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Affordable Connectivity Program Qualifications

Affordable Connectivity Program Qualifications

Determining if you’re eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program hinges on a few critical qualifications.


Are you eligible?

You have as much right to internet access as your fellow citizens.


This guide takes a no-nonsense approach to explain the Affordable Connectivity Program qualifications, preparing you to gauge your eligibility for discounted internet access succinctly.


Key Takeaways


To qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), households must:

    • participate in government aid programs (like SNAP, Medicaid, or Federal Public Housing Assistance),
    • receive a Federal Pell Grant, or
    • meet specific income thresholds set at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • The ACP provides a monthly service discount of up to $30 for eligible households ($75 on Tribal Lands).


    • This is a one-time purchase discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop, or tablet, and the opportunity to upgrade internet service plans using the discount.


  • Applicants must provide documentation proving eligibility, such as proof of income, government-issued ID, and evidence of program participation, with special additional requirements for residents of Tribal lands.


  • The ACP application process includes updates via online, mail-in, or through a participating internet service provider.

Determining Your Eligibility for the Affordable Connectivity Program


The goal of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), an initiative by the Federal Communications Commission, is to make internet service more accessible by mitigating its cost for households that qualify.


Qualification for ACP involves dual criteria:

  • Potential recipients must be partaking in certain government assistance programs 


  • adhering to income thresholds.

By setting these conditions, the program assures that affordable connectivity reaches those who are most in need of support.


Government Assistance Programs and ACP


The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) can be accessed by participating in a variety of federal assistance programs.


These encompass the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and Federal Public Housing Assistance, to name a few.


Households qualify for ACP if they contain individuals who have been awarded a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year or are participants in either the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program.


Chosen for their expansive outreach and commitment to aiding low-income families, these programs—including affordable housing programs—harmonise with the goals of ACP.


By connecting eligibility for affordable connectivity with these existing support systems, those already identified as needing monetary aid gain an opportunity to access enhanced communication services through ACP.


Income Requirements for ACP


Eligibility for the ACP is also contingent on income levels, with qualification being based on an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.


This benchmark considers household size, recognizing that families with more members typically face increased financial demands.


In recognition of their higher living expenses, Alaska and Hawaii residents are subject to a distinct income threshold when determining eligibility for ACP benefits.


The program adjusts these criteria to provide equitable access to individuals who require assistance in these specific geographical areas.


Lifeline Benefits and ACP Qualification


Eligibility for ACP benefits can be achieved through three pathways, one of which includes being a recipient of Lifeline benefits.


Should you already participate in the Lifeline program, your eligibility for the ACP is granted automatically without Qualification checks.


Should your involvement with Lifeline not have been confirmed in the preceding 12 months, an alternative verification method might be required to access ACP benefits.


The purpose is to make certain that only individuals genuinely in need receive support from the ACP and to prevent any misapplication of its resources.


Applying for the Affordable Connectivity Program


After confirming eligibility for the ACP, the subsequent action is to apply through one of three methods:

  • digitally,


  • via postal service, or


  • by contacting a participating internet service provider.


Take note that as of February 8, 2024, the program suspended processing new applications.


To benefit from the program and receive benefits, it was necessary for consumers to have their approval finalized and registration completed before midnight ET on February 7, 2024.


Those not meeting this deadline must now await future enrollment opportunities.


Prior to halting enrollments, it was recommended for consumers to ensure engagement with an ACP-participating service provider.


This verification could be conducted using resources like USAC’s ‘Companies Near Me’ tool or by obtaining a compilation of providers directly from USAC’s online platform.


Securing ACP assistance encompassed not only submitting your application but also liaising with a participating provider to select an appropriate internet service plan tailored to consumer needs.


Online Application Process


The process of enrolling in the ACP program online is not complicated.


Navigate through the National Verifier application system found on the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) website and submit necessary personal details such as your complete name, birth date, and residential address.


In instances where your qualification for supplemental security income isn’t immediately confirmed by the program databases, evidence would be required.


This may entail documents verifying your earnings or demonstrating involvement in eligible government assistance programs.


Mail-In Application Option


Should you opt for a conventional method, mailing your ACP application was available as an option.


This process involved:

  • Downloading a paper application form from the website dedicated to ACP.


  • Filling out the form thoroughly.


  • Dispatching the filled-out form together with necessary documents proving eligibility directly to the ACP Support Center.

To be considered eligible for assessment by the ACP, all applications sent via mail needed to bear a postmark no later than February 7, 2024.


Upon receipt of your mailed submission, updates concerning your application’s progress would be provided by postal service courtesy of the ACP Support Center.


Contacting Your Internet Service Provider


Certain internet service providers have introduced unique application methods for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) that are accessible either over the phone or on their respective websites, beyond the standard online and mail-in channels.


These providers also took on a role to guide consumers through the ACP application process, ensuring they understood both its provisions and those of applicable service plans under ACP.


Once individuals had applied for ACP benefits, it was incumbent upon them to reach out to a participating provider to select an appropriate internet service plan.


Doing so enabled these applicants to have their discounts seamlessly incorporated into their billing cycle, thus capitalizing on ACP’s intent of providing affordable connectivity services effectively to consumers.


Necessary Documentation for ACP Application


When you applied for the ACP, verifying your qualification necessitated presenting specific documentation.


The required documents were:

  • A government-issued photo identification that is valid, like a driver’s license or passport


  • An official document displaying your full legal name along with your date of birth


  • Documentation confirming income level


  • Verification of program participation.

To these documents, applicants had to supply either a Social Security Number (SSN) or a Tribal Identification Number.


