any member of the home:

  • Qualifies for Lifeline benefits through participation in SNAP (also known as food stamps), Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit;
  • Received approval for benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 with a total household income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers;
  • Participates in one of several Tribal specific programs: Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Head Start (only households meeting the relevant income qualifying standard), Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
  • Received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program, and that provider received FCC approval for its eligibility verification process.

More information on benefits, eligibility requirements, and details on how to apply available at: GetEmergencyBroadband.Org.

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