$541 million in Potential FY15 BEARs
Applicants are encouraged to take steps immediately to complete their FY2015 E-rate reimbursement paperwork. The need to submit a Form 498 or to request a new BEAR PIN can slow down the process.
- Use this Funds For Learning tool to check the status of your organization’s Form 498.
- Check out the new invoice extension tool released by USAC.
Either way, if you have not yet completed your 2015 payment paperwork, now is the time.
Thousands of applicants are facing the October 28, 2016, deadline to submit reimbursement requests for Funding Year 2015 recurring telecommunications and Internet service fees. As of today, $541 million of committed funds have yet to be claimed for non-discounted services that were started (i.e. a Form 486 was submitted).
Historically, about 80% of the funds committed for Category 1 services are utilized. Right now, the utilization rate for FY2015 stands at about 61%. While it is not unusual for there to be a rush of applicants submitting reimbursement paperwork at the end of October, this year there is a concern that more funds will go unutilized because of challenges associated with the transition in USAC’s payment processing, specifically, the need to submit a Form 498 for electronic deposits and for BEAR signature PINs to be generated.
These extra steps are required for reimbursement paperwork to be completed – and it can take 2 or 3 days for these extra steps. All applicants should double-check the status of their FY2015 funding commitments and take steps to complete their payment paperwork, or submit an invoice extension request no later than October 28.