FCC Order provides relief for invoices issued after appeal approval
Thursday, December 10, 2020 12:00 AM
The FCC issued an Order to provide relief of the invoicing deadline rules in specific circumstances. This provides significant relief for a small group of E-Rate applicants who received approval for appeals or other changes to their E-Rate funding, but could not receive payment because the approval was after the invoicing deadline for the related funding request. It's a problem that applicants have dealt with over the years and we are pleased that the FCC has resolved this timing issue for the affected applicants.
The Order states the following:
Specifically, we permit applicants and service providers up to 120 days to submit invoices after USAC issues a Revised Funding Commitment Decision Letter approving a postcommitment request or granting an appeal of a previously denied or reduced funding request. In so doing, we facilitate program participants’ ability to meet evolving needs—by changing service providers or submitting service substitutions, for example—without jeopardizing their ability to obtain reimbursement or necessitating a Commission waiver proceeding. Consistent with this change, we grant relief to certain program participants that were excluded from an earlier invoicing relief order and provide a one-time waiver opportunity for program participants that were unable to timely submit an invoice because they were awaiting a post-commitment decision.
In taking these actions, we promote the goals of the E-Rate program by ensuring that its subsidies continue to assist students and library patrons in getting access to essential communication and broadband services without applicants and service providers facing unfair obstacles when submitting claims for reimbursement.