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How Do I Get Free Internet With Food Stamps

Did you know that you could be eligible for free internet if you’re currently a recipient of Food Stamps? This is because the Federal Government is taking the necessary measures to ensure that every citizen has access to an internet connection, so they don’t miss out on any opportunities.

The government understands that the internet has become an essential commodity and that few people can afford it due to their dire financial situation. This makes it hard for them to work online or communicate and worsens the digital divide.

To curb this, the government developed a couple of assistance programs that can enable people from low-income backgrounds to get constant access to free internet. Examples of such programs include the Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program.

Many qualification criteria exist for these programs, including participation in the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program or Food Stamps. If you don’t know how to get free internet with food stamps, this article will take you through the whole process.

What are Food Stamps

Food stamps is a name given to the Federal Government-aided program known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program was established to assist citizens from low-income backgrounds to feed themselves.

How does SNAP work? The program deposits funds into the accounts of qualified consumers, which they can access using EBT/Electronic Benefits Transfer cards. The cards can serve as debit cards used to pay for food in specific stores and supermarkets.

Although it is referred to as the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program, the name food stamps is still prevalent. Currently, this program is the largest of its kind in the country, serving millions of citizens who cannot make ends meet.

Which Government Programs Provide Free Internet with Food Stamps

Free Internet With Food Stamps

Two main government-aided programs will enable you to get free internet with food stamps; they include:

1. Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program is a reasonably new assistance program dedicated to providing free internet with food stamps to people from low-income backgrounds. It gives eligible applicants a $30 monthly credit for settling their internet service bills. This credit shoots up to $75 monthly for qualified applicants residing in Tribal lands.

Initially, the Federal Government offered the Emergency Broadband Benefit to low-income persons to help them stay connected during the Covid pandemic. However, the program ran its course and was concluded on December 31, 2021.

Realizing the importance of the EBB in helping struggling households continue with their lives, the government came up with a new program meant to last longer, the ACP. It even provided a leeway period during which members of the EBB could automatically migrate to the ACP to continue receiving benefits.

2. Lifeline Assistance Program

The Lifeline is a government support program that has been around for over three decades. It was designed and initiated by the Federal Communication Commission to grant financial assistance to low-income persons who could not settle their telephone service bills.

Initially, the Lifeline was meant to cater to home phone bills only, but as time passed, it evolved into a more encompassing program. It now provides monthly discounts to eligible households to help them settle their internet service bills.

Who funds the program? The Federal government does, using the contributions it gets from telecommunication companies participating in the program. By Law, these companies are supposed to remit finances to the Universal Service Fund, which will also assist in administering the program.

3. ConnectHomeUSA

ConnectHomeUSA is an assistance program initiated to address the digital divide due to high internet costs. The program can run thanks to a partnership forged by the government and the non-profit organization, EveryoneOn.

The program gives free and highly-discounted internet services to persons living in government-assisted housing developments. However, its main focus is on households that contain K 12 children. It also goes an extra step to educate residents in public housing so they can be digitally competent.

Qualification Guidelines for Free Internet with Food Stamps

All government assistance programs have stringent guidelines you must follow to benefit from them. To receive free internet with food stamps through the Affordable Connectivity Program, you have to satisfy at least any of these conditions:

  • Your household’s annual income doesn’t exceed 200% of the Poverty Guidelines the Federal Government dictates.
  • A household member has signed up for any of these Federal Government or Tribal support programs:
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/Food Stamps
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance/FPHA
    • Supplemental Security Income/SSI
    • Women, Infants, and Children/WIC
    • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
    • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
    • Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program/School Breakfast Program
    • Food Distribution on Indian Reservations
    • A Federal Pell Grant recipient in the year under consideration
    • Head start
  • You can also be eligible for ACP if one household member is enrolled in the Lifeline.

On the other hand, if you want to receive free internet through the Lifeline program, you need to satisfy one of these conditions:

  • Your household’s annual income doesn’t go beyond 135% of the Poverty Guidelines the Federal Government dictates.
  • A household member has subscribed to any of these Federal Government or Tribal support programs:
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance/FPHA
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
    • Medicaid
    • Head Start
    • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit Program
    • Supplemental Security Income
    • Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Providers Offering Free Internet with Food Stamps

Some of the top providers offering free internet with food stamps in the country are:

1. AT&T

AT&T has an assistance program called access that offers free internet with food stamps to people signed up for the Affordable Connectivity Program. This service comes with no installation costs, deposits, or annual contracts. Additionally, you also get in-home Wi-Fi.

The internet connection provided by access can reach speeds of up to 100Mbps. All this can come for free when you use the $30 monthly discount (or $75 for persons residing in tribal lands) provided by ACP to decrease your bill. 

