Citing research that associates internet connectivity with better health outcomes, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is asking people who know elders with no or limited internet connectivity to share the news about a new benefit.
"If you or someone you know needs help paying for internet service, you may qualify for a monthly discount on a new or existing internet service plan through a government program called the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
"You may also qualify for a one-time device discount of up to $100, to buy a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers."
The program supports the whole household, so if you have a qualifying individual in your home, you should be able to obtain services on their behalf.
- Up to a $30/month discount on your internet service
- Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
- A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)
- A low cost service plan that may be fully covered through the ACP
People can apply by pulling up AffordableConnectivity.gov or calling 1-877-384-2575. On the site, you can download a PDF application form that lists the various criteria, though we recommend using the online application process once you've reviewed it.
Notably, even if you are already enrolled in the FCC's Lifeline program, you may still be able to qualify and receive the ACP supplements.
Rather than requiring a new, complex set of qualification criteria, your enrollment in one or more other federal programs (SNAP. WIC, SSI, Medicaid, and numerous others, including VA benefits) provides the necessary hoop-jumping by proxy. It's great to see the government offering new benefits without inventing a whole new system of red tape to support it.
DISCLAIMER: CarePrecise uses data provided by CMS develop and refine its products.
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