Access to the internet has become necessary for education, job search, and communication. However, for households with lower incomes, the cost of internet services can be a significant burden. That’s why many providers offer low-income internet plans. With an affordable connection, low-income families can access the same resources as those with higher incomes. Read on to learn more about the best internet plans and other incentives and grants for low-income groups.
Low-income internet plans
Let us first explore the internet packages from different providers suitable for low-income individuals. We will discuss their cost, features, and advantages:
AT&T offers several plans that benefit people who cannot afford expensive internet packages. Thus, they help bridge the digital divide—the gap between people who can access the internet and those who cannot. One popular package from the brand is “Access from AT&T,” which provides fast internet speeds of 100 Mbps for $30/month and no data cap.
The federal government has also introduced a few programs, like the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), and Lifeline, which consumers can avail of to get plans at lower rates from internet service providers. For instance, the ACP program can save eligible customers up to $75/month on their AT&T internet service. It offers plans up to 100 Mbps and is available in limited areas. The EBB program provides low or no-cost broadband to eligible AT&T customers. Finally, the Lifeline program can save customers $9.25 to $29.25/ month on plans from AT&T and other providers.
Verizon Fios offers low-income families access to high-speed internet at an affordable price. Through the Verizon Lifeline program, eligible customers get internet speeds of up to 300 Mbps for only $39.99/month (or free in some cases!), with no setup charge. This plan also includes the Disney Bundle for six months at no extra cost.
Verizon’s Fios Forward plan is another option, which provides low-income customers a $20 monthly discount on their home internet service if they are eligible for the ACP benefit. The Forward plan reduces the cost of the 200/200 Mbps internet plan to as low as $19.99/month with no data caps.
Xfinity offers two low-income plans to help people stay connected. The first, offered under the ACP program, provides a discount of up to $30/month on internet services for eligible households. The second plan, Internet Essentials, provides 50/10 Mbps internet service for just $9.95/month plus tax. An Essentials Plus plan is also available, which provides 100/20 Mbps internet service for just $29.95/month plus tax, with no activation and equipment rental fees.
Besides incentives on internet plans, low-income individuals can benefit from grants issued by the government and other organizations.
Low-income federal grants
The federal government gives eligible individuals or entities funds, known as grants, to help them meet their expenses and become self-sufficient. They may provide these grants under different programs or organizations, such as:
Low-income families can apply for grants from the federal government under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. It provides states and territories with funds to help low-income families with children achieve economic self-sufficiency.
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is an organization that offers grants and funding for low-income families. To apply for an ACF grant, applicants must visit the ACF website and review the eligibility forms and submit them to the ACF.
In addition to the above, the federal government offers grants and loans on the USAGov website. These are awarded for different purposes, such as for individuals to start a business or cover personal expenses. Applicants can visit the website to learn more.
How to apply?
To apply for low-income grants, individuals must first determine which grants they are eligible for. Several low-income grants are available, including housing, education, and healthcare, and one can visit the grant issuer’s website to learn if they qualify. Once an individual identifies the grants for which they are eligible, they can begin the application process.
The application process typically involves filling out a form and providing supporting documents like proof of income, identification, and other relevant data. The application forms and supporting documents can be submitted online, by mail, or in person, depending on the specific grant.
After applying, the grant provider will review the application and determine whether the applicant meets the eligibility requirements. If the applicant is approved, they will receive the funds. The grant issuer may also monitor whether the applicant is using the money for the purpose it was sanctioned.
Dental help for low-income adults
Since dental procedures can be costly, the government helps adults from low-income families meet the expenses with the help of programs like Medicaid and CHIP:
This is a joint federal-and-state program offering health and dental insurance to individuals and families meeting certain income and other eligibility requirements.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offers health coverage to children whose family income is too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to afford private coverage.
Besides the above, individuals can look for free dental care at camps organized by local dental clinics, nonprofits, events, dental schools, and clinical trials. Low-income senior citizens may also benefit from dental grants.