A tablet is an important device that allows you to perform various activities. Most tablets operate like smartphones, whereby you can input a SIM card and make calls, send texts and use carrier data services. Again, the devices can connect to available WiFi services so that you can connect to hotspots and enjoy connections. However, the devices are expensive, and some people cannot afford them. We shall look at how you can get an Affordable Connectivity Program tablet shortly.
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a federal aid program that came after the Emergency Benefit Program (EBB). The Emergency Benefit program was helping people affected by pandemic to access affordable broadband, healthcare services, and jobs. That is because people had lost jobs due to the government directives to stay at home to prevent the spreading of the virus. People needed help to continue pushing on with life.
When the pandemic ended, Congress saw it essential to introduce the Affordable Connectivity Program to continue helping people with low-income to access affordable broadband. Unlike EBB, which allowed people with a total household income of 135% or below of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, the ACP program started accepting those with a household income of 200% or below. It, therefore, allowed many people to join.
What is the Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC program that helps households to get the broadband they require for work, healthcare, school, and much more. The benefit provides you a discount of up to $30 monthly toward internet service for qualifying households and up to $75 monthly for households on eligible Tribal lands.
Eligible households can also get a one-time discount of up to $100 to buy a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. That is possible if they contribute at least $10 and not more than $50 toward the purchase price. The Affordable Connectivity Program is a one-month service discount and one discount for a device per household.
Can I get a Affordable Connectivity Program tablet
When you qualify, you can get a free government tablet on the Affordable Connectivity Program. There are various ways you can qualify for the benefits program. First, you may qualify through income whereby, if your total household income is at 200% or below, then you can apply. The qualification by income varies from one state to the other.
I mentioned a discount you get when you register for the program to use it in buying the device you need. You have to purchase the device through your service provider’s platform. You can choose to purchase a tablet using the discount that you purchase. Most service providers will require you to contribute $10 to buy your needed tablet. Therefore, the device is not entirely free.
You can also qualify for ACP if you received a Federal Pell Grant within the current award year or has the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s low-income internet program. Another way to qualify for the ACP program is by participating in various benefits programs. These include the following.
- The National School Lunch Program
- School Breakfast Program
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Furthermore, suppose you live in the Tribal Lands and participate in the above programs or the following assistance programs. In that case, you qualify to apply for the service. The following are the various tribal programs that you can benefit from.
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Tribal TANF
- Tribal Head Start (income based)
How to apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program
You can apply for the program online at your service provider’s website by providing the necessary details for the application process. After that, you can choose the plan you want and contribute the needed amount to buy a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
However, you must ensure you qualify by entering your details on the National Verifier’s portal. Once you complete the application, you can choose the service provider you want to use to receive the benefits. Your service provider will then guide you in choosing the best plan to help you enjoy the benefits of ACP.
You may also apply for the benefits program on your service provider’s website. You only need to look for the Affordable Connectivity Program tab and apply. After that, you can choose the plan you need and the discounted device you want to purchase.
What documents does one need to apply for ACP
Various documents are needed to prove various qualifications criteria. The documents help to ascertain that you qualify for the service.
1) Documents to qualify by program
When qualifying for the benefit through any of the various programs, you can produce any of the following documents.
- Benefit award letter
- Benefit verification letter
- School documentation
- Approval letter
- Statement of benefits
The document must include various details, which include the following.
- Your dependent’s or your first and last name
- An issue date within the past 12 months or a future expiry date
- The name of the eligible program, such as SNAP
- The name of the government, program administrator, Tribal entity, school, university, school district, or college that issued the document
The documents must be from the current school year or the school year before the application for the Free School Breakfast Program or Reduced-Price School Lunch Program, including US Department of Agriculture Community Eligibility Provision schools.
For USDA Community Eligibility Provision schools, documents should show that the student is studying in a CEP School for the necessary school year. The documents must show the student’s name, the name and address of the school, the relevant school year, and contact details for the school.
For Federal Pell Grants, the necessary documents should be from the student’s institution, which may be a community college, college or university, career school, or the Department of Education. They should show the student got a Pell Grant for the current award year.
2) Documents to qualify by income
When qualifying through income, you can bring any of the various eligible documents, which include the following.
- Prior year’s federal, state, or Tribal tax return
- Most recent income statement from your employer or a paycheck stub
- A retirement/pension statement of benefits
- Veterans Administration statement of benefits
- A Social Security statement of benefits
- Unemployment/Workers Compensation benefits statement
- Child support award, divorce decree, or a similar official document indicating your income
The document you bring must contain various details, which include your/dependent’s first and last names and your annual income.
3) Identity documents
You can use various documents to show your identity. That is very important as the systems should know who they are allowing to benefit from the program. The following are the various identification documents you can use when applying for your ACP benefit program.
- A valid government, state, military, or Tribal ID
- US Driver’s license
- Permanent Resident Card
- Green Card
- Government assistance program document
- Birth Certificate
- Certificate of US Citizenship or Naturalization
- individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
The documents must include your first and last name and date of birth. However, the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number document may not have the date of birth. Unless you are an emancipated minor, you must be at least 18 years to participate in the benefits program on your own.
4) Document to prove your address
You can use the following documents for the mail application to show proof of your address.
- Driver’s license or any other valid government, state, or Tribal ID
- Mortgage or lease statement
- Most recent W-2 or tax return
- Utility bill
The documents must show your first and last name and your physical address.
However, when applying online, you can prove your address using the online mapping tool to help USAC find your address. You may also send a Map that shows your physical address or location when conducting a mail application. The map must include latitude and longitude coordinates, especially if you live on Tribal lands.
5) Emancipated minor proof documents
The following documents can help prove that you have an emancipated minor.
- Court document
- Certificate of emancipation
The documentation should contain your first and last name and a confirmation of the emancipated minor status.
When will the Affordable Connectivity Program end
The Affordable Connectivity Program is temporary, just like the Emergency Benefits Program was. However, the end date is not clearly stated. However, the program is long-term, meaning it may run for several years.
Does Lifeline offer free tablets
Lifeline is also a federal government benefits program that allows low-income households to get a free government phone, minutes, texts, and data. The program does not include a free tablet. However, it is one of the qualifications of the Affordable Connectivity program. Most qualification criteria for Lifeline are also used when qualifying for the ACP program.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a benefits program that allows eligible Americans to benefit from the Affordable Connectivity Program. Apart from the free broadband, beneficiaries can contribute something small to buy discounted tablets from their service provider.
A tablet is a significant device in modern life. Many would like to have one to use for their activities but cannot afford it. That is why the government subsidizes the device plus others such as laptops and desktop computers for needy households.