Military Life Veterans Benefits

These programs are helping retired veterans get internet access

Getting online for Veterans has never been more important, and thanks to the FCC, is more affordable than ever.
Miguel Ortiz Avatar
A veteran receives telemedic care. Photo via VA.

Internet access has become more and more of a necessity in the 21st century. The worldwide web has rapidly evolved into an integral part of everyday life. For retired Veterans, having internet access can make daily tasks like buying groceries and managing healthcare more convenient. In 2019, the Federal Communications Commission reported that 15% of Veteran households did not have an internet connection. To close this digital divide, the FCC offers two programs to help qualified retired Veterans get online.

VA patients can manage their healthcare online (VA)

The FCC’s Lifeline program offers eligible households a discount on internet and phone services. Meanwhile, the Affordable Connectivity Program provides a monthly discount on internet service only. Both programs offer a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from a participating provider if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price of the device.

Veterans can connect with their VA care team online through VA Video Connect (VA)

Veterans receiving a VA pension can apply for either program through the FCC National Verifier or through a participating internet service provider. The Department of Veterans Affairs worked with the FCC to help qualifying Veterans more easily verify their eligibility, often without having to submit any paperwork to the FCC.

The VA is helping to close the digital divide (VA)

Veterans seeking to use either of these programs can get help determining their eligibility through their VA care team and a Digital Divide Consult. This consult helps eligible Veterans connect with the Lifeline program, ACP, and other programs that help with internet access. As of November 2022, the VA reports that the Digital Divide Consult process has helped nearly 100,000 Veterans across the country.