ACP or Affordable Connectivity Program is a program that the US Congress created to take over the EBB program on December 31, 2021. It is a long-term program that is managed by the federal communications commission to help all qualified households afford internet services for easy connection, attending virtual classes and online jobs among other benefits. This program offers a myriad of benefits through participating service providers. One of the most trusted and reliable service provider that is committed to offering ACP services is straight talk. This is a mobile virtual network operator that is a current subsidiary of Verizon Wireless. This carrier offers several prepaid wireless services through a reliable network from huge companies like T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T. One of the best and most beneficial services offered by this carrier is ACP. Through straight talk ACP services, eligible customers are guaranteed free unlimited talk, text and data. To get these services, however, you must be an individual with an income less than 200% of the federal poverty guideline or be a participant of a federal or tribal assistance program.
Before we dig deeper on the affordable connectivity program straight talk, it’s important to mention that this program was initially referred to as emergency broadband benefit program or EBB. EBB was also created to help people access the internet with ease. Unfortunately, the program was annulled on 31/12/2121 and replaced by the ACP program the same day. Straight talk ACP would however continue with the same services that EBB offered. However, unlike EBB which served for a short term, ACP was presented as a long-term project. In our article today, you will learn more about Straight Talk ACP program. One of the critical things will be the program’s benefits, how to apply for these benefits, how to qualify and all the documents required. The article will also discuss the services that Straight Talk ACP does not offer and where you can get them. Stick with us!
What Is The Difference Between The Previous EBB And The Recent ACP Program?
EBB is a program created to help households access the internet. It started during the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. The program offered a temporary solution to the citizens’ internet access problems. It proved critical for many, causing Congress to enact legislation and extend it. The previous program expired on December 31, 2021. That is when the ACP program began. As aforementioned, this program started the same day that EBB program ended. In addition, it was termed a long-term program unlike EBB.
Although these programs have substantial differences, they provide comparable benefits and qualifying requirements. Both initiatives seek to guarantee that low-income families can afford internet access. Below are major factors that distinguish these programs:
- There was an income cap for eligible families in EBB of 135% of the poverty level. Since the implementation of the new ACP, the income threshold for eligible families is now set at 200%.
- The previous discount for internet service on EBB customers was $50 per month. The discounts dropped from $50 to $30 per month in the ACP program.
- For households to continue receiving ACP benefits, they need to requalify again. They may qualify for the EBB because of a loss of income due to job loss since February 29, 2020.
Is Straight Talk Participating In The Affordable Connectivity Program?
So now that we know what an ACP is and how it differs from EBB, the next important thing to answer is whether Straight Talk provides ACP benefits. The good news is that straight Talk now offers ACP benefits despite taking a long time to confirm. Through ACP program, straight talk is now offering free wireless services to every customer that applies and gets approval for the program. As we mentioned earlier, straight talk is now offering free data, free unlimited text and calls to every qualified household. As a qualified customer, you can also be lucky to get up to $30 discount on eligible internet plans. Customers seeking to apply for Straight Talk ACP program can do so via several channels. You can make your application through the Straight Talk official website; you can contact customer service at 1-877-430-2355 or apply through the FCC official website.
Why Should I Choose Straight Talk ACP Benefits?
The ACP benefits program has several benefits for low-income citizens who qualify. Here are some of the benefits you are likely to enjoy:
1. Reliable network coverage
Straight Talk does not have its network towers. It relies on other service providers like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint towers. The four listed providers have got coverage across the country. So, Straight Talk customers enjoy an extended network coverage across the country.
2. Unlimited talk, text, and data
When you sign up for Straight Talk’s ACP program, you get unlimited talk, text, and data. Fortunately, some customers may get discounts of up to $30 depending on the state of residence. However, this discount applies only once a month.
Who Qualifies For Straight Talk’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?
You will be eligible for Straight Talk ACP benefits if,
- Your family income does not exceed 200% of the federal poverty guideline
- You participate in the Lifeline Assistance Program.
