Every household requires a stable internet connection to carry on essential functions like paying bills or taxes, getting online education (necessary during COVID-19 these days), and getting office work done while on lockdown. Life cannot go on anymore without a reliable internet connection to deal with everyday situations.
The Federal government’s assistance plan comes in for homes with low-income and deserving students who cannot afford their education. This plan, called “Lifeline”, qualifies homes and individuals can get a $9.25 discount every month for the internet or phone bill. This discount is valid for one service and one household at a time.
1. Assistance during Coronavirus
- Two significant changes have occurred in this program due to the ongoing pandemic.
- Lifeline has waived the verification and recertification requirements for up to 60 days.
- The enrollment registration for representatives has also been waived for up to 60 days.
2. How to qualify for Lifeline
Different Federal and Tribal programs may help you in preparing for Lifeline.
- Veteran Pension and Survivors Benefit
- FPHA or the Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Head Start (if income qualification standards are met)
When your qualification for any of these government assisted plans has come through, you can choose any internet service provider company that supports these programs. Present your award letter or the card issued to you by the assistance program and apply for a connection and discount.
Yourself command be requested for your name, and social security number and the company you selected will start working on your application. You will receive your Lifeline discount after approval.
Let’s say that you’re receiving any assistance through any of the service mentioned above programs and still want to get the Lifeline discount then you’re in luck.
Based on your income, if you have an income below or exactly at the range provided in federal poverty guidelines, you automatically qualify for the discount. You will have to provide real evidence of your low income.
3. Low-income internet plans offered by ISPs
There are quite a few internet providers out there who offer their services to those handicapped due to one reason. There are different ways in which they might check your eligibility. You should be at the desired income level, while some might want you to clear any outstanding bills you may have with other ISPs.
Following ISPs are offering their services to low-income families.
4. Cox Connect2Compete
With a no-contract and no deposit policy, the Connect2Compete plan offers up to 15 Mbps of data speeds for just $9.95 per month if you qualify for their services.
Cox requires that to benefit from this package, the households who have qualified should have at least one K-12 student, a part of some government assistance program like SNAP or NSLP or TANF named Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
During COVID-19, Cox’s plans include:
- Some temporary features like 2-months of free services.
- Free remote customer care for phone and desktop support.
- Discounted rates for equipment, including refurbished PCs.
5. Spectrum Internet Assist
Suppose you have qualified for assistance programs like NSLP: the National School Lunch Program, Community Eligibility Provision, or in case you’re aged 65 or older.
In that case, you are eligible for Spectrum low-income internet offer. With speeds up to 30 Mbps at $14.99 per month, Spectrum sweetens the deal with their no-contract and no data cap facility.
Visit localcabledeals.com/Spectrum for more details about requirements and find out if the service is available in your area.
Moreover, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some additional features are available temporarily, including the availability of Spectrum’s Wi-Fi hotspots for general public use and free 60 days internet for students. Both these initiatives are impressive and commendable during the outbreak because of the lockdown and social distancing situation.
6. Access from AT&T
AT&T is offering speeds up to 10 Mbps for prices as low as $5-$10 a month to all those who qualify for the low-income program. Like its other contenders, AT&T offers a deposit free and a contract-free package with no installation charges, including a home Wi-Fi modem with nationwide access to thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots.
Any participant interested in AT&T’s service should have at least one person at their home who is a part of SNAP, with an address that corresponds to their covered areas in 21 states. They should also have a wireline home internet with no outstanding AT&T bills.
For COVID-19 assistance here are some temporary changes in their provided service; two months of free services for all new qualifying customers, all home data fees have been waived, and expansion in the eligibility criteria for those who are a part of the National School Lunch Program that is NSLP.
7. Xfinity Internet Essentials
Households qualifying for Xfinity’s internet can get internet speeds that go up to 15 Mbps at $9.95/mo. Like its other counterparts, Xfinity is also offering a no-contract and no installation charges plan. There will be no credit checks to make it possible for more customers to apply for their project. They are including in-home Wi-Fi with an option to buy a low budget computer for $149.99 plus some tax.
You are eligible for Xfinity Internet Essentials if you have a child participating in the National School Lunch Program. It can also work if you are entitled to receive HUD housing assistance. Add to this the community college students from Illinois or Colorado or soldiers and senior citizens with verified low monthly income.