How  to Apply for Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) introduced the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) as a temporary measure to provide internet services to households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Qualifying households enjoyed a discount of up $50 (or $75 on Tribal Lands) a month towards broadband services.

Spectrum is one of the mobile virtual network providers (MVNO) offering the EBB discount on behalf of the FCC. Since it operates on the Verizon network, Spectrum Mobile is available nationwide, offering reliable 4G LTE and 5G connectivity.

You cannot join the Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum since it has been replaced by the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Even so, this article describes how to qualify and apply for the EBB discount courtesy of Spectrum Mobile.

How Emergency Broadband Spectrum Works

As already alluded to, Spectrum is a nationwide wireless network that covers 70% of the U.S. territory and reaches over 90% of the population. In addition, the company offers internet, mobile phone, home phone, and cable TV services.

So, it participates in the EBB program as an internet provider. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company offered a $50 monthly credit on household internet bills. People living on qualifying Tribal Lands got a $75 monthly discount.

Besides, eligible households also got a free tablet if they didn’t have one. Moreover, the internet speeds on the 4G network were at least 30 Mbps, which is fast enough to download content and stream videos online.

Spectrum Mobile offers home Wi-Fi broadband on some of its service plans, making it possible to share the internet with others in the household. The good thing with Spectrum Mobile is that it has no-contract services. As a result, it doesn’t tie you down to the network when you want to shift to another one.

With the Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum, you can get fixed internet services on desktop computers, laptops, and tablets. So, you don’t need any unique device to benefit from the discount. But, of course, you can apply for a free or discounted tablet if you need one.

U.S. States With Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum

Given that its network is nationwide, Spectrum Mobile offers the EBB discount in many U.S. states. The following are the ones that quickly come to mind:

AlabamaArizonaCaliforniaColorado
ConnecticutFloridaGeorgiaHawaii
IdahoIllinoisIndianaKansas
KentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippi
MissouriMontanaNebraskaNevada
New HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew York
North CarolinaOhioOregonPennsylvania
South CarolinaTennesseeTexasVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsin
Wyoming   

So, if you live in any of these states and are eligible for the EBB discount, you are free to apply for it. Each qualifying household got one monthly internet service until February 2022, when they transited to the Affordable Connectivity Program.

How to Qualify for Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum

Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum

The people qualifying for Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum must meet a strict criterion. Here are some of the conditions one must meet to be eligible for the EBB discount:

1. Participation in Lifeline Assistance

If you already participate in Lifeline Assistance, you can apply for EBB from Spectrum. Of course, it helps if you get Lifeline Assistance from Spectrum. But, even if you’re on a different network, you can still apply for and get the EBB discount from Spectrum Mobile if their service plans are better.

2. Government Assistance

Do you or a loved one participate in a government assistance program? If so, then you can apply for and get EBB from Spectrum. The following are some of the Federal assistance programs for which you can qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit;

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Section 8 Federal Public Housing Authority (FHPA)
  • Veterans and Survivor’s Pension benefit

3. Assistance for Tribal Lands

Apart from the regular Federal assistance programs, others target households living on Tribal Lands. The following are some of the Tribal Lands programs that may qualify you for EBB by Spectrum Mobile:

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

4. Loss of Income or Low Income

Families with a substantial loss of income after February 29, 2020, were eligible for the EBB discount courtesy of Spectrum Mobile. Qualifying households were required to have an income of $99,000 or below for 2020 for single-member households.

Joint filers were required to have an income of $198,000 or below. Remember, the loss of revenue could have been due to a job loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In that case, you must attach a furlough notice or termination letter, tax returns, and other documents with income information.

5. Child of Dependent Benefits

Do any children or dependents participate in a free or reduced-price lunch program? That’s enough to help you qualify for the EBB from Spectrum Mobile. Other programs include the USDA Community Eligibility Provision or school breakfast program.

You only need one household member to participate in any of these programs. For example, a child could benefit from the free and reduced-price school lunch program. All you need is to provide documentation proving your loved one’s participation in is of these programs.

Even better, students on several forms of assistance could qualify for a free laptop from the EBB program on the following conditions:

  • A beneficiary of the Federal Pell Grant in the last 12 months
  • Enrolling with a broadband provider with a COVID-19 relief or low-income program

6. Low-Income Status

Alternatively, qualifying households needed an income of up to 135% of Federal government poverty guidelines. The actual income figures depend on your household size. When applying for Spectrum EBB, you’ll need proof of income. Due to the introduction of the ACP, the qualification criteria have since changed.

Documents Required to Provide Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum

Application for Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum involves providing documentation to prove your eligibility. The required documents depend on how you qualify for the discount. The following are the various categories of documents to attach to your EBB application:

1. Proof of Identity

It is critical to proving your identity by providing the necessary documents. The following are some of the documents you can provide to verify identity:

  • Social Security Number
  • U.S. Driver’s License
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
  • U.S. Military ID
  • State ID
  • Passport
  • Any other government-issued ID

2. Proof of Address

When enrolling for the EBB through Spectrum, you must provide an address where the company can send all correspondence. Then you must provide documentation proving your address. The following are some of the most common proof of residence documents:

  • Utility bill
  • Tribal ID
  • State ID
  • Lease or mortgage statement
  • Most recent tax return or W-2

3. Proof of Income

Do you qualify for EBB based on your income? You must submit documentation proving that your household income is up to 135% of existing Federal government poverty guidelines. The following are examples of the proof-of-income documents to submit with your EBB application to Spectrum Mobile:

  • The previous year’s Federal, state, or Tribal tax return
  • Social security statement of benefit
  • Paycheck stub or employer’s income statement
  • Veterans Administration statement of benefits
  • Worker’s Compensation or Unemployment statement of benefits
  • Child support, divorce decree, or similar statement
  • Pension/retirement statement of benefits

4. Proof of Participation in Government Assistance

If your qualification is based on a government assistance program, you must provide documents proving the same. Here are some of the documents you should attach to your EBB Spectrum Mobile application:

  • Benefit verification letter
  • Statement of benefits
  • Approval letter
  • Benefit award letter

6. Proof of Substantial Income Loss

Alternatively, you might qualify for the EBB discount due to substantial income loss occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll need to provide several types of documents, including the following:

  • Layoff/furlough notice
  • Evidence of business closure or bankruptcy
  • Unemployment benefits application, approval letter, or statement
  • Social Security statement of benefit
  • Federal, state, or tribal tax return
  • Veterans Administration statement of benefits
  • Worker’s Compensation or Unemployment statement of benefits
  • Child support award, divorce decree, or similar document
  • Pension/retirement statement of benefits

To apply for EBB via Spectrum Mobile, you must be 18 and over. If not, you should be an emancipated minor with the necessary certification or court documents. Before attaching any of the above documents, you should process copies using a phone camera, smartphone, copy machine, or scanner. Ensure the copies are clear, readable, and not too dark. Avoid submitting original documents since you may require them in the future.

How to Apply for Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum Mobile

You can apply for EBB whether you’re a new or existing Spectrum Mobile customer. The application procedure isn’t as different. Here is how to complete your application:

1. Application as an Existing Spectrum Mobile Customer

Existing Spectrum Mobile customers can confirm their eligibility via the National Verifier at www.getemergencybroadband.org. Once you know your eligibility status, you can apply for EBB via the Spectrum website. Here are the steps you should take to complete your application:

  • Step 1: Go to www.spectrum.net/support/forms/emergency_broadband_benefit
  • Step 2: Log into your Spectrum Mobile account by entering your credentials
  • Step 3: Fill out the EBB application form by entering all the required information.
  • Step 4: Attach the necessary documents to your application and submit it.
  • Step 5: Wait for Spectrum Mobile to verify your EBB status. Ideally, it’ll come in a few hours or several days

2. Application as a New Spectrum Mobile Customer

Possibly, you have never used Spectrum Mobile services before. You could as well be considering switching from another network. In that case, you should apply for EBB by taking the following steps:

What Do I Get from Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum Mobile

If you qualify for the EBB from Spectrum, you’ll receive $50 (or $75 in Tribal Lands) in monthly credit towards your broadband service cost. The Spectrum Mobile Emergency Broadband Benefit service plans offer internet speeds from 30 Mbps.

With the EBB discount, your household can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Staying connected with your loved ones
  • Access to information and get online education via virtual classrooms
  • Participation in online/virtual work, resulting in better job opportunities
  • Staying in touch with health services
  • Entertainment opportunities, including video streaming, music, and games
  • Staying in touch with emergency services

Spectrum Mobile Bring Your Own Phone Program

Switching to Spectrum is easy, thanks to the company’s bring-your-own-phone program. Instead of buying a new device, you can join Emergency Broadband Benefit by Spectrum Mobile with the phone from your current internet provider. With that, you can save on the cost of a new phone.

All you have to do is buy a Spectrum Mobile SIM kit online. You would then choose a suitable service plan. The following are the advantages of the Spectrum Mobile BYOP program:

  • Quality Coverage: Spectrum Mobile works on the Verizon network. Therefore, its customers get the same high-quality 4G LTE coverage.
  • Flexibility: Spectrum Mobile offers no-contract prepaid plans. Since you aren’t tied down to any plan, you can easily choose a better one or switch to another network.
  • Lower Prices: You can save substantial money by joining the Spectrum Mobile bring-your-own-phone program, even without the EBB discount.
  • Easy to Switch: Switching to Spectrum Mobile is extremely easy. After picking your plan, you should wait for the delivery of your SIM kit in the mail. You can then quickly activate it.
  • Keep Your Number: Did you know you can switch to Spectrum Mobile and keep your number? That’s convenient, especially in keeping you in touch with your contacts.

The Bottom Line

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Spectrum is available to qualifying households due to low income or total loss of income. The program is a response to the hardships occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, participation in a government assistance program can put you through to the EBB discount.

Applying for the EBB discount is a straightforward process that involves verifying eligibility and filling out an application form. As part of the application, you must attach relevant documents to prove your identity, address, and income.

You Might Also Like

People Also Ask

How long should I wait for Emergency Broadband Benefit from Spectrum Mobile?

The exact waiting time for the EBB from Spectrum depends on various factors. However, after confirming your application, you should get the EBB credit in the next broadband bill.

Does Spectrum participate in the EBB device subsidy program?

Spectrum Mobile doesn’t participate in the EBB’s device subsidy program. So, you shouldn’t expect to get a free or subsidized phone from Spectrum Mobile.

What happened when EBB ended?

The EBB program ended on March 3, 2022, when the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) kicked in. As such, those participating in the EBB transited automatically to ACP.