How to Get Free Internet with Food Stamps

The internet is integral to modern-day technology since it allows computers to communicate. For your understanding, the internet is the system that allows computers such as smartphones to connect online. You can access social media and web pages and upload or download content from the internet. However, not everyone can access a reliable internet connection due to financial challenges. This article explains how you can get free internet with food stamps.

Low-income families have a gross income of 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. The percentage of the poverty level had stayed at 135% until recently when the government raised it to 200% for the Affordable Connectivity Program, making it accommodate more people. Such households find it difficult to put food on the table, and thus purchasing internet plans can be a big challenge for them.

Everybody should have access to internet connectivity because everyone has a right to communicate with others. The internet allows you to make video calls and chat on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Moreover, you need the internet to work online in various fields such as SEO writing, data entry, and online teaching, among many others. 

How to get free internet with Food Stamps

Food Stamps is now the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It is a federal nutrition program that helps low-income persons get the necessary nutrition. Once they get the funds, they can buy food to feed their families.

You might be wondering how you can get free internet through Food Stamps. Usually, the government uses various criteria to give low-income families free internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program and Lifeline. Food Stamp, which is now Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is one of the qualifying benefits that allows you to get free internet.

However, it is not free because you have to contribute something small towards the purchase price. Let us look at the two programs offering free internet through Food Stamps or other benefits.

1) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is an FCC benefit program that helps households get the broadband they require for school, work, healthcare, and more. The benefit gives the eligible households a discount of up to $30 monthly for their internet service. The program also helps households on qualifying Tribal lands to get up to $75 per month for their broadband services.

Also, eligible households can get a one-time discount of up to $100 to buy a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer from participating service providers. They can only get a discount when they contribute at least $10 and less than $50 for the purchase price. The Affordable Connectivity Program is a monthly service discount and offers one device discount per eligible household.

Who qualifies for the Affordable Connectivity Program

You can qualify for ACP through Food Stamps alone and get your free internet after contributing the required amount. The program only requires a beneficiary to qualify through a single benefit program. Therefore, a Food Stamp is enough for that. However, there are other ways you can qualify for the program.

A household can qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the income is 200% or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Also, a household is eligible for the program if a household member meets at least one of the criteria below:

  • Received a Federal Pell Grant within the current award year;
  • Meets the eligibility requirements for a participating service provider’s existing low-income internet program;

Another way you may qualify is if you or a family member benefits from any of the following aid programs:

  • The National School Lunch Program
  • School Breakfast Program
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • SNAP
  • Medicaid
  • WIC
  • Lifeline
  • Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits

Also, suppose you or a household member participates in any of the following assistance programs and resides on Qualifying Tribal lands. In that case, they can qualify for the ACP program and get a free internet alongside other benefit.

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Tribal Head Start (income-based)
  • Tribal TANF

How to apply for ACP

Once you qualify, you can apply for the benefits program to get your free broadband allowance. There are two ways you can apply for the program. You can apply on the Affordable Connectivity or print out a mail-in application and send it to the agency via the given mailbox.

Another way you can apply is by contacting your preferred participating provider to select a plan and have the discount applied to your bill. There are various service providers you can opt for, such as Boost Mobile, StandUp Wireless, and T-Mobile, among others.

2) Lifeline

Lifeline also offers free government internet for low income families besides the Affordable Connectivity Program. Lifeline is a federal benefit program that benefits low-income families by giving them discounts on their monthly communication plans. Eligible consumers get a free phone, texts, voice call minutes, and data. The plans differ from one service provider to the other.

You can qualify for Lifeline if you are a Food Stamps beneficiary. Also, you can qualify through other means. If you have an income of 135% or less of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, you can qualify for Lifeline. Moreover, you can qualify through the following benefit programs.

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Medicaid
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit

Furthermore, suppose you reside on Tribal lands. In that case, you or someone in your household can benefit from the Lifeline program if they benefit from the above-listed programs or following Tribal programs.

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Head Start
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Tribal TANF)

Bottom line

The internet is essential to modern technology because it allows computers to communicate. Internet plans are costly, and thus not everybody can afford them. Therefore, there is a need to assist those who cannot access the internet.

The federal government has two aid programs that help people from low-income households benefit from free internet and other communication packages such as texts and voice call minutes.