The FCC has linked the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and Lifeline program with the Veterans Benefits Administration in order to make it easier for the eligibility of veterans to be verified.
The Veterans Benefits Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The database connection will enable automatic eligibility verification of veterans who receive qualifying pension benefits and who apply to participate in the ACP or Lifeline program.
“I’m proud of this initiative to help our Veterans more easily get affordable online digital benefits that can open doors to education, health care and job opportunities,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release about the new FCC Lifeline eligibility functionality. “Both of these programs are already available to eligible Veterans, but with today’s action we’re making it a lot easier to quickly get qualified. I thank our government partners for their work on this project, and for their ongoing commitment to closing the digital divide for Veterans who have given so much in service to our country.”
The Lifeline program provides a monthly discount as much as $9.25 for Internet service. The amount on Tribal Lands is as much as $34.25. The Affordable Care Program (ACP) provides a monthly discount of as much as $30 for Internet service for eligible households. The discount is as much as $75 for Tribal Lands. The ACP – which has served almost 15 million people – provides a one-time discount of as much as $100 to buy a laptop, desktop or tablet from participating providers if funding recipients contribute between $10 and $50 to the purchase.
In October, the FCC released information on ACP Your Home, Your Internet Pilot and the ACP Navigator Pilot. The Your Home, Your Internet pilot aims to increase awareness of ACP and the ACP Navigator Pilot will test whether allowing “trusted, neutral third-party entities” to enroll eligible households in the ACP will increase participation in the program.