Invoice Deadline Extensions and $0-funded BEARs
November 20, 2015
Yesterday USAC approved a slew of the FY 2014 invoice deadline extension requests that were submitted by the October 28 deadline. Those who requested these extensions were (or will be) notified via e-mail. If you submitted a request to USAC (not to be confused with the waiver requests that may have been submitted to the FCC), and want to see if it’s been granted, you can search the FRN list here: http://www.sl.universalservice.org/utilities/FRN_CurFundExt.asp (be sure to choose Year 17 – July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015). If granted, your new BEAR deadline is 2/25/2016 (remember, both the applicant and service provider must certify by this date).
Approval E-mails Where You Didn’t Submit Extension Requests?
Many of you also received invoice deadline extension approval e-mails even though you never submitted such requests! This is likely due to the fact that one or more of your vendors needed an extension to submit their Service Provider Invoices (SPIs) and USAC copied you on the approval which was really meant for your vendor. I am guessing that if you look up the affected FRN numbers from the approval e-mail, they are for funding requests where you received discounted bills. In this case, there’s nothing you have to do. This is entirely the service provider’s responsibility.
What to Do for $0-Funded BEARs
As you are receiving your FY 2014 BEAR notification letters in the mail from USAC, be sure to look at the funded amount on the front page. If it shows $0.00, it means that your BEAR was denied for some reason and you must resubmit. Although the new strict invoice deadline rules require you to seek a waiver from the FCC to submit an invoice after the original deadline, there is a special exception in cases where you originally submitted the BEAR by the deadline but were then $0-funded. In these cases, you should appeal the $0-funded BEAR directly to USAC and they will grant you a single 30-day extension to submit your corrected BEAR. It’s important to figure out why it was $0-funded so you don’t make the same mistake again so call USAC at 888-203-8100 and they can give you the reason if it isn’t listed on your BEAR notification letter. Attached to this message is a draft $0-funded appeal letter that you should complete and e-mail to USAC (Appeals@sl.universalservice.org). Keep in mind that you must submit the USAC appeal within 60 days of the $0-funded BEAR notification, and then you must wait until the appeal is approved by USAC before you can resubmit the corrected (new) BEAR.
If you have any questions related to BEAR extension approvals or $0-funded BEARs, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator