If you or a Veteran you know is struggling to afford internet service, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program may put fast and reliable internet service within financial reach.
The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program provides a discount of up to $30 per month that can be used toward broadband service for eligible households, and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Also, qualifying households may also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers.
Additionally, 20 leading internet providers will offer ACP-eligible households a high-speed internet plan for no more than $30 per month. Eligible families who pair their ACP benefit with one of these plans can receive high-speed internet at no cost.
To find out if you qualify or to sign up, go to the White House’s Get Internet site or visit the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) through an approved carrier by visiting www.fcc.gov/ACP, or by calling 877-384-2575.
Are you one of the approximately 2.5 million Veterans eligible for the program?
A household is eligible if a member meets at least one of the criteria below:
- Has an income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines;
- Participates in certain assistance programs, such as Veterans pension, survivor benefit Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Women, Infants, and Children; or Lifeline;
- Participates in Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
- Is 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;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating broadband carrier’s existing low-income program.
Check if you are eligible
- Go to ACPBenefit.org to submit an application or print out a mail-in application; and
- Contact your preferred participating provider to select an eligible plan and have the discount applied to your bill. Some providers may have an alternative application that they will ask you to complete.
Eligible households can enroll through a participating broadband provider or directly with the Universal Service Administrative Company using an online or mail-in application.
A good place to start
A good way to further explore your options to get connected is the VA Digital Divide Consult. If you would benefit from video visits but don’t have internet access or a video-capable device, VA’s Digital Divide Consult can help. Through the Digital Divide Consult, a VA social worker can help determine if you are eligible for the Affordable Connectivity program, as well as other programs to help you get the internet service or technology needed for VA telehealth. For more information about the Digital Divide Consult, talk with your VA provider.
Additional ways that VA is keeping Veterans connected
- VA internet-connected devices: If you don’t have a device with internet access, VA can lend you an internet-connected tablet so you can reach your VA care team through telehealth. The Digital Divide Consult can help determine if you are eligible.
- Mobile connectivity support for telehealth: Many mobile carriers help Veteran subscribers avoid data charges when using VA Video Connect on their networks. This enables Veterans to access their VA care teams through telehealth with fewer worries about data fees. Visit the VA Mobile website to learn more about the mobile carrier programs and VA Video Connect.
- Telehealth access stations in your community: Through a pilot program called, “ATLAS” (Accessing Telehealth through Local Area Stations), VA is bringing telehealth care into Veterans’ communities. ATLAS sites are comfortable, private spaces equipped with internet access and the technology needed for Veterans to have video appointments with their VA providers. VA has teamed up with public and private organizations – including The American Legion, Philips North America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Walmart – to create ATLAS sites in select areas of the country. To see if there is an ATLAS site near you, visit the ATLAS webpage.
- Internet and phone service discounts: You may be eligible to receive a discount on your home internet or phone service through two Federal Communications Commission (FCC) programs: Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The Digital Divide Consult can help determine your eligibility for both FCC programs.
- How VA telehealth works: VA Telehealth Services gives you access to the care you need, when and where you need it. To learn about VA telehealth, visit the VA Telehealth Services website.
To get started with the Digital Divide Consult, talk with your VA provider today. For more information, visit the Bridging the Digital Divide Consult page.