Proof of Income


Providing evidence of income was an essential step in the ACP application process, and it could be furnished using various documents.


One option was to present your household’s adjusted gross income from the latest federal, state, or tribal tax return.


If a tax return was not available, you were allowed to submit official benefit statements such as those from Social Security benefits, Veterans Administration benefits or retirement or pension benefits as proof of income.


In the absence of these forms of documentation, submitting pay stubs for three successive months or an employer-issued statement reflecting earnings could also serve to verify your claimed income level.


Program Participation Verification


Verification of enrollment in specific government assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Federal Public Housing Assistance, is required during the ACP application procedure.


Official documents from these agencies—such as approval letters, benefit award letters or statements of benefits—serve as valid proof for this step.


Should primary evidence be unavailable, alternative documentation including papers related to:

  • unemployment benefits,


  • statements pertaining to veterans’ benefits or


  • retirement benefit statements were considered acceptable.


This leniency regarding acceptable proofs enabled more eligible households to take advantage of the offerings provided by public housing and other related programs.


Additional Documents for Tribal Lands Residents


Individuals living on Tribal lands were obligated to present extra paperwork to qualify.


They could gain eligibility for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) if they were participants of certain programs specific to Tribes.


These include:

  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance


  • The Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)


  • The Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

As part of their application process for the ACP, these residents had to submit proof such as a notice from the Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance or from the tribe itself.


Presenting a Tribal ID or other forms of documentation issued by the Tribe was also necessary for verification purposes.


Understanding Your ACP Benefits


Once you have applied and been approved for the ACP, the advantages of this program will kick in.


These include a discount on your monthly service that could reach up to $30, as well as a one-time device discount that may be up to $100.


It provides an option to enhance your internet package.


Monthly Service Discount


The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount each month to help make internet service more accessible for households with low income.


This monthly discount of up to $30 is subtracted from the cost of your internet plan with any participating providers, helping lower your regular bill.


If you’re an eligible resident living on tribal lands, the benefit grows even larger, allowing for discounts of up to $75 per month.


With this program’s assistance, you have the flexibility either to apply it towards your existing internet service or select a higher-tier option that may better align with your needs.


Be aware; if the price tag of your chosen internet package exceeds the value of the ACP discount, expect to cover any additional amount on top in your final billing statement.


One-Time Device Discount


The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) not only provides a discount on monthly service but also includes a one-time device discount.


You could receive up to $100 off the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet when you buy from providers who are part of the program.


This initiative makes certain that affordable access to broadband service is paired with having the essential devices required for taking full advantage of this connectivity.


Internet Plan Upgrades


The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) aims not only to lower the cost of internet access but also to provide adaptability according to individual requirements.


Subscribers have the liberty to enhance their service plans, whether that means increasing speed or adding services, and can apply a discount up to $30 per month ($75 for those on tribal lands).


This program empowers consumers with the ability to select an internet service plan that aligns with their specific needs without being forced into settling for either more costly or substandard options just to utilize benefits.


Should consumers opt for a service upgrade exceeding the value of the ACP’s discount, they will be responsible for covering any additional costs incurred.


Maintaining Your ACP Eligibility


Ensuring that you remain eligible for the ACP by keeping your personal details current and promptly informing the program of any changes to your eligibility is crucial to keep receiving benefits.


It’s essential to be aware of how the program is phasing out to facilitate a seamless shift after its conclusion.


Updating Your Information


To update your personal details, contact the ACP Support Center directly at (877) 384-2575. Their team is ready to assist you seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.


Notifying ACP of Changes in Eligibility


It is imperative to inform the ACP Support Center of any shifts in your situation, such as a rise in earnings or a cessation of eligibility for government programs, which may affect your qualification for the Affordable Connectivity Program.


You should do this through direct communication with the ACP Support Center via their specific support telephone line.




The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a federal initiative designed to make internet access more affordable for low-income households.


The ACP is a comprehensive program that addresses the financial barriers to internet connectivity.


It does so by determining eligibility through government assistance programs or income requirements, to applying online, by mail, or through an internet service provider.


ACP helps these households enjoy the benefits of monthly service discounts and one-time device discounts,


Although maintaining eligibility and staying updated about the wind-down process is important, the ACP remains a valuable resource for those who need it most.


Frequently Asked Questions


What income is used for ACP?


To qualify for ACP benefits, you or a member of your household needs to participate in government programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, WIC, Pell Grant, or the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch program.


Alternatively, your combined household income must be at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line.


When determining eligibility for ACP benefits based on income levels, all sources including:

  • earnings from work (wages and tips),


  • interest accrued from various accounts


  • and investments plus any Social Security benefits received are considered.


How long does it take to get verified for ACP?


After applying for ACP verification, approval or rejection typically occurs within 10 to 15 minutes.


Following this, once you apply the approved application ID to your internet service account, it may take up to two days before confirmation is received.


Does Social Security count as income for ACP?


Yes, Social Security payments count as income for ACP.


Which of the following are accepted as proof of eligibility for ACP?


For eligibility verification in the ACP, accepted documents include:

  • a statement of unemployment or worker’s compensation,


  • a notice letter from federal or tribal authorities confirming participation in general assistance programs,


  • an official divorce decree or child support award document and


  • any formal documentation that details your annual income for the preceding 12 months.


Who is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?


If you are involved in certain government assistance programs, qualify based on income standards.


Also, if you’re a participant in the Lifeline program, then you meet the qualifications for the Affordable Connectivity Program.


These represent the primary conditions for eligibility within this connectivity program.