How to Apply for Low Income Internet

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Art: Robin Mead

Many programs are now offering $10 internet for disabled people and other people who are low income. In recent months, these programs have expanded quite a bit, so many more people will now be eligible.

This program is exactly what it says it is: High speed internet. $10. No deposit. No equipment fees. Literally: $10.

It sounds too good to be true, but it’s true. That’s really what it is.


Where to Apply

Start Here

We have gotten tons of positive reports about the programs from Comcast and AT&T, so let’s start with those:

🌷 Comcast Internet Essentials.

🌷 AT&T Access

🌷 If your area is not covered by Comcast or AT&T, see below for more options.

Three Rules to Look For

Three rules to watch out for, and a few workarounds:

🌷 Current Customers – Some programs won’t allow new customers to join unless they first cancel their internet for 90 days. If this is your situation, look here: How to Get Internet Without Waiting 90 Days

🌷 Life line phone customers – If you were told you can’t apply because you can’t get a free line phone and discounted lifeline internet at the same time…. don’t worry! These internet programs are not lifeline.

🌷 Each program has their own rules to qualify. They do not require that every person in the household qualifies. At least one person must meet the rules. For example, if two roommates live together and one is on Medicaid, and the other is not, the household will qualify. See below for more examples of who qualifies.

More Options

If your area does not have AT&T or Comcast, a few things you can try:

🌷 How to Get $5 Internet

🌷 Low income internet programs

🌷 Connect2Compete

🌷 You can also use Google. Type in the name of an internet provider in your area and the words “low income” and see what pops up.


How to Apply

Simple Application

Our readers report that these applications are simple and stress-free (unlike every other low income program on the planet)

You go online. You type in your name and address. Voila! You get approved.

In some cases, you will need to mail or upload proof of benefits. For example, you can take a picture of your food stamps card. If you are in a HUD building, you may not need to provide any proof, because they may already have the building in their system. So they might just approve you in 20 seconds!


Sample Rules

Example from Comcast

The application may be slightly different for different programs. As an example, this is the process for Comcast internet essentials. To get approved, you will need to meet three qualifications:

One: Service Area

You have to live in an area where Comcast provides service. (Comcast is also called Xfinity)

Bizarrely, we could not find a map of the ComCast service area on their website. If you are unsure if they are in your area, you can call them at (844) 544-5181 or you can start the application and see if their system can find your address.

If you are not in a Comcast area, check out AT&T Access which is available in 21 states. Or see links above for more programs in other areas.

Two: “New” Customer

If you currently subscribe to Comcast Xfinity internet service, you do not qualify. But wait! There is some fine print! It only counts if you were a customer in the past 90 days. Some of our readers were in this situation and found solutions. Once again: $10 Internet & The 90 Day Waiting Period

Three: One Person with One Thing

Some programs are very restrictive about who can qualify.

But that is starting to change! The Comcast program used to be very restrictive. Now they have expanded the rules for who qualifies.

You can qualify if you have at least ONE person in your household who has at least ONE of these things:

SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • This is also called “Food Stamps” or “EBT.” In California it’s called “CalFresh.”

NSLP: National School Lunch Program

  • Program that provides meals to school children

LIHEAP: Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

  • This is a program where the government pays part of your utility bills. It may be called something different in your state.

Housing

  • This includes public housing, HUD housing, Section 8, and Housing Choice Vouchers.
  • They don’t specify whether other subsidized housing programs count.

Medicaid

  • Important: Medicaid is called different things in different states. It may be called Medi-cal or MassHealth or Medical Assistance or something different in your state. If you are receiving free health insurance through your state, you are most likely on Medicaid.
  • Also Important: Medicare is not Medicaid.
  • Also Also Important: Some people on Medicare are in Medicare Savings Programs such as QMB and SLMB. These programs are run through the Medicaid office, but do not offer full-scope Medicaid. Does Comcast consider this being on Medicaid? We don’t know! Try it and comment below to let us know how it goes.

Federal Pell Grant: Community college financial aid

  • This qualifies in Colorado and Illinois ONLY
  • Appears to be community college students only (not all schools)

WIC: Women, Infants, and Children.

  • Benefits program for low income mothers and children

SSI: Supplemental Security Income.

  • Note SSI is not the same as SSDI. This if for SSI only.

VA: Veterans Pension eligibility from the Veterans Administration.

  • Specifies “Veteran’s pension” not all Veterans benefits programs.

Tribal Assistance program including TTANF, FDPIR.

  • Programs for federally-recognized tribes, American Indian, and Alaska Native families.

TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

  • Cash assistance program for very low income families with children.

More Fine Print

If you were a past Comcast customer, make sure you’ve paid your bills and returned any of their equipment. To qualify, you must “not have an outstanding Comcast balance that is less than one year old.”

More Benefits?

ComCast also offers “low cost computers.” There does not appear to be anything wrong with these computers, but our tech-savvy friends inform us that these are not particularly great deals either. They are just standard prices for what is being offered.


Learn More

🌷 This page is part of the free online guide: How to Be Poor in America

🌷 Comcast regs: Comcast Internet Essentials Terms & Conditions.

🌷 Art on this page by Robin Mead and Elizabeth D’Angelo.

🌷 Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working.

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