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3 Ways to Overcome ACP Enrollment Barriers

Hue House - Digital Equity Support
51.6 million households are eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), including 17 million currently unconnected. Overcoming complex enrollment barriers that keep under-resourced households offline is critical to accelerate ACP adoption.

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The ACP application process can be challenging. Even after an individual determines they are eligible for the ACP and wants to apply, there are several steps to complete the application and connect to an internet plan. Knowledge of the enrollment process, the documentation requirements, and where to seek additional help prepares organizations to effectively support ACP enrollment efforts within their communities.

1. Get familiar with the ACP application process

The first step to becoming an effective enrollment champion is to familiarize yourself with the process, including the typical steps and potential nuances of the application.

Laptop with screen showing mock-up of LearnACP courseThe LearnACP Enrollment Specialist Certification course is a free, interactive program designed to equip enrollment champions with the knowledge and resources needed to support ACP enrollment efforts.
Thumbnail image of first page of each support.Our Full Enrollment Guide offers a comprehensive, step-by-step overview of the application.

The Enrollment Checklist is a condensed version of the guide meant to be used as a quick reference.

2. Understand the documentation needed to apply

The ACP application has two main components: proving identity and demonstrating eligibility.

  • The first component of the application is to prove the applicant’s identity. Several methods can be used, though we recommend using the last four digits of the social security number since it’s the speediest option. This will likely automatically link to the applicant’s eligibility criteria, which removes the need to provide documentation to demonstrate eligibility in the next step. While a social security number can make the application process faster, it is by no means required!
  • The second component of the application is demonstrating the applicant’s eligibility. In some cases, the applicant will need to provide documentation verifying their method of eligibility. By understanding the program’s guidelines on acceptable documentation, enrollment champions can help applicants avoid incomplete or rejected applications.  For example, eligibility documentation must include a date, which eliminates most Medicaid and SNAP cards as a means to demonstrate eligibility.
GetACP See if you qualifyEncourage applicants to visit GetACP.org, our pre-enrollment assistance tool that helps individuals determine if they qualify for the benefit, and creates a personalized checklist to help them prepare the documentation they will need to apply.
First page of the Documentation GuideOur Documentation Guide is a quick reference guide on acceptable forms of documentation for the ACP application and provides tips on what USAC looks for to validate the document.

3. Know where to get help if application issues arise

Even the most prepared applicants and enrollment champions may encounter barriers in the application process! Knowing how to address these barriers will lead to more completed applications. 

  • Get familiar with your state and county’s benefit administration systems. This ensures that you’re able to guide applicants through the process of obtaining the correct documentation to demonstrate eligibility when needed.
  • Be ready to contact USAC’s helpline with the applicant you are supporting. When an application is listed as incomplete or rejected, and you can’t diagnose or resolve the issue on your own, often the best path is to reach out directly to USAC.
Telephone IconFor questions, call the ACP Support Center at (877) 384-2575 or email: ACPSupport@usac.org.

Interested in learning more? The No Home Left Offline Coalition supports and equips organizations to accelerate Affordable Connectivity Program awareness and enrollment. Join us.

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