Federal benefit helps people pay for internet

If your house qualifies for free or reduced school lunches, this could save you money

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Last week, the FCC opened the Emergency Broadband Benefit, which helps eligible households connect to broadband. The benefit offers a discount of $50 per month for broadband service, or $75 if the household is on tribal land.

Eligible recipients can also receive up to $100 to purchase a laptop from participating providers.

“Broadband is absolutely essential for people in North Carolina,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “It helps folks access the economy, telemedicine, and education. Eligible North Carolinians should apply to the Emergency Broadband Benefit today to get help accessing this critical resource.”

Eligible households must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Have an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (earning no more than $17,388 a year for a household of 1, $23,517 a year for a household of two, $29,646 a year for a household of three or $35,775 a year for a household of four) or participate in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
  • Be approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-20 or 2020-21 school year;
    Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meet the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

If your household is eligible for the FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit, go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online.

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