We have some exciting news. The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) created by the IIJA subsidizes internet costs for tens of millions of households. Under IIJA, eligibility for these subsidies is determined in part by whether households qualify for other federal benefit programs – including ones Federal Departments and Agencies administer. The Department of Veterans Affairs is conducting robust, amplifying outreach to ensure that eligible Veterans have awareness and opportunity to participate in the program. This includes broad, multi-channel communication, as well as targeted outreach to cohorts of Veterans with high probability of eligibility. VA is also incorporating ACP awareness efforts into daily operations of the Department, including through the use of a digital divide consult that enables providers and care teams to offer Veterans digital connectedness options relevant to their healthcare journey.
Eligibility for the Affordable Connectivity Program is based on whether an individual has an income below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, or meets one of the following criteria:
Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline;
Participates in Tribal specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations;
Participates in the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision;
Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year; or
Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income internet program.
The new toolkit with updated outreach materials for fed partners and state and local leaders can be found here. People can access it here
Outreach partners can also request the pre-qualification widget to embed on their websites by emailing: ACProgram@usac.org with the subject line “ACP Widget” for technical support. In the email, please include the web address where you plan to add the widget.