All applicants that use the Form 472 BEAR reimbursement process will need to file a Form 498 with USAC. The purpose of the Form 498 is to set up electronic banking information with USAC in order to receive BEAR reimbursement monies. Starting July 1, 2016, ALL BEAR reimbursements will only be paid by USAC electronically, directly to the applicants. No paper checks will be issued for any applicants; payments will no longer be issued or come from the service provider.
The Form 498 is currently available in EPC and all applicants who wish to use the BEAR reimbursement process must complete the form in EPC. This form has special permission settings in EPC that are only for the Form 498. Full rights users for other forms in EPC are not automatically granted authority for the Form 498.
Prior to starting the Form 498
The following items need to be completed before trying to complete the Form 498 in EPC
- The Form 498 has specialized roles and permission settings in EPC. Applicants need to identify the people who will serve in the following roles for this form:
- School or Library Official – This is the person who will certify the form and verify that all information is complete and accurate. This is typically a person such as the Superintendent or Chief Financial Officer.
- General Financial Contact – this person can access information on the Form 498 and can complete but not certify the form.
- Other information needed:
- Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- DUNS number (or Data Universal Numbering System)
- Bank name where funds will be deposited
- Bank account number
- Routing number
The Account Administrator for the EPC account will need to log into EPC and set up the Company Officer and General Financial Contact in the EPC account profile. Once set up and granted the appropriate permission settings, the Company Officer or General Financial Contact can log into EPC, accept the terms and conditions, click the organization name on the landing page, choose “Related Actions,” and then “Create FCC Form 498.”
Helpful Tips when completing the Form 498
- There will be basic organization information that will pre-populate on the Form 498 based upon the information in the profile. This will include the FCC Federal Registration Number.
- The Application Nickname and Federal EIN information are REQUIRED fields.
- The fields for Name Company Is Doing Business As (DBA), the Formerly Know As (FKA) field and the Holding Company Name are all OPTIONAL fields and only have to complete if any of these apply.
- The Remittance Contact is the person who is notified via email when the deposit of a BEAR payment is made. This person does not have to be set up as a user in EPC.
- The certification process for the Form 498 works much like the certification process for other FCC forms. Once all required fields are complete, EPC will generate a PDF of the form. If the General Financial Contact completes the form, there will be an option to send the form to the Company Officer to certify. The Company Officer will then receive a task notification to certify the form. After accepting the task, the Company Officer will need to remember to click the two (2) certification checkboxes and then click the green “Certify” button.
After Filing the Form 498
As the SLD processes the EPC certified Form 498, they will request that the applicant provide proof of the bank account information. This can be a bank statement or cancelled check. Providing this information is the final step in the Form 498 process. Once USAC has verified the banking information, applicants will see the Form 498 Identification number populate in the online BEAR tool. This way, applicants can verify that the Form 498 information is on record with the SLD as they prepare their BEARs online.