Tens of millions of people eligible for $50 off internet bill

Some couples making up to $198K qualify
Posted at 3:33 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 17:19:55-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — A little-known part of the coronavirus aid package has the federal government paying $50 toward people's monthly internet bill.

The $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit program was part of the $900 billion December pandemic relief package.

Stephanie Donner, who applied for the program, needs the internet because she is still out of work.

"Anything will help. Fifty dollars … that's money in your pocket," Donner said.

The program will help pay for internet service to those who qualify for most other federal assistance programs.

Others who qualify include single people who made up to $99,000 last year and couples who made up to $198,000, provided they prove they made less in 2020 than in 2019.

Before applying, you'll need to have a few documents ready. You'll have to upload your driver's license or other forms of identification and be prepared to have your 2020 and 2019 tax returns with you.

If you qualify, the federal government will send the $50 directly to internet providers.

So if Donner makes the cut, she'd have to pay just $20, instead of her usual $70 monthly bill for service vital to her job search.

"They won't talk to you on the phone," Donner said. "They want to do Zoom interviews."

The federal government will pay the monthly bills until funding for the emergency broadband benefit runs out.

Tens of millions of people are eligible. Head to or Lifeline National Verifier to see eligibility requirements and more information.