Households that want to benefit from this program should have one member who benefits from SNAP or the National School Lunch Program. If you’re already a member of the ACP, you can contact 877-366-0497 so that they can put up your service.

2. Cox

Cox’s low internet service comes under the Connect2Compete plan. The plan only cost $9.95 but becomes completely free once you apply the ACP discount and offers speeds of up to 100 Mbps. It includes no deposit fees, annual contracts, and a Wi-Fi modem.

Who qualifies for this plan? Any household with k-12 kids benefitting from the National School Lunch Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program/SNAP. Cox also offers unlimited access to their Wi-Fi hotspots to their qualified customers.

Families that reside in public housing and those who get tenant-based vouchers, Public-Based Rental Assistance, or Project Based Vouchers may also benefit from Connect2Compete. You can check out Cox’s website to learn more about their terms and conditions and see if they are available in your area.

3. Spectrum

Spectrum is among the largest cable operators in the country. They provide low-cost internet through the Spectrum Internet Assist program. Their lowest-priced plan goes for $19.99 monthly and costs nothing with ACP benefits.

This company is perfect for households that don’t want a stand-alone internet service. It allows you to combine TV, phone service, and landline with your internet package. The benefits of their internet service include a free modem, internet speeds of up to 30Mbps, and no contracts.

The Spectrum Internet Assist was mainly meant to serve households with children benefitting from the National School Lunch Program and senior citizens older than 65 receiving Supplemental Security Income.

If you want free internet with food stamps from Spectrum, you should contact them at 1-800-866-8026 or complete an application form on their site.

4. Comcast Xfinity

Xfinity, brought to you by the telecommunication company Comcast offers internet to low-income consumers through the Internet Essentials program. The cheapest internet bundle package costs $9.95 monthly, but you won’t pay a single dime if you combine internet essentials with ACP.

This package offers you speeds of 50Mbps. You will not have to pay any activation, rental, or deposit fees when subscribing to the Internet Essentials program. In addition, the company does not perform any credit checks or tie you down to any contracts.

 Some government assistance programs make you eligible for the Internet Essential program, including Federal Pell Grants, Medicaid, National School and Lunch Program, and Federal Public Housing Assistance.

Applying for free Internet service from Comcast is simple and fast, but you must first reside in an area where they offer it. It only takes 5-7 business days for them to activate your home internet.

5. Mediacom

Mediacom is a well-known cable operator that offers internet plans for as low as $19.99 per month. However, with their Connect2Compete program, you can get a $9.95 monthly plan which gives you an internet connection with speeds of up to 25Mbps.

The cost of the Connect2Compete plan goes to zero if you are an ACP discount recipient. Who is eligible? Low-income households with k-12 students receiving assistance through the free or reduced-price school lunch program.

Like most other providers on our list, the free internet service that Mediacom offers comes with no deposit or installation fees. Moreover, Mediacom leases their modem to you for the period you use their service.

6. Internet First

Internet First provides affordable internet services to customers signed up for the National School Lunch Program, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/Food Stamps, and Supplemental Security Income.

You only have to pay $9.95 to reap the benefits of the Internet First service, which includes no contracts, installation fee, credit checks, 50Mbps internet speed, and 60 days of service at no cost. You can apply for their service by going to their website or by mail, whichever you find more convenient.

Applying for Free Internet with Foods Stamps

You can use three primary methods to apply for free internet with Food Stamps, they include:

1. Online Application

This is the fastest and most convenient way of sending your application. Just visit the official ACP application page, complete an application form and submit it.

2. Mail Application

Print out an ACP application form and complete it by filling in the required information. Once you’re done, mail the form together with your document to this address:

ACP Support Center Address: PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742

3. Application Through an Internet Provider

Find an internet service provider closest to you if you don’t have one already. Contact them and inquire about their application process. Sign up for their service for the monthly ACP discount to be omitted from your monthly internet bills.

Documents Needed for Free Internet with Food Stamps

Most providers will require some documents to confirm if you’re eligible for free internet with food stamps through either of the government assistance programs mentioned. Some documents that can serve this purpose include:

  • Income authentication documents include income statements, worker’s compensation statements of benefits, and pay stubs from an employer.
  • Identity authentication documents include birth certificate, valid passport, Military ID, and driver’s License.
  • Proof of Government program participation documents such as an EBT card, a Medicaid card, SSI benefits statement.

Final Verdict

Food Stamps have helped many low-income individuals to get the nourishment they require despite their bad financial state. Thankfully, it also enables people to get free internet from providers participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program and Lifeline.

This post has provided all the details on getting free internet with food stamps so you can review it again before sending your application.

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