The Schools and Libraries Division announced Feb. 13 that it was implementing a procedure to help E-rate applicants whose service provider had gone out of business or filed for bankruptcy protection before the company had processed the applicant's BEAR payments.
Under the E-rate program rules, applicants who have paid the full price of a service or product must then file a Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) form to recoup the discounted portion of the price. When a BEAR form has been approved, the Universal Service Administrative Company sends a check to the applicant's vendor, who is then supposed to credit the applicant's account or cut a check to repay the applicant.
The SLD said applicants who had been caught in this kind of limbo may be able to get help through what the SLD is calling a "Good Samaritan" service provider. The SLD said applicants who need this kind of assistance should call the Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100 and the process will be explained to them.