Michigan Internet Bill Support: Who’s Eligible and How Do I Sign Up?

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Low-income households in Michigan may qualify for financial assistance to connect to high-speed Internet.

Michigan’s Public Service Commission said this week that a new $14.2 billion federal program for affordable connectivity can help eligible state residents pay their monthly internet bills. Attendees can receive $30 off their monthly bill, while those living on eligible tribal lands can receive a monthly bill reduction of $75.

The Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is designed to succeed the agency’s previous Emergency Broadband Assistance (EBB) program launched as part of federal stimulus legislation this year. last and which ends on March 1st. EBB in 2021 nationwide supported nearly 9 million households who struggled to afford internet, but the program stopped accepting new applicants at the end of the year.

Related: Unstable internet access across Michigan poses problems for online schooling

FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel said this week that more than 10 million households across the country have already signed up for the new ACP, which is funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“No family should have to choose between paying for gas or groceries and their monthly internet bill, especially when a connection is essential for work, school, healthcare, etc. But for far too many people, the cost of internet service makes the connections we need for everyday life out of reach,” Rosenworcel said.

One new ACP rebate is allowed per eligible household.

Households are eligible if a person living there meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • An income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines ($36,620 for two people, $55,000 for a household of four, for example)
  • Participates in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC ) or the Lifeline phone or broadband benefit.
  • Participates in a tribal program such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or a food distribution program on tribal reservations.
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current year
  • Meets eligibility criteria for a participating broadband provider’s existing low-income program.

There are several ways to enroll in the program.

Most EBB participants who were enrolled at the end of last year will be automatically enrolled in the new ACP and will not have to take any additional steps to receive the benefit. However, the monthly benefit will drop from $50 to $30, although the monthly tribal benefit will remain at $75.

Automatic CPA enrollment will not apply to those who received the EBB due to temporary job loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic or who were in a COVID-19 program. These participants should have been informed in January by their broadband provider of the steps to follow to recertify their eligibility before March 1.

Anyone unsure of their qualifying status should contact their broadband provider to inquire about the ACP benefit after March 1 and any need to reapply.

Those who would be new ACP participants can apply in several different ways:

  • Go to the CPA website at www.fcc.gov/acp and apply online.
  • Print an application from this site, along with a household spreadsheet. Complete both and mail to ACP Support Center, PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
  • Contact your Internet company to inquire about ACP, find a participating provider using the FCC’s Michigan ACP Provider List.

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