The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying households. This program is separate and in addition to the the existing Lifeline program. They have only been running for a week and over 1 million households have signed up. Learn more and apply at GetEmergencyBroadband.org and this FCC Consumer FAQ. Here’s an excerpt on eligibility (emphasis mine).

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

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 providers’ existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

I bolded the part that I believe includes a broader group that may not realize they qualify for this assistance. Here is the documentation that they will require you to submit if you experienced job loss or furlough:

If you experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 because you lost your job or were furloughed, you may qualify for the EBB Program.

You will have to show proof of the job loss or furlough, like a termination letter or furlough notice, as well as proof of your total income, like a tax return or official documentation containing income information when you apply for the EBB Program. To qualify in this way, your total household income in 2020 must be at or below $99,000 (for single tax filers) and $198,000 (for joint tax filers).

Here’s a quick summary of the benefits:

The Emergency Broadband Benefit 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.

Not every single broadband provider offers the Emergency Broadband Benefit, but most do; Look for your provider here. Some providers may force you to switch to a different plan.

Once approved, the $50/month discount will appear automatically on your broadband bill. You can get the discount even if you have a past due balance, and you can sign up for new service if you don’t have existing service.

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Emergency Broadband Benefit: $50/Month Off Home Internet For Low-Income, Job Loss, and Furloughed Workers from My Money Blog.


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