- You qualify for a low-income plan with another service provider.
- The state or federal government provides financial aid to you. This category includes federally funded initiatives such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Others include Medicaid, Federal public housing assistance or FPHA or Section 8, Veterans pension and survivor’s benefit, the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- You qualify if you are a member of or benefit from a program only available on tribal grounds. Some of these programs are The Indian Reservation Food Distribution Program, Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, The Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- You received a federal Pell grant for the current school year.
What Documents Do I Need To Apply For Getting Straight Talk ACP Benefits?
We have severally mentioned that only families with low incomes are eligible to receive benefits from the ACP. So, you must verify your qualifications before applying for the ACP benefit program. This is through including any supporting materials that may reinforce your eligibility for the program. Some of these documents are:
- If you qualify because you lost your job, you must present documents showing that you have lost your job. The documents must prove that your employer fired you. These documents can be Notice of dissolution, an employment termination letter, your unemployment or worker’s compensation statement of benefits
- If you qualify on the grounds of participating in an assistance program, you will need documentation proving that you participated in an assistance program. These must be official documents verifying that you participated in the assistance program. Some of these documents that you attach can be your program’s letter of approval, your program’s Benefit award letter, your program’s Verification of benefits, your program’s Statement of benefits. Please ensure that the document you provide has not expired and bears your full legal name. Other crucial information that needs to be in the documents is the Name of the program, Name of the institution that issued the document, Date when the document was issued in the previous 12 months or Future expiry date.
- If household income is the determining factor in your eligibility. You will present a valid, up-to-date document with your full legal name and annual income. This is to help you get consideration in the qualification. Such documents include; A statement from your employer that shows your current income, A paycheck stub, Unemployment compensation statement of benefits, Divorce decree, Child support award, A tax return from the state, federal, or tribal government for the previous year, A statement of benefits for Social Security, Retirement or pension statement of benefits
- You will need copies of identification, residency, and birth certificates. This is for them to verify your personal information. These are the documents that you can provide to prove your identity. These are documents like A passport, Driver’s license, Military ID, State ID, Tribal ID, Birth Certificate, Green Card, Utility bill or Recent W-2 or tax return, etc.
Note that this program allows only people aged 18 and above to participate. Also, those who can make decisions legally are generally considered for the program. You will have to provide a court document that proves that you qualify for the program.
How Do I Apply For Straight Talk’s Affordable Connectivity Program?
The Straight Talk ACP application process has several alternatives that you can explore. Choose the best fit from these three options.
- You can make an online application through the FCC website. If you choose this option, visit acpbenefit.org and tap on apply now. You will be redirected to a page with online application form. Fill the form with correct details, attach all required documents, submit the form and get approval. After approval, you will find a locator that you will use to find a local Straight Talk Wireless store. Visit straight talk store, visit their website myacpbenefit.com/en/#!/acp/marketplace/landing or contact them and apply for their ACP benefits.
- The second option is postal applications through the mail. Here, you print an application that you will fill out with the information needed. You will also fill out the household worksheet that you attach with the application. You will then attach your eligibility proof copies and mail them. You will use this address “ACP support center, PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742” to send it.
- You can also submit your application directly through Straight Talk official website. You can call Straight Talk for assistance a 1-833-343-8322. You can also make the application online by following the steps below.
1. Determine eligibility
Here, you will have to check whether you meet the criteria for membership in the ACP program. You may apply if you fulfill at least one of the requirements. Visit the official Straight Talk website to learn more about the requirements.
2. Fill out and submit the completed application form
The next thing to do is to fill out and send in an online application for Straight Talk’s ACP program. Fortunately, the process is straightforward. To start the process, visit straight talk ACP online page, enter your ZIP code, email address and tap submit. Follow the onscreen instructions and to finalize the application. Remember that you must prove your eligibility using the documents you upload when applying. Once you are through, submit it and await approval.
3. Get Approved
Forms typically undergo review and validation within a few business days after submission. It will take two business days for a successful application to get approved. Once approved, you will start enjoying straight talk benefits instantly.
