FCC Form 498 and the Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) Method, Part 1

FCC Form 498 and BEAR Invoicing Part 1As 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.

Before BEAR invoicing begins

Before you can submit an FCC Form 472 (BEAR) form for reimbursement, all of the following must have occurred:

  1. USAC issued a Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL) with a positive funding commitment for at least one Funding Request Number (FRN),
  2. Your services have started,
  3. You have submitted an FCC Form 486 for your FRN(s) and received an FCC Form 486 Notification Letter (in your EPC news feed*),
  4. You have registered your bank account with USAC using FCC Form 498 (more on this below),
  5. Your service provider has filed their FCC Form 473 annual certification form,
  6. You have paid for your service in full, and
  7. You have a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to electronically file BEAR forms.

*FCC Form 486 Notification Letters for FY2015 and previous years will be sent via U.S. postal mail.

Registering your bank account

You need to register your organization’s bank account with USAC to receive a reimbursement directly into your account. To register your account, file an FCC Form 498 in EPC:

1. On  your landing page, click the link to access your entity’s page.

Step 1

From your EPC landing page, click on the entity’s name.

2. From your entity’s page, select Related Actions from the left hand menu.

Step 2

From your entity’s profile, click “Related Actions”

3. Scroll to the bottom of the list and select Create FCC Form 498.

Step 3

Scroll to the bottom and select “Create FCC Form 498”

Create and submit the form.

Your EPC account administrator must designate a “school or library official” to certify the form. The type of permission for the “school or library official” is called FCC Form 498 user permissions.

Step 4

Only a school or library official  can certify the form.

FAQ: Who is considered a “school or library official”?
The school/library official is an employee of the school/library authorized to file accounting forms on behalf of the entity.

Filing Tip: Enter account number before routing number
The EPC system shows the “account number” field before the “routing number” field. Please read the field labels carefully and enter the appropriate number in each one. Your form will be rejected if the account number is entered in the routing number field, and vice versa.

After you certify your form, a PDF of your  FCC Form 498 will appear in your EPC Tasks menu. Then, USAC will contact you via email to request documents that verify the banking information on your form (such as a bank statement or voided check). Once USAC confirms that your bank account is valid, we will approve your FCC Form 498 and notify you via email.

FAQ: What is the status of my FCC Form 498?
To find out if your FCC Form 498 has been approved, search the 498 ID status tool for your Billed Entity Number (BEN) or FCC Form 498 number. Your 498 ID is the number assigned to your FCC Form 498.  

FAQ: Where can I get additional assistance?
For specific questions about FCC Form 498 data or documentation call USAC directly at (888) 641-8722, option 5. Have your 498 Identification Number ready (the nine-digit number after your form nickname which starts with “#443-“)

Once your FCC Form 498 is approved, you can submit an FCC Form 472 for reimbursement. Your 498 ID(s) will appear in a drop-down menu when you file the FCC Form 472. We’ll cover filing that form in the next post.

In the meantime…

Start your FCC Form 498

Additional Resources

Obtaining a 498 ID

Applicant User Guide – FCC Form 498

Schools and Libraries Program News Brief: September 30, 2016 and October 14, 2016

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