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Stimulus update: Can I claim $50 off my internet bill? Here’s how to check

A chunk of the December stimulus package was aimed at improving broadband access in the form of $50 monthly internet coupons for qualifying households.

Stimulus update: Can I claim $50 off my internet bill? Here’s how to check
[Photo: Jud Mackrill/Unsplash; Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash]
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During the COVID-19 crisis, internet access served as a golden delineation between pandemic haves and have-nots. It decided whether you got schooling, visits with doctors, means of work, or the treasured chance to see family and friends’ faces for an entire year in quarantine.

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And as the pandemic has crystallized, millions of Americans fall under the have-nots, because they either cannot afford broadband or live in underresourced areas largely neglected by broadband providers.

While that second problem is a greater equality issue, a $3.2 billion chunk of December’s coronavirus relief package has been thrown at the first problem, in the form of $50 monthly internet coupons. The program kicks off today and your household might be eligible if:

  • You receive food stamps or Medicaid
  • You have a child in the free and reduced-price school lunch program
  • You earn 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines
  • You experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020, and earned less than $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers
  • If you live on Tribal lands, you might be eligible for a $75 monthly coupon

Additionally, the program offers a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer, as long as the purchaser makes a co-payment of between $10-$50.

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According to the Federal Communications Commission, tens of millions of Americans should be eligible—but the funds could run out in as little as a few months.

See the full criteria here.