My Madison alder rep, Regina Vidaver, passed on the following information about an Emergency Broadband Benefit that will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the following criteria:
- Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
- 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 in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
As of 12 May 2021, eligible households can enroll in the program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. Eligible households can enroll through the approved provider or by filing an application at this link.
Anyone in Wisconsin who might be eligible for this assistance should apply.
Given that unemployment claims-filing is on-line only unless you indicate in a phone call to the unemployment support center that “I have disabilities that make on-line filing difficult and am requesting assistance” (an option not available to those who converse on the phone), the broadband assistance offered here is essential.