How Do I Check Status After Applying For A Straight Talk Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Application?
As we have mentioned above, it normally takes approximately two business days to get approval after submitting your ACP application form. However, there are exceptional cases where your application might take up to 7 business days to get approval. If your approval delays more than the expected time, you should check your straight talk application status. How? To check your application status login to your straight talk account through this link myacpbenefit.com/en/#!/acp/marketplace/landing
What Benefits Do I Get While Enrolling In The Straight Talk ACP?
You will get several benefits when you enroll in the Straight Talk ACP. They include:
- You have access to free and reliable call services.
- Straight Talk enjoys national network coverage, so you will not have trouble with connectivity.
- You will get high-quality, high-speed data streaming services
- There are no contracts with Straight Talk
- There are no hidden costs.
- Deals on plans and mobile phones are available regularly for both older and newer models.
- Straight Talk offers discounts if you have auto-refills
Are There Any Restrictions To Getting Straight Talk ACP Benefits?
Yes, the Straight Talk affordable connectivity program has restrictions. Here are some restrictions for those who wish to participate in the Straight Talk ACP program.
- Not everyone will benefit from this program. This is because it is meant to exclusively help low-income families and those participating in government support programs.
- This Program only covers one person per home at discounted rates. The program does not allow two people per household to enjoy discounts from the family.
- ACP discount from Straight Talk is only available one time in a month.
- Discounts on Straight Talk ACP devices are only available once per household.
- These benefits are not transferable between members of the family.
Can I Get Free Phones Under Straight Talk ACP Benefits?
Straight Talk does not provide free phones from ACP program as of now. Instead of a free phone, Straight talk offers you free talk, free text, free data and 10 GB of free hotspot. If you need a free phone from ACP however, don’t despair. This is because there are other service providers that offer free phones through ACP program. These are service providers like AirTalk, Cintex, SafeLink, TruConnect, and Q Link wireless. Therefore, you need to apply if you qualify, and you will get a free phone from one of the companies.
Does Straight Talk Have A Lifeline Program?
No, Straight Talk does not have any Lifeline program. However, if you meet lifeline requirements, you are considered eligible for Straight Talk ACP benefits.
Does Straight Talk Offer A Lifeline – ACP Combo Plan?
ACP Lifeline Combo plan allows you to get a free smartphone and ACP free internet monthly plan simultaneously. Since straight talk doesn’t offer free smartphones, it doesn’t offer a lifeline-ACP combo plan. However, there are other ACP providers that offer a combination of monthly plans and smartphones. These include Airtalk, ENTOUCH, and QLink. You can apply for the combo from any service provider listed above and receive the package.
Can I Get A Free Tablet From Straight Talk Under ACP?
You cannot get a free tablet from Straight Talk under the ACP program. This is because straight talk ACP doesn’t offer government tablet discounts. However, there are other ACP providers with packages for free tablets. These providers include Stand up Wireless Free Tablet and QLink Wireless ACP. If you need a free tablet, you can try your luck with those service providers.
Can I Get ACP If Already One Of My Family Members Receives Lifeline Benefits?
Yes, the ACP program and Lifeline are two different independent programs. If your family is eligible for both programs, you can apply and receive either or both benefits.
If I Am Not Qualified For Straight Talk ACP, Are There Any Ways To Get A Free Month Of Service?
Yes, Straight Talk has another program you can get a free monthly subscription to. All you need to do is to text the word REWARDS and send it to 611611. After receiving your referral code, send it to as many people as possible. All you need to do is to convince them to join Straight Talk. Both you and your friends will receive bonus points. Suppose you send to 1 friend, both of you will get 5000 points each with 2 to 4 friends you get 6000 and to them 5000 points. You can redeem 4500 points for an unlimited 30-day data, texts, and calls plan.
Is The Affordable Connectivity Program Permanent?
ACP program is not a permanent program. However, it is a long-term project. This project is meant to serve until its allocated funds deplete. Early projections suggest that available funds will last for a long period.