BEAR Deadline Coming for FY 2015 Non-Recurring Services FRNs
January 10, 2017
~ Do NOT File in EPC – Use Old BEAR System ~
~ Must Have Approved Form 498 Before Filing BEAR ~
~ Must have PIN to Use Old BEAR System ~
~ List of Possible Affected Entities Attached ~
The deadline to submit invoices (BEARs) to USAC is 120 days after the last date to receive service/equipment, which means that January 28, 2017 is the deadline for FY 2015 one-time purchases (generally internal connections) because the last date to receive equipment for FY 2015 was September 30, 2016. (Technically the deadline is now January 30, 2017 due to the fact that January 28 falls on a Saturday). Therefore a big deadline is approaching at the end of January for applicants that were approved in Funding Year 2015 for one-time purchases, who made those purchases and paid for them in full, and who have not yet invoiced USAC.
Attached is a list of potentially affected entities and the details of those funding requests. I say potentially because the list also includes FY 2015 FRNs that have already invoiced for part (but not all) of the FRN committed amount. I included these FRNs in the list because some applicants may be invoicing in batches, and because it will hopefully serve as a reminder for those applicants to file a Form 500 and return the unused funds to the C2 budgets for future funding years.
If you cannot file the BEAR by January 28, you must request an Invoice Deadline Extension by that date. As I lectured this fall, the new invoice deadline rules are VERY strict. You are permitted to request an IDER, and, if submitted by the invoice deadline, USAC will approve a single, 120-day extension. USAC is not permitted — under any circumstance — to grant a second extension.
A separate reminder list will be sent in the coming weeks of PA applicants who were approved for FY 2015 invoice extensions related to recurring services. Their original deadline was October 28, 2016 (adjusted to October 31 due to system glitches) and the deadline was extended until the end of February, 2017 (exact dates vary).
Very Important Notes – Please Read:
- FILE IN OLD BEAR SYSTEM: BEARs (Form 472s) will NOT be filed in the EPC Portal. Instead, you must use the legacy system/method of applying at: https://www2.sl.universalservice.org/bear/login.aspx.
- BEAR PIN: To get into the old system, you must use your old E-rate PIN — not your EPC credentials. If you don’t have an E-rate PIN, contact CSB at 888-203-8100. They will mail you a PIN in a few weeks. If you had a PIN but can’t find it, call the Client Service Bureau at 888-203-8100 and they can regenerate your PIN. Obviously, because it make take some time to obtain your PIN, it’s best to request an invoice deadline extension at the same time.
- FORM 498 REQUIRED: Before you file the BEAR, you must have an approved Form 498. The Form 498 provides USAC with the banking information so that your BEAR reimbursements can be directly deposited into your account. Remember, beginning July 1, 2016, vendors will not approve your BEARs, USAC reimbursement payments will not pass through the vendors, and no paper checks will be mailed. The Form 498 must be filed in EPC by a “school or library official” (not a consultant). If you’re unsure how to find or complete the 498, refer to this guide: http://e-ratepa.org/?p=13701. Note: After you submit the 498, you must then upload a copy of a voided/cancelled check so USAC can be assured that the information you entered on the 498 is accurate. USAC will issue an approval of your 498 via e-mail to the General Financial Contact. After receiving that approval, you can THEN submit the BEAR. It takes 1-2 weeks to get your Form 498 approved from the date you submit the form, so be sure to request an invoice deadline extension if you don’t have an approved 498 on file with USAC. How do you tell if you have an approved 498? Go to http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/498-ID-Status.aspx and wait a minute for it to load. Then use Control F to search for your BEN in the list. Only if it says, “Approved” are you set to file the BEAR. If you have questions about your previously-submitted 498’s status, call USAC’s Billings and Disbursements Office at: 888-641-8722, Option 5, then Option 1.
- HOW TO REQUEST AN EXTENSION: If you need to request an extension, there are two ways to do so – one if you have a PIN and one if you do not. The attached document explains both methods. The quickest and easiest way is if you have a PIN.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com!