If you’ve chosen the BEAR method of invoicing and your FCC Form 498 is approved, you can submit an FCC Form 472 (BEAR Form) to request reimbursement.
Filing tip: One BEAR form per service provider
Only one service provider can be listed on a BEAR Form, so you must file at least one BEAR Form for each service provider you have.
You can submit BEAR forms however often you want, according to what is most convenient for you. Some entities choose to invoice monthly, but you can also submit forms quarterly, or once at the end of the funding year. Just make sure to submit the form for reimbursement no later than 120 days after either (1) your services end, or (2) the date on your FCC Form 486 Approval Letter, whichever date is later.
As we mentioned in the last post, there are two ways to receive your E-rate discount. In this post, we’ll cover the billed entity applicant reimbursement (BEAR) method.
With this method, first you pay your service provider in full (after you are billed for services). Then you submit an FCC Form 472 to USAC to request your reimbursement.
However, a few things, however, have to be in place before you can do that.
The last step of the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program application process is to invoice USAC for your discounted share of your bill. You can submit an invoice to the E-rate Program only after:
- You received a positive funding amount on your funding commitment decision letter (FCDL),
- Your services have started/been delivered,
- You’ve submitted FCC Form 486 and received a notification in response,
- You’ve paid for the services, and
- Your service provider has filed its annual certification form.
We mentioned in Post #58 that you should tell your service provider which invoicing method to use. The two options available are: